13 Family Attractions to Visit Right Now

“I’m booooored.”

For most parents, there’s nothing worse than hearing those words and during a pandemic, boredom is setting in with our kids quicker than usual. The cure for this common kid complaint is a visit to Buffalo Niagara, chock-full of kid tested and kid approved activities. Whether you call Buffalo home or it’s your next checkmark on the family travel bucket list, here’s a list of 13 things to keep the kiddies happy, engaged, SAFE and boredom-free.

Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Pkwy, Buffalo

The Golden Mummies are BACK and will be on display through October 18, 2020. The Museum is requiring that all tickets be purchased or reserved in advance, either online or by phone, to ensure visitation stays within 25% capacity.  All tickets will have a designated entry time to stagger admission and allow ample room for social distancing. Face masks are required and will be provided free of charge to those who arrive without them. Complimentary stylus’ will also be available to engage with interactive touch screens.

Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Children’s Museum, 130 Main St, Buffalo

One of our favorite places to play is now open! The museum will be open 9:30am-3:30pm from Wednesday through Sunday at a reduced capacity. 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. 

Herschell Carrousel Museum, 180 Thompson St, North Tonawanda

Giddy up to this 101-year old former wooden carrousel factory. 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 new visitor protocols are in place that include face masks, temperature checks, hand sanitizing stations and timed tickets. The museum is closing an hour early each day to allow additional cleaning time as well.

Buffalo Zoo, 300 Parkside Ave, Buffalo

See the sloths, peep the polar bears and view the vampire bats at the wildest place in town. All  guests, including members, must reserve an online ticket in advance of their visit. Walk-up ticket sales are not available at this time. General admission guests can visit from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Monday; members have the choice of either 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Monday. Zoo is closed on Tuesdays for deep cleaning.

Photo by Christopher Behrend

Canalside Buffalo, 44 Prime St, Buffalo

Take a scenic stroll on the boardwalk or feel the freedom of being on the water! Water Bikes of Buffalo, BFLO Harbor Kayak, Spirit of Buffalo and the NEW Big Kahuna Tiki Boat are now open and ready to give you your daily dose of fresh air this summer. Different rules apply to each experience so please visit their individual websites for more details.

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 have devised their own phased re-opening plan so it’s important for you to check their website or social media pages to determine which phase they’re in and how that affects hours of operation and ticket sales.

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 our outdoor locations are popular spots these days!

Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, 3755 Tonawanda Creek Rd, Amherst

Take a step back to a simpler time and let your kiddos see how the world worked before smartphones and Sesame Street. Like other attractions, BNHV has moved to a timed-ticketing system that requires advance reservations. Masks are required for ages two and up and their interactive exhibits are temporarily closed. Self-guided tours are available.

Buffalo History Museum, One Museum Ct, Buffalo

Not many things are better than FREE! The Buffalo History Museum will reopen to the public with new safety procedures on Saturday, Aug. 1. Members will be invited back for exclusive Member Days beginning July 29 – 31. Guests will be able to experience Buffalo’s unique history with FREE admission for the remainder of 2020. Advance, online registration will be required, as will masks and social distancing.

Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Preserve, 4050 North St, Blasdell

Be one with nature and give birding, hiking and even fossil collecting a try. The kids will dig it! Advance booking is required for everyone (members and non-members) visiting for the first time. Members who have previously visited do not need to make a booking but must register at the check-in pavilion. Contact karl@penndixie.org for the member access code.

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 experience will create memories to last a lifetime. 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 and sandals will not be provided. The World Changed Here Pavilion will not be open.

Maid of the Mist, 24 Buffalo Ave, Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls’ most iconic attraction is ready to welcome you and your family. All boats and elevators are operating at 50% capacity. Markers are in place on the boats so guests can maintain six feet of distance. All visitors are required to wear a mask. Those without one can purchase one at their ticket office.

Aquarium of Niagara, 701 Whirlpool St, Niagara Falls

Dive into an ocean of discovery at Niagara’s other water wonder! The Aquarium is using a timed ticketing system and strongly encourages guests 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.