- By Kevin
- On Mar 27, 2017
- North America
- Travel Tips
Did you have a Niagara Falls Tour with your family?It must be different!I have had the Niagara Falls tour from .So here's a must-do list I preferred for you when traveling with your dear family as follows!
1.Maid of the Mist/Hornblower Cruise
There's absolutely nothing to debate here-once your family has seen the Falls then they need to get up close by taking a thrilling tour on The Maid of the Mist.Passengers don blue plastic rain ponchos and board one of the Maid of the Mist boats to sail right into the basin of the 170 foot high Horseshoe Falls.As the boat nears the Falls the roar from the millions of gallons of water thundering into the basin becomes deafening and squealing passengers realize that"mist"is a bit of a misnomer.It's an absolutely soaking good time!
UPDATE:After more than century of ferrying tourists to the base of Horseshoe Falls,Maid of the Mist ceased operations on the Canadian side.Hornblower Niagara Cruises started operating tour boats in the spring of 2014.The experience is the same but now on new state-of-the-art 700 passenger catamaran boats.The Maid of the Mist will continue to operate tours on the American side of Niagara Falls.
2.Queen Victoria Park
Don’t forget to hit Queen Victoria Park,while enjoying the beauty of Niagara Falls.Best seen in the summer,the park is a grassy haven that stretches along Niagara Parkway and looks onto both the American and Horseshoe Falls.If you go in the winter,bundle up and enjoy the lights strewn about the park.
3.Journey Behind the Falls
Once the Falls has been seen up close then it's time to go behind the scenes.Journey Behind the Falls is an attraction that involves descending 150 feet through bedrock to tunnels that lead to the upper and lower observation decks at the base of Horseshoe Falls.From that perspective visitors can stand in the mist and experience the water crashing into the basin below from the Falls which is 13 stories up.
Rain ponchos are needed as protection from the mist on the lower deck during the spring and summer season.During other times of the year the lower deck is closed as it ices up.The upper deck is protected and remains open year round.The entire experience takes about 30-45 minutes but will be remembered for a lifetime.
Anyone who has ever watched television or listened to the radio in southern Ontario knows how the jingle goes-"Everyone Loves Marineland!"-and it's difficult to dispute the truth of that statement.From May through October,visitors to the park can view killer whales,feed a beluga,and attend fun-filled shows starring dolphins,walruses and sea lions.
The marine mammals are the highlight of a day at Marineland,however,there is much more to do.The park also has a variety of amusement park rides-from the Sky Screamer to Ocean Odyssey to the Lady Bug Coaster-there's a ride to thrill kids of all ages and sizes.There's even an animal park where visitors can purchase food to feed the eager deer.
5.White Water Walk
If we hadn't been using a Adventure Pass on a visit to Niagara Falls last summer then I wouldn't have even known that the White Water Walk along the Niagara River existed.Since the attraction was included,we decided to check it out and I'm glad that we did.Visitors access the 305 metre(1/4 mile)boardwalk along the Niagara River via elevator and tunnel.There are also stairs to two observation decks which provide a close up look at one of the world's fastest stretches of white water.The water rushes through the rapids here at speeds around 48 km/h(30 miles/hr)making it a Class 6 rapids which is generally considered unrunnable.It's quite incredible to witness this powerful force of nature up close.
6.The Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory
Visiting the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory is one of our favorite things to do in Niagara Falls and it only takes about an hour.The Conservatory is located on the Niagara Parkway only about a 10 minute drive from the Falls.Families can take a self-guided walking tour through the conservatory which features over 2000 colorful butterflies floating freely in the rain-forest setting.It is impossible not to be fascinated by all the beautiful butterflies fluttering around.There are also horse and carriages that provide pleasant rides through the Botanical Gardens.
At 175 feet high The Niagara Skywheel is Canada's largest observation wheel and provides passengers with memorable aerial views of the Falls and the surrounding landscape.The Skywheel is open year-round as the fully-enclosed gondolas are equipped with heating and air-conditioning to ensure the comfort of passengers for the 8-12 minute flight.The bird's eye view of the Falls is sure to impress even the most jaded of youngsters and net some pretty impressive photographs.
8.Clifton Hill Amusements
If your kids like midway rides and games then they will love Clifton Hill,known as the world-famous street of fun.Attractions in Clifton Hill include:
The Great Canadian Midway-with over 300 games
Dinosaur Adventure Golf-miniature golf among prehistoric giants
Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum-over 500 mind-boggling displays of rare and amusing oddities
Movieland Wax Museum of the Stars-take pictures with the wax versions of top television,movie and music celebrities
FX Ride Theatre-motion simulator ride through a fun house
The Clifton Hill area is also home to a number of chain restaurants popular with families including The Rainforest Cafe and The Hard Rock Cafe.The kids will also enjoy shopping on Clifton Hill where they can browse for novelties and wax hands at The Fun Factory,satisfy a sweet tooth at The Fudge Factory or find a Canadian souvenir at Canada Trading.
9.House of Frankenstein
Enter,if you dare!If your family seeks thrills(but not the kind that involves heights!),check out this super cool house of horrors.Don't worry,while it's spooky,it's actually family-friendly and a huge hit with kids.If your children are super sensitive to scares,you might want to skip it.Otherwise,give it a tour!Admission is under$8 per person,and kids 6 and under are free.
There are so many wonderful things to do on a family trip to Niagara Falls besides donning a poncho and riding along the foaming water.Try exploring the parks,and stepping outside the touristy comfort zone.You'll be amazed how much fun you can have just walking and hiking through the gorgeous area.
The view from The Skylon Tower Observation Decks(775 feet off the ground)can't be beat.It takes only a 52 second elevator ride for visitors to reach the Observation Decks and experience the unparallelled views of the Falls and surrounding area.The Tower has two dining facilities-The Revolving Dining Room for award-winning continental cuisine and the Summit Suite Buffet Dining Room for family-affordable casual dining.The lower concourse of The Skylon Tower also has a indoor entertainment centre and a food court with convenient quick-service restaurants like Pizza Pizza,Dairy Queen,Mr.Sub and Starbucks.
11.Drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake
This one is a little bit of a cheat,however,if you are in Niagara Falls you simply have to visit the quaint village of Niagara-on-the-Lake located just a short drive away.This is one of my favourite places on earth-it's a charming village with unique shopping and boutiques,lovely hotels and world-class theatre at The Shaw Festival.The village also has the only Ontario outlet of COWS Ice Cream,the world-famous ice cream from Prince Edward Island that is a favourite of our family.It is very easy to while away an afternoon in Niagara-on-the-Lake-it simply doesn't get much better than this.
Niagara's Fury is another family-friendly attraction that I never would have considered visiting if we hadn't been using a Niagara Falls Adventure Pass.The attraction is described as a multi-sensory 4-D experience but I had no idea what that really meant.When we were handed ponchos on the way in I assumed there might be a bit of misting water.We were indoors so how wet could it really get?The experience starts with a cute animated character named Chip the Beaver who is working on a project about how Niagara Falls was formed during the Ice Age.When this pre-show is over the audience moves into a specially-designed 360 degree theatre with drains in the floor where the multi-sensory aspect of the experience becomes clear.The temperature drops,the floor moves and the drenching begins-a few minutes later you will feel like you have gone over Niagara Falls!
Now you can have the itinerary of Niagara Falls,so it's time for you to plan your Niagara Falls tour with your family!!!