International travel with kids can be challenging, but finding the right place to visit and experience can make the visit even more enjoyable! We recently took our kids to Niagara Falls, Ontario to experience the majesty and grandeur of this natural wonder. While we were in Niagara Falls we were able to explore numerous fun spots like Ripley’s, Niagara Helicopters, Bird Kingdom, Skylon Tower and of course Niagara Falls itself.
J-Mom and I had visited Niagara once before, but the last time was in mid-February before we had kids, so we thought that it was time to bring both girls with us while we were traveling to my grandmother’s memorial in Silver Creek, New York. We would spend my 40th birthday there and experience a number of great sites and of course the falls itself.
The Falls and the park around the falls are all run by the Niagara Parks Commission. There is so much more than the Niagara Falls as a part of the Niagara Falls Experience. The Niagara Parks Commission offers a Wonder Pass that encompasses all of these experiences, and in looking at the individual prices, the Wonder Pass is definitely worth the price. The Wonder Pass includes passes to Niagara Fury, Journey Behind the Falls, the Butterfly Conservatory and even a two day pass for the WEGO Transportation System.
Niagara Fury is an interactive movie that incorporates an animated story into a wild movie driven, water infused ride. You can get a bit wet during this interactive experience, but it is not too bad. My wife was quite worried about getting drenched, but it was not as bad as she had expected and the rain poncho that they provided was enough to keep her dry and it was a great addition to have for the Journey Behind the Falls. The Journey Behind the Falls gives guests the opportunity to actually go down below into the bedrock and behind Niagara Falls. You go down an elevator a long way and when you get to the bottom you have three vantage points to see Niagara Falls through tunnels. This is an amazing behind the scenes look at Niagara Falls that you would never get otherwise. Be ready though as the temperature really drops that far down and the noise in the tunnels is quite loud!
The Butterfly Conservatory was quite a ways north of Niagara Falls, off the green line on the WEGO Bus line. We ended up taking our car up there, but just note that if you do there is a $5 Canadian charge to park there. While we visited before the grounds were well landscaped or when the flowers were growing, I could tell that the area would be beautiful later in the summer. Inside the building they had a nocturnal animal exhibit and the butterfly exhibit that I was expecting. As you go through this butterfly exhibit I have to say that this is larger than any other butterfly exhibit that I have visited before. There were so many butterflies and they were very friendly as you can see in the pictures. We had numerous experiences when they landed us making the visit memorable.
Finally, one last thing I wanted to share was that back at Niagara Falls we ended up having both lunch and dinner overlooking Niagara Falls at Elements Restaurant. While the falls were usually veiled in mist and rain while we were there we could tell that this would definitely be the best view that you could have without getting wet and being outside. During both meals we were able to have a great view of Niagara Falls and the food was amazing. They had a wonderful array of flavors mixed together to make the food special. One item that I tried the Element Burger was especially juicy, and I added in a special blue cheese that was made by monks in Quebec (talk about unique). The wait staff were also so attentive, friendly and great with kids, and we even were able to work with the same waitress at dinner (as she stayed late from her shift just to interact with us once she saw we were there). We loved our experiences at the restaurant and would definitely give this 5 stars, two thumbs up and more!
Even though the weather was a bit sketchy, we still had a great time and created a ton of memories that will not soon disappear.
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