It’s not always easy to pick a vacation destination when you’re traveling with kids. But Niagara Falls is the perfect place for a family getaway. Not only are there plenty of family hotels in Niagara Falls, but this well-known border town also packs a punch in terms of fun and excitement.
You can take the kids to see one of the great natural wonders of the world, and when you’re done being awed, you can explore local attractions like the Butterfly Conservatory, the Great Canadian Midway, the Floral Clock and more. Let’s take a closer look at some of the things you can do with kids in Niagara Falls.
Start with the Falls Themselves
Niagara Falls has been attracting tourists for almost two hundred years – ever since the Erie Canal provided the first easy access to the area in 1825. The Falls remain the number one attraction for families visiting the area. As a result, you’ll find plenty of Niagara Falls hotels located centrally to the main show.
Two of the best ways to get close to the Falls include Journey Behind the Falls and the Hornblower Niagara Cruise. At Journey Behind the Falls, you’ll travel through 125 feet (38.1 meters) of tunnels carved through the rock 135 years ago. You’ll be underneath the iconic Horseshoe Falls, able to feel their thunderous power as they send hundreds of thousands of gallons of water gushing over the precipice each second. Don’t
forget to peak out the viewing windows to glimpse the water as it rushes by. The water tumbling over this fall represents one-fifth of the world’s supply of fresh water.
When you get to the end of the attraction, you’ll find yourself standing on an observation deck that gets you as close to the Falls as you can be while you’re still on land. You’ll want to make sure you wear closed-toed, slip-resistant shoes, and don your souvenir rain poncho!
Journey Behind the Falls is breathtaking, but it’s no match for the Hornblower Niagara Cruise, which takes you right up to the base of the Falls. It’s a counterpart to the Maid of the Mist tour, which operates from the American side of the Falls. Choose from daytime, evening, or night tours; the night tours also include either views of the illuminated Falls or views of the regular fireworks show, which takes place over the Falls every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night during the summer.
Teach the Kids about the World They Live In
One of reasons Niagara Falls is so good for families is that so many of the attractions here are educational. Take, for instance, Niagara’s Fury, a 4D experience that will take you and your family back to the last Ice Age to witness the formation of the famous falls. Niagara’s Fury simulates the experience of traveling down the river as Ice Age snow falls all around. You’ll learn how the Niagara River and Lake Ontario formed 12,000 years ago as melt water from retreating glaciers surged southward, and see how the bedrock has slowly eroded over the millennia to move the Niagara Falls from Queenston-Lewiston to where it is today.
The Butterfly Conservatory offers another educational experience that kids will love. Here, kids and adults alike can experience the magic of beautiful butterflies fluttering all around, and even alighting on your body! You can roll a trip to the Conservatory into an afternoon spent exploring and relaxing in the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, on whose grounds the Butterfly Conservatory is located.
The Butterfly Conservatory is home to more than 2,000 butterflies from more than 45 species native to locales around the globe. A short, self-guided walking tour and video presentation will teach you and your kids about the butterflies they’ll be interacting with, and an emergence window gives visitors the chance to watch new butterflies emerge from their chrysalises. Look for Niagara Falls family packages, like the Adventure Pass, to save on admission to attractions like these. In addition to discounted admission to a range of attractions, you’ll also get free transportation passes for WEGO, so you can easily travel between your Niagara Falls, Canada hotels and local attractions.
Paint the Town Red
Also, centrally located to the Niagara Falls hotel district, Clifton Hill is what every kid wants in a night out on the town. Attractions here include the Great Canadian Midway, which boasts more than 300 arcade games in a 70,000 square foot (6,500 square meter) space. Nearby, you’ll also find attractions such as the Movieland Wax Museum, Ghost Blasters, Zombie Attack, Niagara Skywheel, Niagara Speedway, Wizard’s Golf Mini Putt and Dinosaur Adventure Golf.
Range Further Afield
If you have a rental car, the area around Niagara Falls boasts several fun attractions, too. Kids will enjoy the Floral Clock, located on the Niagara Parkway north of the Botanical Gardens. Gardeners use 16,000 bedding plants, changed twice yearly, to create the clock. Rent bikes and explore the Niagara Parkway, or get an aerial view of the Niagara Rapids from the Whirlpool Aero Car, which has been carrying tourists over the Niagara Rapids for more than 100 years.
Niagara Falls is an excellent vacation destination, with attractions that will fascinate, stimulate and inspire travelers of all ages. Give your kids a vacation they’ll never forget at Niagara Falls.