Clarence NY Places to Go and Things to Do

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After enjoying many years of exploration with my children I decided it was time to document some of our discoveries to help those who would like to spend time with their kids. Thus was born this list of "places to go and things to do" in and around Clarence. Also see Clarence Events and MetroBuffalo.com. Enjoy!

Books and Guides on Western New York.  Make sure you look at Somewhere to Go on Sunday.
Here is a map of New York State.

Airplane Trips Look for those Esavers for some under $100 round-trip bargains (Washington, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, etc.). Also see www.vintageaircraftgroup.org/top.htm and Lowest Travel Prices.
Akron Falls Park There is a pleasant trail in Akron Park that is parallel to the creek that traverses the park. Very pretty in spring and fall. The foliage is gorgeous in the fall, with lots of leaves to romp in later in the year. Visit the town for some treats afterwards. www.erie.gov/parks/akron.phtml and http://www.wnyhikes.com/akronfalls/akron.htm
Alabama Swamps (Iroquois National Wildlife Sanctuary) Looking for a beautiful place to hike less than half an hour from Clarence? Check out the swamps! There are dozens of trails located within the preserve boundaries. My favorite is the Swan Trail, which has elevated boardwalks, a path through a forest, and some beautiful views of the ponds. During the spring and fall migrations, thousands of geese can be seen within the many pools throughout the preserve. You can canoe down Oak Orchard Creek. It is a breathtaking trip, opening up into wide pond areas with plenty of wildlife (turtles, muskrat, birds) and jumping fish. You may spot a Bald Eagle if you are fortunate. The headquarters are located on Route 63 near the Route 77 junction. www.gorp.com/gorp/resource/us_nwr/ny_iroqu.htm and www.wnyhikes.com/Iroquois/iroquois.htm
Albright Knox Art Gallery A premier art gallery. www.albrightknox.org
Amherst Museum In addition to the museum, restored 19th century buildings and many seasonal events. There is a nice bike trail just down the street (across from the golf course). www.artcom.com/museums/vs/af/14228-15.htm
Anderson's Ice Cream Great folks, ice cream, and roast beef. Try a Carl's Sandwich. www.andersonscustard.com
Antique World New York's largest indoor/outdoor antique market, and they are still building! www.antiqueworldmarket.com
Apple Picking A great way to spend a crisp fall day. Murphy's Orchards is the place to go. www.murphyorchards.com
Artpark 200 acres of visual and performing arts. www.artpark.net
Aquarium of Niagara Falls A great place for a Sunday drive, and who cares about the weather! http://www.niagarafallslive.com/aquarium_of_niagara_falls_in_niagara_falls.htm
Arcade and Attica Railroad For those looking for a bit of nostalgia, take a train excursion with a working steam locomotive. Originating in Arcade, the round trip will take you through some beautiful countryside to the town of Couriers. An open car allows you to experience the great outdoors while cinders blow past your hair. www.arcadeandatticarr.com
Beach Time There are many beaches in and around the Buffalo area. Don't forget the suntan lotion and beach toys! My favorite is still Sherkston in Canada. www.sherkston.com
Beaver Island State Park On Grand Island. A beach on the Niagara River. http://rin.buffalo.edu/c_erie/comm/park-rec/park/grant_beavi.html
Beaver Meadow Nature Center Nice hiking trails, self-guided tours, ponds, and of course, beaver dens! www.audubon.org/chapter/ny/buffalo
Becker Farms A fully functioning facility where you can experience all the sights, sounds, and smells of farm life. There are horse drawn carriage rides too! http://beckerfarms.com/beckers.html
Berrafato's Soft ice cream on a hot day. Not too far from the Main Street Park.
9980 Main Street, Clarence, NY 14031 (716) 759-8429
Breakfast Plenty of great places around town for breakfast. My younger daughter likes Denny's.
Broadway Market This has become a family custom, spending a day here just before Easter. Lots of delicious foods. www.broadwaymarket.com
Buffalo Visit our neighbor. For info see www.buffalocvb.org.
Buffalo Museum of Science Looking for something to do on a rainy day? Kids never tire of seeing some dinosaur bones. www.sciencebuff.org
Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Even when the weather is not so pleasant, you can enjoy nature indoors!
www.buffalogardens.com
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library The downtown library has five floors and covers more than two blocks. A great rainy day trip! www.buffalolib.org   If you are looking for books to buy, click here.
Buffalo Christian Center A roller rink, swimming pool, gym, putt-putt golf, and cafeteria for year round fun. Sign up for your next birthday party. www.thebcc.org
Buffalo Waterfront Still in the development stages, but lots to do. Check out the Marine Park for a tour of two World War II ships and a submarine. www.buffalowaterfront.com
Buffalo Zoo Who could pass up a day at the zoo with the fam? Savor the fragrances in the Reptile Room, feed the elephants a few peanuts, pet some goats, and have a ball! www.buffalozoo.org
Buffalo-Niagara Airport Here's a fun way to spend a Saturday on a cold winter day: head on over to the Buffalo Airport and watch the planes. Maybe catch a pilot who has a few minutes to spare to show a plane close up. www.buffaloairport.com Click here for travel plans.
Burgwardt Bicycle Museum One of the largest collections of antique and classic bicycles in the entire world! Located in Orchard Park. www.pedalinghistory.com, 716-662-3853.
Butterfly Conservatory Over 2000 butterflies in a tropical rain forest setting. www.niagaraparks.com
Camping in the Back Yard Don't overlook the simple pleasures. Bring a good book to read aloud and plenty of imagination and snacks. You can pick up a pretty good 4 to 6 man tent for under $100. I picked up a nice one from Walmart. See more camping gear here.
Canada's Wonderland Canada's premier theme park located in Toronto. A bit of a drive, but a nice, clean park. www.canadas-wonderland.com
Canadice Lake Similar to Hemlock Lake, but smaller. You'll need a permit (see Hemlock Lake).
www.dec.state.ny.us/website/reg8/lakes/canadice.html
Canandaigua Lady Canandaigua Lake is one of the most beautiful Finger Lakes. The Canandaigua Lady takes you on a pleasant tour of the lake. The lunch cruise is memorable.
www.steamboatlandingonline.com
Canoeing Nothing like gliding through still waters. One of the nicest spots is Oak Orchard Creek. Another is Hemlock Lake, south of Rochester. Get your gear at Bass Pro Shops.
Carrousel Museum The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum is a working carousal in North Tonawanda that is great for those cloudy days. www.carrouselmuseum.org
Cedar Point A five hour drive to Ohio; lots of Roller Coasters and a great Soak City water park. www.cedarpoint.com
Cemetery Just a reminder that life is a vapor. A walk through a cemetery gives a bit of perspective. Some really old graves exist at the Clarence Center Cemetery, on Goodrich Road just south of Clarence Center Road.
Charcoal Corral Located in Perry, near Letchworth Park. There is Putt-Putt, a drive-in, pizza, ice cream, and of course, charcoal grilled goodies. http://charcoalcorral.com
Chautauqua Belle A cruise not yet explored. www.chautauquabelle.com
Cherry Picking A fun activity with tasty rewards. My favorite place is Murphy's Orchards. Mrs. Murphy has lots of jams and jellies for sale as well. www.murphyorchards.com
Children's Museum Located in East Aurora, this unique museum encourages children to touch as they experiment, discover, play, and learn.
Christian Central Academy Check out the Christmas Play for an experience you will not soon forget. www.christianca.com
Clarence Coffee Shop Every kind of coffee you could imagine, and some great deserts! One day we stopped there after a day of biking and had some chocolate cake made by an exchange student from France; unbelievable! On the corner of Goodrich and Clarence Center Road. Try this link for coffee to your door.
Clarence Escarpment Sanctuary Located on Greiner Road just east of Goodrich Road, this preserve provides a beautiful trail along the Onondaga Escarpment. There is a viewing platform that affords a very picturesque view of the escarpment cliffs and swamp. www.clarencehome.com/escarpment
Clarence Historical Museum Right next to Main Street Park. See where the pacemaker was born. http://rin.buffalo.edu/c_erie/comm/cult/muse/agen/clarence.html
Clarence Hollow Farmers Market Local farmers, country store, fresh coffee and more! www.clarencefarmersmarket.com
Clarence Library Clarence has plenty of neat things at it's library, located behind the Town Hall on Goodrich Road. Good rainy day activity. You can borrow books, videotapes, audio tapes, CDs, magazines, and more. www.buffalolib.org/libraries/clarence/index.asp You can also buy books online.
Clarence Memorial Day Parade Remember our veterans and have a great time with the kids as well. The parade starts at Clarence High School and travels east down Main Street, culminating with ceremonies in the Town Park. It's held on, you guessed it, Memorial Day! Usually starts at 11:00 AM, so arrive about 10:30 AM.
Clarence Trail System Multiple paved trails, formerly railroad runs, exist throughout Clarence. These are great for walking, roller blading, and biking. Trail start points exist on Goodrich road across from the Clarence Highway Engineering and Building Department Complex and on Salt Road near Main Street. Dick's Sporting Goods often has some nice sales on blades and bikes. See Clarence Trails for maps.
Colden Tubing Company Hop on a tube and slide down a mountain. For those cold winter days. www.kissing-bridge.com/ctc.asp
Color Pull out the scrap paper and a few bunches of crayons and have at it. Many craft ideas at Joann's.
Corn Maze and Pumpkin Farm About 7 miles past the Peace Bridge in Canada on Highway 3 just before Sherkston Shores. An Agritourism farm offering a six acre corn maze with over 4 km of trail with day and night tours. Pumpkin farm open daily with exotic and ornamental novelty pumpkins. Open Sept. - Oct. www.pumpkinfarm.ca
Corning The Glass Works tour is awesome, with real glass craftsman creating works of art before your very eyes. An impressive array of all types of glass art from the earliest of times to the present. Market Place has many shops to visit as well. A beautiful drive along Route 86 (was 17). www.cmog.org/ Looking for a place to stay?
Cumming Nature Center Located south of Rochester on Gulick Road in Naples, New York. This has one of the coolest nature trails around; it has so much bedding it's like walking on a cushion. The trees that line the trails are set in neat rows and are very pretty. There is a beaver pond, visitor center, and six miles of "thematic" trails. www.rmsc.org/cnc/
Darien Lake Amusement Park Looking for thrills and chills? This is the place with many roller coasters and a great water park to boot! www.sixflags.com/darienlake
Darien Lakes State Park Located in the Town of Darien near the amusement park that bears it's name, this State Park provides a small lifeguard protected beach along with playgrounds, camping, fishing, hiking, and large open fields for the Frisbee lover. Camping reservations are offered through the State system. http://nysparks.state.ny.us/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/nysparks/parks.cgi?p+135
Day in the Park Complete with Fourth of July fireworks and a chicken dinner, this is a fun day for the entire family held at the Main Street Clarence Town Park. Held on the Saturday nearest the Fourth.
Delaware Park Buffalo's finest. There are buggy rides and a lake. http://rin.buffalo.edu/c_erie/comm/park-rec/park/buffC_dela.html
Denny's Restaurant A favorite place for kids to eat. www.dennys.com/
Dinner A nice fancy restaurant with cloth tablecloths. Or, stay home and cook something together.
Dr. Victor Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve A 90 minute guided nature walk describes the history and general ecology of this 289 acre preserve. Located in Depew. www.dec.state.ny.us/website/reg9/reinstein
Doeview Cottages Looking for a getaway in the great white north? Doeview Cottages are located near Algonquin Park. About a five-hour drive. Nice people, clean cottages. http://doeview-cottages.com
Eastern Hills Mall Special events are often held here. A nice mall walking site. Located on Transit Road (Route 78) just south of Sheridan (Route 324).
Eastern Hills Roller Rink Now here is a way to have fun and get plenty of exercise. Roller blades and skates available for rental. Lessons at 9:45 AM every Saturday morning ($5.00 for the first family member and $1.00 for each additional). www.sk8rollermagic.com/
Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church A great church for the whole family. Services Saturday at 7:00 and Sunday at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 AM. Lots of activities throughout the week as well. www.clarencehome.com/ehwc.htm
Erie Canal A short drive to Lockport and you can tour the Erie Canal via a fairly large tourist boat. You can also go underground and see some tunnels that were cut for a power source in the early 19th century. Other canal attractions exist in Rochester. www.canals.state.ny.us
Erie County Fair The oldest fair in the country; lots of animals, rides, and attractions. Starts in mid-August. Plan on a full day.
Evangola State Park In Evans, NY. Take the NYS Thruway to Exit 57A, Eden and Angola. There is picnicking, camping, and a lifeguard protected beach. http://rin.buffalo.edu/c_erie/comm/park-rec/park/evanT_evan.html
Fantasy Island This amusement park, located on Grand Island, has a lot of fun rides and a water park. There are several areas for picnicking as well. A great place for the younger crowd, with lots of shows that appeal to all. www.martinsfantasyisland.com
Festival of Lights Held every year starting near Thanksgiving in Niagara Falls. Plenty of colors and winter festivities. http://www.niagarafallstourism.com/wfol/wfolmain.html
Fishing You can catch sun fish at the Main Street and Goodrich Clarence Town Parks. Travel a little farther to Darien Lakes State Park for some stocked ponds; bring the worms! See Sports and Hobbies for your supplies.
Galleria Mall A large mall with plenty of shops, restaurants, and theaters. Another rainy day place to go. www.waldengalleria.com
Glen Falls Located in the heart of Williamsville, this small park has a nice view of the waterfalls and some benches to take a break from your Williamsville shopping excursion. The Williamsville Waterworks is located next door, with a small store and craft shop (fresh squeezed cider in the fall).
Grandparents House If your parents or in-laws are still alive, makes sure the kids spend time with them. If they are deceased, adopt a grandparent.
Heart of the Hollow A quaint little ice cream and gift shop located in the heart of Clarence.
Hemlock Lake One of the main water reservoirs for Rochester. The coastline is undeveloped and the lake is very tranquil. A park is at the northern end (great place for a picnic). A great place for canoeing. Boats under 10 HP are allowed. You need a permit, available at the northern entrance near the Water Authority.
www.dec.state.ny.us/website/reg8/lakes/hemlock.html
Hiking in Western New York Ahhh! Nothing better than stretching your legs on a brisk walk through the country. For a great site with all the popular spots, go to www.wnyhikes.com
Horseback Riding Try R & R Dude Ranch for a "horseback riding adventure." Other horseback riding sites are linked here. www.rrduderanch.com
Kelkenberg Farms A great place to see farm animals and get a hay ride. Birthday parties can be hosted there. www.kelkenbergfarm.com
Kelly's Island Located near Cedar Point in Ohio. You can have your car transported over by ferry. A great place to bike; has a state park on the island. www.kelleysisland.com
Kleinhans Music Hall For a cultured day. www.bpo.org/kleinhans
Lake Erie Beach In Evans, NY. Take the NYS Thruway to Exit 57A, Eden and Angola.
Lancaster Motorsports Park Come watch car racing at it's finest! See General John Shurmatz in action. Fun for the whole family. www.lancasterracing.com
Lancaster Opera House Restored and offering a variety of events. www.lancopera.org
Letchworth State Park Often called the "Grand Canyon of the East." Still one of my favorite places to visit. Lots of trails, two pools, cabins, campsites, three waterfalls, and the exquisite Glen Iris Inn. Located about an hour and a half from Clarence.
http://nysparks.state.ny.us/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/nysparks/parks.cgi?p+8 and http://www.wnyhikes.com/letchworth/letchwor.htm
Lockport Cave Tours A walk underneath the city; includes an underground boat ride. Look for the fossils! www.lockportcave.com
Lunch Maybe you could meet for lunch near your place of employment once school is out. Or, pick your child up from school and do lunch. Watch the time.
Main Street Clarence Town Park Once owned by the Automobile Club near the turn of the century, this seasoned park has an Olympic size pool, kiddy pool, shelters, plenty of swings, slides and picnic tables, a pond for duck watching and fishing, baseball diamonds, a soccer field, a sledding hill and Sunday evening concerts in the summer months. A clubhouse is located on the premises which often hosts special events.
Make Cookies Nothing like the fragrance of fresh baked cookies permeating the home. www.joyofbaking.com/cookies.html
Maid of the Mist Boat Tour Now this is the way to see Niagara Falls! Awesome! www.maidofthemist.com
Marine Land Has one of the nicest roller coasters. Incredibly large viewing tanks for whales and dolphins. Excellent performances. www.marinelandcanada.com
Miss Buffalo Boat Tour Various tours around the city waterfront. www.missbuffalo.com
Movie Theater Located near Transit and Wherle, lots of theaters and the huge IMAX screen. http://regal.hollywood.com/showtimes/theatre_detail.asp?searchtheatre=7009 and http://regal.hollywood.com/showtimes/theatre_detail.asp?searchtheatre=3548
Mumford Village A cool restored village awaits you. About an hour east of Clarence. www.gcv.org
Nails Spend a few bucks and have your daughter's nails done. She'll love it! We went to a place in the Transitown Plaza; not sure if it's still there.
New York and Lake Erie Railroad Home of the "Blue Diamond" dinner train, a four hour 30 mile trip from Gowanda to Cherry Creek. www.shortlineservices.com/nyle.html
Niagara Falls One of the wonders of the world located in our back yard. Try the Maid of the Mist for an experience you will never forget. The Gorge Trail is also spectacular (only for the hardy). See www.iaw.com/~falls/attractions.html
Niagara Falls Canada Quite the tourist spot. Buses will take you from site to site for a single daily fee. Make sure you catch Seagram Tower. Park in the New York State Park and walk over the Rainbow Bridge. Fireworks every Friday in summer. Walk up Clifton Hill for never ending excitement. www.city.niagarafalls.on.ca/
Niagara Jet Boat For the thrill seeker; you need to like water since you WILL get wet (more like soaked). Pick a warm day. There is a nice place for dinner near the launch called The Riverside Inn, which overlooks the Niagara River. www.whirlpooljet.com
Niagara-on-the-Lake A romantic setting just over the border, with plenty of attractions, bed and breakfasts, ice cream shops, shopping and restaurants. www.niagaraonthelake.com
Niagara Power Project Visitors Center Overlooks one of the largest hydro-electric power projects in the world. A nice Sunday drive. http://www.nypa.gov/vc/niagara.htm
Ocean City, New Jersey I've heard good things about this place (boardwalk, amusement park). One of our travel goals. www.oceancityvacation.com
Old Fort Niagara Check the schedule for re-enactments. Tours are available. A state park next door has a pool and camping. www.oldfortniagara.org
Pea Picking This takes a bit of travel, but there is nothing like the taste of fresh picked peas. Coulter’s Farm on Route 93 in the town of Cambria.
Peach Picking Coulter’s Farm is the place to go for great peaches. Pick plenty and can for the winter.
Penn Dixie Quarry Dig for fossils at the Penn Dixie Site in Hamburg, NY. Open every Saturday 9 AM to 12 PM May through October for fossil collecting. www.penndixie.org
Playing Cards A nice rainy day activity. I like Crazy Eights. http://thehouseofcards.com
Port Dalhousie This is up near St. Catherine's, Ontario. Ride the carousal for five cents. A beach is there as well. www.portdalhousie.com
Riverwalk A trail which traverses the Niagara River. Nice for biking. Great views of the Buffalo skyline. http://rin.buffalo.edu/c_erie/comm/Park-rec/Park/buffC_riveW.html
Rochester Our nearest large city to the east, Rochester has many attractions. There are some nice beaches as well. www.ci.rochester.ny.us
Seaworld Located in Aurora, Ohio, just southeast of Cleveland. 4 1/2 hour highway drive; quite the place! Shamu is waiting for you! www.auroraoh.com/attracti.htm
Sherkston Beach About 7 miles past the Peace Bridge in Canada. A great beach where you can park your car right next to the water. There is a quarry there as well. Camping facilities and vacation rentals are available. Last time they charged about $20 per carload. You can try the beach next door, Pleasant Beach, which is free, but you cannot drive along the water. www.sherkston.com
Sledding If you are willing to travel a piece, try Chestnut Ridge Park. Toboggan rentals are available. If you wish to stay close to home, there is a nice little hill right in the Main Street Park.
Sprague Brook Park The brook has deep pools you can swim in. Lifeguards are present. Camping available. www.erie.gov/parks/sprague.phtml
Starry Nights Take a nighttime drive towards the south east away from the lights and park the car. Amazing!
Stiglmeier Park On Losson Road in Cheektowaga; worth the trek. The animals are very tame; you will see deer and squirrels up close and personal. One day a bird landed on my daughter's finger. Lots of trails and elevated boardwalks. www.rin.buffalo.edu/c_erie/comm/park-rec/park/cheeT_stig.html
Stony Brook State Park A unique park where you can swim in pools fed by the creek. Lifeguard monitored. A beautiful trail follows the creek; quite a hike with lots of stairs. http://nysparks.state.ny.us/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/nysparks/parks.cgi?p+45
Strawberry Picking A nice way to welcome in summer. I like Greg's Farm right up on Lapp Road in Clarence (741-4239). If you are adventurous, try canning or making freezer jam.
Strong Museum Located in Rochester; lots of hands on interactive things to do. The kids love it! www.strongmuseum.org
Swimming The YMCA and Town recreation Department offer some nice programs at the local pools including the High School, Middle School, and Main Street Park. Or, just head out to the beach!
Tillman Swamps A preserve located in Clarence on Tillman Road. Not too big, but pretty. A great place to walk the dog.
Trail System Clarence has some beautiful trails. See Clarence Trails.
Tonawanda Creek A nice creek for canoeing; rentals are available.
Toronto Too much to see and do. I have heard good things about the Toronto Islands (you take a ferry to get there) and plan on trying them out this year. The Canadian National Exhibition is amazing. Ontario Place and the Ontario Science Center are impressive as well. See www.city.toronto.on.ca
Transit Drive In A blast from the past. www.transitdrivein.com
Trolley Tours Trolley tours of Buffalo. I have never tried this but it sounds like fun! Roam Buffalo, 716 829-3543
Watkins Glen State Park A spectacular park with a trail that wraps it's way up through a gorgeous gorge. Walk under a waterfall, swim in a pool, and watch a laser show projected on the rocks. Seneca Lake is located nearby, where you can take a boat ride, play putt-putt, and walk along the pier. Camping available. www.watkinsglen.com/
Wilcox Mansion The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site. Children's programs, walking tours, and special events. http://ah.bfn.org/a/del/641/tr.html

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