Spring officially arrives in just a few weeks, but as the colder temperatures linger, why not take advantage of the some of the fun winter activities Western New York has to offer? For an afternoon of frosty fun on a budget, this examiner went ice skating in downtown Buffalo.
Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza is on Main Street in Buffalo, aside the Metro Rail. Admission to the rink is free and open to the public until March 16, 2014. Don’t have ice skates? Skate rental is available, $2 for children and $3 for adults. Rotary Rink is open Tuesday through Friday from 11AM to 2PM and again for an evening session from 5PM to 9PM. On Saturdays the rink opens at 11AM and closes at 8PM. Skating hours on Sunday are 11AM until 6PM. Rotary Rink is Closed on Mondays.
Since this is an outdoor ice rink, it is weather permitting, especially if the temperature goes above 45 degrees. To confirm the rink is open, you can call 716-856-3150.
The NFTA Metro Rail has a stop right at Fountain Plaza. This is located in the above ground section of the rail system and is free for riders. For more information on NFTA Metro Rail fares and schedules, click here.
For this trip, I drove into Buffalo and parked on Swan Street, finding a metered spot between W. Tupper and Chippewa. A dollar in quarters bought two hours of parking time and was cheaper than the parking ramps and lots that were nearby.
Some Other Tidbits
• The skate rental booth is indoors, along with bathrooms and a concession stand.
• Dress warm. Even on a warmer day, downtown Buffalo can be breezy with a cold wind coming off Lake Erie and the Niagara River.
• Bring as little as possible with you. There are some lockers there, but on busier days they may all be in use.
• Helmets were not required, but patrons can bring their own if they choose.
• Walkers are available for kids if they need them. They are free to use.
Anyone can enjoy this day trip. I was accompanied by four guests, ranging from ages 16 to 9. Everybody had a blast and on the walk back to the car we were planning a return visit.
For more information, visit the Rotary Rink website.