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Travel & Vacations Family travel and vacation ideas, fun activities, movie night, game nights, plenty of ideas for fun and relaxation.

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Old 08-10-2002, 06:13 AM
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Lightbulb Family trip to Niagara Falls

We live near Pittsburgh, PA and my DH and I are planning to take our 2 DSs to Niagara Falls the 1st or 2nd week in October for about a 2-3 day adventure. They are 4 and almost 13 (in November) so we have a challange for entertainment with such a wide age difference. I would appreciate ideas on "don't miss" places for both kids. I know about the Maid of the Mist and the other common sites but I would like info on the "less traveled" places-the unknown gems!

Also any tips on lodging, eats, etc would be wonderful. If anyone knows of little places to stop along the way between Pittsburgh and the Falls-that would be great too!! This is our first vacation in like forever and our first to "another country".

Thanks to all-I know you will give me terrific ideas--
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Old 08-17-2002, 04:12 AM
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Hi!

Hi I'm from the Steubenville, Ohio area (I live in Va now).

I always loved the wax museum on the Canadian side of the falls. But there's an entire strip of stuff to do in that main strip of shops on the Canadian side.

Also there is a botanical garden over there that we visited once too. That was so great.

Have a great trip!
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Old 08-17-2002, 04:16 AM
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Oh I forgot.....we tried a bed and breakfast when we went there. It was cheaper than the hotel/motel, friendlier, and more comfortable. The one we stayed at shut down so we couldn't stay there when we were there last. But you may want to check a few out online beforehand and make a reservation. The last time we were there we had to stay in a really dumpy motel far out from the falls...we had to drive to one, then the next one, then the next one checking for vacancies, until we were about 30 minutes drive away. You never know what function is going on in town.
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Old 08-17-2002, 04:38 AM
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my DH and i go every year in june and stay at "Vacation Inn" canada side and if you belong to AAA you get a good deal. when we stay friday nite til sunday morn it cost about $150 (?) and that includes 1 dinner for 2 and 2 breakfasts for 2. i don't know how it would work with kids. you can walk to the falls. take the kids to the main strip with all the fun stuff. you can take the "people mover" and take alittle tour around the towns. this is good if it's your first time up there. if you ride around on your own you can go to other points of interest like fort george and other little places that the people mover doesn't go to. i fell in love with a town called "niagra on the lake" it's just 20 ins up from the falls and you can also see soome of the other things. just start your day early so you have time. hope this helps some
nancy
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Old 08-17-2002, 07:06 AM
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On the Canadian Side you can walk behind the falls. You go down an elevator and walk behind the falls (safe, I bought my kids there and they loved it)

Also the Maid of the Mist is a big boat ride that takes you very close to the falls. Everyone wears raincoats. Lady Diana when she was alive took her boys on this.

I hope this helps, Teresa
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Old 08-17-2002, 12:32 PM
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Lightbulb vacationed there a lot!

Several things--
It's worth going up in the Skylon to catch the view. It's actually a revolving restaurant, and while expensive, still a lot of fun.

There's a power plant (I think it's called the Robert P. Moses) on the American side that you can go through with all kinds of hands-on exhibits to explain how water power is converted to electricity.

There's a Butterfly Conservatory on the Canadian side, which is awesome. Be careful about when you go-- there are tons of school groups through on a daily basis, but you can get there early and probably be fairly safe. You could also go in the late afternoon and do okay.

The Niagara Falls Aquarium and Buffalo Zoo are old, but fun places to visit.

The Whirlpool in the Niagara River used to have a gondola that you could ride across the gorge.

There's a greenway along the river on the Canadian side that you can rent bikes for riding or just saunter along.

Old Fort Niagara is a great place to learn about some Revolutionary War History.

The waterfront in Buffalo has some naval ships and a submarine that you can tour. Very cool!

The Albright-Knox art museum has some world-class artwork and great special presentations.

ArtPark in Lewiston is the place to go for plays, ballets, etc.

To get close to the Falls, you have a couple of options. You can take the Maid of the Mist, and it will take you up fairly close, or you can right a high speed air boat which costs quite a bit more but gets you really close and wet!

That's all I can think of right now, but there are information booths everywhere. As far as hotels, etc, I recommend trying priceline.com. We've gotten very inexpensive accommodations through them, especially on the Canadian side. Bid ridiculously low! We just stayed at a Holiday Inn in Canada for $30/night for three nights, no tax because we're US people, and including Priceline's fee. If you cross the border, make sure you have everyone's birth certificates. We haven't been checked yet, but it's bound to happen someday!

Have an awesome time! Feel free to email me if you have any more questions.

Taryn
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Old 08-17-2002, 03:56 PM
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My grandmother and all of my mom's family live in Niagara Falls, I've gone there once a year when I was younger and I've been a couple of times in the past 3-4 years.

On the Canadian side you can see fireworks over the falls every Friday night, make sure you check with a visitor's info place they can tell you what time. I know that they have some kind of bus tour, we didn't go on it, but I overheard someone talking about it at the visitor's info place.

My dh and I went there 2 years ago for our anniversary and stayed with my grandmother, but we did go to Canada and stayed there for 1-2 nights for some time alone! They are much cheaper and if you check around you can get a meal free, I'm not sure of all the details.

When you go to the visitor's info, get brochures and even a newspaper, there's usually lots of things to do in the newspaper and even some coupons for the hotels, even in Canada, I think!

Eventhough I've been there a lot, I don't remember all the things you can see 'cause I was younger. . . if you're interested in outlet shopping there are a bunch of outlets, I think it's on Military Dr? off of Niagara Falls Blvd. When I was young we would go in August and buy our school clothes there. They have some really good prices and from what I've heard from my Aunt they have some really good stores in Canada too. Just make sure that you get your right change in Canada, sometimes they think that we're stupid and think they can get away with it, they got another thing coming! My Aunt bought me a Gucci pocketbook for my birthday last year and I know she didn't spend much! If I remember right, my cousin said they got it in Canada!

HTH! If you have any questions let me know, if I don't know I could always email my Aunt or Cousin and they should know!
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Old 08-17-2002, 05:04 PM
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Wow this is reallly fun reading everyone's posts because I forgot about some of that stuff! Yes we always hit the outlet malls when we're there too. Bunch of cool stuff and good prices.....
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Old 08-17-2002, 06:06 PM
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Well we live about 2 1/2 hours from NFalls. We usually make the trip once a year if not more, and I'm always amazed at how much it changes (new buildings, etc).

We were just there in June -

I didn't see it posted, but there is Marineland very close.

We stayed at the Radisson and had a lovely view of the Canadian Falls. Radisson gave us passes for Behind the Falls, the Minolta Tower and Dinner coupons.

My friend works for Ripley's and gets us passes for all of the Ripley attractions (she saved us well over $200); sorry everyone doesn't know her. Her hubby cleans windows on most of the high rises (scarry).

Oh if you gamble, there's the Casino - note: traffic if very heavy on Friday nights (all of us NY'rs go there (not me)) coming over the bridge and leaving later.

If you come during the day, yes go into Niagara Falls NY and stop at the Power Plant, then go over to Canada on the Bridge near there, I think it's called the Peace Bridge, Rainbow bridge is the main one. Yes the Power Plant is free and very interesting for kids (and adults).

You can get a pass to ride a bus all day and it stops to all the attractions, the Aero car over the Gorge, the Butterfly thingy, you get the tickets at the end of the Falls inside where you go "behind the falls".

Oh, don't drive to the Falls, parking is expensive. If you stay at the Radisson or the other hotels above the falls ($$) there is a people mover that takes you up the hill - it is cheap only like 75 cents one way.

There is a go cart track not to far away.

Mini - golf on Clifton Hill.

Oh new - Hershey store - yum got to try the choc dipped strawberries.


http://www.niagarafalls.com/
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Old 08-18-2002, 08:57 AM
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I wanted to mention also that if you do happen to stay in Niagara Falls, NY you can drive to the bridge and park somewhere near it and walk across the bridge, I think you pay a quarter or something to walk across, and then you can walk around in Canada and see the fireworks, etc. We did that when we were there 2 yrs ago and I was 4-5 months pregnant! I imagine there should be some place in Canada that wouldn't be a horrible walk to the falls. Traffic IS bad on Friday nights like Caronamy mentioned! But the fireworks are great!!
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