You’ve worn out your season passes to the zoo, the aquarium and every museum and art gallery in town. You’ve hit every sporting event, walked every square inch of every mall and have a nagging feeling the staff at the library has had enough of you.
The kids are climbing the walls and spring break isn’t over yet – if it’s even started in your school district.
What are stressed-out parents to do?
Grab this spring break survival guide and pick something. Anything!
B is for Books
This independent store has a lovingly curated collection of children’s books for sale. There’s something interesting going on for the kiddies nearly every day, whether it’s a story and craft time based around villains and superheroes, music and dancing or a visit from your favorite storybook character. The titular llama from “Llama Llama Red Pajama” will be there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 13.
If you go: The store is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Info: 6562 E. Quaker St., Orchard Park. Call 667-2383 or visit www.bis4books.com/index.html.
What’s every kid’s favorite part of a birthday party? The bounce house. This place has bounce houses in every shape and size imaginable, from stairs and slides to castles and basketball courts. Setting your pent-up kids loose is a great way to get everyone tuckered out. After losing the lease on its Amherst location, this local favorite was sorely missed. But it has (finally!) relocated.
If you go: Tickets for the inflatable stuff are $10 in Orchard Park and $12 in Amherst. Parents jump free with a child’s paid admission. Families can also enter free if you just want to hit up the arcade.
Info: Locations at 4090 Maple Road, Amherst, and 2881 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park. Call 677-5867 or visit www.bouncemagic.com.
Buffalo Touring Company
Even the toughest teenager who finds everything “bor-ing!” can’t help but get excited about this: the chance to zoom around town on a Segway scooter! Spend 30 minutes learning how to navigate these futuristic, one-man vehicles and another 90 minutes taking a guided historical and architectural tour of North Buffalo. Tickets are $69.95 per person and include one free pass to the Buffalo History Museum, which is valid until the end of the year.
If you go: The season is not officially open yet but, weather permitting, the company will accommodate groups of three or more.
Info: Meets at the Buffalo History Museum, 1 Museum Court. Call 259-4887 or visit www.buffalotouringcompany.com.
Teenagers especially will enjoy the fast-paced excitement in this flashy and fun entertainment district. Always buzzing with sights and sounds, you’ll have trouble deciding what to do first. You’ll find wax museums (Louis Tussaud’s is a must-see), funhouses and souvenir shops galore. It’s a tourist trap in the most enjoyable sense of the word.
If you go: Buy a Fun Pass online ($25.95 per adult, $19.95 for kids age 12 and under) which will get you into the Movieland Wax Museum, Ghost Blasters haunted house ride, Dinosaur Adventure Golf or Galaxy Golf miniature golf courses and the XD Theater immersive movie experience as well as two admissions to the giant Niagara SkyWheel ferris wheel and tokens for the 70,000-square-foot Canadian Midway arcade.
Info: Minutes from the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ont. Visit www.cliftonhill.com.
Imagine someone took Martin’s Fantasy Island and put it inside the Walden Galleria. That’s sort of what you’ll find at Fantasy Fair, an indoor amusement park tucked into Canada’s Woodbine Shopping Center. Younger children, up to 54 inches tall, can enjoy the rides while teens stroll the mall and practice looking cool.
If you go: Ride day passes are $14.50 for children under 36 inches, $16.75 for children under 54 inches and $15.50 for adults. Height requirements are strictly enforced, so don’t plan on being sneaky. The Ferris wheel is down for maintenance.
Info: 500 Rexdale Blvd., Etobicoke, Ont. Call (416) 674-5437 or visit www.fantasyfair.ca.
Niagara Climbing Center
Kids love to climb and you might find that you do, too. This rock-climbing gym serves all ages and skill levels. It boasts 6,000-square-feet of different climbing walls and formats. If your kids like the rock-climbing wall at the playground, they’re going to lose their minds over this place!
If you go: Day passes, which include lessons and a harness, are $15 per person, $12 students, $6 for kids age 6 and under. Climbers must bring their own belay partner (the person who holds the rope while they climb), who must be older than 13.
Info: 1333 Strad Ave., North Tonawanda. Call 695-1248 or visit www.niagaraclimbingcenter.com.
Ontario Science Center
“Game On 2.0,” a huge exhibition exploring video and arcade games throughout history, is running through September. For a one-of-a-kind experience, book a sleepover and camp out in the museum overnight. For $59 per person, you’ll get a science workshop, DJ dance party, pizza, an IMAX film and, best of all, you’ll get to explore the museum at night. You’ll also get breakfast and admission to the museum the following day.
If you go: Tickets are $22 for adults; $16 for students, seniors and kids age 13 to 17; and $13 for kids age 4 to 12. Kids age 3 and under are free.
Info: 770 Don Mills Road, Toronto. Call (888) 696-1110 or visit www.ontariosciencecentre.ca.
Palm Island Indoor Water Park
Why trek all the way to Canada or Erie, Pa., when we have an indoor water park of our own right in Batavia? The Clarion Hotel boasts a bevy of waterslides, fountains, pools and water activities; including the 196-foot, LED-lit Crazy Cobra and the 169-foot Paradise Plunge.
If you go: Day passes are expected to sell out through Saturday, so you will need to book a room overnight to get into the water park. A standard room with a double bed runs $172.52, a suite (with a living room, fold-out couch and extra flat-screen TV) is $194.72. Both include four water park passes, a $25 breakfast voucher and a $25 voucher for Batavia Downs. Day passes range from $8 for those not entering the water to $20 for all-day passes on peak days.
Info: 8250 Park Road, Batavia. Call 585-344-2100 or visit www.palmislandindoor- waterpark.com.
Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park
This place is one giant trampoline. It’s got 16,000 square feet of jumping surface along the floors and walls for your family’s zany jumping pleasure. There’s even a special toddler area for kids age 5 and under. It’s a great workout, too, which means the kids will tire themselves out and face bedtime like little angels. Be sure to hit the basketball court so you can practice dunking like Michael Jordan.
If you go: Sky Zone will be open earlier than usual today and Friday to accommodate spring breakers. The place can reach capacity fast, so it’s recommended you buy tickets in advance. Prices range from $10 for 30 minutes to $23 for two hours.
Info: 425 Cayuga Road, Cheektowaga. Call 206-3300 or visit www.buffalo.skyzonesports.com.