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A Single Parent’s Guide to 20 FREE Things to do with Kids in Niagara

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If you find yourself on your own raising a child on a limited income, or if you are simply just struggling to make ends meet, here is a list of 20 absolutely FREE things to do with kids in Niagara. There is plenty that you can do when traveling to Niagara that cost absolutely nothing, but the gas in your car.

1. Hike the Niagara Glen. In May through August, daily hiking tours leave the Niagara Glen Nature Centre at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Proper footwear is required. Call the Nature Centre for more information and availability at 905-354-6678.

2. Visit the Niagara Botanical Gardens.

3. Kids will love the Floral Clock. Designs on the face of the timepiece are created with up to 24,000 colourful carpet plants, and sometimes during winter stones replace the flowers. Parking here is free as well. 14004 Niagara Parkway.

4. Have a picnic in Queen Victoria Park, while viewing the beautiful Niagara Falls.

5. …while at Queen Victoria Park, enjoy FREE  fireworks shows from May 18th until June 17th, 2018, on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10 p.m., and then beginning on June 18th, 2018 straight through to September 3rd, 2018, the fireworks shows will resume daily at 10 p.m. including on Holidays. The fireworks have a 6 minute duration. (see schedule here).

6. Attend a local fair or festival, such as Niagara Falls’ most popular Spring festival, Springlicious!

7. Window shop. You don’t need to buy a thing, but you’ll get your fix and kids will love things such as the playground in the Outlet Collection at Niagara, or the giant majestic fountain in the Fallsview Casino Galleria Mall.

8. Public parks (and in some cases tennis and swimming pools), such as:

  • St. Davids Lions Park and Outdoor Pool, 1446 York Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-262-5120
  • Simcoe Park, Queen & King St., Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-3266
  • Rye Heritage Park, Rye Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Memorial Park and Outdoor Pool, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-2804
  • Centennial Park and Arena, 1565 Four Mile Creek Road, Virgil 905-468-4261
  • Kingsbridge Park, 7870 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls
  • McFarland Point Park, 15297 Niagara Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake 905-468-3322
  • Queenston Heights Park, 14184 Niagara Parkway, Queenston

9. Outdoor Splash Pads, such as:

  • Peach King Centre, 162 Livingston Av., Grimsby 905-945-1288
  • Kingsbridge Park, 7870 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls
  • Queenston Heights Park, 14184 Niagara Parkway, Queenston
  • Port Robinson Park, Canby and River St., Thorold 905-227-1148
  • South Confederation, Confederation Av., Thorold 905-227-1148

10. Visit Port Dalhousie. There’s large gorgeous beach for the kids, and an antique carousel that costs only .05 cents.

The carousel is open from May 19 – June 3, 2018 on weekends and holidays from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., June 9 – August 31, 2018 daily from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., September 1 – October 8, 2018 open on weekends and holidays from 11 a.m – 6 p.m.

11. Happy Rolph’s Animal Farm. Located at 650 Read Rd. in St.Catharines, it’s absolutely free and contains an animal farm for viewing, a playground, a picnic area and pavilion, and 2 ponds on site. Open from Victoria Day weekend to Thanksgiving weekend.

12. Welland Canal. It’s the largest canal observation deck in Niagara. View massive ships travel from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. The observation deck and parking is free. Call the Lock 3 Viewing Complex and Museum at 1-800-305-5134 for more information. The Welland Canal Museum is open daily, year round. Suggested donation is $4 per person.

13. Oakes Garden Theatre. Have a picnic there and kids can play in the “secret garden”.

14. Dufferin Islands. This is a secluded paradise that is unique in that it houses a series of tiny islands joined together by bridges and footpaths.
15. Visit the Niagara Falls History Museum. Admission is free on Thursday’s from 5:00 to 9:00 pm.

16. Morningstar Mill & Mountain Mills Museum at DeCew Falls. This is a heritage site owned by the City of St. Catharines and operated in partnership with the Friends of Morningstar Mill. It features a working grist mill rebuilt in 1872, and the home of the Morningstar family restored up to 1933.

17. Speaking of DeCew Falls, visit these other various Niagara Hidden Gems for free!

18. Bike along the beautiful Niagara Parkway. It is 56 kilometers of scenery that stretches from Fort Erie, past Niagara Falls, and into Niagara-on-the-Lake.

19. Take a stroll through Niagara’s Farmers Markets. Many have free live entertainment as you shop. Pick your own fresh produce and enjoy the all the roadside markets on your drive through Niagara. Check out the Niagara Falls Farmers Market (5943 Sylvia Place) Saturday’s year round from 6 am – 1 pm, St. Catharines Farmers Market (91 King St. Market Square) Thursday’s & Saturday’s from 6 am – 3 pm/Tuesday’s 6 am – 3 pm Jan – June/Tuesday’s 12 pm – 8 pm June – August, and Welland’s Market Square (50 Market Square) Saturday’s from 6 am – noon for starters.

20. Heartland Forest. Free admission with access to a land of forest trails, outdoor learning centres, home to a turtle, fish and frog pond, one of the largest tree houses in Canada with a 210 foot ramp, and streams and pools set within a Carolinian forest.

Are you a single parent and have activities that you wish to share on fun, free things to do with kids in Niagara? Please share in the comment section.

Save money on Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls with our Clifton Hill Fun Pass. Walking, window shopping, and enjoying the sights and sounds on the “Street of Fun by the Falls” is always free of course to witness, but to take part in the attractions there are definitely ways to save money! The fun pass is the best way to to get more for less:

Clifton Hill Fun Pass

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