If your recreational plans no longer revolve around weekend bar crawls and nightclub hopping with your friends, take solace in knowing you can have even more fun with the family here in Buffalo. I’m sure you’re repeatedly faced with the “what are we doing today?” question from the kids. Good news: we have the answer no matter the time of year.
Boaters say everything is better on the water. It’s true! So spend as much time as you can on Lake Erie or any of the rivers, canals, creeks and streams that wind through Buffalo Niagara.
Sail back in time on the Spirit of Buffalo – a 73 foot topsail schooner that will leave you feeling relaxed and free spirited on the calm of our Great Lake, and the kiddos will love when Captain Rick lets them steer the ship! Meander up and down the Buffalo River alongside Elevator Alley and see Buffalo’s incredible manufacturing history from the vantage point of a kayak or water bike.
Follow the Niagara River (by land – that current is nothing to challenge) and make your way to the Maid of the Mist and Whirlpool Jet Boats. There’s nothing more awe-inspiring than coming face to face with the wonder of the world, Niagara Falls, and its powerful class six rapids.
On the Cheap
There’s plenty to do without breaking the bank.
Starting with Canalside, Buffalo’s burgeoning historic waterfront and family hot spot, the list of activities held there is beyond extensive. Any day of the week you’re bound to find something cool to do – including a beach sand play area, lawn and table top games, Yoga and Zumba classes, and much more! Great food options include The Dish and the newly renovated Hatch Restaurant.
Delaware Park offers a boat load of options, quite literally. Spend some time on the serene Hoyt Lake by renting a paddle boat. On the other side of the park, the wildlife at the Buffalo Zoo will fascinate you.
Put the cherry on top of your day with some ice cream at Mississippi Mudds overlooking Niawanda Park and the Niagara River.
Start the day off outdoors with some exercise! Go ice skating at Rotary Rink or the Ice @ Canalside, or play in the powder by snowshoeing at Tifft Nature Preserve, sledding at Kissing Bridge, or skiing at Holiday Valley.
While south of the city, make a stop at Taste in East Aurora for a bite and some hot chocolate before heading to Explore & More Children’s Museum. Kids from one to ten can let their imaginations and creativity run wild with hands on learning exhibits, activities and programs.
In the city, get your science on at the Buffalo Museum of Science.
And just north, in Amherst, spend the day at LaserTron. As the brainchild of local Canisius College students 25 years ago, LaserTron has emerged as a haven for “interactive entertainment.” Choose from any of their attractions: Laser Tag, Cyber Sport, Go-Kart Racing, Mini-Golf, and more.
— Charlie Fashana