Has Niagara Falls ever stopped?

American Falls with heavy ice and snow

Despite the frigid temperatures in Niagara Falls this winter, Niagara Falls continues to rumble! Images much like the one above show the American Falls heavily encased in snow and ice, but only partially. With almost 750,000 gallons of water flowing over Niagara Falls every second, it’s hard to imagine that incredible force could ever be stopped.

Yet, that is exactly what happened in March, 1848. For thirty long hours the Niagara River dried up and the American, Bridal Veil and Horseshoe Falls (the three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls) fell silent. Then, as suddenly as it began, the silence was broken by a deafening roar as a solid wall of water crashed down-river, over the brink of the precipice. Niagara Falls was back!

So, what caused this rare, one-time occurrence? It turns out that high winds moved the ice fields of Lake Erie to the source of the river, blocking the flow completely. When nature had enough, the jam was loosened and the water broke free!

Technically, Niagara Falls has never frozen solid. Even during this event in 1848, the Falls ran dry because of the blockage at Lake Erie.  Visitors during this short stretch were treated to a dried up channel, even riding horse and carriage across the river’s bed!

With the sheer volume of water crashing down, traveling 65 kilometres per hour, we may never see Niagara Falls literally frozen solid. Still, the spectacular sight of the Falls encased partially in ice and snow is a rarity in itself.

Here are just a few of the spectacular images shared on the Niagara Parks Facebook page. Visit yourself and see if you can catch a once-in-a-lifetime snapshot!

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American Falls at Night, submitted by George Rosema

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Horseshoe Falls at Night, submitted by George Rosema

American Falls encased in snow and ice

American Falls, shared by Charles Vandersluys of “Baldini and Vendersluys Photographers”

 

Family Day at Niagara Parks

falls-winter

Family Day is a much needed long weekend in the middle of winter, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to pack up the kids and take a trip (even if it’s just for the day).

With its incredible winter vistas, great lineup of activities, and delicious culinary experiences, Niagara Parks is the perfect place for Family Day fun. Here are just a few of the exciting things to see and do this Family Day weekend.

Hands-on with nature’s nighttime explorers

Giant Gecko

The newest exhibit at the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory, Nocturnal: Creatures of the Night, showcases over one dozen nocturnal animals. Learn about how these exciting animals have adapted to their lives in the dark. You can even get up-close and hands-on with the help of a trained zoo expert! Check out this video for a sneak peak at just a few of the creatures you’ll find:

Nocturnal: Creatures of the Night is on until May 10 and is included with regular admission to the Butterfly Conservatory. Or save over 55% with the Niagara Falls Wonder Pass!

Dinner for Two Next to the Falls

Horseshoe Falls with Valentine's Day Menu

Every evening at dusk, Niagara Falls is lit in the colours of the rainbow. What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than with a romantic dinner for two right next to the Horseshoe Falls? At Elements on the Falls Restaurant, you can do just that with an exclusive Prix Fixe menu on Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14.

Enjoy an appetizer, salad, entree, dessert and coffee or tea for just $59.99 per couple. Try the Char-grilled AAA Beef Tenderloin with Filo and Herb-wrapped Scampi entree or stick with the surf and choose the Pacific Rock Fish, Scallops and Salmon on a Cedar Plank.

Elements on the Falls Restaurant is FeastON certified, featuring the freshest ingredients from local farms and a fantastic selection of world-class VQA wines from the vineyards of Niagara. Call (905) 354-3631 to reserve your Valentine’s Day dinner and receive free parking at the Falls Parking lot, across from the Horseshoe Falls.

Celebrate Heritage Week at Niagara Parks

Experience the legacies, history and cultural traditions that make Canada unique. You can learn all about Niagara’s important role in the War of 1812, the storied historic properties along the Niagara River, and even try on period costumes for fun photo opportunities! All this with the help of our expert costumed heritage interpreters at Table Rock in the Grand Hall, at the brink of the Horseshoe Falls.

Come relive history during heritage week in Niagara Parks!

Spring has Sprung Early at the Floral Showhouse

Flowers in a greenhouse and a pathway

Despite the weather, the Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse is in full bloom with spring blossoms. One of its eight annual displays, the Floral Showhouse Spring Show features vibrant Primula, stunning Calceolaria, fragrant Cyclamen and many more expertly grown flowers in this tropical oasis.

Just a short walk south of the Horseshoe Falls, the Floral Showhouse is open daily from 9:30 am until 5 pm. Admission is $5, or save $1 per person when you add on to your Niagara Falls Wonder Pass! Want to enjoy the annual displays year-round? A season pass upgrade is just $5.

Discover the Wonder & Save

Make Family Day an adventure with the Niagara Falls Wonder Pass, including the breathtaking Journey Behind the Falls, Niagara’s Fury, and Butterfly Conservatory for just $19.95 for adults and $16.95 for kids 6 to 12. Children 5 and under are free! You’ll also get two days on WEGO, so leave the driving to us!

The kids will love the new Nocturnal: Creatures of the Night exhibit, included in the Pass.

You can even buy online and print your tickets from home.

 

Tips for Keeping Toasty Warm on New Year’s Eve

Canadian Mittens clapping at concert
New Year’s Eve at Niagara Parks can get pretty chilly. Here are some tips to keeping toasty warm as you ring in 2015 with Keith Urban and the rest of our star-studded line-up.

5 Cold Weather Safety Tips

  1.  Bundle Up! – Layering insulates the body by creating several pockets of warm air around it, which helps keep the body’s core temperature at its average 98.6°F. Continue reading