These Niagara Falls Canada vacation tips are perfect for families with kids of all ages! Whether you’re spending a weekend or longer, I have tips for fireworks, viewing spots, restaurants and more for your Niagara Falls road trip!
My kids recently had a sports meet in Rochester, NY, so my husband suggested we extend our trip by a couple days and visit Niagara Falls! It was our first time in Niagara Falls, and I think we were all surprised by how much fun we had.
We spent our first afternoon on the American side, and I promise to be back soon to share all about it. But our hotel was on the Canadian side, and since that’s where we spent the majority of our time… that’s what I decided to focus my first post on!
Where to Stay In Niagara Falls
We’ve traveled enough to realize that a hotel can really make or break your whole trip.
If the location stinks and we have to hop in the car to get anywhere at all, we’re going to be pretty grumpy. If the other guests are loud and the walls are thin, we will not be thrilled the next morning. If the hotel tacks on extra fees willy nilly, you can guarantee I won’t be recommending it to you guys or anyone else!
So when we happen upon a hotel that doesn’t have any of those issues AT ALL, I want to shout it from the rooftops! Especially when it’s a hotel that’s in a new-to-us town and it was basically a crap shoot whether it was going to work out or not!
When I was looking up hotels for our trip, I was getting pretty discouraged because they are NOT cheap in Niagara Falls! I was finding really basic rooms for like $350-$500 per night plus extra daily fees for parking. That’s a big nope for us.
Plus all the hotels kept claiming that they were in a great location, which is hard to judge when you’ve never been there before. But then I stumbled upon the Vittoria Hotel and it seemed too good to be true!
It had great reviews and from the map, it really did seem to be a prime location. Better than that, though, was that they had rooms with 2 queen beds plus a sleeper sofa!!
Now that we’re fully into the teen years, my son and daughter aren’t always thrilled with sharing a bed when we travel. They will nicely share a queen without complaining, but lately it seems we keep finding hotels with only 2 doubles. Ugh, not cool. (sidenote: I’d love to see hotels start a trend with 1 queen and a set of bunkbeds in a room)
So to find a hotel room with 2 queen beds plus a sleeper sofa is almost a surefire guarantee that everyone will wake up happy and ready to go on our vacation!
Our room at the Vittoria Hotel had so much space to spread out (HUGE fan of hotel rooms with a living room area), a fridge and a modern design!
I do suggest you come back a little earlier than you expect each night so you have plenty of time to enjoy this shower!
And they really weren’t lying in the online description… it was the best location! We could walk out our door and pretty much go anywhere, but it wasn’t in the heart of things so much that we heard the crowd noises late at night. We literally parked our car and never touched it again for 2 days.
This was the view out our window. And I did not alter this at all. I didn’t zoom in or anything… this is literally exactly where the hotel is located.
Which brings us to the best part of staying at the Vittoria Hotel… the price!! I only paid $140/night! That is insane compared to the other hotels I was finding!
On top of that, there was NO parking fee at their off-site lot! They do have an on-site lot you can use, and I believe she said that was $13/day (still really cheap!). We chose to stay in their off-site lot for free. It honestly was about 1.5 blocks away and was about a 2 minute walk. So close that my husband and kids ran back and forth a couple times for things they forgot in our van.
And now I feel like I wrote this whole post just based on our hotel, which was not my intention at all! We just really were so impressed and it made our whole stay that much better!
Things to Do in Niagara Falls Canada
But I promise that we did actually make it out of our hotel room to explore all that Niagara Falls has to offer! Directly across the street from our hotel, was the Clifton Hill area.
It is filled with restaurants, shopping, activities and more. It is touristy. Very touristy.
It reminded us a bit of Times Square in New York City only much cleaner and more pleasant.
It’s also expensive. I mean like $18 for a cheap pancake breakfast type of expensive. I really don’t know that we would have stayed more than 2 days in this area, because we would have had to start picking up some odd jobs to afford our next meal.
I do suggest paying with a credit card or American money, though, to help offset some of the expense. The prices you’ll see are Canadian prices. We were told we would pay those same prices if you pay with a credit card. I’ve since had a reader kindly let me know that isn’t the case! That if you pay with a credit card, you will sign the receipt as if you’re paying the Canadian price, but your credit card company will process the exchange rate and you will see that reflected on your next bill.
If you pay with American cash, though, you’ll also get the conversion rate, although sometimes that can be rounded by the merchant and might not be an exact number. At the time we went, it was roughly 13% off every bill. There are plenty of ATMs pretty much everywhere if you want to take cash out to pay.
You can also save money by purchasing some tickets ahead of time. I purchased admission to a couple things before we even left through Viator and I was happy I did! Every little bit adds up, and I think we saved about $8 off our Sky Wheel tickets which in my head goes towards the tip for our next meal. I do a lot of mental gymnastics with my money math!
This was the view from the top of the Sky Wheel!
Although I’ll be totally honest and say that I never really saw this until we were on solid ground and I looked at my camera. I had my kids take all these pictures while I spent the ride like this…
Yep. That’s me. A 41-year old woman who was trying to be brave for her kids, but ended up holding onto any surface she could. I swear they should have handle bars on this thing.
But if you’re just a hair braver than I am, the Sky Wheel is a great way to see the view for miles! It’s a nice, air-conditioned gondola and a pretty smooth ride!
Plus it gave you this view of the mini golf course! Aren’t my kids pretty good photographers?!
Fireworks Over Niagara Falls, Canada
Every night, they set fireworks off over the waterfalls at 10:00 p.m. You’ll notice they set one firework off at 9:50 to give people a warning, and everyone will come scrambling down to the water’s edge.
And there are A LOT of people. You can barely even see the waterfalls in the above picture, because they are packed in so tightly. And as soon as the fireworks are over, this whole crowd starts heading up toward Clifton Hill in one giant wave.
Your other (ahem, better) option is to just watch the fireworks from across the street. Queen Victoria Park is catty corner across the street from this viewing area and much less crowded. We did one night in each viewing spot so I could compare them for you guys, and I HIGHLY recommend watching from Queen Victoria park!
You could spread a blanket on the grass or head to one of the concrete walkways on the right or left of this picture. If you go to those concrete walkways, you’ll find plenty of benches to watch the fireworks from too!
Pretend you are standing in the above picture on the left (about where you see the person in the blue shirt). If you turn around and look towards the waterfalls, this is your view for the fireworks…
See that crowd starting to gather in the top right corner of the above photo?? That’s where I took the picture the next night of all those people packed in together about 10 deep.
Trust me, just stay on this side at Queen Victoria Park. Much, much nicer!
Where to Eat in Niagara Falls, Canada
I’m going to go ahead and start with what my son declared his favorite food in Niagara Falls… Sweet Jesus Ice Cream.
It’s right on Clifton Hill (the left-hand side if you’re heading toward the waterfront). They have tons of loaded ice cream cones and he talked about it for days!
As a family, we really enjoyed The WORKS. It was a great burger joint that was almost overwhelming with how many options they had. But our waiter was friendly and funny, the food was delicious and we loved the ambiance!
Another perk to staying at the Vittoria Hotel was that they offer a breakfast buffet for only $12.95/person and you get 10% off with your room key. Combine that with the exchange rate and it was a decent and affordable breakfast while we were there.
We also loved the calamari appetizer at the Anchor Bar, the strawberry smoothies at Mango and the poutine at Smoke’s Poutinerie.
Most places you go, you’ll be paying $3-$5 for a cold water or soda. Right beside the Vittoria Hotel is a public parking lot where you can buy waters and sodas for $1 each. We loaded up every time we walked by him!
Niagara Falls, Canada
We’ve been home now for 2 days and both of my kids have come up to me multiple times to thank me for the weekend in Niagara Falls. I’m not sure that we would have spent more than 2 days there, but the time we did spend was so much more enjoyable than we expected!
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