Whether your children are toddlers, grade-schoolers, or teenagers, the odds are good that you fret about the amount of time they spend in front of a screen as opposed to interacting in the real world. Smartphones, tablets, computers, televisions — the recent explosion of two-dimensional wonders is unprecedented, and many parents, pediatricians, and researchers are still trying to figure out what it might mean and what the effects on children will be.
Well, check your concern at the door. When you and your family head to Niagara, limiting screen time is going to be a whole lot easier. Here are four ways you can leave the devices behind and keep your kids fully present in the here and now that are unique to Niagara.
1. Get Outside
No matter what time of year it is when you visit Niagara, you should be able to get outside with your brood. Hiking and biking is popular throughout the region, and whether you’re scrambling over rocks in the Niagara Glen or maneuvering the Niagara River Recreational Trail on rental bikes, neither you nor your children are likely to long for the screen while you’re working up a sweat out in Mother Nature.
2. Hit the Great Canadian Midway
With over 300 games, the Great Canadian Midway will easily keep your little ones’ interest. Declare a competition regarding who can score the most tickets with a $5 bill. Challenge one another to an old-fashioned game of Skee Ball. Even if no one in your family enjoys the same kind of arcade game, you should all still be able to happily fill a few hours in the arcade with nary a thought about who might be messaging you on your smartphones or tablets.
3. Head to Water
Of course, one of the main reasons Niagara Falls is on the map is thanks to our eponymous waterfalls. While snapping a bevy of pictures is a common response to seeing millions of gallons of water roar past you, once you get your fill of documentation, the waterfalls make for a great reason to skip the screens.
Head out onto the Maid of the Mist or Hornblower Niagara Cruises, and you’ll definitely want to keep your electronics locked away safely and dryly in your car or hotel room. Anything else will risk ruin and a chance you’ll miss out on the experience happening right before your eyes.
4. Head to Water, Again
It isn’t just naturally occurring water that will help keep you and your family’s eyes off your screens. Indoor water makes for a mighty screen deterrent, too. As soon as you and your kids step foot inside the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, all thoughts of screens, social media, and Facebook Likes will fade from your giddy minds. Whether you spend the day racing down water slides, rollicking in the wave pool, or relaxing in a hot tub, your real, wet life will more than keep you screen-free.
So, take a break from all those screens in your life. Head to Niagara for the family vacation of a lifetime, and remember what it’s like to hang out in real time and space together.