Friday, November 30, 2012

Buffalo Holiday Fun For The Family!

The holiday season in Buffalo offers families with so many great opportunities to get out and explore WNY without breaking the bank. I put together a list of my top ten family activities that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit! 

If you know of others, please feel free to share them on the comment section below :)

Krystal's Top 10 Family Outings This Holiday Season:

Hospice Buffalo's Outdoor Tree Lighting Ceremony: I attended this event for the first time last year and it brought me to tears. My family utilized the amazing services Hopsice Buffalo offers when my Grandma was battling cancer back in 2001. The tree lighting ceremony is a short, but important ceremony to remember and honor all those who have passed away. This year's event will take place on Saturday, December 1st at 5:00pm. The ceremony features singers, guest speakers, family testimonials and more. The trees are lit up outside CTG on Delaware Avenue, and the trees are filled with ornament tags  to honor loved ones. If you are headed to the event, look for me, and look for my Grandma Carol Sondel's name on the tree!

Admission cost: FREE to the public, free parking

Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting at Rotary Rink: For the 29th year in a row, Buffalo Place will light up downtown Buffalo during a wonderful tree lighting ceremony. The event will take place on Saturday, December 1st beginning at 5:00pm. There will be FREE ice skating for the family (there is a nominal fee for ice skate rental if you don't bring your own). The tree will be lit around 6:00pm. After the tree is lit there will be many children's activities, a visit from Santa and holiday gifts! 

Admission cost: FREE to the public (fee for skating rental if you don't have your own)

Ice skating at Rotary Rink: If you can't make it to the tree lighting, stop down during the winter and ice skate for free (nominal fee for skate rental if you do not bring your own). Ice skating hours vary by day (weather permitting) and the rink is closed on Mondays. Check out the full schedule by clicking the link above. It's the perfect family bonding activity, and can make for some great family photos! 

Admission cost: FREE to skate (nominal fee for skating rental if you don't have your own)

The Fairgrounds Festival of Lights: Last weekend, the Erie County Fairgrounds kicked off their annual Festival of Lights. The nearly two mile drive with over one million lights is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit. Once you finish the trek through the light display, check out other activities on the fairgrounds. 

Admission cost: $20 per carload (bring canned goods too to support their food drive!)

Roswell Park's Tree Of Hope 2012: Join Roswell Park on Friday, December 7th for their annual Tree of Hope event from 4:30pm - 6:30pm. I had the chance to attend for the first time last year and was incredibly moved, and had such a blast! The event includes live music, horse-drawn carriage rides, face painting and other activities for the kids, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, ice sculpting, free treats and hot beverages, a gingerbread house display and the tree lighting and candle lighting ceremony. NEW this year is a 13 minute lighting event set to music. 

Admission cost: FREE, parking is also free in the RPCI ramp

Day Out With Santa: The Adam's Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo is hosting "Day Out With Santa" on Saturday December 8th from 9:00am - 3:00pm. Kids can get their pictures taken with Santa and enjoy many other activities throughout the day including a petting zoo, pony rides, bounce house and meet and greet with local sports mascots. Each child will also receive a gift.

Admission cost: Canned goods/non-perishable food items that will be donated to The Food Bank of WNY

Santa On The Carrousel: The Herschell Carrousel Museum in North Tonawanda is hosting Santa On The Carrousel for three Saturdays in December (December 1st, 8th and 15th). The event starts at 11:00am with lunch followed by an afternoon of activities from 12:00pm - 3:00pm. Activities include holiday games, crafts, carrousel rides and more. As an added bonus, at 1:00pm each Saturday there will be a live performance. 

Admission cost: $10 per person with lunch, $5 per person for just the activities

Hibernating Holidays: For nature lovers out there, check out Tifft Nature Preserve's "Hibernating Holidays" event on Saturday, December 15th from 2:00pm - 3:30pm. The event will share with you how wildlife at Tifft spend their holidays. It will be a hands-on activity that includes a craft and trail hike. Pre-registration is required. Check out the link above. 

Admission cost: $5 to non-members

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Lancaster Opera House is offering interactive performances of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer from Friday, December 21st - Sunday, December 23rd.

Admission cost: Adults - $16, Kids under 12/seniors - $13

Family Winterland Walk:  Tifft Nature Preserve is also offering this great Family Winterland Walk on Thursday December 27th from 6:30pm - 8:00pm. Explore the sights and sounds of the Preserve! Make sure you bundle up! Showshoe rental will also be available, weather permitting. 

Admission cost: $5 to non-members, $2 for snowshoe rental, weather permitting

Have a wonderful Buffalo holiday season!!!

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