Niagara Falls is one of the few Ontario tourist attractions that was made for the Family Day and March Break holidays – it offers a little bit of everything that a family can enjoy together.
Other places, like ski resorts, are dependent on the right weather (but not everyone is into skiing).
But in Niagara Falls, there is a long list of events big and small that families can join in, and generally for a reasonable cost over the February 19 holiday weekend and then the March Break from March 12 to 16.
Let’s start at Point A for everything that is tourism in the Falls – the mighty falls themselves.
To stand at the brink of the waterfalls, with just a steel guardrail and a short drop separating you from the world-famous cataract, is a thrill no matter how many times you’ve done it.
Especially in February – when the ice bridge may well still be formed at the bottom of the falls – the experience is unforgettable, and the water seems to draw you toward it.
Right behind you is Table Rock House, a good place to warm up and have something to eat and drink during your stop at the falls.
If you want your family holiday headquarters to be close to the Horseshoe Falls – and why wouldn’t you? – the Holiday Inn By The Falls is up to the task.
Located on Murray Street in the heart of the tourist district, and an easy walk to the falls and only three minutes from Niagara Fallsview Casino, this five-star hotel offers several holiday packages for families or couples to take advantage of for the full Niagara Falls experience.
It also offers indoor and outdoor pools, free in-room wireless internet, a fitness centre, in-house restaurant and bars as well as business services.
And Niagara Falls has a busy March Break planned, too, from March 12 to 16.
For example, the Bird Kingdom on River Road is a place where families can go face-to-face with dozens of tropical bird species, including parrots, owls and bats, and in some cases get to hold them.
It’s the world’s biggest indoor aviary, home to rare, colourful winged creatures that will amaze and amuse.
Clifton Hill will be open as usual, too. The ‘Street of Fun’ is home to wax museums, thrill rides, video centres, restaurants and moving theatres, and it too is just a short walk from the American Falls and a little further the Horseshoe Falls.
There are other ways to experience the majesty of the falls besides standing up top and taking it all in. You could descend 125 to the base of the waterfall and travel through 130-year-old caves, through the Journey Behind The Falls.
Talk about a whole new way to experience Niagara Falls. At one point, you will emerge at the bottom beside the falls and be able to gaze up at the rushing water and ice formations that tower over you.
It’s a side of Niagara Falls that people sometimes don’t think about, amid the glitz and thrills the city’s image usually conjures up.
So start at the Holiday Inn By The Falls and set out from there. All this will get you and your family off to a weekend-long experience the kids will remember forever (without breaking your wallet).