Waterslides. The greatest invention ever if you ask most kids. And they’ve come a long way since my childhood days of singular slides at your average chain hotel. Waterparks take any family getaway to the next level. And for Toronto families this means you can easily wow your kids less than a two-hour drive from the city at the Fallsview Waterpark in Niagara Falls.
Located along Niagara Parkway, the Fallsview Waterpark is tucked in behind hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. It is walking distance from the real Niagara Falls – Mother Nature providing us with her own wow-factor.
While exploring the whole Niagara Falls area was on the agenda, checking out Fallsview Waterpark was high on the list. It did not disappoint. My kids – their minds were blown. Me? I was surprised how much of the waterpark is accessible to even the littlest kid in TOw. My 8-year-old and 4-year-old could cruise down pretty much all of the slides. (For the extreme racing slides and mats, you need to be 48”.) Even the tiniest splashers won’t feel like they are missing out. The Beach House and rain fortress has eight slides in varying lengths – you need to be 36” for the small ones and no height restriction for the shortest. There is lots of splash features and it’s topped with a huge thousand-gallon tipping bucket. A smaller Tiny Tots Splash Park is fun for the wee ones. The Wave Pool has beach entry.
What’s fun, is that parents who enjoy doing more than watching can accompany their kids on almost any slide or pool – the Beach House slides were even fun for the grandparents in TOw. The four longer Toob Slides, for example, are great for almost all ages. You can enjoy them on single or double tube so I spent most of the time sliding on the same tube with one of my kids. The waterslide landings are shallow, making for easy exit.
However if you are looking for that relaxed resort vibe, there are tons of lounge chairs where I saw many parents reading while the rest of the family was out playing. There is a small outdoor pool area (open year-round) with more deck chairs on the patio – a perfect spot to hang out in the summer. The only thing we missed out on (forgot about) was the hot tubs.
Now, it is a public pool, so it’s pretty noisy and well, a public pool. But with its domed ceiling and lots of windows, the park is spacious and bright. For us, it was the perfect energy-burning escape.
Here are some views and my trip tips below.
Getting there: The Fallsview Waterpark is in Niagara Falls along Niagara Parkway. Take the QEW right into Niagara Falls. It has direct access to street level as well as three hotels: Sheraton on the Falls, Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls-Fallsview and Skyline Hotel & Waterpark.
Low-down: The waterpark is open most days so be sure to check the schedule. On weekends and holidays, hotel guests have access one hour prior to opening. (mid week in May in June the park is closed – but moves into full swing throughout the summer 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Here is a map of the park and rules.
Babes in TOw: Diaper-wearing kids must wear a swim diaper at all times. (These are available free of charge at Guest Services.)
Food & Drink: You can easily spend the better part of a day here. There is a restaurant on-site (no outside food allowed) with a smaller dry play structure on the second floor. If you are staying at the hotel, there are in and out privileges when you show your wristband. So you can step out and grab a bite at a number of restaurants in the Falls Avenue Resort. My kid proclaimed that the Rainforest Café was “the best restaurant ever.”
Cost: If you’re daytripping, you can buy day passes ($44.99 per person during off-peak periods; $49.99 per person plus tax during peak holiday periods. Kids two and under are free.) There is parking (starting at $30 per day) and paid lockers on-site. Staying longer? If you’re making the effort, convenience is the key – there are hotel waterpark packages through four Falls Avenue Resort Hotels – Sheraton on the Falls, Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls-Fallsview, Skyline Hotel & Waterpark and Clifton Victoria Inn at the Falls. All but the Clifton has direct indoor access to Fallsview Waterpark. Travelling mid-week and outside of peak periods like March Break and the Christmas holidays will prove to be more economical and much less busy. If you’re planning a visit, sign up for their newsletter for promotions. We got a super flashsale hotel price when we visited in the spring.
In the hood: On-site: Adventure City with laser tag, video games, mini golf and the likes. Off-site more touristy action like Clifton Hill and haunted houses and more laser tag. But there is so much outdoor exploring and that is one of our favourite things about this area – just have a day to do so? Here’s our itinerary.