A Summer Family Adventure at Niagara Falls

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As the school bell rings for the last time this week in Ontario and other parts of Canada, families eagerly anticipate the arrival of summer holidays. The season of sunshine and adventure beckons, and what better way to kickstart the vacation than a family trip to the magnificent Niagara Falls? Renowned for its breathtaking beauty, thrilling activities, and family-friendly attractions, Niagara Falls promises an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. This year, make sure to immerse yourself in the vibrant and fun-filled Clifton Hill tourist area, which offers an array of exciting activities perfect for families.

Why Niagara Falls?

Niagara Falls, straddling the border between Ontario, Canada, and New York, USA, is one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. Comprising the Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls, it offers awe-inspiring views and a myriad of activities that cater to both adventure seekers and those looking for a relaxing retreat. The Canadian side, in particular, is renowned for its well-developed tourism infrastructure, making it a perfect family getaway.

Horseshoe Falls

Getting There

Niagara Falls is easily accessible from major cities in Ontario. For families in Toronto, it’s a convenient 90-minute drive, making it an ideal destination for a weekend trip or a longer holiday. For those coming from further afield, the Niagara Falls International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport provide convenient access.

Where to Stay

Niagara Falls boasts a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxurious hotels with falls-view rooms to cozy family-friendly motels and charming bed-and-breakfasts, there’s something for everyone. Some top recommendations include:

Sheraton Fallsview Hotel Aerial with Niagara Falls in the background

  1. Sheraton Fallsview Hotel: Stay at Sheraton Fallsview Hotel for breathtaking views of Niagara Falls, family-friendly amenities, and convenient access to major attractions and dining options.
  2. DoubleTree Fallsview: Enjoy a warm welcome with DoubleTree’s signature cookie, spacious family rooms, indoor pool, and easy access to Niagara Falls’ attractions and scenic vistas.
  3. Niagara Falls KOA Holiday: For families who enjoy camping, this site offers cabins, tent sites, and RV hookups along with plenty of recreational activities.
  4. Great Wolf Lodge: A family favorite, featuring an indoor water park, themed suites, and various children’s activities.
  5. Marriott on the Falls: Offers spectacular views of the falls, a kid-friendly pool, and proximity to major attractions.

Clifton Hill: The Heart of Family Fun

Clifton Hill, known as the “Street of Fun,” is the ultimate destination for family entertainment. It’s packed with attractions, dining options, and activities that will keep everyone entertained all day long.

Niagara Attractions

  1. Niagara SkyWheel: Enjoy a breathtaking view of the falls and the surrounding area from this 175-foot tall Ferris wheel. The enclosed gondolas make it a comfortable ride for all ages, offering a unique perspective both day and night.
  2. Niagara City Cruises: This boat tour takes you right into the misty heart of the falls. It’s an exhilarating experience that’s sure to be a highlight for the kids.
  3. Niagara Speedway: Experience North America’s largest elevated go-kart track, which combines the thrill of kart racing with the excitement of an elevated roller coaster. It’s a must-visit for families looking for a dose of adrenaline.
  4. Dino Adventure Golf: Step into a prehistoric world with life-sized dinosaur sculptures and two 18-hole mini-golf courses. It’s a fun and interactive activity that both kids and adults will enjoy.
  5. Ripley’s Believe It or Not!: Explore bizarre artifacts and interactive exhibits at this world-famous attraction. It’s a place where curiosity meets entertainment.
  6. Movieland Wax Museum: Get up close and personal with lifelike wax figures of your favorite celebrities and movie characters. It’s a great spot for some fun family photos.
  7. Clifton Hill Fun Pass: For those who want to experience multiple attractions, the Clifton Hill Fun Pass offers great value and access to six top attractions, including the SkyWheel, Zombie Attack, and more.
Fun Pass

Dining Options on Clifton Hill

After a day of fun, Clifton Hill offers a variety of dining options to refuel and relax:

Niagara Patios

  1. Kelsey’s Restaurant Patio: Enjoy a delicious meal on the patio overlooking Clifton Hill. The casual atmosphere and diverse menu make it a great spot for families.
  2. Boston Pizza Clifton Hill: Perfect for families, this restaurant offers a wide range of pizzas, pasta, and other favorites. The fun atmosphere and game rooms are a bonus.
  3. Rainforest Cafe: A hit with kids, this themed restaurant offers an immersive dining experience surrounded by animatronic animals and simulated thunderstorms.

Beyond Clifton Hill

While Clifton Hill is a highlight, there are other must-see attractions in Niagara Falls:

Whirlpool Jet Boats

  1. Journey Behind the Falls: Experience the sheer power of the falls up close by descending to observation decks located directly behind the Horseshoe Falls. Don’t forget your rain poncho!
  2. Niagara Jet Boats: Experience the thrill of high-speed jet boating through the Niagara River’s white-water rapids, perfect for adventurous families seeking excitement and stunning views.
  3. Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory: A peaceful and magical escape, this conservatory is home to over 2,000 butterflies from around the world. It’s a delightful experience for young and old alike.
  4. White Water Walk: Stroll along a boardwalk at the edge of the Niagara River’s white-water rapids. The powerful currents and scenic views make this a must-visit spot.

Outdoor Activities

For families who love the great outdoors, Niagara Falls offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature:

Niagara Falls summer

  1. Queen Victoria Park: Located right by the Falls, at the base of Clifton Hill, this park is ideal for a picnic, with beautiful gardens, open spaces, and a prime spot for viewing the evening illumination of the Falls.
  2. Niagara Glen Nature Centre: Explore hiking trails that wind through the scenic Niagara Gorge. The trails vary in difficulty, making it easy to find a suitable path for children of all ages.
  3. Niagara River Recreation Trail: This paved trail stretches for 56 kilometers along the river, perfect for biking, rollerblading, or a leisurely walk.

Tips for a Smooth Trip

  1. Plan Ahead: Summer is a busy season, so book accommodations and major attractions in advance to avoid disappointment.
  2. Dress Appropriately: The mist from the falls can make it cooler, so bring layers. Comfortable walking shoes are a must.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Bring water bottles, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors.
  4. Use Public Transport: Parking can be challenging and expensive, so consider using the WEGO shuttle service that connects major attractions.

A summer holiday at Niagara Falls is more than just a trip; it’s a journey into a world of natural beauty, excitement, and discovery. Whether you’re marveling at the powerful falls, exploring fun-filled attractions on Clifton Hill, or enjoying outdoor adventures, there’s something to captivate every member of the family. So, pack your bags, gather the kids, and embark on an unforgettable adventure to one of Canada’s most cherished destinations. Niagara Falls awaits, ready to create memories that will last a lifetime.

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