Niagara Falls with a 3 year old

Travelling to Canada for our Summer holiday this year we couldn’t go without heading over to see Niagara Falls so that Monkey to visit his first wonder of the world. It took about two hours in the car from Toronto.


We parked in the town area, in the Travel Lodge carpark for 15$ all day – driving up through the town it looks a bit like part of the Vegas strip! Theres definitely lots to do, including The Guinness Book of Records Museum, Wax Works, Sky Wheel, Bird World, Butterfly House arcades and a soft play area! However we only had a day and wanted to make the most of the falls so decided to focus our activities around them.


With this in mind the first thing we did was head down to the falls to get tickets for The Maid of the Mist. Only its not called that anymore, only the boat leaving from the American side is called The Maid of the Mist. Instead we ended up on a 700 person catamaran courtesy of Hornblower Niagara Cruises, feeling like some of the romance had been lost I was a little apprehensive. But Monkey loved it. You are not on the boat for very long at all – maybe 15 minutes and we got a lot wetter Niagara Canadian Fallsthan I thought we would. One of the benefits of having a larger boat is that you can get closer to the falls which is a bonus.

We brought tickets on the day, boats departย every 15 minutes, starting at 8.30am. Adult tickets cost 19.95$ and children 12.95$ with a free rain cover. ย They also offer an evening cruise where the falls are illuminated and fireworks, these are held on a Friday, Saturday nights and during the holidays.

Even though we didn’t manage to get a spot by the railings on the side of the boat we still managed to get some good up close photos of the falls. I would highly recommend doing this trip if you manage to visit the falls – although don’t forget your water proof camera!


DSC01662From here we stopped for a quick sandwich before walking along from opposite the American Falls (where you get the boat from) to the Horseshoe Falls which is where you get to walk under the falls themselves.

Personally I prefer the Canadian Falls because of their shape there is something very majestic about them. As you walk along the front there are lots of opportunities to take photos. Its a reasonable walk and in the heat, with Monkey it took a good 20 minutes.

DSC01669This time we put on yellow ponchos and took our Journey Behind the Falls. After descending 150ft we headed first to the observation decks, Monkey took the opportunity to sample the local water… We managed to get some great photos of all of us and it makes a real thundering noise as the 2800 cubic metres of water passes over the falls every minute! It was quite an experience. Nextย we then walked along the tunnels to lead you behind the falls one third of the way in. Theย photo doesn’t really do the experience justice as its doesn’t capture the water coming down in front of the opening. Monkey made a wish by throwing a dime into the tunnel in front on him – wishing for an elephant (funnily enough he ended up winning one a few days later!). The experience takes about half an hour in total, it wasn’t busy when we went although I can see how it would slow the process down if it was as the tunnels are reasonable narrow.


Our last stop was the Whirlpool Aero Car, it’s on the way out of the main Niagara hustle and bustle and has free car parking. We didn’t have to wait long as it’s less busy towards to end of the day, which is just as well as not many people can fit on the car in one go – maximum 35. The whole experience only takes about ten – fifteen minutes and you travel around a kilometre in total. Once you reach the other side, you swap over sides in the car so you get to see both the left and right view. The views are stunning as you get to see the whirlpool, rapids and the gorge. Because Monkey is under the age of six he was free and its priced at just 13.95$ for adults.


From here we took a drive down into Niagara on the Lake for something to eat for dinner, its a lovely drive down looking at all the amazing houses. The village itself is very much set in the colonial style and there are several restaurants to choose from in the centre. It was nice to get away from the flashing light, noise and commercialism of the main Niagara strip. If we are ever to visit again then we may look to stay at Niagara on the Lake because its so pretty, calm and peaceful.

Monkey still talks about the boat ride as his favourite part of the holiday, hopefully we have made some memories which will stay with him for a lifetime.

Mudpie xx

The Twinkle Diaries
Life Unexpected


  1. Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    Ah brilliant! I love Monkey with his tongue sticking out. Niagra Falls is a lovely place but super busy with tourists. I’ve never been on the Whirlpool Aero Car sounds fab & love that it’s away from the busyness. x

  2. Anna

    The falls are on my list and although I lived in the US for 9 months last year I didn’t have the chance to visit! Looks like you’ve got a lot of fun!!

  3. Lisa (Travel Loving Family)

    Wow I would love to visit Niagara Falls! My boys (4&1) would love it ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing. Great pics! #MondayEscapes

  4. colibrist

    I was there in summer as well, we did the boat ride in the Canadian part but I did not know that it was possible to walk behind the falls! The falls are majestic even though I was sad to see how overcrowded it is and how many hotels have been constructed right next to the falls.

  5. Ruth

    The water looks so amazingly blue in your photos. This is one of the places I have always wanted to visit. Love that photo of your son trying to catch some water with his tongue. #MondayEscapes

  6. Elizabeth

    I love Niagara Falls. My mom grew up near there so we always went as children. I got to take the kids there this summer just before we left the states but we did not do any of the fun Niagara Falls stuff you did. It looks like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing! #TwinklyTuesday

  7. mytravelmonkey

    Oh I bet your Monkey had such a fabulous trip – it’s must have been an awesome sight for him. In fairness I went when I about 15 and I still remember it to this day. A great write up and fab photos. We never got to do Whirlpool Aero Car so must save that if we ever return. I bet Monkey slept soundly that night! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

  8. travelingchristie

    Oh wow it looks stunning this is something we would love to do with our boys , we have the longest travel wish list ever and it is getting longer by the day x

  9. Matt (tantrum travels)

    What a great day. Isn’t it fantastic when you can do these fun activities and not even have to pay for your child as they are less than 3/4/5 yrs. It has made a lot of our travelling much more affordable, and Big tantrum is still old enough to have a wonderful experience.

  10. Jenny

    That looks amazing! I would love to visit Niagra Falls one day, I didn’t realise there were so many ways to see them though. The boat trip looks exciting enough on it’s own, although a shame it wasn’t the Maid of the Mist, but lovely that Monkey has such fantastic memories of it. I love walking behind waterfalls, there is something to be said about getting so close to them. Finally the Whirpool aero car, the views must be stunning from up there! I’m taking note so if we ever go to Canada (likely as the OH is a forester and wants to visit the forests in fall!!) we’ll remember where to go, definitely bring a waterproof camera and stay in the less commercial Niagra on the Lake. thanks for the tips and for linking up to #Whatevertheweather ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  11. Karen (@karenjwhitlock)

    What a fab post! I love the idea of going to Niagra Falls and it is great to see that not only is it do-able with young children it is obviously really fun. Love your photos!

  12. Wander Mum

    You have captured the falls brilliantly in the photographs. It does seem less busy than the U.S. Side. I’ve never been but will do one day so this is very helpful. Thanks #countrykids

  13. Wave to Mummy

    These look great – and looks like there is loads of stuff to do too! I went there over ten years ago, and seems they have a couple of new things there to see – like that Aero car, that looks like fun! Must have been amazing for a toddler ๐Ÿ™‚ Would love to take my lil one there someday ๐Ÿ™‚ #countrykids

  14. chloelifeunexpected

    I can’t get over your pictures of the falls. They look so beautiful. This is on my bucket list, I’ve always wanted to go. My step-sister used to live near here and used to say how great it was. Evie’s the same as your little one and sticks her tongue out when it’s raining or if there is water haha. I am very jealous of your holiday. It’s great that there is lots to see around the falls and you have options to see different falls from different angles. I’d love to go through the tunnels, I can only imagine how loud it is. It’s good that you didn’t have to wait too long for anything and that the experience is short. Toddlers get bored so easily sometimes don’t they/! Thank you so much for linking up to #whatevertheweather x

  15. A Moment with Franca

    I love the Niagara Falls. We have been there before I was pregnant of my first daughter. It was our last trip only as a couple and we absolutely loved it!! The Niagara Falls are amazing. It is really a place that you must go and visit!. Your photos are amazing!! Look those amazing colours!! It was interesting to read your experience with a toddler though. Great post. ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  16. Jellyfish Mama

    Great post! We went to see the Falls this summer as well and loved the experience! It’s true what they say: you have to be on the Canadian side of the falls to really see the majesty of it. The American side doesn’t do it justice!

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