What to Pack for a Family Trip to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of those places — like the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone Park — that is just perfect for family trips. Not only is Niagara Falls a well-established tourist destination, with plenty of family-friendly dining and entertainment opportunities, but it is also a one-of-a-kind world wonder that your little ones won’t soon forget visiting. The best time to visit the falls is in early summer; it’s then that the Niagara River is at its fullest, ensuring a full and fantastic falls view, but the temperatures in May, June and July are also milder than they are the rest of the year, so you and the kids can explore the outdoors in comfortable clothing.
But — what exact kinds of clothing should you bring? It can be confusing to pack for a trip to Niagara Falls, considering that it is a city with the main attraction based in nature. If your Niagara trip is coming up quick, here’s what you need to throw in a suitcase for you and your family.

What to Pack for a Family Trip to Niagara Falls: The Essentials

Niagara Falls is nestled in one of Canada’s most temperate regions. While the rest of the country — even areas right next door to Niagara Valley — remains under snow for much of the year, Niagara enjoys much milder temperatures in the winter, meaning it is quicker to warm up in the spring and summer.

Still, that definitely doesn’t mean Niagara Falls is prime territory for tank tops and short-shorts, even in the high summer months. The weather can change relatively quickly, and because so many activities cause you to get drenched by the falls’ spray, it’s a good idea to pack outfits with plenty of layers that are easy to take on and off throughout the day. That means it’s okay to have a tank top layer as long as you also have a casual button-up over it and maybe a light jacket, too. A cap and sunglasses are also a good idea to stay safe from the sun, which can cause burns even when temperatures are moderate.

It’s also wise for everyone in your family to carry along a waterproof covering. While can’t-miss attractions like Niagara boat tours and the Journey Behind the Falls will provide plastic ponchos and slide-on sandals, they aren’t a perfect fit, which means your layers underneath are likely to get soaked — unless they are protected by a water-resistant windbreaker or a similar outer layer. While plenty of Niagara Falls hotels are just walking distance from these attractions, you don’t want to waste your vacation walking back and forth from your rooms to change out of wet clothes.

Finally, you want to make sure that every member of your family is clad with comfortable walking shoes because it is likely you’ll be on your feet for much of your trip. Ideally, the features you want in good Niagara shoes are:

Traction. As mentioned before, stuff gets wet in Niagara Falls. Wet walking surfaces can be slick, and to prevent unnecessary slips and falls, your shoes should grab the ground and keep you upright.

Foot and ankle support. The more you walk, the more likely you are to stretch the tissues in your foot and ankle, causing injury. A supportive shoe will stop your dogs from barking, allowing you to explore the region for longer every day.

Laces. Slide-on shoes are convenient, but lacing will keep shoes snug on feet all day. When you have littler kids, you can use Velcro to prevent loose strings.

The Extras

While light layers, a waterproof shell and functional shoes are mandatory, there are a few accouterments that are merely encouraged. These include:

A travel brush. A small, folding hairbrush that fits in a fanny pack or small backpack will save your hair during your Niagara vacation. The wind and mist can cause fly-aways and frizz alarmingly fast, so it’s nice to run a brush through your hair every few hours for the sake of pictures.

A waterproof bag. If you have a waterproof layer for your clothing, you should have a waterproof layer for the belongings you carry with you. If you have especially young kids and carry a diaper bag, the waterproof feature won’t go to waste when you leave Niagara.

Electronics/toys. Little kids get bored fast, even when exploring a new city. You should bring along one or two of their second-tier toys (nothing from the first-tier, in case it gets lost). Then, when attention starts to wane, you can pull out the toy for a short reprieve

Niagara Falls is fun for the whole family — but only if you pack correctly. With these items in your suitcases, you shouldn’t find it hard to have a good time.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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  1. Thanks for the useful helpful tips.

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