This Holiday Season there are so many fun opportunities for you and your loved ones to take advantage of in Buffalo Niagara! We hope that this list helps you to simplify your plans for entertaining family over the holidays.

by Meg Bennett

The annual Chillabration winter festival at Buffalo Waterfront’s Canalside is only one of many holiday happenings at Canalside this winter

The holidays are quickly approaching, which means our to-do lists are getting more intimidating! There are presents to buy, ingredients to stock up on for holiday baking, decorations to pull out of storage, and so much cleaning to do before the in-laws visit! If you are a resident of the Buffalo Niagara region and you have family staying in your home for several days or more, you might also need to consider having a few entertainment ideas up your sleeve. Do not fret – we have pulled together a list of fun and family-friendly activities to get everyone out of your house for a while! 


Consider the following:

Niagara Falls State Park

If your relatives have not yet seen Niagara Falls, the holidays are a great time to visit! Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest park in America and spans more than 400 acres. Within the ecosystem of the Niagara River lives several protected animal species, including the American Bald Eagle, the Lake Sturgeon, and the Peregrine Falcon, as well as 14 species of uncommon plants. Bring a scavenger hunt and see what you can find on the hiking trails while walking off your Thanksgiving meal! This park is open 365 days per year. To learn more, visit

Dave & Buster’s at the Walden Galleria

This family-friendly attraction located within the Walden Galleria Mall has arcade games, sports TVs, and great food, making it the perfect place to spend an entire afternoon! Arcade games range from nostalgic to modern, with ample opportunities to win prizes. There are great deals to help you get the most bang for your buck: half-price games on Wednesdays, BOGO $10 Rewards, and Power Hour 60 minutes of play for just $10. If arcade games are not your thing and you would rather sit down in front of the big game, you will find an extensive selection of food and drinks. Whether you are in the mood to share a hot helping of Five Cheese Lazy Fondue, stick to your diet with the Fire-Grilled Salmon, or get your hands greasy with a juicy Triple Bacon Burger, this place is a Buffalo Niagara foodie’s paradise! Learn more at

Want to learn more about other attractions at the Walden Galleria Mall? Check out their page.

Niagara Jet Adventures

If you have always wanted to take your loved ones on a tour of the Niagara River, but you have been struggling to find time during the warmer months, we have great news! Niagara Jet Adventures has a climate-controlled jet boat available during all seasons of the year! This whitewater adventure takes passengers across class 5 rapids, with 360-degree spins and epic views of the Niagara River Gorge. It is 45 to 60 minutes of breathtaking adrenaline, but it is also safe for all ages. To watch fun video footage and/or book your tickets, visit

Rainbow Air

While we are on the subject of thrill-seeking activities, why not try a helicopter tour of Niagara Falls? Yes, Rainbow Air is still open weekends through the end of November! Rainbow Air takes you lower and closer to the falls than any other aerial tour service in the area. You will see the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Goat Island, Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist, Clifton Hill, and many other highlights of the area. To learn more, please visit

Hornblower Niagara Cruises

Hornblower Niagara Cruises is one attraction that you will want to do sooner than later, as it will be closing for the winter season! Get up close and personal with Niagara Falls on a 20-minute boat tour. You and your loved ones will see the thundering falls face to face, complete with an audio commentary and a complimentary poncho. To book your reservation, please visit

Village Bake Shoppe

When it comes to holiday desserts, all sorts of things can go wrong. Maybe you forgot to pick up pumpkin pie filling and now it is out of stock at the grocery store! Or perhaps you planned ahead and the pie made it to the oven, but you forgot to set a timer and now dessert is ruined! Even worse – your cousins are gluten-intolerant and you forgot to make a safe option for them. Can we give you some advice? Save yourself the trouble this year and get your pies from the Village Bake Shoppe. Not only are all of their baked goods made from scratch, but these bakers are more than happy to accommodate dietary needs. Can’t bear to part with tradition? That’s OK, we understand. But we highly suggest stopping by for a sweet treat anyway, especially while your relatives are in town. Visit for a peek at their extensive menu.

Canalside Buffalo

Here at one of Buffalo Niagara’s most famous destinations, there are plenty of winter-friendly sports to keep your family and friends warm between holiday gatherings! Beginning on November 20th, you can cross Ice Skating off your holiday bucket list, play it safe with Ice Bikes, get silly in the Ice Bumper Cars, or compete with your loved ones in a vigorous game of Curling! Check out to learn more.

Explore & More Children’s Museum

This local favorite is a huge hit with the kids, thanks to their relocation to Canalside and a brand-new 43,000-square-foot facility! Exhibits are designed for children ages 0 to 12 and combine learning opportunities with interactive play. Kids will learn about the diversity of the Buffalo community by exploring little “houses.” They will design and construct buildings using play tools and fun materials. They will treat stuffed-animal “patients” in a pretend medical facility. And there is so much more! Memberships are once again available, so consider purchasing one as a holiday gift at

Aquarium of Niagara

Piranhas, Octopi, and Sharks – oh my! There are so many animal species to see and learn about at Aquarium of Niagara, from the Humboldt Penguins to the Poison Dart Frogs. And don’t forget the Seals and Sea Lions! To plan your visit, please check out

Let the fun begin!

There are so many fun opportunities for you and your loved ones to connect in Buffalo Niagara! This list is by no means comprehensive, so stay up-to-date by checking our Events Page regularly. We hope that our list helps you to simplify your plans for entertaining over the holidays. In the midst of all the chaos, please remember to enjoy yourself! After all of the effort you have put into organizing, cooking, cleaning, and shopping for your gatherings, you deserve to have fun, too.

Have a wonderful holiday season!


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