7 Exciting WNY Activities Opening Thanks to Phase 4

City Guide, Family Friendly


Written by Step Out Staff

Published on July 1, 2020

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Zoo

Welcome to Phase 4, Western New York!
Before we get too far into this, let us just say that we highly encourage everyone to step out responsibly and safely not only in order to keep our region healthy but to also allow for continued progress in getting local business and organizations opened up! Wear a mask, keep your distance, don’t over do it, guys.
That being said, now that these places are able to reopen, they need your support! Let’s get out there and show them how much we care. The list of things to do in Buffalo and Western New York is growing, from zoos and botanical gardens to nature parks, historic sites, cultural institutions, museums, aquariums, and more.


As is the case with restaurants opening for patio and indoor service, things may start off a bit rocky with reopening like this – think adjusted hours and services and definitely new safety policies and procedures. Please be sure to look into these things before visiting any of the following places.
Here’s a guide to activities you can do now (thanks to Phase 4) that you couldn’t before:

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Zoo

1. Buffalo Zoo

Reopens Friday, July 3
Update: “Final preparations are underway for our big re-opening day on Thursday (editor’s note: members – 7/2, public – 7/3) and we’ve made this short video of what you need to know before you go!
Reservations are full for our Member’s Appreciation Day on Thursday, but there are plenty of days and times available for your visit on Friday and beyond. Please reserve your tickets and times here:”


Genesee Country Village & Museum

Photo courtesy of Genesee Country Village & Museum

2. Genesee Country Village & Museum

Reopens Friday, July 3
Update: “Genesee Country Village & Museum will open to the general public beginning Friday, July 3, in time for the Independence Day Celebration on Saturday, July 4. This family-friendly event will feature music, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and a black powder shoot, with a focus on outdoor activities to allow for physical distancing and free movement of guests. In addition, many of the Museum’s historic buildings will be open for the first time this season. Food will also be available at the Museum’s Depot restaurant, and the newly-renovated Flint Hill Store will be open for business.
GCV&M’s historic buildings and programming this season will be re-imagined to allow for more outdoor demonstrations and one-way traffic through indoor spaces, while still offering the in-depth look at 19th-century life for which the Museum is known. Although the Wehle Gallery will not be opening until July 24, the majority of buildings in the Historic Village will be open and staffed with interpreters offering demonstrations of period cooking, trades, farming, and home life.
GCV&M will be open 10 am – 4 pm each Friday through Sunday beginning July 3. Admission is $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and $7 for youth ages 3 – 12. Advanced purchase tickets for Saturday, July 4 are available online at at a discount of $1 off until 5 pm on July 3, and include express touchless entry to the Museum. For the safety of staff and visitors, mask-wearing is required, and common areas have been re-envisioned to allow for physical distancing while on premises.”

Photo courtesy of Old Fort Niagara

3. Old Fort Niagara

Reopens Friday, July 3
Update: “We are so excited to announce that we have been given the go-ahead to reopen our doors to the public on Friday, July 3, 2020, just prior to celebrating America’s 244th Independence Day on July 4th. Appropriate timing for sure. 🙂
We have of course adopted several health initiatives to allow guests to feel confident and safe when experiencing all the incredible happenings at Old Fort Niagara.
You can find all the initiatives, requirements, and new hours on our website here:”


Aquarium of Niagara

Photo courtesy of Aquarium of Niagara

4. Aquarium of Niagara

Reopens Saturday, July 4
Update: “We’re so excited to open as part of phase four! We will open tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at 9am for Aquarium members and for everyone else on Saturday, July 4th. Join us live as we show you what to expect during your visit.”

Buffalo Museum of Science

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Museum of Science

5. Buffalo Museum of Science

Reopens Week of July 6 – Date TBD
Update: “We will announce our reopening date very soon, but until then…Golden Mummies of Egypt, presented by M&T Bank, has been extended into Fall 2020 and we are excited to now make this world-class exhibition FREE for Museum Members! General admission will be reserved for our members only and limited to the second floor exhibit galleries until we properly adapt our most interactive, high-touch spaces on our other floors. All member and non-member admissions will need to be reserved in advance either online or by phone prior to visiting. All guests ages 2 and up will be required to wear face coverings in accordance with NYS mandates. Our comprehensive sanitization and safety plan will be posted to our website when tickets go on sale. To begin, the Museum will at first be open three days a week—Friday, Saturday and Sunday—for extended hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.”


Photo courtesy of Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

6. Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens

Reopens Wednesday, July 15
Update: “The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens will reopen to the public on July 15, 2020 with early access to members on July 8. We can’t wait to be #BackUnderTheDome!”

7. Sky High Adventure Park

Reopened Saturday, June 12
Okay, so this one has been open since June 12, before Phase 4 even started. But we thought it would be a great activity to add to this list if you’re looking for a fun an active way to get out of the house this summer!
Update: “We’ve set up an entry to the Harness Shop ticket window, marked by orange markers to help you maintain a distance of 6 feet. We’re encouraging you to book and sign your waiver release online in advance. This summer, you’ll harness yourself. We’ve created a series of videos that explains in minute detail how to self-harness safely, and a staff member will always be on-hand to assist you if you have any questions. Once you begin a course, masks will be optional. Please keep in mind that anytime you interact directly with a staff member or another climber outside of your group you will need to have your mask on – this includes at the ticket window, in the Harness Shop, at the Briefing/Practice areas and on the Starting Platform. Park staff have set up orange markers around the Starting Platform and Briefing/Practice Areas to help you visualize and maintain a 6 foot distance. While climbing, there will be a limit of two people per platform on opposite sides of the platform if you are family or traveled to the Park together. If not, please limit one person per platform. Gloves will be required at all times. Please feel free to bring your own gloves (leather or tough palms required). Gloves will be available free of charge or for purchase.”

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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Step Out Staff</a>

Written by Step Out Staff

A group of Step Out Buffalo team members worked together to create this post from research and writing to editing and imagery. Thanks for reading!
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