Things To Do in Niagara Falls With Kids – The Complete Guide


April 26, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Canada,USA,World Schooling



The stunning Niagara Falls is on most people’s bucket list. But what is it like as a travel destination with kids? Today our Guest Post by Michelle Gaudet from Inspired Travel Adventures reveals just how exciting Niagara Falls can be, as a family travel destination.



Family Friendly Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, with its beauty and magnificence, has always been a place where people gathered and celebrated.  For thousands of years, Indigenous people from all over north America would meet yearly to trade along the banks of the Niagara River.

In the last couple of centuries, Niagara Falls was known to be the “honeymoon capital of the world” and has been visited by Royals, dignitaries, and millions of newlyweds alike.  As time moves forward, the city of Niagara Falls has evolved into a great family-friendly destination with lots of fun things to do for people of all ages.

Living in Niagara Falls my entire childhood, then coming back to live in the area again as an adult, my family has had the chance to check out most of the local attractions. I’m going to share with you are favorites and a few tips to help you navigate the area.

 

Seasons

In Niagara Falls there are two seasons.  Tourist season and the rest of the year.  Tourist season runs from the Friday before the Victoria Day long weekend (3rd weekend in May) to Labor Day (the1st Monday in September) Expect Niagara Falls be busy during this season, even more so if it’s a long holiday weekend.  Hotels book up quickly and restaurants will be full.  You can expect all the attractions to be open, unlike during the winter months.  Over the last 20 years with the casinos being built, and much to the joy of local business owners, the area has seen a steady rise of tourism during long weekends in colder months, and over the Christmas holidays.  During the off-season crowds will be much smaller but not everything will be open so make sure to call ahead if there is a specific attraction you want to enjoy.   As for what to expect weather wise, I’ve seen it snow in May and be short and flipflop weather in November, make sure to check the weather forecast before leaving and always expect the unexpected.

 

Where to Stay

With hundreds of hotels, you’ll have lots of options for accommodations in Niagara Falls.  Bed and breakfasts, as well as campgrounds are plentiful.   Airbnb is an option but there are currently not many listings in the area.  Expect prices to be high for all accommodations during the summer months and if you are planning a visit during those months, book your accommodations well in advance.

 

Transportation

You have a few different options for getting around Niagara Falls.  WEGO is a hop on and off bus line that operates 4 lines in the tourist areas of Niagara Falls. A 24 hour pass costs under $8 for an adult and under $5 for children 13 and under. There is also the Niagara Falls Transit which is the local transit system and will go to the other areas of Niagara Falls.  They are 2 separate bus systems and are not integrated. Uber and local taxis are safe and easily accessible.   Uber tends to be cheaper than regular taxis like most other areas.  Taxis will be clearly marked.  Most of the time you will need to call for a taxi.

 

Things to do With Kids in Niagara Falls

 

My Family’s Favorites

Clifton Hill and the surrounding Fallsview area has a Vegas like atmosphere, with bright lights, two large casinos and many restaurants, souvenir stores, midways, haunted houses, and wax museums. Not far away from the tourist core, you’ll find yourself in beautiful areas, rich in history and nature.

 

Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory

The butterfly conservatory is located along the Niagara Parkway, in the Niagara Parks Botanical gardens.  You can enjoy walking the winding paths inside the large conservatory filled with jungle like plants, trees, and over 2000 species of butterflies. The conservatory is a special treat in the Canadian winter.

Adult (13+): $14.55 Child :(6-12) $7.50 Free (all prices are plus tax)

 

Heartland Forest

Heartland forest has 100-acre private parkland located on wetlands in the western edge of Niagara Falls.  The park features walking trails, fishing pond, picnic shelters, butterfly garden, playground, larger than life animal carvings, mini-putt and one of Canada’s largest tree-houses that offers a panoramic view of the forest. The most unique thing about Heartland forest is that it was it was designed to be completely wheelchair accessible.  Bring a picnic and spend the afternoon enjoying this beautiful greenspace.

Cost Free

 

 

Journey Behind the Falls

Journey Behind the falls is an experience you won’t duplicate anywhere else.  You’ll find the entrance at the Table Rock Centre right at the brink of the horseshoe falls.  You start off taking an elevator 45 meters down into the bedrock to tunnels leading you to viewing areas at the base and in behind the falls. During the spring and summer months you’ll be given a free poncho to keep you from getting wet.

Cost Adult (13+): $11.50 Child (6-12): $9.45 (5 & Under): Free (all prices are plus tax)

 

Whirlpool Aero Cart

You can take a ride on an antique Spanish aero cart, hung by six large steel cables, high above the mesmerizing Niagara Whirlpool and gorge. This attraction has been operating since 1913, and is quite the thrill as the cable car is hung 53 meters above one of the largest whirlpools in the world.

Cost Adult (13+): $14.55 Child (6-12): $9.45 (5 & Under): Free (all prices are plus tax)

 

Welland Canal

Do you have a boat lover in the family?  The Welland canal transverses the Niagara Peninsula and up the Niagara Escarpment connecting Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The canal is a major seaway for shipping cargo through the regions of the Great Lakes with over 3000 vessels travelling the canal yearly.   Lock 3 located in St Catherines has a museum dedicated to the canal.  Lock 8 in Port Colborne has a park and viewing area located beside it.  Grab a swing and watch the boats go by.

Cost Free

 

 

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Take a stroll down the main street of arguably one of the most beautiful towns in Canada. A 25-minute drive from downtown Niagara Falls, Heritage homes, beautiful shops and restaurants are the backdrops to garden and tree line sidewalks.  From haunted ghost tours to wine tasting, there is always something to do.  Make sure to take the Niagara Parkway from Niagara Falls for a beautiful drive showcasing the orchards and vineyards the Niagara Region is known for. In the summer and fall months, there will be many fruit and bakery stands to stop at along the way.

Cost Free

 

Indoor Water Parks

This one is a wintertime favorite for our family. Niagara Falls has three indoor waterparks located in the city.  The biggest is Great Wolf Lodge, a family-friendly hotel and resort. You must be a guest to use the water park at Great Wolf Lodge.  The second water park is the Fallsview Indoor Water Park located on top the Sheraton on the Falls hotel, day passes are available.  Last, but not least is Waves at Americana Resort Spa and Waterpark, located on Lundy’s lane this is the smaller of the 3 water parks but still lots of fun for the kids, day passes are available.

Cost $34.95 and up.

 

Ridgeway / Crystal Beach

Thirty minutes from downtown Niagara Falls, Crystal Beach is located along the northern shores of Lake Erie. Offering white sand, clear water, and a cozy beach town vibe it’s the place to be on a sizzling summer day.  Just a few minutes away from Crystal Beach is the town of Ridgeway, with unique shops and a large local farmers and artisan market every Saturday morning throughout the summer, this cottage country area is my family’s favorite to spend time in.\

Cost: Free

 

Niagara River Recreation Trail

This recreation trail runs along the Niagara river from Niagara on the Lake to Fort Erie.  Cut into four parts, each one taking 1 to 2 hours to complete walking at a normal pace.  All four trails offer scenic views of the river and gorge.  My favorite part runs along the Niagara Parkway from Queenston Heights to the Whirlpool Aero carts, not only do you get to walk along the deepest parts of the gorge, you also get a close look at the Niagara Falls Power generation station.   When you get to the look out over the Niagara Whirlpool there is a hiking path that will take you down what locals call the Cinderella Steps.  100 plus steps down and along this path, you will hike to the basin of the Niagara Whirlpool. It’s a special place that is off the beaten track but easier enough to follow.  The hike is a real workout, make sure not to take it without proper footwear.

Cost Free

 

Niagara Horn Blower

The Niagara Horn Blower lets you get up close with Niagara Falls.  The entrance is located in the plaza at the base of Clifton Hill.  You’ll descend in an elevator to boarding docks for the iconic Horn Blower boats.   The boat ride will take you down the Niagara River, past the American and Bridal Veil falls into the heart of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.  Offering boat tours during the day and at night, it’s an experience not to be missed.

Adult: $25.95 | Child (5-12 yrs): $15.95 | Child (4 yrs and under): free

 


So it seems that not only is Niagara Falls a truly magical location, but a destination packed with family friendly activities. A huge thank you to Michelle for taking the time to put together this information for us. Be sure to check out Michelle’s adventures on Instagram.

 

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Guest Post Bio

Michelle Gaudet is a Canadian writer, artist and photographer. Last year Michelle and her family took their first family travel adventure backpacking southern Peru and Bolivia for 3 months. She currently lives in Canada while travelling and worldschooling with her family as much as possible. Michelle is the Director of Digital and Social Media for Spiritual Niagara and is building a new career in travel focusing on family adventures and group retreats. You can find her family’s adventures on Instagram at www.instagram.com/Inspiredtraveladventures

 

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Comments
  1. Becky said on April 28, 2017 6:54 am:

    Niagra Falls is definitely on our bucket list. This is a great resource that Ipaln to use! Thank you!

    1. image
      Worldschooling Central said on April 28, 2017 11:42 am:

      So glad you enjoyed it Becky!

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