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Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is actually three different waterfalls - American Falls and the petite Bridal Veil Falls (on the U.S. side), plus the biggie Horseshoe Falls (in Canada). On either side of Niagara Gorge are two cities, Niagara Falls, USA and Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Tip: When you visit Niagara Falls, bring extra clothes and shoes along for the day, since everyone in the family can get wet.

Visitor Center - To get oriented, stop into the Visitor Center for maps and to see a splashy 40 min. movie Niagara: Legends of Adventure on the big screen in the Niagara Adventure Theater (headsets are available in foreign languages).
Niagara Scenic Trolley - If you have toddlers in tow, the scenic trolley is perfect. Take the half hour ride around the 3 mile loop. Or, there are six stops, where you can get on or get off at all the best spots.
Observation Tower - The observation tower juts out over the river and has top-down views of the American Falls. Take the elevator down to the bottom of the gorge, then climb the stairs up to the Crow's Nest lookout, for a close up look at the falls. (Observation tower is closed in winter.)
Maid of the Mist boat ride - Long a tradition at Niagara Falls, take a boat ride on the river to the bottom of Horseshoe Falls (ponchos are provided). Kids can't fall to impressed with massive amount of water pouring over the falls. Board the Maid of the Mist boats at the bottom of the Observation Tower. Trips are every 15 min., last about half an hour, kids 5 and under are free.
Cave of the Winds - Cave of the Winds can't be beat for standing next to Bridal Veil falls. Put on ponchos, take the elevator to the bottom, then climb down wooden walkways to get within feet of the falls (prepare to get wet). Good for kids of all ages, but there are a lot of stairs. Cave of the Winds tours are open May to October.
Niagara Gorge Discovery Center - Find out about the geology of Niagara Falls. Kids can control live cameras of Niagara Gorge, take the virtual elevator ride, explore touch tables with rock samples, a short movie is a good overview of forces that carved out this natural wonder.
Walking paths - There are several miles of paved walking paths, with different views of the falls. Park your car at the Visitor Center, and walk across Green Island on the pedestrian bridge to Goat Island. On Goat Island, Terrapin Point has super views of Horseshoe Falls Also, be sure to walk over to Luna Island - there kids can stand on an overlook inbetween American and Bridal Veil Falls.
Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada
Tip: If you plan to drive over from the U.S. to Canada, have a birth certificate or passport for kids, passport or photo ID (driver's license) for parents.
Best views of Horseshoe Falls - For the best overlook of Horseshoe Falls, drive over Rainbow Bridge to the Canadian side. Park and walk along the promenade to the promontory at Table Rock, where the views of Horseshoe Falls are stunning. The walkway goes through Queen Victoria Park (grass, trees and benches), bring a picnic.
SkyWheel - For a bird's eye view of all the falls, ride the SkyWheel ferris wheel, with enclosed gondolas, and stellar panoramas.
Dufferin Island Nature Area - Take the Niagara Parkway south of Horseshoe Falls to this peaceful, green nature area, away from the roaring waters. The river is diverted around several little islands, the water is calm (swimming or pedal boating in summers), and there are picnic tables.

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