If there's one thing most people know Buffalo, New York for, it's snow. Thanks to the wonders of lake effect, snow blankets much of the area until Lakes Erie and Ontario freeze over. But that blanket of white creates a scenic backdrop for some great activities throughout the Buffalo and Western New York region.
Skiing - there are a number of nearby ski resorts open to the public all week long.
*Kissing Bridge - located on State Rd. in Glenwood, KB features skiing and snowboarding, plus lesson packages.
*Peek n' Peak - located at 1405 Olde Rd. in Findley Lake (Finger Lakes region), P n' P offers tubing, skiing, snowboarding, and access to the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Trail System.
*Byrncliffe Resort - at the intersection of Humphrey Rd. and Route 20A in Varysburg, Byrncliffe is a full-service resort, featuring cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, live entertainment, a restaurant, and accommodations at the Byrncliffe Inn.
Tubing - the region also features stand-alone tubing parks.
*Colden Tubing Company - located at 10296 State Rd. in Glenwood, the Tubing Company is adjacent to the Kissing Bridge complex, and billed as "Western New York's largest downhill tubing park."
*Snow Park Niagara - located at 427 First St. in Niagara Falls, NY, the Snow Park is open for year-round snow fun. It features tubing, ice skating, miniature golf, and a terrain park for skiers and snowboarders.
Winter activities at local parks - many local parks are open for activities like cross-county skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
*Tifft Nature Preserve - located at 1200 Fuhrmann Blvd. in Buffalo, the refuge features five miles of nature trails, plus cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (snowshoes are available for rental).
*Bond Lake Winter Complex - located at 2353 Lower Mountain Rd. in Sanborn, the Complex offers tubing hills, two ice rinks, and 13 miles of cross-country skiing trails; the Warming House is also open for post-winter fun warm-ups.
*Allegheny State Park - in Salamanca, this State Park has 150 winterized cabins for rent, plus 90 miles of groomed snowmobiling trails, as well as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Museums - if you're not a fan of the great outdoors, local Buffalo museums and galleries provide a cultural warm-up to the cold Buffalo winters.
*Buffalo Museum of Science - located at 1020 Humboldt Pkwy. in Buffalo, the Museum features great permanent exhibits throughout the year, and has revolving exhibits and special events to draw the crowds during all seasons.
*Albright-Knox Art Gallery - located at 1285 Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo, the Art Gallery brings in a number of special exhibits for the winter months. The Gallery's "Gusto at the Gallery" program features free admission on Friday nights with various special activities and lectures each week.