Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Waterslides, Wave Pools and a Winter Wonderland

This past weekend my family turned a cold, grey and wet weekend on its head with a birthday visit to the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark and the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel.  What better way to trick the mind into believing it is warmer and sunnier than it really is than by barreling down a six storey waterslide and taking a dip in a wave pool? 

The kids’ jaws dropped as we entered the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark.  There were slides everywhere, a 1000 gallon tipping bucket, the Beach House Rain Fortress (essentially an enormous water playground for kids) and a giant wave pool.   

We didn’t even know about the outdoor heated pool until we literally stumbled upon it.  Picture us running out into 0C weather in our soaking wet bathing suits to then jump into a very warmly heated pool with basketball nets to practice our shots.  The kids thought it was awesome.  I have to admit, I braved it only for a moment or two.  I could however picture myself lounging out there in warm weather and soaking up a few rays.

My son’s favourite thing at the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark was called “The Bowl”, affectionately known by our family as “The Toilet”.  You get on your single or tandem inner tube and start down a fairly typical waterslide.  All of a sudden you’re dumped into this bowl where you circle around and around until finally you are sucked down into the final portion of the slide.  It looked and felt as if you had just been flushed down the loo, hence our nickname, the toilet.

My daughter on the other hand was over the moon with the Extreme slides, especially since she hit the height requirement and my son missed it by an inch.  I like a little extreme slide action myself so we had a lot of fun having a little “extreme” girl time.

I personally think my favourite part of the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark was the Beach House Rain fortress.  My kids asked me to come in and play with them.  It was a blast!  It took me back to more of the carefree days we’d spend at the playground only now we were getting wet.  We raced on the slides, tricked each other into getting soaked by the tipping bucket and spun till we were dizzy. 

After many, many, many hours of fun at the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark we were finally feeling a bit waterlogged so we headed over to our room at the Sheraton on the Falls.  It was so nice to have a tunnel connection to the hotel so we didn’t need to go out into the cold with wet hair. 

As we entered our room our jaws literally hit the floor once again as we took in the floor to ceiling windows overlooking Niagara Falls.  It was as if we had a bird’s eye view.  The room felt luxurious, the beds were super comfy (even if my daughter did kick me most of the night) and the view was priceless.  We all had showers (I admit I took the shampoos – mandarin mint – YUM!) and cleaned up for dinner.  We were starving by this point.

While there are a variety of restaurants to choose from, many attached to the hotel by the tunnel, we decided to eat at the Fallsview restaurant.  It is a buffet with windows overlooking the falls.  It was perfect for our family because it offered a wide variety of choices and even better because kids ate free between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.  We just squeaked in under the 6:00 p.m. mark. 

After dinner we took a walk down Falls Avenue and the Niagara Parkway to take in the Festival of Lights running now through January 31, 2013.  It was magical to see all of the trees and decorations.  I personally loved the World Religion display that incorporated the Pilgrimage to Mecca, The Menorah, and the Journey to Bethlehem side by side.  It had my (Christian) children singing their Hanukkah songs for the rest of our walk. 

This was the perfect vacation getaway for us.  It didn’t involve lengthy travel times, airports, passports, or even lost luggage.  But in the end we still got away, got refreshed and had an amazing time doing it. 

I am a firm believer that the best gift you can give isn’t a thing but an experience.  So this year instead of opening up lots of presents, my 8 year old (and the rest of us) got to spend time together, get silly and create memories that will last a lifetime.    They are already asking when we can go back.  I'd say that is the best compliment you can give.  My family highly recommends a family get-away to the Fallsview Hotels and Waterpark. 

Tips for Visiting the Falls Avenue Resort:

  1. Take advantage of a hotel/waterpark package.  The hotels are linked by tunnels to the waterpark so you don’t need to go outside.  The Fallsview Indoor Waterpark (www.fallsviewwaterpark.com) has packages with the Sheraton on the Falls, Crowne Plaza Fallsview, Skyline Inn or Hampton Inn by Hilton at the Falls.  We stayed at the Sheraton on the Falls (http://www.sheratononthefalls.com) and we weren’t disappointed. 

  2. Pack your waterpark items in a separate bag. (See below)
  3. Enjoy the waterpark even before your hotel room is available.  You get access to the waterpark from 10:00 a.m. on the day of arrival through 3:00 p.m. on the day you check-out.  This means that although check-in time at the hotel isn’t until 4 p.m. your family can arrive in the morning and head straight to the waterpark.  Leave your luggage (and jackets) with the concierge and then head directly to the waterpark. 
  4. During high season (approx. March – October), hotel guests get access to the waterpark 1 hour before it opens to the public.
  5. Rent a locker.  I would say rent a large locker ($8 rental + $10 deposit) as a family.  In fact, with 4 winter coats, boots and clothes it was too small.  Next time I’ll leave the jackets in the car.  If you are just a single person, a small locker ($5 rental + $10 deposit) would be fine.
  6. If you can, try and incorporate a Friday night into your visit.  The Fireworks over the falls go every Friday night at 9:00 p.m. between November 9th, 2012 and January 25th, 2013.
If you’re interested in more information visit their websites by clicking on their logos below.


Although this post has generously been sponsored by Canadian Niagara Hotels, the fun and excitement, giggles & memories, opinions and language are all my own.  And yes, I was the lady who kept sticking her camera in her bosum as she slid down the slides.


  1. Love this post! What a fun adventure. My boys would love this when they were a bit older. Thank you for linking up to Travel Tuesday and sharing such great memories.


    1. It is such a fun place for kids (and adults) of all ages. Thanks for hosting the link up!

  2. Love this and I laughed out loud when I read the "I was the lady who kept sticking her camera in her bosum as she slid down the slides." because somehow I am that lady on every trip too. ;)

    Niagara Falls is such a great place to visit for a short weekend getaway and we're hoping to go next year. Do you think the waterpark would be good for a 4 and 1 year old? I know the slides probably won't interest them but just wondering if there's stuff they would enjoy (because I want to go on the slides myself LOL!)

    1. The waterpark is perfect for a 4 year old and they have a splash area for really little kids. Your 1 year old could play there and go in the wave pool with you. They have mini slides that are still fun for racing on with the kids!

  3. Replies
    1. Definitely put it on the family bucket list for when your daughter is a little older.

  4. You're so right about building memories vs. buying presents. My daughter gets so much junk that she can't keep track of it all. She does, however, remember every trip we've ever taken - including freaky accurate details about our trip to Wisconsin Dells earlier this year.

    1. I 100% agree. When our kids were 2 and almost 4 my dad insisted we all go to Disney bc he'd always wanted to take grandkids. I thought he was blowing his money but to this day they can tell us such minute details about our trip and they still play 'going to Disney' and this is 4 years later. I had to admit, I was wrong.


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