Niagara Falls, Ontario, located in the southern part of the province, is one of Canada’s top tourist destinations. Niagara Falls Tourism and the City of Niagara Falls estimate that between 12 to 14 million tourists come to see the falls each year – a figure that has caused Forbes Traveler to name the Niagara Falls as Canada’s most visited tourist attraction.
But the city of Niagara Falls has much more to offer tourists than just the falls: the colourful and eclectic tourist promenade Clifton Hill, amusement parks and kid-friendly attractions such as Marineland and water parks, and numerous other attractions, such as casinos. This article focuses specifically on the popular children’s attractions in the city.
Bird Kingdom: A Tropical Adventure
Niagara’s Bird Kingdom is the world’s largest indoor aviary. It features over 500 tropical birds as well as numerous reptile species and other animals, such as bats. Visitors are able to feed lorikeets and bats and interact with several bird species. There is also a children’s archaeological dig. Bird Kingdom has been named Attraction of the Year four times.
The Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory features over 2000 colourful butterflies, which float freely among indoor tropical gardens. This 11,000 square-foot facility opened in 1997, and features an Emergence Area where visitors can witness butterflies emerge from their cocoons.
Fallsview Indoor Waterpark
Fallsview Indoor Waterpark opened in 2006. Over 200,000 gallons of water are used to operate this 125,000 square foot venue, which features 16 high-speed, six-storey high waterslides, an Atlantis-themed play area, an indoor wave pool, six other indoor swimming pools and an outdoor swimming pool. A jungle play area and arcade section was recently added.
Marineland is an aquatic-themed amusement park featuring orcas, beluga whales, dolphins, walruses, as well as land-dwelling animals such as bears and deer. There are also numerous thrill rides including Sky Screamer, the world’s highest triple tower ride and Dragon Mountain, the world’s largest steel roller-coaster. Marineland is open from May to October.
Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge is a luxury resort that features a huge indoor waterpark of slides, forts, and suspension bridges. It also features mini golf, spas, fitness rooms, and entertaining children’s shows.
Niagara Freefall Indoor Skydiving
The only indoor skydiving facility in Canada, Indoor Skydiving allows visitors to fly in a gravity-defying vertical wind tunnel and be propelled to speeds of up to 140 miles per hour. Up to four people can “skydive” together in these safe padded tunnels.
Niagara Go-Karts and Mini-Golf
Niagara Go-Karts offers one of the fastest tracks in North America. Drivers can reach speeds of up to 45 kilometres (28 miles) per hour. There is also a “putting zoo,” which is a miniature golf course featuring safari animals as obstacles.