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Niagara Falls: Two Countries for Dual Family Vacations

By February 19, 2015September 11th, 2020One Comment

rainbow over Maid of the Mist and Niagara Falls

Piling in a car from Boston and driving hours to Niagara Falls, Ontario is one of the first international trips for many East Coasters. It’s an ideal family-friendly destination that offers a little bit of everything, from natural wonders and theme park attractions to affordable hotels and delectable cuisine. Your kids won’t forget the first time they lay their eyes upon the giant Niagara waterfalls, which never fail to leave a lasting impression. Here are some fun places for kids to experience, as well as plenty of good times for grownups too.

Getting to Niagara Falls with a Crew

Taking a road trip from various locations within the U.S. and Canada is always an option to help save on your vacation budget. Flights frequently are available into Buffalo, New York, which is only 30 minutes away by car. There is a small airport in Niagara Falls on the New York side, but it only accepts a few domestic flights from Florida and other, more obscure, locations. By flying into Buffalo, families could spend a few days exploring that city, then head up to Niagara to create more memories. Renting a vehicle is possible through the airport, but taxis and car services are also readily available.

Figure Out a Game Plan

First, consider what time of year you’d like to visit and reserve your pick of Niagara Falls hotels. The northern location ensures that late fall, winter, and early spring involve cold temperatures and lots of snow. If your brood does not mind the chill, take advantage of the cheaper hotels and lack of crowds. However, the Falls and surrounding attractions are beautiful in the late spring and summer seasons, offering many more outdoor activities and events.

The New York side of Niagara offers two large waterfalls. There are places to stay and things to do, but the state does not have as much development for tourists as Canada does. On the Ontario, Canada, side, there is the iconic Horseshoe Falls and other water drops to experience, plus the city itself full of attractions. Feel free to hop between the U.S. and Canada, but everyone will need passports and currency according to the location.

There are plenty of chain, boutique and luxe accommodations to suit all needs. The Marriott Niagara Falls hotel has one of the best views of the Horseshoe Falls, while the Days Inn hotel downtown is most affordable.

What to Do in Niagara Falls with Kids

Take your little ones and head straight for the massive waterfalls on a Maid of the Mist boat ride, which has been in operation for decades and offers an immersive experience from the water itself. Alternatively, watch the gushing water from an observation deck underneath that provides hours of entertainment—just don’t forget your ponchos. The Niagara SkyWheel is a blast for the brave souls who want to see the falls from a giant Ferris wheel. Downtown offers many more things to do, such as the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, the Great Canadian Midway, and Niagara Daredevil Exhibit.

Let us know if we can help in achieving your travel goals, we love to offer personal tips and advice – ask away. 

Eileen Cotter Wright

Author Eileen Cotter Wright

Eileen Cotter is a freelance travel journalist and owner of Pure Wander. She's our resident expat extraordinaire and falls down a lot in yoga class. Follow her on Twitter @Crooked_Flight

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