9 Great Family Activities Around (Not Just At) Niagara Falls You Must Do This Summer

The area around Niagara Falls is a wonderful place for a family vacation in the summer for some obvious reasons and some not so obvious ones. The world-famous Niagara Falls, the waterfall with the highest flow rate of water in the world was an obvious reason to visit. Still, the area surrounding the falls is a nature and history lover’s paradise. Here are the top 10 reasons that your family should visit it this summer.

48 Hours Niagara Falls with kids
My boys getting soaked by Bridal Veil Falls in the Cave of the Winds.

 1. The American Side of Niagara Falls-

On the American side, you can explore the Niagara Falls State Park which has miles of great hiking trails and an aquarium. There you can also find The Maid of the Mist boat, which will bring you right to the foot of the falls and the not-to-be-missed Cave of the Winds, which allows you to explore the foot of Bridal Veil Falls.

2. The Canadian Side of the Falls-

The Canadian side of the falls is a bustling, touristy city with tons of opportunities for family fun and the best views of the falls. My favorite thing was seeing the fantastic fireworks over Niagara Falls. I love water in every form, and I also love fireworks. The fireworks over Niagara Falls are some of the best I have seen in the world-  a long, grand fireworks show set over the kaleidoscope-lighted falling water. It is stunning and something that should be on your bucket list.

Family activities around Niagara Falls
A view of Niagara Falls and the Maid of the Mists boat.

3. Buffalo, New York

Did you know this was where President Theodore Roosevelt took his oath of office? You can also try Buffalo wings at The Anchor Bar, where they were created after you catch a local sporting event.

4. Olcott Beach, New York

This is a little fishing town on Lake Ontario, which was voted the “Ultimate Fishing Town” in 2012 by the World Fishing Network. There are many areas to catch many varieties of fish in this area, so whether you are a family interested in catching warm or freshwater species, there is something for everyone.

48 hours in niagara falls with kids
The impressive light and fireworks show over Niagara Falls.

5. The Great Lakes

Speaking of Lake Ontario, did you know that Niagara Falls is on the Niagara River, which is where Lake Erie drains into Lake Ontario? Be sure to take advantage of the ability to visit these substantial freshwater lakes where you can rent a sailboat or even surf if conditions are right.

6. Niagara Gorge

Around Niagara Falls www.thedailyadventuresofme.com
Enjoying a hike along the Niagara Gorge.

Numerous hiking trails are leading down the Niagara Gorge around the falls and throughout the Niagara Gorge system, and this is a great place to do some kayaking.

7. The Erie Canal

Around Niagara Falls www.thedailyadventuresofme.com
Riding up and down Erie Canals Locks was one of my kid’s favorite parts of our Niagara Falls vacation.

Before visiting, I didn’t realize how vital the Erie Canal was to the expansion of the United States. We all learned a lot from our boat ride on the Erie Canal. It was enjoyable to ride up and down the lock system.

8. Niagara Wine Trail

OK, the wine tasting may be mainly for the parents. Still, the Niagara Wine Trail is full of cute little towns, most notably Niagara-on-the-Lake, farms for the kids to enjoy, and many wineries making traditional vinifera style wines for mom and dad.

9. Martin’s Fantasy Island Amusement Park and Beaver Island State Park

There is even a reasonably priced family amusement park in the area- something my kids can always agree on- or Beaver Island State Park, where you can hike, spend a beach day or boat on the Upper Niagara River.

As you can see, Niagara Falls is so much more than just the falls, and whether you are sports lovers, foodies, nature or history lovers, this is a great place to spend a lot of time enjoying your family.

Don’t forget to read more about my visit to New York in 9-Day New York Road Trip,  48 Hours at Niagara Falls, and Swimming and Gorges in Ithaca.

Read on for ten family activities to do around Niagara Falls. #NiagaraFallswithkids #familytravel #NiagaraFalls

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169 thoughts on “9 Great Family Activities Around (Not Just At) Niagara Falls You Must Do This Summer”

  1. Oh my gosh!!! My dream is to visit Niagra falls! I’m trying to convince my husband that we should go. We would have to get a passport though right?

    • Although you need one to go to the Canadian side, you don’t need one for the US side, which has plenty to do and if you take the boat ride you will get to see the view from Canada anyways!

  2. oh my…..I grew up in the Tonawandas and then raised my kids in the Lockport area. This post has made me homesick! But we are going for a long visit in August. We’ll take in a few baseball games, the Buffalo Zoo (one of the best in the country), the outstandng museums, the Drum Corp International competition, and, of course, eat eat eat!!! lol

  3. I have always wanted to take my kids there! I went when I was a kid and would love for them to experience it! Thanks for the chance! And maybe our Canadian relatives could meet us there! =)

  4. Niagara Falls look beautiful! Thank you for the giveaway!
    Follow you on Instagram as elena1509
    Follow you on Pinterest: pinterest.com/elena8

  5. I love that area. I grew up in Buffalo so its right around the corner. I moved out of state and always stay at their hotel! I could really use this to visit family:) My sisters wedding is in July too.

  6. I LOVE the Niagra Falls and the surrounding area. I went there in a church group and I would really like to go back on my own.
    I took the boat ride and walked under the falls on the Canadian side. Super fun!

  7. The Niagara falls must be top on every travelers bucket list, given its spectacular majesty, but i realize that there is much more to it than that. Your post highlights a plethora of activities, all of which are wonderful.

  8. Niagara Falls been on my bucket list forever and this Radisson hotel will definitely be the place where I will stay! Close to the airport, indoor and outdoor pool and fish fry on Fridays?! Can’t get better than that!

  9. We used to go to Niagara Falls and Toronto every 2-3 years! I haven’t been there for a while and ready to go back! 🙂

  10. I haven’t been to Niagara Falls since I was a kid, and I’d love to take my son and husband! This hotel is beautiful!

  11. I need to make my way to the Radisson Hotel Niagara Falls Grand Island this summer especially for a Friday night stay for the fish fry. 🙂

  12. We have never been to Niagara Falls and would love to go! This hotel looks lovely. What a great list of things to do in the area.

  13. The first thing I would do if I get to go to the Radisson Hotel Niagara Falls-Grand Island is take a picture in that dreamy gazebo!

  14. I went as a kid to Niagara Falls (it’s on every international visitors list when they visited us in NY where I grew up) but we never did stuff around the area. I didn’t know there was so much besides the Falls.

  15. Realized I had to leave a daily comment! I love the Falls but never stayed at the Radisson. Hopefully our next trip!

  16. I really want to get here soon, wish my schedule would allow it right now! Didn’t realise there was so much to see and do, thanks for the tips. Pinning this for later 🙂

  17. Oh wow Jamie, after reading this and your 48-hours in Niagara Falls post, we are going to need to schedule more time in this area! We’ve never been and I can’t wait.


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