3 Reasons Adults Should Spend a Day at Fallsview Indoor Waterpark

WPblog1Traveling to Niagara Falls for the vacation of a lifetime is something millions of people do each and every year. Some are families looking to have a great time in one of North America’s most kid-friendly spots. Others are couples looking to take some time out to enjoy one another in a beautiful, entertaining, and relaxing environment. Still others are groups of friends who hope the Niagara region can live up to the hype of never providing a dull moment.

Regardless of which category you find yourself in, the odds are good that, when you come to Niagara, you won’t be disappointed in the least. From the wineries and the waterfalls to the arcade and the casinos, the fun that can be had here really is legendary — especially if you don’t stick to the standard grownup itinerary.

Most people assume that Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is a place that’s only suitable for kids, but when used well by adults, it’s a pretty grownup place as well. Here are three reasons adults who visit Niagara should spend a day at our massive indoor waterpark, from the adults-only Jacuzzis to the thrill of racing down one of the giant slides.

WPblog2It Really Is Fun

It’s hard to oversell just how fun it is to splash, slide, and swim with good friends or the love of your life, and when you pull on your swimgear and step into Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, the opportunities to splash, slide, and swim are almost endless.

With over 125,000 square feet of water-centered entertainment, you can:

  • Spend time bobbing along gentle waves in the wave pool
  • Race you friends to see who can best the other the most in racing down a six-storey-high water slide
  • Laze in the sun and work on your tan
  • Relax in an adults-only Jacuzzi where nary a child is welcome

In short, the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is the place where all the watery fun had as a child can be yours again.

You’ll Work up an Appetite

One of the best parts about being on any vacation is getting to eat delicious food in an entirely new place. In Niagara Falls and the surrounding area, food is a local highlight and treasure, and the hungrier you are the better it will taste and the more of it you will get to consume. One of the unintended but reliable consequences of spending all day at a waterpark is that you’ll most likely have worked up a massive appetite. Whether you then take in a five-course meal at the Rainbow Room later that night or you head out to the country to enjoy a winery’s excellent restaurant, you’ll be grateful for the advantage of a bigger appetite.

The People-Watching

From the harried parents working hard to keep their cautious eyes on their overactive five-year-old triplets to the young teenagers flirting on the slides, Fallsview Indoor Waterpark provides for some of the area’s best people-watching — especially if you just want to kick back and watch a bunch of children have the time of their lives. Joy is always an emotion that’s great to witness in another, and at Fallsview, you’ll get to see it plenty.

So, bring your grownup self and your grownup friends to Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, where every day can be the best vacation you’ve ever had.

3 Reasons to Take the Kids to Fort Erie

WPblog9Going on a family vacation is one of the many thrills and trials of being a parent. Making memories is fun, yes, but the stress of meeting everyone’s expectations can be tricky. How are you supposed to keep your kids from bickering? How are you and your partner supposed to enjoy a little romance now and again when you’re always with the little ones? What entertaining events and attractions can you schedule that everyone can agree on?

For the family headed to Niagara, these concerns needn’t hold sway. The region is filled with world-class entertainment that’s sure to please even the unhappiest camper among you.

The town of Fort Erie is a perfect example of the wealth of fun in store for you at every turn. From the Railway Museum to Crystal Beach, here are three reasons to take your children to Fort Erie when you head out for your Niagara vacation.

1. Fort Erie Railway Museum

Fort Erie is a great place for any history or military buff to visit, but because it also boasts a railway museum, kids usually like it, too. One of four museums located in Fort Erie, the Railway Museum’s biggest appeal is its actual Canadian National Railway steam engine. Built back in 1948, the steam engine on display was used well into the 1960s — a time when Fort Erie’s rail yard was the third largest in all of Canada.

See plenty of rail-related artifacts and tools, as well as Ridgeway’s original Grand Trunk Railway Station and the CN B-1 station, former functioning railroad stations now being preserved for posterity at the Fort Erie Railway Museum.

WPblog102. Crystal Beach

Crystal Beach is a small community within Fort Erie that’s home to one of the most beautiful beaches along the Great Lakes. With beautiful sand and stunning, clear waters, the beach is the perfect place to swim and sun during the summer months, and it’s so calm and serene that, during the cooler months, it makes for a perfect lakeside walk or family football game.

An amusement park operated here for over 100 years, and you can still see vestiges of what it used to offer. After you’ve explored and frolicked, head to Mabel’s Gourmet Pizza for a meal everyone in your party will love.

3. Black History

An important part of North American history, Fort Erie was a prominent stopping point for fugitive enslaved people seeking freedom from slavery in the southern United States. Thanks to its location just across the border from Buffalo, New York, Fort Erie became the new home of many prominent members of the black community such as Josiah Henson, whose autobiography inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to write “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

It was here in Fort Erie that W.E.B. Dubois started the Niagara Movement, which laid the foundation for what would one day be the NAACP. Regardless of your family’s personal history, Fort Erie’s role in the Underground Railroad is one that should be celebrated.

So, get your family to Fort Erie. From the beautiful beach to the pizza and the history, it’s a place you and your children won’t soon forget.

Breakfast in St. Catharines

WPblog5One of the reasons Niagara Falls makes for such a fantastic family vacation spot is because it’s a city surrounded by town and villages that make interesting destinations in their own right. From the shores of Lake Erie to the Niagara Escarpment, the place is full of a culture, people, history, and life unique unto itself. While every minute of every day could be fawned over and given exact coordinates for the family seeking to squeeze as much out of their Niagara experience as possible, doing so would elicit as many possible itineraries as there are people who visit each year. That being said, breakfast in St. Catharines can be boiled down to something of a science.

Whether you’re headed here with three-year old triplets, the love of your life, or all four, here are the places you need to go to get that all-important first meal of the day in St. Catharines.

Beechwood Doughnuts

First things first: The name is Beechwood Doughnuts, not Beechwood Donuts, so you know they’re serious. How serious? 100 percent vegan serious, and because they’re only open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, you’d better assume they expect you to treat their donuts like you’re headed to brunch.

So, sleep in late, and make a leisurely time of it. Their donut offerings range from Glazed and Pistachio to Death by Chocolate and Banana Peanut Butter Fritter. Gourmet doughnuts with none of the animal business? Just one of the many reasons it’s always a great day to eat breakfast in St. Catharines.

WPblog8Rozie’s Breakfast Café

If you and your crew want to be fed, coffee-ed, and watered in the wee hours of the morning so as to make the most of your day, Rozie’s is the place for you. Family-owned and operated — like so much in the Niagara region — Rozie’s is open every day from 6:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., and they serve a mouth-watering menu of traditional breakfast fare from a simple dish called the Rozie’s: two eggs and toast to the massive Rowers Hard Ten: three eggs, toast, pancakes, and four pieces of bacon, sausage, ham, peameal, or meat substitute. Rozie’s also has a children’s menu for the wee ones in your charge, and their coffee is some of the best in the area.

The Bleu Turtle Breakfast Bistro

If you’re looking for a breakfast option on the fancier side that can still satisfy your desire for tasty and delicious fare, you should head to the Bleu Turtle. Focused on providing food sourced from local farms, the Bleu Turtle creates everything from scratch, from their delicious bread to their pancake mix and condiments.

Highlights include the Lobster Benedict, the Smoked Salmon Potato Latke, and the Mushroom Frittata, but even if all you dine on is the side of Fried Cheese, you’ll be more than well-prepared for whatever your day of Niagara touring has to throw at you. They also have a fabulous lunch menu should you decide to breakfast elsewhere but still want to hit the Bleu Turtle before the sun goes down.

There’s a reason breakfast is the most important meal of the day: It’s delicious. Get the best there is at these three St. Catharines establishments.

4 Ways to Limit Screen Time When You’re in Niagara

WPblog3Whether 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

WPblog4Of 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.

How to be Romantic When You’re in Niagara — With Children

WPblog1Being in love can transform the most mundane experiences into memories that last a lifetime. Cloudy days seem sunny. A mediocre meal takes on the sheen of a couple Michelin stars. A poor performance review at work becomes little more than just a helpful suggestion.

In similar fashion, traveling with your beloved is always a tremendous pleasure, except during those times when travel with your beloved must include an unfortunate caveat: your children.

Can a family vacation ever include romance? It’s all in how creative you’re willing to get. Here’s a look at how you can be romantic when you visit Niagara even when you have your children in tow.

Plan Ahead

While you’re planning your Niagara vacation, why not plan ahead and insert some romantic moments into it, too? From ordering flowers and having them delivered to your hotel room to scheduling a couple’s massage while the kids are at a matinee movie, planning ahead will make sure romance doesn’t take a backseat to time with the kids for every minute of every day.

While the amount of romantic planning you can pull off will directly correlate to the age and dependency levels of your children, there’s bound to be a little romantic wiggle room in your itinerary if you elbow it out early enough.

Be Sneaky

One of the easiest ways to be romantic is to catch the one you love by surprise, and in Niagara, the opportunities are endless. Sidle up next to her while you’re all staring agape at the waterfalls and lace your fingers through hers. Spend a day at Fallsview indoor waterpark and wear your kids out so you can spend a quiet evening in. Send your teenagers out for donuts and coffee while he’s in the shower so you can have a little time to yourselves before they get back to your hotel room. Write little love notes and stow them away in the pockets of clothes she already packed the night before you hop on a plane.

Even when your days and nights are filled with family fun and responsibilities, if you’re sneaky in the right ways and at the right times, you and your partner can still feel as though you’re enjoying romantic moments all over Niagara.

Take a Walk

WPblog2Even if your children are little, you can still head out for a romantic stroll. Yes, they’ll be with you, but Niagara affords plenty of opportunities to revel in natural beauty and the joy of one another’s company that are just as safe and fun for lovebirds as children of all ages.

Spend some time in the Botanical Gardens or wander over to the Dufferin Islands. One of the simplest and nicest places to take a walk is through Queen Victoria Park, where you’ll also have a great view of the waterfalls as well.

Just because you’re on a family vacation to Niagara doesn’t mean you have to eliminate all thoughts of romance. From planning ahead to ensuring some surprise by being sneaky, you and your partner can rekindle your romance even while you head out for your fourth meal of pizza in three days.

3 Niagara Hikes Your Kids Will Love

wpblog1Not every family makes a point to get in some good, daily exercise while on vacation. Worrying about health doesn’t often land too high on most people’s vacation itineraries, after all. That being said, if you’re like most parents out there, the prospect of going a whole week without getting your kids’ heart rates up enough to tire them out doesn’t sound too thrilling.

Sure, there’s the energetic fun to be had at Fallsview Indoor Waterpark and the constant racing away from you whenever you head into a store or attraction, but to really benefit from the lowered rates of bickering and earlier bedtimes brought about through exercise, you’re going to need to aim at something a bit more athletic.

Whether or not your children are big fans of the great outdoors, a hike is a great way to blow off steam, use up energy, and otherwise set everyone up for preserving the peace. Here are three Niagara area hikes that your little ones should be able to do, and they’re likely to love every minutes of it.

Mount Nemo Conservation Area

Okay. So the name of this conservation area is already bound to be popular with most little ones, but bearing the same name as a popular animated clownfish is just the beginning. At just over two miles long, the Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club trail is located along the Niagara Escarpment. Set in a forest that at one point follows the edge of an abandoned quarry, the trail showcases some of the least disrupted forest in all of eastern North America, and the thick undergrowth of ferns and moss feels downright prehistoric.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for birds, insects, reptiles, and small mammals throughout the hike, too. You stand a good chance of seeing everything from dragonflies and terns to porcupines and salamanders.

Dufferin Islands Park

Located in the Niagara River just south of Niagara Falls, Dufferin Islands Park is made up of a group of manmade islands that are linked by bridges. While zipping from one little island to another won’t take up too much time or expend too much energy, if you have little ones who love to play hide and seek or I Spy or you take the time to craft a scavenger hunt, the Dufferin Islands make for a great and interactive hike.

The Waterfront Trail

wpblog2.jpegA trail that covers over 750 miles, you and your little ones can easily catch the section that runs from Happy Rolph’s Bird Sanctuary to Malcolmson Eco Park. Less than two and a half miles round-trip, this portion of Waterfront Trail will take you along the shore of Lake Ontario via parts of the Welland Canal.

You can spy everything from big ships to migratory birds and small mammals along this trail, and when you’ve returned to the start, you and your kids can spend some time at Happy Rolph’s Bird Sanctuary, which houses everything from migratory birds to a playground and petting zoo.

Get in some exercise your next vacation by heading to Niagara and taking in one of these three hikes that your kids are bound to love.

When You Don’t Want to Leave the Hotel: 3 Kid-Friendly Restaurants That Deliver

wpblog6Vacation can be exhausting — especially for the little ones in your charge. After a fun-filled day of sightseeing, zipping down slides at a massive indoor waterpark, and otherwise enjoying yourselves more than you thought humanly possible, it can sometimes feel like tempting fate to also expect small children and even teenagers to have the energy and self-control to cooperate with a sit-down dinner at a restaurant.

After you’ve had a great time, why risk ruining a perfect day with something tailor-made to create conditions most favorable to a meltdown in the evening? Niagara Falls has plenty of restaurants with kid- and adult-friendly menus, and some of the best ones will also deliver food right to your hotel room. From exotic foods to familiar standbys, here are three Niagara restaurants you can patronize from the comfort of your pajamas.

Pho Xyclo

Is there anything better than hot, fresh Vietnamese food delivered right to your door? Popular local restuarant, Pho Xyclo, is a great option when you need a delivery option that’s not just reliable but also exciting. Especially if you have a mix of adventurous and picky eaters to feed, the wide variety of outstanding South Asian dishes, as well as the availability of plain noodles and rice, makes this eatery a perfect match for almost any family’s needs.

They’re closed on Mondays through the winter months (November 1 through April 31) but are otherwise open and ready to make the trek to your hotel room. So, order up something delicious, climb into something comfortable, order up your family’s favorite movie, and dive into some of the best food the city has to offer.

Passage to India

Another popular restaurant, Passage to India serves up fantastic Indian and Pakastani meals seven days a week, all year long. They also make everything from scratch without any MSG, preservatives, or additives, so you can feel good about choosing their food for your little ones. Whether you’re craving vegetable pakoras or tandoori chicken, their food is superb, and it can all be delivered to your room with little more than a phone call.

If one of your little ones refuses to eat anything but chicken fingers, you’re in luck. Passage to India has a small kids’ menu that includes Chicken Strips. They’re open every day from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Pete’s Pizza

wpblog8With almost more locations that you can shake a stick at — seven to be exact, although only two of them are in Niagara Falls proper — Pete’s Pizza is ideal for those nights you need to stay in when you also want to make sure you avoid any trouble regarding getting your kids to eat.

Whether you want extra cheese, pineapple, anchovies, or pepperoni, Pete’s can make you a pie to please everyone who’s traveling with you, and on the off-chance someone insists they won’t eat pizza, they also offer wings, chicken fingers, onion rings, and fries. They open every day at 11 a.m., and some nights they don’t close until 4 a.m.

So, go ahead and wear yourselves out. You’ll still get to eat like kings on your Niagara family vacation with delivery from one of these great restaurants.

A Brief Look at Some of the (Many) Kid-Friendly Wineries in the Niagara Area

wpblog3One of the greatest benefits to taking your family vacation in Niagara is that, in addition to the amazing kid-centered attractions for which the area is famous, there are also countless fun things for you and your partner or spouse to do as well. While it’s true that everyone, regardless of age, can have a great time at the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark and the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum, some adult-centered fun can be hard to include the kids in.

Thankfully, Niagara’s many wineries don’t fall into that category. From tours that even little ones can enjoy and learn from to stroller-friendly paths, here are just some of the wineries in the Niagara Peninsula that you and your kids can wander happily through together.

Trius Winery at Hillebrand

Stroller-friendly and with a great restaurant to boot, the Trius Winery at Hillebrand makes for a great stop on a family vacation. One of the area’s pioneering wineries, Hillebrand has been in operation for over three decades, and they produce some of the finest VQA wines in the region. They offer talks, tours, dinner events, and more on-site. Take in a daytime tour with your kids, and even if they prove to be more of a handful than you’d hoped, there’s always a delicious tasting at the end that will settle your nerves.

Peller Estates Winery

Another pioneering winery in the Niagara region, Peller Estates is a family-owned and operated winery that has produced many award-winning wines over the years. They have a daily basic wine tour that’s fun and informative, and they also offer pairing seminars for food, cheeses, and chocolate.

The restaurant on-site is one of the finest in the area as well, and lunch and weekend brunches provide the perfect opportunity to sit down for an unforgettable meal with you children, while you all eat stellar food that you get to enjoy paired with Peller wines.

Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery

wpblog4One of Canada’s most stunning architectural sites, touring Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery with your children will be an unforgettable feast for their little eyes. One of the most technologically advanced wineries in all of North America, you and your children will learn all about gravity-flow assisted winemaking and the classic vinifera grapes grown on-site: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Riesling.

If you want a quick and impressive education for you and your children that will be accompanied by some excellent wine, touring Jackson-Triggs is a must.

Frogpond Farm Organic Winery

Ontario’s first organic winery, Frogpond makes for a perfect family outing because of their commitment to sustainable growing. Not content to just avoid pesticides and other harmful chemicals, the good people at Frogpond actually work to create a sustainable and mutually beneficial ecosystem at their winery, which means you and your brood will spy plenty of birds, bugs, and animals, including guinea fowl, which are kept on-site to eat insects.

Powered by 100 percent–renewable and green energy, Frogpond makes a great tour for anyone who wants to instill in their children the importance of sustainable eco-practices.

So have your cake and eat it, too, when you head out on your next family vacation. When you tour Niagara’s wine country, you can bring the kids along for the ride, the education, and the sights, and you can sample some of the region’s spectacular wine.

Why Niagara in March Is Perfect for a Family Vacation

wpblog1Thanks to the way the school year is structured, most families take their main vacation during the warm summer months, and while a vacation in the summertime has much to offer — bountiful sunlight, long days, fully operating seasonal attractions — there are some downsides to taking your primary vacation as a family during the summer as well.

Whether you’ve got a week off due to Spring Break, or you just choose to finagle a couple extra days next to a weekend, the little-appreciated month of March is actually one of the best times of year for you to take your Niagara family vacation. From the attractions to the rates, here are some of the reasons you should consider heading to Niagara this March for vacation.

The Waterpark

One of the best parts about going on a summer vacation is the water fun that’s available almost everywhere you go. While southern climates can definitely offer some watery fun in the middle of March, Niagara Falls can, too. Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is tailor-made for entertainment no matter what the weather outside is like. With 125,000 square feet of water-centered activities including slides — one of which is six stories tall — a wave pool, hot tubs, a splash park, and more, you and your kids will feel like you’ve happened upon a magical summer right in the middle of March in Niagara Falls.

The Crowds

While the energy provided by the hundreds of thousands of tourists who descend upon Niagara Falls every summer is palpable and exciting, one of the main advantages of visiting in March is that those tourists haven’t yet arrived. You and your children won’t have to crane your necks or elbow any strangers to get a good look at the waterfalls, because the amount of people visiting during March is so much lower than it is during June, July, and August.

Take your time and never feel like you’re competing for space. Vacationing in Niagara in March can give you all the breathing room you need.

The Rates

wpblog2Because the crowds haven’t yet returned to the region, many area businesses and attractions provide lower rates in order to attract business during the winter months, and, in most cases, those cheaper rates extend through the month of March.

From hotels and museum entrance fees to airplane and rental car rates, traveling to Niagara in March can help you spend less money.

The Attractions

One of the reasons people often like traveling during the busiest season is because they don’t want to miss out on any of the attractions that might be closed during the off-season. While the winter and early spring does see the closure of the Maid of the Mist, the Whirlpool Jetboat, and the Cave of the Winds, everything else is open and running.

In other words, you can still see: Journey Behind the Falls, the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum, Bird Kingdom, the Butterfly Conservatory, all the wineries, the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, the waterfalls, Niagara Gorge… seriously, the list is a very long one.

So try out a new vacation timeline this year. Instead of taking your vacation during the oft-traveled summer months, head to Niagara in March where you and your kids can have a less harried, still perfect family vacation.

Experience Magical Holiday Savings at Falls Avenue Resort

FamilyWavePoolMake a getaway to Niagara Falls the highlight of your holiday season with Falls Avenue Resort’s amazing Holiday Magic packages, starting from only $189! Choose from accommodations at one of four Falls Avenue Resort hotels, including Skyline Hotel & Waterpark, Clifton Victoria Inn, Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls-Fallsview, and the 4-Diamond Sheraton on the Falls, and also receive four two-day passes to the 3-acre Fallsview Indoor Waterpark.

The waterpark has been awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence Award for three years in a row and continues to be a family-favourite attraction for visitors and locals alike. You will step out of winter and into warmth to experience 16 thrilling water slides, a giant wave pool, 1,000-gallon tipping bucket, adult-only Jacuzzis, and so much more.

RacingSlidesYour Holiday Magic package will give you access to even more excitement with four passes to the Adventure Heroes Laser Ride, Wild Safari Mini Golf, Combat Bumper Cara, and a magnificent magic show on select dates. And for unbeatable savings on spectacular Fallsview dining experiences, you will receive a Kids Eat Free Meal at the Fallsview Buffet Restaurant or the Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra, as well as a Kids Eat Free lunch or dinner at Planet Hollywood.

Visit Fallsview Indoor Waterpark to book your Holiday Magic experience and warm up to incredible savings on amazing Niagara Falls family getaways!