Niagara Falls

Incredible destinations we’ve been over the last 5 years.

Niagara Falls is a touristic destination located on the border of US and Canada. The gorge spans the
border between Ontario in Canada and NEW York in USA. The Niagara Falls is actually a collection of
Falls (American and Bridal Veil Falls on the USA side), and the mighty horseshoe falls also known as
Canadian falls (this is where majority of the water from the great lakes flows over) that straddles the
USA-Canadian border

Niagra Falls Map Route

Our goal was to do the Maid of Mist tour and Cave of the Winds tour so on the morning of the drive, we
did a quick google search and discovered that the Maid of Mist boat tours depart the dock every 15min
and the trip is about 20min, we had the option to purchase the tickets online, on the other hand, the
cave of wind tour was self-guided and online ticket was not available, we also took note of parking,
coming from Warren PA, we were nervous about driving through NY and having to park, we learned that
there were 4 parking lots available so we had a target to park at parking lot#1 as this would provide
quickest access to the 2 tours we were all eager to take.

In preparation, we packed some lunch, snacks and water. We also packed extra sets of clothes as we
had read reviews indicating we will get wet. As you may be aware, we homeschool our kids and in
preparation, our kids watched a short video about Niagara Falls and did some worksheets on Niagara
Falls (worksheets and videos can be found on google) We really like the short series by Homeschool Pop
and we downloaded worksheets form LiveWorksheets. We combine all these along with our other home
school curricula in educating our children.

We quickly had breakfast (homemade gluten free pancakes, hot chocolate, sausage, and toast) took a
shower, packed our stuff and hit the road.

We drove 2hrs (114miles) from Warren PA, passing through the towns of Jamestown. Fredonia, Angola,
Hamburg, Buffalo before arriving at Niagara Falls NY. Our drive was great, the kids were busy doing a
word find and we listened to some music as we soaked in the views of the surrounding area with great
anticipation of checking out the largest waterfall in North America.

 

ticket price aferican journey

Worksheet

Niagra Falls Planning Worksheet

Our route

Niagra Falls Destination Route

Kids busy during the road trip.

Niagra Falls Car Activities Aferican Journey

Our lunch

Niagra Falls Aferican Journey Cooler

We arrived at Niagara Falls shortly after 11am EST and found a parking spot in Parking lot#1. The place was already looking very busy, so we are very happy to find a parking spot easily. 

We went to the visitor center and presented our online tickets to the Maid of Mist tour, we then headed to the waiting line where we presented our tickets and then proceeded to the next waiting line to board the elevator to the location of the tour. Once we exited the elevator, we were given Ponchos and proceeded to the waiting line to get on the boat. From the time we presented our tickets to the time we boarded the boat was about 30min. 

The Maid of Mist boat tour was a thrilling experience; magnificent views of the falls, getting wet, power and magnitude of the fall. Words cannot describe the feeling you get

Niagara Falls

Niagra Falls Aferican Journey Trips

Maid of Mist boat tour

Niagra Falls Aferican Journeys Trip

After the Maid of Mist tour, we walked to the ticket office for Cave of Winds tour, there was no line, so it was quick enough, however, our tour was not going to be ready another hour, so we used this opportunity to walk back to our car and warm up our lunch

Niagra Falls Aferican Journey Trip

After lunch, we headed to the Cave of Winds tour. Once we presented out tickets (our timed entry was 3:52 p EST), we were ushered into a room where there was a short video about the falls, Nikola Tesla and modern history,  after watching the movie, we then exited to a different room/ area where you can opt to get some sandals if you don’t want your shoes and socks getting wet (sandal cost is included when you buy the tickets and you can leave your shoes at the entrance if you chose to wear the complimentary slippers), we did not get the sandals because we wore our own Keen sandals to this place, so we proceeded to get on line for the actual tour (the line was a little longer than the Maid of Mist tour because by now, more people had come into the state park)  We rode the elevator and after exiting the elevator we walked through an enclosed sloped pathway that led to us out to where the we could see the falls. We were given ponchos and informed that it was a self-guided tour.

The Cave of Winds tour was equally thrilling as the sights and sounds of the water are incredible from the walkways below and we thoroughly enjoyed “getting washed by the rushing water of the falls” stop. We could not stop laughing, we had lots of fun. We were reminded of childhood memories playing in the rain.

 

Niagra Falls Aferican Journey

Having completed this tour and with a 2hrs drive back home, we quickly found our car and started the journey back.

Next time, we will be sure to visit the falls from the Canada side, we hear it is 1000x better. WE could not view the falls from Canada because of Covid restrictions, we did have a small glimpse of Canada though 😊.

Our kids had few things to say about their experience and would love to go back and do the helicopter tour of the falls. They also think that the falls may be extinct, and they are just glad they have already seen it.

Niagra Falls Kids Notes Maximize Fun

Deeanne (7). The notes in blue are followup notes

Niagra Falls Maximize Fun Kids Notes

Yvonne (5)

TO MAXIMIZE ON YOUR FUN

  • Expect to get wet.
  • Wear something light that can easily dry off; the ponchos are great, but you could get wet even if you wear them. Wear shorts and slippers.
  • Bring an extra bag to store your shoes in case you opt for the complimentary slippers.
  • Consider the tour times, busy nature of the place and the fact that this is a touristy destination; Heading to this place early enough in the day helps a lot.
  • Bring a waterproof bag for your valuables e.g., cellphone, camera. 
  • Hurricane deck is a great experience and cheaper, if you just want to see the falls and not get wet or spend a lot of money on the tours.
  • Kids will love this, it’s like a splash pad x1000 / water ride at a fun theme park.
  • If you travel as a group, ensure you stay as a group-once you wear the ponchos and there is wind and water mists-its easy to get lost.

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