Whether you have visited once or 50 times, Niagara Falls is majestic and hypnotizing. The Horseshoe Falls, which are known as the Canadian Falls, are 180 feet (57 meters) high, 2,600 feet (790 m) wide and flow at approximately 35 miles/hour. The American Falls, which are separated by goat island are 70–100 feet (21–30 m) high and 1,060 feet (320 m) wide.
In the past we have stayed in Niagara Falls with our boys, but have never actually taken them down to see the Falls.
While at the Travel Bloggers Expo(TBEX) a couple weeks ago I received a Niagara Parks toy view finder along with 4 photo disks of the Falls and the other attractions in the area. As soon as I unpacked my bags, my youngest son grabbed the view finder and immediately starting going through the photos. For the next few days all he could talk about were the falls. Wanting to get there before the Summer crowds started to arrive, I planned an adventure day for the three of us and off we went!
When we drove by the falls while looking for parking, my two could see the water pouring over the shelf and were immediately excited. My oldest couldn’t get over how big they were and right away he asked if we were still in Canada. (A proud moment!)
After we parked and headed down to the falls the first thing they spotted was the boat going into the falls. ‘Mom, are there people on that boat?’, my little guy questioned me. When I answered yes, he then asked if he was big enough to ride on the boat too. ‘Yup!’, I replied, to which he started into a sprint headed to where he though the entrance could be.
As a Canadian, the Maid of the Mist can sometimes be seen as something tourists do, but not locals. And I can see how it got it’s reputation. Those boats are synonymous with the Falls. In fact, you can’t even look down at the water below without seeing a boat either headed in or coming out of the rocky waters that sit in front of the tidal wave of water that comes down.
So I get it, but I have to say The Maid of the Mist is a Must Do. The views you get from that boat are second to none and if you really want to ‘see’ the falls this is as good as it gets. I hadn’t done it in 25 years so I was a little excited as well.
When you arrive at the pier you will be given a poncho because you WILL get wet. Once you put that on, you head onto the boat and set sail.
In total the ride is about 30 minutes and you sail closest to the U.S. Falls both there and back. So don’t stress about being on the wrong side of the boat because you will get your chance to take a couple good pictures of both sides of the river during your trip.
Because the kids are still in school here, families in Ontario haven’t started to travel. For this reason our boat wasn’t packed, which was nice. My oldest son has autism so he doesn’t tend to show his excitement like my little one. He enjoyed the views from a box that sits along the side wall while my youngest stood with me just a couple feet away.
Despite the powerful waters at the bottom of the horseshoe falls, the boat goes right in and sits there for a few minutes so you can take pictures and video.
As you can see from the photos I got, the mist coming off the falls and the water that is falling around you makes it hard to really get a good shot. I highly recommend putting something on you camera if its not waterproof as it does feel like its raining when you are in the thick of it and you gear could get damaged.
After sitting in the rocky waters for a bit, the boat turned around and we headed back. The energy on the boat was pretty incredible. Its not everyday that you are able to get so close to one of the original wonders of the world. And even though the boat was filled with a variety of tourists from everywhere, all speaking different languages – the excitement was universal.
It is 19.75 for Adults to ride the Maid of the Mist and 12.65 for kids aged 6-12. Children under 5 are free when accompanied by an adult. We were using an Adventure Pass, which gives you access to many of Niagara’s attractions at a discounted rate. If you are planning to visit and really see what the area has to offer, this pass is your best bet.
While in Niagara Falls that day we visited the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory, the Whirlpool Aero Car, the Maid of the Mist and Niagara Fury. It truly was a day of adventure my guys won’t soon forget!
Thank you to Niagara Parks for providing us with an Adventure Pass to facilitate our review of the Maid of the Mist.