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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 163313 times)

Offline NMB

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #450 on: August 01, 2014, 11:52:01 AM »


I went to Niagara last summer and was able to use my Sprint phone in most areas near the Falls. I also got service in my hotel room (which was on a high floor).

Offline ilherman

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #451 on: August 02, 2014, 11:57:48 PM »
For Verizon you could change your plan to include calls and text from Canada, it costs a few $ for the month and is pro rated. Data is very expensive. Set your phone to block roaming data, and use  wifi.
+1. I paid $15 for 1000 free minutes and $25 for 100 MB of data. Not grandfathered though...
You can say what you think when you think what you say.

Offline yoshi

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #452 on: August 11, 2014, 12:06:09 PM »
What's my best bet for a hotel in Niagara? 50k ur points is what I have available.

Offline ilherman

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #453 on: August 11, 2014, 12:48:55 PM »
There is a water park next to the Sheraton in Niagara.
You can say what you think when you think what you say.


Offline kracked dude

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #455 on: August 14, 2014, 09:54:58 PM »
I don't think this info is well known and I did not find any mention of it here.

Every honeymoon couple can receive a pass for one free admission to many Niagara Falls attractions (officially for the bride)

The official honeymoon certificates are available from
Niagara Falls, Canada Visitor & Convention Bureau
5515 Stanley Avenue
Niagara Falls ON
L2G 3X4
800-563-2557

And/or

Niagara Falls Tourism
5400 Robinson St
Niagara Falls, ON
L2G 2A6
905-356-6061
« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 10:13:48 PM by kracked dude »

Offline sillypainter

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #456 on: August 14, 2014, 10:47:49 PM »
I don't think this info is well known and I did not find any mention of it here.

Every honeymoon couple can receive a pass for one free admission to many Niagara Falls attractions (officially for the bride)

The official honeymoon certificates are available from
Niagara Falls, Canada Visitor & Convention Bureau
5515 Stanley Avenue
Niagara Falls ON
L2G 3X4
800-563-2557

And/or

Niagara Falls Tourism
5400 Robinson St
Niagara Falls, ON
L2G 2A6
905-356-6061

They just take your word for it?

Offline kracked dude

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #457 on: August 14, 2014, 11:24:50 PM »
Apparently, I know someone that just went, they just asked him when he got married. Maybe they also took his photo ID (so you can't get it twice? I'm not sure though)

Offline Mordy2

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #458 on: August 17, 2014, 09:28:12 AM »
How much time would you guys budget for each of:
-African lion safari
-Centre Island/Centreville.
-CNE
-Science museum

Is it worth doing maid of the mist and journey behind the falls?

Maid of the Mist is worthwhile though the lines can get quite long in the summer. I think Journey Behind the Falls is a waste of time. Cave of the Winds on the American side is an amazing experience!

Offline Joe4007

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #459 on: August 17, 2014, 09:54:28 AM »
Maid of the Mist is worthwhile though the lines can get quite long in the summer. I think Journey Behind the Falls is a waste of time. Cave of the Winds on the American side is an amazing experience!
+1. Cave of the winds is a similar experience to the walkway leading up to catarata Bozzetti of Iguazu in that you feel the mihgtiness of the falls up close.

Offline ilherman

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #460 on: August 17, 2014, 09:56:52 AM »
Maid of the Mist is worthwhile though the lines can get quite long in the summer. I think Journey Behind the Falls is a waste of time. Cave of the Winds on the American side is an amazing experience!
+1 for maid of the mist and journey behind the falls.

You can easily spend a day in centre island, you can rent out a family bike and bike around, there are very nice rides for the kids, and dolphin shows.  At least that's what I did. It may be worthwhile to buy a day pass, some rides require a crazy amount of tickets.
You can say what you think when you think what you say.

Offline avadah

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #461 on: August 17, 2014, 12:46:05 PM »
I don't think you can do cave of the winds with the kids.

Offline lunatic

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #462 on: August 17, 2014, 01:49:21 PM »
I don't think you can do cave of the winds with the kids.
-1. I did with kids. Even a baby

Offline lunatic

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #463 on: August 17, 2014, 01:49:53 PM »
Maid of the Mist is worthwhile though the lines can get quite long in the summer. I think Journey Behind the Falls is a waste of time. Cave of the Winds on the American side is an amazing experience!
+1. Don't do journey behind the falls

Offline Dan

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Re: Niagara Falls Master Thread
« Reply #464 on: August 17, 2014, 02:14:17 PM »
Lots of wet steps with COTW, no?
Think its doable with a 1 and 3 year old?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.