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Montreal OR Niagara Falls with young children

Montreal OR Niagara Falls with young children

Jan 6th, 2013, 03:33 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,469
Montreal OR Niagara Falls with young children

Planning a trip for mid June. We'll be driving from southern NH. It's about 4 hours to Montreal, about 7+30 to Niagara. We have 7 days. Please help me decide which location is better for us.

Our boys will be 3 and 4 years old. Neither hubby nor I have visited either place before.

Montreal - we would drive thru VT, probably spend 2 nights in Burlington before heading across the border. Would visit Insectarium, Biodome, Mont Royal, and any other suggestions you have. Need hotel reviews...need family friendly, not fancy.

Niagara - we would stay on the Canadian side. Maid of the Mist, view the falls, try and find some parks/hikes and also some museums geared towards children. Also need lodging help here.

Which location would offer more to young children?

Any lesser known attractions we should check out?

rizzo0904 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2013, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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For kids that young, consider the Great Wolf lodge in Niagara Falls Ontario...big lodge and waterpark...perfect for the family and minutes away from the Falls... also just down the street from the Butterfly Conservatory, the Bird Kingdom,Niagara Botanical Gardens and the Clifton Hill tourist area which has several attractions for kids.

If you need transportation around the attractions, there is the WEGO bus system that runs during the day...

About 15 minutes away is the village of Niagara on the Lake, with dining, shops and a beautiful park along Lake Ontario... you can look across the Lake and see the skyline of Toronto

Plenty of places to walk, picnic, eat, and tour... much more for the kids than Montreal...
garyt22 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 04:29 AM
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At their present ages, I'd second gary's recommendations. Great Wolf would be a great staging location and it's also not far from Niagara Helicopters.

Also in Niagara on the Lake, you have Niagara Jet Boat tours as well as Fort George which dates from the War of 1812. There's regular musket demonstrations throughout the day (cannon too IIRC) [more info here http://bit.ly/ZwRni9]. If you appreciate wine, all around NOTL and vicinity you have wineries galore (Between the Lines, Jackson Triggs, Ravine Vineyard Estate, etc.) [more info here: http://bit.ly/UAoXlV].

In nearby St. Catharines, there's also the Welland Canal Visitor Centre at Lock 3 and your boys can get within a stone's thow off ocean-going ships as they traverse the Canal. You can get ship ETAs here http://bit.ly/TGqxQC. The visitor centre also has a museum that tells the history of the Canal as well as nearby St. Catharines and the area's role as part of the Underground Railroad.

UTour is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 07:22 AM
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just a mention that the kids are too young for the Jetboats... but if you can get a sitter, its the best attraction in Niagara...
garyt22 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 09:44 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Ah! My bad! Pity that. I've watched them skidding around below the Whirlpool Aerocar and thought that'd be a gas-and-a-half.

UTour is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 11:20 AM
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The Welland Canal Center sounds great. I think they'd really enjoy that!

And a definite no to the speed boats. My younger one cries on a merry go round

Hubby and I love wine so that'll be something to check out too.

Thanks...I guess Niagara it is!
rizzo0904 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 11:32 AM
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Great Wolf is a good place to go if you're staying put inside the resort, but much too expensive to use as a base for seeing the area. You'd be better off staying in the Clifton Hill area, within walking distance of the Falls and many attractions. Have a look at Country Inn & Suites, Comfort Inn Clifton Hill, Hampton Inn or Skyline Inn.
fallsdude is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 01:09 PM
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3 and 4 are not very big.
Drive in a circle.
When I was about that age I went to Fort Ticondaroga, and I still have some memories. Lots of places for little kids to run, which is a feature of their vaction.
From there, get to Niagara Falls. I had to go from Toronto to Boston once, and we drove along some of the smaller highways, through Rome, along the side of the Erie canal. Kids might like that.
Great Wolf Lodge seems to have a lot of fans. I know some TV people who broadcast from there, and love it.
There's some sorta-tacky but fun little kids' rides in Niagara Falls, good view of the falls for parents (like you are four feet from the water), lots of nice flowers.

Again, though, not a lot that little kids like to do.

Someone mentioned ships in the Welland Canal and the Canal Museum. Yes, good idea.

If adults likle old war planes, go to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at the Hamilton Airport. Kids can sit in a plane, walk around underneath other planes, run some more, etc.

African Lion Safari is north of Hamilton and would be the highlight of the trip. Allow a day. Hotels in Hamilton or Cambridge, Guelph.

Then Toronto. The thing kids would like best is the little kids section of the Ontario Science Centre, which is on the outskirts (north-east)

Drive to Ottawa. (Canada's capital) Museums with stuff for kids. Parks for kids. Some statues to climb on for kids. A kids section in the biggest museum. Suzy's Doughnuts.

Couple of hours drive to Montreal. Yes, the insectarium. Bring a magnifying glass. (Honest -- I've been there a lot with a three year old) And there's a train Museum on the south side of the St. Lawrence, on your way home.

Ferry across Lake Champlain into Burlington.

Finish the circle.

If you decide to just go to Niagara, remember you are just an hour and a half from Toronto.

BAK is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Things that little ones might enjoy in Niagara Falls:

Marineland http://www.marinelandcanada.com/
Butterfly Conservatory http://www.niagaraparks.com/garden-t...servatory.html
Bird Kingdom www.birdkingdom.ca/
Safari Niagara http://www.safariniagara.com/
Skywheel http://www.cliftonhill.com/attractions/niagara-skywheel
Clifton Hill http://www.falls.com/attractions.html
fallsdude is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 04:33 PM
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fallsdude - thanks for the hotel links. i don't really want to do great wolf for two reasons....1. price 2. trying to get the kids out of the water park to do something else. so i'll check out the clifton hill area.

BAK - thanks for the circle trip idea. i'll look and see if i'm up for that much moving around with the kids. when it was just hubby and i we would travel like that all the time and change hotels every 1-2 nights, but it's more difficult now.
rizzo0904 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 12:11 PM
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i think niagara falls would be a bore. the maid of the mist is great but actual town is boring, cheesy and expensive. i went for an overnight trip...glad i saw it but would not return.
ltt is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 04:08 PM
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I booked the Hampton Inn for $113/night. Parking and breakfast are included...with kids I love being able to just go downstairs for a simple breakfast.

We'll do the falls and Maid of the Mist one day. Head to St. Catherines for the Welland Centre. Probably spend a day in Hamilton....Warplane Museum, waterfalls, Lion Safari. I think we'll do a Toronto day trip too. So probably 3, maybe 4 nights.

Now to decide if we want to spend a night or two anywhere else....
rizzo0904 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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Hi Rizzo,

I would also suggest you spend a day in Niagara on the Lake. There are two nice parks close to old town to keep the kids entertained. One on the lake which would be nice for a picnic and another about 5 minutes from there with a playground and splash pad. Maybe a stroll through old town for shops and ice cream and a picnic at the park. This is an easy day trip from Niagara Falls. If up for it there are several wineries along the way including Jackson Triggs and Reif Estates.
Travel_Mouse is offline  
Jan 31st, 2013, 06:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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I know there is an awesome indoor water park near Niagara Falls. Your kids will definitely enjoy it...mine did! Hope this helps and have fun on your trip!!
SnuggzCraig is offline  
Jan 31st, 2013, 08:00 AM
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Best to read the entire thread before posting. Great Wolf was already brought up and rejected by the OP.
fallsdude is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 08:37 PM
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I would much rather spend a week in Montreal, and maybe do a day or two in Ottawa (1.5 hours) or Quebec City (2.5 hours) than in Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is okay for a day, maybe two, but that is all.

Montreal is a beautiful, exciting, world class city, with tons of activities for families.
travelling_circus is offline  
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