For most parents, hearing those words are like nails on a chalkboard and during a pandemic, boredom is setting in with our kids quicker than usual. Plus, if you endured February break at home with the kids for seven straight days, you won’t make that mistake again for Spring Break. As a parent, you may need the break even more than they do! So, the cure for this common kid complaint is a visit to Buffalo, chock-full of kid-tested and kid-approved activities. Here’s a list of 11 things to keep the kiddies happy, engaged, SAFE and boredom-free.
Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Children’s Museum, 130 Main St, Buffalo
One of our favorite places to play is open! Spark your kids creativity, curiosity & imagination at a fun museum designed for the many ways kids learn. The museum will be open every day from April 1-11 (except Easter Sunday) at a reduced capacity. In celebration of Erie County’s Bi-Centennial, admission will be $7.16 for all during the month of April! Tickets can be purchased online in advance or in person on the day of. Hours 10am-4pm. Their cleaning and sanitizing procedures include hospital-grade cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting solutions. Additionally, they’ve added bags at each exhibit where families can place toys that were played with, so the staff can easily collect and sanitize the toys for their next guests.
Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Pkwy, Buffalo
Blur the line between learning and fun as your lil’ future scientist explores the Buffalo Museum of Science. Medieval To Metal: The Art & Evolution Of The GUITAR, open now through September, celebrates the technological advancements and artistic developments of the guitar. The exhibition features 40 instruments, ranging from the rare and antique to the wildly popular and innovative. Admission to Medieval to Metal also includes access to the Museum’s nine interactive science studios!
Find a bird egg bigger than a dinosaur egg. Find a storm raging for hundreds of years. Find a mermaid impostor. Find a hive big enough for 80,000 bees. Find a pendulum that tracks the earth’s movement. Explore the Museums science studios exhibits, and find why.
All tickets are required to be purchased online or over the phone before your visit. Upon entering the Museum, all guests will be provided with a free stylus to use with our exhibit touch screens and buttons, thus reducing the need to make hand contact with these displays. Museum will be open every day from April 2-9 (excluding Easter Sunday).
Buffalo Zoo, 300 Parkside Ave, Buffalo
See the sloths, peep the polar bears and view the vampire bats at the wildest place in town. Indoor exhibits are now open! All guests, including members, must reserve an online ticket in advance of their visit. Walk-up ticket sales are not available at this time. Masks must be worn by all guests ages 2 and up. Beginning March 29th, the Zoo is open 7 days a week from 10am-4pm.
Buffalo Waterfront, 44 Prime St, Buffalo
Take a scenic stroll on the boardwalk at Canalside or feel the freedom of being near the water! Buffalo’s Outer Harbor and Wilkeson Pointe is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of your day-to day. Be sure to get to the top of the spiraling hill and under the three spinning wind sculptures for the perfect vantage point of Buffalo’s famous sunsets.
Open dawn to dusk, the Lakeside Bike Park offers 3 mountain bike tracks for riders of all skill levels and ages, as well as a pump track, skills loop and tot track for little ones! Bring your own bike as rentals are not currently available. Enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Erie!
If you’ve had the chance to visit Canalside lately, you’ll notice a beautiful new wooden building down at the Commercial Slip: the Longshed. In this building, the Buffalo Maritime Center (BMC), along with volunteers and members of the public, is building a replica of the Erie Canal Boat, the Seneca Chief, which made the first trip to open the Erie Canal back in 1825.
On Saturday, April 10th from 10am – 4pm, the BMC is opening the doors of the Longshed for you to get a sneak peak of the project and see the exhibit dedicated to the history of the Erie Canal. Come talk with BMC boatbuilders and volunteers, see boatbuilding demonstrations, and find out how you can be a part of this historical project. This Open House will be a free, family-friendly event open to the general public. It is located at 1 Marine Drive at Canalside. Masks are required, and social distancing guidelines will be in effect.
Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave, Buffalo
The weather outside can change in a snap but the temperature inside the Botanical Gardens is always perfect. Your little botanist will have a field day seeing and smelling the beautiful flora under the dome.
The Botanical Gardens is offering THREE exciting experiences during Spring Break! SPRING FLOWER EXHIBIT – (March 20-April 18; 10am-4pm) Stroll through the Botanical Gardens and take in the fresh scents of spring and be transported into a tropical paradise while finding peace and serenity.
FEED THE FISH (April 2-11 at 9:30am daily) – Get up close and personal with our family of koi fish with this new and unique experience! Enjoy early access to the Botanical Gardens before we open to the public with a special learning experience. Each participant receives, a potted plant, a cup of koi fish food, an exclusive button and time to help feed our fishy friends! Regular admission for the day is included. This special encounter is limited to 15 people per experience. All tickets must be purchased ahead of time online.
GARDENS AFTER DARK (April 6-11; 6:30-9:00pm / 6:30-9:30pm Fri & Sat) – This magical exhibit will highlight the Botanical Gardens’ amazing plant collection and the Spring Flower Exhibit. Thousands of spring flowers will fill the Botanical Gardens and Gardens After Dark will highlight these amazing and fragrant plants in a different way.
Tifft Nature Preserve, 1200 Fuhrmann Blvd, Buffalo
Say hello to Mother Nature and get to know the wildlife of Buffalo. From deer to beaver and birds galore, Tifft Nature Preserve is a slice of the wilderness, right in the city limits. We recommend bringing a mask and practicing social distancing as the outdoor locations are popular spots these days!
Buffalo History Museum, One Museum Ct, Buffalo
The Buffalo History Museum has been Western New York’s premier historical organization since 1862. We are the keepers of the authentic stories that make our community unique. Our collections, exhibits, and programs tell the stories of the people, events, and movements that demonstrate Western New York’s essential place in shaping American history.
The Buffalo History Museum is implementing a number of safety protocols aligned with preventative measures for COVID-19. This includes mandated face coverings while in any of our buildings, social distancing, increased sanitation measures, and limited capacity. Additionally, we are offering advanced registration with timed tickets. The Museum is also in the process of restoration on our building, but will be offering in person experiences either at 1 Museum Court or 459 Forest Avenue. For latest updates, admission information, and tickets – please visit buffalohistory.org.
Herschell Carrousel Museum, 180 Thompson St, North Tonawanda
Giddy up to this 102-year old former wooden carrousel factory, which opens on Wednesday, April 7th (Wed-Sat, 10am-3pm; Sun, Noon-3pm). Learn the history of the famous ride and pick your favorite pony on the merry-go-round! In order to keep yourself and others safe, visitor protocols are in place that include face masks, hand sanitizing stations and timed tickets.
Family Pod Tours by Explore Buffalo Tours
Get out of the house and in on a tour over Spring Break on this private tour option designed for families. Explore Buffalo offers the choice between their Best of Buffalo or Canalside walking tours, Monday to Friday, April 5th to April 10th. Tours are designed specifically for students K-12. Tours include spots for up to 10 people and are led by a fully trained Explore Buffalo School Tour docent.
Cave of the Winds, 24 Buffalo Ave, Niagara Falls
No passport is needed to experience an unforgettable and breathtaking Niagara Falls experience. This one of a kind Spring experience will create memories to last a lifetime. Get up close and personal to Niagara Falls from one of the two open observation decks! Celebrate Spring on this abbreviated journey under the Falls. In order to keep you and your family safe, timed tickets are required but are only available in person so plan to visit the Cave early in the day. Elevator capacity will be limited to small groups of visitors traveling together. Face coverings will be required.
Aquarium of Niagara, 701 Whirlpool St, Niagara Falls
Dive into an ocean of discovery at Niagara’s other water wonder! The Aquarium is open 9am-5pm daily and uses a timed ticketing system to purchase general admission passes online ahead of their visit. A limited number of walkup passes will be available for Aquarium members as well as those seeking to purchase reduced admission passes. Masks are required.