We Took the Boat Ride at Niagara Falls with our 2-year-Old -- Here's What Happened

I couldn't help but notice the constant coming and going of the boats to the horseshoe-shape falls from the viewing area. "Let's ride it!" Everyone in the group agreed. "Yes, I can't wait. That boat ride at Niagara Falls sounds fun!" "Uhmm.. but can my little boy handle it? It might be too early from him." It's a tug of war inside my head! I mean, look at that massive waterfall force! In the end, my sense of adventure got the best of me. Nope, I don't want to wait for them at the sidelines just to overly protect my kid. Come on, it's not every day we get to visit the Niagara Falls! And so we went. Here's what happened...

Boat Ride: Things to Do in Niagara Falls
Boat Ride: Things to Do in Niagara Falls
Boat Ride: Things to Do in Niagara Falls

Boat Ride Pricing

You can either take the boat ride on the American or the Canadian side (whichever side you may be visiting). We bought our tickets on the spot. We took the day ride for $25++ CAD per person. Children 4 and under get to ride FREE. You'll pay extra for the funicular ride. It costs $2.75 CAD per pax one way. We didn't take that, instead, we took the ramp leading to the dock. The line moves quickly so it's okay.

There's also a night ride option with stunning illuminations of the falls and fireworks lighting up the sky. You'll have to pay more for this ride. The night ride option is usually fully booked, secure your tickets online. You can find them here: Maid of the Mist (American side), Hornblower (Canadian side). I'd recommend taking either or both the day or night option. It's totally worth it!

Boat Ride: Things to Do in Niagara Falls
Boat Ride: Things to Do in Niagara Falls

The Boat Ride Experience

Even though a large number of tourists come for this attraction, the queue moves fast. (Yes, I've mentioned this earlier.) The ride takes 20 minutes and you'll get up close and personal to the falls: both the American and the horseshoe-shaped falls. Everyone is given a plastic poncho including the children, but don't rely on it too much, you'll still get wet. Bring an extra change of clothes!

Boat Ride: Things to Do in Niagara Falls

Other Activities to Do

  • Stay for the night at one of the hotels overlooking the Niagara Falls. Secure a room with a nice view of the falls.
  • Reserve a table at Skylon Tower's Revolving Restaurant
  • Enjoy breathtaking views of the falls from the Niagara SkyWheel
  • Check out the Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum
  • Soar across the Niagara sky with Zipline to the Falls
  • Not enough? Check more here.

Boat Ride: Things to Do in Niagara Falls

That's us imprinting our travel memory at Niagara Falls. One bucket list crossed, baby! ;)

Boat Ride: Things to Do in Niagara Falls
Boat Ride: Things to Do in Niagara Falls

Where to Eat

We didn't dine at the restaurants around the falls. You should be aware by now, most (okay, maybe not all), shops and restaurants around major attractions are tourist traps. Well, if you're willing to pay more for the convenience or accessibility factor then it's up to you. 

I've searched online and found Tide & Vine Oyster House. It's a 10-minute drive away from the falls. Guys, I guarantee it's a MUST-TRY! Our friend remarked, the taste is an explosion of flavors. The online reviewers are right in saying, it's good!

Boat Ride: Things to Do in Niagara Falls
Boat Ride: Things to Do in Niagara Falls

Story Continued...

Our little toddler was wiggling and squirming out of the poncho provided for the boat ride. He cried in protest. Though his words are but a few, he made it loud and clear to us, No poncho for him! Geez, how strong-willed could a two-year-old be?

Due to the immense power and sheer volume of water hitting the rocks below, it produces this damp misty atmosphere enveloping the falls. And the tour boat went through that thing! The children started crying when we came near the horseshoe-shape falls. Adults are roaring with glee. The mist got denser and denser as we drew near. We could barely open our eyes. Our 2-year-old? Well, he's drenched!

An Asian tourist took pity and came near. How could you not when you see a little boy shivering in the cold? This person tried her best to help, though we couldn't understand each other due to language differences. Still, our little person wouldn't budge, we are on our wit's end!

Good thing the boat is stable enough despite the current. The hubby made sure to hold our little boy tight, reassuring him. I worried over nothing before taking the ride. The crazy part? I did not bring an extra shirt for him. I heavily relied on that poncho. Oh no! Thank God, the souvenir shop is there to the rescue. Haha.

Buy toddler tees below.

I must say this is the highlight of our trip and I would do this again and again.

Boat Ride: Things to Do in Niagara Falls

Yes, I'd recommend the boat ride tour at the Niagara Falls. If you could only do one activity during your visit, this would be it! It's an awesome experience. I'm happy we took the plunge with our 2-year-old. It's safe and totally worth it!


I hope our experience taking the boat ride at Niagara Falls gave you an idea of what to expect when you come to visit the area. Have fun! Talk to you soon then. ;)