What: Bird Kingdom
Price: $18 for adults; $14 for kids 3-5
Length: 1-2 hours
Rundown: The Bird Kingdom is apparently the largest indoor free-flying aviary in the world. A little out of the way of Clifton Hill, overlooking the lovely Niagara River, the Bird Kingdom is a massive building that has an interesting history of housing artifacts owned by some rich collector who even went so far as to house the real-life mummy of King Ramesses I at one point. (The curse-averse will be glad to hear that ol’ Rammy is back in Egypt now.) That has nothing to do with birds—and, weirdly, neither does much of the Bird Kingdom. It’s got a stripped-down museum as an ode to the old Niagara Falls Museum, run by the aforementioned quirky collector; it’s got rooms dedicated to night critters and fruit bats; it has a reptile room with giant tortoises; and it even has, for some truly inexplicable reason, North America’s only fully preserved Javanese tea house, which is such a beautiful and well-preserved piece of woodwording and Southeast Asian craftsmanship that it has no place existing in a bird-themed tourist attraction. But then there are, of course, the birds themselves; some parrots hang out in their own mid-sized room, while smaller ones flitter around in freer spaces. The main draw is the 45,000-sq-ft climate-controlled rainforest aviary, housing around 80 species of birds from around the world, including starling, ibis, cockatoos, thrush, finch, lorikeets and others. Waterfalls, stone arches and curving walkways make it a fun landscape to walk through.
Worth It? Yes. The price isn’t too steep given that you could easily spend two hours here—even longer if you’re really into animals. We at Found in the Falls are no bird specialists, but the birds seemed reasonably happy to us, and the whole venue has a conservation mandate that makes it easier to walk around and laugh at silly caged animals without worrying about their emotions.