Look no further than Niagara Falls when seeking fun, adventure, and thrills. It’s one of my family’s favorite places to visit, considering we live in New York, and I know it’s beloved by those traveling or residing in Canada.
The Ferris wheel at Niagara Falls, called the Niagara SkyWheel, is one of the most commanding presences around. You’ve come to the right place if you’re eager to learn more about it, as I’ll have plenty of helpful information to share with you about this giant wheel, so join me!
What Is the Ferris Wheel at Niagara Falls?
The Ferris wheel at Niagara Falls is known as the Niagara SkyWheel.
It’s an R60 Giant Wheel produced by Chance Rides. It was built for $10 million and opened on June 17th, 2006. It’s enchanted tourists and residents for almost 20 years.
The SkyWheel contains 42 carts in all that can carry up to nine people at once. Riding the wheel gives you amazing views of American Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and the Niagara River from more than 150 feet up.
Where Is the Niagara SkyWheel Located?
The Niagara SkyWheel is part of Clifton Hill in Ontario. Clifton Hill features amusement rides, mini golf, and restaurants.
How Tall Is the Niagara SkyWheel?
The Niagara SkyWheel is 175 feet or 53.3 meters tall. It ranks as one of the world’s top 20 tallest Ferris wheels, although it’s not the tallest by far.
It is surpassed by the London Eye on the River Thames in London at 443 feet, the High Roller on the Las Vegas Strip at 550 feet, the Singapore Flyer in Downtown Singapore at 541 feet, the Melbourne Star in Australia at 394 feet, and the Zhengzhou Ferris Wheel in China at 394 feet, among others.
How Much Does It Cost to Ride the Niagara SkyWheel?
One ride on the Niagara SkyWheel costs $15 CAD or $11.39 USD per adult and $7 CAD or $5.32 USD per child. You can purchase tickets here.
You can also bundle a ride on the SkyWheel with a day at Clifton Hills with the FunPass, which lets you enjoy all six attractions at the park.
That costs $34.95 CAD or $26.55 USD per adult and $22.95 CAD or $17.43 USD per child.
How Long Does a Ride on the Niagara SkyWheel Last?
A ride on the Niagara SkyWheel is slow and relaxed, taking between eight and 12 minutes. Make sure you look out on both sides of your enclosed gondola as you ride, as you can see breathtaking views.
Can Kids Ride the Niagara SkyWheel?
Yes, children can ride the Niagara SkyWheel.
It’s not a thrill ride, so toddlers and older kids alike can enjoy it. The enclosed gondolas should minimize any fear of heights.
Does the Niagara SkyWheel Operate at Night?
The ride opens at 9 a.m. and continues spinning until 1 a.m. every night.
That’s a little too late for younger kids to be out. However, you won’t have to worry about the Ferris wheel closing early.
I recommend an evening ride if you can, as the Niagara River and surrounding waterfalls are often awash in colorful lights that sparkle behind the rushing water. It’s such a wondrous sight to behold and the ideal capper on a day at Niagara Falls.
Of course, daytime rides are nice in their own way. You will have an unobstructed view of the river and surrounding waterfalls, including all their beauty and intricacies.
Is the Niagara SkyWheel Open All Year Long?
Clifton Park keeps the Niagara SkyWheel operating all year long as a standalone attraction. It’s synonymous with summer fun but is oddly serene in the wintertime. There’s just something about the snowy atmosphere that I find so inviting.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering how comfortable it is to ride in an enclosed cart in the heat of summer. You don’t have to worry about comfort at all, as the SkyWheel has temperature control.
You can turn on heating in the winter, so you don’t have to shiver, and air conditioning in the summer for an enjoyable ride.
What’s Near the Niagara SkyWheel?
The SkyWheel is a must-see when visiting Niagara Falls, but since it’s such a short ride, what else is there to do?
Here’s what I recommend!
The fun doesn’t have to stop once you disembark from the SkyWheel.
Clifton Hill is where the SkyWheel is located, and it has plenty of fun for you and the whole family to partake in if you’re looking to spend time in Niagara Falls and do more.
Clifton Hill is the home of the thrilling Niagara Speedway, where you race on an elevated, spherical, coaster-like track in a go-kart. It’s plenty of topsy-turvy excitement for the entire family.
You can also partake in Dinosaur Mini Golf, visit the Movieland Wax Museum with wax replicas from movies like Pirates of the Caribbean and The Hunger Games, or play Wizard’s Mini Putt.
The rides Zombie Attack, Ghost Blasters, and Carnival Chaos require you to shoot at targets while you ride in a cart, and the Cosmic Coaster is a 4D FX ride that mimics all the thrills of a roller coaster but none of the heights.
Clifton Park also features the Great American Midway, a boardwalk of more than 70,000 feet with over 300 games of all excitement and skill levels.
Still craving more? You can make a day out of Six Flags Darien Lake, located in NY state, which promises all the Six Flags fun and entertainment you know and love but at a park with rides for kiddos, toddlers, and teens.
Niagara Amusement Park is part amusement park, part outdoor water park.
The amusement park features Kiddieland with rides for the little tikes. Older kids won’t feel bored when they can embark on heart-pounding rides like the Amazing Flying Machine or the Silver Comet coaster.
The Splash World water park is full of sloping, looping slides dozens of feet in the air that will have the whole family screaming. Calm your adrenaline on a lazy river, and don’t miss the Dinosaur Pool for the little ones.
Cave of the Winds
My family loves Cave of the Winds, so I’m sure yours will too!
As a caveat, this attraction is on the US side of the Falls, not the Canadian side, but it’s worth crossing over to check it out.
Tickets cost $17 USD for children six to 12 years old and $21 for adults. Children under six get in for free, so if you have young ones, take them while you can still save money..
You will get wet, so I recommend packing strappy sandals (not flip-flops) or rainboots and a raincoat or poncho.
Set aside some time to see the World Changed Here Pavilion. It has lots of fascinating history and takes 10 to 20 minutes to check out all the displays. It will also pass the time while you wait to see the Cave of the Winds.
Niagara Falls has no shortage of beaches whether you’re enjoying your vacation from the Canadian or American side.
In Ontario, I recommend these beaches:
- Crescent Beach in Fort Erie
- Sunset Beach in St. Catherines
- Niagara Shores in Niagara-on-the-Lake
- Nickel Beach in Port Colborne
- Crystal Beach in Fort Erie
- Lakeside Beach Park in St. Catherines
- Long Beach Conservation Area and Campground in Wainfleet
- Charles Daley Park in Lincoln
- Waverly Beach in Fort Erie
» MORE: 15 Beaches by Niagara Falls
You can also visit many beaches while visiting from the US side, including the following:
- Olcott Beach in Newfane, Niagara County
- Fort Niagara State Park Beach in Youngstown
- Wilkeson Pointe Park in Buffalo
- Beaver Island Beach in Grand Island
- Gallagher Beach in Buffalo
- Bedford Beach in Niagara County
Indoor Water Parks
You’ll find indoor water parks aplenty around Niagara Falls, which are ideal for creating summer conditions no matter what the weather is like outside.
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Resort is the ideal spot for your next Ontario vacation. The water park features a kid-centric zone called Chipmunk Cove, a lazy river, the water fort treehouse Fort Mackenzie, and water slides like the Canada Vortex and Woolly Mammoth.
The Americana Conference Resort & Spa features an indoor water park called Waves. It’s 25,000 square feet with toddler and big-kid water slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, and an interactive kids’ play structure with all the water features children want.
Fallsview Indoor Water Park in Ontario is 125,000 square feet, boasting more than a dozen water rides and slides.
Kids can ride in twos on Toob Tower, going down four unique slides for a fresh experience every time. Fallsview Beach is an indoor beach, and the Beach House is where the Niagara Tipping Bucket releases massive amounts of water several times per day.
The best part about visiting an indoor water park in Niagara Falls is it’s part of a larger resort, so you can dine and lodge here.