If you love nature and beautiful scenery, Niagara Falls is for you. Recently we took the kids there and since leaving they have been eager to go back. There’s plenty to do to keep you busy but most of the highlights can be done in ample time that you can make this trip a long week. You can also spend a weekend in Niagara Falls and still get a wonderful family trip out of it!
Here are some of my recommendations:
1 – Get a Passport – You can no longer enter Canada from the United States without a passport. We didn’t have one so we missed out on all the adventures that Canada had to offer. If you are planning a trip several months out, you should have time to get a passport. If you don’t plan to do any travel outside Canada or Mexico then you can save some money and get a passport card.
2 – Buy the Discovery Pass – The Discovery Pass gets you into all the main attractions at Niagara Falls. It is $45 for adults, $34 for children and kids 5 and under are free. It is well worth the price of the ticket, with a discovery pass you will get admission to:
- Cave of the Winds – This was the kids’ favorite stop by far. On the Cave of the Winds tour, you can walk under and behind the falls. Be prepared to get wet (the tour gives you a poncho) and cold. Our kids would have stayed there getting wet all day, they didn’t seem to mind that was water was freezing!
- Maid of the Mist – The famous Maid of the Mist boat takes you right up to the falls and is a great for taking pictures. Again, you are going to get very wet! After the boat trip, you can climb a short trail for more awesome views of the falls.
- Aquarium of the Niagara – It’s a fair walk to get to the aquarium but it is worth a visit. It’s not nearly as large as some of the aquariums that we have been to but the brief show with the train seals was enjoyable and seeing penguins is always fun.
- Niagara Gorge Discovery Center – This museum is somewhat dated and didn’t have much appeal to the younger kids. They try hard with an elevator ride to teach you about geology but the technology was well past its prime and the kids weren’t very into it. The discovery center does serve as the trailhead for four different hiking adventures so if love to hike, you have some great options here.
- Niagara Adventure Theatre – Any indoor (air conditioned) video is a happy stop for parents who have been trying to keep up with kids in the summer heat but this video is an interesting look at the history of Niagara Falls – It kept the attention of all the kids, they loved talking about the people who ventured over the falls throughout the years.
3 – Enjoy the Falls at Night – Every evening the falls are illuminated in different colors and make for a spectacular sight. Select nights during the year also feature fireworks over the falls.
4 – Take a long walk and enjoy the beauty of the falls – As they say, the best things in life are free and it doesn’t cost anything to just walk around and enjoy the majesty of the Niagara. If you don’t have time to take the tours but you are traveling through the area, it is well worth a short detour to walk around and take some photos.
5 – Explore the Town – Niagara Falls, NY has a variety of shops, restaurants, and unique oddities. Our kids took a quick walk through a haunted house (yes, in the middle of summer) and we enjoyed a street festival that was going on. For adults, there is a casino within walking distance of the falls.
The falls are stunning and we know your family will love them as much as we do!