Ice, wa­ter and fam­ily fun in Ni­a­gara Falls, Ont.

Canadian Geographic - - CONTENTS - By Aaron Kylie

1. SIGHTS

NO MAT­TER THE SEA­SON, the Horse­shoe ( right), Amer­i­can and Bri­dal Veil falls are the at­trac­tion in the city named af­ter the world-fa­mous wa­ter fea­tures. But win­ter ups the awe-fac­tor ante. Spray from the falls trans­forms lamp posts, trees and build­ings along the ad­ja­cent Ni­a­gara Park­way into ice sculp­tures. Ex­pe­ri­ence the nat­u­ral art gallery with a stroll from the Flo­ral Showhouse (home to col­lec­tions of or­chids, suc­cu­lents and other trop­i­cal plants), past the Ta­ble Rock Wel­come Cen­tre (next to Horse­shoe Falls and home to in­ter­pre­tive at­trac­tions that get you even closer to the rag­ing wa­ter) to Rain­bow Bridge. That route and other nearby streets are also home to the city’s Win­ter Fes­ti­val of Lights. Be­tween dusk and mid­night from mid-novem­ber to the end of Jan­uary, mil­lions of tree and ground lights and more than 125 an­i­mated light dis­plays cre­ate a sparkling spec­ta­cle amid the icy mist. ni­a­gara­parks.com, ni­a­garafall­s­tourism.com, wfol.com

2. FAM­ILY

IF THERE WERE such a thing as five-star re­sorts for kids, the Great Wolf Lodge would fit the bill. There are 14 of these ul­ti­mate ho­tel-meetsin­door wa­ter­park mashups in North Amer­ica, but just one Cana­dian lo­ca­tion, in Ni­a­gara Falls ( left). True to its name, the re­sort plays up the lodge theme with nat­u­ral decor, from a grand faux-stone fire­place and an­i­mated wildlife in the lobby (in­clud­ing wolves, bears and a big talk­ing tree) to rus­tic log fur­nish­ings in the rooms. Of course, the wa­ter­park is the real draw. It boasts nine wa­ter­slides (geared for a range of ages and adren­a­line rushes), a wave pool, a lazy river, a kid­die pool and slides, and more. If the wa­ter doesn’t wear out your wee ones, there’s a va­ri­ety of other kid-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties on of­fer daily, from arts and crafts to a PJ dance party. great­wolflodge.com/ni­a­gara

3. FUN

KIDS OF ALL AGES can’t help but find fun in the Clifton Hill area, the touristy prom­e­nade near the cen­tre of town, home to fun mu­se­ums, wax­works and ar­cades. Get a bird’s-eye view of the ac­tion (as well as the falls and the sur­round­ing area) from the Ni­a­gara Sky­wheel ( right), a 53.3-me­tre-high fer­ris wheel with en­closed and heated eight-pas­sen­ger cars about half­way up the hill. Take self­ies with your favourite celebs at Louis Tus­saud’s Wax­works and Movieland Wax Mu­seum of the Stars, learn about the world’s weird­est and wack­i­est at the Ri­p­ley’s Be­lieve It or Not and Guin­ness World Records mu­se­ums, and test your fearlessness at The House of Franken­stein. Choco­late lovers shouldn’t miss Hershey’s Choco­late World, a not-far-enough-to-burncalo­ries walk around the cor­ner on Falls Av­enue that of­fers up pack­aged and fresh­made treats from the famed candy maker. clifton­hill.com, rip­leys.com/ni­a­garafalls, house­of­franken­stein.ca, her­sheyschoco­late­world­ni­a­garafalls.com

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