Niagara Falls is a great family travel destination with a variety of things to see and do. Our family’s impromptu stop gave us just a taste of all the things we’d love to do there.
Due to hitting the road early in the morning on the first official day of our family road trip from New Hampshire to Cedar Point Park, OH, we had the luxury of time to surprise the kids with an impromptu stop at Niagara Falls, USA side.
We found Niagara Falls State Park a little difficult to navigate to. With individual sites for the Canadian side and the US side, information for the Canadian side was more prominent and easier to get directions to. We would have loved that if we had valid passports, but we still need to get the kids passports and renew ours.
Niagara Falls is easily accessible with restaurants, shops, and hotels right outside the entrance, making it walkable. If you just come to town for the day you can park in a lot outside the Falls for $10 a day.
Things We Did at Niagara Falls
Since we had less than an hour to see Niagara Falls we didn’t book any of the Niagara Falls attractions but spent some time on the lower level of the Visitor’s Center reading the geological timeline and a little area history.
After that we walked the short path out to the falls, went a little giddy at checking something off the adventure bucket list (nope, not me. Not at all.) and watched Maid of the Mist boats come and go from the Canadian and USA sides, noting one side is red and the other blue. Before we left we walked along the border and wished we could pay the walking toll to cross the bridge to Canada. Maybe Niagara Falls isn’t off our bucket list yet after all.
What We’d Love to do at Niagara Falls
After we left Niagara Falls we plotted what we would do if we were staying there for a couple days. Here are just a few things we put on our list. There are so many more things to see and do so we believe you need to visit the site and start making your own family road trip plans. Also be sure to note the Discover Niagara Shuttle runs May- to mid-October. We saw it was free this summer but make sure you verify that before using.
- Visit Canada
- Maid of the Mist Tour – This boat tour that takes you along the base of Niagara Falls has been in operation since the 1800s and looks like a spectacular way to get close to the Falls. (Open April – beginning of November)
- Observation Tower – you access Maid of the Mist from here. There is a fee.
- NYPA Niagara Power Project – Science fun with exhibits on hydroelectricity and an observation deck (Open year ’round)
- Old Fort Niagara – Explore history with 18th century buildings and living history programs where many fought for this continent. (Open year ’round)
- Niagara Adventure Theater – Get a whole new look at Niagara Falls with this video look into history’s daredevils.
Visit the Niagara Falls website to plan your trip and look at buying the Discovery Pass to save some money on your Niagara Falls family adventure. If you’re visiting in the summer, consider grabbing this comprehensive guide to camping and book a tent site instead of hotel. Also make sure you check out my tips for packing for a road trip.
If you’re planning a family vacation to Western, NY be sure to check out our guides for free things to do in Rochester, NY, things to do in Rochester, NY, and what to do in LeRoy, NY. You’re sure to find plenty of fun inside.
Now let’s head to our next RTKB Travels destination: Cedar Point Park, Ohio.