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Are you planning a trip to Niagara Falls with kids and wondering what to do in Niagara Falls with kids? You’ve come to the right place! Niagara Falls is a great family vacation destination, with lots to do for kids of all ages. As one of the world’s most renowned natural wonders, Niagara Falls is a fantastic place to create unforgettable memories with your family. In this blog post, we will explore the top things to do in Niagara Falls, Ontario, with kids and why it should be on every family’s travel itinerary. Here is our 2 day Niagara Falls itinerary.
Also, keep in mind that we came here with the sole purpose of seeing the falls and partaking in all the tourist attraction Clifton Hill has to offer. If you have more time or want to explore other areas, a day trip to Niagara on the Lake is a fun idea. But if you want to know which attractions in the immediate area are worth it, keep on reading to find out what to do in Niagara Falls with kids. This was much different than other trips we have taken but my daughter enjoyed being able to walk to every single attraction! Read on for some tips on visiting Niagara Falls with kids.
And something very important to note if you are driving in as a single parent or a solo traveling parent: make sure you have all the documents you will need to enter Canada to prove you are allowed to travel alone with your children. Since I was alone with my daughter, I had a travel consent form notarized and signed by my spouse. Not only was I asked for it, the border agent asked me a million questions, asked to see my hotel reservation and searched our car. I have taken my daughter to close to 20 countries by myself without my spouse and have never been this interrogated so be prepared!
Which side of Niagara Falls is better?
Are you wondering which side of Niagara Falls is better? While both sides of Niagara Falls offer unique viewpoints and attractions, we feel that the Canadian side is much better. You will have much better views of the falls from the Canadian side. The Canadian side provides a more expansive and panoramic view of the falls, especially the iconic Horseshoe Falls.
The Canadian side also offers better family entertainment. Located on the Canadian side, Clifton Hill is a bustling entertainment district with attractions like casinos, museums, restaurants, and other family-friendly activities.
Don’t get me wrong, you can still have a positive experience on the American side but if you want the views and entertainment, I would head into Canada. We stopped on the American side on our way to the airport and as you can see, it’s pretty obstructed and just driving through the area around the falls, there’s not much to do entertainment wise.
When is the best time to visit Niagara Falls?
Wondering what is the best time to visit Niagara Falls? The shoulder seasons of spring and fall tend to offer pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and beautiful scenery. If you prefer a more vibrant atmosphere and don’t mind larger crowds, summer can be an excellent choice. Winter can be a quieter time with unique photo opportunities, but be ready for colder temperatures.
We visited in June, a few days before the official start of summer and it wasn’t overly crowded. The daytime temps were in the high 70s, making it great for walking around without being too hot. There were no lines for attractions during our visit, even on weekend evenings, so I would say it’s a great time to visit. The East coast schools are still in session, which I think is the reason for such low crowds!
How many days do you need in Niagara Falls?
Unlike other destinations, we think a 2-3 day visit is a good starting point to experience the main highlights of Niagara Falls. This timeframe allows you to appreciate the falls, partake in boat tours, visit key attractions, and enjoy some leisure time.
We had 2.5 days and felt like it was plenty to see the falls, main sites and do some of the tourist attractions in the area. We had no plans to venture outside of the area but if you do, you might need to add more time to your Niagara Falls with kids itinerary.
Where to stay in Niagara Falls with kids
Are you looking for a family friendly hotel in Niagara Falls? You’re in luck, there are countless options! When we visited this area in the past, we stayed at the Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa. Our room had a view of the falls and it was a really nice family friendly hotel in Niagara Falls Canada. Our biggest issue with this hotel was that parking took forever and you had to walk quite a bit to get to the Clifton Hill area and all the tourist attractions.
On our most recent trip, we opted for the Courtyard by Marriott Niagara Falls and it was a great decision! We parked right out front and the hotel was within walking distance to every restaurant and attraction we wanted to visit. Just walking outside the door we were in the middle of Clifton Hill. We had a room on the 10th floor, which gave us a great view of the nightly fireworks. This is one of the best family friendly hotels in Niagara Falls!
If you’re looking for more options, check out the map with Niagara Falls hotels below.
What to do in Niagara Falls with kids
Take a boat tour to see the falls
No visit to Niagara Falls is complete without witnessing the power and grandeur of the falls up close. Niagara City Cruises offers rides up to the falls on the Canada side and it’s a must do when visiting Niagara Falls with kids. This was a huge highlight of our trip, my daughter loved the boat ride and getting soaked as we saw the falls up close.
Visit the falls at night
Want to see the falls lit up? Then make sure to visit overlook after the sun goes down. We saw the falls lit up in beautiful rainbow colors and at 10 pm each night, there are fireworks over the falls. Be sure to check the schedule as this is seasonal. Kids will love seeing the lights and fireworks, this is one of the best things to do in Niagara Falls with kids.
Journey Behind the Falls
For a unique perspective, consider exploring the Journey Behind the Falls attraction. Descend into tunnels that lead you to portals just behind the falls themselves. Kids will love feeling the misty spray and hearing the roar of the water as it crashes down from above. It’s an immersive and unforgettable experience that offers a new level of appreciation for the falls’ power.
Explore Clifton Hill
Located near the falls, Clifton Hill is a vibrant entertainment district that offers a myriad of family-friendly attractions. From arcades and mini-golf to haunted houses and wax museums, there’s something for every age group. This is one of the best things to do in Niagara Falls with kids. Is it touristy? Yes, of course. But you are a tourist here so embrace the gaudy lights and let your kids have fun in a place that resembles Las Vegas for kids. Here are some fun attractions we visited in the Clifton Hill area.
You can purchase a Fun Pass to save money on multiple attractions as well.
Upside Down House
While walking around the Clifton Hill area, you are bound to pass by the Upside Down House. Is it a lame tourist attraction? Yes. Will your kids love seeing the inside? Also yes. You don’t need much time to explore it, as the inside of the house is actually really small but we had fun exploring the different rooms and posing for some cheesy tourist photos.
Great Canadian Midway
There are several arcades in Clifton Hill but this is by far the best one. There are lots of game options and the prizes are much better than any other. We don’t often go to arcades, so my daughter loved playing games here!
The Fun House
Another fun thing to do with kids in Niagara Falls is to visit the Fun House. You’ll see it while walking around the Clifton Hill area. If you plan on doing multiple attractions, they do offer discounts (something like buy 2 get one free) so ask when purchasing tickets.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not
While walking around the area, my daughter spotted Ripley’s Selfie Studio and wanted to go check it out. While buying tickets, we saw that they had a discount if you purchase a multi attraction ticket, which includes 3 attractions including Ripley’s Believe It or Not so we got that. If you’ve been to Ripley’s in other cities, it’s similar but with different exhibits. This is a fun way to spend some time, especially if you need to escape the weather.
Ripley’s Selfie Studios
Do you have a selfie lover in your group? Then this is the place for you! Inside you’ll find themed areas with light stands that have phone clips so you can take selfies. This was super cute and a great place to visit with teens and tweens in Niagara Falls.
Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks
Have you heard of Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum? Then get ready for Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks! Sure, many of the wax figures don’t look anything like their real self, but it was still cool to check out. This was part of the package with the two Ripley attractions, which is the only reason I would recommend going.
Hershey’s Chocolate World
Do your kids like chocolate? Then visit Hershey’s Chocolate World in Niagara Falls! While not as impressive as the one in PA, they have lots of candy options as well as a bakery with lots of yummy treats. This is one of the best kid friendly attractions at Niagara Falls.
Always Refreshing Soda Shop
Right next to Hershey’s is this soda shop. There’s a cute old fashioned seating area where you can order all sorts of ice cream and soda creations to enjoy. Your kids will love the retro look of this soda shop, it’s one of the best things to do in Niagara Falls with children.
Visit the Bird Kingdom
The Bird Kingdom is the largest free-flying indoor aviary in the world and a perfect destination for families. Walk among tropical birds as they soar above you, encounter reptiles, and explore ancient ruins. Kids will be amazed by the vibrant colors and exotic species found within this captivating environment. And if you’re concerned about animal treatment and ethics, the Bird Kingdom is a CAZA accredited agency. CAZA is the Canadian Association Of Zoos and Aquariums and this organization is made of of professional that make policies, standards and ethics pertaining to all aspects of a zoo as well as encouraging education and conservation. This is one of the best things to do in Niagara Falls with kids.
Where to eat in Niagara Falls with kids
Looking for family friendly Niagara Falls restaurants? You’re in luck! This area is filled with tons of kid friendly Niagara Falls restaurants. Here are some we tried and liked while visiting the area. We were pleasantly surprised with such great options in such a touristy area!
Kelseys Original Roadhouse
Located on a busy corner in the Clifton Hill area, this family friendly Niagara Falls restaurant has something for every member of your family. Ask for a table along the banister, where you can people watch while enjoying your food. My daughter and I split the poutine and chicken fingers (you can pick different sauces/seasonings for each portion). Not the most exciting food but she really wanted to try their poutine which was our reason for coming here. There were lots of families here, so if you have kids, you’ll fit right in.
Virsa Fine Indian Cuisine
Something you might not expect to see in such a touristy area is Indian food. Not just any Indian food, but truly authentic stuff. There were at least 7 Indian restaurants within walking distance of our hotel, something we did not expect at all! And, they were all packed with Indian people, which is always a good sign. We chose this one based on the menu options. We shared the butter chicken and it was really good. Keep in mind, the food here is spicy in case your kids can’t tolerate spice. This was one of our favorite family friendly restaurants in Niagara Falls.
Antica Pizzeria & Ristorante
One of the best family friendly restaurants in the Clifton Hill area was Antica. We weren’t expecting much, but the food was really good! We shared the bruschetta and Margherita pizza and both were really good. If you’re craving pizza or pasta, check them out!
Looking for dessert in Niagara Falls? Then check out Beaver Tails. Beaver tails are fried dough pastry, shaped into the long flat tail of a beaver. It’s then filled with toppings of your choice. I will be honest, neither me or my daughter enjoyed this but given how packed it was each time we passed it by, I’d say give it a try and see for yourself if you like it!
When in Canada, you have to try Tim Hortons. Yes, there are now locations in the US but we don’t have one anywhere near us and it was one of the few coffee places open in the morning (I am not a Starbucks fan). I wasn’t a fan of their coffee, but we did like their Timbits.
As you can see, Niagara Falls is a great destination for your next family vacation. From the breathtaking views of the falls to the entertainment in Clifton Hill, there is something for every member of your family. If you’re planning a family trip to Ontario, make sure to include Niagara Falls on your itinerary. Want to save this post for later? Pin one of the images below!