Remember what it felt like on that last day of school, minutes before the final bell rang? That feeling of anticipation and joy for what lay ahead over the next 2 months – water slides, pool parties, campfires, ice cream cones, amusement parks and whatever else you could dream up and cram into your newfound 75 days of homework-less freedom.
Fast forward a few years, and while your own days of chasing down the newest rollercoaster or belly-flopping into a friend’s pool may be behind you, perhaps you’re living those days vicariously through your kids. If so, now that we’re almost a third of the way through summer break, you’re probably looking for a few more ideas on where to take the kiddies and keep their s’mores-covered faces smiling. Here’s a summer guide to some of our favorite family-fun activities:
Canalside, 44 Prime St, Buffalo
There’s so much to do at Canalside these days that you can put this idea on repeat and come back over and over and over again this summer. From kayaking to water biking to a tour of ships at the Naval Park to a pirate cruise on the Spirit of Buffalo, head to the water and let the fun in the sun begin.
Buffalo Harbor State Park, 1111 Fuhrmann Blvd, Buffalo
Grain scoopers, stevedores and longshoremen may have once ruled the waves along Buffalo’s shoreline, but today the kids have the run of the place. This nautical themed playground emulates dunes, waves, ships, rocky shores and whirlpools.
Fantasy Island, 2400 Grand Island Blvd, Grand Island
Spend the day laughing, smiling, oohing and ahhing on their 40+ rides, splash park and at the Wild West show.
Explore & More Children’s Museum, 300 Gleed Ave, East Aurora
I know I know, being indoors isn’t exactly where you want to be on a beautiful summer day but should a rain cloud appear, head to East Aurora and let the young ones loose at our local Children’s Museum. If time allows, stop into Vidler’s 5 & 10 and let the kids pick out an old-fashioned treat at their expansive candy counter.
Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Pkwy, Buffalo
Introduce your little explorers to hands-on experiences that’ll make science their BFF.
Buffalo Zoo & Fairy Cakes, Parkside, Buffalo
Trade in those video games for a little face time with their favorite animals! Then stop into FairyCakes across the street for a sweet treat before you hit the road. (Their Lucky Charms Cupcake is magically delicious!)
Bisons Game at Coca-Cola Field, 275 Washington St, Buffalo
Nothing says summer like hearing the crack of a bat while enjoying some popcorn, peanuts or cracker jack in the afternoon sun.
Penn Dixie Paleontological & Outdoor Education Center, 4050 North St, Blasdell
Raise a future paleontologist with a visit to Penn Dixie where the kids can dig for their very own fossils!
Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, 3755 Tonawanda Creek Rd, Amherst
Learn how families lived, worked and played during the 19th century at the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village.
And there you have it! If you’re able to check all of these kid-friendly jaunts off your summer to-do list the kids will be so exhausted by the end of summer, they’ll be READY for that school bell to ring again (ya right!)