The Diary of a Nouveau Soccer Mom: Three Things In ... Niagara Falls

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Three Things In ... Niagara Falls


I love traveling with the kids and we try to make sure we see a few cool things everywhere we go.

In March, I took the kids back home to Canada to visit my parents.  They live fairly close to Niagara Falls, but the kids hadn't actually been to the Falls in years.  The last time, I think they were 3 and 6 and my brother and sister-in-law took them to do a few fun tourist things.  Both kids asked to go and I knew we had to make it happen.

Now since I grew up in the area (I lived there until I was 20), I knew the list of awesome things to see in the Falls is huge.  I also knew that Niagara Falls in March is NOT the same thing as Niagara Falls in the summer, so that helped narrow down our list quite a bit (some things like Maid of the Mist don't run in the winter).

For this trip, we started browsing ideas and looking for unique Niagara ideas.  In the process, we also discovered the Niagara Wonder Pass had three of our list items, so that helped us finalize our plans.


Journey Behind the Falls and the Table Rock Viewing Area -
Table Rock is one of my favorite places to view the Falls and I knew the kids would absolutely love being able to get that close to the water.    We walked along the park area for awhile so the kids could get a great view of the Falls (and that's where the top photo was taken).

Afterwards, we went in for Journey Behind the Falls.  Here, you take an elevator about 150 feet down in order to access tunnels that run under and behind the Falls.  The water itself is crashing in front of you via observation windows and there are several areas you can view from.  In the winter, there's awesome icicles you can see through to the Falls.  In the summer, there are outside observation decks too.  Both kids want to go back to see this again in warmer weather


Niagara's Fury -
I have read about Niagara's Fury for years, but it opened long after I had moved to Texas.  I'd never actually seen it before this trip.  The journey starts in a larger room with a cute intro to the Falls movie.  From there, you walk into an Imax style theater for the main presentation.

Once in, the room goes dark and cold air blows in.  Water bubbles up from the floor while it shakes, snow and mist come from the walls, and the story of how the Falls was formed plays in 360 degrees around you.   It's seriously an amazing show and both kids loved it, even when one of them got water in her boot. Definitely wear the provided raincoats!   You'll need them.


Butterfly Conservatory -
This is the perfect complement for winter Niagara activities.  It's indoors and warm!  We used our passes to take the WEGO system since the conservatory is about 15 minutes from the actual Falls.  The system is included in the passes we bought and was much easier than driving back down the Parkway to the conservatory.

The Butterfly Conservatory is a large, walk-through greenhouse environment full of beautiful butterflies.  It's also another activity I hadn't been to in years and it was awesome seeing it again with my own kids.  Ben definitely preferred walking all over the butterfly exhibit, looking for the different colors and kinds of butterflies, and finding the feeding stations where they congregate.  There's also an exhibit off the main lobby to learn more about the butterflies, and a movie before entering the actual butterfly room.  We did stop to see both of those, but walking in the conservatory was definitely the highlight of the tour.  It is self-guided, so you're welcome to spend as much or as little time in the conservatory rooms as you'd like.


There's lots more to do in Niagara Falls, especially during the summer season, and we know we've barely scratched the surface.  Thankfully, with the grandparents living 30 minutes away from the Falls, we have plenty more opportunities to see more on later trips.  What's your favorite Niagara adventure?

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