Looking to get into the festive spirit? Pay a visit to Niagara Falls USA this holiday season and you’ll find a Christmas calendar brimming with activities to get you and the whole family in the mood. From meeting The Man himself to sparkling holiday lights, there’s a tinsel-topped event happening every day in the county. You’ll soon discover Niagara Falls USA is the Christmas gift that keeps on giving! Masks are required!
1. Each year, from the Saturday before Thanksgiving to the eve of the Epiphany, the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine goes aglow for the Fatima Shrine Festival of Lights. The event features some 75 twinkling displays to wander through, with the highlight being the shrine itself, decorated with a life-size nativity scene and festooned in Christmas foliage. (November 21 through January 3)
2. A classic holiday movie is going virtual this year! Live in your living room, join The Griswold's — Chevy Chase (Clark) and Beverly D’Angelo (Ellen) — as they share fan-favorite clips, and reveal their favorite memories during A (Virtual) Christmas Vacation with The Griswold's. (December 19)
3. Jingle Falls USA is back this year — although not in it's full capacity like previous years. This year, witness holiday lights along Old Falls Street, USA, enjoy a socially-distant breakfast with Santa, or create holiday crafts with the kiddos. Most events are taking place for the entire month of December.
4. Want to check if you’re on the Nice List? Santa Claus will be parking his virtual sleigh at the magical Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda this season. Expect fun activities like ornament crafts — and carousel rides, of course! Santa will be joining via Zoom. Pre-registration is required. (November 28 and December 19)
5. Lewiston brings a vintage flavor to the holiday calendar with the Village of Lewiston Christmas Walk complete with holiday shopportunities and scheduled meet-and-greets with Santa Claus. (December 4, 5 and 6)
6. Hit the boardwalk along Lake Ontario for the Lakeview Village Shoppes Holiday Shopping Pop-up! Browse an eclectic mix of specialty and food shoppes at this one-day shopping event from noon to 4 p.m. Santa will be visiting virtually beginning at 1 p.m. (December 6)
7. Enjoy the holiday season in the spirit of yesteryear at Old Fort Niagara's Castle by Candlelight. Tour the French Castle, hear stories and witness the celebratory feu de joie firing of muskets and cannons. (December 12)
8. Winter bites — and no, we're not referring to the weather — but fishing! Niagara Falls USA offers year-round angling opportunities, and winter is prime time for catching steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. Unsure where to begin? Hire a local charter captain for an epic on-the-water fishing adventure.
9. What is Santa's favorite food? Cookies! And there's no shortage of sweet treats at The Village Bake Shoppe in Lewiston, NY. This holiday season, purchase a do-it-yourself cookie decorating kit, complete with a dozen sugar cookies, icing and sprinkles. Also on the menu, the TikTok famous, hot chocolate bombs!
10. Load up the car and participate in the Citywide Christmas Lights Crawl this holiday season in Niagara Falls, NY. Cruise through the many neighborhoods and enjoy holiday lights and festive decor. Upload your favorites to social media with the hashtag LightUpNiagara. (December 19)
11. Support local, shop small and save big with the complimentary Winter Savings Card, offered by the Downtown Niagara Falls Business Association. With almost twenty participating businesses, including restaurants, attractions and shops — there is something for everyone! (Pass valid 11/28/2020 to 3/31/2021)
12. Travel along the sweetest trail this holiday season, the Candy Cane Story Lane! Begin at the entrance to Niagara Falls State Park on Old Falls Street, USA and follow the storybook trail. At the end, enjoy complimentary hot cocoa on event dates only, noon to 2 p.m. And don't forget your letter to Santa, too. (Open daily, December 2 – 31, 2020, but heightened activities available on December 5, 12, and 19, 2020.)
Click here for a full list of festivities and events.