While many people have the spectacular Niagara Falls on their bucket list, if you’re planning a trip to Canada (or the American side of the falls), it is important to note that there are also plenty of other fun and exciting things you can do with your family while you’re there.
Don’t just spend a day or two in Niagara; instead, take a longer vacation and check out the many attractions of the region that kids of all ages, and their parents, will enjoy. Read on for some top things to add to your itinerary today.
Kids typically always love to take a ride on a Ferris wheel, so one of the first things you might want to do as a family when you arrive in Niagara Falls is hop on the Niagara SkyWheel. Suitable for people of all ages, the SkyWheel is situated in the suburb of Clifton Hill, on the Canadian side of the falls, and takes around 15 minutes for a round trip. Families can sit together in one gondola, and each journey includes at least four rotations. The SkyWheel is the largest observation wheel in the country, and takes passengers up to 175 feet high in the sky.
Apart from the novelty of being on a ride like this, you and your children can also enjoy the great views which are afforded of Niagara Falls and the surrounding region when you’re up in the air. If possible, it pays to schedule your SkyWheel trip from dusk onwards so that you can enjoy the spectacular Falls Illumination show too.
Niagara Freefall and Interactive Center
If your children like to be active and adventurous, don’t miss a visit to the Niagara Freefall and Interactive Center. Here, everyone in the family can enjoy some play time, with something to suit all ages and interests. The center is a particularly great option on days when the weather isn’t so apt for outdoor activities.
At Niagara Freefall you can test out skydiving, indoors and without the risk. Kids aged from 7 years and up can participate in the experience, plus four people at a time can go together, so you can enjoy the thrill as a group. The indoor skydiving at the center is conducted within a wind-tunnel flight chamber, and sees participants flying at air speeds of up to 140mph.
Within the Freefall and Interactive Center you will also find a 32-foot high rooftop rock wall (it suits climbers of many abilities), a mechanical bull ride, and a Lazerball game that is played with soft, reusable foam balls instead of paint. For something a little less physical, you and your family might like to spend time playing the wide variety of interactive arcade games located on site.
Old Fort Niagara
If history is more your thing, add a trip to Old Fort Niagara to your itinerary. Located on the U.S. side of Niagara Falls, this fort provides an educational opportunity that is suitable for both history buffs and those with no prior knowledge. The Fort was built in the 1700s, utilized during numerous wars (including the Revolutionary, French and Indian Wars), and is the oldest operational fort in the United States. Since it was built the fort has been owned and used by French, Native American, British and American troops.
If you can, try to organize your outing to Old Fort Niagara to coincide with the attraction’s special event days. During these times visitors have the chance to chat to some of the on-site re-enactors who recreate the lives and adventures of past garrison members.
Throughout the year, you and your kids can also check out hourly musket demonstrations at the fort, enjoy a self-guided audio tour, and take a close look at some of the site’s well-preserved barracks, cannons, and numerous other exhibits. You can also take advantage of the location’s scenic views, with the Fort’s high vantage point giving visitors an outlook over Niagara Falls, the Niagara River, and Lake Ontario.
Fallsview Indoor Waterpark
On a lovely hot day, a great way to cool off is to spend time at the three-acre waterpark in Niagara Falls. Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is connected directly to the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel, on Falls Avenue on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.
Providing a raft of fun activities for visitors to choose from, the waterpark has 16 slides (some of which are up to six stories high), in addition to a splash park for toddlers, a giant wave pool, a huge aqua play area, and an outdoor sun deck and activity pool.
While the kids are playing, adults can de-stress and soothe their tired muscles at the Horseshoe Hot Springs. Here you will find two oversized adults-only whirlpool hot tubs to choose from. When the family’s hungry tummies need to be filled up from hours of activity, you might then like to adjourn to the Planet Hollywood Beach Club food court.