Niagara Falls: A Summer Family Guide

The following post is sponsored by Roomkey. All opinions, text and advice are my own.

If you love waterfalls, chances are you have heard of Niagara Falls, but have you been? This was something on our family bucket list and I am so happy to have checked it off the list. If you have been considering a family vacation here – book it (on the Canadian side)! The Canadian side offers a much better view of the falls and there is so much more to do when you have finished taking the perfect selfie in front of it.

The falls at Niagara are approximately 12,000 years old and is made up of three separate waterfalls. It is illegal to go over the falls – and those who do so are fined $10,000 (please don’t try something crazy involving a barrel!).

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While we loved our time here – much of the city seemed to be “under construction”. We look forward to returning in the future to see all the great updates! 

We have compiled a list of the three A’s: Accommodations, Adventures, and Appetite!  If you have any questions about Niagara Falls or our trip please shoot us an email! (Don’t forget your passports!)

Accomodations

Finding a place to stay usually takes up most of my time when planning a trip (that and watching flight prices). On this trip we used Roomkey to book our hotel room in Niagara Falls – making it so easy to compare prices because they show loyalty member prices directly from the hotels. Every search result will take you directly to your chosen hotel’s website to secure your room by booking directly with them. No third parties, no middle-man travel agencies. This hotel search site cut down our search time dramatically – easy peasy! 

We stayed at Hilton Fallsview. The location was what drew us to this hotel, being a short walking distance to the falls and surrounded by restaurants (as well as some great ones of their own). This hotel is also a stop on the WeGo bus route, can’t get more convenient than that.

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The hotel was under a lot of construction at the time of our visit and the pool was closed (we were given keys to the hotel next door for their pool). It is a bit tricky to get around – there are three different sets of elevators that take you to different areas of the hotel, but we got the hang of it! There is also a walkway to the Casino across the street so you do not have to step outside (great for winter months).

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Should you choose the Hilton Fallsview, opt for the north or south tower, they have the best views!  You can also see the fireworks from the falls view rooms every night (they are at 10pm).

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Adventures

Journey Behind the FallsAfter you descend 125 feet in an elevator, you get to explore 130 year-old caves built behind the Canadian falls. It is thunderous and you can FEEL how powerful the falls really are. There is an observation deck which you will receive a poncho for – this was by far our favorite part. You get soaked, but it is worth it to see the falls from that view point. There are also two viewing portals through the rock where you basically see a white sheet of water (this is behind the falls). We loved it – go early as it can get VERY crowded.

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Whirlpool Areo CarThis antique cable car takes you over spectacular views of the swirling Niagara Whirlpool and the Class 6 whitewater rapids of the Niagara River. You cross the border between Canada and the US four times on your ride. And if this gives you anxiety, rest assured it is a smooth ride and if traveling with little ones you can stand in the center where there are extra guard rails!

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Butterfly Conservatory This was one of our favorite things in Niagara that had nothing to do with the falls. With over 2,000 butterflies this had to be the most active butterfly house we had ever seen. It is located on the grounds of the botanical gardens which is a bonus (so beautiful). Definitely stop here – our littles did not want to leave!

 

Maid of the Mist – We walked across the rainbow bridge back into the United States to go on this iconic experience. Thankfully our boat was not packed with people (tip: go at lunch time, significantly less crowds). We opted for the lower level to avoid getting completely drenched. When you actually get into the rapids of the falls the boat lingers (this was a highlight for a lot of people to see the falls up close for so long). I couldn’t understand how the boat was not tipping over in that thunderous water – but we made it and highly recommend the Maid of the Mist!

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Bird KingdomThis is the world’s largest free-flying indoor aviary. You go through two different “hokey” areas before getting to the large aviary, and it is pretty amazing. There were hundreds of tropical birds soaring right over your head or on the pathway. There was also a bird feeding which we all participated in and my daughter went back a second time.

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WeGo Visitor TransporationThis bus system connects accommodations and tourism attractions throughout the city of Niagara Falls and Niagara Parks. We used 48-hour passes to get us around Niagara during our stay. We did rent a car to drive from the Buffalo Airport to Ontario, but we left it parked and took the bus to get to the attractions.

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Appetite

The Keg SteakhouseThis is located inside the Embassy Suites down the road from the Hilton. It had great views of the Canadian Falls and delicious food. I am hesitant to bring our kiddos into nice places because I typically think they will not be kid friendly, but the Keg was very accommodating to our family! Upgrade your wine to “the keg” for a 9 oz pour (!!!!).

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Tim Hortons – Did you really go to Canada if you didn’t eat at a Tim Hortons? We came here for breakfast one morning – delicious breakfast sandwiches and savory donuts!

Watermark RestaurantThis restaurant is located on the 33rd floor of the South Tower in the Hilton. Dinner is a 3-course selection and breakfast is a buffet. It offers views of both American and Canadian falls. Delicious food for both dinner and breakfast. Great place to view the fireworks while dining!

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Hard Rock Niagara – We stopped here after Maid of the Mist when we crossed back into Canada. The food was good but service was super slow.

Paramount Middle Eastern Kitchen – Located in the food court of the Casino Fallsview Resort, this certified Halal restaurant offers huge portions and delicious food. Everything here was delicious. They do not allow strollers inside, so we got the food to go.

Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse – We noticed Niagara Falls is big on steakhouses, so yes we ate at another one! Brasa is located inside the Hilton as well (convenience factor when you have kiddos) and had live music which was a nice touch. We had our fill of red meat and seafood, everything was delicious – get the grilled pineapple, yum! If anything was overcooked to your liking they went and got more. Very fun evening, though our waiter was missing most of the time for drink replenishments.

The Eagle House – We stopped here on our way back to the Buffalo airport. This is one of those places that when you walk in you can feel the history. It is Buffalo’s oldest restaurant and we just happened upon it thankfully! Food was delicious and staff was so friendly and attentive.

Until next time…

11 thoughts on “Niagara Falls: A Summer Family Guide

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  1. Great recommendations!! We went here within the past few years too but have so much more to do here we must return!! Thanks for all the suggestions!

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  2. Love those restaurant waterfall views! I didn’t know about the bus or the aero car. Niagara Falls is a great place for the entire family.

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  3. Oh wow, I’d love a restaurant with a view like that! Thanks for the tips, Niagara is super high on out bucket list so this is really useful

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