My oldest son, Kai and I got to go on a mommy son trip this past weekend to Niagara Falls. My sister and her husband, my mom and my aunt all met us there. We had the absolute best time together exploring the falls and doing every sort of tourist activity we possibly could! Besides me completely and entirely forgetting my passport (yikes, right?!?!) and a little bit of rain, the trip was perfect. I was able to get across the border without difficulty…probably in part because of our pathetic puppydog faces and the maybe because of the other forms of identification I had on me…but regardless of how I got into Canada, we were so thankful I didn’t have to miss out!!!
I thought I’d put together a round up of our favorite things that we did and give ideas for anyone else who may want to visit. I was suprirsingly shocked at how much there was to do for kids, how many places were amazing for photographs and how everything was within walking distance.
Niagara, Canada To-do’s
- Journey Behind the Falls– At dinner together the last night we were there we went to a crazy nice restaurant. As we ate we went around the table asking one another what our favorite activity was and this was my number 1. If you visit Niagara this is a MUST SEE. To walk underneath that waterfall, to see the history, and to feel the rumble of the water pouring over the cliff as amazing. There are photos on the walls of the tunnels showing when/how they were first built, and as a history nerd I loved getting to read through each of them. You can get extremely close to the edge of the falls and I loved seeing it so close. And the photo ops are unreal.
2. View From the Zip Line– At first I thought the zip line was going to take us across the falls…which kinda gave me a pit in my stomach to think of sending my 8 year old on a wire over that much water…but thankfully it was over to the side of the falls (whew, panic attack over). This was a super fun ride because it was such an incredibly beautiful view and a ton of fun with our little group. #makingmemoriestogether
3. The Maid of the Mist Boat– This boat ride takes you riiiight up to the falls. And the name of the boat is extremely fitting—it’s so “misty” when you get that close that you have to wear a poncho (which is provided) and you’d better take every precaution to protect your camera (I didn’t and totally regretted it!) Don’t bother fixing your hair for this one…and mascara really may not be worth it either! But its a great way to get as close as you possibly can to the water!!! And it’s definitely worth it! (sorry! pics are blurry because my camera lens got wet!!)
4. Table Rock Visitor Center– This visitor center is located right at the edge of the Horseshoe Falls. It’s a stunning view from there being so close to the edge…and there’s a gift shop with a ginormous moose! How fun is that?! (you’d better tag me if you take a pic by that moose!!!!)
4. The 5. 5. 5.Skylon Tower Revolving Restaurant– This is the place we had dinner the first night we were there. The view was breathtaking from that high up and to get to revolve around to see the entire area was a night we’ll never forget. Kai loved getting to watch the floor move. Just be careful if you leave to use the restroom! Make sure you know which section your table is in because it’ll have moved by the time you return! (just sayin’ from experience ya know)
The elevator ride takes you up and there is a coffee shop and some gift shops at the base. The food was great and there is a free dessert if it’s your birthday! The falls are lit up at night and it’s just stunning. It was hard to peel ourselves away from the view.
6. Queen Victoria Park (by the Sheraton Hotel, Canada)-This park is stunning and it is referred to as the “heart” of Niagara Parks. It’s absolultely stunning. From the Welcome Center continue walking down the sidewalk and you’ll eventually walk right by it. The flowers, the view, the trees, the walkways, the little ponds, the architecture, the gates…you just cannot get a bad picture here…
6. American Falls-If you go to Niagara I would highly recommend seeing them from the Canadian side, however, the American side has some great views as well. The pathways and trees are beautiful. And there are some amazing spots for photos from the visitor center. You can get extremely close to the rushing water too.
Great Spots for Kids:
1. Dinosaur Mini Golf– This place looks super fun for kids. It was too cold for us to want to stay out in to play but this would be such a fun place in warmer weather. There is a gift shop just across the street from the mini golf course that we went into about 4 times to pick out presents for people at home…and maybe a few souvenirs for Kai too! 🙂 That little stuffed pterodactyl he has there is one of the things he picked. His name is Henry. 🙂
2. Rainforest Cafe- This was the place Kai picked for his birthday dinner. Of course there are probably a thousand local places we would have loved to have tried before Rainforest but we couldn’t say no to that sweet face! And it was packed, which means it is definitely a hot spot for a lot of families that travel there as well.
3. Ripley’s Museum-The day we visited here was our last day and it was raining. A huge storm had rolled in and we had a number of hours to kill before catching our plane. And this was the MOST fun we could have possibly had for that time!
4. Hershey Chocolate World-Apparently if it’s your birthday the workers bring you back behind the counter to let you pose for a few pics with the candy bar the size of a car! 🙂 This place was so fun to get to walk around and see all of the different candy. We ended up with a large Hershey Bar, 2 cookies, and some fudge…(clearly this was a total cheat week for me!!!)
MORE GREAT ATTRACTIONS:
(The Nutella filled donuts are so good! And if you want
to order “donut holes” make sure you ask for “Timbits” 🙂
Embassy Suites: This hotel is right by the falls and the views from it are just the best. The con is that its a bit further from the rest of the main thoroughfare and restaurants so if you’re walking it might be something to consider.
Sheraton On The Falls: This is where we stayed and the views were incredible from here too. Slightly further away but a great view of both falls. Be sure to request a room with a view of the falls and make sure to go visit the spa! The view from up there is just the best!