It’s no surprise that trips are a blast! And with kids it is no exception! Niagara Falls packed in 3 days with kids was no exception! I think my favorite part about it is the fact that there’s a chance for the “woah” moments! Anything to blow their minds with just how cool and big our world is are the game changers for me.
I love doing the kid-centered trips that are focused more around the kids…the beaches the water-parks…the very expensive trips to ??X? but then there are the unassuming trips. The ones where it doesn’t seem like that big of deal …ahem…water but it really is a great time!
Enter Niagara Falls! There is so much here!
So we were there for only three days as it was the end of our week long trip with three little ones who were exhausted before we even left the country but our time was packed with awesomeness.
This is how we did Niagara Falls in 3 days with 3 kids
This is how we planned our days.. (Read my epic fail on parking on Day 2!)
Day 1: So we arrived in the afternoon and it was just enough time to find our little house that we rented…sadly it was not all I was hoping it would be… all I have to say is that when someone says “A/C” I expect (that’s my fault for sure) that they meant central air conditioning! Window units did not cut the 100 degree weather in the house…so read the descriptions more carefully than I did!
So we arrived just in time to settle into the house and find some food. Little did I realize that Sprint has terrible service up by the falls and so our desire to find a particular restaurant ended in randomly finding a parking lot which cost $10 Canadian dollars ($7 if you come a mere two hours later).
So armed with exhausted kids…we did manage to find some amazing food at The Works which was a trendy bar restaurant that served their water in these measuring cups…which was great until my son decided to wash his hands in mine! (haha)
The good thing about this place was since it’s in the heart of everything… I took my very loud tired child on jaunts down the strip and we checked out figures outside the wax museum and checked out some gift shops! So it was helpful everything was so close by and if we ruined your dinner appetite that night I’m sorry!
We spent the rest of the night wandering and checking out all the eye catching sites…there is everything from dinosaur putt- putt, (Dominic was fascinated!) to chincy arcade bars…it’s glamorous though and so if you don’t want to spend money grab some ice-cream (it’s every five feet or so it seems) and head for home!
So before we went to Niagra Falls I decided to get the all inclusive pass here which includes rides on the Wego bus which goes in between all of the big sites. I wasn’t sure if that’d be so important but IT IS!!
And after pricing out the different sites individually it was cheaper to get the pass (which included the bus).
One thing I hadn’t thought of was PARKING! Listen people this is where they can get you…parking and food. So we went down by the Table Rock and The Falls and parked there. $25 Canadian dollars in order to activate our passes. So in order to use your two day pass you have to activate them and then SCHEDULE the activities. I didn’t realize that we had to schedule the times of where we wanted to be but with the influx of travelers, Diane explained, that helps them space out the crowds. The good thing is that you can ALWAYS change the times of those events ..you just have to go back and talk to Diane! :) Canadians really are the nicest people!
So in order to get FREE parking...make sure you park down by the Whirlpool Aero Car (check on the map link three paragraphs down.) and then grab the WEGO to whatever site you are trying to reach...just make sure to add in travel time in your time line.
But parking aside we got to go to the Journey Behind the Falls. It was a powerful experience for me, check out my blog about that experience.
Followed by the interactive movie Niagra’s Fury. Very cool and interactive BUT if you have little kids like mine you may have some tears with some of the lighting and thunderstorm parts…it’s that real feeling. The good thing is you can ask an attendant for help if the need arises.
Then we grabbed the WEGO (that part of the pass is activated when you show your beautiful lanyard to the people on the bus!) which was super easy to get around on. Here’s a map to the stops that it makes here. Then we headed to the Butterfly Conservatory…which was stunning. Literally the ratio of butterflies to people was in the butterflies favor and there was a great chance to interact with these beauties! The best is the grounds outside the conservatory where they had beautiful trees to climb and rest. There is a little restaurant there but I wish I had brought a picnic basket!
The last thing we did that day was check out the Skylon Tower so even though it wasn’t included in our pass the hope was that it would be worth it. Sadly even though it was a cool view of the city…it was a hike up a hill from one of the stops, the inside was a lack luster interior, it did host a sad arcade and sadly the view was pretty boring for my kids. So personally I don’t feel that the Skylon tower was a great choice for touring with kids.
Our first stop is we got to go to the Hornblower Niagra Cruises. SO WORTH IT! One of the security guards on our way in mentioned to us to sit on the right side in the middle that way the kids could see over the side. It was perfect! Even though the noise was very intense for one of my daughters, it only added to the amazing power of the Falls! Wow! The girls were not thrilled to be wet again but in the end they seemed really happy with the overall experience! And I was in awe…to be near the Falls and seeing the rush of the water and the swirling rapids below (which are a class 6 according to our guide and can hold a log underwater for a month)
Anyways here’s a simple recap!
Is Niagra Falls a good place for the family to visit: Yes! There are activities that the kids will enjoy!
Is there a lot of walking on this type of trip: yes, there is a fair amount of walking but armed with a little stroller or baby nap sack you can around easier with the use of the WEGO transportation system to all the major sites!
What else should I consider when thinking of this vacation: Location. Do you want to be close to the falls to see the fireworks that happen most nights during the summer months? They also have concerts on the weekends most of the summer as well…if you’re concerned about noise for little ones. Make sure you read the description better of what type of air conditioning unit the house has if you decide to rent like we did! And remember to have whatever papers you need for crossing the border!
Anything special I should pack? Besides the usual 1,000 items kids seemed to need a great thing to pack was goggles and swim shoes...since being wet was part of the experience. If your kids are really sensitive a towel couldn't hurt or something to cover their ears with the loud rushing sound of water!
What educational things can we build into the trip? Even though our trip was strictly vacation and I didn’t plan anything that was obviously educational we made sure to introduce the foreign currency and point out the flag and talked about the difference in the colors of the flags. We also tied in a lot of education time when discussing the butterflies at the conservatory because you’re able to see them in most stages of their transformation!
Safe travels fellow families! Thanks for taking time to read this book!