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article imagePhoto Essay: Niagara Falls, Festival of Lights winter wonderland Special

By Elizabeth Parker     Dec 9, 2013 in Travel
You've seen Niagara Falls in the summer, you've seen them at night, but have you come to enjoy the splendor of the water cascading over the frozen snow covered escarpment with icicles drooping in day and lights ablaze for Christmas at night?
There is no time of year I find the Horseshoe Falls, or Rainbow Falls as they are also known, any more beautiful than when viewed in winter with the icicles cascading down the Niagara Escarpment, the winter air freezing the mist and the surrounding world painted white.
A close up on Niagara Falls  Horseshoe Falls   after a fresh snow fall in December.
A close up on Niagara Falls, Horseshoe Falls, after a fresh snow fall in December.
Only 40 minutes from my residence in Hamilton, Ontario, I can never resist heading down during the Festival of Lights that typically starts one week into November and includes Canada's largest New Years Eve celebration. The Festival of Lights will continue until January 31,2014 according the Ontario Power Generation site.
Niagara River and the Horseshoe Falls as viewed on a cold  snow covered  winter wonderland day.
Niagara River and the Horseshoe Falls as viewed on a cold, snow covered, winter wonderland day.
As if the lights that grace the falls every night of the year aren't stunning enough when viewed through the sparkling icy mist, Niagara Falls also lights up the city parks and government buildings adorning the city within a Festival of Lights. This year the Ontario Power Generation has taken on main sponsorship for running the Festival of Lights with many business sponsors and donations from the public to see the lights shine their festive best.
A portion of the Korean lantern and symbols display at Victoria Park along River Road in Niagara Fal...
A portion of the Korean lantern and symbols display at Victoria Park along River Road in Niagara Falls, Canada during the 2013 Festival of Lights
The themes vary from Canada's great outdoors found at Dufferin Island Park to Canadian Mounties and story characters at varying sites.
A Canadian outdoor scene represented in lights in Dufferin Island Park  during the Festival of Light...
A Canadian outdoor scene represented in lights in Dufferin Island Park, during the Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, Canada.
Though Disney and the Festival of Lights mutually parted ways this year, as explained in the Niagara Falls Review, you will find plenty to delight the children such as the dinosaur display in Dufferin Island Park representing Canada's badlands of Alberta.
A glimpse of the Dinosaur display at the 2013 Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls  Ontario at Duffer...
A glimpse of the Dinosaur display at the 2013 Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, Ontario at Dufferin Island Park.
There is now several new displays; don't miss the Korean lantern display and other characters adorning Queen Victoria Park at the bottom of Murray St.
Parts of the Korean lantern display at the 2013 Niagara Falls  Festival of Lights display.
Parts of the Korean lantern display at the 2013 Niagara Falls, Festival of Lights display.
There's something for everyone in the family to fall in love with, and yes, the self proclaimed honeymoon capital of the world has a heart among the Korean lanterns at Queen Victoria Park to stand in and snap a selfie with your partner or family.
A display of lit trees at the Niagara Falls  Canada  2013 Festival of Lights
A display of lit trees at the Niagara Falls, Canada, 2013 Festival of Lights
The thousands of trees and traditional lights are as inspiring as the specialty displays. Nothing says Christmas better than a forest of lit Christmas trees.
The beginning of the lights on the North end of River Road on Niagara Parkway  before Dufferin Islan...
The beginning of the lights on the North end of River Road on Niagara Parkway, before Dufferin Island Park entrance with a Welcome sign and decorated trees.
The Ontario Power Generation has done a terrific job in balancing new and old with their sponsorship this year of the Winter Festival of Lights.
A Canadian great outdoors scene found in Dufferin Island Park during the 2013 Festival of Lights  Ni...
A Canadian great outdoors scene found in Dufferin Island Park during the 2013 Festival of Lights, Niagara Falls, Canada.
You can do your part in helping it continue by volunteering or donating to help keep the lights on when you come to the exit of Dufferin Island Park.
Exiting light display at Dufferin Island Park in Niagara Falls during the festival of lights  encour...
Exiting light display at Dufferin Island Park in Niagara Falls during the festival of lights, encouraging donations to assist with costs.
Check for specials like a family fun package at the Niagara Falls tourism website where you can look for a package deal to stay and see the sites. Find out about all the coming events.
A Christmas light display showing the biblical story of Noah s Ark at Dufferin Island Park in Niagar...
A Christmas light display showing the biblical story of Noah's Ark at Dufferin Island Park in Niagara Falls at the 2013 Festival of Lights.
Whether you come for an evening walk or plan a package you will find something to love. From traditional biblical scenes to the ever beautiful blue water fountain still found in Queen Victoria Park at the base of Clifton Hill. The sights will stun and amaze.
Not an easy feat in the winter before Christmas.
The water fountain light display at the Queen Victoria Park  bottom of Clifton Hill  Niagara Falls  ...
The water fountain light display at the Queen Victoria Park, bottom of Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, Canada.
More about festival of lights, Niagara falls, Canada, Ontario, Christmas
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