If you have kids under the age of 7, planning a family vacation can become quite challenging. You have to make sure to stay at a kid friendly hotel and find attractions that can keep boredom at bay. Buffalo, New York is the second largest city in New York and is sure to provide the family entertainment that you are looking for. Buffalo has many museums, theaters, and parks that kids will enjoy. Try planning your Buffalo vacation during the summer months. June, July and August are the three warmest months with an average temperature in the mid 70s. If you need some ideas regarding activities in Buffalo, try visiting the Visitor’s Center in downtown Buffalo. They can provide information about local and regional attractions, festivals and events, accommodations, and restaurants. Buffalo residents and visitors of all ages can have a good time; all it takes is some planning.
Where to stay
Where you stay during your vacation is a big part of the overall vacation experience. After visiting Buffalo attractions, you will be coming back to your hotel. If the hotel is not to your liking, your vacation can become an unpleasant experience. Luckily there are plenty of family friendly hotels to choose from. Families can consider staying at the following hotels:
Hampton Inn & Suites
220 Delaware Ave,
Buffalo, NY 14202
The Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown Buffalo is located 25 minutes from Niagara Falls and within walking distance of 31 different restaurants. Theater enthusiasts will be happy to know that they are only steps away from Broadway shows at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. The hotel has air conditioned rooms and suites that each come with a coffee maker, hot breakfast, cable TV, hairdryer, shower, high-speed Internet access and more. Hotel guests can also take advantage of the laundry service and airport shuttle. A playpen, crib and high chair are available upon request and families can inquire about special family packages. Reservations can be made online or by phone. Rates start at $135 per day.
The Mansion on Delaware Avenue
414 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
This AAA four diamond rated hotel is situated in a beautiful beau arts building. With rates starting at approximately $195 per day, it’s not exactly the cheapest hotel, but it does guarantee an unforgettable experience. Hotel guests have access to a 24 hour butler service, luxury bath amenities, Italian linens, bath robes and complimentary European breakfast. Many celebrities and public figures have stayed at the Mansion. The butler service can help arrange your daily activities. Whether you need transportation to the local theaters, restaurants, galas or galleries, they can arrange it. The rooms at this hotel range from classic style rooms to suites and are sure to please the guests. Reservations can be made online or by phone.
Adams Mark Buffalo
120 Church Street
Buffalo, NY 14202
If you are on a spending budget, this hotel is a good alternative. Rates start at approximately $89 per night. The hotel has 486 deluxe guest rooms that include room service, same-day dry cleaning, irons and boards, express check-out, safe deposit boxes, gift shop, cable TV with remote, AM/FM alarm radios, and in-room movies. Non-smoking rooms are available upon request. Hotel guests also get access to the fitness facility and business center. Sight-seeing, shopping, visiting museums and tourist attraction are some of the activities hotel guests can participate in. Reservations can be made online and by phone.
Niagara Falls Campground & Lodging
2405 Niagara Falls Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14302
Instead of staying at a hotel, why not opt for an outdoors adventure by staying on a campground? Kids will enjoy playing on the campground playground and swimming in the camp’s swimming pool. The Niagara Falls Campground offers numerous tent camping sites and full hookups RV sites. The campground is open from April 1st through October 31st and reservations can be made as early as March. Showers, restrooms, picnic tables, and fire pits and laundry service are available to campers. Rates start at $30 per day and in order to register for a campsite, you will have to be a minimum of 21 years old.
What to do
Attractions that will entertain kids under the age of 7 can be found by searching the Internet. Following you will find some to choose from:
Buffalo Zoological Gardens
300 Parkside Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14214
This 23.5 acre zoo was founded in 1875 making it the oldest zoo in the United States. Parents and kids alike are sure to have a blast in the zoo that features many exotic and endangered species. Numerous types of mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians are at home in the Buffalo Zoo. The zoo organizes fun family activities from time to time. The Wild Workshop is one of these. Kids ages two to four can participate and learn in the cub club program. The zoo is open all year round but during the months of January and February it’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. During Christmas and Thanksgiving the zoo is also closed.
Aquarium of Niagara
701 Whirlpool Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14301
Located 20 miles northwest of Buffalo is the Aquarium of Niagara. Whether you want to see penguins, sea lions, whales or sharks, the Aquarium of Niagara houses them all. Feeding schedules can be found on the aquarium’s website. Kids will enjoy feeding the seals while parents get great photo opportunities. The zoo is open all days of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. According to the aquarium’s website, kids under the age of 2 are free and kids ages three to eight are $6. Adults pay $10 per ticket.
Six Flags Darien Lake Theme Park
9993 Allegheny Road
Darien Center, NY 14040
About 40 minutes from Buffalo you will find Six Flags Darien Lake. Aside from the thrill rides and water rides, this theme park has many kids and family rides and is sure to be a success with the younger people in the family. If a child doesn’t meet the height requirements for the attraction, often they can still enjoy it as long as the parent goes along for the ride. Height requirements range from 36” to 54” depending on the attraction. Near the theme park you will also find the water park Splashtown at Darien Lake. Purchasing tickets that give you access to both will save you some money.
Niagara Falls State Park
P.O. Box 773
Niagara Falls, NY 14302
Show your kids the natural beauty if the Niagara Falls. Various attractions include the Cave of the Winds tour where you walk up to the base of the falls. Families can enter the Maid of the Mist boat and watch in amazement as the water falls right around them. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you can visit Top of the Falls Restaurant where they server everything from ice cream to sirloin steak. Before visiting make sure to go to the Niagara Falls State Park website since they often have special discount offers listed.
Toy Town Museum
636 Girard Avenue
East Aurora, NY 14052
toytownusa.com Toy Town Museum 8000 square feet and located 20 miles southeast of Buffalo. The toy museum has numerous exhibits all throughout the year. Kids not only get to play with toys here, they also get to learn and create through toys. There is a theater showing movies about toy making and a gift shop is also on the premises. The museum is only open on weekends and is also closed on holidays.
PLANNING YOUR TRIP
When planning a family vacation, you may want to contact a travel agent of a AAA office. They can advice on flights and accommodations if needed. They can also advice you on transportation once you get to Buffalo. If you plan on reserving a rental car, make sure to do this at a rental car location away from the airport. Airport car rental pickups often are more expensive because of added taxes. Look into package deals that include the hotel, rental car and flight if needed. Often these types of arrangements end up cheaper when all booked at once. Make a vacation itinerary so you always know what to do next. Have several locations to choose from. Planning your vacation ahead of time will not only keep you from wondering what to do next, you will also be able to budget for it. If you are a member of AAA, make sure to mention this whenever you purchase tickets. Often you will get a discount. Also, purchasing tickets for certain attractions online is sometimes cheaper than purchasing them at the entrance.