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10 Things to Do Near Niagara Falls Even the Locals Love

Niagara Falls seen from Sheraton on the FallsThere are tons of tourist attractions and Niagara Falls restaurants on the Niagara Falls Canada side you shouldn’t miss. But to see what Niagara Falls is really about, check out these local things to do near Niagara Falls to get the most out of your trip.

1. Firemen’s Park

Sometimes the coolest thing about a vacation is getting to see the true locals – the plants and animals the populate a popular destination. Firemen’s Park is a great place to check out Niagara Falls nature. The park is actually maintained by the Stamford Center Volunteer Firemen’s Association and spans 135 acres. There are hiking trails, a pond where you can fish or canoe, outdoor concerts in the amphitheater, a large playground and a shaded off-leash dog park. Come here for serenity and beautiful nature all around.

2. Gale Centre Arena

Canada is one of the world’s top destinations for ice hockey, which is the official national winter sport of Canada. If you want to see ice hockey talent from the area and around the world, the Gale Centre Arena is just a 5-minute drive from Niagara Falls and features four different ice areas where hockey tournaments, special events and open ice skating take place. There are frequent tournaments, so chances are good whenever you’re on the Niagara Falls Canada side, there will be something fun going on.

3. Happy Rolph’s Animal Farm

Happy Rolphs Animal FarmGet up-close-and-personal with cuddly creatures like rabbits, donkeys, cows, goats and chickens at Happy Rolph’s Animal Farm, a bird sanctuary and petting zoo along Lake Ontario. Thousands of birds call Happy Rolph’s home, and there’s an animal viewing area and big playground for kids to have plenty of fun at. The venue spans 15 acres and includes a collection of flowering rhododendrons, as well as evergreens, willow trees and lots of grassy fields for picnicking.

4. Heartland Forest

Whether you and your family are self-explorers on nature trails, or you want some guided education, Heartland Forest has it all. There are lots of kid-friendly activities and spots to explore here across 93 acres of land, including hiking trails, frog and turtle ponds, lots of unique trees, birds and amphibians and a wood shop you can visit. Head to the forest treehouse, one of Canada’s largest treehouses that offers a panoramic forest view.

5. La Grande Hermine

See what a pirate ship might have looked like at the La Grande Hermine, a replica of an abandoned pirate ship. Find La Grande Hermine at the Jordan Harbour shoreline to see what one of the three ships Jacques Cartier used to explore the St. Lawrence River back in the 1500s was like. The replica ship measures 140 feet long and was built more than 100 years ago, in 1914.

6. Queen Charlotte Tea Room

The breweries, wineries and Niagara Falls restaurants on the Niagara Falls Canada side are definitely worth a visit. But if you want a little taste of England in Canada, you’ll want to visit the Queen Charlotte Tea Room. Choose from a selection of more than two dozen teas, nibble on dainty sandwiches and sweet things, or nosh on British classics like fish and chips or pot pies. Rest, relax and linger in this charming and welcoming spot.

7. The Screaming Tunnel

Into spooky stuff? Make sure the Screaming Tunnel is on your to-do list. This tunnel, off Warner Road in the northwest corner of Niagara Falls, is considered one of the most haunted places in Niagara Falls. Legend states that a young girl perished in the tunnel after being caught in a fire. Now, if you light a match around midnight in the tunnel, you might hear some screaming yourself.

8. Short Hills Provincial Park

Fill up on more nature at Short Hills Provincial Park, the largest park in Niagara Falls at more than 1,500 acres. There are seven beautiful trails to explore here, including the Paleozoic Trail, where you can see a great view of Swayze Falls. Don’t be surprised if you run into some wild turkeys or deer. Lots of diverse animals, flora and fauna call the park home.

9. Village of Chippawa

Get a taste of Niagara Falls history in the Village of Chippawa, which was established in 1793 and was rebuilt after the War of 1812-14. Chippawa is home to famous director James Cameron, who lived in the village until he was a teenager. Today, the village has lots of quaint local shops and hosts community events like Italian dinners, 3D printing classes, essential oil workshops and trivia nights.

10. White Meadows Farms

It’s fun to learn how wine and beer are made, but what about the maple syrup we love to pour on breakfast foods? White Meadows Farms is the place to go to discover all things maple syrup, with a tour that takes you into the forest to learn all about maple syrup production. Sample syrups and sweets back at the shop. Check out the hen house on site to learn about free-run egg production, too.

Book a Trip to Niagara Falls to See How the Locals Live

Niagara Falls is a romantic destination for travelers from around the world. When you visit unique spots like the ones mentioned here, you can get even more out of your trip. Book a Niagara Falls vacation now.