We’ve got fun down to a science! Enjoy all the Power Vista has to offer by booking a custom guided tour (reservations appreciated) or tour the Power Vista on your own any time we’re open (9am-5pm daily). Guided tours are tailored to the age of the audience and can include options below, for stays as short as 15 minutes or as long as several hours.
The visitor center offers free admission and plenty of free parking (motor coach parking included). Reservations to self-tour are not necessary. To schedule your visit e-mail us or call us at 716-286-6661 or, toll-free, at 866-NYPA-FUN. (Tours of the interior operations of the Robert Moses Power Plant and Lewiston Pump Generating Plant are not available for security and safety reasons.)
New to the Niagara Power Vista is the QR code tour! This audio tour provides mobile access to over 20 exhibits, and works with both traditional cell phones and the latest smartphones.
Traditional cell phone users dial 716-796-0135 for the audio tour. Smartphone users scan the QR codes to access the exhibit recordings. In addition to getting a detailed narrative, smartphone users can enjoy other interactive features – they can give the exhibit up to a 5 star rating that can be seen by other ‘audio tourists, view images and even share them on their favorite social media sites.
Geared to complement a visitor’s journey through the facility, the QR codes flow in unison with a traditional tour, which takes you from the welcome center all the way through the Electric Lab. This is where the QR code tour really starts to get in gear and gives visitors an opportunity have some hands-on fun with exhibits including the ‘Electric Car’ and the ‘House.’ A trip to the Power Vista gives visitors an entertaining and enlightening experience that they won’t get anywhere else. And now, with this new resource, visitors can take the tour at their own pace, with the help of that little device right in the palm of their hand.
Power Presentation – (indoor and/or outdoor weather permitting) Enjoy the incredible views 350 feet above the Niagara River in the comfortable environs of our glass enclosed walkway or feel the elements on the outdoor observation deck (weather permitting). Learn about how water enters the project, drops through the penstocks and spins huge turbines generating electricity. Compare the Niagara Power Project with a similar power project right across the river. See and hear the functions of huge gantry cranes. Weather permitting, the presentation can also include an outdoor visit to the forebay area and a spare turbine. We’ll also discuss the incredible accomplishment of more than 11,700 workers who completed the Niagara project in three years. (10-30 minutes)
A Hair Raising Experience – A Power Vista favorite, the Basics of Electricity Show is tailored to the age of the audience and is also available during outreach programs. For the youngest visitors (up to grade 3) we focus on electrical safety. For grades 4-6, we introduce experimentation and discussion on protons, neutrons and electrons. For grades seven through adult we add more safety information and energy conservation. Each includes a demonstration of static electricity with our Van De Graaff generators – a definite photo opportunity! (15-30 minutes)
Electric Lab – Guests of all ages are encouraged to get hands-on and create power safely in our electric lab. Here you will find most of the more than 50 interactive exhibits that invite you to touch, crank, push, pull and even pedal your way to a better understanding of how electricity is produced and transmitted for use in our homes and businesses. You can also learn about the role hydropower has played in the Niagara Frontier’s history and see the future of electricity – solar power, wind power and fuel cells. (10-30 minutes)
Terrain Map – Another Power Vista favorite. Enjoy an updated version of this original scale model exhibit developed through thousands of aerial photos. It demonstrates with an audio presentation how Niagara River water is diverted to generate electricity. (5 minutes)
Father Hennepin’s Discovery of Niagara Falls – Enjoy a 20-foot by seven foot original oil painting by Thomas Hart Benton and learn how missionaries and Native Americans alike appreciated the thundering cataracts. Take home a postcard of this beautiful artwork. (5 minutes)
Millions of Years in the Making – Cover millions of year’s worth of geology in just a few short minutes. Stand at the base of where the falls once plunged about 12,000 years ago and see the various rock formations that make up the local geology. (5 minutes)
How Does it Run? – Thinking of buying a new vehicle? Learn more about hybrid technology and how NYPA uses a fleet of hybrid vehicles to reduce our carbon foot print. (5 minutes)
Videos – Supplement your learning adventure with age appropriate video presentations on electrical safety, magnetism, atoms, NYPA’s efforts to improve the environment and the construction of the Niagara Power Project. You can enjoy them on flat screen LCD monitors or 10-foot screen with surround sound in our classroom, or on LCD monitors in our large community room. The construction video is also available in our mini-theatre. Titles include Kato, Louie the Lightning Bug, Bill Nye the Science Guy and more. (5-30 minutes in length)
Need a Break? – The Power Vista offers a community room with seating up to 300 people for you to provide catered refreshments or a place to brown bag it. Outdoor seating is also available weather permitting.