Babies and ToddlersCanadaEverybody OutdoorsNorth AmericaOntarioVacation Ideas

Ontario’s Falls and Flutter-Bys

By November 19, 2013 April 19th, 2018 No Comments

flickr-Old Shoe WomanThere is something magical about butterflies. Tiny little creatures with bright, vivid colors and more spectacular patterns than you could possibly imagine. They tend to live where it is warm and the flowers and other flora are as exotic as they tend to be. Infants will love to watch them flutter about overhead—Mother Nature’s own mobile. Parents and little ones can experience this scene together at the Butterfly Conservatory in the Niagara Parks in Ontario, Canada.

Another spectacular show

Most visitors come to the north side of Niagara Falls to see the cascades themselves, which isn’t a bad plan, but this area has a bunch of other things to do for parents with babies. The Butterfly Conservatory is located on the grounds of the Niagara Botanical Gardens and has more than 2,000 beautiful butterflies. Babies closer to their first birthdays will be able to appreciate the Emergence Window, which gives visitors a front row seat as the butterflies break free from their pupae and take their first flights into the world. They seem to float about like colorful snowflakes in the observatory as they fly freely inside the warm building, which is furnished with lush plant life and bright flowers. Occasionally, if you stand quite still, a member of one of the 45 butterfly species that live there will land on your shoulder. Babies will delight in trying to focus in on all the little creatures as they flutter by, and those who are learning to walk will have plenty of space on flat, even walkways to try and chase them.

Children five and under are free, so load up the stroller and meander along the wide, paved pathways of this exotic little paradise any month of the year. The hours vary by season, but you can generally expect to visit between 10am and 5pm.

flickr-rysamemExperience the Falls

The sheer size of the falls combined with the roar of the water as gravity pulls it back toward solid ground and the constant feeling of walking through a cloud makes simply standing still a great experience! Take the stroller for a spin on the pathways above the falls and enjoy the mist on your face, or strap the baby to your chest and throw on a poncho for a ride on the Maid of the Mist where you will get up close and personal with the falls.

The only experience that compares with being underneath the falls is being behind them. The Journey Behind the Falls allows visitors to descend to the bedrock tunnels behind the waterfall to view (and hear) Niagara from underneath the tremendous sheet of tumbling water. Explore these passages and peer out through the water while the rushing sounds entice your little one to sleep.

flickr-Jorge in BrazilOntario has lots to offer

The Canadian side of the falls is full of natural beauty and has plenty of free activities to keep you and your baby entertained. Naptime is ideal to take a drive on the scenic Niagara Parkway so you can admire the panorama while your child is lulled by the ride. Take in some culture by visiting the Ten Thousand Buddha Temple, stroll through the Niagara Falls Farmers Market on Saturdays year-round or practice your animal sounds together at the petting farm at Happy Rolph’s Bird Sanctuary.  The sights and sounds on sunny days makes Niagara Falls the perfect weekend getaway for parents and baby. Delight in your baby’s endless smiles on an interactive and unforgettable Niagara Falls trip with the whole family.

 

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Shauna Armitage

Author Shauna Armitage

Shauna Armitage is an editor by day and a social media addict by night. She's also the co-founder of Pure Wander, a passionate traveler and mother of two little nuggets. She loves hiking with the family, staying in hotels that deliver cheeseburgers to your room at midnight, and all the red wine. Pinot Noir please. Connect with her on Twitter @CarpeCalamus

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