Niagara Falls really exceeded all expectations. It was one of the best trips we’ve taken with the kids and no one wanted to leave on the last day. I had been looking for somewhere we could drive to for Spring Break, and I’m so glad we spent part of the week in Canada enjoying all that the Niagara Falls area has to offer. This is our Niagara Falls with Kids Itinerary. It’s a 3-day itinerary. We crammed a lot in but there was still more to see and do. Niagara Falls with kids is a fun, memorable trip to take.
My husband has been wanting to go to Niagara Falls for as long as I can remember. I always thought it was a long drive with not much to do except to look at the Falls. Then, I discovered that one of my kids has “wanted to visit Canada forever” so I started looking into going to see Niagara Falls and stay on the Canadian side. I couldn’t believe how many things were popping up to see and do in the area.
We drove from New Jersey to The Lake House on Canandaigua. Read more about that here. Then when our stay there was over, we drove about another 90 minutes to Niagara Falls. We opted to stay on the Canadian side of the falls. I asked friends and asked on Instagram, and basically every single person said “stay on the Canadian side for sure!” Now that we have gone, I am 100% in agreement: stay on the Canadian side. Driving across the border was a breeze. We waited maybe 10 minutes and handed our passports to be checked without ever getting out of the car.
Where to Stay in Niagara Falls with Kids
We stayed at the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel. It’s a popular Niagara Falls resort hotels for families and we loved it. There’s a really cool indoor courtyard with trees and gardens. This is where the indoor pool is, so you really can enjoy sitting by the indoor pool while not feeling like you’re trapped in a tiny indoor pool space.
In addition to the trees and plants, there’s a very high ceiling adding to the outdoor vibe. Inside the courtyard there’s also a really fun kids playpark, arcade games & a poolside snack bar. The rooms face into the courtyard which we loved. People always ask how we fit in a hotel room: we got 2 adjoining rooms, each with 2 double beds.
Inside the hotel you have Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub which is awesome. We ate there for breakfast and dinner. The food is great and it’s a fun upbeat spot for families. There’s also a really neat indoor golf facility that just opened inside the hotel. It’s called the Niagara Golf Lounge , and Tom and the kids enjoyed some time playing golf there.
I can’t say enough good things about this resort hotel. The staff was wonderful and really helpful. Also to note: in the parking lot next door to the hotel is a grocery store and pharmacy. This was great for getting snacks, sunscreen, etc.
Niagara Falls with Kids Itinerary
White Water Walk: We drove straight to the White Water Walk. It was the perfect start to the trip because all needed to get some energy out post car ride. The White Water Walk is a quarter-mile boardwalk along the Niagara River. It shows you how powerful the water continues to rush as it travels from the falls.
There are a number of viewing platforms (some spots where you might get wet!) You can also read the signs along the boardwalk to learn about the the plant and animal life you may see on your visit to Niagara Parks.
Hotel Check in and hang at the hotel. The kids enjoyed the indoor play area, arcade and golf. Then we had dinner at Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub in the hotel. We finished the day with swimming at the hotel’s indoor pool.
Breakfast at Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub
Butterfly Conservatory: This is a must for your trip! Inside the Butterfly Conservatory, you’ll be surrounded in beautiful butterflies flying around you. If you’re lucky, one might land to say hello. The Butterfly Conservatory features over 2,000 colourful tropical butterflies floating freely among the conservatory’s lush, exotic blossoms and greenery. It’s easy to get to and there’s plenty of metered parking.
Lunch at the Rainforest Cafe: From the Butterfly Conservatory we drove over to Clifton Hill and parked for the rest of the day. We went in for lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. My kids had never been to one and they all love animals, so I knew it would be a hit. They enjoyed the food and especially enjoyed the cool drinks. We were there long enough to experience the volcano erupting a few times too!
Walk along the Niagara Parkway: We walked down to the Niagara Parkway to see Niagara Falls! It was so fun to see the kids’ reactions when they first saw it (and Tom’s too!). We walked along the parkway to the Niagara Power Station. From Clifton Hill to the Power Station you are walking closer and closer to the Falls, enjoying the view the entire way.
Niagara Parks Power Station: This spot is SO cool. This is newest landmark attraction in Niagara Falls. The turbines inside the power station came to a halt years ago and Niagara Parks has brought the station back to life in an entertaining and educational way. It was truly fascinating to see how the “Canadian Niagara Power Company generating station” has used the powerful energy of the Horseshoe Falls and turned it into a electricity for 100 years. There was also a great little coffee & snack bar inside that we took a break in before heading down to The Tunnel.
The Tunnel: This was our favorite activity of the whole trip. You access The Tunnel from inside the Niagara Parks Power Station. You take an elevator down 180 feet beneath the Niagara Parks Power Station. You then walk through a 2,200-foot-long tunnel. When you get outside, you’ll see a truly breathtaking panoramic view of the falls from the viewing platform. You are right at the river’s edge. We were really lucky and when we walked out of The Tunnel there was a rainbow! Note: you get access to The Tunnel with your regular admission to the Niagara Parks Power Station.
Dinner at Table Rock House Restaurant: After The Tunnel, we walked back along the Niagara Parkway to Table Rock House Restaurant. Definitely make a reservation here for your trip! The views of Niagara Falls from the restaurant are amazing. The food was excellent too – and don’t skip the dessert!
Wax Museum: We wanted to see the Falls Illumination and had some time before it got dark. We had passed the Movieland Wax Museum Niagara Falls when we walked from our parking spot and the kids were all begging to go. They had never heard of a wax museum before and got such a kick out of all their favorite characters. We had to take a photo with each one–ha!
Falls Illumination: Each night Niagara Falls lights up for the Falls Illumination. Every night of the year the falls are lit up at night. It’s really neat to see and I heard that in the summertime there are also fireworks.
Breakfast at Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub
Boat Tour: No trip to Niagara Falls is complete without a boat tour and the classic Niagara ponchos. We did the Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour. It was an absolute blast. Do the ponchos help? Barely! You will definitely get wet.
- The Niagara Skywheel
- Niagara Speedway
- Dinosaur Adventure Golf
- Zombie Attack
- The Cosmic Coaster
There are even more things to do there – check out their site for details, hours, etc.
Skylon Tower: We finished up our Niagara Falls trip with a stop at the Skylon Tower. We did this last before driving home. The Skylon Tower was built in the 60’s. The tower features these really cool outside mounted ‘Yellow Bug’ elevators. They’re a fun way to ride up into the sky! When you get to the top, you can go out into the observatory and see some pretty incredible views.
The kids were tired from an exciting day and slept for the drive back to NJ. Feel free to reach out with any Niagara Falls questions and be sure to see some of our fun in action in this Niagara Falls Reel.