Best Fun Things to Do in Buffalo NY with Your Family

There are so many fun things to do in Buffalo NY with your family. From outstanding museums and attractions, to outdoor entertainment, the family attractions in Buffalo NY are endless. Read more to see how we spent a family weekend in Buffalo.

Chicken Wings? Buffalo Bills? Niagara Falls? These are some of the things that come to mind when visiting Buffalo. They should definitely be on your list for things to do around Buffalo NY…but there is so much more!

I feel like I have to start this post with how much I love Buffalo. I grew up in the suburbs of Buffalo and am quick to tell everyone what an amazing city it is. We haven’t lived there since 2005 and it has only grown and become more of a destination.

When Visit Buffalo reached out to see if we wanted to explore Buffalo and share it with our readers I was so excited. We often return to visit my family but rarely have the opportunity to visit the city and all the Buffalo attractions.

We were hosted for our visit. All opinions are honest and my own.

Fun Things to Do in Buffalo NY for Families

There are many tourist attractions in Buffalo NY that you can plan a weekend away or an entire week. The area is affordable and accessible making it a great destination for families.

sharkgirl in buffalo ny
Taking a selfie with Shark Girl at Canalside, a popular Buffalo attraction.

Places to Eat in Buffalo with Kids

  • Big Ditch Brewing Company
  • Ted’s Hot Dogs
  • Anchor Bar
  • Gabriel’s Gate
  • Participate in the Buffalo Wing Trail
  • Charlie the Butcher
  • Duffs
  • Chef’s Restaurant

Family Friendly Hotels in Buffalo, NY

We stayed at the Embassy Suites, and it was incredible, but there are many hotels in Buffalo that have great locations. The Marriott Courtyard is located within walking distance of the Children’s Museum and Naval Park.

  • Embassy Suites Buffalo(This is where we stayed.)
  • Hyatt Place Buffalo
  • Hilton Garden Inn Downtown
  • Marriott Courtyard Downtown Canalside
  • Check out Buffalo hotel prices here.

Family Fun Places to Go in Buffalo NY

  • Explore & More Museum
  • Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park
  • Buffalo Museum of Science
  • Buffalo Zoo
  • Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum
  • Buffalo Botanical Gardens
  • Albright-Knox Art Gallery
  • Buffalo City Hall
  • The Buffalo History Museum
  • Niagara Falls State Park/Maid of the Mist
  • Buffalo Bison’s Baseball Game
  • Check out more suggestions on our post Day Trip from Rochester: Visiting Buffalo and Niagara Falls

Weekend Getaway to Buffalo, NY: Itinerary and Details

Day 1: Arrival and Dinner

We spent the weekend eating great food and visiting family fun places. Buffalo is great because it has all the offerings of a big city with a small city feel. It is affordable and easy to navigate. We started our weekend with a Friday night arrival, check-in and dinner.

After we checked in at the Embassy Suites Downtown and appreciated the amazing skyline views(check out our video below), we walked to dinner at Big Ditch Brewing Company. You may think a brewery wouldn’t be kid friendly but during dinner hours it is a great place for adults and kids. I saw many families there and they have a kids menu too!

big ditch brewing wings

We ordered wings, of course! If you want to sound like a local, order wings, not Buffalo Wings! We also ordered the hand-cut fries and they were delicious. After dinner we headed back to our room at the Embassy Suites. We had a full day of activities and were ready for a good nights sleep.

Day 2: Canalside, Facing Our Fears, and Family

Saturday morning we enjoyed the complimentary breakfast at the Embassy Suites and headed over to Canalside for our morning. We knew there were a lot of things we wanted to see in Buffalo NY today so we started early!

Canalside is an entertainment district along Lake Erie. It has special events, a children’s museum, restaurants, and other activities to enjoy. It is really amazing what they have done to this area. It has grown and become a destination in itself for locals and visitors.

explore and more buffalo ny
Excited to visit Explore and More museum in Buffalo NY.

Our first stop was the newly opened Explore & More Museum. This museum is full of hands-on fun. We loved exploring all of it. From the water play area, to the construction and building sites. There are so many activities and fun play areas at this museum.

My kids all loved the imaginative play and fun activities at the museum. I think kids ages 3-10 would like this museum the most. We spent about an hour exploring but could have spent more time depending on how long you play at each exhibit and how busy they museum is.

Family Travel Tip: Arrive 5-10 minutes before the museum opens. You will be among the first to enter and stay ahead of the crowds all day.

After the museum we walked across the street to tour the Naval Park. The Naval Park has 2 huge ships, a submarine, and a small museum to tour. We started with the museum that is located on the second floor of the gift shop, then worked our way to the ships.

naval park buffalo
The Buffalo Naval Park is a must see in Buffalo.

These are actual navy ships that have been stationary at the harbor for years. I can remember attending a field trip in elementary school. The tours are self-guided but you follow along a path on the ground of the ship. You will be climbing stairs and weaving in and out of the ships rooms.

If you are prone to claustrophobia or don’t like small places you may want to stick to the outside areas. My daughter and I skipped a few of the paths because of this but it was still a fun place to visit and explore. My husband and son loved it!

After the morning of museums we headed to Ted’s Hot Dogs for lunch. There are multiple locations throughout the city but we visited the Chippewa location.

teds hot dogs buffalo
Ted’s was one of my favorite Buffalo places to eat growing up.

We took our time with lunch and then headed over to Buffalo Riverworks. Buffalo Riverworks is an adventure park with restaurants and entertainment. It is located where the old Silo grain elevators are and was a really cool way to celebrate the culture and history of Buffalo.

There is a zip line that flies over the parking lot from silo to silo. This is not for the faint of heart and you have to be over at least 7 to try this. We decided to skip it because it was a bit too adventurous for us and did the ropes course instead.

buffalo riverworks

They have two ropes courses: a beginner and advanced. You must complete the beginners first before moving on to the advanced. We barely made it through the beginners but we celebrated with ice cream after and then drove out to my parents for dinner.

For dinner we ordered pizza. Buffalo may not be famous for it’s pizza but it should be. The pizza is so good and you can’t go wrong with ordering a pie from a local Buffalo restaurant.

Check Out Our Video from Our Buffalo, NY Weekend

Day 3: Visiting One of the Oldest Zoos in America

We started slow on our last day enjoying the hotel breakfast and packing up to check out. Our last stop for our visit was the Buffalo Zoo and I was looking forward to our visit.

buffalo zoo

The Buffalo Zoo is among the top ten oldest zoos in the country and it has worked hard to preserve the history and keep up with the times of how animals are housed at zoos. The highlight of the visit was seeing the baby rhino walking around its mother. Check out the video above for the highlight.

We also enjoyed the Rainforest Falls exhibit. The Buffalo Zoo is easy to get around and spend a morning or afternoon exploring.

Buffalo is the perfect place for some quality family time for a weekend getaway. There are so many more places to visit in Buffalo and we can’t wait to visit again soon.

Read More: New York State Family Destinations

tips for visiting buffalo, NY

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