If you’re an adrenaline junkie who has always wanted to see the majestic Niagara Falls up close, but don’t think there’s much else to do in the area other than tick something off your bucket list, think again.
Any trip to this part of North America can be extended with numerous adventurous activities. Read on for a sample of some of the fun things you can add to your itinerary when you plan a trip to Niagara Falls.
When it comes to active Niagara Falls attractions, you don’t want to miss a visit to WildPlay Niagara. At this popular attraction you will find lots of things to get your heart started, including, in particular, the Whirlpool Adventure Course. This zipline and suspended-obstacle experience will have you swinging, climbing, jumping, and zipping like Tarzan. The course runs above the iconic gorge and whirlpool at Niagara, and includes three separate self-paced adventures for visitors, some of which are even cliff-side.
At WildPlay, you need to fit in some time to travel on the MistRider Zipline to the Falls too. This attraction provides amazing views from its four parallel ziplines which face the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Participants end up dangling 220 feet above the ground, and cover over 2,000 feet (guided by on-site workers), at speeds of more than 40mph along the way. This experience takes adventurers to the observation landing at the Falls, by way of the edge of the Niagara river gorge.
Another fun activity for adrenaline junkies at WildPlay is the What’s To Fear jump. This can be done by itself or as part of the Whirlpool Adventure Course, and involves a loose-line bungee jump from 40 feet in the air.
Niagara Freefall and Interactive Center
The Niagara Freefall and Interactive Center is another perfect choice for visitors looking to let loose and have some fun. This one-stop destination features a wide variety of activities, including a 32-foot high rooftop rock wall that is perfect for both beginner climbers and more experienced ones, plus a mechanical bull ride, a Lazerball set-up (this game is like paintball but uses paint- and mess-free foam balls which don’t cause so much bruising), and a number of the latest interactive arcade games.
One of the key things really drawing visitors to the Freefall tourist attraction through is its indoor skydiving facilities. At the center you can, in groups of up to four, step into the on-site wind-tunnel flight chamber and have the experience of flying. The machine gets people moving at air speeds of up to 140mph, and is the perfect option if you’ve always wanted to try skydiving but haven’t quite been game enough.
Nightmares Fear Factory
Niagara Falls may not be most famous for having a haunted-house, but if you’re in the area and looking for a way to get your heartrate up, you can’t go past the Nightmares Fear Factory. This attraction has been running for more than 30 years, and is located at the top of the trendy suburb of Clifton Hill (also a good place to spend time exploring), not far from the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of Niagara.
At the Fear Factory, you’ll be challenged to try and “survive” for as long as possible as you walk through the haunted house’s various areas. You can take the experience at your own pace, because there are no time limits or motorized trains/carts etc. you have to ride on. Instead, follow a trail of red lights to get from place to space, in groups that are limited to six people at a time.
If you love the experience and would like to go again while you’re in Niagara Falls, keep in mind that the attraction is designed to be changed up on a regular basis, so things are kept interesting for regular patrons. However, if you find the haunted house just too much to cope with and don’t get all the way through it, don’t feel bad – you’ll actually join a long list of people (over 140,000!) who have chickened out since the Nightmares Fear Factory opened.
Old Fort Niagara
After screaming your lungs out at the haunted house, you might be ready to visit an attraction that is a little more low-key. If so, make your way to Old Fort Niagara, which is found on the American side of the Falls. This structure was created in the 1700s as a way of giving soldiers a better vantage point during combat, and has been used, since it opened, by a wide variety of soldiers. The fort was mainly utilized during the French, Indian, and Revolutionary Wars, and is today the oldest operational one of its type in the United States.
During a visit here you can take in the hourly musket demonstrations; watch dedicated re-enactors recreate the conflicts played out at the fort (during special periods only); take a self-guided audio tour; and check out a variety of cannons, guns, rooms, and other period items and areas which have been well conserved.