The most fun a family can have in 48 hours
From glow-in-the-dark golfing with wizards to getting good and wet behind the Falls, we’ve packed every kind of amazing into this sample two-day family itinerary.
START WITH A BLAST
You may not need your cup of coffee this morning, because there’s nothing sleepy about the world-famous Street of Fun by the Falls at Clifton Hill. It’s Niagara Falls’ top destination for attractions, restaurants, entertainment and more. Start by getting your bearings atop the 175-foot Niagara Skywheel, then bring your cameras to the Ripley’s Museum where your kids can get up close and personal with over 100 life-like wax figures, an art motion simulator ride and the almost unbelievable Odditorium. Or engage in some family-friendly competition in the 70,000 square feet of crowd-pleasing fun that makes up the one and only Great Canadian Midway.
EVEN LUNCH IS FUN
When you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s plenty of family-friendly options, including the Rainforest Café, where meals are shared with lively, animatronic animals in a wild jungle setting. Just save room for dessert at Hershey’s Chocolate World where chocolate lovers can spend some quality time with their one true love. There’s nothing vanilla about it.
THE FALLS UP CLOSE
Next, rattle your bones with a thunderous journey deep below and behind the heart of Niagara with Journey Behind the Falls. Kids will love putting on the rain ponchos provided and experiencing the power and the mist of the mighty Horseshoe Falls, crashing down from 13 storeys above.
MAGIC, MUSIC, AND DINNER
Kids love a buffet dinner, but a buffet dinner with entertainment is even better. Head to the Greg Frewin Theatre for a Vegas-style spectacle, as one of the world’s premier magicians, Greg Frewin, performs his family-friendly illusions. Check the calendar before your visit, because concerts and comedy are also on the menu.
A RAINBOW BEFORE BED
On your way to or from the theatre, enjoy a different kind of magical experience. Witness the Falls as they’re lit up in the colours of the rainbow, beginning every evening at dusk.
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
For families staying at Americana Waterpark Resort, Skyline Hotel & Waterpark or Great Wolf Lodge, you may want to skip the evening show and get to these activity-packed hotels early. With some of the best indoor water parks in the country, plus restaurants, games, live-action adventures and more, your kids will be entertained from the moment you check in. And if you’re the type of family who really makes waves in the water, consider booking an extra night. The rest of Niagara will just have to wait.
After a great breakfast, head back to the Falls for another look, this time from the Falls Incline Railway. This cable-style car (sans cables) will delight the young ones of your crew with a ride down to the “Bridge of Flowers” pedestrian crossing over the Niagara Parkway into Table Rock Welcome Centre, where you can grab a quick lunch, or pick up some souvenirs.
PLAY THE GREAT ESCAPE
Who knew locking yourself in a room with your family could be so much fun?
Enjoy an early afternoon of mystery at The Adventure Room. This 60-minute, live escape game gets the family working together using logic and clues to break out…before the clock runs out! Ages 8 and up will get a thrill from the challenge, and teens will discover their family is smarter than they thought. Just be sure to book a time on the online calendar before arriving.
A WALK IN THE WOODS
Now that you’ve escaped the Adventure Room, it’s time for a different kind of escape. The Niagara Glen is just the place to spark your kids’ inner awe of nature, with 4 km of hiking trails winding through a pristine pocket of Carolinian Forest. This designated nature reserve will have them exploring thousands-year-old boulders on some rugged terrain, so be sure to wear suitable footwear. Or, for cycle-loving families, bikes are available for rent seasonally.
About a kilometre from the Northeast corner of the Niagara Glen (about a 13-minute drive from the Falls) you’ll find another natural paradise…although this one is tropical. The Butterfly Conservatory, situated on the grounds of the beautiful Botanical Gardens, is home to more than 2000 butterflies, gliding freely through lush, exotic greenery. Kids of all ages will be entranced at the up-close sight of these colourful creatures, 45 species in total, feeding, fluttering, and sipping nectar. You can fuel up for the trip home at the Butterfly Café, and discuss which colourful friend is the one you’ll miss the most.
It’s never easy to please both kids and adults, especially on a trip, but Niagara manages to bring about a happy balance of approvals.