Safari Niagara: Did it withstand the interest of my 2 year old?
I’m always saying how Safari Niagara is a great Niagara attraction, but how does it stack up from the true critic out there – My two year old son, Kaidyn? This is a child with a very little attention span and prone to temper tantrums when he gets bored. This isn’t a character flaw, this is just a typical two year old. I’m always looking for something new to do with him to keep him occupied and I look for attractions in Niagara Falls that I will enjoy as well. I take him to Clifton Hill religiously, as that’s a no brainer taking him into the Great Canadian Midway with arcade games for his age (little race cars, Sesame Street rides and skeeball, etc.) and lights and sounds to sustain his interest. He loves doing the attractions on the Clifton Hill Fun Pass and we do it all the time. The Dinosaur Adventure Golf is a huge hit for my little guy especially! I can’t say enough about my love for Clifton Hill, from it’s attractions and family-friendly restaurants like Boston Pizza.
This time, I decided to take him to Safari Niagara for something a little different for my son, the animal lover. Safari Niagara is only a 10 minute drive from Niagara Falls in Stevensville at 2821 Stevensville Road — so why not? I decided to give it a go!
Firstly, the parking lot is vast so you never have to worry about finding a spot there. They had four cashiers lined up and even though it was a busy Friday afternoon (we arrived at 1:30pm), we didn’t have to wait long to get in the park. Children 3 and under are free and Adults from June 1st, 2013 – Sept 2nd, 2013 are $26.95, Children ages 4-12 and Seniors 65+ are $22.95 + applicable taxes. This is pricer than previous years, however this price reflects all the features within Safari Niagara at no added cost. So with that price, it included unlimited access of the Sky Quest Rope Course, Sky Tykes, Bungee and Safari Rides and the Splash Pad whereas in previous years that wasn’t offered. We were also offered access to the “Gator Express Tram” for free which takes you from one end of the park to the other in ease so that you don’t need to walk if your legs get tired or if you have mobility issues. Stroller and wagons are welcome aboard. I personally chose to walk around with Kaidyn in the stroller, but it’s certainly worth the ride on the tram as it took a few hours by foot to see everything that Safari Niagara had to offer. I would have to say that unlike the Toronto Zoo, Safari Niagara is definitely more toddler friendly in that its smaller and he was able to go on all the rides at his height and hulk weight of 38 pounds haha.
As soon as you enter the park, you walk right into their gift store. This place was loaded with plush zoo animals, souvenir clothing, keychains and hats, puzzles and candy galore. It’s the North Pole to probably most toddlers, but Kaidyn paid no attention and kept his eyes straight forward at the massive sculpture that greets you as you exit the gift shop and into the world of the animals! Our day has begun…
Let me start off by saying that Safari Niagara wastes no time getting right to grabbing your attention! Bright colored flamingos, a petting zoo called “Papa Steve’s Family Farm”, the Splash Pad, a concessions stand and the SkyQuest ride all greet you as you round the first corner. Kaidyn is already in awe and we haven’t even seen one-fifth of the park yet. I knew the Splash Pad wasn’t going to be part of the plan and he doesn’t even like having his hair washed in the tub, so that wouldn’t fly, but the SkyQuest got his attention. I’ve never seen anything like it before. You navigate through a stimulating obstacle course 30 feet in the air using only ropes and beams. Anyone can participate, but children under 48″ tall must be accompanied by a chaperone. It was like a giant playground to him and he wanted to give it a go…then I took him closer. Forget it! He chickened out and we instead spent 15 minutes watching all the other kids enjoy themselves.
At this point, I’m hungry and Kaidyn was due to eat as well so I opted to give the concessions stand a try. They had quite a lot to offer from fries and pretzels to pizza and burgers…and of course cold ice cream treats! Since my two-year old is a picky eater I got him some fries and a salad (healthy option!) for myself and a coffee to satisfy my caffeine fix. I’m assuming the fries were a hit since he kept rubbing his tummy and saying “mmmm” so all-in-all two thumbs up for a quick lunch stop!
So we began our journey visiting the animals at Safari Niagara and we took in hundreds of different species of animals, bird and reptile species. Ferocious felines, playful primates, huge hippos and giraffes were all popular exhibits for my little guy and vending machines are located sporatically in areas with specific food for each animal in which kids can get close to them and interact with them by feeding them. I would have to say of all the animals we visited, Kaidyn’s favourite was….the chickens lol. I personally loved the new White Lions exhibit — gorgeous creatures! Here are some photos that I took:
After viewing all the animals, I took Kaidyn to the massive playground they have there. This was by far, Kaidyn’s favorite part of Safari Niagara. He loved the slides…and many to choose from. They also had a huge giant sandbox complete with toys for the kids to play around in. We actually spent most of the day here. It’s paradise for toddlers and small children. I was able to sit back and relax while he played with the others kids. Tears were shed when it was dinnertime and I called an end to our time here. All in all? We had an excellent time and judging by the temper tantrum having to leave Safari Niagara and all the smiles had during our visit here, Kaidyn gave it two thumbs up! Way to go Safari Niagara!!
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