A Full Free Day in Niagara Falls

October 31, 2014 11:02 am

FARblog3.jpegNiagara Falls is accommodating for all types of travelers — luxury and budget alike — but almost every vacationer is looking to stretch her dollar and get the best deal. Luckily, despite the lavish amenities and world-class dining at your hotel, tourists will find weeks of attainable entertainment all over the city and surrounding region. In fact, we promise you can go a whole day without spending a Canadian loony on any activity. Pack up your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hit the road to get in on these must-see Niagara Falls attractions.

Niagara Botanical Gardens

The late morning and early afternoon is the perfect time to visit this serene paradise. It’s easy to lose yourself among the beautiful flowers that are meticulously maintained by the area’s horticultural students. The gardens are quiet, offering an excellent reprieve from the crowds on the city streets. Footpaths lead over hills and through valleys, promising a safe and pleasant adventure.

Be sure to see the iconic floral clock, which is redecorated with seasonal plants every few weeks. The amount of time you spend meandering through the gardens will depend on your chosen itinerary for the day (and your interest in nature) but usually guests devote about three hours to exploring and picnicking.

If you have $12 to spend, the gardens are also home to the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory, where thousands of species of brightly colored butterflies fill the air.

McFarland House

In the early 1800s, a Scottish immigrant named John McFarland moved to Canada and built a gorgeous manner house just outside Niagara Falls. Almost right away, the War of 1812 broke out, and McFarland welcomed wounded British soldiers into his home to rest and recover. For the next 150 years, McFarland’s descendants and family maintained the beautiful estate just as John McFarland envisioned it, until the house passed into the hands of the Niagara Parks.

Now, tourists can wander the halls of the perfect period house and examine the historic gardens to learn a bit about life in the early 19th century. This activity is best during the mid-afternoon, and will probably take about two hours out of your day.

Winery Tours

Almost every winery in the Niagara region offers free tastings to travelers. Visitors of legal drinking age — 18 in Canada — are invited to sample award-winning wines and local varietals from the top vineyards in the country, absolutely free of cost. Some estates also provide free tours of the grounds to inform guests what it takes to make wine, from the grape to the bottle.

If you’re willing to spring for a meal, many wineries have excellent restaurants on site that perfectly pair their own wines with fresh, local foods. You can come for lunch or dinner, but expect about an hour and a half for tasting and touring.

Niagara Fallsview Casino

FARblog4.jpegWhen the sun sets, you can find some free excitement through the doors of the Fallsview Casino. Located right in the middle of the action, likely attached to your chosen luxury resort, the casino has hundreds of tables where visitors and locals alike try their luck at their favorite games.

Learn the rules of craps, see the stakes rise during blackjack, and watch the dancing lights on the slot machines all night long. Of course, if you want to put in a dollar or two at the roulette wheel, your adventure might not be free — but you could go home with more than you spent.