The Ultimate Buffalo *Summer of Covid* Bucket List



Written by Step Out Staff

Published on July 30, 2020

Photo x Zachary Todtenhagen / Live at the Drive

I think we can all agree, this is a weird summer. One of the weirdest a lot of us might ever experience.
So we figured we could use a special summer of Covid bucket list to match the ridiculously abnormal, festival-free summer we find ourselves navigating. Here are 15 things you absolutely must do in Summer 2020 – the weirdest of them all.


stargazing cherry springs

Cherry Springs State Park / Photo x Lauren Spoth

1. Go stargazing

If we’re embracing the Corona-cards we’ve been dealt (hint: we are), Summer 2020 is all about slowing down and smelling roses – or gazing at the stars. Take the lack of weddings you have to attend and channel that Saturday night energy towards a drive the the country to experience nature at it’s finest. Man we love the size of Buffalo for this reason – it’s so easy to get city vibes or country vibes, all within about 25 minutes of each other.
Make it happen guide: Ultimate Guide To Western New York’s Best Stargazing Spots

Bozanna’s Pizza

Bozanna’s Pizza & Wings from Armor Inn Tap Room / Step Out Buffalo

2. Have a take-out picnic

The perfect way to support local restaurants, keep your distance, and finally have a reason to use that picnic basket you’ve been meaning to use since you got it as a wedding gift (speaking from experience).
Make it happen guides:


Live at the Drive – Funktional Flow

Photo x Zachary Todtenhagen / Live at the Drive

3. See Live Music at the Drive-in

Desperately missing live music in shows of all sizes? Live at the Drive is one of your top options this summer for a very socially distanced live music experience. For kicks we’re going to include our guide to all drive-in shows this summer, music and film included, since there have never been more opportunities to get to a drive-in thanks to Covid-19.
Make it happen guides:


Photo courtesy of F45 Hamburg

4. Take an Outdoor Workout Class

Thanks to the relatively short summer season we have around here, this activity always makes our summer bucket list. But this year is special because outdoor fitness classes are actually your only option for in-person group fitness currently. Get social (distanced, of course) with your workouts and support a fitness studio that frankly could really use it at a time like this – it’s a win-win.
Make it happen guide: Guide To Outdoor Fitness Classes This Summer In WNY

Photo courtesy of

5. Rent a Camper for a change of scenery

Whether you use this camper to take an actual trip or just post up in your yard/driveway for a mini-staycation and change of scenery, is up to you. But you should know, it’s an option. And I bet your kids will die over it.
Make it happen guide: How To Rent A Camper In Buffalo & WNY


Becker Farms

Photo Courtesy of Becker Farms

6. Go on a socially distanced retreat

These types of trips have never been more trendy, so make plans asap. From glamping in the woods to beach staycations, there are options close to home and across the state. Stay for a night or head out of town for a long weekend, the choice is yours.
Make it happen guide: Your Guide To Social Distance Retreats Within 5 Hours Of Buffalo

Photo courtesy of The Flower Stand

7. Visit a u-pick flower or fruit farm

If we had to pick the number one ultimate Covid summer activity, it would be visiting u-pick farms. This activity is naturally socially distanced, perfectly fun for all ages, and supports local farms. Did we mention it’s trending through the roof right now?
Make it happen guide: 5 Charming U-Pick Flower Farms Opening Soon In WNY


Photo from

8. Rent your neighbor’s pool by the hour

If you’re reading this and feeling like things are getting weird, we must say we warned you in the intro that that might happen. But stay with us here – it’s hot, you’re bored, your neighbor / fellow Western New Yorker has a pool that they happen to not be using. They post it on, and you rent it by the hour.
Make it happen guide: Hot? Here’s How You Can Rent A Pool In Buffalo & WNY

Hertel Poutine and Cream

Photo courtesy of Hertel Poutine and Cream

9. Try homemade ice cream from as many of these local shops as possible

Did you know it’s an absolute treat to have as many local ice cream shops as we do around WNY? They don’t have that s*** everywhere. Let alone 14 who make their own ice cream in-house! These locally owned shops are churning out their own unique flavors and killing the game.
Make it happen guide: 14 WNY Ice Cream Shops That Serve Homemade Ice Cream


Company B

Company B dinning space / Photo courtesy of Company B

10. Check out a new restaurant

You might think we’re joking, but there are actually quite a few new restaurants popping up relative to what you might think based on the whole pandemic sitch. Step out and try something new, y’all.
Make it happen guide: 18 Essential New Restaurants To Try This Summer

Patrick's Rooftop

Photo courtesy of Patrick’s Rooftop

11. Eat, drink, and be merry on a rooftop

This is an oldie but goodie – get on a damn rooftop this summer. Each year we see a couple more pop up, so this list has probably grown since you clicked on it last summer. Plus a lot of spots on here serve up some killer views. Imagine the instagram stories.
Make it happen guide: 10 Rooftop Patios In WNY To Enjoy This Summer

SUP Erie Adventures

Photo courtesy of SUP Erie Adventures

12. Get yourself on a SUP board once and for all

You know you’ve been eyeing them up. Wondering if you can do it or not, wondering how far you could make it actually standing up on one of those bad boys. Well, we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to buy one of these expensive toys to try it out – there are *11* spots to rent a stand-up paddle board in WNY. Get out and enjoy the water while there’s still time.
Make it happen guide: 11 Places To Rent Stand-Up Paddle Boards In Buffalo & WNY


FLOATmingo Paddle Boat at Hoyt Lake

FLOATmingo Paddle Boat at Hoyt Lake / Photo courtesy of

13. Rent a “FLOATmingo” Paddle Boat at Hoyt Lake

Yes, you read that correctly – this summer Hoyt Lake started flamingo-shaped paddle boat rentals in addition to their regularly scheduled adorable row boat programming. Just a guess but your kids will probably be super into this.
Make it happen guide: You Can Rent “FLOATmingo” Paddle Boats & Row Boats At Hoyt Lake

waterfront bike trails

Erie Canalway Trail near the Peace Bridge / Photo courtesy of Trail Link

14. Take a Waterfront Bike Ride

Listen, you can take a nice bike ride pretty much any season (depending on how adventurous you are) in WNY. But there’s really only one season in which you’ll want to take that waterfront bike ride you’ve been dreaming of, and that’s summer. We’ve got plenty of options and they all come with summertime vibes and stunning views.
Make it happen guide: 7 Waterfront Bike Trails In WNY That Are Well Worth The Ride

Photo x Mike Ciancio / Courtesy of Buffalo River History Tours

15. Hit up one of these 80+ things that are not cancelled this summer

Heads up – not everything is cancelled this summer. While lots of stuff is, including pretty much any festival you can think of, there are seriously tons of activities and things to do that meet corona-cation standards. So let’s make the most of it, shall we?
Make it happen guide: 80+ Things To Do In WNY That Aren’t Cancelled This Summer

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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