10 Kid-Friendly Indoor Activities for a Chilly Day in WNY

Adventure, Classes / Workshops, Family Friendly, For Kids, Things to Do


Written by Andrea Diedrich

Published on January 3, 2022
Photo courtesy of the Buffalo Museum of Science

Let’s face it, Buffalo winters are long to say the least and sometimes it can be hard to find new things to do with the kiddos. If you’ve already checked off sledding and ice skating, it may be time to head inside for some inspiration. Luckily for us, Western New York is filled with fun kid-friendly activities to keep things exciting. From playful exercise, to educational opportunities and hands on classes, these activities are the perfect way to spend a winter or chilly fall/spring day in WNY.

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Photo courtesy of the National Comedy Center

1. Learn Something New at a Local Museum

Western New York is filled with museums that have activities for all ages. Young children can explore basic STEM concepts their own way in SensERIE, at the Buffalo Museum of Science or immerse themselves in the different phases of the Delta Sonic Car Wash exhibit at the Explore & More Children’s Museum. For older kids, Albright-Knox Northland offers printmaking and portrait painting classes and the National Comedy Center and Museum offers an interactive journey through comedy history, from early jokesters to the latest viral memes.

Photo courtesy of the Aquarium of Niagara

2. Enjoy Aquatic Life at the Aquarium of Niagara

The Aquarium of Niagara is a great place to get up close and personal with sea life. The M&T Bank Shark & Ray Bay gives guests the chance to greet friendly sharks and sting rays in the shallow tropical pool. Plus, you can plan a “Scuba Snooze” night where kids can stay overnight at the aquarium and take part in games, watch a sea lion show, and enjoy pizza, snacks, and beverages.

Photo courtesy of Urban Air

3. Channel Your Inner Ninja at an Indoor Playground

What kid doesn’t love a good obstacle course challenge? This is the perfect activity to get some fitness into their routine while at the same time having fun climbing on ropes, leaping from one mat to another, sliding down slides, and jumping on trampolines. Some family-oriented places offering options for all different ages are:


Photo courtesy of Transit Lanes

4. Knock Some Pins in a Round of Bowling

Bowling is something great for all ages and it never gets old! Set up an adult lane and kid’s lane, throw some pizza in the mix, and you are good to go for a couple hours of friendly competition. Here are some local bowling alleys in Western New York to check out:

Photo courtesy of Dave & Busters

5. Be a True Gamer

From retro arcade games and a life sized Hungry Hungry Hippo game to laser tag and virtual reality experiences, our region has all kinds of gaming options to choose from.

Photo courtesy of MUSEjar

6. Get Crafty with a Class at MUSEjar

MUSEjar offers a variety of classes that appeal to adults, teens, and kids. Children can learn to weave different designs, make rainbow creations and build 3D art. They constantly have rotating classes on their calendar so be sure to look ahead and plan for a fun outing!


Photo courtesy of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

7. Explore the Plant Life at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is more than just a greenhouse. There is so much plant life to explore here but they also have themed nights and classes where you can experience the gardens under illuminated lights or participate in a succulent workshop. Plus, they typically work around the school calendar and feature events specifically geared toward kids, so keep an eye out on their calendar for any school breaks!

Photo courtesy of Rainbow Skateland

8. Skate Around at a Roller Rink

Skate parks have been around for years and are a great way to jam to some tunes and show off your roller skills. Here are some indoor roller rinks in Western New York.

Photo courtesy of the Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome Facebook Group

9. Aim for a Hole in One at the Golf Dome

Temporarily Closed

The Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome is a great way to play an 18 hole round of miniature golf with pars ranging from 2-4. Or if you are starting them young, hit the putting green to make some drives! Plus with a restaurant right at the dome, this is the perfect family dinner idea with a fun element to it.

Photo courtesy of the Walden Galleria

10. Find Your Way Out of an Escape Room

For the slightly older kids who are up for a challenge, we recommend checking out an escape room. This is a great way to bring your minds together to work as a team to find the right clues and get out before time is up! 5 Wits is a great escape room that caters specifically to kids.

Did one of these places close? Send us a note!

This post was originally published in 2022 and has been updated.

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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Andrea Diedrich</a>

Written by Andrea Diedrich

Andrea is a Content Coordinator and writer for Step Out Buffalo. By day she enjoys using her creative side and researching all things Buffalo. By night you’ll find her exploring Buffalo’s waterfront, dining with friends or catching the latest show/concert in town.


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