Adventure Activities in Buffalo - Try if You Dare
1. National Buffalo Wing Festival
Buffalo is home to the original Buffalo chicken wing, so it's no surprise that there's an entire weekend dedicated to this tasty treat. The summertime National Buffalo Wing Festival, held in downtown Buffalo, is two full days of hot-sauce-slinging, wing-devouring glory featuring everything from amateur and competitive eating contests to Miss Buffalo and Baby Wing pageants. At the 2010 festival, more than 71,000 people attended, eating 500,000 wings – that's 33 tons of chicken wings.
We're not just asking you to attend; to really experience this yearly festival, amp up the excitement factor and apply to be a contestant in the "Ridiculously Hot Buffalo Wing Eating Contest." Think you can handle the heat? Not so fast! Judges choose 10 contestants from a pool of online essay submissions, so you'll have to prove your worth before you can put your taste buds up to the challenge.
National Buffalo Wing Festival
275 Washington St
Buffalo, NY 14203
Adults $5, children under free
2. Tailgate with Buffalo Bills Fans
For some adventurous tailgating in Buffalo, head down to the Ralph Wilson Stadium during any Buffalo Bills home game. Bills fans are known for their partying ways and the unique Game Day Experience inside the stadium is the largest tailgate party in the NFL, featuring area radio shows, local sponsors, interactive games and a Buffalo Bills alum autograph station. While the indoor gates open three and a half hours before game time, lots of places around the stadium open a whopping five hours before kickoff and fill up quickly. It's truly one of the most unique outdoor activities Buffalo can offer.
Buy your tickets to a winter game when the weather is all but guaranteed to be brutal. Bills fans agree that you're not a true fan until you've experienced the action in a blinding snowstorm.
Ralph Wilson Stadium
Jim Kelly Blvd
Orchard Park, NY 14127
3. Spend the Night at the Iron Island Museum
Most people searching for daring activities in Buffalo don't turn to museums, but this one is the exception. The Iron Island Museum, built as a church in 1885, was turned into a funeral home in the 1950s and operated as such until 2000. These days, Iron Island has been classified as a haunted location and paranormal investigators, including the cast of Ghost Hunters, have documented recordings and sightings within the halls.
While Iron Island offers ghost walks to visitors during the day, we suggest upping the ante of your Buffalo travel adventures by spending the night here. After signing a liability form, you'll be outfitted with electronic equipment to document any "abnormal" activity. Did we mention they shut down the lights before closing the doors?
Iron Island Museum
998 Lovejoy St
Buffalo, NY 14206
Mon 2PM-6PM, Thu 5PM-9PM, Fri & Sat 10AM-1PM; night visits by appointment
Self-guided tours $2 per person, guided tours $5 per person; Overnights $150 for up to 5 people, $30 for each additional person
4. Participate in the Polar Bear Swim
When temperatures drop below 30 degrees, most Americans turn up the heat and curl up with a hot cup of soup. As you may have guessed by now, Buffalonians aren't your average Americans. Since 1969, locals have been stripping down and jumping into Lake Ontario for the annual Olcott Lions Club Polar Bear Swim.
With average water temps of 32 degrees in March, this event has been billed as the world's largest mind-and-body-numbing adventure swim. Participants aren't just crazy though – as part of the event they raise money for charities. Book your plane ticket and bust out your swimsuit because we're daring you to brave the cold for this wild adventure activity in Buffalo.
Olcott Polar Bear Swim
Lake Ontario, off Route 18 at Route 78 North
5. Buffalo Bar Crawl
Add some more fun activities to your Buffalo list by participating in the Buffalo Bar Crawl. Pull on your drinking boots and hit the streets for the city's biannual fundraising drinking event. Join more than 3,000 people for a night of beer swigging and bar hopping to benefit the city of Buffalo. For $10, you'll be granted a souvenir beer stein, plus access and drinks specials at 20 or so downtown hot spots.
Think you have what it takes to rally all night? Prove your worth by getting your scorecard punched at every location on the crawl. Redeeming it at the end of the night earns you a free commemorative T-shirt – we think you should consider it your trophy for unleashing your daring antics all over Buffalo.
Buffalo Bar Crawl