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12 Awesome Family Friendly Things to do in WNY This Summer

Family Friendly, Things to Do

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Written by Sean Bermingham

Published on July 28, 2021
Photo Courtesy of The Buffalo Zoo // Facebook

As we soak up every last bit of summer in Buffalo, there’s plenty to do around WNY that make for a day of fantastic family fun! From splash pads to the Erie County Fair and The Buffalo Zoo, this list could be endless.

Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite family friendly activities to check out this summer, in no particular order. Get the sunscreen ready because good times in the sun await your family!

1. Buffalo Zoo

300 Parkside Avenue Buffalo NY, 14214 / Website

Hours: 10am – 4pm daily

The Buffalo Zoo is the perfect destination for a family day of fun. Serving the local community for over 140 years, there’s plenty to do and see at the zoo. From captivating animal exhibits, naturalistic wildlife areas, beautiful gardens, and picnic tables in the shade, this place checks all the boxes for your viewing pleasure. We are lucky enough to have the third oldest zoo in the nation in our own backyard; where some of the most exotic and endangered wildlife along with local wildlife live in their own naturalistic habitat. You don’t want to wait to experience this awesome adventure in the heart of our great city!

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2. Martin Luther King Jr. Splash Pad

778 Best Street Buffalo NY, 14211 / Website

If you’re looking to beat the heat this summer then The Martin Luther King Jr. Splash Pad should be your family destination! Watch as your kids experience one of the city’s finest splash pads to their delight. It is open everyday (weather permitting) from 11am-7pm until Labor Day. Friendly reminder, footwear is mandatory when using the Splash Pads, and adult supervision over minors is required at all times.

3. Buffalo Waterfront Drive-In Movie Series

325 Fuhrmann Blvd Buffalo, NY 14203

The Buffalo Waterfront is excited to host its second annual summer Drive-In Movie Series in the summer of 2021! This certainly makes for an evening of family bonding as you enjoy the cinematic vibes on the waterfront!

Free of cost, Buffalo’s Outer Harbor Event Space will be the host of six different movies on three separate dates. That’s right, once you are settled in you can watch two movies in a row for those who love binge watching!

The Movie Series kicks off on July 17th, and will have subsequent shows July 31st and August 21st. Outside food and beverage will be permitted, but no alcoholic beverages are allowed. Showtimes and ticket information are as follows (one Ticket will be required per vehicle):

4. The Erie County Fair

5600 McKinley Parkway Hamburg, NY 14075 / Website

After last years respite, The Erie County Fair is back in emphatic fashion for their 181st year! The fair will kick off August 11th and run through August 22nd. There are plenty of activities to do here depending on how you want to spend your day. Ride bracelets are available for those thrill-seekers and there is also a ‘kiddie land’ that’s perfectly laid back for the little ones. Be sure to check out the science exhibit while you’re there and observe wildlife like never before. Top of the day with an ice cold freshly squeezed cup of lemonade on ice with mouth-watering fried dough that will leave you satisfied. Settle into a picnic table at Slade Park as you enjoy live music while the kids play under your supervision. You won’t want to miss this amazing experience!

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5. Buffalo Museum of Science

1020 Humboldt Parkway Buffalo, NY 14211 / Website

The Buffalo Museum of Science is home to some of the most extravagant exhibits you can experience this summer! Showcasing animals, astronomy, and technology are just a few of the several components that make the museum worthwhile. Hands-on activities such as the electric orb within the nano technology exhibit will have your kids captivated and full of excitement. From dinosaurs to mummies, this Museum is rich with historical insight that provides both a learning experience and a day of family fun!

6. Bisons Game at Sahlen Field

273 Washington Street Buffalo, NY 14203 / Website

Whether you’re looking to work on that tan, cool off in the shade, or bravely sit in foul ball territory in hopes of a souvenir, you will capture the essence of a summer experience at Sahlen’s Ballpark. This is the perfect outdoor activity with the family at an affordable cost. Check out a Bisons game when our beloved Minor League team returns to action at home starting on August 10th.

Reserve tickets today.

7. Eternal Flame Falls Hike

6121 Chestnut Ridge Road Orchard Park, NY 14127 / Website

Prepare yourself to be amazed by one of the hidden wonders of WNY. The Eternal Flame is encumbered by a beautiful waterfall which emits natural gas to ensure the everlasting fire keeps on burning. This captivating experience is complimented by a scenic hike where you will witness shale rock and natural erosion at it’s finest. During this age of technology, it’s difficult to find an authentic experience outdoors with the family. Look no further than The Eternal Flame to capture this experience as you behold natural wonder!

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8. Family Picnic at Knox Farm

437 Buffalo Road East Aurora, NY 14052 / Website

Nestled within the cozy village of East Aurora is a hidden gem known as Knox Farm State Park. It spans 633 acres including a woodland area that is perfect for an adventure. The endless grass pastures with picnic tables are the prime place for your family picnic. Settle into the shade while you supervise your kids running gracefully alongside your four-legged friend. Visitors to Knox Farm can observe wildlife, along beautifully scenic trails that make for the perfect hike with the fam that is both short and relaxing.

9. Rent a Kayak at Elevator Alley

65 Vandalia Street Buffalo NY, 14204 / Website

If you’re looking for a scenic adventure with the family on the water, then look no further than Elevator Alley. Nestled within The Old First Ward at the Barrel Factory is where they reside. Guided tours are available that showcase wildlife, historic ships, and the grain silos for your viewing pleasure. If you’re compelled to experience the ambiance of the city of Buffalo on the cool water front check out Elevator Alley Kayak!

Check out our Guide to Kayaking >

Photo courtesy of Bayview Raceway & Golf

10. Bayview Raceway & Golf

3803 Bayview Road Buffalo, NY 14219 / Website

A perfect place for your family outing is what defines Bayview Raceway & Golf. This family owned and operated business has been providing the local community with top-tier Go-Karting and Mini Golf since 1979. Fasten your seatbelts, and look both ways before you take off around the track! Seventeen laps of pure bliss await you. There’s no need to be sixteen years old to whip one of these Go-Karts, just 4 foot 6 inches tall! Hold on tight and cherish the genuine smiles that will grow on the faces of your little ones as they race around the track. Then, top off the day with a round of mini golf. You don’t want to miss this hole n one experience!

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11. Genesee Country Village & Museum

1410 Flint Road Mumford, NY 14511 // Website

The Largest Living Museum in New York State can be found in Genesee Country Village, the classic 19th century Country Village features restored historic buildings and costumed interpreters. Founded in 1966, this historical sanctum was established to help preserve the vanishing rural architecture of the Genesee Valley. This village portrays authentic customs, traditions, and social values. Be sure to check out the John L. Wehle Gallery, home to one of the finest collections of sporting and wildlife art in America. Top off this wholesome experience by exploring the natural beauty of the Genesee Valley encompassed by five miles of themed trails within the Nature Center.

12. Old Fort Niagara

102 Morrow Plaza Youngstown, NY 14174 / Website

Old Fort Niagara is the cornerstone of history in Western New York. Established in 1726, the oldest occupied Military site in the nation exemplifies a direct tie between Buffalo and the Revolutionary War. Since 1934, it has been available to the public as a historical site and museum. Furthermore, The Fort consists of the six oldest buildings in the entire Great Lakes region! There are so many interesting artifacts at this site one can marvel at. Tours are open year round from 10am-4pm.

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Written by <a href="https://stepoutbuffalo.com/author/seanbermingham/" target="_self">Sean Bermingham</a>

Written by Sean Bermingham

Sean is a SUNY Fredonia graduate with his Bachelor's Degree in English. As a Buffalonian born and raised, Sean is an avid sports fan, writer, outdoors enthusiast, and lover of music. His hobbies include hiking with his yellow lab, spending time with family, and making an impact in our wonderful community.
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