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Now that Memorial Day has passed and the weather has finally warmed up, it’s time to start making your summer plans.

Summer is the busiest time of the year in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, and there are tons of festivals, concerts and other activities to enjoy with family and friends.

Stay local this summer and take advantage of everything the area has to offer–and let us know what you’ll be doing in the comments below.

10 Fun Things To Do This Summer

  1. Visit a farmers’ market: There’s nothing like fresh local produce in the summer, especially local strawberries, cherries and peaches. There are several farmers’ markets around Buffalo and Niagara Falls where you can purchase produce, baked goods and homemade items. Our favorites include the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market, the Kenmore Farmers Market and the North Tonawanda City Market.
    peppers at a farmers' market
    Indulge in the wide variety of colorful local produce at local farmers’ markets this summer. [Image: Yelp]
  2. Visit the Buffalo Zoo: Buffalo is fortunate to have a large, vibrant zoo with many exhibits and animal experts. Located at Delaware Park in North Buffalo, the Buffalo Zoo is the third oldest in the U.S., tracing its history all the way back to 1870. Some of the popular exhibits include the bison, the gorilla house, and Arctic Edge, home to Luna the polar bear. With its interactive experiences and special events, visiting the zoo is an educational and fascinating way to spend a summer afternoon.
  3. Take a scenic boat ride on the Buffalo River and Lake Erie: The Buffalo River History Tour is a great option for history buffs who want to learn about the Erie Canal and Buffalo’s history as the largest grain port in the world and also view the largest collection of standing grain elevators in the U.S. from just a few feet away. If you’re not into history, take a Cocktail Cruise with friends and enjoy a cash bar and live music on Friday nights. And for the best sunset views of the harbor, take off on a relaxing summer Evening Sail on the Spirit of Buffalo.
    Buffalo skyline from boat on Lake Erie
    Get the best views of the Buffalo skyline from a boat on Lake Erie as you sip on a cold beverage and enjoy the city’s idyllic summer weather. [Image: Yelp]
  4. Watch live music at an outdoor venue: There are free weekly concerts in Elmwood Village throughout the summer, so grab a blanket and a cooler and listen to some free tunes at twilight. Or check out the large national acts touring at paid venues around Western New York — see our summer concert blog post for a full list.
  5. Attend a Buffalo Bisons Baseball Game: Come have a hot dog and a beer as you cheer on the Buffalo Bisons at Sahlen Field. The Bisons are the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, the closest Major League Baseball team to Buffalo. Because it’s Triple-A, you’ll get to see players who are just one step away from the Major Leagues, as well as players who are rehabbing from injuries in their return to the Majors. The Bisons stadium is clean and spacious, tickets are affordable, and the promotional nights such as Friday Night Fireworks make for an ideal summer night activity.
    fireworks after Buffalo Bisons game at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, NY
    Nothing says summer quite like going to a Buffalo Bisons game and watching the lively firework show after. [Yelp]
  6. Enjoy outdoor dining at a patio or food truck: Since COVID, many restaurants have added patios and outdoor dining areas that make eating outside enjoyable and comfortable, especially in the warm summer months. Many offer fantastic views of the waterfront, Niagara Falls or other local landmarks for you to take in as you sip on a cocktail and indulge in local fare. Food trucks such as Lloyd Taco Truck and the Cheesy Chick are also great for grabbing a quick meal to bring to the park or beach.
  7. Visit a cultural festival: Buffalo’s cultural festivals are always a fun time, featuring incredible food, music and other entertainment. And you won’t have to wait long to attend one — the Buffalo Greek Fest is this weekend, June 2-4 at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church at 146 West Utica Street. Indulge in delicious Greek cuisine such as souvlaki, gyro and Spanakopita and enjoy Greek music, folk dancing and cultural exhibits. Later this summer (July 14-16), the Buffalo Heritage Italian Festival on Hertel Ave in North Buffalo is another local favorite, with some of the best Italian food in the area as well as hours of music, games and fun.
    crowds at Annual Italian Festival in North Buffalo, NY
    The incredible food, music and entertainment at the annual Italian Festival in North Buffalo are worth braving the crowds for. [Image: Yelp]
  8. Visit an art gallery: Buffalo has many fantastic art galleries to visit when you’re looking to cool off in the AC and take in some culture. But the top one to visit this summer is definitely the Buffalo AKG Art Museum (formerly the Albright-Knox Art Gallery). After a long closure due to various upgrades, the museum will finally reopen on June 15. The museum’s $160 million transformation should be an incredible sight to behold. You can read all about the changes and additions in our blog post. There is very high demand for visiting in June because of the museum’s opening, so be sure to reserve tickets online if you plan to visit soon.
  9. Attend an art festival: Buffalo has many amazing art festivals in the summer, most notably the Allentown Art Festival coming up on June 10 and 11. The Allentown Art Festival is one of the largest art festivals in the Great Lakes region. The festival started in 1958 and is one of the longest running and most respected art shows in the U.S., with tens of thousands of visitors each year viewing and interacting with the work of over 400 artists. From custom jewelry and photography to paintings, ceramics and music, the festival has something for everyone. And don’t miss the Allen West Festival that same weekend, located on Allen Street from Mariner Street to Irving Place. The festival features local artists and craftspeople from throughout Western New York, as well as local Allentown businesses. According to the festival website, in recent years there have been over 150 participating artists, vendors, restaurants, and local businesses. Visit Buffalo Niagara calls the secondary Allen West festival “the funkier, slightly rebellious younger sibling of the Allentown Art Festival. Together, they make for a very special weekend on the streets of Buffalo.”
    Crowd at Allentown art festival in Buffalo, NY
    The Allentown Art Festival features over 400 artists and attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. [Yelp]
  10. Visit Niagara Falls: People come from all over the world to visit Niagara Falls, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature named Niagara Falls one of the Seven Natural Wonders of North America. People in Buffalo have the benefit of having this awe-inspiring landmark practically in our backyard. Take advantage of the proximity by visiting this summer for a boat tour, evening stroll, or dinner with a view of the Falls.

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