A sweet little place to stop when you’re visiting Niagara Falls in Canada … let’s pop into Bird Kingdom.
Any time we’re traveling, I always keep my eyes open for places where we can visit animals. Whether it be a zoo, aquarium, sanctuary, or something completely different, it’s something both my kids like (especially the nine-year-old who is still aspiring to be a vet when she grows up!), so when I spotted references to the Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls, I added it to our Spring Break list.
Bird Kingdom was located just a few miles from where we were staying, slightly on the outskirts of the major touristy area, and boasts the world’s largest free-flying indoor aviary. It was easy to find, and they have their own parking garage (albeit small), and will validate. The fact that it was a covered and attached parking garage was a bonus because it was pouring when we visited.
We checked in at the front desk, got our hands stamped, and started our self-guided tour. As much as I love the information a tour guide can impart, I equally love the go-at-your-own-pace of a self-guided tour, especially since we were a group of 8.
The name “Bird Kingdom” is a bit of a misnomer because while the majority of the animals ARE birds, there are other animals there as well (including turtles, bearded dragons, pythons, and more). We toured all the different areas, reading information on the different species as we went, but there were two areas that I was most looking forward to … one spot was where we could hold a parrot, and another was when we could enter a large enclosure, and feed birds as they swarmed around you and landed on you. I love these types of activities because it’s what sets this place apart from other places, and it’s something completely different for the kids.
Because, really … how often do you get to hold a small cup of sugar water and have birds swarm all over you??? I swear it was like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, but in a completely fun and OMG way. And totally worth the extra $2 per person charge (you can go in the room for free; the extra $2 was if you want to hold the sugar water and feed the birds). Maddie was a little reticent to do it at first (I don’t blame her!), but usually after I say I’ll do something, she’ll do it … because I’m the biggest scaredy cat of them all! (And it’s totally why I was the one petting the tarantula when we visited this place, and this past week, I was the first to pet a chinchilla because YOLO!).
Outside of these two special and different experiences, Bird Kingdom reminded me a little of RainForest Adventures, a similar place we visited when we were in Tennessee a few years ago. Similar set up and vibe, but different animals.