Baby, it’s cold outside…but that doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up at home! Buffalo Niagara is full of possibilities for winter fun.

by Meg Bennett

winter fun
Curling is one of many options for winter fun at Buffalo RiverWorks

From winter sports to seasonal beverages, we’ve put together a list of memorable activities for you and your loved ones to enjoy this holiday season.

winter fun
The igloos available for rent at Canalside don’t come equipped with eskimos or penguins

Rent an Igloo at Canalside

The Buffalo Waterfront knows how to keep things hot on the ice! This year, you and up to seven other people can warm up in a toasty “igloo” as you take advantage of the many different ice sports available at Canalside! These geodesic, transparent structures are heated, supplied with comfy and cushioned furniture, and decked out in white Christmas lights. There are three igloos available and they can be rented for 90-minute increments. Included in this rental is ice skating admission and skate rentals, a round of alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, and hot cocoa. What a perfectly intimate and novel arrangement for you and your loved ones!

Located at 44 Prime Street in Buffalo. Igloo reservations are $149 per 90 minutes on a typical day, or $199 during the holiday week (December 21st until January 1st). No outside food or beverages are allowed in the igloos. Punctuality is required, as reservations will not begin late. For more information, please visit www.buffalowaterfront.com/activities/igloos-at-the-ice.

winter fun
The snow and ice surrounding Niagara Falls at this time of year creates its own unique beauty that can only be seen during the winter months

See the Arctic Splendor of the Falls at Niagara Falls State Park

No matter the weather, Niagara Falls always makes a good impression! Niagara Falls State Park is free of charge and open 365 days a year for sightseeing, hiking and photography. Dress in layers and enjoy a refreshing stroll along footpaths. December 14th is a particularly good day to visit, as Jingle Falls USA will be taking place and there will be many sights to see in Niagara Falls, from Santa visits to a life-sized Gingerbread Village.

Located at 332 Prospect Street in Niagara Falls, New York. Hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Parking is $8 to $10 depending on the lot. This park is fully accessible, from the buildings to the footpaths. The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m (except for holidays). For more information, please visit www.niagarafallsstatepark.com.

winter fun
Want to try some of the best Italian cuisine in Buffalo Niagara? You’re in luck. Ristorante Lombardo is now offering their seasonal two-course lunch for the month of December.

Enjoy a Holiday Lunch at Ristorante Lombardo

As you finish up your Christmas shopping, take a break midday to fuel up with authentic Italian cuisine at Ristorante Lombardo! Start off with some Hot Banana Peppers, Wood Roasted Figs, Fried Calamari, Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops, or Grilled Octopus. Then enjoy a crisp Chicken Salad made with tender boneless breast, fresh arugula, juicy tomatoes, red onions, marinated olives, tangy gorgonzola cheese and Italian vinaigrette dressing. Craving something heartier than a salad? Then maybe the Veal Marsala is more your style – featuring a veal cutlet with prosciutto, mozzarella, mushrooms, Marsala, and roasted potatoes. Ristorante Lombardo is the perfect way to reward yourself after a busy morning!

Located at 1198 Hertel Avenue. Open Fridays for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner hours are Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Closed on Sundays. For more information, please visit www.ristorantelombardo.com.

winter fun
If you love winter sports like ice skating, curling and hockey, RiverWorks is for you

Ice Skate at RiverWorks

No winter bucket list would be complete without an outdoor ice skating experience! RiverWorks features open skate times on covered outdoor ice rinks for only $5 per person. Here you will also find two-hour curling rentals, which include all the necessary equipment for an energetic curling game! There can be up to 8 curlers on one “sheet” (the same idea as renting a bowling lane) and brief instructions will be given to beginners. And if you have ice hockey friends or family, you can rent an ice rink for 30 minutes or more to practice skating and shooting or even play an actual game! There are so many wonderful ways to have fun on the ice at Buffalo RiverWorks!

Located at 359 Ganson Street. Daily hours are 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Ice skating is $5 admission per person and an additional $5 for ice skate rentals. Curling sheets are $200 for two hours. Ice rink rentals are $200 per hour. For more information, please visit www.buffaloriverworks.com.

winter fun
If you’re out and about on a cold winter day near Elmwood Village, SPoT Coffee is a great place to stop in and get warmed up with great drink options

Enjoy Hot Cocoa at SPoT Coffee

SPoT Coffee is a local favorite and a great place to bring a friend for good conversation and warm beverages! Nothing takes the chill out of your bones better than a hot cup of cocoa, Organic Fair Trade tea, Cafe au Lait, or Caramel Macchiato! In addition to many coffee, tea and espresso options, you will also find chilled shakes, wraps, paninis, salads, gourmet pizza, breakfast sandwiches, omelets, waffles, and decadent desserts. Bring a board game and sit by the fireside at SPoT Coffee for a casual and soul-satisfying time.

Please visit www.spotcoffee.com to locate a Spot Coffee near you. Here you will also find their menu, information on their coffee, and an online store.

winter fun
Looking for a place to take your kids to have their picture taken with Santa Claus this year? The Walden Galleria Mall and Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA both are great places to go and click a pic with St. Nick

Take the Kids to See Santa at the Galleria or Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls

‘Tis the season for all parents to make their way to the Walden Galleria and Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls to get their annual Santa photos! Whether or not your kids are the type to get excited about sitting on Santa’s lap, these photos are the kind that you and your family will look back on for years to come. And there is still time to get those Christmas cards out, so act quickly!

The Walden Galleria is located at 1 Walden Galleria in Buffalo. Information on photos with Santa can be found at www.waldengalleria.com/visit-santa-at-walden-galleria-2019. The Niagara Falls Outlet Mall is located at 1900 Military Road in Niagara Falls, NY. For more information, please visit www.fashionoutletsniagara.com/events/details/530487.

Warm Happy Holidays from us at Welcome716!

Wherever you look, there’s winter fun in Buffalo Niagara! We hope that this list helps you in making memories with your loved ones.

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