Get (Safely!) Out and About In the Buffalo-Niagara Area
Your family could really use a fun outing, but you're committed to social distancing. Many popular nature trails and lake beaches seem like a good idea until you realize that many others had the same idea, making some of these destinations too crowded for comfort.. Luckily, there are new and interesting places to explore while staying a safe distance for others. If you can, switch your schedule and do your outings on weekdays to avoid weekend crowds. Here are a few suggestions you may not have considered, and all of them are in the Buffalo-Niagara area.
And don't forget your masks!
Sculpture Parks: Grifiss Sculpture Garden and Artpark
Sculpture parks offer the opportunity to take in some sculpture while enjoying outdoor space. Some of the art pieces encourage interaction (although be careful: some don't), and you can enhance your experience by bringing along sketchbooks or cameras to see how the sculptures can inspire your own compositions. The sprawling grounds allows kids to be a bit more relaxed than in a typical museum, and best of all, it's easy to keep a distance from others. Keep in mind that it will get busier and hotter at midday, so planning for an earlier morning or late afternoon visit is likely to work best.
Self Guided Tours: Explore Buffalo and Buffalo Bike Tours
It's sometimes easy to forget that we live in a pretty great part of the world. Explore Buffalo and Buffalo Bike Tours each offer several (FREE) ways to see just how cool our city is. Pretend your a tourist for a morning and see Buffalo like you've never seen her. Check out amazing architecture, charming gardens, funky murals, our delicious food scene, fascinating history, and so much more. Both Explore Buffalo and Buffalo Bike Tours have several options for you to choose from. Oh, and no bike? No prblem! Buffalo Bike Tours has a rental program.
Delaware Park: Buffalo Japanese Garden, Rose Garden and Boating on Hoyt Lake
Buffalo is hashtag blessed to have one of America's most beautiful public park systems designed by the most famous landscape architects ever (Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux) and Delaware Park is it's jewel. You and your family can find serenity and beauty in the Japanese Garden, located behind the Albright-Knox Museum on the shore of Hoyt Lake. When your kids begin to tire of the serenity, it's a short walk to the rowboat rentals! Paddle around in brightly painted boats for a half hour for just $10. When you return to shore, head over towards Marcy Casino where you'll find the Rose Garden (there's plenty of other flowers there too!) and take gorgeous pictures amongst the blooms with the gorgeous and historic 1912 pergola in the background. Bring a picnic, a frisbee and your sunscreen because you'll want to spend the whole day here!
Animal Encounters: Hidden Valley Animal Adventure and Akron Acres Farm
Take a 40-species animal safari from the confort of your own vehicle at Hidden Valley Animal Adventures in Varysburg! You'll be able to stock up on feed for the animals and order take-out lunch from the Trailside Cafe for your family. Check social media before you go as weather can effect road conditions which will in turn effect hours of operation. HVAA is currently operating on a cash-only basis. Akron Acres, located in Akron, is one of WNY's favorite farms. They're opening up their farm so visitors can still explore, enjoy lots of fresh air and spend time with the animals. Reservations are required and are limited to groups with no more than 10 participants.
Fruit Picking: Greg's U-Pick and Hen-Hawk Acres
Berry season is almost here! Greg's U-Pick offers a text alert system so you'll know the SECOND the berries are ready. TEXT "Strawberryseason" to 22828 to join their Berry Bulletin. In the meantime, the farm store is open on Monday and Thursday from 2-6 pm. Once berry season officially begins the store will be open from 9-5 daily. Hen-Hawk Acres is predicting their strawberries will be ready to pick around June 15th. Follow them on facebook to get updates. While you wait, their store is filled with great stuff (like cupcakes!) and fresh flowers. Check out our tips for berry picking with kids.
Drive-In Movie Fun
Here's a fun fact: NY has 28 drive-in movie theatres still operating and FIVE of them are within driving distance of us! Click the link below to get the list and begin making your plans! Many local drive-in movie theaters have opened for summer, and our colleague Helena Robin thinks you should definitely take your kids to a drive-in movie theater. Be sure to check their websites to review COVID-19 procedures before you go.