I have been to Niagara Falls twice, both times with my husband and children.
The first trip was part of a combined business trip/vacation that started with a tour of the Corning Glass works and ended with a science museum in Rochester. We only had one child at the time and he was more than a handful. We stayed on the American side of the falls and toured the American attractions. We journeyed to goat island and took the elevator down to the base of the falls. Goat Island was a pleasant vantage point of the edge of the falls from the top. The elevator took you down to the base of the American Falls. The deck was wet and so slippery in places that it scared me. Our son thought the whole experience was funny; he laughed through the whole tour. We also rode the Maid of the Mists which proved to be as wet an experienceat the base of Horseshoe Falls and again provided our young son with a joyful experience. We could have crossed a bridge to the Canadian side of the falls, but didn’t feel like it at the time.
It has occurred to me that I should not have been surprised at his joy at being soaked to the bone by the two attractions. He always preferred our walks if it started to rain, sat down in puddles to splash the water, and was totally unafraid of bathing or swimming.
The second trip was strictly a vacation trip. We stayed in a hotel on the Canadian side that had a toucan in the lobby. My daughter made a drawing of the toucan, but sadly we left it behind. There was more to see and do on the Canadian side of the falls. We took a fake ride over the falls that was fun and told the story of the maid of the mists. We rode in a gondola over the Niagara River where a large whirlpool has formed. We visited the botanicalgardens, sadly before the butterfly house had been completed. We took a trip down to the caverns behind Horseshoe Falls. And we rode the Maid of the Mists again.
My daughter preferred the hotel’s toucan to the falls attractions and unlike her brother really hated the Maid of the Mists “water in the face” experience.
Things have probably changed a lot in the past fifteen years. I hear they have a casino or two on the American side and the butterfly house has been open on the Canadian side since my last visit.