The Buffalo-Niagara area at Christmastime has several things you, your friends, and your family can see and do mostly outdoors. Yes, it will probably be cold out, but that’s what warm coats, hats, mittens and boots are for, and there are plenty of things going on this month to enjoy, even when the “weather outside is frightful” as the old “Let It Snow” song goes…
First up, have you ever been on an ice bike? Seems like a cool thing to try out, right? Downtown Buffalo’s Canalside has ice bikes, which are bicycles you can ride on ice. Does that sound odd? It is! That’s exactly why it’s appealing! The ice at Canalside is also where you can choose to ice skate or do the very Canadian sport called curling, which kind of looks like you’re sweeping ice to get a “ball” to a certain spot like in bocce. Well, you might need to read up on curling for a much better description. Suffice it to say, people “curl” at Canalside!
Downtown Buffalo has another place to ice skate, and it’s at Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza— at Main and Chippewa. “Call first” if the weather is above 45 degrees, though– you know, a Buffalo heatwave– to check to see if they’re operating.
Do you like pretty lights? The Hamburg Fairgrounds hosts a Festival of Lights at 5820 South Park Ave. in Hamburg, south of Buffalo. You drive your car through several colorful, lit-up displays. There’s also something called the North Pole Experience involving Santa’s front porch. Visit their site for dates, hours and details.
North of Buffalo, at Niagara Falls, there are fireworks every Friday night at 9pm until Jan. 26, 2018. As Christmas gets nearer, fireworks go off nightly Dec. 23 – 29! You can view the fireworks from both the American and Canadian sides.
Finally, New Year’s Eve is when you’ll want to go to downtown Buffalo. They have a ball drop and fireworks display to ring in the new year at the Iskalo Electric Tower at Roosevelt Plaza. This is located where Main, Huron and Genesee Streets intersect in downtown Buffalo. It’s a family-friendly, alcohol-free event starting about 10:30pm on Dec. 31. Thousands attend this annual celebration. Before that, go to the Buffalo Convention Center for “First Night Buffalo,” where you’ll find carnival rides, bounce houses, acrobats, jugglers and more– great for the kids. That warm, indoor event runs from 5 to 10pm.