Short Trip to Niagara Falls

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desertdug08
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Short Trip to Niagara Falls

Post by desertdug08 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:01 pm

Hi All,
3 day stay in Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. Hotel has an indoor water park to keep kids happy for the evenings. Planning on taking boat trip to view the falls. Any other family activities to suggest?

Cheers,

DUG

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dm200
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Post by dm200 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:51 pm

Go on the Maid of the Mist (either Canadian or American), the Cave of the Winds http://www.niagarafallslive.com/cave_of_the_winds.htm

Also, there is an attraction that takes you to the base of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

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Magnetar
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Re: Short Trip to Niagra Falls

Post by Magnetar » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:18 pm

desertdug08 wrote:Hi All,
3 day stay in Niagra Falls on the Canadian side. Hotel has an indoor water park to keep kids happy for the evenings. Planning on taking boat trip to view the falls. Any other family activities to suggest?

Cheers,

DUG
I am interested in a similar trip. Can I ask where you are staying? Why you picked Canadian side? Any other tips?
Thanks.
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Re: Short Trip to Niagra Falls

Post by JDCPAEsq » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:24 pm

Magnetar wrote:Why you picked Canadian side?
I was born and raised in the Niagara Falls, New York area and I must sadly tell you the Canadian side has been far nicer than the US side for the past 40 years or so. You can thank the shortsightedness of the politicians for ruining what was once a US attraction for the entire world and is now largely dominated by the Canadians.
John

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Welland Canal

Post by rewarren » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:27 pm

If your kids are into ships, canals and locks -- take a tour of the Welland Canal locks. Do a google search on 'Welland Canal locks' to find info.
Watching a big ship work through the locks is neat.

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SpringMan
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Post by SpringMan » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:46 pm

IMO the lower rapids are worth seeing. There is an elevator ride down into the gorge to a boardwalk along the river. Also, there are some botanical gardens worth visiting if you are into that type of thing.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

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Fletch
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Post by Fletch » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:54 pm

You might enjoy Fort Niagara.

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Whirlpool Jet Boat tours

Post by Torg Fadum » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:50 pm

Hi Dug,

In addition to the many attractions right at the Falls, you might be interested in one of the Whirlpool Jet Boat tours in the lower Niagara River from either their Niagara Falls, Ontario, or Lewiston, New York, locations. My family and I have taken the tour a couple of times from the Lewiston side. It’s a fast, bumpy, wet and exciting boat ride. If the link below doesn’t work, please Google “jet boat tour Niagara Falls”: http://www.whirlpooljet.com/default.aspx

I am originally from Grand Island NY, located in the Niagara River about seven miles above the Falls. Sadly, I echo JDCPAEsq’s comment that the Canadian side is far nicer than the American side. However, the Falls’ natural beauty is awesome from either side; the city of Niagara Falls NY, not so much. Regardless, you’ll want to spend at least part of a day on the US side to get real close to the American Falls itself, the upper rapids, Goat Island, Bridal Veil Falls, the US end (on Goat Island) of the Canadian (Horseshoe) Falls, etc.

I don’t know how young your kids are, but in a few locations you’ll need to keep a tight watch (or grip) on them depending on their ages. You can get right down to the water’s edge by the upper rapids, but don’t even think about getting wet there.

If you decide to walk rather than drive across the Rainbow Bridge to get to the US side, wear comfortable shoes because it’s a long walk. (And don’t forget your passports.) The traffic on the bridge can really get backed up.

Have a fun trip.

Regards,
Torg
Oklahoma City

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schnoodlemom
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Post by schnoodlemom » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:31 pm

SpringMan wrote:IMO the lower rapids are worth seeing. There is an elevator ride down into the gorge to a boardwalk along the river. Also, there are some botanical gardens worth visiting if you are into that type of thing.
We did this two years ago with our then 8 & 11 year olds. We had our bikes and rode all the way from downtown Niagara Falls to the Botanical Gardens with Butterfly Conservatory (Canadian side). Nice riding path, very pleasant. We took the Maid of the Mist and Journey behind the Falls tours, as well as rode the Sky Wheel. We stayed in the Embassy Suites on the Canada side in an upper level room with views of the falls. They had fireworks some nights. Have a great trip! Amanda

edit:"Journey behind the Falls" for "Cave of the Winds"
Last edited by schnoodlemom on Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by imagardener » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:16 pm

Niagara Falls was a fantastic trip for us last year, so much natural beauty on both sides of the border. But your kids will love cheezy Clifton Hill. Do not deny them this pleasure.

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Post by dyelun » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:36 pm

dm200 wrote: Also, there is an attraction that takes you to the base of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
I think this might be called "Behind the Falls"

There's a bunch of things to do on Cliffton Hills but mostly tourist traps (wax museum, haunted house, etc), so buyer beware. There's also a giant ferris wheel at Cliffton; a little pricey for what it is though.

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Re: Short Trip to Niagara Falls

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:43 am

desertdug08 wrote:Hi All,
3 day stay in Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. Hotel has an indoor water park to keep kids happy for the evenings. Planning on taking boat trip to view the falls. Any other family activities to suggest?

Cheers,

DUG
A little more adult, perhaps, but the Edwardian town of Niagara on the Lake has been done up in a very nice fashion. There are also lots of winery tours you can do (another trip ;-)).

But Niagara on the Lake is a real gem. Not sure how much for kids to do.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail ... _Days.html

Lady of the Mist is well worth doing.

Generally I found Niagara Falls (Canadian side) tacky and disappointing but I haven't been there in 20 years.

The Falls themselves transcend that.

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Re: Short Trip to Niagra Falls

Post by bdavidson » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:32 am

JDCPAEsq wrote:I was born and raised in the Niagara Falls, New York area and I must sadly tell you the Canadian side has been far nicer than the US side for the past 40 years or so. You can thank the shortsightedness of the politicians for ruining what was once a US attraction for the entire world and is now largely dominated by the Canadians.
John
On the US side, he can visit the ancient ruins of the Rainbow Centre and Wintergarden, or wonder what the hell that turtle-shaped building is, and why everything is dilapidated or "under construction." :roll:

Niagara Falls, NY is a great place to be "from."

Enjoy your time on the Canadian side and if you run out of things to do, go up to Toronto for more options. Niagara-on-the-Lake does not favor young children, in my experience, but a great destination for adults.

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Post by Dan999 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:41 am

I would recommend the butterfly house up the river on the Canadian side.
Good for kids and adults. Can be crowded with school tours though.
You actually walk in among the butterflies.

Also we liked the dinner theatre. I think it was called O Canada.
Lot's of adults, some kids and several bus tours. If you have the right frame of mind it can be fun. History, music, corny jokes and ok food.

I would check out Trip Advior Forum for other great ideas.
Mostly be sure to take the Maid of the mist boat tour, and also stand next to the falls at the top and experience the awsome power of it all.

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LH
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Post by LH » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:34 am

desertdug or others,

As you are going to the falls, and actively considering all these things, as I was wondering if you/others could give a summary of them? Some of them seem to be under differing names and such, and many like maid of mist thing, are repetitive, and clearly recommended. Then there are multiple boat rides I think. sounds like a trip I will duplicate here in the near future, so I am very interested in what you end up doing. Have two kids 7 and 8 now. Below is my rough list, which is likely incorrect. The big thing is what are the no brainers. The bike ride recommendation sounds like something we would do.

No Brainer listt
Maid of mist
stay on canadian side

Other list
Stand next to falls at top (US side too? or just canadian side?)
go to base of falls (from which side, both?) "behind the falls" canada
go to riverwalk along the rapids
butterfly exhibit canada side
jetboat tour niagra falls (do both maid of mist and this?)
Cheesy kids stuff area named clifton hill
elevator ride to lower falls (US side, canada side, both?)
Botanical gardens -how many are there, what is best?
Fort Niagra
Cave of Winds
Sky Wheel
Niagra on the lake
dinner theater "o canada"
Bike ride across falls - this sounds pretty cool to me

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LH
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Post by LH » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:36 am

Also, is there like a "go niagra" card like a go chicago card, or a citypass card, that aggregates everything?

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schnoodlemom
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Post by schnoodlemom » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:43 pm

LH wrote:Also, is there like a "go niagra" card like a go chicago card, or a citypass card, that aggregates everything?
We bought passes through the Park Service that included several attractions similar to this one in the link :

http://www.niagaraparks.com/plan/buy-ti ... kages.html

Amanda

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desertdug08
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Post by desertdug08 » Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:46 pm

Hi All,

Just got back from our trip to Niagara Falls. Used much of the advice and had a great time. We stayed on the Canadian side and was amazed at the difference. US side not really developed at all. We had 3 full days to spend at the falls. We bought one of the four attraction passes with "free" transpo on the people mover bus. Lessons learned:
We stayed up Clifton Hill about a 1/4 mile away from the falls. Lots of walking up and down the hill. Lots and lots of walking (even with bus passes) so bring a good pair of shoes. We did Maid of the Mist, Viewed the Rapids, Walked up to the base of the falls, and of course walked the tourist area at Clifton Hill. It was quite exhausting. If I had to do it again, I would pay a little more for a hotel closer to the falls. 3 days was about right. We took our time. Started around 11:00 and would relax in our hotel room by 4:00pm and then head out again around 7:00pm for dinner. Oh yeah, fireworks at 10:00pm were excellent. My kids 11 and 16 were not interested in the "historical" sites but really had a good time at the falls and shopping...they visited every shop available while I sampled the "domestic" beer! :D
The falls were spectacular and we never got tired of just "looking" at the water go over the falls.

Cheers,

DUG

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Kenkat
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Post by Kenkat » Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:02 pm

The other thing I would really be sure to do is to visit Goat Island on the US side. You can get up close to the falls and literally feel like you are standing in the middle of the river with the water rushing by you and over the falls. I think it's the single best view of the falls available.

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Post by Gekko » Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:20 pm

Anchor Bar Buffalo Wings.

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Post by nisiprius » Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:01 pm

We saw an almost complete circular rainbow in the mists around Horseshoe Falls, viewing from Victoria Park in the late afternoon. Amazing!

I don't know whether you can always see them there in the late afternoon, or whether you need to have the right kind of wind to create the right kind of mist or what, but it's worth trying for.

We found it quite worthwhile to take long walks and see the Falls from different points of view and at different times of day.

Googling suggests that there are other vantage points from which to see a circular rainbow:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g4826 ... .Mist.html
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Post by Toons » Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:11 pm

I live not far from Niagara Falls. I would highly recommend visiting the Canadian side as the American side is in woeful condition.As someone mentioned in another post Fort Niagara in Lewiston NY,just a few miles from Niagara Falls is very pleasant as is the State Park it is located on.It is situated right on Lake Ontario and the view is quiet spectacular :D


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Post by simmons.alice » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:00 am

Your kids will definitely enjoy Fort Niagara :)

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Dan Moroboshi
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Post by Dan Moroboshi » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:21 am

I lived in Buffalo NY for only one year, twelve years ago, and that damned MarineLand jingle is still permanently etched into my brain.

♫ In Niagara Falls, Ontario
MarineLand is the place to go
It's amazing shows and Friendship Cove
Everyone loves MarineLand! ♫

♫ You can take your family for the day
Watching the whales and the dolphins play
Seeing friends you miss
A great big kiss
Everyone loves MarineLand! ♫

I typed that from memory, and I'm afraid to search the web to verify if I got it right. If I hear that jingle again, I fear it will consume my brain.

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Post by Valuethinker » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:33 am

Dan Moroboshi wrote:I lived in Buffalo NY for only one year, twelve years ago, and that damned MarineLand jingle is still permanently etched into my brain.

♫ In Niagara Falls, Ontario
MarineLand is the place to go
It's amazing shows and Friendship Cove
Everyone loves MarineLand! ♫

♫ You can take your family for the day
Watching the whales and the dolphins play
Seeing friends you miss
A great big kiss
Everyone loves MarineLand! ♫

I typed that from memory, and I'm afraid to search the web to verify if I got it right. If I hear that jingle again, I fear it will consume my brain.
I recall it well.

If any city deserves a regeneration it is Buffalo. From the public spirited 'let's go Buffalo' of the TV news (most especially Irv Weinstein at Eyewitness News, and I grew up on the 'Commander Tom' children's show), to the grand old victorian houses, the city has struggled with its long term decline.

My parents said that in the early 1950s you would go from starchy, Presbyterian Toronto, where there was literally nothign to do on a Sunday (even movie cinemas were closed) to Buffalo for the weekend to have fun.

Now Toronto has all the smug arrogance of the nouveau riche, plus the exurban sprawl spectacularly ugly and badly planned, and Buffalo is... Buffalo. Once the city with the most millionaires in North America.

It's really sad to see.

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Post by bdavidson » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:47 pm

Valuethinker wrote:If any city deserves a regeneration it is Buffalo.
Maybe Buffalo should be the site of BOGLEHEADS 10?
Irv Weinstein wrote:It's eleven o'clock. Do you know where your children are?

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Post by joe8d » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:43 pm

Maybe Buffalo should be the site of BOGLEHEADS 10?
You certainly would be more than welcome :D

A few remarks:

Irv retired out to California a number of years ago, so Toronto no longer has the impression that " Buffalo's burning down".

Canadians still come down,but now it's to shop.Half the cars you see in the malls have Ontario plates.

Biggest project going on now is the rebuilding of our end of the Erie Canal into a tourist attraction.

I still prefer "Beef on Weck" ,our original local favorite, over wings.

And Dan, The Fantasy Island " FUN, WOW!!!!!" commerical use to drive me nuts :lol:
All the Best, | Joe

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Post by Gekko » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:57 pm


bdavidson
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Post by bdavidson » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:09 pm

joe8d wrote:You certainly would be more than welcome :D
Now we're "Talkin' Proud!"

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joe8d
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Post by joe8d » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:13 pm

Now we're "Talkin' Proud!"
:)
All the Best, | Joe

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