My daughter is quite the little traveler. She has a curious list of places she wants to visit and on that list was Niagara Falls in Canada. For some reason, the ginormous waterfalls were at the top of her list. And Canada itself seemed to be of interest to her. The maple syrup, the moose- just the culture. And this kid loves learning about new cultures.
As usual, she researched fun facts about Canada and it’s famous Niagara Falls. So, we decided to surprise her, pack up the car and make the trip. From New Jersey, it’s about a 6-8 hour car ride. It depends on how many stops you make. Surprisingly, we didn’t have to stop much. I guess as kids get older, the potty stops lessen which is a good thing.
Car ride tips:
- DVD players and a good movie selection are a great way to kill time.
- Coloring books and pencils or crossword puzzles keep little minds entertained.
- Pack a blanket and pillow to keep little ones cozy.
- Snacks and drinks are a must!
Since it was a last minute trip, we were not so sure on where to stay. I will tell you that the next time we visit, I will be sure to book the Sheraton which overlooks the falls and has an indoor waterpark. If you have kids, it will be worth it. We stayed about a five minute drive from the falls at the Hampton Inn which was clean, included breakfast and was decently priced. The hotel had a pool but it was outdoors and a bit cold because it was in the shade.
The cool thing about our hotel was that it was right next door to a colorful buddhist temple, Cham Shan Temple (Ten Thousand Buddhas). It was really a site to see. We were so curious, that we walked over and a monk stepped out and invited us inside. The people were very kind and gave my daughter a comic style book for children about meditation. The temple was beautiful and had amazing peaceful energy. If you have time, check it out.
There is so much to do for the whole family when visiting Niagara Falls but it can also make for a great couples or friends trip. There’s basically something for everyone. First, you will want to book your boat ride at the falls. I admit, I was terrified to do this but after it was over I was so glad I got to experience it. I’m not a great swimmer, so that much water just makes me nervous. But trust me, if I did it- so can anyone!
You can take the boat ride at night when the falls are lit up or in the day. We opted for the daytime but a walk along the falls at night is a must. The lights are simply beautiful.
Tip: Wear rain jackets because you will get wet walking by the falls. When taking the boat ride, wear water shoes.
For dinner, games and overall amusement- Clifton Hill is a lot of fun. There’s always live music and something to do like play at the arcade, attractions- that sort of thing. My daughter loved it but I’m not a fan of that stuff. Got to do it for the kids, right?
If you’re not afraid of heights, another great way to view the falls is from the Skyline Tower.
One of my favorite places we discovered while driving around was Niagara on the Lake. It is simply the cutest little town with mom and pop shops, boutiques, pretty hotels, theaters and lots of vineyards.
On the way there, we found some more scenic areas with other attractions like a ride across the water, for example.
There is plenty to do in Niagara Falls, Canada but these were the highlights from our trip. We also drove out to Toronto for a day to explore the city and have dinner there before heading back home. My daughter had a lot of fun and wishes to go return someday. Hope you find this post helpful in planning your own trip to Niagara Falls.
Happy travels 🙂