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Niagara Falls Tour Blog
Niagara Falls Fireworks

Niagara Falls Fireworks

Celebrating 25 Years of Annual Fireworks Display Over Niagara Falls!

Make your Niagara Falls trip a memorable one by witnessing the fireworks display over Niagara Falls.

A fireworks display is always a big attraction, drawing huge crowds that eagerly anticipate and watch in awe as the fireworks light up the night sky in beautiful patterns. Fireworks are like thousands of stars exploding in the sky, drawing gasps of wonder from young and old.

Every year from May to October, which is the peak season for tourists in Niagara Falls, Niagara Parks Commission hosts a fireworks display at 10:00 p.m. on select days. All the displays are pre-programmed and set off electronically from the shores of Niagara River at the base of the Niagara Gorge. The fireworks are aesthetic and entertaining, and never fail to awe people. Though the show’s duration is usually under 10 minutes, it is quite magical and worth watching.

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the annual Falls Fireworks Series. To commemorate this milestone, Niagara Parks Commission has released the 2018 Falls Fireworks Series schedule with a total of 111 displays. This year, tourists and locals can enjoy daily fireworks display in the summer months of July and August. The fireworks are scheduled for weekends (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) and special holidays during the rest of the days between May and October.

Niagara Falls Fireworks schedule is as follows:

  • May 18 – June 17: Weekends (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays).
  • Victoria Day Weekend: May 18 – 21
  • Memorial Day Weekend: May 25 – 28
  • June 18 – September 3: Daily
  • September 7 – October 8: Weekends (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays) and holiday Mondays.
  • Columbus Day: October 5 – 8

Hornblower Falls Fireworks Cruise
If you are in Toronto on personal or professional work, you can take ToNiagara’s Niagara Falls Evening Tour which has the fireworks display on its itinerary. Please inquire about the fireworks schedule before booking the tour.

It should be noted that the fireworks display is subject to weather conditions.

Click here to find out if fireworks are scheduled for tonight. If you are planning a visit to Niagara Falls this year, check the fireworks schedule for 2018 so you can start planning your trip.

Watch the night sky over Niagara Falls get lit up in a kaleidoscope of colours on most nights of this summer and autumn. You can watch the dazzling display of fireworks from Niagara Parkway, Queen Victoria Park or with one of the following Falls attractions.

Hornblower Falls Fireworks Cruise: Hornblower Niagara Cruises runs the Falls Fireworks Cruise on nights that fireworks are scheduled. You can book this nighttime cruise for a truly spectacular evening with a boat ride on the Niagara River and a great view of the fireworks. Hurry! These cruises sell out fast!

Niagara Skywheel: Take a ride in this giant Ferris wheel in Clifton Hill for a view of the illuminated Falls and fireworks display. Sit in the temperature-controlled cabins and enjoy the view. Please remember the fireworks display starts at 10:00 p.m.

Fallsview Hotels: You can enjoy the fireworks display from the comfort of a hotel room with a Falls view.

Fallsview Restaurants: Have dinner at one of the many “Fallsview restaurants.” Enjoy the spectacular view of the illuminated Falls and the fireworks display.

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Hornblower Niagara Cruises vs Maid of the Mist

Hornblower Niagara Cruises vs Maid of the Mist

From 1848 the Maid of the Mist boats have been ferrying tourists on the Niagara River for a closer look at the Niagara Falls.

The Maid of the Mist is a boat ride that took tourists from either side of the Niagara River, i.e. from USA and Canada, on a boat ride to see the Niagara Falls from close quarters. Till 2013, the tours from both Canada and USA were operated by the same company.

In 2013, the Canadian government awarded the contract to operate the Niagara Falls boat tour to Hornblower, a California-based company. The company started operating the rides from 2014 and also announced a number of changes and improvements to the tour.

Though the route taken is the same and the experience is similar, there are a few differences between Maid of the Mist and Hornblower Niagara Cruises.

Point of Origin

The Maid of the Mist sets sail from Niagara Falls, New York State, USA. Boarding docks are within the Niagara Falls State Park, NY. Visitors have to take the elevator from the Prospect Point Observation Tower down to the Niagara River shore where the Maid of the Mist docks are located.

The Hornblower Niagara boat tour is from the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. It is located on Niagara Parkway at the foot of Clifton Hill.

If you are touring Niagara Falls, USA, it would make sense to take the Maid of the Mist. Tourists in Niagara Falls, Canada, take the Hornblower Niagara boat ride. If you have valid travel documents, you can always cross the border via Rainbow Bridge to take the boat tour from the other side of the border.

Day Tour vs. Evening Tour
Day Tour vs Evening Tour
Both Hornblower Niagara Cruises and Maid of the Mist take passengers upstream on the Niagara River to view the American, Bridal Veil and Horseshoe Falls.

Maid of the Mist boat rides operate between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. in early summer and autumn and extend till 8:00 p.m. on weekends and peak summer.

Hornblower Niagara Cruises offers 4 different types of boat rides:

  • Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour: This tour is a 20-minute day tour that takes you really close to the Horseshoe Falls. It is operated every day from 8:30 am till dusk.
  • Voyage to the Falls Evening Boat Tour: This tour is a 20-minute light mist experience that is operated from dusk till 8:30 p.m. With the evening tour, passengers can see the illuminated Falls.
  • Falls Illumination Cruise: This boat tour is a 40-minute light mist experience. Travelling at a slower pace, it gives passengers more time to admire the beauty of Niagara Falls. You can also see the city skyline and landmarks such as Skylon Tower.
  • Falls Fireworks Cruise: This tour is also a 40-minute light mist experience that is run on select nights when there is a fireworks display. You can watch the illuminated Falls as well as the fireworks with this cruise. Passengers can also enjoy a complimentary snack, music and drinks from the onboard licensed bar.

Seating Arrangements
The Maid of the Mist has no seating areas either on the lower deck or the upper deck. It is wheelchair accessible, but others have to stand for the length of the boat ride.

The Hornblower boats have seating, bathrooms, enclosed viewing areas on the lower deck for those who do not want to get wet, and open upper decks for maximum viewing. They too are wheelchair accessible.

Online Booking and Timed Arrivals
Though both Maid of the Mist and Hornblower Niagara boat rides can be booked online, the queues at Maid of the Mist are always long. Tickets sold are valid for any day of the whole season and not for any particular day.

Hornblower Niagara Cruises offers timed arrivals when booking online. Passengers can arrive just before the requested arrival time on their ticket and make their way through an air-conditioned terminal to the boat docks.

Tour Season
Maid of the Mist operates between May and early November.

The season for Hornblower Niagara Cruises is slighter longer; boat tours start in April and continue till the end of November, weather permitting. If you are keen on taking a boat tour of Niagara Falls, check the schedule before planning your trip.

Colour of Ponchos
Niagara Falls Boat Tours take you close enough to the Horseshoe Falls that you will get wet. The boat tour operators provide complimentary ponchos that keep passengers somewhat dry. Both Maid of the Mist and Hornblower provide free keepsake ponchos, but their colours vary. As the boats make their way across the Niagara River, Maid of the Mist passengers can be identified by their blue ponchos and Hornblower passengers by their red ponchos.

Cost of Niagara Boat Tours
Cost of Niagara Boat Tours
The Hornblower Niagara boat ride is costlier than the Maid of the Mist. For the 2018 season, Hornblower is charging $25.95 CAD for adults and $15.95 CAD for children. For the same ride, Maid of the Mist is charging $19.25 USD for adults and $11.20 for children. The Falls Illumination Cruise and Falls Fireworks Cruise by Hornblower cost more.

The biggest difference between Maid of the Mist and Hornblower is the history behind them. While the Maid of the Mist has been operating on the Niagara River since 1846, first as a ferry and later as a sightseeing boat, the Hornblower has been operating the Niagara Falls Boat Tour since only 2014. It should be noted that Maid of the Mist has changed hands over the years and since 1971 it has been owned by the Glynn family.

Tourists visiting Canadian Niagara Falls take the Hornblower Niagara Cruise while tourists to USA Niagara Falls take the Maid of the Mist. Visitors wishing to take both boat tours can do so by crossing the border (you should have valid travel documents). There are bus tours too that take you from Canada to USA and vice versa. The route followed by both boats is the same, the only difference being Hornblower also offers evening, illumination and fireworks cruises.

Hornblower has invested about $1.5 million into the former funicular or incline railway that used to ferry passengers from the foot of Clifton Hill to the gorge below where the boat docks are. The rail cars will be air conditioned/heated and an audio guide as it lowers into the gorge. The elevators to the landing area of the boat ride are also being upgraded. With an efficient system of both the elevators and Incline Railway, Hornblower expects to increase its daily number of cruises.

From July 2018, Hornblower visitors can buy a general admission ticket and use the elevators to get to the landing docks or they can buy the fast track admission ticket and take a VIP 2-minute funicular ride. You can enjoy spectacular views of the Falls as the incline railway rides down.

Take the Niagara Falls Boat Tour for spectacular views of Niagara Falls from the river. With a lot of upgrades and other attractions like the Riverside Patio, the Hornblower is a more attractive option.

Please click here to know more about Maid of the Mist schedule and pricing for 2018.

For more details on Hornblower Niagara Falls Boat Tour Price, please click here.

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Niagara Speedway Game Zone

Niagara Speedway – Niagara Falls’ Go-Kart Track

There is a New Attraction in Town!

Clifton Hill has just announced the long-awaited opening of Niagara Speedway, which is being compared to a real life Mario Kart track.

Niagara Speedway opens June 1, 2018 and is expected to draw large crowds. The go-kart track has a 40-foot elevated spiral track that descends down an undulated ramp to a race track.

The new track is the largest elevated go-kart track facility in North America and is also the first of its kind in Canada, making it a must-visit go-karting track. The track is a mix of a traditional go-kart track and an elevated roller coaster styled track, and is designed to give the maximum thrills.

Budding racers can test their racing skills and families can have some fun time at Niagara Speedway. The hair-pin bends and elevated bouncy ramps are the most exciting part of the track.

Prices for the ride have also been released.

Ticket Pricing:
Driver: $12.00 (Per 5 Minute Race)
Passenger: $4.00 (Per 5 Minute Race)
(Please note: Prices are not inclusive of applicable tax)

There are other requirements/restrictions as well for a ride in Niagara Speedway.
Driver height restrictions:

  • Minimum height: 58 inches.
  • Maximum height: 78 inches.

Passenger height restrictions:

  • Minimum height: 40 inches.
  • Maximum height: 60 inches.

To carry a passenger, the driver should be at least 18 years of age, or be a parent or legal guardian of the passenger.

There will be 36 Go-Karts going every ride.

Niagara Speedway Game Zone

The Niagara Speedway also features the Game Zone, which opened recently. Try out the various games featured. Game Zone is affiliated to the Great Canadian Midway.

If you are visiting Niagara Falls this summer, check out this new attraction in Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls. Test your driving skills with this mad and fun ride!

For more information call:  1-905-358-3676

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View the majestic Niagara Falls by daylight and again at night when the Falls are illuminated.

Every Wednesday and Friday, ToNiagara runs night tours of Niagara Falls, Ontario with pickup from Toronto, the Greater Toronto Area and from hotels near the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Tour duration: 9.5 hours

The tour starts in the afternoon so you can view the massive Niagara Falls in broad daylight and also see some of the attractions in town.

Tour Highlights

Night Tour Pickup

The tour starts between 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. in Toronto. We offer free pickup from any hotel in Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga and Etobicoke. Pickup is also offered from hotels near the Toronto Pearson International Airport. After everyone is picked up, the tour bus will head for Niagara Falls, Ontario, which is a 90-minute drive from Toronto. The drive will give you time to relax and view the lovely scenery en route.

Stop at Whirlpool Rapids

Whirlpool Rapids
En route to Niagara Falls, at around 4:00 p.m. in the evening the tour bus will halt for some time at the Niagara Whirlpool, a place where the Niagara River bends in the Niagara Gorge. You can also view the class 5 white water rapids that converge at the bend in the river, causing a giant whirlpool that spins in a counterclockwise direction. You can view the Spanish Aero Car (a cable car and tourist attraction) make its way over the Niagara River and Whirlpool.

Spend time at Niagara Falls

Next, your tour guide will point out landmarks and tell you a bit about the history of Niagara Falls as the tour bus travels south on Niagara Parkway. Enjoy the drive on Niagara Parkway, which runs parallel to the Niagara River with splendid views of the Niagara River, Niagara Gorge and the famed Niagara Falls. You just cannot turn your gaze away from the beautiful sight of Niagara Falls.

Hornblower Niagara Boat Cruise/View from Skylon Tower

Hornblower Niagara Boat Cruise
After viewing Niagara Falls from Niagara Parkway, get ready for a closer look from the river with the Hornblower Niagara Boat Tour. No standing in queue and the ride is FREE for ToNiagara customers! Be prepared to get wet with this boat ride that takes you along the American and Bridal Veil Falls and then to the massive and deafening Horseshoe Falls. During Hornblower’s off-season (winters), you will be taken to Skylon Tower for a view of the Falls and surrounding region. It will be around 4:30 p.m. when you finish the boat tour/Skylon Tower stop.

Winery Tour

Winery Tour
The unique climate and soil of the Niagara region makes it ideal for grape vine cultivation. A tour of a famous Niagara winery is next on the tour itinerary. Take a stroll through the vineyard, learn how wine is made, and then onto some complimentary wine and grape juice tasting. Be treated like a wine aficionado! You can also taste Canada’s famed icewine here.

Visit the smallest chapel in the world!

On Niagara Parkway, close to Niagara-on-the-Lake, is the Living Water Wayside Chapel – the world’s smallest chapel according to the Guinness Book of World Records. This lovely roadside chapel is great to stop by for some photos. It has space inside for just 9 people!

Charming Niagara-on-the-Lake

This lovely town is located on the shores of Lake Ontario where the Niagara River empties into the lake. The town’s well-preserved 19th century buildings lend an old world charm to it. You will be given 45 minutes to explore the town on your own. It has quaint antique shops, pubs and boutiques.
Our free lanyards with our contact information will come in handy if you or any member of your family gets lost in the town.

Stopover at Queenston Heights Park

While returning back from Niagara-on-the-Lake, you will visit Queenston Heights Park – the serene park belies the fact that it was the site of one of the bloodiest battles during the War of 1812. The park is a monument to the fallen soldiers. It also has the Brock Monument, a memorial to Sir Isaac Brock who died in battle at this site.

Floral Clock

Floral Clock
Floral Clock on Niagara Parkway is photographed almost as much as Niagara Falls. This 40-foot diameter functioning clock has thousands of carpet bedding plants and flowers making up its clock face. The pattern of the clock face is changed twice a year with seasonal plants. The tour bus will stop here so you can take some photos at this lovely spot.

Buffet Dinner at Sheraton Fallsview Restaurant (optional add-on)

At around 8:30 p.m., you have the option of having a full Canadian buffet dinner at the Sheraton Fallsview Restaurant – a penthouse level restaurant with gorgeous views of Niagara Falls.

Fireworks and Illumination of Niagara Falls

At the end of the tour, you will have the opportunity to take one last look at the Niagara Falls. Witness the evening light show at the Falls, where colourful LED lights illuminate the Falls. The colours are changed throughout the evening. From May to October, on Fridays, weekends and special holidays, there is a fireworks display above Niagara Falls at 10:00 p.m. The illuminated Falls and the spectacular fireworks in the skies above make for an enchanting and magical night (if you are interested in watching the fireworks, please call ahead to know their schedule and plan your trip accordingly).

Dropoff at your hotel

After the fireworks display is over, it is time to head back to your hotel in Toronto. You will be back in your hotel by 11:30 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Niagara Falls Night Tour – A magical night in Niagara Falls

With our Niagara Falls Night Tour, you will the view the majestic Niagara Falls by day and again at night. This tour has many advantages – you can sleep in late or take care of other business before you take the Niagara Falls Night Tour. The tour will leave you with memories of a lifetime. Niagara Falls is one of the most scenic places, providing countless photo opportunities.
If you are ever in the Toronto region, make sure to take our Niagara Falls Night Tour for a unique experience of Niagara Falls and neighbouring wine country.

Click here to book this spectacular tour!

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In the early 1800’s there were no bridges across the Niagara River, boats were the only mode of transportation available for crossing the Niagara River, especially near Niagara Falls.  The first ferry started out near Niagara Falls on the American side of the border. The boat was christened Maid of the Mist in 1846 as a border-crossing ferry. It ferry was used to transport passengers and cargo from the US to Canada.

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The most popular and thrilling attraction in Niagara Falls USA and Niagara Falls Canada is the boat tour that takes tourists on an exciting ride to view the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls – the three waterfalls that form Niagara Falls.

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The name Niagara Falls is instantly recognized by people all over the world. Located along the US-Canada border, the Niagara Falls is visible from either side of the border. The American and Bridal Veil Falls are on the US side while the Horseshoe Falls is on the Canadian side.

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Niagara Falls Canada Full Day Tours

Niagara Falls Canada Full Day Tours

The wondrous Niagara Falls continues to enthrall visitors some 350 years after it was first documented by a Franciscan missionary, Father Louis Hennepin. Each year, millions of visitors from all corners of the globe visit to experience the grandeur of Niagara Falls.

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Niagara Private Sightseeing Tours

Niagara Private Sightseeing Tours

Here is how sightseeing is usually done…everyone fits into a large bus with a lot of strangers and being herded from one place to the next. Not all people like being part of a large bus tour. Some of us may like to hang around a little longer at our favourite sights, do things at a more leisurely pace or may not have time to spend an entire day on a tour bus.

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