New York State

Traveling in and about New York State? Here are my personal experiences with things to do in New York State! From travel and tourism to great wines and New York state historic sites, I live in New York State, and want to share with you the wonderful things to do, see and enjoy in my great home state!

10 Free Things to Do in Buffalo, New York

10 Free Things to Do in Buffalo, New York. There is a lot to see and in Buffalo, New York that will not cost your family any money. Whether you live in Buffalo and want something cheap to do on a weekend, are visiting for the first, or fiftieth time, there is always a great new interesting place to explore.


There is a lot to see and in Buffalo, New York that will not cost your family any money. Whether you live in Buffalo and want something cheap to do on the weekend, are visiting for the first, or fiftieth time, there is always a great new interesting place to explore.

10 Free Things to Do in Buffalo, New York

While I have my master list of 365 Things to Do in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY (I told ya there is a lot to do here!), I compiled this list of 10 Free Things to Do in Buffalo, NY for the days you would like something to do without spending a lot.

Whether a local or a tourist, these ten free things to do in Buffalo are worth the time:

1. Tour Buffalo City Hall

Buffalo’s city hall offers free tours! Visit at noon on a weekday for an hour-long tour of the 32-story building, which includes the observation deck with a 360° view of the city (on a clear day you can see Niagara Falls!) and the mayor’s office. Meet in the main lobby of the building to begin the tour.

The city hall building itself is an Art Deco masterpiece that was completed in 1931. When you go inside, you will see why it is considered one of the premier City Hall buildings in the country.

10 Free Things to Do in Buffalo, New York. There is a lot to see and in Buffalo, New York that will not cost your family any money. Whether you live in Buffalo and want something cheap to do on a weekend, are visiting for the first, or fiftieth time, there is always a great new interesting place to explore.


2. Canalside Buffalo

Canalside is an event hotspot at the intersection of Pearl Street and Marine Drive. The formerly deserted area now hosts free events, concerts, and workout groups. Grain elevators light up every night until 11pm for a colorful photo opportunity. If you visit Buffalo in the summer, you are likely to stumble upon something fun at Canalside!

While it is free to walk around, attend events, and take pictures with iconic statues, there are other attractions at Canalside that cost money, like ice cream shops and children’s museums. Take advantage of the free events by checking out the calendar!

3. Shakespeare in the Park

Cities all over the world celebrate the theatrical tradition of performing Shakespeare outdoors. Buffalo’s Shakespeare in Delaware Park (also known as SDP) is free and family-friendly. Since it is outdoors, Shakespeare in the Park is a seasonal attraction.

Founded in 1976 by students from SUNY Buffalo, SDP is one of the largest Shakespeare in the Park companies in the country. Every summer, they host one comedy and one tragedy. For a more family-friendly experience, make sure you attend their comedy show! So grab some popcorn, pop, and lawn chairs, and head over to the next Shakespeare in the Park!

4.Japanese Garden at Mirror Lake

This beautiful Japenese garden is perfect for hiking, photos, and just relaxing. It represents the connection Buffalo has with the city of Kanazawa, Japan, with an homage to Japanese shrubbery and architecture. Located behind the Historical Museum, the Japanese garden connects to the rest of Delaware Park, and it is free to explore this tiny paradise, so get your blanket and a camera ready and find a spot to relax!

The Japanese Garden was constructed in 1974 with the help of Japanese architects and landscape gardeners to ensure its authenticity. To celebrate Japanese culture there’s an annual Cherry Blossom Festival in the springtime! The festival offers free activities as well as paid options.

5. Albright-Knox Art Gallery

On the first Friday of every month, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery offers free admission! At the art gallery, you will find contemporary works from artists like Andy Warhol and Frida Kahlo. The museum is open until 10 pm on Friday nights, so you will have plenty of time to squeeze a visit into your schedule!

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery has been collecting art for well over a century. Their timeline shows their art acquisitions dating back to 1862 and which art style was used.

10 Free Things to Do in Buffalo, New York. There is a lot to see and in Buffalo, New York that will not cost your family any money. Whether you live in Buffalo and want something cheap to do on a weekend, are visiting for the first, or fiftieth time, there is always a great new interesting place to explore.


6. Forest Lawn Cemetery

Visit Forest Lawn Cemetary. I know it sounds odd, but Forest Lawn is both fascinating and beautiful. Using the self-guided tour app you can tour the cemetery for free visiting the notable graves within. Notable graves include US President Millard Fillmore, Seneca Indian Chief Red Jacket, as well as Song Writer Rick James.

Of course there is a paid tour available if you would like a guide and presenters.

7. War of 1812 Walking Tour

You can use this map to walk (or drive) the historic War of 1812 Trail.

8. Movies in the Meadow

very Friday evening in the month of August, the Parkside Community Association hosts the annual “Movies in the Meadow” program. Movies begin just after dusk in beautiful Delaware Park behind the Parkside Lodge (84 Parkside Ave, Buffalo, NY 14214).

9. Slow Roll Buffalo

Looking for something active to do in Buffalo? Slow Roll Buffalo is a free, slow-paced community bike ride that takes place every Monday. The event’s mission is simple: have fun exercising at your own pace. You’ll need to bring your own bike, and children under 14 are required to wear helmets (according to New York State law). Bring your bikes to Buffalo to enjoy this 10-mile leisurely ride!
To maintain everyone’s safety, Slow Roll Buffalo utilizes a police motorcade. There are sometimes over a thousand riders, all of whom can ride without worrying about a dangerous activity. This weekly event is truly safe and accessible for people of all ages!

10 Free Things to Do in Buffalo, New York. There is a lot to see and in Buffalo, New York that will not cost your family any money. Whether you live in Buffalo and want something cheap to do on a weekend, are visiting for the first, or fiftieth time, there is always a great new interesting place to explore.


10. Allentown Historic Neighborhood

This Buffalo neighborhood is historic, hip, and luxurious. In June, the Allentown Art Festival draws thousands of visitors to Buffalo for vendors and craft beer (image above). The festival is free to attend! You can also catch some live musical performances on the weekends. Every Saturday afternoon at 4:30 pm, a Celtic jam group performs at Nietzche’s, a casual bar in the neighborhood. Grab a beer and enjoy the show!

And while you are in Allentown, walk the streets for some beautiful, historic architecture. These types of homes are not available in many cities, but the Allentown district offers some real show-stoppers.

Western New York is full of wonderful attractions, and most of them are right in the heart of Buffalo. A weekend in this city is inexpensive, family-friendly, and fun. If you have not been to Buffalo already, add it to your bucket list!

You can spend as much or as little as you like to take in the area attractions, but these free items are a great way to spend less when you are enjoying your day trip, or week’s vacation, in the city of Buffalo.

If you decide to stay overnight, here is a great places to find a hotel: Buffalo, NY hotels.


• For more New York State Travel posts on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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10 Free Things to Do in Niagara Falls

10 Free Things to Do in Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is a great little town with a lot of family-friendly activities. The waterfalls are magnificent, but there is even more to do and see in Niagara Falls than the main attraction. I gathered together this wonderful list of 10 free things to do when you are in Niagara Falls to help make your stay more enjoyable.


Niagara Falls is a great little town with a lot of family-friendly activities. The waterfalls are magnificent, but there is even more to do and see in Niagara Falls than the main attraction. I gathered together this wonderful list of 10 free things to do when you are in Niagara Falls to help make your stay more enjoyable.

10 Free Things to Do in Niagara Falls

If you do not have a passport or passport card or you left them at home, you can still enjoy your Niagara Falls vacation! You can even save money by sticking to free or low-cost activities. By staying in the United States, you will avoid the hassle of crossing the. Plan to visit on a three-day weekend, since there’s so much to see in the area!

My massive 365 things to do in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY post is just that… massive. There is a whole lot to see and do in this area (Western New York), and if you are spending any time in the area, you will want to investigate that list.

But, if you only have a day or three and want to cherry-pick a few unique things to do while visiting Niagara Falls, this list of 10 free things to do in Niagara Falls covers it for you:

1. Niagara Falls State Park

There is no fee to enter the Niagara Falls State Park! The park is full of attractions that do cost money, but you can simply go to view the Falls free of charge. If you visit the Falls at night, you will see the water lit up with LED lights. During special events, the water will flash specific colors. It is truly beautiful. (See post link below for night-time imagery.)

The hiking trails at Niagara Falls State Park are open to the public. Beginner hikers are encouraged to start with the Great Gorge Scenic Overlook Hike, while the Whirlpool Rapids Adventure Hike is more suitable for advanced hikers who are at least eight years old.

Since I live in the area and head up to Niagara Falls for things like shopping, eating, and visiting friends and relatives, and usually do not go to the Falls itself, I made a decision a few years back to capture them during every season. You forget just how majestic the Falls are! So, these are some of my photos from years past:
Niagara Falls Spring, 2013
Niagara Falls Summer 2013
Niagara Falls Autumn 2013
Niagara Falls Winter 2014
Niagara Falls at Night (from 2016)

10 Free Things to Do in Niagara Falls


2. Goat Island

Goat Island – Take the walk to see the Bridal Veil up close, as well as the American and Canadian Falls. Goat Island is the oldest state park in the US. Goat Island Photographs
Goat Island offers some of the best views of Niagara Falls rapids. It separates the American and Canadian Falls, and it is only accessible through the American side. Although this landmark is called Goat Island, you will not find any farm animals there. Goat Island got its name from a settler who once kept a herd of goats on the island, so if you were hoping to see goats, you are about 220 years too late.
Make sure you head down to Terrapin Point. From here, you can get close to the Horseshoe Falls.

3. Three Sisters Islands

Three Sisters Islands Photographs
Three bridges link Goat Island to the Three Sisters Islands, making it easy to visit both on the same outing. Signs discuss the history behind the landmark as you walk across the bridges. This lesser-known attraction is not usually crowded like some of the other spots in the park, so it is certainly worth visiting!
Once you reach the last island, you will be treated to a view of the rapids and Horseshoe Falls. It truly is beautiful.

4. View the Fireworks

Niagara Falls Fireworks Display
Launched from within the Niagara Gorge, enjoy 114 incredible fireworks displays over Niagara Falls this summer. Each fireworks display takes place at 10 p.m. and subject to weather conditions like high winds.
Unless you are visiting Niagara Falls during the wintertime, you will have an opportunity to see some fireworks! There is a show every night during the summer months and every Friday-Sunday in the springtime and autumn. Shows start at 10 pm unless otherwise noted, but the display is worth staying awake for!
Although the fireworks are set off in Ontario, they’re viewable from the American side of the Niagara Falls State Park. Ask the Niagara Falls Visitor Center for the best spot to view the show!

5. Art Alley Niagara Falls

Art Alley is a public mural project located at 425 Third Street in Niagara Falls, New York, located just a few minutes from Niagara Falls State Park. The innovative space combines a pedestrian walkway to public parking with a public art gallery, including 19 murals.

6. De Veaux Woods State Park

This state park is another lesser-known natural paradise in Niagara Falls, NY. Bring your kids to the playground, play some baseball if you have the equipment, and go on a hike. De Veaux Woods State Park is a 51-acre state park located off the Robert Moses State Parkway, just north of the City of Niagara Falls. It is adjacent to Whirlpool State Park. This park is pet-friendly so that you can bring two leashed animals with you!

10 Free Things to Do in Niagara Falls


7. Devil’s Hole State Park

The Devil’s Hole State Park overlooks the Devil’s Hole Rapids, encompassing 42 acres of cleared and wooded land along the Niagara Gorge adjacent to the Whirlpool Park. You enter off the Robert Moses Parkway, and can go to the overlook, or down the 400+ stairs on the staircase, 300′ down to view the rapids. A walk down into the gorge, back up at Whirlpool State Park and back to Devil’s Hole is a bit over 2 miles and allows you some spectacular gorge views.

I swear I was an adult before I knew there were stairs here. My father would take us hiking, and was of the mentality: “we don’t need no stinkin’ stairs”. Always a treat to be scaling a stone slide and looking down at the whirlpools below when you are ten years old.

8. Das Haus und Der Stahl

Das Haus und Der Stahl, also known as Das Haus Museum, is a small campus of buildings containing artifacts that represent the early years of German Lutheran settlers in Western New York originating from Prussia in northern Germany.
2549 Niagara Rd, Niagara Falls, NY 14304

This free museum is all about Prussian settlers who made Niagara Falls their home. Their hours of operation are limited – Sundays from 2pm-4pm from May through October. If you’re in the area while Das Haus und Der Stahl is open, you can take a free guided tour of the museum.
If you and your family happen to be Prussian or German, The Historical Society can help you explore your roots! They have genealogical records on Prussian/German migration to America from the mid-1800’s. You never know what you can learn about your background!

Devil's Hole State Park


9. Niagara Power Vista

Niagara Power Vista
Give your family a hands-on science lesson at the Niagara Power Vista! This free exhibit takes visitors thorough virtual reality rides, cool experiments, and simulated challenges. Check out the Van de Graff generator for a hair-raising photo opportunity!
This attraction offers free parking for cars and motor homes and is also accessible via the Discover Niagara Shuttle. It’s a truly affordable experience!
Tip: If you are on the Robert Moses, the speed limit drops to 45 here. There may be state troopers lurking at the 55 to 45 transition spot.

10. Castellani Art Museum

Castellani Art Museum
5795 Lewiston Rd, Niagara Univ, NY 14109
Niagara University is home to the Castellani Art Museum. The visual arts center has 5,550 permanent pieces of modern and contemporary art. Contemplate the works of Andy Warhol, Picasso, and Dali before browsing their featured installations.
The Castellani Art Museum is accessible by the Discover Niagara Shuttle, and is closed on Mondays.

BIG NOTE: The toll bridges on Grand Island have come down. However, there is still a toll. If you have an e-zpass it will be deducted from your e-zpass balance (just as if you went through a toll booth). If you do not have an e-zpass the registered driver of the vehicle will be mailed a bill. More details here. You can easily get to Niagara Falls by using Military/River Road/Niagara Falls Blvd and avoiding a toll altogether, but the vast majority of the people driving to Niagara Falls from points west or east drive over Grand Island.

You can spend as much or as little as you like to take in the area attractions, but these free items are a great way to spend less when you are enjoying your day trip, or week’s vacation, in the Niagara Falls area.

If you decide to stay overnight, here is a great places to find a hotel: Niagara Falls hotels.


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2019 New York State Corn Mazes

2019 New York State Corn Mazes. Have some great outdoor family fun this fall at a New York State corn maze this fall!! Whether you are looking to spend the day in a corn maze, for a fright night scream or corn mazes by moonlight there is something for everyone on this list of 2019 New York State Corn Mazes!


While the corn is still producing in some parts of New York State, many farms have harvested and cut. A few enterprising farms make corm mazes that are open for the public to enjoy.

Have some great outdoor family fun this fall at a New York State corn maze this fall!! Whether you are looking to spend the day in a corn maze, for a fright night scream or corn mazes by moonlight, there is something for everyone on this list of 2019 New York State Corn Mazes!

2019 New York State Corn Mazes List

Many people are surprised to find so many corn mazes available in New York State. There is over one million acres of corn planted in New York State, and it is the fourth largest corn producing state in the US. Needless to say, we have a lot of corn mazes!!

Click the link (the farm’s name) to the Corn Maze website for opening dates, times open, fees, and policies. Some start this weekend, and many run through Halloween!

Becker Farms – Becker Farms is known locally for their apple picking, pumpkin patch, hayrides and petting farm. In addition to the corn maze, they have a grape maze, pony rides, goat races, duck races and more. This is a family fun farm experience.
3724 Quaker Rd., Gasport, NY 14067

Cambria Corn Maze – There are 12 acre corn maze, pumpkins, refreshments, local products and produce.
5274 Lockport Junction Road, Route 270, Lockport, NY

Critz Farms – This farm is 325 acres and holds a fall festival every year that would be the perfect addition to a day in the corn maze. The 2019 theme is a butterfly garden!
3232 Rippleton Road – State Route 13, Cazenovia, NY 13035

Ellms Farms – An Amazing Maze (average time to complete is 90 minute) as well as several children only mazes (average time to complete is 20 minutes). Located near Sarasota, Ellms Farms also offers hayrides and pumpkins!
448 Charlton Road, Ballston Spa, NY 12020

The Great Adirondack Corn Maze – This year’s maze is ready to go! In addition to regular corn maze activities, there are flashlight nights, private grop rates, and Fright Night special event.
Tucker Farms, Inc. 112 Hobart Road, Gabriels, NY 12939

The Great Pumpkin Farm – I watch this one go up for months!! The 5-acre corn maze is open, and right now, it is packed with pumpkins and open for business. From pumpkins to mazes (corn and hay) to a petting zoo and more, this is a very popular weekend family destination.
2019 Continues with Dinosaurs in the Cornmaze weekends and Zombies in the Cornmaze weekends!
Dinosaurs will be here on weekends #1, 3 & 4
Zombies will be here on weekends #2, 5 & 6
11199 Main Street, Clarence, NY 14031

Greg’s U-Pick – 8 acre corn maze all proceeds go to Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Fall veggies are for sale, along with mums, cornstalks, and cider.
9270 Lapp Road, Clarence Center, NY 14032

Hank’s Pumpkin Town – Nestled into a gorgeous part of Watermill, New York, this farm has three different mazes that will suit any age. Need a quick maze? Hank has a 15-minute maze that won’t keep you lost for long. The design is impeccable every year, and there is always a neat tale and mystery to go along with the maze each year.
240 Montauk Hwy., Watermill, NY 11976

Headless Horseman – If you’re looking for a super creepy and scary corn maze, the Headless Horseman offers an Evil Reaping: Dark Harvest Corn Maze for those who are not faint of heart. Located in Ulster Park, New York, this place is perfect for those who like the nightmarish side of fall.
778 Broadway, Ulster Park, NY 12487

Liberty Ridge Farm – Click the corn maze image for more details on the site.
29 Bevis Road Schaghticoke, NY 12154

Long Acre Farms – Fall Festival Weekends in 2019: Barnbuster Tickets: Back 40, Corn Mazes, Wagon Ride, Cow Train, Food
Saturdays and Sundays throughout September and October. (You need to click the calendar, then the date on that calender, for full details.)
1342 Eddy Rd, Macedon, NY 14502

Queens County Farm Museum – This farm is said to have the only corn maze in New York City. The maze is 3 acres and has enough activities to keep the entire family entertained. The Amazing Maize Maze® is open Sat & Sun, September 21–October 26; Mon, October 14, 2019
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, New York 11004-1129

Schuyler Farms – The 2019 Maze: ’50th anniversary of the moon landing’ corn maze will be out of this world! School field trips are welcome, and there are party packages available.
1124 Route 29 Schuylerville, NY 12871

Stokoe Farms – The corn maze on this farm seems to be only one of many extremely fun activities. From hayrides to zip lines, bounce pillows, corn maze, animals and more, this farm has a lot of fun fall activities. The maze is located in Scottsville, New York and sits on a farm that’s 3500 acres. They have over 35 activities included with admission.
656 South Road, Scottsville, NY, 14546

Stoughton Farms – 2019 will be Stoughton’s 15th season with the area’s original large scale corn “MAiZE.” On fall weekends other attractions include our Jumping Pillow, hayrides, cow train rides, pumpkin blaster, corn cannon and more. Mums, apples, cider, kettle corn, fresh cut fries, and fudge are a few of our other fall favorites.
10898 State Route 38, Newark Valley, NY

Wickham Farms – This farm has a ton of unique activities that are not often seen at corn mazes. Things like farm batting cages and miniature golf are included in the admission. There are two corn mazes, a smaller family corn maze, and the giant corn maze.
1821 Fairport Nine Mile Point Rd, Penfield, NY 14526

Zarpentine Farm – 17th year and they claim to be the largest corn maze in New York State with over 20 acres of fun twists and turns to get lost in! Family-friendly, not scary.
163 Burritt Rd, Hilton, NY 14468

New York State is home to some of the best corn mazes in the country! If you know of a corn maze that is open in 2019 in New York State that is not listed, please leave the information in comments, and I will add it to this list!


Top 10 Spooky Places to Visit in New York State

Top 10 Family Friendly Spooky Places in New York State

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