Exploring the Wonder of Niagara Falls

The countdown is officially on for Morley to start daycare and for me to head back to work. It's crazy to believe that 10 months have already passed.

To celebrate, we decided we were in need of a little getaway. Just the three of us. 


A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass

Living in Toronto, there are many quick getaways at our finger tips. A short 1.5 hour drive down the highway, Niagara Falls, Ontario is the perfect one-day or overnight trip option for those that live in,  around or are just visiting the big city of Toronto. 

Whether you are traveling with family, friends or even solo, Niagara Falls has something to do for everyone. While the Niagara Region may be known for its award-winning wineries, vast network of hiking trails along the Niagara Escarpment and the Falls themselves, it is filled with adventure and activities all year long, making it the perfect mid-winter celebratory getaway for my little family. 

A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass

This trip, I wanted something that was unlike anything we'd ever done before in Niagara Falls, but also something that family-friendly. For us, the answer was Niagara Park's Wonder Pass.

Having lived in the Niagara Region for a year during grad school, I was familiar with Niagara Parks. However, I had no idea that Parks also ran many of the great attractions in and around the Falls area, offering a "passport"-type adventure pass to visit them. 

The Niagara Parks Wonder Pass is a great option whether you're visiting the Falls for one day, two or even more. At just $22.95 CAD+tax per adult (*subject to change), the Pass saves you money while offering one time admission to the Park's all-season attractions - Journey Behind the Falls, the Butterfly Conservatory and Niagara’s Fury - plus over $75 in bonus coupons to use during your stay. No car? No problem. It also includes 2-days access to the WEGO bus system, which connects major hotels in Niagara Falls to Niagara Parks.

Take a look at how we explored Niagara Falls with the Niagara Parks Wonder Pass:

Journey Behind the Falls

Journey Behind the Falls allows you to venture deep below and behind the heart of Niagara, and stand in the mist where the mighty Horseshoe Falls tumbles from 13 storeys above! You'll experience the awesome spectacle of one-fifth of the world's freshwater crashing down to the basin below.

This was definitely my favourite part of the Wonder Pass. You really can't get a feel for the amount of water and power rushing over the Falls until you step behind them. 

During the winter months, they close the outdoor viewing platform (for obvious reasons), but there is still plenty to see from the covered areas. The good thing about experiencing this attraction in winter? You don't get wet!


A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass
A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass
A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass

Please note, strollers are not normally permitted in this attraction. We were granted special permission since it was especially quiet on our visit.

Butterfly Conservatory

This magical attraction features over 2,000 colourful tropical butterflies floating freely among lush, exotic blossoms and greenery. Paths wind through the rainforest setting, past a pond and waterfall and the Emergence window, where butterflies leave their pupae and prepare to take their first flight!

We spent quite a bit of time at the Butterfly Conservatory. Mostly because Morley slept through half of it, and of course woke up just as we were leaving. We knew she would love to watch the butterflies, so once she was awake, we ended up going through again. 

We're glad we did. Her little giggles as she watched them flying, her shrieks and grunts as she yelled at them laying on the greenery and her delayed reactions as they flew past her face were all priceless. 


A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass
A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass
A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass

Niagara's Fury

Niagara's Fury allows you to discover the ancient story of Niagara Falls, through a 360 degree, multi-sensory experience. Located in the same area as the Journey Behind the Falls, Niagara's Fury is a “4D” Universal Studios-style attraction, to help you fully understand how the Falls were formed and their true power. 

In lieu of this attraction being closed for maintenance during our visit, we were offered passes to the IMAX. While I would have loved to take in this attraction, we didn't think Morley would, so we opted out. 


Floral Showhouse

This Wonder Pass add-on option displays collections or orchids, succulents and other tropical plant species throughout the year, with special floral shows that reflect the changing seasons. Colourful tropical birds fly throughout the greenery to make you truly feel like you are in a lush jungle.

Visiting a greenhouse like this one is not something we would normally do, so taking some time to walk through and enjoy the beautiful spring display was a nice change of pace. And Morley loved watching the birds.


A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass
A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass

Falls Illumination

This past December, the bi-national Niagara Falls Illumination Board unveiled its new energy-efficient LED illumination system in Niagara Falls. The new lighting system provides more than twice the previous lighting levels, programmable lighting and a wider spectrum of colour, offering both new and returning visitors an entirely new way to experience Niagara Falls at night.

After dinner, we ended the day with a walk along the falls to view the new Falls IlluminationEvery evening beginning at dusk, Niagara Falls is transformed into an incredible, multi-coloured water and light masterpiece. These lights work to create a breathtaking view not to be missed.  


A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass
A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass


Niagara Park's Wonder Pass was definitely the perfectly family-friendly way to see the Falls. It was a busy day, but a fun one. I think Morley agreed.

A Family-Friendly Visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario with Niagara Park's Wonder Pass

Visiting Niagara Falls in the Winter

While most people associate visiting the Falls with the summer months, I highly recommend checking it out during the winter.  There were no big lines or even crowds to battle. At times, we were the only ones walking down the street. The majority of attractions and restaurants are still open, and as it is their slow season, most will thank you for stopping in.  That being said, be sure to check ahead before your winter visit, just to be safe.


About Niagara Parks

Since its establishment in 1885, Niagara Parks has remained a self-financed agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport, entrusted to preserve and protect the land surrounding Niagara Falls and the Niagara River. The Agency offers visitors the opportunity to authentically experience and interpret the 56 kilometre Niagara River corridor through the sprawling parklands, natural attractions, locally-sourced culinary offerings, celebrated golf courses and restored heritage sites.

Planning a trip to Niagara Falls? Let Niagara Parks help with their online trip plannerFor more info on the Niagara Parks Wonder Pass, visit Niagara Parks website.



Have you been to Niagara Falls? What was your favourite thing to do or see? I'd love to hear!




Note: This post was made possible by Niagara Parks. I did receive products and/or compensation in exchange for my honest review, however, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you Niagara Parks for creating lasting memories for my family!