Fab Fun Within an Hour of Springville

By Alicia Dziak

Sniff, tear. Summer’s soon coming to an end, which mean it’s go time on getting in all those things you planned to do before fall arrives. With only a couple short weeks to go before the kiddos head back to school, it’s time to get movin’!

Be amused. The Erie County Fair only comes once a year, and it’s a big one! For two weekends, and lots of fun-filled days in between, fair goers can enjoy rides, games, animals, arts and crafts, all kinds of entertainment and much more. Check out the schedule at www.ecfair.org. If you haven’t checked out Darien Lake or Fantasy Island yet this season, now’s the time to go. Both boast waterparks so you can cool off, and dozens of rides for all ages.

Go swimming. Let’s face it—there’s not much time left in the pool and beach season. The SYI community pool and spray park are both open daily. Head to the Holiday Valley Pool Complex in Ellicottville and take your pick of three pools—a kiddie pool, a lap pool or an activity pool featuring a slide and diving board. If toes in the sand is more up your alley, head to the beach! Check out one of the many beaches on Lake Erie, or Quaker and Red House beaches at Allegany State Park.

And how about those state parks? In WNY, we’re lucky to have so many beautiful state parks practically in our backyard. Act like a tourist and enjoy Letchworth, Allegany, Niagara Falls, Beaver Island and so many others that fill our local landscape.

Rock on. Giant rock formations are fun for kids of all ages. Check out Little Rock City in Mansfield, Rock City in Olean or Thunder Rocks at Allegany State Park.

Take a hike. There are so many scenic spots to enjoy your hike. Navigate the trails at Sprague Brook or Chestnut Ridge, or explore miles of trails at the Forestry on Genesee Road in East Concord.

Try something new. Head to Holiday Valley’s Sky High and zipline your way from one platform to the next in the Aerial Park, scale trees in the Climbing Forest and fly down the mountain in your own “car” on the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster. Try kayaking or rafting in Zoar Valley. Rent a stand up paddleboard (SUP) at Allegany State Park’s Boathouse.

However you decide to spend these last weeks of summer, be sure to make them count. With just a little time and a little gas in your car, you’re sure to have a blast!