Jump to Bird Kingdom, Niagara Falls ON
Our review of Bird Kingdom
On the day we planned to visit the Bird Kingdom located in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Ronan woke Kiarra up early in the morning - 5:30 am to be exact. She was cranky, whiny and all around being difficult. Within an hour of her waking up, she had already complained about not getting enough bacon (although she never did finish the bacon on her plate), the callous which was forming on her foot, dad brushing her hair, that we did not give her a glass of water fast enough...and that was only the half of it. Thankfully, by the time the work and school day was over, Kiarra was in a much better mood and it only got better when we arrived at Bird Kingdom.
There is more to Bird Kingdom than its name suggests. Apart from the variety of birds you will find flying and walking about the attraction, Bird Kingdom also offers a Niagara Falls Museum exhibiting the falls' wondrous history, an archeological dig site for budding young excavators, a nocturnal animals section showcasing some creepy crawlies, and an interactive area where you can meet and greet some of Bird Kingdom's prized birds and not to mention, meet some green, scaly, slimy friends, and perhaps even a tortoise or two.
The Bird Kingdom also has a Lorikeet feeding area where you can feed and take pictures with these highly interactive birds. Did I say highly interactive? If you are like my sister and have the heebie jeebies when it comes to birds, you should probably avoid this area - you will be, after all, feeding them so naturally, they will be up close and personal. All the other areas showcase birds that do keep their distance.
Of course, the highlights of the Bird Kingdom are the main aviary and small bird aviary where most of the birds can be found complete with picture-perfect settings to match. The waterfalls in particular contained within the main aviary does not fail to impress and the lush greenery makes you forget you are in the middle of a bustling tourist area.
The Bird Kingdom also has places where you can grab some food and drinks. Because we follow a Paleo
diet and due to our family's food restrictions, we cannot really comment on Bird Kingdom's food offerings since we have become accustomed to bringing our own food when traveling. You might be glad to know, however, that the Bird Kingdom does offer food and drinks for most visitors' convenience.
So what did the kids think?
Kiarra enjoyed the Bird Kingdom tremendously while Ronan carried the sentiment 'you've seen one bird, you've seen them all'. He was not as ecstatic as his three year old sister who loved the birds flying and walking about her. Kiarra was very interested to learn about the animals asking me to read the information about them displayed on signs all around the exhibits.
Ronan was most interested in the excavation/dig site and the nocturnal animals area. Kiarra found the nocturnal animals area a little too scary for her taste. The exhibit was dark with eerie atmospheric music playing throughout it - a delight to horror-buff Ronan.
As for one year old Seamus, he had a fascinated look on his face and pointed non-stop at all the birds he saw in Bird Kingdom. He was entranced by the birds especially the bigger ones walking about slowly in the Main Aviary.
Ronan (7 yrs old) gives the Bird Kingdom a 4/5
Kiarra (3 yrs old) gives the Bird Kingdom a 5/5
Seamus (1 yr old) gives the Bird Kingdom a 5/5
Some tips to make the most out of your time during your visit
1) The Bird Kingdom is stroller and wheelchair accessible. I saw several parents effortlessly wheeling about their toddlers and babies. We took our baby backpack carrier. If you have one like ours where your baby or toddler sits high up on the bag (hiking backpack), I highly recommend taking it along. From Seamus' higher vantage point, he was able to view the birds which were perched higher up at the attraction easily, and was also able to view the birds walking about below. From experience, I just found it easier to point out the flying birds or birds which were perched higher up when Seamus was on the baby backpack as opposed to when he is situated lower in his stroller - in the end, it is a matter of choice - whichever is more convenient for you.
2) We came to the Bird Kingdom after work hours so most of the interactive shows were finished. We did avoid a crowd but in my experience, the Bird Kingdom has never been so crowded that it was difficult to navigate through. Seven year old Ronan would have enjoyed the shows. The bat feeding shows, for example, which are on twice daily would have been a sight to behold I am certain.
3) To keep the kids entertained when walking through the main and small bird aviary in case they are more hands-on and less the observing kind like Ronan, the Bird Kingdom offers a page on their website which outlines all of the birds on their exhibit - www.birdkingdom.ca/our_animals
. I suggest printing out this page or viewing it on your phone and play 'spot the bird' with your kids. Turn it into a contest of sorts. They may find it fun trying to find the birds on the list among the foliage and greenery found throughout Bird Kingdom.
Our conclusion? We heart Bird Kingdom
All in all, we had a great time at the Bird Kingdom. It was our third visit in the last three years and it was Seamus' first time. We have turned it into a family tradition of sorts. Unlike some Niagara Falls attractions which are often criticized to be severely overpriced (a common criticism often found on review sites regarding some Niagara Falls attractions), I can honestly say The Bird Kingdom is worth the fee. So, when you are in Niagara Falls and looking for something to do, go and do some bird spotting and perhaps hone in your photography skills while spending some quality time with your family and friends at the Bird Kingdom.
Special thanks to Bird Kingdom for the passes. Although we received complementary passes for this visit, it did not influence our review of the attraction. Hey, we always tell it like it is!