Come to Niagara Falls for Victoria Day Weekend in 2013
Victoria Day: The kick off to summer, shake off the soggy spring and get out and enjoy beautiful Niagara Falls!
A Little History Behind the Holiday
Victoria Day is a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday before May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday. The date is also, simultaneously, that on which the current reigning Canadian sovereign’s official birthday is recognized. It is sometimes informally considered as marking the beginning of the summer season in Canada.
The holiday has been observed since before Canada was formed, originally falling on the sovereign’s actual birthday, and continues to be celebrated in various fashions across the country on the fixed date. In Quebec, the same day was, since the Quiet Revolution, unofficially known as Fête de Dollard until 2003, when provincial legislation officially named the same date as Victoria Day the National Patriots’ Day. It is a statutory holiday federally, as well as in six of Canada’s ten provinces and three of its territories.
Planning Your Trip
You may be packing up the car, but if you are letting someone else do the driving for you there is a great service called the GO train running from Toronto and Niagara Falls, with special hours for Victoria Day long weekend. For the schedule click here.
If you are driving, Monday is Victoria Day in Ontario and Victoria Day Weekend has become one of the busier cross-border weekends in the Niagara–Fort Erie Region, with the busiest day being Victoria Day Monday. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) anticipates higher than average volumes this year. Travellers cross-border shopping or taking advantage of the many cross-border destinations and activities on Victoria Day should consider some of the following border crossing tips to facilitate their return to Canada:
Ensure that you have proper identifications for yourself and everyone in the vehicle readily available when crossing the border. In compliance with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, all travellers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, need to present an approved travel document to enter the United States by land and sea such as a valid passport, U.S. Passport Card, a NEXUS card or an Enhanced Driver’s License. These are also acceptable documents for entry into Canada.
|Fireworks Over the Falls
Special Victoria Day Firework Events over the Falls will start a 10pm – weather permitting. more info
|Niagara Falls Illumination
May 2013: 9PM til Midnight the Falls are lit in the colours of the rainbow – don’t miss the Falls at night! more info
Towering 175 feet above
the city, the SkyWheel delivers stunning views of the Falls… more info
|Maid of the Mist
Open Victoria Day Weekend! Get up close and personal with the world famous Horseshoe and American Falls. more info
|Le Grand Cirque
World-class acrobats, jugglers and performers amaze and astound you with seemingly impossible feats. more info
Open Victoria Day Weekend! Enjoy thrilling rides, live shows and interacting with marine animals more info
|Spring in the Glen Tour
May 18th: Free guided tours led by Parks Naturalists. Discover the spring beauty of the Niagara Glen. more info
|Food Truck Eats
Food Truck Eats is parking at Peller Estates Winery for the May long weekend. more info
|David Bromberg Quartet
Bromberg is a multi-talented entertainer who has recorded with Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, the Eagles… more info
Kick off the summer at Kurtz Orchards and enjoy some of the best craft brews, gourmet honey and food! more info
Niagara Parks Annual Fireworks Display
Just like previous years you can count on the annual array of colourful explosions in the sky above the falls.
The Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) is pleased to announce a number of exciting events taking place over the Victoria Day Long Weekend as well. The first long weekend of the summer marks the return of Canada’s longest-running fireworks series. The fireworks will take place on Friday, May 17, Sunday, May 19, and Monday, May 20 at 10 p.m., and will continue every Friday, Sunday, and Holiday throughout the summer until September 1. The best views are in Queen Victoria Park overlooking Niagara Falls. Please note: all dates are subject to change and dependent upon weather and wind conditions.
Long Weekend Coca Cola Concert Series Lineup
Free concerts take place at 8 p.m. at the Illumination Tower Stage, located in Queen Victoria Park at the bottom of Murray Hill, next to Victoria Place. Come out early and you can listen to some live entertainment before the fireworks countdown at 10 p.m.
Friday, May 17 – The Mantini Sisters
Sunday, May 19 – Second Heaven
Monday, May 20 – The Madhatters
“What are the top 5 things to do in Niagara Falls?”
With the Victoria Day weekend drawing near, it’s time to get out of hibernation and look forward to a getaway with the family. One of the most popular times to vacation to Niagara Falls, Victoria Day weekend presents gorgeous atmosphere along the Niagara Parkway; dozens of species of flowers transform the landscape with their vibrant and brilliant colors. It’s a photographer’s oasis as April showers have lightened up and Niagara Falls temperatures can peak at 20c, but generally stay situated as an average high of 13.9c.
Based on my own personal experience from working in Niagara tourism and from the general consensus of the tourists that I interact with on a daily basis, I will provide you with my top 5 fun things to do in Niagara Falls:
1. The Niagara Skywheel:
Imagine being hovered 175 feet (53 meters) in the air over Niagara Falls and capturing the most beautiful pictures of the Horseshoe and American Falls. This is exactly what you get for an inexpensive fee of $10.99 + tax for adults and $6.99 + tax for children on an attraction set apart from the rest. It stands alone as one of the most spectacular aerial views you will ever experience for miles in every direction; all while you are comfortably encased in a climate controlled gondola that provides year-round sightseeing comfort, day and night.
The Niagara Skywheel varies from 8-12 minutes, with operating hours that extend from 9:00 am to 2:00 am on the Victoria Day weekend and then throughout the Summer (*weather permitting*). No need to worry about sun glare off the glass either as each gondola is constructed with specialty made anti-glare coating…for a perfect photo every time!
2. Whirlpool Jetboats:
Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water flow over the Falls every minute and as that water enters the narrow rock gorge, it is compressed into wild rapids. This makes for an exhilarating time when you can experience first-hand the power of the rapids in a completely safe, 40-54 passenger vessel. You must be at least 44 inches tall to ride, but there are no restrictions for seniors as long as you are in good health (free of heart, neck or back issues).
3. Maid of the Mist:
Get up close and personal aboard North America’s oldest tourist attraction! It’s a half hour boat ride that takes you past the base of the American Falls, then literally right into the basin of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. The boat holds up to 600 passengers at a time and yes, you WILL get wet! They will provide you with complimentary raincoats with the price of admission…you will provide your family a once in a lifetime experience.
4. Niagara Fallsview Resort:
This is a 2.5 million square foot complex that includes more than 3000 slot machines and 150 gaming tables. It also features a hotel, spa, large retail facility and a 1500 seat theatre that regularly provides musical entertainment from some of the best, most well known artists from around the world. The casino is also conveniently located next to the Niagara Falls for some amazing views.
5. Niagara Helicopters:
If you are willing to spend a little bit more money, I highly recommend the Niagara Helicopter Tours. The helicopter holds up to 6 of your family members in a 12-minute spectacular flight over the Niagara Falls that spans 27 kilometers. There are 5 helicopters available and the wait times are usually 15 minutes max. It is definitely the most unique way to view the Niagara Falls!
*Please Note: If you plan a weekend getaway to Niagara Falls on the Victoria Day weekend, your best savings option is to take advantage of the “Build-a-Package” selection when you book your stay at the Comfort Inn Clifton Hill. The Niagara Helicopter tour is included in this fantastic package and saves you 30% off the retail price, among various other amazing promotions!
Clifton Hill The World Famous Street of Fun by the Falls
Clifton Hill is the one vacation destination where you’ll find incredible experiences for the whole family to enjoy on your long weekend! Plan your day from the Niagara SkyWheel and be amazed by the spectacular views. Also be sure to explore Clifton Hill’s newest attraction, the XD Theatre. Your vacation starts at Clifton Hill, where “FUN” happens everyday! Between restaurants, gift shops, and the nightlife how can you possibly get bored? Enjoy discounts on attractions as well when you pick up the Fun Pass and when you buy on-line you get an extra spin on the SkyWheel!
This famous tourist destination offers a rare glimpse into the enchanting underwater world of marine life. It’s also has a theme parks fit for the little ones, and those of you needing a bit more of a thrill!
Opens May 18, 2013 and runs to October 13, 2013
OPERATING SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Victoria Day weekend is when Niagara Falls and the streets of Clifton Hill really begin to come to life for the summer, this is a great time to stay overnight and enjoy Niagara’s best offerings. To simplify your Niagara vacation plans; the Comfort Inn Clifton Hill offers some great packages to get you started on your trip.
Whatever your plans may be we hope you have a happy and safe holiday!