Soaring over Niagara Falls was never on my bucket List but it totally should have been! Last weekend we decided to spend an impromptu day in Niagara Falls and one of the main highlights was flying with Niagara Helicopters. When we were invited to hang out in the sky on one of the most gorgeously sunny days we’ve had this spring, it was hard to say no!
Niagara Helicopters is located away from the main tourist attractions so we chose to drive out there first and got there for noon. Since it was such a gorgeous day it was a bit busy but we were welcomed with bright smiles and the lovely ladies ensured that Baby Boy and Little Monkey got headsets on before we joined the line up outside. Truth be told, city living kids may not mind the noise – the fire truck sirens seem louder! That said the hubs was very particular about them protecting their ears as we hung out watching the helicopters land and take-off. The headsets were the perfect size for the toddler but was a bit too big for the baby. Not that he minded. They both kept them on, for the most part and we definitely needed them as we got up close and personal with the helicopter.
There were about twenty people ahead of us but the line moved quite quickly and we were at the front within half an hour. There’s plenty of seats outside, an indoor gift shop and a grassy area on the side if you need to burn some toddler energy. The helicopter seats 6 people (one with the pilot and the 5 in the main cabin) and ideally you want to be seated by the window. The middle seat has a great view but it would be hard to take pictures from that position. Luckily both the hubs and I got window seats. Similar to a plane, once we were strapped in, the kids sat on our laps. Luckily kids under 3 years of age don’t need a ticket so the four of us flew with just two tickets. Once it’s your turn to board things happen quickly, the helicopter lands and those inside quickly pile out before it’s your turn to hop on. There are a couple gents who help you climb in and they were nice enough to hold Baby Boy (quite awkwardly) whilst I hopped in as the hubs was holding the Little Monkey by then.
Baby Boy was having a fit and I only thought about baby wearing when it was our turn to board so I didn’t get the chance to run to the car to grab the Bjorn. I’m not sure if they’d let you baby wear but as long as you’re buckled in before strapping the baby in, I don’t see the issue. However we survived just fine. He bawled until we were up in the air and then he was absolutely mesmerized. He hogged the window and the gentleman next to us wasn’t too please! LOL. Perhaps we have a future pilot on our hands! Remember you’re up in the sky so bring a soother or lolly to suck on – I forgot to but luckily we have a thumb-sucker and the Little Monkey now knows how to swallow on demand so she cleared her ears easily.
We were in and out within an hour (I’d assume line ups get quite long in the busy summer season) and the entire boarding, up in the air and disembarking portion took about 12 minutes. Yes you’re not in the air for that long but it’s a gorgeous view. The pilot does a great job of showing everyone the various angles of both, the American and Canadian Falls but we also see the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture, follow the Niagara River from the Whirlpool area and round up near the Rainbow Bridge. Adults get headsets once you board and narration is available in various languages. The hubs was able to hear the narration but I found it a bit difficult with the propeller noise coupled with Baby Boy’s crying! It’s truly an experience and having now seen the falls from all angles, I can say this is one of my favourites! I’m going to let the video speak to the emotions we experienced and the sights we saw.
If it means anything, a week later if you ask the Little Monkey what her favourite part of the trip was, she’d say ” HELI-COPT-ER” . Even at that age she has grasped the awesomeness of it all. She may not care about Niagara Falls (more on that next week!) but boy does she love hanging out by the clouds! If your travels take you to Niagara Falls, I highly encourage splurging on this attraction. Not only is the whole experience uber cool, the staff are absolutely lovely and extremely professional. I’m left wondering how I can get up there again! Perhaps sunset next?
As you can see I couldn’t help but share my awesome experience on Instagram! Join in the #IGTravelThursday conversations and link up if you have a blog!