October in Niagara Falls, Canada is festive, energizing and fun. The early autumnal season can be truly magical, and there are so many ways to enjoy it no matter your age or interests. If you’re lucky enough to have planned a trip to the area at this time of year, read on for our travel tips and suggestions on what to see and do in 2018. As always, you can find a full listing of events at the end of this post for Niagara Falls itself and the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
October Weather In Niagara
Indian Summer And Woolen “Toques” Go Together
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Indian Summer”, one most typically applied to Canada and the northeastern United States. However, it is also used in places like France where milder temperatures persist into the fall.
When these sorts of conditions reign, you can expect a bit of everything! It can be quite cool, windy and rainy on certain days. But others are warm and sunny with temperatures into the 20’s Celsius/70’s Fahrenheit. For full details on typical weather conditions in October, see this page.
How to Pack Your Suitcase?
Recommended? Make sure to pack a hat, scarf, mitts or gloves– and yes, you guessed it– a warmer coat or jacket. An umbrella is also a must! All this equipment will likely not be needed during the warmer daytime, but will be much appreciated in early to late evening. Once the sun sets, temperatures in Niagara can fall quickly. If you plan to enjoy the Falls Illuminations and evening entertainment, you’ll be glad of the extra layer.
Unfamiliar with the concept of a Canadian “toque”? While the French term can refer to many different styles of headwear, in Canada it inevitably refer to a knitted cap, either brimless or with a rolled brim. If you don’t own one, not to worry: there will be a plentiful supply on hand locally to purchase.
Read related: Our Tips For Shopping in Niagara and Niagara-on-the-Lake
Want a bit more info on conditions for this year? Have a look here at current weather predictions for the month, assuming you put much stock in long-range forecasts! Even if it turns out to be less than perfectly accurate, it will certainly give you a general idea of what to expect.
Top Things to See and Do This October
There’s plenty to see and do this month, but these are the activities we think merit your attention and time the most. Keep scrolling down to learn more.
Niagara Wineries And The Fall Harvest
There’s no shortage of events at Niagara’s premium wineries this month. As the harvest continues and excitement builds for 2018 production, join winery owners and winemakers alike for the latest news on what to watch for next year, as you taste and dine at any of these events! Make sure to reserve in advance as these are all quite popular.
Here are a few of our picks this month:
The History of Red Wine Trivia Dinner at Trius Winery and Restaurant on Saturday, October 13th is certainly worth checking out.
Love Cabernet wines? Check out Cabernet All The Way at Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery and Distillery, Trius Winery and Restaurant and two other wineries. The event falls over the weekend of October 13th-14th. 14.
Wine Meets Halloween Fun
Or how about a “hallo-wine” special? Lakeview Wine Co. can always be counted on for a special and unique event at least once a month– another one of our favorite small wineries– with a big reach. This winery carries Dan Aykroyd wines, Twenty Bees as well as three well-known lines of their own. This is also the only local winery we know of that carries kosher wines. Here’s their Halloween fun link.
Where: Lakeview Wine Co., 1067 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Date: Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays in October – 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Price: $10 per guest
If you haven’t reserved for any of these events, the other option is to simply drop in for a visit and tasting at local wineries of your choice. The scenery and views are lovely, the atmosphere convivial, and the welcome- well, you’ll see! We’re sure you will find the experience of to be utterly charming.
Note: Wineries will now be open during “off-season” hours, typically 11 am – 5 pm, 7 days a week, Some will be open later; check ahead with individual wineries of your choice.
Enjoy Autumn Splendor at the Falls — & Consider the Adventure Pass
Of course, if you’re visiting Niagara Falls you want an up-close-and-personal view of the Falls themselves. Make sure to check out our guide to the best places to see fall foliage in Niagara for some truly awe-inspiring natural spectacles.
Read related: The Top 10 Things to Do in & Around Niagara Falls
Table Rock, right at the top of the Falls, is the closest point for viewing the breathtaking natural wonder at no cost. It’s also here where you’ll find the main parking lot as well as the Visitors’ Welcome Centre. If you’re planning to use the local WEGO transit system, this is also a transfer point here, allowing you to get from one major site around the Falls to another.
While you can see (and feel!) the Falls from Table Rock in all their grandeur, you can add on some great extras as well, in the form of the Niagara Adventure Pass. There are different versions of the pass, and deciding which one is right for you will depend on what you want to experience and how much you want to spend. Please see our guide to the Niagara Falls Adventure Pass for complete details and advice.
Purchasing & Using the Pass This Month: Some Tips
Adventure Passes are now available on sale from the Niagara Parks Commission for what remains of the season. Visit this page to purchase online at the special reduced price.
Note: You don’t have to do everything in one day! In fact, we recommend that you spread the activities included on your Pass over several days during your visit (or all the way to the deadline for the Pass to expire). If you purchase the pass in October, it will be valid until November 4th.
To be clear, however: if you’re using the WEGO (bus transit) portion of your Pass, it does only last for two consecutive days, once you take your first ride. To use this handy local transit system beyond those allocated days, you can always opt to purchase a bus pass for each day of use.
Beyond October, Consider the Wonder Pass
Once some of these events close for the winter season after November 4th, others will remain open year-round– and you can then purchase the Niagara Wonder Pass, available at a greatly reduced price. During the winter in Niagara, people come from far and wide to see the “frozen falls”; while they don’t actually freeze, there can be a tremendous buildup of spectacular ice formations, depending on annual weather conditions.
In addition, there are plenty of shows to attend, wineries to visit for “winter specials”, the Festival of Lights and other fantastic end-of-year events to enjoy. Stay tuned here for further monthly calendars with tons of suggestions and tips for what to do during the wintery seas.
Boo– It’s Halloween!
Since it’s October and the ideal time for spooky fun, we’d be remiss not to mention Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Ghost Tours special event: the Halloween Ghost Tours At Fort George.
With lighting dim at times, good walking shoes are a must for the terrain on this approximately two-hour walk. Tour dates are as follows, running at different times throughout the evening: October 12, 13 and 14; 19, 20 and 21; and 26, 27, 28, 30 and 31.
These tours sell out quickly, so make sure to call or go online to book in advance.
Drummond Hill Cemetery Tour In Niagara Falls
Here’s a tour that takes place in historic Drummond Cemetery in Niagara Falls and melds together history, story-telling and performance into a very lively (or shall we say undead?) experience!
Tours run October 20,21 & 27, 28 at 7 pm, 8 pm & 9 pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the Museum.
Call 905-358-5082 or click here for further details.
Halloween Owl Howl
Hosted by the Canadian Raptor Society, this free “Owl Meet-and-Greet” event runs at the Niagara Glen Nature Centre, October 26th at 7 pm. The Centre is located at 3050 Niagara Parkway.
Chrysanthemums at the Floral Showhouse
Just north of the Falls, the Floral Showhouse is well worth a visit, most particularly for one of their featured shows. Later this month, running from October 27th to November 18th, chrysanthemums are the star, showing off their bright colors as the weather turns to more wintry temperatures.
Location Floral Showhouse, 7145 Niagara Parkway
Niagara-on-the-Lake Foodie Tour
Calling all food connoisseurs: how about a foodie tour in gorgeous Niagara-on-the-Lake? This is a 3 ½ – 4 kilometer looped walk that allows you to taste delicious offerings at some of the town’ best gourmet spots. It’s possible to request vegetarian options, however you must do so in advance.
This tour runs every day Wednesday through Sunday throughout the season, from April 1st to November 30th at 1:30 p.m.
Read related: The 18 Best Shops in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Reservations are required; click here for more information and to purchase your tickets, or call 289-690-8687.
Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Famous Shaw Theatre Festival
People attending the Shaw Festival theatre performances (running at three separate venues in Niagara-on-the-Lake) usually plan well in advance, and tickets regularly sell out. However, should you have a sudden desire to go to the theatre on a given day, take a look here to see what might still be available. These tickets are also sold at reduced prices, which is an an added bonus.
To take advantage of these deals, be sure to enter the promo code, as instructed on the website. (Please note that The Loftus Guides does not guarantee any availability or price point for a given performance.)
For some spooky October entertainment, plan ahead if you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan and get your tickets now for The Hound Of The Baskervilles, running until October 27.
Falls Illuminations: See Niagara at Night
The spectacular Niagara Falls Illumination Schedule continues throughout the month of October from 6:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. for the first half of the month and 6:00 pm to 1:00 p.m. for the second half. If you haven’t yet had the chance to witness the falls hypnotically lit up after dark, now’s your chance.
Fireworks at the Falls
Fireworks bursting over the Falls at night is a fantastic spectacle to behold! To make the experience even more memorable, consider booking a “Fireworks Cruise” on the Hornblower for one of the dates on which fireworks are scheduled. Hurry, though: tickets are likely to sell out quickly! Also note that fireworks shows are occasionally cancelled in the case of intemperate weather.
You can also book an “Illuminations Cruise” for select dates in October. Visit the link above for the full schedule.
Check Out These Further Resources for Still More Events
For even more ideas and inspiration, check out one of our favorite resources for local events, Niagara This Week. Have a look before or during your stay to browse their extensive events listings. You can search by the following categories: arts, attractions, dining events, festivals and fairs, music, seasonal, and shows and expos.
Planning to explore Niagara-on–the-Lake during your stay? See this page for current listings of everything that’s happening in and around the lovely town. If you’re thinking of exploring the area’s many excellent wineries, see the Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries events for this month.
We hope you thoroughly enjoy your October stay in Niagara! As always, feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below. Also make sure to follow us on Facebook and on Pinterest to keep in touch with us and see all our latest.