Summer Guide: 7 Free Ways to Play

By The Unexpected Buffalo

Published on | Last Updated

Summer is finally here, complete with sunshine and a longing for adventure. Looking to gain new experiences without city-hall-750losing money? Check out our suggestions for Buffalo on a budget to make the most of your experience in the Queen City!

Art in Allentown
Plan for an evening of entertainment at Allentown’s gallery walk, which has become one of the most popular recurring events in Buffalo. The open house, which occurs on the first Friday of each month, showcases a variety of music, performances, food, and merchandise.

Bird’s-eye View of Buffalo

Get a glimpse of Buffalo from above! Spectacular views of Lake Erie, the city, and even Niagara Falls can be seen on weekdays from the observation deck on the 28th floor of City Hall. If you have time to spare, city hall walking tour of the grand building begin weekdays at noon in the lobby.

Canalside Competition
There’s no better way to celebrate the summer weather than a trip to Buffalo’s Canalside for some healthy competition. Show off your ping pong moves or outsmart your counterpart on a giant game of Connect Four. Lawn and table games – including billiards, bean bag toss, Foosball, and ladder ball – are  available to rent for free for fun with family and friends along the boardwalk near the Commercial Slip.

Continuous Concerts
Take time to listen to tunes at Buffalo’s free summer concerts. Musical performances occur on Tuesdays on Bidwell Parkway at the Elmwood Village Concert Series and at Larkin Square’s Live at Larkin on Wednesdays. Join thousands at Canalside on Thursday nights to enjoy music by the water.

Drama in Delaware Park
Seeking an enriching, educational experience? Plan a visit to Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park, where the Bard come to life courtesy of a not-for-profit professional theatre company. A tradition since 1976, skilled actors glide along the elegant stage reciting Shakespeare’s work to adults and children alike. King Lear runs Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m. from June 21 to July 15, while Much Ado About Nothing runs from July 26 to August 19.

Huckleberry Finn manuscript at the Mark Twain Room

Huckleberry Finn manuscript at the Mark Twain Room

History and Huckleberry Finn

Are you a literary fanatic? The Central Library showcases a room dedicated to Mark Twain, who worked as an editor for a Buffalo newspaper early in his career. Perhaps the greatest treasure in the room – among other Twain memorabilia – is the original manuscript of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Fun on Free Fridays
M&T Bank’s Free Fridays offer opportunities for you to embark on cultural journeys in the Queen City. Glaze over a collection of Western New York-inspired watercolor works on the second Friday at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Visit the Buffalo History Museum – a national historic landmark – on third Fridays, or get a glance of public art projects at the Buffalo Arts Studio on fourth Fridays.

Want more ideas for summer fun? Check out our summer guide.

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The Unexpected Buffalo

He's tall, dark and furry. And he loves introducing visitors to his town. That's the Unexpected Buffalo for you - genuine, welcoming and surprising. #InTheBUF