What's a family w/teens to do in/near Buffalo this Friday & Saturday?
March 29, 2016 11:08 AM   Subscribe

We're from Rochester, NY, but we will be in Buffalo all day Friday & Saturday (April 1-2). We is me & wife & 2 boys ages 12 & 15. We all like used book stores, thrift stores, some of us like record shopping, we like weird museums, interesting outdoor things, hikes near water, etc.

We've pretty recently been to the Buffalo science museum and the Albright-Knox museum, and the Anchor Bar. We plan to eat at Tourant and we're going to the Medieval Times Dinner Tournament, but our plan to visit the amazing Griffis Sculpture Park has been foiled by the fact that they are closed until May 1. The lists of Buffalo tourism ideas that I've found online are really short - but there must be interesting stuff to do! Is there a Buffalo equivalent of rocwiki.org? Buffalo blogs?
posted by chr1sb0y to Travel & Transportation around Buffalo, NY (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Off the top of my head: Talking Leaves Books, the Burchfield-Penney Art Museum. Canalside is full of fun stuff - maritime museum, walks along the waterway, miscellaneous stuff to do. Chestnut Ridge is a bit outside the city, but is a gorgeous hike with a small waterfall and eternal flame at the end.

Stop by a coffee shop or small business when you get into town and grab a copy of the Artvoice (the website is not always useful, but the print version is great). Buffalo Rising can be helpful as far as websites go. The Buffalo Niagara Tourism site (Visit Buffalo Niagara, I think?) is a bit hit or miss.

Feel free to memail me for ideas if you're looking for something more specific.
posted by okayokayigive at 11:14 AM on March 29, 2016

Oh! And Elmwood Avenue can be fun to just walk down - there's Penzey's spices, a bunch of neat shops, and there is (was? I haven't been there in a while) a great thrift shop in the basement of a church down there.
posted by okayokayigive at 11:15 AM on March 29, 2016

For secondhand books, also Old Editions.
posted by thomas j wise at 11:28 AM on March 29, 2016

We're a similar family and my in-laws are in the Buffalo suburbs. Seconding everything above. Elmwood Ave is where Talking Leaves bookstore is, and it's a nice area for window shopping and people watching and decent things to eat.

The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is more interesting than the American side if you can go over, and in terms of wacky museums they have a Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum and a wax museum.
posted by tchemgrrl at 11:31 AM on March 29, 2016

If you are interested in art and architecture. do not miss: For history, visit The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site.
posted by ubiquity at 11:48 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Talking Leaves really is wonderful. It's a book lover's bookstore. I could spend hours there. Good coffeehouse (Cafe Aroma) next door, too. It's right in the middle of the Elmwood strip, so you've got a lot of other options too. Elmwood and Canalside have something for everybody.

In terms of weird museums, there's the Herschell Carrousel (sic) Museum in Tonawanda. Your kids might be a little out of the target age range, but there's a lot of fun stuff about the craftsmanship behind the animals that they could enjoy. I thought it was wonderful.

The TR Inauguration museum was cool, too. The presentation is different; they take you on the tour as if you're a guest of the Wilcox family (the owners of the house at the time) in 1901. If you're interested in the Beth Zion windows (see ubiquity's post above), it's within walking distance of the TR museum, and not far from Elmwood.

The Historical Society museum is kind of fun. They have a recreation of Tim Russert's office from Meet the Press. If you're interested in news or politics, it's worthwhile. There's also a really nice Japanese garden out back, so you can combine the museum-y things and the outdoors-y things.

Buffalo Rising is probably the best website for other ideas.
posted by kevinbelt at 12:05 PM on March 29, 2016

There's a roller derby bout on Friday at Riverworks at 7pm.
posted by Lucinda at 12:20 PM on March 29, 2016

Best answer: Is there a Buffalo equivalent of rocwiki.org?

Wikivoyage: Buffalo There's a lot of information there.
posted by tippy at 12:47 PM on March 29, 2016

Talking Leaves on Main St for translated books and critical theory books (yep - the 16 year old in my house is into it) and it's just down the street from Record Theater. Rust Belt Books for amazing selection of used books; Burning Books for radical politics.
posted by vitabellosi at 7:40 PM on March 29, 2016

Best answer: My suggestion is Grant Street, which I find a lot more interesting and vibrant than most other parts of the city. At the corner of Grant and Lafayette, there's West Side Stories (used books) and Black Dots (used records). There's a BBQ shack there, which has the best BBQ in the city but it may or may not be open yet, and Sweetness 7, which is great for brunchy foods (they make their own English Muffins).

Elsewhere on Grant is Rust Belt Books and the West Side Bazaar, a business incubator for immigrants. Good food and vendors selling goods from all over the world.
posted by tippy at 4:07 AM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the variety of suggestions! Eternal Flame hike in Chestnut Ridge Park was pretty crazy and neat. Talking Leaves (new) and Westside Story Books (used) were both excellent. Sweetness 7 was great for breakfast, and the Westside Bazaar was wonderful for lunch from many different parts of the world. The Naval/Historical museum was pretty good, and would be really great for more boaty/military types. The Zoo was as expected - a little disappointing but nicer in some ways than Rochester's zoo. You had better book ahead for Frank Lloyd Wright tours - don't try to walk-up.
posted by chr1sb0y at 2:31 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

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