Things to Do in Ontario - page 4
The Ontario Science Centre, northeast of Downtown Toronto, is a museum dedicated to educating the public about science, technology, and society. With a state-of-the-art planetarium, exhibits covering topics such as the limits of the human body, and activities specifically designed for children and young adults, the center is a popular destination for families.
The Toronto Zoo, located in Scarborough, is the largest zoo in Canada. Representing seven domains from the Americas to Africa and encompassing a whopping 710 acres, the zoo is home to over 5,000 animals, including leopards, tortoises, and camels. The zoo's mission is to educate the public about protecting endangered species and preventing extinction.
More than 2,000 butterflies representing about 45 different species flutter freely around this climate-controlled conservatory, occasionally landing on passersby. The glass-enclosed greenhouse, which is planted with lush vegetation and crisscrossed by paths, is part of Niagara Falls Botanical Gardens.
Aside from the falls themselves, the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark is one of Niagara Falls’ most popular family attractions. Fallsview features 16 waterslides—some as high as six stories—a wave pool, outdoor pool and sundeck, tots pool, adults-only hot tub, and much more. When you need to fuel up, there are great food options as well.
Three fun attractions are part of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Niagara Falls: The Odditorium, which displays quirky exhibits; the Ripley’s Moving Theater motion simulator ride; and Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks. It’s a fun-filled attraction to visit before or after you’ve seen the amazing falls, and is a popular place with both kids and adults.
After seeing spectacular Niagara Falls, head up the road to Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks for a different kind of fun. The faux Tudor building on the Canadian side of the falls houses more than 100 lifelike wax figures of celebrities, from movie and sports stars to politicians and historical figures.
Ripley's 4D Moving Theater in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is a fun addition to a visit to the spectacular waterfalls that give the town its name. Kids and adults alike will love the excitement of the 4D movies, which take viewers on a ride right into the action. Sit down, buckle up, and be prepared for a few shrieks and giggles.
St. Catharines is a vibrant city on Lake Ontario just northwest of Niagara Falls, known for its lakefront, parks, and vineyards. As a focal point of the 1850s abolition movement, St. Catharines is an important landmark in Black Canadian history. Its rich arts and culture scene also draws visitors from around the Niagara region and beyond.
Showcasing Canada’s aeronautical achievements, this large museum houses more than 130 aircraft. See a replica Silver Dart, the first airplane to fly in Canada, and a Canadarm, Canada’s contribution to the International Space Station, then strap yourself into the cockpit and experience the sensation of flight in the Redbird FMX flight simulator.
Located in Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre just north of Toronto, LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre is an interactive LEGO®-themed experience that features games, rides, exhibits, and a 4D movie theater. Its wide range of activities and amenities make it a popular destination for families with small children.
More Things to Do in Ontario
Established in 1893, Algonquin is the oldest provincial park in Canada. Spreading across 2,955 square miles (7,650 square kilometers), this vast wilderness encompasses maple-carpeted hills, thick pine forest, and thousands upon thousands of lakes. The abundant wildlife here includes black bears, moose, and packs of Algonquin wolves.
Quetico Provincial Park is famous for its rugged landscapes and exceptional canoeing opportunities. With over 20 miles (35 kilometers) of hiking trails and 1.1 million acres (460,000 hectares) of open space, the wilderness park appeals to both leisurely walkers and experienced hikers in addition to those interested in bird watching, cycling, fishing and swimming. There are also a range of winter sports available in the colder months. Travelers can utilize the camping facilities that range from backcountry options to car camping and roofed accommodation.
Who knew the oldest haunted house in North America could be found right next to Niagara Falls? The Nightmares Fear Factory is just that, a frightening experience that has a reputation for scaring even the bravest who enter. Built in a former coffin factory, it is said that the owner was killed by falling coffins and has remained haunted ever since.
Completed mostly in the dark, a walk through the house entails a variety of surprises, shocks, and screams as parts of the house and its visitors jump out along the path. Often images of frightened visitors are captured and displayed for later viewing. Visitors to the house have the option to leave at any point, and the Fear Factory claims that over 130,000 people have opted out of completing the experience and added to the “chicken list.” It seems the question is not will you be scared, but how much fear can you handle?
African Lion Safari is a wildlife park in Southern Ontario that allows you to drive your own vehicle—or hop on an open-top safari bus—and observe animals in seven large habitats. Dedicated to preserving endangered species, the park houses more than 1,000 animals, including giraffes, lions, and elephants.
Packed with fun photo opportunities, Niagara Falls’ Movieland Wax Museum of the Stars presents lifelike likenesses of screen and music world icons. Wax figures of celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, and Elvis Presley are displayed alongside Hollywood stars like Johnny Depp and famous movie characters including Harry Potter.
Descend via elevator to a 1,000-foot-long (305-meter-long) boardwalk along the Niagara River to see the swirling Class VI whitewater rapids up close. Information points along the boardwalk delve into the immense power of the river, as well as the geology and wildlife of the Niagara Gorge, while observation areas offer front-row views of nature’s power.
The Kurtz family has always been a major producer of jam and jellies. At their land on the scenic Niagara Parkway, 50 acres of orchards and vineyards (and a large retail barn) overlook the dramatic Niagara River. A half-century ago wooden wagons out front offered fresh peaches and cherries along with a few jars of homemade jam. Today at Kurtz Orchards the second and third generations have elevated what was once a simple orchard to a haven for culinary tourists.
Surrounded by acres of scenic beauty, Kurtz Orchards stands as a testament to the land’s richness and ability to produce quality foods. At the marketplace visitors can savor the best of the farm’s estate products, from honey to wine jelly. Food demonstrations, culinary workshops, and other events are offered throughout the year. Kurtz Orchards also hosts private events, including weddings.The family-owned-and-operated business continually develops new products to capture the flavors of the Niagara region. Visitors can have a walkabout with a complimentary culinary tasting, take one of the Orchards’ regularly scheduled cooking classes, request a picnic basket of farm-fresh delicacies and baked goods, and even host an event there with ‘land-to-table’ catering done entirely by the Orchards.
With scenic vineyards and wineries, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a popular destination for oenophiles during the summer months. With new wineries frequently opening in the region, there is always something to do or a vineyard to explore. One of the newest additions to the Four Mile Creek appellation is PondView Estate Winery. Family owned and operated, PondView Estate (who makes the official wine of Canada’s Grey Cup) has embraced the traditional art form of Sicilian grape growing and winemaking. By capturing the harmony between earth and vine, PondView Estate Winery is recognized as a creator of some of the finest wines in the Niagara region.
Drawing on more than three generations of winemaking experience, PondView Estate Winery has cultivated a warm and inviting environment that makes visitors to the vineyard feel right at home. (The close-knit staff that clearly enjoy their work definitely helps to create that atmosphere.) Owner and winemaker Luciano Puglisi crafts his Ontario VQA wines, rooted in his Italian heritage, with such enthusiasm and reverence for the winemaking process that he earned the title of Grape King in 2008 — an award given by the Ministry of Agriculture to the finest vineyard operator in Ontario.
With more than 3,000 arcade games spread out in a massive entertainment center, there’s more than enough to do at this spot just outside Niagara Falls. With vibrant colors and lights and games for all ages, it’s an interactive experience that brings out your competitive side as you compete for tickets that can be redeemed for prizes.
Outside of classic games such as Skee Ball and Roll-A-Ball, there are many classic consoles, a Wild West Coaster Motion Simulator, and a thrilling Ghost Blasters Dark Ride. The Wild West ride features 6D motion with state-of-the-art special effects, including the feel of wind and lightning. The Ghost Blasters ride is an interactive experience that winds through the darkness of a haunted house and includes laser guns.
The arcade’s many activities are particularly popular with children and families. Passes are available that include access to other nearby attractions.
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown, make a beeline for Philosopher's Walk, a leafy path bordering Trinity College on the University of Toronto campus. Whether you take a book to read on a bench, or pack an alfresco lunch, Philosopher’s Walk is a lovely place to find a touch of nature in the city.
For a dash of spectacle during your trip to Niagara Falls, Ontario, don’t miss the world-class illusionists that grace the stage of the Greg Frewin Theatre, known for its magic show and tribute concert series. Make an evening of it and dine at the theater buffet, or grab a drink at the full bar.
Learn about the wildlife, ecosystems, and economics of Ontario's waterways by visiting the Aquatarium at Tall Ships Landing. This interactive aquarium is home to a multitude of exhibits and activities that range from a massive fish tank that displays the underwater world of the Saint Lawrence River to an educational hydropower exhibit.
Animal lovers in Niagara Falls, Ontario should head to Safari Niagara, where visitors can see more than 1,000 species in a protected nature park. Visit the 150-acre (60-hectare) family-friendly attraction to see the animals, ride the carousel, and enjoy activities like paddle boats and a splash park.
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