Have you ever had a duh moment while traveling? I tend to have a lot of them, honestly. But this one stands out in my mind and always will. You see, we decided to take a side trip to Niagara Falls, Canada, last summer after a visit with my family in Pennsylvania. We had the time and the flexibility, so my husband and I, along with our newly turned 3-year-old, set off on our own Niagara Falls adventure.
Now, I guess I could blame my mistake on not being properly prepared or not really knowing that we would in fact make the trip, because we were still undecided when we left for PA, but deep down I knew it was a pretty likely possibility. So, no excuses.
We made the breathtaking drive northward from Pennsylvania to the Canadian border. We checked-in to our hotel located only a few short blocks from the Falls, got settled in, and quickly headed out to start exploring.
That’s when my big mistake became very apparent.
I didn’t bring a stroller or carrier and oh yeah, baby, we were going to need one.
Just a word of warning: When you hear the name of the famed Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, rest assured that it really is a hill— and a steep one. One that you will walk over and over again to get from your Niagara Falls accommodations to the actual viewing of the Falls (unless you choose to stay really, really close, which we did not).
It’s a good leg work out on any given day but a little too long and too strenuous of a walk for the wee ones, and even for me at times. (It’s also a very busy area with a lot of people walking it in both directions where a prick of agoraphobia may set in at times, or maybe that’s just me.)
We even tried a few different routes, trying to maneuver away from that pesky hill, but the walk was just longer and you’ll still encounter the steep incline somewhere else along the way.
Long story short, it was either my husband or myself who spent most of those walks with a three-year-old on our hip, on our back, on our shoulders or holding our hand. Whew.
Lesson learned for me. When in doubt, bring a stroller, even if your kids are used to walking and don’t use a stroller much anymore, which was the stage my son was at last summer, IT DOESN’T MATTER. Bring it. Or your Ergo or your Boba carrier or something. Anything.
I’d also add that it wasn’t just the walk to and from the Falls that was demanding. There was just a lot of walking around in general from the streets to the park to the gardens to the amusements. A stroller would have made that a much easier and less strenuous task for all of us. Oh well, live and learn I guess.
Although we had an absolutely lovely time in Niagara Falls and would go back in a heart beat, you can be sure that I would bring a stroller next time I’m traveling there with a toddler or preschooler.
What about you?
Have you traveled to Niagara Falls with young kids in tow? Please tell me the best ways you found to explore the city and the Falls. I’ll make note of it for next time.