It had been several years since our last trip to Niagara Falls, and we forgot just how much there is to do there. Being Canadian, we always have chosen the Canadian side to visit and have never made it over the bridge to New York to compare what the two different sides have to offer, so this review will focus solely on Niagara Falls Canada.
There is definitely no shortage of things to do in the area, and there is definitely something for everyone whether you want to do something adventurous or just enjoy the beauty of The Falls and the surrounding park like gardens. Like most tourist destinations these activities do not come cheap so it is our recommendation that you read on and pick and choose what fits your budget according to your interests.
In an ideal situation, you could easily spend a day or two at the Falls and then a day or two in the surrounding area, however the Lucky Bugs only had a day to spend, so see how we used it…
There are actually three sets of falls to view when visiting Niagara Falls, all side by side. The smaller set called the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls right next to it are actually located in the U.S., while the much larger set is called the Horseshoe Falls and sits right between the U.S.A. and Canada. This explains why there is a Niagara Falls, Canada and also a Niagara Falls, United States – separated by three bridges (Lewiston-Queenston, Rainbow, and Whirlpool).
Some good news is that other than some fairly pricy parking, there is no cost to stroll along and enjoy the beautiful Falls. There is a pathway that runs right along the Falls, and another one across the street that follows the same route through a park like garden setting.
There is no shortage of Falls related things to do. Here are some ideas:
Skylon – this observation tower is a great way to get a fantastic view of the Falls from above. There is also a restaurant here however, we did not try it. The base of the tower has a few shops, and a 3D movie called Legends of Niagara Falls. It is here that you can catch the outdoor elevator that takes you to the observation deck and the restaurant. The cost was approx. $15 a person, but there were also packages that included dining and the movie. The views were great, however the cost seemed a little high.
Journey Behind the Falls – we decided that this looked like an interesting thing to do. The cost was approx. $20 a person. You are given rain ponchos and taken by elevator down to the tunnels where you can walk to two different outdoor observation decks (one higher and one lower), right next to the Horseshoe Falls. After spending some time on the decks , you can continue on through the tunnels to two different viewing portals that take you right behind the Falls. This is a self guided tour so you can take as long as you want to explore. Note: you will get wet, the pathway is very slippery and line ups can be long at peak times in the summer.
Mist Rider – this ziplining experience was something that The Bugs were very undecided about. It looked like a lot of fun, however it was raining quite hard at the time and the whole process of waiting, orientation, etc. was about 2 hours and at a cost of $60 per person, we decided that with our limited time and budget we would wait until next time.
The Hornblower Cruise – this boat/catamaran ride takes you past the American Falls, the Bridal Falls, and up close and personal to the Horseshoe Falls. The price is approx. $26 per person and the voyage lasts approx. 20 minutes. They also offer evening and fireworks cruises.
This little 4 block promenade is jam packed with almost every entertainment activity that you can think of. There are souvenir shops, mazes, haunted houses, wax museums, huge arcades, mini golf, restaurants, a ferris wheel and more! Bring your wallet because your money will disappear before your eyes.
Lots of chain restaurants located here like the Rainforest Cafe, the Hard Rock Cafe, Ruby Tuesdays, Kelsey’s and Wendy’s.
If you run out of things to do in the Falls, explore my post regarding the surrounding Niagara on the Lake Area for more fun!
“DON’T WANNA MISS A THINGS:”
- a great way to save some money if you are at all interested in doing more than one of the activities, is to look into an Adventure Pass.
- there are several places close by to park with varying prices, it’s probably best to find a lot for an all day flat rate rather than have to keep going back and forth with the parking metres.
- A few hotel recommendations: if you’re looking for something in a great location – close to the Falls and close to Clifton Hill the Sheraton on the Falls is a great choice, if you’re looking for a family hotel with entertainment The Great Wolf Lodge is a great choice (but it’s a 5 or 10 minute drive), and for something with a great view and a little more upscale the Marriott Fallsview Hotel and Spa is a great pick.
- For our American friends that are not familiar with Tim Hortons – you will find these everywhere and they are a great choice for a snack and/or light lunch. Great coffee, bake shop, soup and sandwiches.