Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and Around Buffalo 2015 Working Document | Kids Out and About Buffalo

Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and Around Buffalo 2015 Working Document

2015 Survey of Western New York's Best for Kids in the Buffalo / Erie / Niagara region!

award_buffalo.jpgThe best places to take kids in Buffalo, Erie County, and the Niagara Region of New York, based on KidsOutAndAbout's annual reader survey. But there is LOTS more to do in Western NY! Get great ideas here! What is listed below are far from the only opportunities for family fun and learning; they're just what was voted this year.

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1. Bounce Magic

Giant Inflatable Bounce Houses, video and Arcade games and a great menu makes this high energy family entertainment center fun for all ages. Enjoy indoor Mini Golf, Gem Mining and climbing along a 30’ horizontal Rock Wall year round in Amherst. Orchard Park offers additional summertime fun with outdoor activities, including Bumper Boats, Gem Mining and Mini Golf. Parents bounce for free with a child’s play pass; socks are required.


2. Michael Phelps Swim School

MPSS is a learn-to-swim program for ALL ages and abilities! Swim classes include personal safety, stroke development, water sports and more!

3. Rolly Pollies

East Amherst and Orchard Park locations. Rolly Pollies® offers Western New York's most dynamic, fun-filled Gym, Summer and Holiday Camp, Birthday Parties, Creative Arts, and Music programs for children 6 months through 12 years old in a safe, nurturing environment.


4. Arcade & Attica Railroad

Throughout the year, Arcade & Attica Railroad offers special excursions, some powered by their steamer, others by their vintage World War Two-era diesel engine. Their regular excursions run every weekend from Memorial Day Weekend until the last full weekend of September. The month of October is Fall Foliage month, when they operate on an extended schedule.


5. Buffalo Zoo

Throughout the year, the Buffalo Zoo offers guests fascinating animal exhibits, naturalistic wildlife habitats, beautiful garden areas and several unique areas in which to enjoy an environment that is full of fun, adventure and history. The Buffalo Zoo is open daily rain or shine!

6. Pumpkinville

Visit Pumpkinville in Great Valley, NY for a ;day full of family fun at the farm. Pumpkinville is open from mid-September until the end of October. Pedal Karts - Drive around our race track. Fun for all ages! ;Corn Maize - Bigger and better than ever!

7. Olcott Beach Carousel Park

In the shadow of Olcott’s famous Lighthouse is a wonderful vintage amusement park. It features a 1928 style Hershell-Spillman two row carousel. Five vintage kiddie rides, and a wonderful 1931 Wurlitzer band organ.

8. Kelkenberg Farm of Clarence

Kelkenberg Farm of Clarence is a family-operated business open for tours and group parties for all ages year-round. We are a real livestock and horse farm that has been welcoming farm visitors for over 30 years. There is fun for everyone every season of the year. Pumpkin pickin’ in the fall, sleigh rides in the winter, baby animals in the spring, and summer picnics. Come for your birthday, with your school, for pumpkins, or just for fun.


9. Buffalo Museum of Science

The Buffalo Museum of Science is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to the study and interpretation of the natural and physical sciences. BMS offers traveling exhibits, a 3D cinema and permanent exhibit halls, including our hands-on early childhood gallery, Explorations, and the new interactive health science studio, Explore YOU presented by Independent Health. Our museum offers free parking and is handicapped accessible.


10. Canalside

Canalside is a growing regional destination and entertainment district, situated on 21 historic acres along downtown Buffalo’s emerging waterfront on the Buffalo River.

11. Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve

Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve is a 292-acre complex of forests, ponds and wetlands. We offer a variety of opportunities to explore and learn about nature for families and people of all ages, including guided walks, seasonal programs and events.


12. Explore & More Children's Museum

East Aurora. Spark your kids' creativity, curiosity, and imagination at Western New York's only museum designed just for kids! Located in beautiful East Aurora.


13. Erie County Fair

Hamburg. The Erie County Fair happens for 12 days every August in Hamburg at the fair grounds, just 20 minutes south of Buffalo. It is justifiably one of the most famous county fairs in the United States. Find great food, lots of free great concerts and more! Admission for kids 12 & under is FREE every day of the Fair!


14. Martin’s Fantasy Island

Grand Island. Martin's Fantasy Island is a family-friendly theme park that’s just minutes away from almost anywhere in Western New York. It features thrill rides, live shows, a water park, a petting zoo, miniature golf, and other attractions.


15. Buffalo Bisons

The 2015 season is the Bisons 130th season of professional baseball in Buffalo. Come out to Coca-Cola Field in spring and summer for the absolute best quality sports and family entertainment experience and value in town!

16. Tifft Nature Preserve

Tifft Nature Preserve is a 264-acre nature refuge dedicated to conservation and environmental education. Operated by the Buffalo Museum of Science, Tifft Nature Preserve is located along Buffalo’s Outer Harbor across from the new Buffalo Harbor State Park. With a mission of Valuing Nature’s Wisdom, thousands of people participate in school tours and workshops, public programs, birthday parties and scout programs annually. For more information, Tifft's Visitor Center can be reached at 716.825.6397.

17. Beaver Meadow Audubon Center

Visit miles of forested trails at the nature center and preserves across Western New York, open from dawn to dusk every day. At the Center itself, you'll find exhibits, a natural history library, and places to watch birds up close. Learn about birds, wildlife, and conservation issues through classes, lectures, and programs. Volunteer to help others learn too!


18. Allegany State Park

Gorgeous and amenity laden, the park is divided into two areas - Red House and Quaker - both located in Salamanca.


19. Aquarium of Niagara

The mission of the Aquarium of Niagara is to broaden the public’s awareness of aquatic ecosystems through innovative and stimulating exhibits, displays, and educational and recreational programs that promote conservation and support research.


20.    Hidden Valley Animal Adventure

Hidden Valley Animal Adventure is a Wild Game Safari Park located in Varysburg, NY just off Rt. 20A. Escape to the wild as you get up close and personal with over 300 animals representing 40 different species including zebra, bison, camel, ostrich, emu, elk and many more! Click here for the review of Hidden Valley Animal Adventure.

Winners in Special Categories

In the second part of our survey, we asked readers to select their favorites in six categories. Here were their choices.

Favorite Place to Have Fun INSIDE


Bounce Magic

Favorite Place to Have Fun OUTSIDE


Buffalo Zoo


Favorite Kid-Friendly Museum


Buffalo Museum of Science


Favorite Performing Arts


Shea's Performing Arts Center

Favorite Farm (agri-entertainment)

Becker Farms & Vizcarra Vineyards

Favorite Nature Center

Tifft Nature Preserve

Favorite Professional Sports Team


Buffalo Bills

Favorite Family-Friendly Festival


Erie County Fair