Updated June 2018
Although it would be convenient, if not perfect, if the skies were clear and blue all year long, sometimes, the world calls for rain. On those days, it might be tempting to stay inside and curl up with a book or a movie — but, in our opinion, rainy days are an opportunity to explore places you might not have considered in the past. So, if you’re looking for an excuse to try a new restaurant, museum, or indoor phenomena, take a look at this list of rainy day activities, and keep them in mind for your next drizzly day in Western New York!
Get a Bowl of Ramen at SATO
LOCATION: 793 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222
HOURS: Monday-Thursday: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday: 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday: 11:30a.m.-10p.m.
Whether you’re craving some house-made ramen or you’re looking to grab a drink, SATO Restaurant has got you covered. Offering both affordable and delicious options, your next rainy day is a chance to expand your palette while cozying up to a hot bowl of broth with all the fixings. Happy hours are also conveniently offered from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. If you’re interested in previewing the menu or seeing more details about pricing, check out satobuffalo.com!
Other foodie options: Take a brewery tour, Check out our list of essential WNY restaurants to try
Go to Lasertron
LOCATION: 5101 North Bailey Avenue, Amherst, NY 14226
HOURS: Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
It might be easy to write off laser tag as a children’s activity — but, if you do, you’re only fooling yourself. What could be better on a rainy day than getting a group of your friends together only to pit them against each other in an intense round of laser tag? Even better, Lasertron offers alcohol and food — perhaps for a post-match celebration (or pity party!). A thirty minute round of laser tag costs $30; however, special prices are available for groups and parties. For more information about pricing and games other than laser tag, visit buffalo.lasertron.us.
Other “be-a-kid-again” options: Go Kart Racing
See a film at the North Park Theatre
LOCATION: 1428 Hertel Avenue, Buffalo, NY
Movie-going is a classic rainy-day activity, but you might be tired of dropping ungodly amounts of cash to see a flick at the Regal or the AMC. We suggest checking out the North Park Theatre. An architectural and artistic masterpiece, the North Park Theatre has been around for nearly a century now. Recently it has undergone an eight month long restoration; not only has it been returned to its former glory, but it also has new stain glass windows (among the many other lovely renovations!). For information about pricing and showtimes, visit northparktheatre.org.
Ride the Maid of the Mist
LOCATION: Prospect Point, Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls, NY 14303
PRICE: Adults – $19.25; Children (6-12) – $11.20; children under 5 get in free! *No group reservations allowed.
HOURS: Vary; rides are offered from May until the 8th of November.
If you’re going to get wet anyway, you might as well get soaked! As someone who has personally gone on the Maid of the Mist boat ride, I can promise you that paying $19.25 is an incredible deal for what you get to see. Not only is the ride surprisingly refreshing, but getting close to Niagara Falls, which is such a massive and distinct landmark, is an opportunity you should not pass up. It’s a lot of fun, especially if you get tickets with your friends, cousins, or children! For more information, visit maidofthemist.com.
Other Wet Options: Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours
Go play at Skyzone
LOCATION: 425 Cayuga Road, Cheektowaga, NY 14225
HOURS: Monday – Thursday: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday: 4 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
PRICES: Vary — check out skyzone.com/buffalo
If staying cooped up indoors makes you antsy, you might consider visiting Skyzone — the much adored indoor playground for adults and kids alike. Perfect for adrenaline junkies or adventure-goers, Skyzone has trampolines, freestyle bouncing, dodgeball, and fitness classes. Not only is this a great way to counter a rainy day, but you can burn off some serious calories while having a blast!
Other active options: Tonawanda Golf Dome
Visit the Botanical Gardens
LOCATION: 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218
HOURS: Every day from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
PRICES: Adults: $11; Seniors: $10; Students: $9; Children 3-12: $6; Children 2 and under: free!
What better way to remind yourself of all the natural beauty in the world than to visit the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens? Though outside the weather may be dreary, you’ll soon forget once you step inside the vivacious greenhouses. Even just acquainting yourself with the greenery and flowers may prove to be an inspiring experience in itself. If you’re looking for something more interactive and social, perhaps check out a running exhibit or an event. For more information on different exhibits and events at the Botanical Gardens, visit buffalogardens.com!
Go Bowling at Transit Lanes
LOCATION: 7850 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY, 14221
HOURS: Sunday: 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Monday: 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Tuesday & Wednesday: 9 a.m. – 12 a.m.; Thursday: 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Friday & Saturday: 9 a.m.-3 a.m.
PRICES: Standard Package is $15.00 for three games and shoes; there are varying specials all found on transitlanes.net.
There are few activities as classic as going bowling; and if, like me, you haven’t gone since you were a little kid, a rainy day is the excuse you’ve been waiting for to dust off your skills. Equipped with a full bar, karaoke, and 52 lanes, Transit Lanes is a top choice bowling alley. Grab a group of friends and a pint, and you’re more than prepared for a rainy day (or any strange weather condition, for that matter!).
Ride the Subway and Write a Poem (poem optional)
LOCATION: NFTA Metro, 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, New York 14203 (or any subway or bus of your choice!)
HOURS: Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
PRICE: Standard Fare: $2
Perhaps rainy days might make you feel downright introspective. Personally, something about the grey sky and the sound and smell of the rain makes me want to write in a journal, or sketch. There is a quiet romanticism to rainy days which allows for you to let your inner poet out. So, if you have time to kill, take a $2 ride on the subway, and just start writing. Who knows? You might come up with something great — or, you might just end up people-watching and writing down your grocery list. Either way, a little introspection never hurt anybody!
Although there are plenty of activities to choose from, this list covers an array of moods — introspective, adventurous, relaxed, sociable, curious, etc. It’s hard to say how you’ll feel on the next rainy day that hits, but, after looking at this list, hopefully, you’ll find something that suits you: even if you just ride the subway and take some time to write a haiku. In any case, Buffalo has plenty of options to ensure that you’ll never waste a rainy day, ever again.