North America, travel

A Day in Niagara Falls with Baby

March 28, 2017

A Day in Niagara Falls with Baby

Ontario has so much to offer but at six months old, I often wonder what sights and sounds my son will actually enjoy. He is past the newborn phase where he can only see a few feet in front of him. He can now see and hear as I do but with a naiveté that has long left me. Colours, patterns, textures and certain noises are all fresh and he looks around with such wonder and awe that my insides melt every time he discovers something new. And so, in order to nurture this curiosity, we went on a family day trip to one of our country’s greatest wonders: Niagara FallsA Day in Niagara Falls with Baby

Living so close to Niagara, it is easy to overlook this amazing landmark surrounded by unparalleled wineries, prosperous farms and creative displays that showcase what makes our province so great. Every so often, it makes sense to venture to Ontario’s greatest attractions…especially with a baby in tow. A Day in Niagara Falls with Baby

We timed our drive with the baby’s first nap so that when we arrived, he was rested and we were relaxed. We started our day at the Butterfly Conservatory, a tropical oasis in Canada’s cold, full of luscious plants and flowers, rhythmic waterfalls and of course, thousands of colourful, vibrant butterflies.

First we visited the conservatory’s Northern Owls and live Raptors exhibit. My son tried to pet the falcon but we advised against it. A Day in Niagara Falls with Baby

The baby was taken with every magical colour that fluttered above his head. He was captivated by the perfectly placed waterfalls, striking flowers and of course, the other people around him. He inspected the cocoons waiting to burst and watched beautiful butterflies take their first flight. As we strolled through the conservatory, it was hard to know what was more amazing: the butterflies or our boy discovering the butterflies. A Day in Niagara Falls with Baby

We ate lunch at Elements at the Falls, a certified Feast On restaurant with spectacular views of Niagara Falls.

Elements sources up to 50% of its food from Ontario and highlights local wines and beers. My husband enjoyed a flight of Niagara craft brews while I sipped on a flight of Niagara white wines. There are a number of different flights to choose from which include everything from the region’s less known reds to famous Niagara ice wine.

While we sipped, we enjoyed a charcuterie board full of local cured meats and cheeses; If there is something I know, it is cheese. Delicious does not even begin to describe this Ontario-born board. The cheddar was sharp, the brie creamy and the parmesan was…perfect. We discovered new and unique cheeses paired with olives and a parma ham that would melt in your mouth and make you cry.

Having been to the Falls on many occasions, my husband and I agreed that this was one of the best views either of us had ever experienced. From our quiet window-side table, we looked out over Horseshoe Falls and it was beautiful. Being from Ontario, it is easy to take an attraction like Niagara Falls for granted but sitting in Elements watching the water thunder over the edge, we were both reminded why Niagara Falls is a World Wonder.

After lunch, we headed to Journey Behind The Falls, a series of tunnels and viewing platforms behind Horseshoe Falls. As we took the elevator down into the caves, the attendant said, ‘If your baby is awake, the sound of the water will put him to sleep…It’s a fact.’ We smiled politely, let her know that our baby NEVER sleeps and went behind the falls.

From 13 storeys below ground, we stood in the mist of Niagara Falls. The water thundered in front of us and through the spray, we saw a rainbow. Cheesy, I know, but I can honestly say that my heart was lifted at that moment.

Side Note: I never knew that I could be this happy- my little family is truly my everything-  and right then, the moment I saw that rainbow, my heart skipped and I felt lifted. A confirmation? A nod from above? A breath. An omnipotent smile?…Saying yes, this is everything. This is happiness.

We wandered through the tunnels, reading about people’s attempts to go over the falls, successfully built tunnels, and the electric power of water before heading back up to ground level. When we got to the elevator we noticed that our non-sleeping son had indeed, fallen asleep. The sound of the water had lulled him into a perfectly silent slumber. This means that we will have to move into the caves under the falls forever if we ever plan on sleeping again. A Day in Niagara Falls with Baby

We finished our day at the Floral Showhouse, a collection of orchids, succulents and other tropical species. The display changes seasonally, showcasing the most brilliant of Ontario’s florals as well as plants from all around the globe. When we stood in the greenhouse surrounded by cacti and palm trees, we could almost pretend that we were somewhere hot and humid…almost.

We packed back into the car at the end of the day, exhausted but happy. My husband and I had enjoyed ourselves and we were sure that our son’s smiles, giggles and wide eyes meant that he had enjoyed himself too. It was a great family day out.

All of these activities are part of the Niagara Falls Wonder Pass which is valid until April 30th, at which point you can grab a Niagara Falls Adventure Pass. Whether you are a visitor to Ontario or a permanent resident, Niagara Falls is a fantastic adventure for the family and even for baby. There is a lot of see, hear and touch.

As the weather warms up, the flowers will change, the menu at Elements will revise, the caterpillars will become butterflies and majestic Niagara Falls will continue to roar.

Plan your Niagara Adventure at www.niagaraparks.com.

A Day in Niagara Falls with Baby

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