Are you looking for a family-friendly travel destination within driving distance from Toronto? Buffalo, New York is a great option for families hoping to get their kids out of the house during the summer without spending too long on the road. Over the last few years, Buffalo’s industrial areas have been revitalized to help showcase the beautiful waterfront and parkland areas this city has to offer. To help you plan your next family vacation, here are 7 family-friendly activities to explore in Buffalo this summer.

Zipline at Buffalo RiverWorks

The massive grain elevators are an iconic symbol of the city’s industrial past.  The concrete structures at Buffalo RiverWorks have been repainted to resemble a six-pack of beer and adapted to inspire adrenaline junkies at any age.  Onsite, there is an entertainment complex complete with a brewery, restaurant, sports sot along with areas for ziplining, rock climbing, roller derby, ice skating, curling and more.

Buffalo RiverWorks
Image Credit: Visit Buffalo Niagara

Take a tour of the Buffalo Zoo

The Buffalo Zoo is an ideal spot for families with smaller children to visit because it is extremely walkable even for the littlest of legs. This zoo is home to a variety of exotic and domestic animals year-round in naturalistic habitats, including the Zoo’s NEW Arctic Edge exhibit and M&T Bank Rainforest Falls exhibit, which is especially popular during the winter months! Visitors of all ages will also enjoy the Delta Sonic Heritage Farm, which replicates a farmstead along Erie Canal during the 1850s

Buffalo Zoo
Image Credit: Buffalo Zoo

Explore the Canalside District

The Canalside area bustling with family-friendly activities that including water-based activities like kayaking, paddle boarding and water bikes, enjoying the miles of hiking and biking paths along the water or taking a tour of the World War II-era ships at the Buffalo Naval and Military Park.

For families with younger children, the Paddle and Pedal Boat Rentals are great options because the resorted Erie Canal is quite shallow making is safe for smaller passengers to enjoy some time on the water.

Canalside
Image Credit: Buffalo Waterfront/Facebook

Visit the Explore & More Children’s Museum

Explore & More Children’s Museum tells the story of Buffalo and Western New York through seven educational play zones. Topics can include a wide range of subjects including STEM activities, art, music, culture, cooking and learning more about ourselves, our health, and our region. We will also offer free programming outside at Canalside every Friday during the summer.

Explore & More Children's Museum Buffalo
Image Credit: Explore & More

Hang out on the patio at Resurgence Brewing Company

Located in  West Side of the city, Resurgence Brewing Company is a brewery & beer garden that serves their signature beers and gastro-pub inspired menu to guests. While this spot is best known for the pints, they also cater to pint-sized guests having a number of games for families to enjoy an afternoon on the patio.  A local favourite for the family is the Sponge Candy Stout (5.5% ABV) that uses the excess cuttings of the local Watson’s Chocolates renowned sponge candy in the beer letting the parents enjoy a drink while the children munch on the chocolate sponge candy.

Resurgence Brewing Company Buffalo
Image Credit: Resurgence Brewing Company/Facebook

Play at the Buffalo Harbor State Park

Set along the waterfront path in Buffalo, the Buffalo Harbor State Park is the first state park in the city along Lake Erie.  For families looking for a free activity in Buffalo, the playground is a popular spot with the locals with a unique climbing structure that children will love.

Buffalo
Image Credit: @anthonymorganti