Something to do every day of the year in Buffalo and Niagara Falls!! This is a long list of events, places, and things to do in Buffalo, and Niagara Falls, New York. This includes things to do in all of the 8 counties of Western New York. From touristy things to do to things only locals know about, this great list of 365 Things to do in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY has something for everyone on it! If you are looking for what to do in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, this list is what you need!
365 Things to Do in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY
When I started this list on my old blog 10 years ago, I began with 75 listed items – nearly all cheap or free. Hubby and I thought about what we do in the area and listed those items. The following year, I called my uncle (who is a volunteer tour guide at the Historical Society), and he gave me a good 25 additional items. I had asked my father and grandfather for some ideas too, and I ended up with well over 100 things to do in (mostly) Buffalo.
A few years later I asked my brother and his wife (then fiancée) for more additions, and between their advice, my nieces and Sonny-boy, I was soon over 150 pretty inexpensive things to do in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Western New York. Along the way, suggestions came from readers about your favorite things to do in Buffalo, Niagara Falls or in the broader Western New York (more please!!)
Three years ago, I crossed 200 things to do in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, and two years ago 250 things to do in Buffalo and Western New York were listed! Hubby and I drive around the area, take in the sights, and have property in both Erie and Niagara Counties, so do a lotta local stuff. Last year, 300 things to do in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York was achieved.
My goal was always 365 things to do in Buffalo and Niagara Falls – something to do every single day of the year – but nothing crazy expensive. I can easily give you a restaurant or concert that will cost you $500 for two, but let’s face it… that isn’t practical for most couples or families. This list is mainly affordable things to do in Buffalo and Niagara Falls (well, all of Western New York).
While the Western New York area may have a lousy winter reputation (and the best summer weather reputation in the continental US), the truth is there are many winter activities available in Western New York. From skiing to skating to snowmobiling and ice biking (yes, that is a real thing!), Western New York has a lot of things to do in the winter months, as well as summer months. And some people live for winter activities!
New York State is mostly rural. While many people think of it as a concrete jungle due to NYC, the truth is New York State is mostly farmland, forests, and waterways. While there are a plethora of indoor activities, New York State shines in the outdoor hiking, boating and sportsman areas.
I have tried to mix up this list adding more activities for adults as well as the family-friendly activities that this list has in abundance. From state parks to museums, to architecture and zoos, there is a lot to do in Niagara Falls, New York, Buffalo, New York, and all of the Western New York area! Planning a visit to Niagara Falls, Buffalo or Western New York? Live in Niagara Falls, Buffalo or Western New York and searching for something new or different to do this weekend? Well, be sure to check out this extensive lists of things to do in Niagara Falls, and Buffalo, New York.
It is time for the 2019 edition of Things To Do In Buffalo and Niagara Falls with updated dates, new festivals, added landmarks, and more fun and attractions for the whole family to enjoy! Last year, I added a few wineries. While I have had the photos for Niagara county winery tastings and tours for several years now, I have yet to post them (and yet, I post a LOT of Finger Lakes Winery tasting and tours posts – smh). It may be a while before I get to the Niagara County Winery List (and the party bus aspect of it! Oh the fun we have had on wine touring party buses) – and I do have breweries on the list – so I figured – why not share some of my favorite Niagara County Wineries on this list?
If you are making a trip to Niagara Falls, don’t neglect the rest of Western New York. There is so much to do and see in this beautiful area, that this list of 365 Things To Do In Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY is just the tip of those wonderful places, spaces, and activities.
When people say “Buffalo”, they are usually referring to the eight counties of Western New York (Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Wyoming, Orleans, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegheny counties). There are so many things to do in Western New York that I cannot possibly list them all. I am once again concentrating on Erie and Niagara County, New York. At the end of this post, I do list some popular area attractions outside these two counties under “other” (and it is growing every year!) If you have anything you would like to see added to this list for Western New York attractions, please leave a comment and I will update the list!
Buffalo, New York Places to Visit and Explore
• Buffalo Architecture – known worldwide for its world class architecture, Buffalo is an architectophile’s dream from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fontana Boathouse to his Darwin Martin House along with the Preservationist Tours offered of Buffalo’s City Hall (with its great observation deck), the Richardson-Olmsted Complex (the old psych center) to Millionaire Row on Delaware Ave, there are hundreds of turn of the 20th century buildings to be viewed in Buffalo in the surrounding areas. If you are interested, the Hotel at the Lafayette was restored a few years ago at a cost of over 40 million dollars. Buffalo Architecture is so outstanding, the National Preservation Conference was held in the city in October 2011 to rave reviews! This is an excellent list of architecturally significant buildings in Buffalo and those that give indoor tours.
• Big Ditch Brewing Co – they do give tours. Contact the brewing company for times.
• Bike Friendly – If you like to Bike, Buffalo, NY is a very bicycle friendly city. There are dedicated bike lanes all over. Buffalo is currently listed as a Bronze Level bicycle-friendly city by the League of American Bicyclists. Read more at Go Bike Buffalo. Apparently, Buffalo hosts one of the largest tweed rides outside of England.
• Bird Island Pier (aka Nowak Pier) – of all the area bucket-list things I have left to do, this is #1. You have to walk out when the water is a bit low and not overflowing the less built-up portions. Access is from Ferry St. This blog post offers up photos of what to expect.
• The Broadway Market – established in 1888 on Buffalo’s East Side, the Broadway Market is jammed full of people Easter and Christmas week. Whatever you do, I do not advise going on Good Friday. Did that once, never again… wow the crowds!
• The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society – This is the only non government entity owning a presidential assassin weapon. While it is on permanent display, it is viewed by request only. Admission is free the third Friday of every month courtesy of M&T Bank
• Buffalo Bites Food Tours – three-hour guided a walking tour of the Elmwood Village where you will eat delicious samples from local eateries and explore the exquisite architecture, history and present-day vibrancy of this neighborhood. This delicious and memorable experience will entice you to come back to the Elmwood Village.
• Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival in the Japanese Gardens in Delaware Park (behind the Historical Museum)
• Buffalo Fire Museum – 1850 William Street Buffalo, NY 14206
• Buffalo Garden Walk – July 27, 2019, 10am-4pm – huh. Apparently, this has really “become something” and is considered by many in the Garden Tourism Industry as one of the top-walks in North America. I guess when you live in the area, you just take these things for granted. “In its 24th year, more than 65,000 guests from the U.S., Canada and beyond, will visit more than 400 creative urban gardens!”
• Buffalo Museum of Science – a year-round pass is the most economical way to see the Science Museum. Twice and it is paid for!
• Buffalo Naval Park The USS Sullivans made my list as one of the Top 10 Family Friendly Spooky Places in New York State.
• Buffalo Pedal Tours – Green Powered Bike Tours
• Buffalo Riverworks – 359 Ganson Street, Buffalo NY, 14203 – so much starts here! From hockey to concerts and events, Buffalo Riverworks is really happening!
• Note: you can also take a tour of the Riverworks Brewery
• Buffalo Saturday Artisan Market – note this is on hiatus for 2019 while the Canalside boardwalk and other development projects are being constructed. Try the Bidwell Market instead this year. It pretty much takes up the entire center of Bidwell Parkway starting at Elmwood and going west. You’re best bet is to park on Chapin and walk a block.
May through November at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway in Buffalo’s historic Elmwood Village. Market hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Buffalo Touring Company – Segway Tours
• Buffalo Zoo – This is the third oldest zoo in the country.
• Burchfield Penny Art Center – Across the street from the Albright Knox, it has really come into its own in recent years.
– Arts & Culture
– Artisan Market in the Winter Village at Canalside Thursday and Friday from 2:00-8:00, every Saturday from 11:00-5:00, and every Sunday from 12:00-6:00.
– Celebrations & Festivals
– Music & Concerts
– Family Friendly Calendar of Events
• Central Terminal Tours – This is the old train station on the East Side. If you have never seen it, I urge you to take the opportunity and see what this Art Deco train station built just before the Depression began, looks like. My brother recently took the haunted tour and liked it (I am trying to get him to write it up for the blog).
• Chateau Buffalo – wine tastings in Buffalo. This is in the Niagara-Frontier-Food-Terminal, across from the Clinton Market, so you will want to do some fruit and vegetable shopping while in the area.
– 1500 Clinton Street, 175 Niagara Frontier Food Terminal, Buffalo, NY 14206
• The Colored Musicians Club – According to my uncle (who frequents the club), your best night to go is Sunday at 8 PM. The other bands listed are practice sessions. You go in the door on the far left. Ring the “doorbell” buzzer and wait for the “click” then pull. Plenty of parking in the area.
• Downtown Country Market – Tuesdays and Thursdays, May – October on Main Street in the heart of Downtown Buffalo (Main between Court & Church Streets)
• E. M. Cotter – the oldest active fireboat in the world. Tours of the boat are by appointment only.
• Erie Basin Marina and Erie Basin Marina Gardens
• Forest Lawn Cemetery Tours – Notable graves include US President Millard Fillmore, Seneca Indian Chief Red Jacket, as well as Song Writer Rick James. Fascinating and beautiful. Also see Blue Sky Mausoleum
• Frank Lloyd Wright Fontana Boathouse – Buffalo rowing boathouse on the Black Rock Canal. Photos are allowed inside and out.
• Flying Bison Brewery Tours – Thursdays and Fridays @ 6pm, and Saturdays at 1pm & 4pm
• Founding Father’s Pub – Trivia Night, the first Tuesday of every month!
75 Edward Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
• Harbor Center – 100 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY. Open public skating and open hockey is open year round. There are a lot of tournamnts, College hockey teams, hockey leagues, NHL Combine, NHL Draft, NHL Coacing Clinics and more held at the Harbor Center. Times for open skates are listed here, or call the Harbor Center.
• Ice Bikes – Combines the activity of riding a bike along with the ability to perform this feat while on the surface of the ice. Ice Bikes of Buffalo will give you a way to participate on the ice if you are not the best on ice skates.
• Irish Classical Theatre Company – 625 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
• Iron Island Museum Considered one of the Top 10 Spooky Places to Visit in New York State This is not considered kid friendly as there are confirmed sightings by Ghost Hunters, Ghost Lab, My Ghost Story, etc. In other words, it is haunted.
• Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum – is the world’s largest private collection of original manuscripts and documents. There are 14 museums are located in 12 cities (Buffalo has 2 of the museums) 220 North Street, Buffalo, NY 14201 and 453 Porter Ave. Buffalo, New York 14201
• Live at Larkin Summer Concerts – KeyBank Live at Larkin Wednesday evening concerts during the summer from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (food trucks will also be available during the event)
• Movies in the Meadow – Fridays in August, movies begin at dusk in Delaware Park behind the Parkside Lodge (84 Parkside Ave, Buffalo, NY 14214).
• Nash House Museum – 36 Nash St, Buffalo, NY 14204, Open Thursday and Saturday, 11:30am – 4pm
• New Era Cap Flagship Store – the store has a decent amount of sports memorabilia if you are into looking at that sort of stuff.
• North Buffalo Ice Rink – public skating daily, limited skate rental available.
156 Tacoma Avenue, Buffalo NY 14216
• Olmsted Park System – Golf courses, running tracks, tennis courts, Japanese Gardens on Mirror Lake, swing sets and more. You name it and the Olmsted Park system has it.
• Pierce Arrow Museum My father and grandfather both raved about this place! Apparently, it is a showcase for old Pierce-Arrows (duh) as well as early automotive inventions.
• President William McKinley Memorial Plaque – it is literally a plaque on a stone in the middle of a median near 35 Fordham Drive (street across from McKinley High School) to commemorate where President McKinley was shot.
• Pumping Station Pump House Tour – People come from all over the world for this one!
• Rotary Rink – outdoor ice skating at Fountaiin Plaza
• Shakespeare in Delaware Park performances are free (bring a lawn chair or blanket).
• Shakespeare in Delaware Park Fabulous Feast! – Saturday, April 13th, 2019 (Rich’s Atrium)
• Shea’s Performing Arts Center – this year’s events range from the Rent to The Book of Mormon to Jersey Boys to Les Miserables
• 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 dangerous activity. This weekly event is truly safe and accessible for people of all ages!
• St Joseph Cathedral located at 50 Franklin Street, is currently the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.
• St Louis Church – 780 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202 My grandfather was buried from St Louis. My niece was just christened here. The photos online just do not do it justice. If you are on an architectural or religious tour of Buffalo, make certain to stop in. It is simply breathtaking.
• Cofeld Judaic Museum of Temple Beth Zion – 805 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY
• Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site – aka the Wilcox Mansion. This is where Teddy Roosevelt was inaugurated after William McKinley was assassinated during the Pan American Exposition in 1901. Museum visits are by guided tour only.
• The Tiki Tours are booked out of Riverworks. When I first saw this, I knew I’d have to do it sometime! I have not yet gotten there, but it is on the “to do” list.
• UB Anderson Gallery – Martha Jackson Place, Buffalo, NY 14214
• Underground Railroad Tours – Trace the route black slaves used to make their way to freedom in Canada (remember if you plan on going into Canada you need a passport or enhanced driver’s license). Driving tour.
• War of 1812 Tour – Trace the group action during the war of 1812. This includes the US and Canadian destinations (remember if you plan on going to Canada you need a passport or enhanced driver’s license). Driving tour.
Buffalo Area Dog Parks
• The Barkyard – off-leash dog park located in LaSalle Park’s Off-Leash Area, Buffalo, NY. This is great for people with poochies who may live in condos or have small-ish backyards in the city. Be sure to read and follow the rules.
• The Paw Park – Amherst Off-Leash Dog Park – loacted at 550 Smith Road, Amherst, NY. Visit the site for the rules.
• Ellicott Creek Island Bark Park – 1 Ellicott Creek Dr.| Tonawanda, NY 14150 – this is on the small island and I often see the dogs sliding down the hill into the creek in the summer.
• Lewiston Dog Park – Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park
Lewiston, New York 14092
Buffalo Area Festivals
While there is a festival (or three) every weekend in the city of Buffalo and surrounding areas, these are a few of note are:
• Taste of Buffalo – July 13th (11am-9pm) and 14th, 2018 (11am-7pm)
– Delaware Avenue, Downtown Buffalo
– From Chippewa Street to Niagara Square
• National Chicken Wing Festival
Labor Day Weekend in Buffalo, NY
Saturday, Aug. 31st noon – 9pm
Sunday, Sept. 1st noon – 7pm
Buffalo Water Activities
• Buffalo Cycle Boats – Buffalo CycleBoats is a perfect unique boating experience for any occasion. There is a 15 passenger boat, pedal, relax and enjoy the scenic Downtown Buffalo waterways.
• Buffalo Lighthouse – One of the oldest structures on the Great Lakes, the 1833 Buffalo Light is a beautifully resilient monument to Buffalo’s maritime history. Cooperation between the city, the US Coast Guard, and the Buffalo Lighthouse Association, Lighthouse Point Park resulted in the tours of the lighthouse resuming. This is one I would check their Facebook page to find out new tours and events.
• Buffalo Water Taxis are being operated by Queen City Ferry
• Hoyt Lake Rowboats – Delaware Park Lake
• Ice Bikes Single Rider $12 per half hour, located on the site of the old Memorial Auditorium
• Queen City Ferry Company – Narrated Buffalo River History Tours are available daily from 10:30am-12pm for $14 adults and $10 for children.
• Spirit of Buffalo – day and evening cruises on a classic 73 foot topsail schooner.
• Tall Ships! July 4-7, 2019
Things to do in Erie County
Akron Acres – open for spring and fall school tours, has a country store, and is available for private events.
12607 Stage Road Akron, NY 14001
• Akron Falls – my niece was appauled I didn’t have this on the list (she got engaged there a few years ago – they love the place)
• Alpaca Odyssey – Tours (individual or group) are by appointment only– 2 to 3 weeks notice
8100 Marble Road, Akron, NY 14001
• Baird Point/Lake Lasalle – UB Amherst
• Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village aka Amherst Museum
3755 Tonawanda Creek Road, Amherst, NY 14228
• Cheektowaga Historical Museum – 3329 Broadway, Cheektowaga, NY 14227, Open Sunday 2-4pm
• Clarence Escarpment Sanctuary – a small nature trail (I drive by this all the time! It is so pretty!)
9575 Greiner Rd, Clarence, NY 14031
• Clarence History Museum – VERY limited hours.
• Eden Corn Festival – August 1-4 2019
• Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum – 363 Oakwood Avenue
East Aurora, NY 14052 Open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from June – October. Tours begin at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 and 3 pm
• Erie County Fair – August 7-18, 2019 this is the third largest county fair in the US, 10th largest fair in North America
• Erie County Fishing Map – places to fish in Erie county
• Explore & More Children’s Museum 300 Gleed Ave East Aurora, NY 14052
• The 43,000 sq foot Explore & More Children’s Museum on the Buffalo Waterfront
• Great Baehre Swamp Wildlife Management Area – hiking, trapping, and wildlife observation.
The primary purposes of Great Baehre Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This 270-acre WMA is located adjacent to the Town of Amherst’s Conservation Park. The area consists of nearly 260 acres of shrub swamp, emergent marsh, and open water wetlands and approximately 10 acres of brush and grassland.
• Golf Domes: (for those that need to wack that poor little ball year-round)
– Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome – 175 Brompton Rd. Tonawanda, NY 14150
– The Dome – 8230 Wehrle Drive, Williamsville, NY 14221 (it is actually in Clarence, it just has the ever-popular Williamsville zip code)
• Glen Park 5565 Main St, Williamsville, NY 14221 No pets (which is sad). This is a beautiful little park located on Main Street in Williamsville.
• Hamburg Brewing Company – tours are available for a $15 fee, first come, first served (haha, get it!?)
• Healthy Zone Rink – roller hockey, ice hockey, skating
41 Riley St, East Aurora, NY 14052
• Holland Speedway – NASCAR Races
• Hull Family Home & Farmstead
5976 Genesee St, Lancaster, NY 14086
A visit to the Hull Family Home & Farmstead will take you back in time to hear the many stories that can be told about the house, the family and the historic events that took place in the early 19th century. You can return time and again to observe the progress of the restoration of this landmark, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993 and is also on the New York State Register of Historic Sites. Visit us and learn the stories from first-person interpreters and through interactive experiences – in 19th-century fashion!
• Kazoo Factory – I think this is something to encourage your school to plan a field trip rather than you taking a day with the kids. However, if you are passing by Eden, it is interesting.
• Kelkenberg Farm – Clarence Center… they have had farm tours for a loooong time. Heck, I went with Sonny-boy’s kindergarten class 25 years ago!
• Knox Farm State Park – this is the former country estate of the Knox Family. 633 acres, Household pets only; on a leash, not more than 6 feet.
437 Buffalo Road, East Aurora, NY 14052
• Made in the America Store – This is the only brick and mortar general merchandise store in the U.S. that sells exclusively 100% American made products. The story is interesting – the manufacturers need to send along certificates that all ingredients, components, the packaging, the glue for the boxes – everything to do with the product need to be made in the USA. This is my trip to the main Made in America Store. They now have more locations, including the Eastern Hills Mall, Galleria, Blvd Mall, McKinley Mall and one in Niagara Falls.
• the Marilla Country Store – open contunously for retail operartions since 1851 (museum attached).
• Maple Syrup Tours – there are 438 Maple Syrup producers listed on the NYS Maple Syrup website. Many bigger producers have tours. You really have to enter your zip code for what is in your area. Tree tapping is big business as well as hobby-business in NYS. Heck, the people who used to watch our dog Max when we go on vacation tap their front trees, and they live about 5 miles from us!!
• Martin’s Fantasy Island – Amusement Park
• Memorial Continental Flight 3407 – this is a memorial of the victims of passenger flight 3407 from Newark, New Jersey, to Buffalo, New York, which crashed on February 12, 2009, in Clarence Center, NY (50 fatalities, 49 from the flight, 1 on the ground). There were no survivors.
6038 Long St, Clarence Center, NY 14032
• Millard Fillmore Presidential Site – 24 Shearer Avenue
– East Aurora, NY 14052 Open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from June – October. Tours begin at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 and 3 pm
• Our Lady of Victory – National Shrine and Basilica
767 Ridge Road, Lackawanna, NY 14218
• Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve & Environmental Education Center – 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY 14043
• Sugar Shack – A working maple syrup production facility (sugar shack) and a working sawmill are also located here. These facilities are open to public tours and demonstrations when in season (free, permit required).
• Tillman Road Wildlife Management Area – recreational observation – no hunting or trapping
Clarence, Erie County
• Vidler’s 5 and 10 – yeah I know it is a store but it is super cool… and besides East Aurora works really hard at quaint, and succeeds!
• Western New York Railway Historical Society – depots in Orchard Park and Williamsville
• Williamsville Water Mill – no longer working, but it is on the backside of Glen Park. Sweet Jenny moved into the space, and that is worth the stop!
Buffalo Area Beaches
• Gallagher Beach – Outer Harbor, Buffalo, NY
Things to do in Niagara Falls
One of the things locals do is use the Falls as a place where you take visitors. Relatives coming into town? Niagara Falls. Old college roommate visiting? Niagara Falls? it simply is something we take for granted which is criminal as it is simply stupendous. There are not enough superlatives to describe the magnificence of Niagara Falls.
Sooooo when I first began this blog I made it my mission to head up there once per season and take some photos to share. The links below are those photographs. If you are local, go visit Niagara Falls soon! And if you are from out of town, do make it a regional priority to visit.
BIG NEW 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.
• The Falls – Raise your hand if the only time you go is when out of town company arrives. Take a day trip and see how truly majestic The Falls are, and stay for the night-time lighting.
• If you have a passport or enhanced driver’s license something fun to do is walk across the Rainbow Bridge to Canada. I believe the cost is still $2. When you do, the flags denotes the border between the US and Canada. Take your picture with one foot in the US, and the other foot in Canada. Sure it is touristy, but it is also kinda neat!
• Cave of Winds – Prepare to be soaked!
• Das Haus und Der Stahl, also known as Das Haus Museum, are 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
• Maid of the Mist – You must go at least once in your life!
• Niagara Falls Culinary Institute – cooking classes! When we took the class, there was a couple from Maryland there too. So, not that odd for an out-of-towner to do.
• Niagara Gorge Discovery Center – 200 Robert Moses Pkwy N., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Note: the GPS address may now be different. The state dug it up and is now calling it the “Niagara Scenic Parkway”, but it is still in the same location. 😉
• Niagara Scenic Trolley
This guided Niagara Falls Trolley gives passengers an overview of the park and offers historical anecdotes, fun facts, and tips for checking out the park’s most popular attractions.
• Niagara Wax Museum
303 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303
• Oakwood Cemetery
Calendar of Events offering Tours. There is a list of the residents on the website, including Annie Edson Taylor (first person to go over the Falls in a barrel and survive).
763 Portage Rd, Niagara Falls, NY 14301
• Rainbow Air Helicopter Tours
454 Main St, Niagara Falls, NY
• Railroad Museum of the Niagara Frontier
The Museum is open 1:00PM to 4:00PM on Saturdays only during the months of June, July and August.
111 Oliver Street in North Tonawanda, NY
• Whirpool State Park – My father took us hiking here a lot when we were kids. I didn’t know there were stairs until I was ohhhh 21 or so…
• Click here for more Niagara Falls attractions.
Things to do in Niagara County
• Art Park – 450 South 4th Street, Lewiston, NY 14092
• Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima – 1023 Swann Rd, Lewiston, NY. My grandparents would go monthly. They thought the Basilica was beautiful.
• Bedford Beach, Somerset, New York
• Castellani Art Museum – 5795 Lewiston Rd, Niagara Univ, NY 14109
• Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum – 180 Thompson St. North Tonawanda. Open Wednesday through Sunday from Noon until 4PM.
• Niagara County Historical Society – The Outwater Memorial Building, 215 Niagara Street, Lockport, NY, is the headquarters for the Niagara County Historical Society. This 1863 brick home features a Victorian Parlor, Historic Pantry, Old Toy Room, the Civil War Room and a Changing Exhibit Room. The Erie Canal Discovery Center, 24 Church Street, and Col. William Bond/Jesse Hawley House, 143 Ontario Street, are also part of the Niagara County Historical Society museum organization.
• Joseph Davis State Park – fields, fishing, ponds. Household pets only (6ft lease or in a crate), pets are not allowed in buildings.
• Lewiston Art Festival – Saturday August 10th (10-6) and Sunday August 11, 2019 (10-5)
• Lockport & Erie Canal Tours – Warning, this really is a slow boat!
• Marble Orchard Historic Walking Tours – Lewiston, NY
• Niagara Country Fair – July 31st-August 4th, 2019
4487 Lake Avenue (Route 78) Lockport NY 14094
• Niagara River Fishing – my cousin came up a few years ago to salmon fish. Apparently, the lower Niagara River is BIG salmon fishing in the United States. Who knew!? Here is the lower Niagara River fishing access map.
• Western New York Fishing Competitions
Test your angling skills in the several local and national fishing competitions and derbies in Olcott Beach and Newfane, New York. Have fun fishing and make some money while doing it. – There are more locations than Olcott and Newfane on the list – there are 18 fishing tournaments in all.
• Niagara County Snowmobile Clubs – join one of these and stop trying to cut through Hubby’s hunting land. Snowmobiling when it is a hunting season and there are “posted” signs in areas that are not your property, and cutting through fences so you can snowmobile, is just plain stupid. The snowmobile club of Niagara County will definitely tell you where it is safe, and allowable, to snowmobile.
• Newfane Historical Society
– Van Horn Mansion – 2165 Lockport-Olcott Rd. Burt, NY 14028
– Country Village – 2685 West Creek Rd. Newfane, NY 14108
• North Tonawanda Botanical Gardens
1825 Sweeney Street North Tonawanda, NY 14120
• North Tonawanda History Museum – I’d call them before heading over. Without getting into too much gossip, they looked at one of Hubby’s properties for a new location. I have no idea where they are based these days.
• Olcott Beach – Cute shops, a beach and an adjacent park to picnic. I honestly can’t imagine swimming there as Lake Ontario is never warm! Don’t forget Krull Park
• Olcott Beach Carousel Park – 25¢ rides
• Olcott Pirate Festival – July 12 – 15, 2019
Friday, 6pm – 12am
Saturday, noon – 12am
Sunday, noon – 6pm
The Festival has free admission and free parking. Tickets for the rides are $1 for 1 ticket, $15 for 20 tickets, $30 for 45 tickets, $19 for a wristband. Ride wristbands are usable for the day on which they were purchased. Family meal plans are available.
• Olcott Beach and Newfane have a new Calendar of Events that is really comprehensive!
• Old Fort Niagara – I’ve gone during the spring, summer and for the haunting in late October. Old Fort Niagara made my list as one of the Top 10 Family Friendly Spooky Places in New York State.
• Ransomville Speedway – stockcar racing
• Reservoir State Park – part of the park is an overlook for the Robert Moses Power Plant Reservoir. Fishing allowed.
Town of Niagara Route 31
• Sanborn Area Historical Society
– The Schoolhouse Museum is located at 2822 Niagara Street. Sanborn, NY.
– The Farm Museum is located at 2660 Saunders Settlement Road (Route 31). Sanborn, NY.
• Town of Somerset New York Historical Society Babcock House Museum
7449 Lake Road, Appleton, NY 14008
• Transit Drive-in – with a bit over 300 drive-ins left in the United States, there are two in Western New York. The Transit Drive-in has five screens, is the largest drive-in theater in NYS, and is located at 6655 S Transit Rd, Lockport, NY 14094. The website recommends arriving an hour early due to lines. As someone who has driven by on a Friday and Saturday evening only to see the line to get in backed-up a mile or so, I agree with that recommendation! Sonny-boy still goes to the drive-in fairly frequently and says the Transit Drive-in is still a great experience.
• The second drive-in sill available in WNY is the Sunset Drive-in located at 9950 Telegraph Rd, Middleport, NY 14105. Three screens, operational since 1950!
• Tiffany Window Tour
First Presbyterian Church
21 Church Street
Lockport, NY 14094
Tiffany Windows tours take place year round by appointment and during the summer months Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Please call or email at least 48 hours in advance to schedule these tours (but we would prefer a week’s notice). You are welcome to attend our worship services and take a self-guided tour after the worship service has concluded! Worship services take place at 8:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., except in July and August when they take place at 10:00 a.m.
• Whirpool Jet Boat Tour – a tour of the Niagara River (NOT Niagara Falls)
• Wilson-Tuscarora State Park – 476.5 acres of mature woods, open meadows and marshland
Niagara County Wineries
Here are a list of wineries that are listed on the Niagara Wine Trail The ones listed are some of my (or my wine tasting buddies) favorites.
• Freedom Run Winery – of the approximately 15 Niagara County Wineries I have visited, this is my favorite. It also happens to be the closest winery to where I live – pretty convenient! My favorite is the Meritage Appassimento Estate. Very, very nice wine. The set-up is very nice, and they offer a limited menu of food.
5138 Lower Mountain Rd, Lockport, NY 14094
Consult website for the hours as they vary by season.
• Victorianbourg Wine Estate – do not let the exterior fool you, this is a hidden gem of a winery. Mobbed everytime we go, they offer some light selections at very reasonable prices.
4402 East Lake Road Wilson, NY 14172
Consult website for hours
• A Gust of Sun Winery and Vineyard – they do some mulled wine type items, by the glass as well as tasting. While not a personal favorite, we have friends who simply adore this winery so we stop whenever we go on a wine tasting hop with them.
4515 Baer Rd, Ransomville, NY 14131
Consult website for the hours as they vary by season.
• Black Willow Winery – wine and mead. They do wine and chocolate pairings and you can just purchase the truffles if you like (which we have done).
5565 West Lake Road
Burt, NY 14028
• Niagara USA Wine Festival 11th annual fesitival, July 27-28, 2019
• The Niagara County Hollowine Tour October 19-20, 2019
Hours: Saturday 10am-5pm,
WNY Garden Tours
I went to Plantasia this year and they were all about the garden walks (well, and selling stuff… which I LOVED!!)
These garden tours are generally free and self-guided. Some ask for a small donation, but as with all donation, it is not required. Click on the website for areas, times, and any updates.
• The Buffalo Garden Party July 27, 2019 ($20)
• Buffalo Black Rock Garden Tour July 27 and 28, 2019 (10-4pm)
• Buffalo East Side Garden WalkJuly 20, 2019, (10am–3 pm)
• Garden Walk Buffalo July 27 and 28, 2019 (10-4pm)
• Samuel P. Capen Garden Walk Buffalo (UB area) July 13, 2019 (10-4pm)
• City of Tonawanda Garden Walk July 13, 2019
• Amherst Garden Walk July 6, 2019 (10-4pm)
• Grand Island Garden Walk July 7, 2019 (10-4pm)
• Hamburg Garden Walk July 13 and 14, 2019 (10-4pm) rain or shine
• Ken-Ton Garden Tour July 20 and 21, 2019
• Lancaster Garden Walk
Friday, July 19, 2019 from 8:45 pm – 11:00 pm
Saturday, July 20, 2019 from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Sunday July 21, 2019 from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
• Lewiston GardenFest June 15 and 16, 2019
• Lockport in Bloom July 13 and 14, 2019
• Snyder-CleveHill Garden View July 7, 2019 (10-4pm)
• Springville Concord Garden Club Walk July 13, 2019
• West Seneca Garden & Home Tour July 20 and 21,2019 (10-4pm)
• Village of Williamsville Garden Walk July 20, 2019
Professional Sports Teams
• Buffalo Bandits (Lacrosse)
• Buffalo Bills (Football)
• Buffalo Bisons (AAA Baseball)
• Buffalo Sabres (Hockey)
Other WNY Counties
• Allegany County Fair – July 15th – 20th, 2019
• Allen Lake State Forest – the 2,421-acre Allen Lake State Forest features a 58-acre Allen Lake, hiking trails, camping, fishing, boating, and more!
• Allenberg Bog – also known as Waterman’s Swamp, Congdon’s Pond, and Owlenburg Bog located on the border of Napoli and New Albion, New York in Cattaraugus County. 390 acres, includes two glacial kettle ponds with bogs, walking trails, and er, bogs.
• Amish Trail and Mennonite Stores:
Check out these two stores:
– Miller’s Bulk Food and Bakery – 10858 Ridge Rd, Medina, NY 14103 (the bacon is $2.49 a pound and sooo good!)
– Lantz Bulk Foods – 5673 State Route 20A E. Warsaw, NY 14569 (I have a GIANT, cheap collection of special decorative baking sugars and sprinkles!)
• Arcade & Attica Railroad – We went yearly when Sonny-boy was young – he absolutely loved it!
• Audubon Community Nature Center – 600-acre wetland preserve that includes over five miles of trails, a native tree arboretum, picnic areas, a natural play space, and educational gardens for you to explore daily from dawn until dusk.
1600 Riverside Road, Jamestown, NY 14701
• Beaver Meadow – 324-acre nature preserve in North Java, NY.
• Bemus Point – Stowe Ferry – Traversing Chautauqua Lake for over 200 years, the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry is a slow, scenic way to cross the lake by car, motorcycle or on foot. 4-9 on Friday evenings, 1-9 Saturday & Sunday, 12-4 on holidays.
• Busti Apple Festival – September 29, 2019 (11am-5pm)
• Cattaraugus County Fair – July 28th – August 4th, 2019
501 Erie Street, Little Valley, NY
• Chautauqua Belle – Steamship, Pirate, Fireworks and Cocktail Cruises
• Chautauqua County Fair July 15th – 21st, 2019
Dunkirk, NY (opens at 9am)
• Darien Lake – There is an amusement park, concerts and camping.
• Ellicottville Historic Walking Tour – self guided and free.
• Ellicottville Rodeo – The Ellicottville Championship Rode
July 4 – July 6th at 7PM with fireworks.
July 7th at 2 PM. (Gates open 2 hours prior to each rodeo)
6319 Sommerville Valley Road, Ellicottville, NY 14731
• Ellicottville’s Fall Festival – October 12th and 13th, 2019
– Monroe St, Ellicottville, NY
• Fenton History Center
67 Washington Street in Jamestown, New York
• Genesee County Fair – July 13th – July 20th 2019
5056 East Main Road Batavia, NY 14020
• Gooseneck Hill Waterfowl Park & Sanctuary is the World’s largest waterfowl sanctuary. 5067 Lindsley Rd, West Valley, NY 14171
• Griffis Sculpture Park open from May 1 to October 31, dawn to dusk.
6902 Mill Valley Road, East Otto, NY 14729
• Hanging Bog Wildlife Management Area – Hanging Bog WMA is located approximately 6 miles north of the Village of Cuba in Allegany County. The landscape is made up of rolling hills, extensive forests, and small fields.
• Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (Alabama Swamps)
• Jell-O Gallery – the Jell-O Museum because Jello-O was invented here.
• Lucile M. Wright Air Museum
300 N Main St, Jamestown, New York 14701
• Lucy- Desi Museum – because Lucille Ball was born in Jamestown, NY.
• Midway State Park – Rides & Arcade
• Nannen Arboretum – trails, herb garden, nature gardens, Ryoanji Temple Stone Garden, and nature sanctuary.
– 28 Parkside Drive PO Box 1016 Ellicottville, NY 14731
• National Comedy Center – The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York, is the first state-of-the-art museum dedicated to telling the vital story of comedy in America. More than 50 immersive exhibits take visitors on an interactive journey through comedy history, from early vaudeville acts to the latest viral memes.
203 West Second Street, Jamestown, NY 14701
• City of Olean Public Ice Skating – limited rental skates, learn to skate program
• Orleans County 4-H Fair – July 22-27, 2019
12690 Route 31 Albion, NY 14411
• Panama Rocks – A half-mile long ridge of 60-foot high rock forming crevices, passageways, and caves hidden in an ancient forest!
• Rock City Park – 505 Route 16 South, Olean, NY. 14760
• Roger Tory Peterson Insitute of Natural History – connects people with nature through Art, Education and Conservation
– 311 Curtis Street, Jamestown, NY 14701
• Salamanca Rail Museum – 170 N Main St, Salamanca, NY 14779
• Seneca-Iroquois National Museum – 814 Broad Street, Salamanca, NY 14779
• Sprague’s Maple Farms Tours 1048 RT 305, Portville, NY 14770
• Udderly TopNotch Nigerian Dwarf Goat Farm
3995 Bucktooth Run Rd, Little Valley, NY 14755
• Wyoming County Fair – Saturday, August 10-August 17,2019
Wyoming County Fairgrounds
Pike , NY 14130
• Zoar Valley – If you are into hiking, this is a great place.
Western New York Skiing and Snowboarding Places
• Bristol Mountain – (this is actually outside of Western NY, but why not?)
5662 Route 64, Canandaigua, NY 14424
• Buffalo Ski Club – members only.
7414 State Road, Colden, NY 14033
• Holiday Valley – they also have golf, mudslidding and ziplining outside of the winter season.
6557 Holiday Valley Road, Ellicottville, NY 14731-0370
• HoliMont – members only. North America’s largest private ski resort.
6921 NY-242, Ellicottville, NY 14731
• Kissing Bridge
10296 State Rd. Glenwood, NY 14069
• Peak n’ Peak – they also have golf and ziplining outside the winter season.
1405 Old Road, Clymer, NY 14724
• Swain Resort
2275 County Rd 24, Swain, NY 14884
• Snowshoeing Trails – this is all of NYS. Pick a town, it gives you a snowshoe trail.
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