While the famous waterfalls are the main attraction bringing visitors to Niagara Falls each year, the region is also home to plenty of other fun things to see and do. Read on for some top activities you should add to your itinerary on your next trip to this part of North America.
Go Ziplining at WildPlay Niagara
As far as memorable Niagara Falls attractions go, one of the best would have to be WildPlay Niagara. Here you can feel the wind whip through your hair as you soar along on ziplines or take a bungee jump. The Whirlpool Adventure Course, in particular, is recommended. This zipline and suspended-obstacle experience takes visitors across the gorge and whirlpool of Niagara Falls, and includes three different self-paced adventures.
The ziplines reach up to 220 feet above the ground and help users to reach speeds of more than 40mph as they travel through the air. You’ll get wonderful views of the Falls from here, as well as get your heart pumping at the same time.
Discover History at Old Fort Niagara
For something a little more low-key yet equally fascinating, head to Old Fort Niagara. Located on the American side of the Falls, this fort was built in the 1700s to help soldiers stay protected and get a better vantage point during warfare. It has changed hands many times over the years, being used by various different nations’ soldiers during wars such as the Revolutionary, French, and Indian Wars.
While you’re at Old Fort Niagara, take your time exploring the period rooms plus guns, cannons, and other well-preserved historic items; and enjoy a self-guided audio tour to learn about the site’s history and the previous battles which took place there. There are hourly musket demonstrations too, in addition to re-enactments during special times of the year.
Try Indoor Skydiving
If you’ve always thought about trying skydiving but haven’t been sure about the safety of the exercise, or about jumping from so far off the ground, add a visit to the Niagara Freefall and Interactive Center to your itinerary. Here you’ll find indoor skydiving facilities where you can have the experience of flying within a wind-tunnel flight chamber, and moving at air speeds of up to 140mph. This skydiving can be done in groups of up to four people.
Once you’ve completed that activity, you might want to have fun playing Lazerball (it’s like paintball but uses mess-free, soft foam balls instead of paint), or climb the site’s 32-foot high rooftop rock wall. Niagara Freefall also boasts a wide variety of top interactive arcade games for visitors to play.
Take the Challenge at Nightmares Fear Factory
Another place that’s pretty much guaranteed to get your heart racing is the Nightmares Fear Factory, a haunted house located in the popular suburb of Clifton Hill, in Canada. Operating for over three decades now, this attraction sees visitors walking through numerous areas of the house, following lit-up markers, on a challenge to try and “survive” for as long as they can.
There are no time limits to worry about, and you can take the challenge with up to five of your friends at a time. If you find, though, that the fright factor is just too high for you to get through the whole haunted house, don’t feel disappointed – believe it or not, more than 140,000 participants have been unable to make it to the end since the Fear Factory opened!
If wine-tasting is on your agenda, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by just how wonderful the local varieties are, and how many vineyards there are in the Niagara region to visit. In fact, within around a 15 to 20 minute drive from the center of Niagara Falls you will find over 25 different wineries open to the public. Many of these are set within the picturesque Canadian suburb of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
One of the most popular vineyards is Inniskillin Winery. This well-known spot is particularly famous for its special Icewine. Icewine is a type of dessert wine made from grapes which have been frozen while they’re still on the vine. Since the water in the grapes freezes but the sugars and other dissolved solids do not, this makes for a more concentrated grape, which is then pressed and gives a particularly sweet wine as a result. (Freezing happens before the fermentation process takes place.) At Inniskillin you can, of course, do some tastings of the wineries creations, as well as purchase bottles to take home with you, or take a guided tour to learn more about the vineyard’s wine-making process.