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Perfect Places to Picnic in the Park

City Guide, Things to Do

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Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on May 22, 2015
Picnic

Updated July 2019

A picnic date offers all the romance of spending time with your special someone while avoiding the hassles and expenses of dining out. And – here’s the million dollar secret – that person you’re with? They’ll love it!

“So what should we fill that basket with?”

For starters, you’re going to want wine. As far as food goes, I find that keeping things light and finger-foody is usually the best way to go. If you’re lugging a heavy picnic basket through the park, the last thing you want to worry about is silverware clanging around and falling on the ground. Start off with a good wedge or block of cheese (avoid anything that crumbles easily, like blue or goat cheese, for obvious reasons). Fruit is another must-have for any picnic basket.

For a main course, I like to pick up premade sandwiches or wraps from a great local gourmet deli, like Globe Market or The Lexington Co-op. If you’re headed to a park outside of Buffalo, Wegmans has a number of other picnic-friendly options. More adventurous eaters might want to pick up sushi or even fried chicken. Both are great at Wegmans. Remember that you want to avoid having to use utensils or plates if possible, so any main course that fits that description will be great picnic food.

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In addition to the food, your basket should also include some paper towels and a cheese knife. If you absolutely must, go ahead and pack utensils and plates as well. Just remember: The best thing about a picnic date is its spontaneity. Have a basket ready so that if the weather cooperates – you can just make a few stops after work or on your way to the park.

Here are some perfect places to picnic in the park:

Buffalo

Delaware Park

Neighborhood: Delaware District

Plenty of space for a quiet, private picnic in a beautiful spot.

Cherry blossom Festival - Mothers Day
Cherry Blossoms behind the Buffalo History Museum

Mirror Lake

Neighborhood: Delaware District

In my opinion, you won’t beat this setting on a nice summer day behind the Buffalo History Museum.

Bidwell Parkway at Elmwood Ave

Neighborhood: Elmwood Village

Plop down on a nice piece of grass and people watch.

Canalside
Canalside

Canalside

Neighborhood: Canalside

Bring a basket to the grassy area overlooking the water and settle in a couple adirondack chairs. Then head over to Liberty Hound for a couple drinks.

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Cazenovia Park

Neighborhood: South Buffalo

Catch this park at sunset for a treat.

Martin Luther King Jr. Park

Neighborhood: East Buffalo

Fountains, gardens, green grass and easy access to the Buffalo Science Museum. Perfect outing much?

North Towns

Ellicott Creek Island

Neighborhood: Tonawanda

Not to be confused with the park below, this one’s down the street and a cool island destination.

Ellicott Creek Park

Neighborhood: Tonawanda

Sure, there’s picnic shelters, but sprawl out on the grass along the creek and maybe even do some fishing or kayaking with Paths, Peaks and Paddles.

Niawanda Park

Neighborhood: Tonawanda

Bring your own food or grab some at Mississippi Muds or Old Man River nearby.

Beaver Island State Park

Neighborhood: Grand Island

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Veteran’s Park

Neighborhood: Grand Island

Niagara Falls State Park

Neighborhood: Niagara Falls

De Veaux Woods State Park

Neighborhood: Niagara Falls

Whirlpool State Park

Neighborhood: Niagara Falls

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Lewiston Town Park

Neighborhood: Lewiston

Kiwanis Park

Neighborhood: Lewiston

South Towns

Chestnut Ridge Park

Neighborhood: Orchard Park

Ample land, shelters, grills, tons of trails to walk.

Eternal-flame-at-Chestnut-Ridge
Eternal flame at Chestnut Ridge Park

Memorial Park

Neighborhood: Hamburg

The perfect village picnic. If it’s raining, sit under the amphitheater.

Hamlin Park

Neighborhood: East Aurora

This park has a baseball diamond, playground and a peaceful atmosphere. Just a short walk away from everything going on right on Main Street.

Written by <a href="https://stepoutbuffalo.com/author/brett-smith/" target="_self">Brett Llenos Smith</a>

Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer based in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood who has been covering local food and culture for the Step Out Buffalo over the past six years. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for exploring and understand the many diverse corners of Western New York.

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