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Travel WNY: Family Fun at Canalside


By Christopher Gordon

Although the amount of red on the thermometer is dropping, Canalside in Buffalo continues to be a hot spot for Western New Yorkers to visit on a daily basis.

Throughout the month of December, the excitement around the area is continuing to grow, and not just because of the return of Jack Eichel to the Buffalo Sabres lineup, as many flock to see the young star bring excitement to fans nearby at Keybank Center.

As you walk out of the arena and make a left turn, Canalside has become one of the most popular places to visit all year around.

One of the most popular attractions is the outdoor skating rink, which will be open on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 16 and 17, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The cost of admission to skate is $6 for adults ages 13 and older, $4 for children ages 6-12 and free for children ages 5 and under. Skate rentals in sizes toddler 9 through adult 13 are available to rent at a cost of $5.

The skating rink is also open also Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m., and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is closed Mondays with the exception of Dec. 26, Jan. 2, Jan 16 and Feb. 20.

For those interested in the Olympic sport of curling, there are two curling lanes available at the ice rink, which are open for rent during the same hours as the skating rink. The cost is $15 per person to rent the ice for one hour with a minimum of four people and a maximum of 10 people. To rent the space, visit

Staying with the ice-related them, another popular attraction for those visiting Canalside is the ice bike rentals. On Friday and Saturday, they are available to rent between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. at a cost of $12 per half hour. The unit allows you to pedal around the ice as if you were riding a traditional bicycle. Ice bike rentals are also available from noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

As Christmas day is continuing to draw close, children who visit Canalside will also have the opportunity to give their wish lists to the fat man in the red suit.

Santa Claus will be at Canalside from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23, and from noon to 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve, before he makes his annual trip around the world.

For those looking for a unique Christmas gift idea, a kiosk for caricatures will be open Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m., Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 2 to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 7 p.m.

Want to show off your knowledge? If so, trivia buffs from Western New York can enjoy Quiz Night in Buffalo on Friday, Dec. 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. inside the Winter Lodge. It’s a fun night out with friends and family with a game show style interactive event.

If you’re searching for some holiday magic, “Nick Presents Magic” will hold a free magic show filled with fun and surprises for all ages from 3 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17. The magic show will be held inside of the Winter Lodge.

If you’re looking to take up a new hobby and want to learn to knit, there will be a knitting class from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18 at a cost of $15 with the Buffalo Knit-Wits. It is an excellent hobby for those looking to make items such as scarves to keep warm this winter.

For a complete list of upcoming events, please visit

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