Traveling with the kids? Buffalo has plenty of attractions that are fun for the whole family. For instance, the Theatre of Youth offers productions to challenge and inspire young people at the Allendale Theatre. And the Buffalo Museum of Science has more than a dozen exhibit halls with interactive, hands-on activities inviting children to explore the wonders of nature and science. Displays include dinosaurs, backyard insects, and ancient Egypt. For animal lovers, the Buffalo Zoo is home to the lowland gorilla, rhinoceros, hyenas, polar bears, limbless lizards, Siberian tigers and more. The third oldest zoo in the country, the park comprises more than 23 acres and 320 different plant species.

Right outside the city, in East Aurora, is Explore and More, another children’s museum designed for youngsters from birth to age 10. Hands-on exhibits include building a house, exploring food, four different cultures—Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, Vietnam—and much more. Also close by, in North Tonawanda, is the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum. The only museum in the world set in an authentic carousel factory building, both the 1916 building and on-site carousel are listed on the National Registers of Historic Sites.

And in October, you won't want to miss Holiday Hollow, in nearby Pembroke, NY.  It's like a miniature Renaissance Fair, but with a Halloween and Pirate theme.  There are 7 live shows and you can spend the day there.  It's a short drive from both Buffalo and Rochester.  The admission price is also VERY reasonable -- about half the cost of of a typical Renaissance Fair.  It's fun and comedy for all ages, the sword fighting priate show is amazing, and they were just featured on HGTV.  They call themselves "America's only 'Halloween Shire,'" and they've just added a theater and they move their shows indoors in inclement weather.  So if you're stuck in Western New York with the family and nothing to do on an October weekend, or if you're visiting someone and they ask you what you'd like to do, you should tell them about this place, even if the weather isn't great.  And you might really impress your hosts, because they probably won't have heard of it!