By the end of this month, the kids will be out of school, and summer vacation will be officially upon us! The struggle is figuring out how to fit in as many fun summer activities as possible in what winds up feeling like such a small window of time. So we did the work for you! Here's our must-do WNY Summer Bucket List for activities with kids.

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  • 1

    Camping in the Backyard


    Throwback! We all did this as kids, and that's because it was (and still is) fun. Even if everyone winds up in their own beds eventually, it's a fun camping experience that has zero commute.

    Daniel Hurst
  • 2

    Ride The Moose-on-the-Loose at Darien Lake

    Darien Lake

    Moose! Moose! Moose on the loose!

    Go ahead, try and get it out of your head now that you're singing it to yourself.

  • 3

    See the Painted Parking Lot at Artpark


    Another throwback! If you spent summertime at Artpark, and you're around our age, you remember this beauty. Gene Davis’ 'Niagara 1979' was repainted this year, and it is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest painting.

  • 4

    Take a Selfie with Shark Girl


    She's Canalside's favorite selfie spot (ok, and the enormous yellow Adirondack chair). I love taking photos of my kids with her every summer, and seeing how much they've grown over a year!

  • 5

    Catch Fireflies at Como Lake Park

    Como Lake Park, Lancaster

    Located in Lancaster, Como Lake Park is the perfect spot to capture fireflies in July. Well-manicured grounds, trails, and bridges make for a fun adventure with the family.

  • 6

    Seeing the Wild West Shoot Out Show at Fantasy Island

    Fantasy Island

    Hmmm. Thinking we are getting heavy into the nostalgia on this list! But since your 7 year-old can't drive, outings may as well be as much fun for you as it is for them! Get your honorary Sheriff's badge, and see if Black Bart gets foiled in the end!

  • 7

    Mutts Gone Nuts! at the Erie County Fair

    Erie County Fair

    There's so much to do at the Fair, it can be hard to prioritize activities. I know our visit to the Fair each year wouldn't feel complete without seeing the Mutts Gone Nuts dog show. The pups are awesome, and they're all rescue animals!

  • 8

    Visit the Observation Deck at Buffalo City Hall

    65 Niagara Square

    Take the elevator up to the 25th floor, and head up three flights of stairs to one of the best views in town!

  • 9

    Ride the Carousel at Olcott Beach

    Olcott Beach

    Home of the 1928 style Hershell-Spillman two row carousel, you've got to ride the ponies at Olcott Beach this summer. Other vintage amusement rides are available, and you can also take in the sounds of the 1931 Wurlitzer band organ. Doesn't hurt that you pass a few awesome local wineries on the way to Olcott either.

  • 10

    Visit the Babies at the Buffalo Zoo

    The Buffalo Zoo

    Early summer is a great time to visit all the Zoo's newest additions! A new ocelot kitten was born over the winter, and the new baby reindeer is on display!