Head to the heart of Downtown Buffalo, New York, and discover five ways to spend time with the entire family.

Nestled in the heart of Buffalo’s bustling downtown is Canalside, a “waterfront destination unlike any other in the country,” says Michael Spong, business development manager for Buffalo Waterfront (buffalowaterfront.com). “Our guests love to be by the water,” he says. “Canalside offers a host of activities and vantage points for guests to interact with Lake Erie.”

Buffalo River History Tour
See the city from the Buffalo River during a 90-minute look into the past, where you’ll learn about the Erie Canal, as well as the city’s story as the largest grain port in the world. Four tours are offered daily from mid-May through the end of September. “If you want to see, learn and experience how Buffalo became one of the largest cities in the country in the mid-1800s, Canalside offers that backdrop and understanding while providing guests a fun and interactive visit,” Spong says. 

Buffalo Heritage Carousel
Gets the kids in on the fun. This fully restored, solar-powered, vintage park-style carousel designed in 1924 celebrates the history of carousel manufacturing in western New York — and it’s right on the boardwalk.

Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park
Get a closer look at the nation’s military history at the country’s largest inland Naval Park. Home to four decommissioned naval vessels, the property also features a museum, monuments garden, U.S. military exhibits and a maritime simulator. buffalonavalpark.org

Water Bikes of Buffalo
See the city from a new point of view by renting a single rider or tandem water bike or pedal boat from Water Bikes of Buffalo and floating your way along the canal. Along the way, you’ll pass massive grain elevators, extraordinary naval ships and more. waterbikesofbuffalo.com

Explore & More Children’s Museum
With more than 40,000 square feet of Buffalo-centric activities, this museum gives a good look at the region’s history, geography, culture, architecture, athletics and innovation. Highlights include a tinkering tank and art studio.