8 Cheap or Free Things To Do With Kids in Buffalo This Winter During COVID

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Cheap or Free Things to Do During the Winter With COVID

Winter in WNY can be challenging on it’s own.  When temps drop and the weather takes a turn, parents usually have to get creative on ways to keep the kids busy.  The good news is, as a community, WNY seems to embrace the winter and there is usually a number of things to do with kids in the winter in WNY.

Due to COVID, some of the cheap or free things we’ve enjoyed during the winter months aren’t open this year, so  I came up with a new list of things to do this winter that can be done regardless of most COVID restrictions.

In addition to what’s listed here, I’m also adding both free and paid events to the Fun 4 Kids calendar so be sure to check there too!

  1. Sledding – Most sledding hills are open!  Just be aware that because so many people are looking for stuff to do, many of the more popular hills are crowded on nice days so social distancing may be tough.    Here’s a list.
  2. Kids Day at the Erie County Botanical Gardens – Kids’s Day is coming up in the middle of January.  Here’s a link to their site for details.
  3. Visit Your Local Library – Many of the local libraries are open and offering story time, take home crafts and other free or low cost activities. You can typically find a complete schedule of events for your library by visiting their website or calling them directly.
  4. Mall Walking – As of today, (1/7/2021) Erie County is still in the orange zone, but the malls remain open.  The mall can be a great place to go if you just need to get out of the house, get some exercise but stay out of the cold.
  5. Roller Skating – Yes, some roller skating rinks are still open, especially those in Niagara County.  Here’s a list of a few local roller skating places.  Check out their sites for hours, special events, COVID procedures and more.
    Rainbow Rink in North Tonawanda
    Rainbow Skateland in Lockport
    Spinner’s in West Seneca
  6.  Bowling – Some bowling alleys are still open and even offering discounted rates during the day or family bowling specials.  Check with the bowling alley in your neighborhood to see how they are handling COVID protocols before visiting.
  7. Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt – Getting out for fresh air and taking a walk can really help reset the day!  Add another layer of fun to any walk by taking this Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt along.  Here’s our Let’s Take a Walk Scavenger Hunt list. 
  8. Have a Drive-in Movie at Home – In my 12 Days of Christmas Fun at Home post, I suggested doing a Drive-in Movie at Home.  It was a great way to watch holiday movies but you could really do this any time of the year to add a little fun while you’re at home.  Here’s the post with ideas. 

If you’re open to activities that aren’t cheap or free, here’s a few options to consider:

  • Transit Drive-In – They are having occasional showings throughout the winter. Check their Facebook page and website for information.
  • Skiing and Tubing – Take a quick trip to Ellicottville and you’ll find a lot of options for skiing and tubing.