Summer isn’t over yet, folks. Let’s bask in the warm summer weather we have left before Buffalo is covered in pumpkins, UGG boots and the remains of chai tea lattes.
Whether you have a budding summer romance, friends that enjoy cute activities, or just yourself and a book, here are some fun (and inexpensive) date ideas to make the most out of the end of summer!
1. Picnic at the Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens is one of Buffalo’s greatest assets and conveniently, one of the most romantic places for a date with your significant other. The grounds surrounding the Botanical Gardens are beautiful and full of little gardens, pathways, gazebos, and open spaces. Bring a big blanket, a cooler full of snacks and drinks, and a cute date for the perfect summer afternoon.
*A picnic on the grounds is completely free so this is also a cheap date idea, and if you wanted to walk around inside the gardens (highly recommend) the rates are pretty inexpensive. Find more info here!
2. Escape reality in a Virtual Reality room
This one’s a bit different but it’s perfect for the couples who love trying new things. Even if you think you’ve seen everything Buffalo has to offer, you might not have tried a virtual reality room.
Orion’s Landing , located on Lakeshore Rd in Hamburg offers Buffalonians a chance to escape reality for a bit and immerse themselves in another world.
Bring a date, put on the headset and gear, and give it a try. Whether you’re shooting arrows at giants, or conquering robots, this is sure to be a date you won’t forget. Find more info here.
3. Ice Cream hop around Hertel Ave
Lucky for us, Hertel Ave is home to three craft ice cream shops. Going out for ice cream is a quintessential date that will never grow old, but going on an ice cream crawl? That’s taking it to the next level. Walk between Churn, Poutine and Cream, and Lake Effect, and try all three to get the full ice cream experience. This one’s not for the faint of heart- it’s a lot of ice cream. However, if you and your date order one item at each place and share you should be able to have enough stomach space.
Check out our guide to ice cream crawling around Hertel here.
4. Grab a few friends to cycle around Lake Erie
Buffalo Cycleboats offers the ultimate combo on the water – cycle boating. How many different ways can you sit and drink with all your friends, be on a boat, and also be “exercising”? That’s a pretty specific combination and we’re pretty sure these cycleboats are the only way.
What better way to spend your date than surrounded by friends, on the water, getting your cycling on. For more information, click here.
5. Catch a movie under the stars
We all know movies make great dates. Cuddling, popcorn, and a riveting adventure story- say no more. If it’s a nice day outside and you don’t want to spend it inside a movie theater or holed up on the couch, an outdoor movie is perfect for you.
There are many places in Buffalo to watch an outdoor movie (here’s a complete guide) but our number one choice goes to The Buffalo Waterfront Drive-In Movie Series. This series has been ongoing through the summer, with the next showing being August 21st. Check out the 4pm showing of Raya and the Last Dragon and if you’re feeling up for it check out A Star is Born at 8pm. That’s right, once you are settled in you can watch two movies in a row for those who love binge watching! This is a very romantic date or just a fun thing to do with your friends and family.
6. Smoothie + Tennis Date in Delaware Park
Is it really a Buffalo date list if you don’t include Delaware Park?
Delaware Park is the best date place. Whether you are taking a picnic, going for a stroll or bike ride, have a puppy play date (a great idea) you can do it all at this park. Since we are picking one date activity, we chose a tennis and smoothie date. Delaware Park has several tennis courts and usually at least a few are bound to be available, bring a racquet and some sneakers and get a little exercise in! After you ace your tennis date, stop by The Juicery for a smoothie or light lunch and to talk about how you’re actually *pretty good* at tennis.
7. Get your downward dog on at the Outer Harbor
Yoga is pretty relaxing so if you or your date have a few first date nerves, get it all out with some yoga. Love in Motion Yoga offers special classes all summer long at Wilkeson Pointe on the Outer Harbor (along with other fitness class options by a variety of teachers). The beautiful views of the Outer Harbor complete the ambiance for a bit of yoga. If your date isn’t say, a master yogi, fear not. The class is a pretty easy level and the teacher will tell you how you can adapt any move so it’s great for any level. Afterward, go for a walk around the water and take in the scenic views.
8. Rent a tandem kayak on the waterfront
Elevator Alley Kayaks offer rentals you can take out for a couple hours on Buffalo’s waterfront. Rent a tandem or paddle individually and race around the water for a pretty fun date. They also give tours and lessons, and offer a student discount. Check out our guide for more information and other kayaking rental places.
9. Go rock climbing at the Niagara Climbing Center
Another one for the adventurous couple, the Niagara Climbing Center offers different wall challenges from easy (and fun) to quite difficult (if that’s what you’re into). Get an unlimited day pass and climb away to your heart’s desire.
*Pro tip: wear comfortable clothes and sneakers with traction.
10. Rock out at an Artpark concert
Artpark is one of Western New York’s best outdoor concert venues. They usually have a pretty good lineup of bands and tickets are inexpensive. Looking for the best date ever? Spend the day in Lewiston exploring the Niagara River and restaurants. Read this Lewiston day trip guide for more ideas.
11. Solve a murder mystery on a double decker bus tour
Buffalo Double Decker tours are sure to blow your socks off and while they have many awesome tours (not to mention you get to ride a double decker bus, not something you can normally do in Buffalo)- the murder mystery one is our personal favorite. Board the bus and solve a murder mystery based on real historical Buffalo events while stopping at three taverns for refreshments along the way. For more information, click here.
12. Go Kart & Mini Golf at Bayview Raceway
A perfect place for your date night resides at Bayview Raceway & Golf. This adorable spot has been providing the local community with family friendly 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. Then, top off this date night with a round of mini golf. You don’t want to miss this hole n one experience!
Plus, we’d be absolutely wrong not to steer you in the direction of nearby legendary hot dog joint, Red Top for a very casual bite to eat post playtime.
This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated.