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KidsOutAndAbout Readers' Choice 2013:
Top 20 Places to take kids in the Buffalo area


This past month, thousands of Buffalo-area KidsOutAndAbout readers voted for their favorite places to take kids in the Buffalo / Erie / Niagara area. There were a bunch of changes to this list--some places really rocked the vote!--and a few of the contests came right down to the wire.

Top 20 Places to Take Kids in the Buffalo Area

P.S. Apologies if you're getting this note twice; it means you're both on our weekly e-newsletter list and on this organization list. That won't happen often. --Debra

1.    Rolly Pollies: East Amherst and Orchard Park locations. Rolly Pollies® offers Western New York's most dynamic, fun-filled gym, summer and holiday camps, birthday parties, creative arts, and music programs for children 6 months through 12 years old in a safe, nurturing environment.

2.   Buffalo Zoo: Buffalo. Throughout the year, the Buffalo Zoo offers guests fascinating animal exhibits, naturalistic wildlife habitats, beautiful garden areas and several unique areas in which to enjoy an environment that is full of fun, adventure and history. The Buffalo Zoo is open daily rain or shine!

3.   Kelkenberg Farm of Clarence: Kelkenberg Farm of Clarence is a family-operated business open for tours and group parties for all ages year-round. We are a real livestock and horse farm that has been welcoming farm visitors for over 30 years. There is fun for everyone every season of the year. Pumpkin pickin’ in the fall, sleigh rides in the winter, baby animals in the spring, and summer picnics. Come for your birthday, with your school, for pumpkins, or just for fun.

4.   Beaver Meadow Audubon Center: North Java. Visit their miles of forested trails at the nature center and preserves across Western New York, open from dawn to dusk every day. At the Center itself, you'll find exhibits, a natural history library, and places to watch birds up close. Learn about birds, wildlife, and conservation issues through classes, lectures, and programs. Volunteer to help others learn too!

5.    Explore & More Children's Museum: East Aurora. Spark your kids' creativity, curiosity, and imagination at Western New York's only museum designed just for kids! Located in beautiful East Aurora.

6.    Buffalo Museum of Science: Buffalo. The Buffalo Museum of Science is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to the study and interpretation of the natural and physical sciences. BMS offers traveling exhibits, a 3D cinema and permanent exhibit halls, including our hands-on early childhood gallery, Explorations, and the new interactive health science studio, Explore YOU presented by Independent Health. Our museum offers free parking and is handicapped accessible.

7.     Bounce Magic: Orchard Park and Amherst. Bounce Magic is a high-energy play and party facility have open play every day, stay and play as long as you like. With a variety of Inflatable Bounce Houses and Slides, Video and Arcade Games, Outdoor Gem Mining and 9 Hole Mini Golf. Also plenty of snacks and menu choices made fresh to order including pizza, salads, burgers and fries. At Bounce Magic you are guaranteed a whole lot of family fun! With two locations in the Buffalo area: Orchard Park and Amherst. Click here for the KidsOutAndAbout review of Bounce Magic.

8.     Brown's Berry Patch: Albion. It's a bit of a trip, but the "delicious fun" of the place triumphs over travel time for lots of families. Late spring, summer, and fall, it has lots to offer kids and families for several hours of low-cost fun. Pick-your-own fruit: Strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, apples, pumpkins, and more! Then for a small additional fee, play in the Barnyard Adventure. A corn maze, goats, a bunny town, and a slide you can go down with your kids make Brown's Berry Patch a WNY family favorite!

9.    Martin’s Fantasy Island: Grand Island. Martin's Fantasy Island is a family-friendly theme park that’s just minutes away from almost anywhere in Western New York. It features thrill rides, live shows, a water park, a petting zoo, miniature golf, and other attractions.

10.    The Great Pumpkin Farm: Clarence. This Fall Festival is our way of celebrating the harvest of blessings we enjoy in our community and our nation. It has grown to be, by far, the largest family event in the region. In 2013, The Great Pumpkin Farm will be open dawn till dusk from Saturday, September 14 through October 31. Enjoy special events every weekend!

11.    Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park: Cheektowaga. Indoor Trampolines for lots of jumping, active fun! They even have a weekly Toddler Time, a special program offered exclusively to parents and children up to age FIVE; it's a fun and unique event that allows kids to jump, roll, crawl, bounce and most importantly, have fun on Sky Zone's all-trampoline walled, playing court!

12.    Erie County Fair: Hamburg. The Erie County Fair happens for 12 days every August in Hamburg at the fair grounds, just 20 minutes south of Buffalo. It is justifiably one of the most famous county fairs in the United States. Find great food, lots of free great concerts and more! Admission for kids 12 & under is FREE every day of the Fair!


13.    Theatre of Youth: Buffalo. Where Imagination Comes to Play! TOY is a non-profit professional theatre company that engages and challenges young audiences with theatre.

14.   Buffalo Bisons: Buffalo. Minor league baseball, playing at Coca Cola Field. They currently play in the International League  and are currently the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.

15.    My Local Library: Of course, our local library system is not really ONE place, it is MANY places... but it's important to emphasize how valuable libraries are for family learning and fun. The libraries in our area are wonderful about posting their events to the KidsOutAndAbout calendar so you always can get ideas for free things to do with your kids that celebrate education and imagination. KidsOutAndAbout.com takes this opportunity to salute the wonderful children's librarians who serve our community with such dedication.

16.    Tifft Nature Preserve: Buffalo. Tifft Nature Preserve is a 264-acre nature refuge dedicated to conservation and environmental education. Operated by the Buffalo Museum of Science, Tifft Nature Preserve site is about 6 miles from the Museum in the southwest corner of Buffalo. Animals from the entire region take advantage of its ponds, marshes and woodlands. It has become the urban sanctuary many people envisioned over twenty years ago.  Tifft's Visitor Center can be reached at 716.825.6397.

17.    Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens: Buffalo. The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is a national historic site, education center and tourist destination full of exotic horticulture treasures. Gardens, events, and tours for kids and adults.

18.    Allegany State Park: Cattaraugus County. Featuring several miles of paved bike paths, boat and bike rentals, a sandy beach for swimming, fishing and snowmobiling. This is a great place for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, too! The Administration Building features a natural history museum, regional headquarters, and a gift shop.

19.    Darien Lake Theme Park Resort: Darien Center. Darien Lake is Western New York's largest and most comprehensive theme park, featuring roller coasters and other high-speed rides, a water park, a Ferris Wheel, and on-site hotel and camping. They also have lots of special events and concerts throughout their season, as well as a Fright Fest / Fall Family Fun Fest event on weekends in September and early October.

20.    Hidden Valley Animal Adventure: Varysburg. Hidden Valley Animal Adventure is an animal park located in Varysburg, NY. Let your imagination run wild as you view and feed over 200 animals and over 30 different species including zebra, buffalo, camel, ostrich and more! Click here for the KidsOutAndAbout.com review of Hidden Valley Animal Adventure.
 


Category Awards

Favorite Indoor Play Center:
Rolly Pollies

Favorite place to have fun outdoors:  Buffalo Zoo

Favorite kid-friendly museum: Buffalo Museum of Science

Favorite nature center: Letchworth State Park

Favorite farm (agri-entertainment): Kelkenberg Farm of Clarence

Favorite professional sports team: Buffalo Sabres

Favorite kid-friendly theatre:
Theatre of Youth
On behalf of Helena Robin, our Buffalo editor, and the rest of the administrative team here at the KidsOutAndAbout central offices (i.e., my house), we'd like to congratulate the winners, and thank all of you who voted.

Sincerely,

Debra Ross
Publisher, KidsOutAndAbout.com
You are on this list because your organization has a listing on KidsOutAndAbout.com. Please notify us at ross@kidsoutandabout.com or call our main office in Rochester at 585-381-9527 if you would prefer not to be on this list of resources for families in Buffalo or if you have questions.

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