This is one of those trips that’s been on my bucket list for awhile and I’m thrilled to say I finally checked it off. We spent a weekend doing both Niagara Falls and Toronto during the Christmas season and it was magical! We booked a hotel in Niagara for two nights which was perfect to not have to bounce between hotel rooms. We drove to Niagara Friday night, spent Saturday exploring the falls, and left early Sunday morning to explore Toronto before heading back home. Here are a few of our top suggestions from our trip…
Things To Do: Niagara Falls (obvi) and Graffiti Alley
The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is an eclectic blend of natural beauty and tourist traps. With a vibe similar to that of a boardwalk, the streets are filled with arcades, neon signs, and miniature golf – a kid’s paradise. It’s a bit disorienting if you’re not expecting it but once you get to the falls you quickly realize it was worth the drive! The falls are magical by day and night – we did both. There is about a 2.5 mile walk that’s directly along the falls with great views. The path runs from the base of the main street to the visitor center.
Graffiti Alley is our top suggestion in Toronto if you’re looking for something off the tourist beaten path. The alley itself is covered in colorful art but it’s also strewn with artists from people filming music videos to those creating elaborate photo shoots. The alley is only a few blocks long but is definitely worth checking out if you’re into art, looking for a less touristy spot, or want an epic Insta pic.
Side note: If you are trying to check out all the tourist spots in Toronto (CN Tower, Casa Loma, the aquarium, etc.) it is well worth buying the CityPass for $70US because some of the entry fees are quite pricey on their own.
Good Eats: Kelsey’s Original Roadhouse
In Toronto, we ate at the Christmas Village (see below) but my top suggestion for Niagara Falls is definitely Kelsey’s. They have a great menu from salads to burgers to gourmet sandwiches and plenty of vegetarian options as well. Their beer menu was great but we highly recommend the cider!
Christmas Bonus: Niagara Falls Christmas Light Festival & Toronto Christmas Village
While it’s definitely more popular to visit Canada in warmer weather, there were some perks to visiting during the holidays! Niagara Falls hosted a lights festival (most weekends in December) while we were there with decorative Christmas trees and lit up angels, snowmen, and other holiday-themed displays. All of the light displays were placed along the path near the falls which are also lit up!
In Toronto, we accidentally stumbled upon a Christmas market and loved it! We were attempting to go for lunch in the Distillery District and it ended up being set up as a market instead (the benefits of traveling without a plan!). Tickets were $6 to enter and we purchased them on site. They had so much food from Canadian classics like poutine to homemade soups and chili (we got gourmet grilled cheese – surprise!). There were also shops selling Christmas gifts and an outdoor beer garden. All in all, this is definitely something we recommend doing just remember to dress warmly because it’s mostly outdoors and it’s Canada!
Questions & Recommendations
Have questions about our time in Canada or looking for more recommendations? Comment below!