Niagara Falls, Canada is the perfect destination for a family vacation. The view of Niagara Falls is better from the Canadian side, it has great hotels suitable for every budget and a lot of activities and attractions for all ages and interests.
There are a lot of fun and educational activities that families can enjoy in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Listed below are some activities that will keep kids engaged and happy.
1. Take photos of Niagara Falls from the Niagara Parkway promenade
You can stand at railings close to the brink of the Horseshoe Falls for perfect views and photos. If you stroll further down the promenade, you can view the American and Bridal Veil Falls across the Niagara River on the American side of the border.
There is absolutely no fee to see the world’s most famous waterfall.
2. Visit Queen Victoria Park on Niagara Parkway
Queen Victoria Park is located on Niagara Parkway opposite the American and Bridal Veil Falls. The view of Niagara Falls from the park is amazingly beautiful. You can stroll in the landscaped gardens and wooded areas. It is famous for its rose gardens, daffodils (summer), seasonal flowers, perennials and various other plants. A great place to relax and enjoy nature.
3. Hornblower Niagara Cruises
See Niagara Falls from close quarters and get deluged by it with a boat ride on the Niagara River. This boat tour is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Niagara Falls, Ontario. Please note that this attraction is closed in the winter.
Visit the Hornblower Niagara Cruises website for more information.
4. Take the Journey Behind the Falls for an amazing view of Horseshoe Falls
Journey Behind the Falls is an attraction that takes you down an elevator in the bedrock behind the Horseshoe Falls and then through a tunnel which emerges onto an observation deck near the base of the Horseshoe Falls.
The view is simply breathtaking. Even though you are some distance from the Falls, you will still get wet from the powerful spray of the falling water.
Adult (13+ years): $19.95
Child (6-12 years): $13.00
Free for children 5 years and under
Please check here for any updates on ticket prices.
5. Niagara Skywheel in Clifton Hill
This huge 175-foot tall Ferris wheel has climate-controlled cabins. Ride up high in the sky for a perfect view of Niagara Falls. It stays open from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. You can buy tickets to Niagara Skywheel individually or buy the Clifton Hill Pass which allows access to 6 attractions on Clifton Hill, including the Niagara Skywheel.
6. View exotic birds and animals at Bird Kingdom
Kids will love this enchanting kingdom of colourful tropical birds. Feed and hold lorikeets at Bird Kingdom. View colourful lorikeets, parrots and other exotic birds at the world’s largest free-flying multilevel indoor aviary. Explore Night Jungle for owls and other nocturnal creatures.
Bird Kingdom will make you feel like you are in a tropical paradise. Save on ticket prices by booking online.
7. Enjoy panoramic views of Niagara Falls from Skylon Tower
This easily identifiable landmark has observations decks atop it from where you can view the lovely Niagara Falls. The observation deck is circular, giving you a 360 degree view of the town of Niagara Falls, Ontario. Get to the top in the exterior glass enclosed yellow bug elevator, which reaches the top floor in 52 seconds.
The Skylon Tower is 158.5 metres (520 feet) tall and its height from the base of the gorge is approximately 236 metres (775 feet). You can view landmarks like Niagara Skywheel and even Toronto skyline in the distance on a clear day.
8. Dufferin Islands
Located approximately 0.5 miles from Horseshoe Falls on Niagara Parkway, it is a quiet, secluded park with an area of 10 acres. It has many islands connected by small wooden bridges and footpaths. If you visit in winter, see the displays of wildlife light sculptures and trees covered in coloured lights for the Winter Festival of Lights.
9. Niagara Speedway
This summer, Clifton Hill will have a new attraction. Niagara Speedway is a go-karting track with a multi-storeyed spiral track that is 40 feet high. A part of the track is undulating like a roller coaster, designed for maximum thrills. The track is the first of its kind in Canada!
Test your driving skills on the karts! The track is open now.
Driver: $12.00 (per 5-minute race)
Passenger: $4.00 (per 5-minute race)
Address: 4960 Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3N4
10. Visit Botanical Gardens
Admission is FREE. Take a walk through 40 hectares of gardens and wooded areas with trees, plants and flowers of different species. There are horse & carriage tours of the gardens available daily during summer months ($20 per person + tax).
The Botanical Gardens is also home to the Butterfly Conservatory.
11. Butterfly Conservatory
Wander in a glass enclosed lush green rainforest setting with decorative ponds and a small waterfall where thousands of tropical butterflies fly freely. The Butterfly Conservatory is located in the Botanical Gardens and is home to butterfly species from all over the world.
Count the different varieties of butterflies and see if you can hold still when they land on you. Children will love the colourful butterflies!
Adult (13+ years): $15.00
Child (6-12 years): $9.75
(Price is not inclusive of taxes)
It is free for children aged 5 and under.
Address: 2565 Niagara Parkway, L0S 1J0
12. Hershey’s Chocolate World
A paradise for any chocolate lover! Enjoy all the free samples of chocolates and freshly baked goods. The chocolates, chocolate-coated strawberries and other Hershey brands look all so inviting, you will want to buy every type of confection there is in the store.
13. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum
See all sorts of weird and bizarre displays at the museum. From shriveled heads to fun scientific exhibits, this is a great place to gain knowledge and have some fun. The museum is a favourite with children. Please click here for ticket prices.
14. Visit Marineland
See the largest collection of beluga whales, dolphins performing feats, and killer whales at Marineland. Children will especially enjoy the dolphins and feeding the beluga whales.
15. See all your favourite stars under one roof
Take selfies with life-size wax figures of your favourite movie stars, characters, singers and other celebrities at the Movieland Wax Museum on Clifton Hill.
You can visit the House of Horrors, also at Movieland Wax Museum. Get spooked by a maze of mirrors, special effects, zombies and horror movie characters. With pitch black tunnels and animatronic props, it is quite scary. This is not meant for young children, but teenagers might like it.
16. Get wet with a wild jet boat ride
Take an open or enclosed jet boat tour on the Niagara River where you will see the famous Niagara Whirlpool and zoom over the whitewater rapids. You will be drenched by huge waves and spray if you take the open jet boat ride.
Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours conducts these tours from three places: Niagara Falls, Ontario; Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario and Lewiston, New York. You will not be seeing the Niagara Falls with this tour.
17. Take a cable car ride over the Niagara Whirlpool
The Whirlpool Aero Car (formerly known as the Spanish Aero Car) has been operating over a portion of the Niagara River since 1916 and was designed by the Spanish engineer, Leonardo Torres Quevedo.
Take this antique cable car ride for a view of the Niagara Whirlpool and whitewater rapids. Due to the bend in the river and the international border, though the ride is between two points in Canada, you will briefly cross into US territory. You will be travelling in the same cable car and along the same route as tourists of 100 years ago.
Adults (13+ years): $15.00
Child (6-12 years): $9.75
Free for children aged 5 and under.
18. Zipline to the Falls with WildPlay’s MistRider
Soar high along the Niagara River and Niagara Gorge with WildPlay’s Mistrider Zipline Ride. The ride starts from Grand View Marketplace towards the Niagara Falls. Riders dangle 67 metres (220 feet) above ground and gravity takes them 670 metres (2,200 feet) at speeds of 70+ kph (40+ mph) along the Niagara Gorge to the Falls observation landing at the base of the Horseshoe Falls below Table Rock.
Price: $59.99 for a single flight
19. Floral Showhouse
This lovely place on Niagara Parkway, just a short distance from the Falls, has flowers and plants from all over the world. There are floral shows every season. The sight of thousands of blooming flowers, orchids and tropical plants is beautiful.
For ticket prices, please click here.
20. Delve into the history of Niagara Falls with a visit to Niagara Falls History Museum
See replica uniforms, muskets, archival records and other artifacts from the bloody War of 1812 fought at Lundy’s Lane, which is very close to the museum. There is also a gallery dedicated to Niagara Falls as a community. There are exhibits about Niagara Falls’ culture, geology, social life, and the daredevils who attempted various feats over the Falls.
From the Niagara Falls History Museum, you can take a walking tour of Lundy’s Lane Battlefield and Drummond Hill Cemetery. Visit the museum’s website for more details.
21. Have a meal in a revolving restaurant
Have a fun dining experience with your family at Skylon Tower’s Revolving Dining Room. Have lunch or dinner and see the view change as the dining room revolves 360 degrees in 1 hour.
A ride to the indoor/outdoor observation decks is FREE if you dine here!
22. Get coloured wax replicas of your hands at Wax Hand Emporium
Fun Factory in Clifton Hill has gifts, novelty items, toys, souvenirs and fashionable stationery. It also has the Wax Hand Emporium where you can have replicas of your hand made in coloured wax. Kids will love it and it makes for a good memento of your vacation in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
23. Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks
See the collection of life-like wax figures of celebrities and actors in their famous movie roles. You can see Harry Potter, Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz and more.
Check here for ticket prices.
24. See the movie Niagara’s Fury
This 4D movie shows how Niagara Falls was formed over 12,000 years ago. A great learning experience for kids!
Please check here for ticket prices and more details.
25. Indulge in delicious fudge and candies at Fudge Factory
A delight for every kid, Fudge Factory in Clifton Hill lets you sample their fudge and other goodies. See how candies, brittle, chocolate fondue, chocolate truffles and sponge toffees are made. A dream come true for every kid with a sweet tooth!
Stop by and buy your favourite sweets.
26. Upside Down House
As you go through Clifton Hill, there is one attraction that immediately catches your eye – a house standing on its roof! Yes, you heard it right! Take a tour where everything is upside down – you will be standing on the roof and all furniture is fixed above you. It can be a bit disorienting.
Check here for address and other details.
27. Check out the indoor waterparks
Niagara Falls has many waterparks such as the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark and Waves Indoor Waterpark. With waterslides, wave pools and other activities, these waterparks are great for some fun family time. The Great Wolf Lodge Niagara also has an indoor waterpark.
28. Get close to wildlife with a visit to Safari Niagara
Safari Niagara is a privately owned and operated nature park having more than a thousand animals, birds and reptiles.
Park admission includes access to all activities in it: educational presentations, safari train, paddle boats, Safari Speedway (pedal bike go-karts), catch and release fishing and more.
Kids will love it!
29. Watch the fireworks and illuminated Falls
Every evening, there is a light show at the Niagara Falls where the Falls are illuminated in lovely colours by LED lights. View the lovely sight with your family. Please check here for the illumination timings.
From May to October, every Friday to Sunday and on special holidays, there is a 10-minute fireworks display every Niagara Falls at 10:00 p.m. This year, there will be a fireworks display every day from June 18 until September 3. Please click here to check the fireworks schedule.
30. Watch a magic show by famed magician Greg Frewin
Try to catch The Wild Magic Show performed by the International Grand Champion of Magic, Greg Frewin, at the Greg Frewin Theatre. You will see amazing illusions and magic acts featuring tigers, a Siberian tiger and other exotic birds and animals.
This show is a great family entertainer. Please visit the Greg Frewin Theatre website for more information about show timings and to buy tickets.
31. Brock Monument in Queenston Heights Park
While travelling north on Niagara Parkway, between Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake, you will find the Queenston Heights Park. It has lovely landscaped gardens and the Brock and Laura Secord monuments.
The park was formerly a battlefield during the War of 1812. It was at this very site that Sir Brock died while leading a charge against invading US soldiers.
32. Take a ride in the unique Niagara Incline Railway
Ride the Falls Incline Railway from the Fallsview tourist area to Table Rock Centre. It gives you quick access to the pedestrian crossing over Niagara Parkway. Enjoy spectacular views of the Horseshoe Falls while going down.
All day access for all ages is $7.00. For one way and round trip cost, please visit here.
33. Taste yummy candies and chocolates at Pop & Lolly’s Candy Shop
You can choose from a mouth-watering variety of candies and chocolate treats at this lovely shop. You can also watch the staff make fresh fruit and candy chocolate dips. Located on Niagara Parkway, this shop is a favourite with tourists and locals.
34. Take a helicopter tour of Niagara Falls
Make your Niagara Falls vacation the best ever by taking your family on a helicopter ride above the spectacular Niagara Falls! Your children will be talking about it for years. It is a 12-minute ride that takes you over Niagara Falls and some landmarks like the whitewater rapids and Rainbow Bridge.
35. Visit Fort George and Old Fort Erie
A trip to these historic forts is educational and fun. Step back into history and experience military life in the 18th and 19th century. Fort George is in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Old Fort Erie is in Fort Erie.
36. Great Canadian Midway
Spread over 70,000 square feet, the Great Canadian Midway features over 300 games. Located in Clifton Hill, it is a great place for some family entertainment.
Admission is free but you have to pay for the games.
37. Try your hand at mini golf at the themed mini golf courses in Clifton Hill
Go on an adventure at Wizard’s Golf Mini Putt, the 18-hole glow-in-the-dark mini golf course with exhibits of trolls, wizards, and dragons. Children will love Dinosaur Adventure Golf. It has raptors and T-Rexs, decorative ponds and an “active” volcano exhibit.
38. Whitewater Walk
Walk on a boardwalk along the Niagara River and its whitewater rapids. There are 2 observation areas at the very edge of the river for a closer look at the raging waters. You first have to take an elevator down into the gorge and then walk through a tunnel to reach the boardwalk.
The Whitewater Walk is completely wheelchair accessible except for the viewing platforms that are reached by stairs. For ticket prices, please click on the link provided.
39. Explore nature with a hike in Niagara Glen
Deep in the Niagara Gorge, this nature reserve overlooks the Niagara River and has one of the few remaining Carolinian forests in the area. It has several hiking trails and prehistoric rock formations. A must-see place for nature lovers. Enjoy the scenery!
There is no admission fee. Guided tours are available in summer.
40. Floral Clock
One of the most recognizable landmarks in Niagara Falls, the Floral Clock on Niagara Parkway is a functioning clock with a 40-foot diameter clock face made up of carpet bedding plants and flowers in intricate patterns.
Stop by to take photos as this might be the only giant clock you will see in your lifetime.
41. Nightmares Fear Factory
See if you are brave enough to last the entire duration of this haunted house attraction. Located on Clifton Hill, Nightmares Fear Factory has the reputation of being one of the scariest haunted house attractions.
Great for teenagers and adults. Younger children might be scared. Please click on the link given for ticket prices and hours of operation.
42. Spot rainbows over Niagara Falls
Count the rainbows formed over Horseshoe Falls on a clear day. Sunlight passing through the misty spray created by Horseshoe Falls causes the formation of lovely rainbows over the Falls on a clear day. Kids will love spotting rainbows.
Sometimes there are twin rainbows or even a 360 degree rainbow on clear sunny days. A great photo opportunity!
43. Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum
Located in Queenston in the restored home of publisher and Toronto’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie, it is Canada’s largest operational printing museum. It houses the Louis Roy Press, one of the few original wooden presses remaining in the world.
On display is 500 years of printing technology. You can try your hand at one of the heritage presses. A great learning experience about the history of printing.
44. Outrace others at Niagara Go-Karts
Race side by side and feel like you are in a Formula 1 race. There are 2-seater family karts too. Check out the Niagara Go-Karts website for ride prices and other details.
45. Visit Niagara IMAX Theatre and Niagara Daredevil Exhibit
View the IMAX movie, Niagara: Miracles, Myths & Magic to learn how the Falls was formed 12,000 years ago and its history since then.
After the movie, you can walk through the Niagara Daredevil Exhibit where you can see the original barrels and other contraptions that were used by enterprising individuals to go over Niagara Falls. Read about their exploits and you will marvel at their courage.
46. Visit Niagara Falls in winter to view the Winter Festival of Lights
In winter, there are spectacular light displays all along Niagara Parkway, Dufferin Islands, Niagara Parks and surrounding tourist districts. Trees will be wrapped in lights and the whole place will look like a winter’s paradise.
There is plenty to do in Niagara Falls, be it any season
There are a lot more places that you can visit while vacationing in Niagara Falls, Canada. WildPlay’s Whirlpool Adventure Course, Zombie Attack, Niagara Falls Fun Zone are some of the other attractions that kids might love.
Niagara Falls, Canada has a lot of places to explore if you are a keen hiker. The Bruce Trail, Niagara Recreation Trail, Dufferin Island Loop Trail are some of trails you can explore.
There are a lot of restaurants, food festivals and other attractions that can be explored while vacationing in Niagara Falls, Canada.
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