There are certain travel destinations that make for ideal getaways for the whole family. Dubbed Las Vegas for kids, Niagara Falls should be at or near the top of the list.
Even with new attractions, shops and restaurants popping up, Niagara Falls seems suspended in time, back to when I first visited decades ago as a child with my own family.
Although the big draw is one of the natural wonders of the world, the Falls themselves – there are also numerous points of interest to check out. Spanning the whole gamut from high-end restaurants and cool and educational exhibits, to fun and somewhat cheesy thrills, Niagara Falls has a little bit of everything to make for a memorable long weekend getaway. Here are a few options to keep in mind.
If you are a nature and animal lover like we are, there are a few attractions worth checking out. The Bird Kingdom is a great way to spend a few hours up close and personal with our feathered friends. In addition to a some interesting reptile exhibits, the best part is the multi-tiered tropical arena where more than 400 colourful exotic birds zoom around and interact in a very realistic rain forest habitat. Bird Kingdom is the largest free-flying aviary in the world, and a lot of the bird species living there are endangered or threatened, so it makes for an excellent educational opportunity for children and adults alike. Highly recommended.
Another great nature themed attraction is the Butterfly Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Featuring over 2000 colourful tropical butterflies floating freely among lush, exotic blossoms and greenery, the Butterfly Conservatory is a pretty special experience. Couple this stop with a tour of the sprawling Botanical Gardens right next door, and you have the makings for a very memorable day with numerous photo ops – also highly recommended.
And no visit to Niagara Falls would be complete without taking a foot tour of Clifton Hill at night. There is such a surreal and off-beat vibe to this block. Part family-friendly Vegas and part cheesy carnival atmosphere – the wax museums, Ferris wheel, arcades, music and neon lights are sure to create thrills and chills for children of all ages. Even adults are transported back to their own childhood with the excitement created from the frenetic energy of midways and eye-catching sideshows. Definitely a must-have experience.
Saving the best for last, you just can’t beat the awe-inspiring power of witnessing Niagara Falls in all its glory. Seeing this natural wonder up-close never gets old. Walking along the Niagara Parkway and feeling the mist on your face as you approach the mouth of the Falls is something everyone should experience.
Can’t think of a better end of summer family getaway than visiting this amazing landmark. Stay tuned for some excellent dining options for your next visit to Niagara Falls. For now, back to the cage.