As much as my husband and I love walking around and looking at art, tasting food, or chowing on wings, our kids aren’t big fans of some of the popular festivals that draw huge crowds. They prefer events that cater to them, and who can blame them.
Gusto's annual Festival Guide lists nearly 150 events to help you plan your summer. But here are my Top 7 kid-friendly summer festivals, fairs and activities. Save the dates – you don’t miss them.
Flicks on Old Falls Street
When: Thursdays starting June 30 on Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls
Check out a new movie every Thursday at dusk. This is a fun, free event that the little ones really enjoy. It kicks off on June 30 with “The Muppets,” followed by "Minions," July 7; "The Smurfs," July 14, "Inside Out," July 21, "Aladdin" July 28; "Mary Poppins," Aug. 4; "The Good Dinosaur," Aug. 11; "Monsters Inc.," Aug. 18; and "Zootopia," Aug. 25. Visit fallsstreet.com.
Free Family Saturdays at Artpark
When: Saturdays starting July 2 at Artpark in Lewiston
This is great opportunity for kids to have some hands-on fun with crafts, and enjoy live performances. The event is noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays during the summer. There is free admission and free parking. More information is at artpark.net.
Free Movies in the Park
When: Fridays starting July 8 in Hamlin Park, East Aurora
This is a neat event that the kids really enjoy. Bring a blanket or some chairs, and some popcorn and you’re all set. It all takes place in Hamlin Park’s Bandstand every Friday at dusk in July and August. The July schedule features "Minions," July 8; "Zootopia,"July 15; "Cinderella," July 22; and "Frozen," July 29. More info is on the events Facebook page.
Old Home Days
When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 12-15 at Island Park, Williamsville
Old Home days is a summertime tradition filled with fun and food. They always have some good activities for kids including games, crafts and music. They haven't released the full schedule just yet, but you can keep checking for more details at walkablewilliamsville.com.
Niagara County Fair
When: Aug. 3-7, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport
This is an annual must-do. The Niagara County Fair is celebrating 175 years this year. It has free events for kids each day, plenty of rides, good food and fun. Admission is $5 per person Wednesday through Saturday, $3 Sunday or $10 per car. Children ages 6 and younger are admitted free.
The Erie County Fair
When: Aug. 10-21, 5600 McKinley Pkwy, Hamburg
Who doesn’t love this fair? It is fun for everyone – but particularly the little ones. Admission is $10 at the gate, $7 presale. Kids 12 and younger get free admission daily. One-price ride days are $30 on weekdays and $40 on weekends. Visit ecfair.org.
The Peach Festival
When: Sept. 9-11 in Academy Park, Lewiston
This is three days filled with rides, games and peaches. It’s bittersweet because it is at the end of summer, but it is a great way to close the festival-filled season. There are rides, lots of shows and plenty of food - including the amazing peach cobbler. Hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Sept. 9 and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 10 and 11. More info is at lewistonpeachfestival.org.