Maid of the Mist

Experiencing the Maid of the Mist

Niagara Falls is something everyone should see once in their life. It will take your breath away. Growing up in Buffalo we visited often. It always brings back great childhood memories and I was so excited to take my kids.  Niagara Falls is also home to the Maid of the Mist, which in my opinion everyone should experience at least once. It is a family favorite and should be on your family travel bucket list.

Maid of the Mist

At the beginning of summer the Maid of the Mist was on the top of my list of things I wanted to do. I felt my youngest (4 years old) was big enough to handle getting wet and standing on the boat. I was right! The kids were at a great age for this.

If you have younger children don’t let that discourage you.  Many parents had toddlers and babies in carriers. You know your child best! The most challenging part for the younger kids, and all kids, is waiting in lines to get tickets and board the boat. We went the weekend of Canada Day and Fourth of July and the line was really long. If you have ever visited Disney…lines were Disney long!

If you are planning a visit avoid the crowds and children of all ages will enjoy it. Arrive as early as possible to avoid waiting in lines to board and purchase tickets.

We arrived around 10:00am and the parking lot was full so we had to park a few blocks away. I would have liked to get there around 8:30am-9:00am and been on the first boat which leaves at 9:00am. We almost didn’t ride because we couldn’t find parking but eventually we did and decided to just go with it, lines and all!

maid of the mist

The lines were long but they moved fairly quick. We waited about 40 minutes from tickets to boat. They work pretty efficiently. You start at the ticket line then move through to take the elevator to the docks. This is the only way to get to the boat.

Waiting on the bridge to get to the elevator can get hot. I packed snacks and water bottles for the kids. Also hats and sunscreen. If you don’t like heights this can be a little scary too. I don’t like heights and my son really doesn’t like them but we just stayed away from the edge and we were both okay.

Arrive early and you shouldn’t have to wait too long on the bridge. At the docks they give you your blue poncho and you get in line for the boat. They had two boats the day we were there. We waited until the boat arrived to put our ponchos on because they get hot fast!!

Once on the boat we found a place along the side. We walked to the opposite side of loading. Everyone runs to the front and I’m sure it is a great view but we were able to see everything from our spot. First it passes the American Falls. This was not on our side of the boat but we saw it on the way back. Then it gets really close to the Horseshoe Falls. The boat idles there for about 10 minutes. It’s awesome! This is where you get misted(or soaked!!) and you really feel the power of the falls.

Maid of the Mist


The boat turns back and passes the American Falls and returns to the dock. It was so much fun!! The kids loved getting misted and seeing the falls up close. When you get off the boat you can recycle your ponchos or take them home.

Then you wait in another line to take the elevator ride back up. This was kind of a mess because people didn’t really know where to go and the line was moving slow. There is also another section called the Lower Gorge that you can walk up to get close to the American Falls. We did not do it because it was a dead end and we would of had to get back in line. On a not crowded day, maybe fall or early morning, I would have done it but today was not the day. The bathrooms were on the other side of this line too and really difficult to get to.

Make sure to use the bathrooms before you buy your tickets. It will be about 2 hours until you get to one again(on busy days). Bathrooms are behind the ticket booth building.

There were many attendants that can help you find them. Thank goodness for snacks during this wait! It was kind of a bummer after such a fun experience to funnel into another line.

Maid of the Mist


Overall we all loved this experience. The lines were long but it was totally worth it! If I went again I would arrive early or in the off season. It is one of the wonders of the world and summer is the busy season so I expected crowds. The up close view of the falls is amazing and a must do for anyone visiting Niagara Falls.

Are you looking to plan a full day visiting Niagara Falls? Check out my Niagara Falls & Buffalo Day Trip.



  • runnergirl84 April 28, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    My husband and I did Maid of the Mist this past summer as part of our Babymoon! It was so much fun! It was so cool getting close to the falls!

    • Leah April 28, 2017 at 8:10 pm

      Isn’t it amazing!! I want to go again this summer!

  • Chelsea McKinney April 21, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    That family picture is too cute!!!! I’ve been to Niagra a few times, but have yet to do the Maid of the Mist!

    • Leah April 21, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      Maid of the Mist is really fun! You have to try it!

  • annalisanuttall April 8, 2017 at 10:45 am

    What an amazing trip. Once in a life time opportunity. I would love to do this one day. xx

  • Jasmine - LoveLifeLaughMotherhood April 7, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    what a fun trip and memory maker!

  • babiestobookworms April 7, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Living nearby, we have done this a few times and it is definitely worth the trip! I can’t wait to take my daughter someday. The Jet boats are an awesome experience for the older crowd too.

    • Leah April 8, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Ive never done the Jet boats but I heard its really fun!

  • Brit Strawbridge April 7, 2017 at 11:19 am

    I have lived so close to Niagara my whole life and have never actually gone on The Maid of the Mist. I think my son would be so terrified but in a good way haha he would love it! Will have to make a point to go this summer. Looks like you guys had fun!

    • Leah April 7, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      It is worth a trip! Thanks for reading!

  • Amy Crooks April 7, 2017 at 10:28 am

    It has been so long since I have been to Niagara Falls! I grew up in Michigan, and we visited a few times while I was growing up. Love it! 🙂

  • Elizabeth Peace April 7, 2017 at 9:08 am

    These pics are gorgeous! What a fun memory for your kids!

    • Leah April 7, 2017 at 9:01 pm

      Thanks for reading!

  • Momma To Go April 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    My husband and I did this pre-kids, actually I was pregnant with my oldest, but didnt know it yet! I think my kids are finally old enough for these types of activities and to actually appreciate them!


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