Nothing is worse than having to cancel plans you were really excited about for something as frustrating as the weather! Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities for indoor family fun around Buffalo Niagara.
by Meg Bennett
Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum—now located at Canalside—easily fills an entire day while you & your kids enjoy exploring the many fun, informative exhibits
There are plenty of fun indoor places in Buffalo Niagara where families can make the most of a rainy (or, sometimes, rainy & snowy) autumn day!
Here is a sneak peek at some of our favorites:
Castellani Art Museum
The Castellani Art Museum was constructed with imported Italian marble and blesses the main campus of Niagara University with cultured vibes. Inside you will find a permanent collection of more than 5,600 pieces, including photographs, prints, sculpture, drawings and paintings, which date as far back as the 1850’s up to the present day.The Castellani Art Museum is a great place to introduce your kids to the art world as well as the many famous artists who made our contemporary visual culture what it is today.
Located at 5795 Lewiston Road, Niagara University, NY. If traveling by GPS, use the following address: 7 Varsity Drive, Niagara University, NY. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays. Admission is free (although donations are welcome). For more information, please visit www.castellaniartmuseum.org.
North Park Theatre
Take a step back in time at North Park Theatre, the beautifully-restored Shea’s theatre, which plays many popular modern films but in a setting that screams, “The Roaring Twenties!” The murals are breathtaking and the film selections are intriguing. Be sure to bring the kids on either October 26th or 27th to take advantage of the free Halloween specials “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “Halloween is Grinch Night.” A spot for some vintage indoor family fun.
Located at 1428 Hertel Avenue in Buffalo. For a list of showtimes and other pertinent information, please visit www.northparktheatre.org.
Aquarium of Niagara
It is no secret that kids love aquariums! At Aquarium of Niagara, come waddle with Humboldt Penguins, watch seals and sea lions play, awe at spooky Poison Dart Frogs and the Red-Bellied Piranhas, marvel at the Giant Pacific Octopus, and examine lots and lots of exotic fish! There are so many animals to see at Aquarium of Niagara – you will just have to wait and see for yourself!
Located at 701 Whirlpool St. in Niagara Falls, NY. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Admission is $14.95/Adult, $12.95/Senior, $10.95/Child, and Free for Children 2 and under. Group rates are also available. For more information, please visit www.aquariumofniagara.org.
Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum
Formerly located in historic East Aurora but has since received an epic facelift and relocated to our beloved Canalside, Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum is a very popular kids’ attraction! The new 43,000-square-foot facility features exhibits that teach kids about the cultural diversity of families in Buffalo Niagara, the power of waterways and electricity, local sports teams and fitness, STEM concepts, architecture and construction, agriculture, and more. All of these exhibits at Explore & More have been designed specifically for exploring little hands and will provide families with hours and hours of entertainment. Hello, Paradise!
Located at 130 Main St. in Buffalo. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (with the exception of the first Friday of every month, in which case the museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.); 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is closed to the public on Tuesdays to accommodate school groups. Admission is $11 for adults and children ages 1 and up, free for infants, and free for museum members. (Special note: on select Sundays and other special events, admission is $15 per person and $4 per member.) For more information, please visit www.exploreandmore.org.
Niagara Power Vista
The Niagara Power Vista is a great budget-friendly indoor family fun place to visit, where children (and adults) can learn about electricity and the true power of the Falls. Kids will love designing dams, pretending to control a grid during inclement weather, exploring a real turbine, and riding a 4-D virtual coaster across the Niagara River and beyond. Be sure to check out the “Fall Spooktacular” on October 26th at the Niagara Power Vista, where kids will get to participate in spooky games and crafts, a weather-permitting horse-drawn hayride, movies, a costume contest, and a special giveaway to the first 300 visitors!
Located at 5777 Lewiston Rd in Lewiston. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking and admission is free. For more information, please visit www.nypa.gov/communities/visitors-centers/niagara-power-vista.
The famous Skylon Tower is a dining experience that has hosted many celebrities, royalty, and other illustrious individuals – but locals love eating here too! Not only is the food spectacular, but so is the view. If you peer over your plate of Lobster Tail, you will see Niagara Falls from 775 feet in the air! There are multiple restaurants at Skylon Tower, including the Summit Suite Buffet and the Revolving Restaurant. Yes, you read that right – the Revolving Restaurant literally spins 360 degrees per hour! And don’t forget the glass-enclosed elevators located on the exterior of the tower, which travel all the way up or down in 52 seconds! As if all these features were not enough to get the kids excited about a family outing, there’s a Family Fun Centre located onsite and a 3D/4D Niagara Falls movie. Between all of that entertainment and the kids menu, Skylon Tower will make for the sort of outing that your family will talk about for years and years to come!
Located at 5200 Robinson St. in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Hours are 8 a.m. to midnight daily. For more information, please visit www.skylon.com.
2020 is just around the corner
2019 will be over before we know it, and we cannot help but reflect on how much the Buffalo Niagara region continues to grow. There are so many awesome entertainment options that we could see how someone might get overwhelmed while planning a fun weekend! We hope our list has helped you pin down a place to begin. We hope you have a blast this autumn season – and do let us know which place you decide to explore next for some indoor family fun.