Saturday, May 14, 2016

Canada: Niagara Falls

My family and I decided that we needed to knock another vacation destination off our bucket list.  So, we decided on a New York City road trip during the summer of 2015.  From Michigan, it made sense for us to stop in Niagara Falls too.  I had no idea that there was so much more to this stop than just getting out to see the falls! Here is our experience:

After soliciting feedback from friends/family, we decided that the Canadian side of the falls had the most to offer our family (versus the United States side).  This was the first time that my kiddos and I had ever been to Canada.  My husband had been to the falls before before but he was young and it has changed a lot since then.  

First, we had to adjust to the changes in measuring temperature and distance.

I received many text reminders indicating that it would cost more to use my cell phone in Canada.  We opted to keep our phones off for most of our time out of the US.

Hockey fans!

The candy options were a little different.  Smarties are actually large coated chocolate pieces.

That's one way to get all of your toys to the lake!
Note:  It is not okay to take pictures when you are crossing the boarder.  I almost had my phone taken away from me because I used it to take a picture!

Our hotel was in the perfect location (above #14 in this map)!  But, just a few months after our visit, they demolished it for a new attraction that will be opening in Spring of 2017.

A view of our hotel from above.  

Another view of our hotel.
Some of the rooms have balconies that face the Clifton Hill and Niagara Falls area.

Another view of how close our hotel was.  It looks like (via their website) a future go-cart option will be there.

Clifton Hill is where all the action is!  

Of course we had to stop here!  We were surprised to find out that this is one of few franchise locations.  They were also not aware of the reward program Hard Rock offers.  Which is crazy since we have had our account for many years.  They did figure it out though and provided training to the staff  - at our table....

This is also a franchise and they refused to take our reward program information.
Penny smasher that does smash pennies.  Instead they give you a "loony" which is like a penny but no print on it.  It makes a lot more sense to me since I was never clear why it is legal to smash a penny!

Canada dollar and a lonnie.

This one does smash coins.

Tons of photo opportunities!

A very kind lady gave my kids free tickets to ride this!

The Clifton Fun Pass is a must!  It covers so many of the attractions and you save a ton of money. 

Our pass included two rides on this.  We did one during the day and one at night.

In my defense, I forgot to put my 3D glasses on - LOL!

Skylon Tower
There is a rotating restaurant on top!

Views of Clifton Hills

Falls View Waterpark Hotel

Just like Hollywood BLVD - LOL!

It's time to explore the falls!

Along the boardwalk:

Looking at the New York side.  Notice the walk out tower on the left of the picture.  That allows visitors to get out further for a better view of the falls.  To the right of the falls there are stairs.  On the New York side you can get really close to the falls!  And wet!

A better view of the United States side of the stairs to the falls.

View of United States side.
View of United States side.

We purchased Adventure Pass' for the family.
When you pick up your passes at the ticket office, they will schedule your times for the attractions.  

First, the Horn blower Niagara Cruise.  Plan to get wet!!!

Free mist ponchos.
They are handed out AFTER you go buy the nicer ponchos you can purchase.

Niagara's Fury
We had no idea what to expect with this and it was a blast!

Our Package also included a "WEGO" pass which allowed us to hope on and off the WEGO buses.  This came in handy a couple of times. 

My kids love any opportunity to stand up while in a moving vehicle :-)

Beautiful fireworks

Be observant of where you plan to see the fireworks.
They close off a portion of the walkway (where we planned to be) so we ended up in a bad spot....