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June downtown stay w/ 5 y/o boy - activity suggestions

Mobile, Alabama
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June downtown stay w/ 5 y/o boy - activity suggestions

We are in beginning stages of planning a short getaway to Buffalo - downtown area. We have a voucher to stay at teh Hyatt Regency downtown so we have lodging decided.

I was thinking of going to Darien Lake amusement park - but, after looking over rides - most rides would be too big for my son. He is still idlewild size! He loves coasters so the fact he couldn't ride these ones would bum him out.

Seems the zoo has good reviews - but, we live between Erie and Pittsburgh and they each have nice zoos that we visited yearly - besides son not huge into zoos.

Science museum so -so ratings.

We like outside stuff - anything unique &/or fun to do by the waterside?

Buffalo
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1. Re: June downtown stay w/ 5 y/o boy - activity suggestions

If you're looking for an amusement park, check out Fantasy Island on Grand Island. They have many rides suitable for little ones:

http://www.martinsfantasyisland.com/

I don't know which weekend you'll be coming, but you might want to visit Reinstein Nature Preserve as well. They have lots of fun special events for kids, depending on the dates of your visit:

http://www.dec.ny.gov/education/1837.html

buffalo NY
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2. Re: June downtown stay w/ 5 y/o boy - activity suggestions

Take a sailing cruise. I went this past weekend, on the Spirit of Buffalo, and it was peaceful and fun.

http://www.spiritofbuffalo.com/

Did I mention it offers pirate cruises on Saturdays? The ship leaves from Canalside in downtown Bufffalo. You can take the free, above-ground train (official name: NFTA MetroRail) from the Hyatt to the harbor.

Mobile, Alabama
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3. Re: June downtown stay w/ 5 y/o boy - activity suggestions

Great - these sound like two great ideas! My son would love to ride the train too! Just like at Disney - his favorite ride is the monarail! LOL

Any good downtown restaurants near the Hyatt - within walking distance?

Is there a nice park area downtown by the water?

buffalo NY
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4. Re: June downtown stay w/ 5 y/o boy - activity suggestions

The waterfront area where the Spirit of Buffalo departs is a newly developed area, and I use term developed lightly. It's officially called Canalside, and has actual Erie Canal stone walls, a cool wooden bridge, Adirondack chairs, many interpretive displays - but no park. There is a large, grassy area for romping, and last weekend I saw several children having fun running between the canal walls. Re: restaurants: there is a snack bar on site, and a restaurant, called the Liberty Hound, scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend. There is a large, family-friendly restaurant within walking distance (Pearl Street Brewery), and a popular summer spot, called the Hatch, with outdoor, picnic table dining (no table service) and ice cream within walking distance. You asked about dining near the Hyatt (you can see where my mind is today): while the Hyatt is lovely (I'm part of a group planning an annual meeting there in Sept.) and on Main St.,, the location can feel a bit desolate during times of poorer weather. There are restaurants nearby, and a few more if you head to Chippewa or Delaware Ave., walk a bit or take the train (not free if you're heading underground) to nearby Allentown. Century Grill is the closest non-hotel restaurant, the Bijou Grill is nearby on Main St. Were you thinking of weekday lunch, dinner, fancy/informal?

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5. Re: June downtown stay w/ 5 y/o boy - activity suggestions

Hi beardog, Not sure if this was mentioned before but the Naval Park is located by the waterfront and I think 5-year old boy would really like this: tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60974-d27…

-Dee

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6. Re: June downtown stay w/ 5 y/o boy - activity suggestions

Also, I always recommend a visit to Buffalo City Hall which has a free observation deck on the 28th floor. You first take the elevator to the 25th floor (that's the highest it goes) and then walk up the steps. It's open weekdays until 3:00 or 4:00pm. tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60974-d2765…

Edited: 22 May 2012, 18:45
Mobile, Alabama
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7. Re: June downtown stay w/ 5 y/o boy - activity suggestions

I am thinking informal - family friendly casual dining for sure.

thank you for such great info!

Really looking FW to our visit now!

Mobile, Alabama
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8. Re: June downtown stay w/ 5 y/o boy - activity suggestions

Ok - June didn't happen -we have ressies for last w-end in July! And I just got my passport renewed so we could hop up the Falls - which, i think we will do one day.

Thinking Friday - check in early if possible and do the downtown stuff - hubby wants to eat at the original wing place - name? I know our son would love the ride the Metrorail too!

Saturday do Fantasy Island on Grand Island.

Sunday - check out and head to the Falls....

puts us 3 1/2 hours from home - so really just 1/2 day at the falls...

or should I switch the amusement park around w/ the falls trip - is there enough to do at Fantasy island for the whole day or is it a 1/2 day park?

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9. Re: June downtown stay w/ 5 y/o boy - activity suggestions

I would plan on half a day at Fantasy Island and a full day at the Falls. Fantasy Island is not a large park, and from our experience from when our two boys were little, it can be very tiring for small guys.

Are you planning to go on the Maid of the Mist when you're in Niagara Falls? Lots of fun! If your son gets tired during your Falls visit, there are lovely spots to rest and enjoy the view and watch the people passing by.

The original wing place is the Anchor Bar. Not my favorite, but many people go so they can say they've been there. As the name implies, it has a bar atmosphere. (http://www.anchorbar.com/)

Miami, Florida
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10. Re: June downtown stay w/ 5 y/o boy - activity suggestions

Anchor bar is original and has good wings, my personal fave is La Nova, near the Peace Bridge.

Check out the Hatch for ice cream, you can walk along the water (which my young nieces and nephews seem to always like) and at the end of the walk climb the lighthouse for a nice view (short climb, the modern lighthouse, not the old one). Works well for getting energy out.

Good casual family dining downtown, check out new restaurant opened in the Hotel Lafayette on Washingont, Pan Am Grill and Brewery. Good wings and family friendly food (and great beer if you like).

As mentioned, Maid of the Mist is nice at the falls, also the Journey Behind the Falls is awesome

niagaraparks.com/attractions/…