With warm weather and what seems like an endless amount of events each week coming in hot, the glorious spring/summer in Western New York seems to finally be here. Make the most of warm days and hot summer nights with your better half by taking him/her on these seasonal dates that will fuel your ever-blossoming romance and get you out of the house!
Day Date in Lewiston
Talk about a beautiful place for a day date! With staple restaurants like the Silo and Water Street Landing and plenty to do, it’s easy to spend hours in Lewiston. The Roaming Table Lewiston Culinary Tours will guide you through the village where you’ll have the chance to sample food and drinks from locations in the area seen on “Man vs. Food” and “Best of the Road” and more. The tour lasts about 3 hours and you’ll be walking to the different spots, listening to historical facts about the adorable village on the way.
Another option if you’re up for more thrill than fill is a Lewiston Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour. This is a thrilling way to spend some time out on the water on a hot summer day and allows you and your date to learn all about the history and geology of the Niagara River while riding through class 5 whitewater rapids. They request that you arrive 45 minutes before the scheduled tour time and bring a full change of clothes (lockers are available). They like to leave some mystery when it comes to the tour, so you’ll have to hop on to find out what else you encounter on the way. While you’re up there, assuming you came from down under (AKA south of Lewiston), you might as well stop for a fantastic meal at Carmelo’s. Bring a nice change of clothes and suck it up buttercup – it’s worth it.
Experience the Waterfront
Water sports are a great way to stay active, stay cool, and spend time together this summer. Luckily, we’ve got everything to rent from hydrobikes to kayaks, paddles boats, jet skis, standing paddle boards, and more in WNY. Find out where to rent water bikes here and kayaks here! If you decide to head to Canalside to rent kayaks or water bikes, make a day of it by checking out other events or restaurants in the area like the Saturday Artisan Market or the Silo Fleas on certain Sundays at Silo City. If there aren’t any special events going on close by grab a Bloody Mary at Templeton Landing or some Ahi Tuna Nachos at Liberty Hound.
Perhaps you decide to rent hydrobikes or other water vessels in Tonawanda. You can enjoy an order of clams and a nice class of wine on the Remington Tavern Patio after or a BBQ feast along the water at Smoke on the Water. You earned it!
The Spirit of Buffalo is perfect for a special evening date. They offer Wine in the Wind events where you get the chance to taste different wines while sailing around on Lake Erie. Or if you and your date are beer lovers, Tuesday night they offer a Craft Brew Cruise for $42 a person.
Step Out to Workout
During the summer a ridiculous number of parks and outdoor venues offer free workout classes in an effort to motivate locals to get away from the TV and stay active from Revolution cycling classes on the boardwalk at Canalside (yeah, they bring the bikes and all) to zumba, bootcamp, yoga, and more. In past years Canalside specifically offers unusual classes like barre class, blending ballet, and Pilates to tone your body and “POUND” which is more cardio based. In pound you’ll get the chance to perform drumming motions with lightly weighted drumsticks called Ripstix and rock out to your favorite music. Stay tuned for our roundup of places to get fit outside for freeeee!
The Competitive Double Date
Challenge another couple to trivia night at Canalside. Trivia nights have been popping up in bars around Buffalo lately, but Clinton’s Dish gives you and your date the opportunity to enjoy the fun of trivia night while still being able to bask in those warm summer nights. Check out “Quiz Night in Buffalo” on Wednesdays from 6 pm – 8 pm for some friendly competition. See how well you know your city and more. Losers buys the winners drinks at Liberty Hound!
Night at the Thea-Tah
Make a day of picking out your favorite wine at the local farmers market and gathering treats from Lexington Co-op or Nickel City Cheese and pack a nice picnic for a date at Shakespeare in the Park. Bring your picnic basket, your Govino glasses, chairs, and a blanket to snuggle under while watching an outdoor performance. The show runs from Tuesday to Sunday and begin at 7:30pm. Shows in 2016 start on June 23rd in Delaware Park. Find out everything else you need to know here.
Movie Night in the Moonlight
What better way to end the day than a movie? Add the outdoors, a sunset, and then a starry sky and you definitely can’t beat it. Lucky for us Buffalo’s not short on options when it comes to this date idea. Take “dinner and a movie” to the next level at movie night in Bacchus’ courtyard. If you’re looking for something more casual and “buffaloveable”, grab some grub at Food Truck Tuesday in Larkin Square or a cocktail and a pizza from Hydraulic Hearth before heading to Canalside to enjoy a “Tuesday Night Flick” together starting June 14th, 2016. If you happen to live in a different neck of the woods, there are plenty of movie nights all around WNY – look for ideas here.
Impress your friends at the next wedding or just learn something new together at free dance classes on Wednesday evenings at Canalside. Move to live music and follow along with the instructors for professional dance lessons from salsa and swing to ballroom waltz and the tango. Join instructors on Wednesdays starting June 8th, 2016 from 7 pm – 9 pm on the boardwalk to learn some new moves! Find out more here.
Live Music & VIP Treatment
Everywhere we look it seems like free concerts and live music are popping up around town. Concerts at Canalside on Thursday nights starting June 9th, 2016 are completely free, plus this year you have the option to really impress your date with tickets to the VIP tent which includes 3 complimentary beer/wine (water & pop are free), appetizers and finger foods from 716 Food & Sport, private bathrooms, a stage front location, and a tent with seats and lawn games – it’s pretty epic. The Thursday night concerts have been the talk of the town, but there’s more where that came from. Make an evening out of these live outdoor concerts too: the Elmwood Village Concert Series on Tuesdays, Live at Larkin on Wednesdays, Wednesday night concerts at Buffalo River Fest Park, and Music on Main Street in Williamsville on Thursdays. Keep an eye on their websites for event details!
Experience a local tradition
Sure, by the time August rolls around we’ve had festival and fair overload, but don’t throw in the towel yet. The Erie County Fair runs from August 10th-21rd. Take bets on which little pig will win the swifty swine races, get your picture taken with the sea lions, eat as much greasy food as possible and try to win your lovely date a prize. See, romance isn’t dead. But in all seriousness, few things beat a throwback date at the fair. Ride the rides, walk around with with a big smoked turkey leg while snacking on fried pickles and taffy, and spend way too much money. While you’re in Hamburg head 15 minutes towards the water to check out Public House on the Lake and grab anything from fresh shellfish to their macaroni and cheese of the week. Find more info on the fair here.
Explore Your Inner Foodie
Take a culinary tour together with Buffalo Bites Food Tours around the Elmwood Village or East Aurora. Taste food from local restaurants, cafes and shops while exploring the neighborhood with your tour guide – and of course, your hot date. Expect to touch on historical and cultural points along the tour, as well as taking moments to appreciate the areas architectural beauty. It’s nice to have the opportunity to try a few different places throughout the tour, so when you revisit for your next date (with or without the same person), you have an idea of where you’d like to eat.
We don’t care what those boring old couples say, it’s exciting to start a brand new hobby together! Since the craft beer scene has taken Buffalo by storm, we’re in love with the idea of starting a brew your own beer project as a couple. Pick up a starter kit and supplies from Kegworks and dig in. When it’s time, create a name for the beer that represents you both as a couple, sip, and enjoy.
Kegworks / 1460 Military Rd, Buffalo, NY 14217 / (716) 929-7570
Soak Up the Sun
Pack up your towels, slather on your sunscreen and hit the beach with your date. Have fun in the sun without the plane ride. Woodlawn and Sunset are great locations to relax in the warm sand. When you’ve had enough of the water, you can scope out the local beach bars for some fresh sangria or margaritas! Non-group beach dates are underrated.
The “Outdoorsy” Date
We’re not talking about Naked and Afraid or Survivor here, just a nice little day trip or short getaway to turn off the world and become one with nature…and each other. In our guide to the best hiking trails in WNY you’ll notice that we have gorgeous, scenic locations to hike right in our backyard – who knew! If you’re in the mood for a weekend getaway, Allegany and Ellicottville are home to excellent camping locations that aren’t too far of a drive. Retire your phone for a day or even a weekend and just spend some time with each other.
For those daredevil lovebirds out there, why not take it to the next level – literally. Frontier Skydivers located at 3316 Beebe Rd, Newfane, NY 14108 is the perfect date to break out of your comfort zone. It’s an experience unlike any other you’ll have and the views are spectacular! Plus, let’s be honest…it gives you both bragging rights for life. If you decide to try it, buy the video. It’s worth every penny to have proof! Adventurous but not exactly a fearless couple? Sign up for sailing classes at Seven Seas Sailing Center or Sail Buffalo for a more tame, yet equally satisfying escapade.
Relax at the Hookah Bar
Thanks to their many hookah options, Mezza strays from the average WNY restaurant experience in the best way. Relax outside on their patio while sharing one of their fruity hookah flavors – we recommend blue raspberry – while indulging in a mean dirty martini or a flavorful margarita. Split the hummus with pita and falafel balls for a happy hour snack.
Mezza / 929 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222 / (716) 885-4400
Ever heard of Pickleball? How about Shuffleboard? Surely, you’re familiar with mini golf. Did you know you can now play all three in Larkinville? Try your hand at Pickleball at Larkin Square in this interesting mix of ping-pong, badminton, tennis, and volleyball played with wooden paddles and whiffle balls. There are 2 courts available on a first come first serve basis with paddles and balls there for you to use on weekdays and during public events.
If golf is more your speed, check out Larkin Links at Larkin Square, a new public art concept made up of 11 holes, each designed by a local artist. The nano sized golf course is open until Sept 16, 2015 from dawn until dusk – find score cards, pencils and putters by the mail box.
If these games are full or you’re just keen on having a beer in hand while playing the night away, head across the street to Hydraulic Hearth and call next on the Shuffleboard courts. “A game you can play without ever having to put down your beer.” Did we mention they offer all of these games for free?
After you’ve worked up a sweat, you’ve earned an ice cold cocktail and a wood-fired pizza in Hydraulic Hearth’s beer garden.
A Buffalo Summer Staple
Before the summer is over, it’s practically mandatory to grab an order of sweet potato fries loaded with butter and honey from Mississippi Mudds before taking a nice long walk, bike ride, or rollerblade along the water in Niawanda Park. Make a day of it by hanging by the water until the live music starts at Old Man River. Order some clams at the Seafood Shack and a glass of wine/ice cold beer and just relax; or dance! Live Music at Old Man River goes from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Plus, every Thursday join them for a Clam Jam where you get a ½ dozen free clams with the purchase of a dozen. By the way some great summer restaurants with discounts can be found new Loupe app. Don’t visit without downloading it!
Blue Bike Ride
If you don’t have a bike rack for your car, you’re in luck. New Blue Bikes are now available to rent down at Canalside, perfect for a beautiful bike ride together along the water. Hop on the Queen City Bike Ferry for just $1 each way (also new this summer) to the outer harbor on Monday – Friday from 12pm – 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am – 8pm (can ride until 9pm). Your money will be collected when you board and you must have exact change.
A total of 46 bikes are offered in different sizes with helmets and bike locks starting at $15.00 per hour. Members of BCBS receive a $5.00 discount with their member ID card.
Take (each other) Out to the Ballgame
Keep an eye out for theme nights at Coca-Cola Field or just check out any Friday night Bisons game ending with a worthwhile bang! Enjoy an ice cold beer, a bag of peanuts and get into the game together. Stay until the end to see the spectacular fireworks show. Check out the 2016 schedule here. Continue the night down the street at Ballyhoo with jam sessions (AKA awesome jam-based cocktails) and an outstanding ice cream sandwich for dessert.
Classy Night at the Art Gallery
Dress in your nicest formalwear for an evening at the art gallery. On the first Friday of every month from 10 am – 10 pm admission to the Albright Knox is free for everyone. Art classes, certain tours, and special exhibitions are extra for non-members. On the Second Friday of each month the Burchfield Penney also offers free entry. Make a night of it by grabbing dinner in the Elmwood Village at SATO, Cecelia’s, Blue Monk, Vera, Acropolis, Kuni’s or anything you might come across!
Love Buffalo and want to discover more of Canalside and beyond? Grab your date, your smartphone, and a magnifying glass (just kidding) and join in on the next Buffalo History Tours Scavenger Hunt. We’ll call this the “working towards a common goal” date. We’re pretty sure you’ll have a blast scouring Canalside, solving riddles, finding clues, and taking pictures/videos to document the challenge. Photo booths – who needs ’em!