I’m probably not alone in having Niagara Falls on my bucket list. It’s one of those places that everyone wants to visit, but I’m thinking that maybe it tends to have a reputation for being more of a romantic getaway. I totally get it: stunning views, beautiful restaurants, wine tours… it’s the perfect honeymoon destination. However, recently I’ve been looking at it from a family perspective, and I’m pleasantly surprised at just how many attractions are aimed at families and children in the area. As if you needed convincing, here are a few of my discoveries and recommendations for family fun at the Falls:
Take a tour
The great thing about most of the tours in the area is that they’re a stone’s throw from some great, family friendly Niagara Falls hotels. The Hornblower Cruise looks like a huge amount of fun for everyone, where you take a catamaran into the Niagara Basin up to the very bottom of the Falls themselves. You get a raincoat as part of the deal (I’m thinking of Bruce Almighty right now) as you get covered in the spray, and there’s an expert tour guide telling you about the history of the Falls as you sail along.
Then you can go for the Niagara’s Fury experience, which allows you and the kids to witness a recreation of the formation of the falls, in a magnificent 4D experience similar to a theme park ride. You can find this right next door to the Horseshoe Falls in the Table Rock Welcome Centre.
Discover Clifton Hill
After all that excitement during the day, the best place to go in the evening is Clifton Hill for some more action. It’s packed with bars and restaurants, and there’s tons for families, with arcades, mini golf courses and even its own haunted house.
The real attraction here though is the Niagara Sky Wheel. If your kids aren’t into taking the helicopter rides or the vintage Aerocar, then this ride will give you views just as spectacular but in a risk-free environment. Click here for more information on this area.
Walk through a tropical rainforest
Aside from attractions directly related to the Falls themselves, there are plenty of other activities in the area. If your kids are animal lovers, you’ll find no better place to take them than the Bird Kingdom just a few minutes to the north of the Fallsview area. This simulation of a tropical rainforest is spread across 50,000 square feet, and is one of the largest indoor free-flying aviaries in the world. Aside from the 400 exotic birds, there’s a ‘Night Jungle’ dedicated to bats, owls and other nocturnal animals.
Flutter by a butterfly
There’s also the Butterfly Conservatory nearby which is set in the Botanical Gardens. Take the kids on a self-guided walking tour through the habitat of over 2,000 butterflies, amongst lush plants and waterfalls.
So that’s another to add to the long list. What about you? What’s on your bucket list?