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Old 08-19-2002, 09:47 PM
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chuckle NiagaraFalls

Whatever you do - avoid Marineland up there. You pay a lot of money to get in and get very little in return. It cost us over $100 for my hubby,me and 2 grandchildren ages 8 and 10 to get in and there was nothing worth that kind of money. To top it all off, the water was shut off when we were there and there was no Pepsi; no restrooms in the back of the park working, you couldn't get a drink of water unless you bought bottled water and the management didn't think it was a big deal. You walk for miles in between the very cheap rides. The waitress at the restaurant told us not to waste our money but we had promised the kids we would go to see the marine show. The show was fine but unless you think it's worth $100 for 4 people to watch a half hour show with a whale and seals forget it. We complained before we left and they gave us a free admission the next time we go up. Yeah, right, I live by Toledo, OH. Like I'm ever going back there even for free. Save your time for more valuable things like Maid of the Mist, the tunnel behind the falls, the fireworks on Friday night if you go in the right season, etc. I'm telling everyone about Marineland because we were given brochures about how great it was by AAA. If you belong to AAA, you can get coupons etc with all the attractions you'll want to do.The Skylon tower is good, too. Just don't hit Marineland.
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Old 08-20-2002, 09:03 AM
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Okay, I live about 20 minutes from the Falls, so I'll do my best to fill you in and "edit" a few things in the lists. Cave of the winds is on the American side, and that's when you go down to the base of the Falls and go behind it. The Maid of the Mist is a boat ride at the base of the Falls, not above it. Don't miss Goat Island on the American side. It's a little island off of the American side that has a great view and shows the rapids that leads to the falls. There's Devil's Hole, a whirpool that's pretty cool. The Butterfly Conservatory and the Botanical Garden School on the Canadian side is great, but, as many have said, Marineland is too expensive, even with the exchange and African Lion Safari is pathetic. It's been a few years since I've been there, but the animals looked awful. There are some great shopping centers and outlet stores btwn the Falls and Buffalo too.

If you use your credit card, it will be cheaper to eat and stay on the Canadien side as long as you stay out of the immediate vacinity of Casino Niagara. The exchange rate is as much as 54%, when it is charged on your card, so it's well worth the trip. If you are going to go to the Canadien side, make sure everyone has valid picture ID or a birth certificate. Remember what time @ you came across the bridge, b/c they have your plates in the computer and if you don't remember they may stop you at the border to question you further. Tell them what you plan to do and @ how long you're going to stay. THey put the info into the border crossing computer. They've tightened up security quite a bit since 9/11. No need to be nervous, just prepared.

Also, Hard Rock Cafe, Niagara Falls, is on the American side and it's got a lot of great stuff to see. The Botanical Gardens are gone now. They went when the mall down there went.

The Aquarium is older, but they've done a lot of updating lately. The same with the zoo, though you'll have to go to downtown Buffalo to go there. There is a lot of great historical buildings and great restaurants in Buffalo. It's about a 1/2 drive by highway, south of the Falls. The 190. There is a science museum, history museum and a modern art museum. The University of Buffalo has some great buildings too. Both campuses. Also, the naval park and some sports stadiums too.

If there is anything specific you'd like to do or see, let me know and I can get the info for you.

I hope you enjoy the Falls, it's a great place to visit!

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Old 08-20-2002, 12:24 PM
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Thanks for the ideas...

You all have given me some great info...I'm sorry to hear about Marineland though-that was one of the main places I was thinking about. Thought the kids would really like it .

Does anyone have any sources for discount tickets etc. . We are doing this on a shoestring budget and can use all the help we can get. I was told by a girl I work with that it is a lot cheaper on the Canadian side--better view of the Falls too.

Again, thanks a bunch to all........
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Old 08-20-2002, 09:37 PM
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I lived in the Niagara area (Can) all my life until few years ago and can give you tons of info in addition to what you have here, but don't want to bog you down!

The local papers used to have coupons in there for family disounts, or do this activity get the other free etc. every once in a while. The one paper is The St. Catharines Standard. I know you can read the paper on line, not sure about the coupons however. I'm actually going home tomorrow for a few days and if I see anything for Oct I'll let ya know.

I'd suggest staying just outside of the Falls if you want to save some $$$ and get some quiet time as the falls can get hectic!! I can give you specifics of places I've stayed if you'd like as well as some restaurants that I would recommend.

A walk along the gorge that time of year on the Can side is beautiful. Lots of pathways to choose from. Maybe plan the butterfly conservatory that day as it's pretty close.

A must see is the falls up close from the US side. Believe it or not I only saw this myself a few years back and what a treat it was. We took a picnic lunch and got a whole different view of the falls. Beautifull! You do see much more on the Can side, but the US, you can get real close and watch the water fall in a different direction.

The tunnel trip is awesome too! Maid of the Mist and the tunnels usually do a combo trip...at least they used to.

My favorite still do is a trip along Clifton Hill, to stop and play arcade games. There's stuff for all ages there and tons of ice cream places near by. Careful of some of the museums as they are pricey, and in my opinion aren't worth it, but I'm not big into that kinda stuff anyway.

PM me for more info. I'll keep my eyes posted for coupons in the meantime!!
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Old 09-06-2002, 05:56 AM
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Here's a link that I came across that I thought you all may be interested in! It gives listings on the times for the lighting the falls and fireworks, and some great pics!

http://www.niagarafallslive.com/niag...s_at_night.htm
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