The Best Places to Feel Like a Kid Again


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Spin classes, Zumba, and Bikram yoga classes are, you have to admit, only so fun. They might be a great workout but they’re nothing compared to the utter joy you felt as a kid getting across the high monkey bars for the first time.

Lucky for you, Buffalo has a variety of indoor and outdoor playgrounds that will make any adult feel like the kid they once were.

Instead of becoming a couch potato this winter or getting a little too familiar with your local bartender (hey it happens), book your closest friends for a night out that’ll bring you right back to where you wish you were on the reg – elementary school.


Trapped: A Buffalo Escape Room Experience

Where: 2171 Sheridan Dr, Tonawanda

When: Open Tuesday-Sunday; must book during available reservation times

How much: $25 per player

You and at least three friends get one hour. One hour to strategize your way out.

You can be wizards working together to steal your enemies’ Golden Snitch.

You can be military spies trying to get a Nazi codex to Alan Turing to crack.

You can be travelers stuck inside haunted hotel room #9 in 1978.

Like a video game brought to life, Trapped will make you fearful, it will make you think, and you’ll have to use your strengths to make it out alive. Enough said.


Skyzone Buffalo

Where: 425 Cayuga Rd, Cheektowaga

When (for adults): Tuesday 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

How much: $11/30 mins; $16/1 hour; $20/90 mins; $24/2 hours

Some of the best friends you could have growing up were the kids with massive trampolines in their backyards were you could spend endless summer days and nights bouncing around, doing flips, and trying not to get double-bounced into the sky.

As an adult, it can get a bit difficult to take over your own kid’s trampoline and make them sit on the sidelines. Instead, Skyzone Buffalo gives you the chance get a super good workout while just bouncing all over the place. Skyzone has an open jump area, dodgeball, a massive foam pit, and Sky Slam – a high-jump basketball hoop.

Skyzone specializes in discounted programs like Wednesday’s Hoppy Hour, Tuesday’s College Night, and Saturday’s Sky Jam. Check their website for how to go jumping for half the price. Skyzone even offers aerobic classes – who said workouts had to be boring?


Get Air Trampoline Park

Where: 3637 Union Rd, Cheektowaga

When: Monday to Thursday 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday 4 p.m. to midnight; Saturday 10 a.m. to midnight; Sunday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

How much: $14/1 hour; $22/2 hours; $8 for each additional hour

Like Skyzone, Get Air lets you be free for an hour or more to jump and flip and offers opportunities to jump on the cheap (check the website for the list of nights you might qualify for reduced prices).

But Get Air offers a few more activities to explore than Skyzone. Whereas Skyzone is mainly about jumping, at Get Air you can try your balance on the slackline and the fidget ladder, climb around on the rock walls and ropes, or get over your fear of heights by jumping in the airsoft foam pit.  You and your friends can even try your aim at archery (on flat ground).


Buffalo Battleground

Where: 1888 Niagara Falls Blvd, Tonawanda

When: Adult night every second Tuesday of the month; Wednesday through Friday 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

How much: $20/4 hours plus rental equipment fee; $30/8 hours plus rental equipment fee; Wednesday nights $15

The words “capture the flag” probably bring back memories of gym class but Buffalo Battleground is a whole lot more than those sweat-filled blue mats on gym room walls and beaten up red flags you tried desperately to carry amid attempted tackles.

At Buffalo Battleground, an Airsoft arena, you get hours of play and a variety of games to choose from. You and your opponents can play the classic Capture the Flag, and still have time for President, Alien, and Hostage Rescue.  And when you don’t feel like playing, shop the on-site retail store for bigger and better equipment.


Niagara Climbing Center

Where: 1333 Strad Ave, North Tonawanda

When: Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

How much: $150/Student semester pass; $15/unlimited day; $12/student, military, senior; various membership rates

No obstacle course at summer camp was complete without an imposing rock wall. While outdoor rock climbing isn’t really a big thing in Western New York, the Niagara Climbing Center brings the cliff to you – the inside you.

The Niagara Climbing Center is the only indoor full-service rock climbing gym in the area, so it caters to the whole spectrum of climbers, from beginners to people who might as well have grown up dangling from a mountain. The Center boasts a range of challenges like roofs and top-outs to give a challenge to any climber.


Niagara Falls Adventure Park

Where: 427 First St, Niagara Falls

When: Thursday and Friday 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

How much: Varies per activity

Remember those kids who would go as high as possible on the swings and then leap off? Well, the Niagara Falls Adventure Park, just a few blocks from the Falls, is definitely the place for the adult version of those daredevil children. While this park may be outside, they hardly slow down just because it’s chilly out.

The outdoor adventure park hosts a zip-line, a high ropes course, and a (terrifying-sounding) jump off zone. The zip-line will hurtle you down, at 27 MPH, a 300-foot hill. On the high ropes course you can climb across platforms, trying to maintain your balance on rope, wood, and cables. Or, for adrenaline junkies, check out the jump off zone where you free-fall five stories down the park’s hill.

I’m woozy just writing about it.


Pole Position Raceway

Where: 1 Walden Galleria, Cheektowaga, New York 14225

When: Mon – Thurs 12 p.m. – 10 p.m., Fri 12 p.m. – 11 p.m., Sat 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

How Much: One adult race is $28 (up to 14 laps around)

Remember when you were a kid and all you ever wanted to go was spend the day at the go kart place in town? Sadly, now that you have money and the ability to drive yourself there, you’re too big in most cases.

Pole Position Raceway solves that problem, making them the perfect addition to our “becoming a kid again” guide. Make a date of it, make a party of it, heck you could even go by yourself and have a good time. They have an Arrive & Drive format that let’s you show up last minute individually or in small groups and participate in standard races. No snowsuit needed here. These tracks are inside. Don’t forget closed-toe shoes.




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