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July 22, 2021

Canalside Buffalo, NY is located just a walk away from the Cobblestone District and it is one of Buffalo’s greatest attractions for tourists and locals. It offers a great deal of activities that everyone can find something they’re interested in. Not to mention, all ages are welcomed and encouraged – from young children to elderly, Canalside has it all. 

Last summer, options where limited as to where you can bring your children with the pandemic interfering on our lives.  Fast forward to now and we are mid summer, school is out, life is returning back to normal, and parents and children want to make the most of the rest of this summer. So, let’s dive in to some of the kid – friendly activities you can join in on. Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson JR. Children Museum sits at the crossroads between replica canals and bridges that have became year-round community destinations. Here, your kids can partake in their choice of seven educational play zones that are hands-on and also teach children and adults more about our region in a fun and interactive way. It’s 4 floors and they have birthday parties as a service listed on their website too!

Obviously in summer, there is never a bad time for ice cream. After you finish your play time in Explore & More, treat yourself to some delicious ice cream located right on the boardwalk. The ice cream kiosk operating hours are Monday through Sunday : 11am-9pm and offer both soft serve and hard ice cream, so it’s really whatever you’re feeling! Take advantage of the warm summer weather now and grab some ice cream while you can…. Winter is coming.  

You can also get your ice cream fix in the Buffalo Naval Park at Bryce’s Ice Cream. This stand operates Wednesday – Sunday from 12pm – 8pm and has some pretty cool flavors. Keep in mind that they are strictly soft serve, so if you are more of a hard ice cream person, then the kiosk on canalside boardwalk may serve you better. If you’ve ever seen pictures of vanilla ice cream with the colorful outlines of blue – then you were probably looking at images of Bryce’s. You can’t deny the fact that their ice cream is aesthetically pleasing and ALSO tastes amazing! It’ll make for a great instagram picture and of course is super delicious too.

It’s no secret that Buffalo is on the rise and new buildings, artwork, exhibits, and more keep on elevating our great city even further. Canalside decided to keep up with the advancements and added two brand new buildings to the area which have been operating this summer. One of the two is the Buffalo Heritage Carousel – located on the canal side boardwalk and open 7 days a week from 11am – 7pm. Stop by and take a ride!

The other newest addition is the Longshed building. This wooden building is located on the opposite end of the canalside boardwalk and is two stories. The Longhed reflects canalside’s rich history by incorporating design elements from the Joy and Webster Storehouse which was located in the same spot in the early 1800s! 

The building is being used by the Buffalo Maritime Center to construct a replica of the 1825 Seneca Chief Packet boat. This historical boat transported Governor DeWitt Clinton from Buffalo to New York City which marked the official opening of the Erie Canal. They anticipate that the project should take about 3 years to complete. In the meantime, visitors will get the chance to watch them work and even can volunteer to join the construction crew!

In the next picture below, there is a lot happening. Let’s digest these objects by staring with the giant ship in the background – The USS Little Rock (CLG 4). This ship is a Guided Missile Cruiser, the only surviving vessel from the Cleveland Class of light cruisers in World War II. To find out more information about the ship, check out the Buffalo Naval Park! You can book a tour at the Naval Park on their website at or by emailing

Facing the USS Little Rock (CLG 4) is the restaurant the Liberty Hound. Here, you can relax on their nice patio overlooking the beautiful Buffalo river and of course get a close up view of the ship. If you’re a seafood lover, you’re in luck. Their menu consists mainly of seafood options such as calamari, scallops, fish tacos and more.

Now, you’re now probably wondering about the giant tiki boat in this front of this picture below. This right here is the Big Kahuna tiki boat! Get a fun crew together and take a boat tours around the Buffalo River and the inner harbor. The Big Kauna will also provide your crew a wide variety of food, beverages, and snacks.

Another ship you will find in the Naval Park is USS The Sullivans. This decommissioned Fetcher-class Destroyer, DD-537 was the largest and most important class of U.S. Destroyers used in World War II. 

Anyone from Buffalo knows how brutal our winters here can be and unfortunately, decades of harsh winter weather has taken a toll on the ship. USS The Sullivans has began taking on water and the Buffalo Naval Park now needs your help! They recently launched the largest fundraising campaign the park has seen with a goal of $1,000,000 to Save The Sullivans. Donations can be made online at SAVETHESULLIVANS.ORG or by mailing to Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, ATTN: Save the Sullivans, One Naval Cove, Buffalo, New York, 14202, or by calling the park directly at 716-847-1773, EXT 10.

Your contribution matters and is deeply appreciated! 

Kayaking down the Buffalo River and seeing the restaurant Riverworks and their giant Labatt Blue beer cans is a pretty awesome adventure. Did you know that Buffalo was once the largest grain port in the world? The beer cans are made from the former grain silos that are no longer being used. Riverworks has also used the grain elevators for climbing walls and zip lines. 

It is pretty crazy to see just how much the area has changed. Riverworks incorporating the grain silos as a part of their restaurant was such an interesting concept on their part. It combines the history of the buildings with a new and useful way they are now being purposed for and Buffalo people are absolutely loving it. They could’ve chosen to tear these buildings down, but their decision to repurpose the buildings to enhance the community and create something fun for the public is remarkable.

There is truly no other place in the world like Buffalo, NY.  Hopefully you found one of these activities listed intriguing to try before the summer ends. If not, three last final recommendations that may spark your interest are to take a selfie with shark girl, participate in free yoga classes in the lawn, or lounge in an Adirondack chair. It’s nearly impossible to not find something here that you enjoy. Come make the trip to Canalside before summer slips away!