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Niagara Falls:

General info:
There are two sides to Niagara Falls - the Canadian side and the American side, with several bridges crossing over. The Canadian side has the Chabad and Kosher restaurants as well as almost every activity, therefore almost all DDFers stay in Canada. Also, the falls themselves have two vast sections, neither of which are really wonderfully visible standing on the American side.

The two main activities are a ferry-sized boat ride that takes you right up next to the falls and walking next to the falls. In CA, the boat is called Hornblower and in US, it's called Maid of the Mist. Reviews are great for both and say they are similar experiences. The Hornblower boats are bigger and newer, and may run more often during peak times, but both boats actually follow the exact same route (other than pickup/drop off in the US or Canada respectively, of course.) In CA, walking by the falls is called Journey Behind the Falls, and in US, it's called Cave of the Winds. COTW - yes, on the US side - is the clear winner from DDF reviews and is worth crossing over the border for. JBtFs is impressive, and there is a wonderful platform right next to the falls that is extraordinary, but the portals to look out from behind the falls are essentially grey from the falling water, there's not much to see.

Other great activities that shouldn't be missed are the Skylon Tower (can't miss it) and the White Water Walk (slightly north, downriver from the falls, take WEGO - see below), and for those with the stomach for it, the WildPlay Zipline at the Hornblower area is highly recommended!

It should be noted that Chabad sells a variety of discounted tickets to some of the local activities listed below, which can be a good deal and also help to support Chabad. The passes are sold from a small desk to your left as you enter the michig restaurant. (In particular, their "J-Pass" was found to be useful by one family in July 2018.) There are also also other passes sold by Niagara Parks Canada that may be useful, depending on what you'd like to do.

Set your phone to network only (no roaming), and it should pick up the signal from the USA. However, in the 4P and Chabad area, Sprint did not work well for @Yehuda, but by Sheraton on the Falls / Clifton Hill and the different activities, it worked fine. May be worth looking into getting a Canadian sim card.

http://www.niagarafallsbridges.com/ lists all 4 bridges with appx wait times. You can also call 1-800-715-6722 to check wait times.

Money: Newsflash: Canada is a different country. They measure things in meters, have Tim Hortons instead of Dunkin' Donuts, and eat fries soaked in gravy (poutine) and swear it's good. Surprise, they also have different money than the US.

CCs with FX fees should not be used unless you know for sure that it won't apply from CA. As of July 2018, many stores will take American dollars in a pinch but with unfavorable - or sometimes ZERO - exchange rates, despite the fact that it was 0.76 USD to 1 CAD at the time, so beware.

Minyanim:
See here: http://www.jewishniagara.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/1299265
Please see below regarding parking.

Restaurants:
There is both a Dairy and Meat (Meat only open Sun-Wed) restaurant in the Chabad Center (which is located across from the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel, map) open during the summer season, cash only (they were taking CC's as of July 2018), see the website and/or Facebook page for details.

As of the week after Tisha B'av 2018, the experience of one family was that the fleishig restaurant was brand new, with a limited menu, expensive, but with great food and great service. The milchig restaurant was expensive, with only barely passable food and downright abysmal service.

Important: There is no official parking at the Chabad center/restaurant, but there is paid street parking just up the street from them. Signs posted, and speaking with some of the Chabad and restaurant folks confirm, that parking in the parking lot right near Chabad may result in your car being towed, a $350 ticket, and another $400 to get your car out of the impound lot, not to mention a chilul Hashem. Don't do it. The Chabad website recommends staying at the Four Points by Sheraton Fallsview which is right across from the Chabad center.

Nissan's Deli - There is a limited deli (shnitzel, hot dogs, hamburgers, deli salads, etc.) about 20 min drive away, located in the Top's Supermarket at 3980 Maple Road, Amherst, NY. @S209 called CRC and they vouched for the kashrus here. Call ahead, hours aren't posted on website. The supermarket also has a good selection of fresh kosher items (cold cuts, cheeses, cholov yisroel milk was frozen). The bakery in this Tops is kosher (Va'ad Hakashrus of Buffalo), extensive & delicious - dairy & parve items available.

Hotels:
Be careful with hotel names as there are 4 SPG properties that have similar names - Sheraton on the Falls (CA), Sheraton at the Falls (US), Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview (CA), Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls (US). Come on Starwood...

Sheraton On The Falls nice hotel, right next to to the local attractions, Hornblower, Journey Behind the falls(10 min walk) Niagara SkyWheel etc. You can get a Deluxe Fallsview room for 11k Starpoints. The only suites they have are corner suites, so if you book/upgrade to a suite you'll get a corner suite which is very nice and spacious.

Near each other and Chabad
Four Points by Sheraton Fallsview - Category 5 - 35K Marriott, within Eruv to Chabad across the street, meals are in this hotel
Embassy Suites - 70K HH
Hilton - 70K HH (see here for info on a contact for upgrades)

Near Clifton Hill
Sheraton on the Falls - Category 6 - 50K Marriott
Courtyard Niagara Falls - Category 5 - 35K Marriott

Can often find package deals or cheaper rates (not during holiday season) on Groupon or by Googling hotel name and "packages" or "deals" as they each have a packages section of their website.

Transportation:

Although you probably came to Niagara by car, driving around everywhere and parking is a problem. There are not enough (occasionally ANY) parking spaces at the key attractions, and what parking there is is quite expensive. $10-$15 per day is OK, but if there is no hourly rate, you can easily pay that 4x per day if you aren't careful. If you are staying in the hotels and like a lot of walking, you can pretty much walk to the main Hornblower-to-Table Rock section of the Falls activities and from Clifton Hill to Fallsview/Chabad area with a can-do attitude and a good pair of shoes. If you are coming with kids or anyone who gets whiny when they have to walk too much, or you are interested in activities down by the Whirlpool area or elsewhere in the region, consider buying WEGO passes (http://www.wegoniagarafalls.com/fares/), which give you unlimited bus rides on the Canadian side for 24 or 48 hours. The buses are fast and clean, the stops are all over, and the wait is usually not more than a max of 10 min in peak times.

Note that WEGO passes are included in all three levels of the Niagara Parks Adventure Pass (https://www.niagaraparks.com/visit-niagara-parks/plan-your-visit/deals-packages/), but not in the Chabad J-Pass.

Activities:

Canadian Side:

Journey Behind The Falls
Phone: 905-354-1551
Admission: $16.75/adult, $10.95/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (CAD, +Tax. Including a rain poncho)
Mid-December to mid-April: The Lower Observation area closes due to bad weather conditions. Ticket rates will be reduced: $11.25/adult, $6.95/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (CAD, +Tax)
Open late on most days

Hornblower Niagara Cruises
Phone: 905-642-4272
Admission: $19.95/adult, $12.25/5-12yrs, Free/<5yrs
Off-Peak (before 10:30am after 4:30pm): $17.95/adult, $12.25/5-12yrs, Free/<5yrs
http://www.niagaracruises.com/

Niagara Helicopters
Address: 3731 Victoria Ave, Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6V5
Phone: 905-357-5672
Admission: $137/adult, $85/child, $264/couple
Hours: 9:00AM-Sunset
Duration: 12 minutes (including boarding time)
http://www.niagarahelicopters.com/

Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours
Address: Several Locations
Phone: 888-438-4444
Admission: $61/adult, $51/child
http://www.whirlpooljet.com/

Niagara's Fury
Address: 6650 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0L0
Phone: 905-358-3268
Admission: $13.50/adult, $8.80/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (+ Tax)
http://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/niagaras-fury.html

White Water Walk to the Whirlpool Rapids
Admission: $10.95/adult, $7.00/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (+ Tax)
http://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/white-water-walk.html

Whirlpool Aero Car
Phone: 905-354-5711
Admission: $13.50/adult, $8.50/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (+ Tax)
Parking: Free
http://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/whirlpool-aero-car.html

Marineland
http://www.marinelandcanada.com/
Admission: $42.95 CDN/ Adult (13+), $39.95 CDN/ Child (5-12), 4 and under- FREE
Parking: Free

Falls Incline Railway
Admission: $2.50/One way, $5.00/Round trip, $6.00/All day (Free <5yrs)
http://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/falls-incline-railway.html

SkyWheel
Address: 4950 Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3N4
Phone: 905-358-4793
Admission: $10.99/adult, $6.99/<12yrs

Skylon Tower
Hours: Summer 8:00AM - Midnight, Winter 9:00AM - 10:00PM
Admission: "Ride-To-The-Top & Observation Decks" $13.91/adult ($10.79 online), $8.11/3-12yrs ($6.47 online), Free/<3yrs
"3D/4D Theatre"  $11.59/adult ($10.61 online), $6.95/3-12yrs ($5.89 online), Free/<3yrs
Check out the Revolving Dining Room!
http://www.skylon.com/

IMAX
Address: 6170 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 7T8
Phone: 905-358-3611
Hourly shows.
Admission: $12.50/adult (+ taxes = 14.50), $9.90/child (+ taxes = 10.44)
http://imaxniagara.com/

Butterfly Conservatory
Phone: 905-356-8119
Admission: $13.50/adult, $8.80/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (+ Tax)
Parking: $5.00
http://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/butterfly-conservatory.html

Botanical Gardens
Phone: 905-356-8119
Admission: Free
Parking: $5.00
Hours: Dawn - Dusk
http://www.niagaraparks.com/niagara-falls-attractions/botanical-gardens.html

Ripley's Believe It or Not!
Address: 4960 Clifton Hill Niagara Falls, Ontario L2G 3N4
Phone: 905-356-2238
Admission: $15.81/adult ($13.99 online), $9.03/6-12yrs ($7.99 online)
http://www.ripleys.com/niagarafalls/

[Wiki in progress, need to reconcile these activities to those listed above]
CANADA
Hornblower Niagara Cruises (canada) - $20, 5 min walk from SOTF
Journey Behind the Falls (canada) - (bleh compared to cave of the winds)
White Water Walk to the Whirlpool Rapids - $10, take bus to it or park for free.
Whirlpool Aero Car - $11, take bus or park for free.
Falls Incline Railway - just for a view, can get view from hotel room
Clifton Hill
Bird Kingdom - $15, 7 min walk from SOTF
Botanical Gardens - free, $5 parking, bus
- Floral Clock - something to see
- Butterfly Conservatory - $15
Skylon Tower - $13, 15 min walk from SOTF

USA
Goat Island
- Cave of the Winds (usa) - $19 much better than journey behind the falls, 30 min walk from SOTF
- Trolley - $3
- Terrapin Point - view
Fireworks - can be seen from hotel room
Rainbow Bridge for pics/views of both falls - need passport, 1 Dollar (4 quaters ) cash toll, only paying when leaving canada
Whirlpool State Park - hiking down to see the rapids, will do White Water Walk instead

Activities packages - Canada, USA - I found that they didn't have enough of the activities I wanted to do on the same pass (particularly because I wanted to combine CA and US activities). Chabad also has a discounted package called J-Pass as well as discounts to individual activities but they aren't so organized and it's hard to find someone to help you with tickets.


American Side:

Maid Of The Mist
Address: 1 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY
Boats depart every 15 minutes. Trips are 20 minutes.
Last day of operation for the 2014 season is October 31, 2014
Admission: $17.00/adult, $9.90/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs
http://www.maidofthemist.com/

Cave Of The Winds
Phone: 716-278-0337
Hours: 9:00AM - 7:30PM
Admission: $12.00/adult, $8.00/6-12yrs, Free/<5yrs (must be at least 42" tall)
Parking (on Goat Island): $8.00
http://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/cave-of-the-winds.aspx

Rainbow Air Helicopter Tours
454 Main Street Niagara Falls, NY 14301
Phone: 716-284-2800
Hours: 9:00AM -
Open until 10/31
http://rainbowairinc.com/index.html

Aquarium of Niagara
Address: 701 Whirlpool St, Niagara Falls, NY 14301
Phone: 716-285-3575
Hours: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Admission: $10.00/adult, $9.00/seniors(60+), $6.50/3-12yrs, Free/<2yrs
Parking: Free
http://www.aquariumofniagara.org/

Activities on the Way from NY:
Cooperstown - Baseball Hall of Fame, James Fenimore Cooper museum, quaint rural town obsessed with baseball.
Krispy Kreme in Scranton - on Moosic Street, under KOA with supervision from local Scranton Rav - R' Fine, recommended by Rabbi Eidlitz from KosherQuest.com via email to @Yehuda
Corning Museum of Glass ($20) - large museum of varying glass displays and creations, glass blowing demonstrations, has high reviews although @Yehuda didn't think it was that amazing
Watkins Glen State Park (free, $8 parking) - hike in a gorge along several waterfalls, more of an upward step climb than a hike which is quite strenuous, @Yehuda recommends going 20 minutes in to see the first few falls then turning back, if you go the whole 1-1.5 hours you can wait for a shuttle school bus to take you back to the parking lot for $5 cash
Letchworth State Park - hot air balloons
Finger Lakes - can go on a boat cruise or just find a nice place to pull over for a good lunch spot, @Yehuda took Hwy 14, which runs alongside Seneca Lake and found a grassy area with benches.
Strong Museum of Play in Rochester ($15) - not exactly on the most direct route, but a fantastic, huge museum of toys and games (many of which you can play) for all ages
Howe Caverns ($25) - boat ride in a cave, but close to Albany, so not on a great route to Niagara
Erie Canal Tours - Herkimer Highly recommended. (I'll try to edit and post more info soon)

At Niagara you are also ~1-1.5 hours from Toronto.
« Last edited by ajs625 on July 17, 2019, 12:36:43 PM »

Author Topic: Niagara Falls Master Thread  (Read 160402 times)

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #330 on: October 02, 2013, 04:57:18 PM »
The pizza shop in Niagara is seasonal. Its only open July, August and. Chol hamoed sukkos

Oh well.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #331 on: October 02, 2013, 09:53:30 PM »
That's the plan as of now. Do you think it's better to go to the US side of the falls or just look from the Canadian side (given my time frame)?
If flying into CA, I don't think it is worth it to go to the American side. Plus, you never know how border control may be. The CA side has plenty to see and do.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Ergel

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #332 on: October 02, 2013, 09:57:24 PM »
That's the plan as of now. Do you think it's better to go to the US side of the falls or just look from the Canadian side (given my time frame)?
Canadian side is a much better view anyways. And you definitely don't have time for the border crossing
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #333 on: October 02, 2013, 10:01:24 PM »
Canadian side is a much better view anyways. And you definitely don't have time for the border crossing
That's what I figured. Thanks for all your help!

Offline DoGo

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #334 on: October 02, 2013, 11:05:40 PM »
Are you referring to travel by car or by air? By air they most definitely have GE machines. By car/foot I assume you have to go through a regular lane.
So for those telling people they can't use GE they should consider being clear as to what they are taking about
usually an airport is not at the border!

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #335 on: December 26, 2013, 03:03:13 PM »
There are no Hyatt properties by Niagara Falls?
Curiosity made the cat smarter.

Offline Askan

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #336 on: December 29, 2013, 08:22:14 AM »
There are no Hyatt properties by Niagara Falls?

Downtown Buffalo Hyatt conference center.

Offline metziah

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #337 on: January 15, 2014, 04:50:20 PM »
Anyone know if I can fly with my 2 year old without a passport just a birth certificate?

Offline Devorah

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #338 on: January 15, 2014, 07:23:20 PM »
Anyone know if I can fly with my 2 year old without a passport just a birth certificate?
no. u could fly to buf and drive though.

Offline tageed-lee

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #339 on: January 15, 2014, 07:23:54 PM »
Anyone know if I can fly with my 2 year old without a passport just a birth certificate?

You need a passport

Offline Ergel

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #340 on: January 27, 2014, 12:21:50 PM »
How was this data compiled?

I only want to fly and my wife wants to drive. I can use some "concrete" evidence that it is a more significant time saver when flying.
Personal experience. Remember that while filghts can be delayed, driving rarely will be.
Assuming arrive at LGA ~50 minutes before flight and YYZ 100 minutes before flight.
Updated a little, it's a little longer than I said
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Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #341 on: January 27, 2014, 12:24:43 PM »
Personal experience. Remember that while filghts can be delayed, driving rarely will be.
Assuming arrive at LGA ~50 minutes before flight and YYZ 100 minutes before flight.
Updated a little, it's a little longer than I said
Understood.

Though not having to be in a car for 6,7 pr 8 hours is worth the time it takes going the airport route.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Ergel

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #342 on: January 27, 2014, 01:10:54 PM »
Understood.

Though not having to be in a car for 6,7 pr 8 hours is worth the time it takes going the airport route.
I know. Just flying to buffalo still doesn't make sense to me. Such a hassle. And if you drive the whole way you have a car
Flying buf-mia may make sense
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #343 on: January 27, 2014, 01:13:57 PM »
I know. Just flying to buffalo still doesn't make sense to me. Such a hassle. And if you drive the whole way you have a car
Flying buf-mia may make sense
I have in-laws there so car is not really the issue.

I do have a dilemma now as we will be staying at Niagara on The Lake which is ~20 minutes from the Border/Falls and ~60 minutes from YYZ. This makes the timing a little closer and may eventually make me lose out to the wife in regards to flying.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #344 on: February 20, 2014, 11:49:02 AM »
Which Niagara hotel would you say is nicer? Sheraton on the falls or Four points Sheraton?
Curiosity made the cat smarter.