Ellicottville is a small village located in the southwestern corner of New York. Known for its prime skiing and winter sports, this resort area beckons families looking for a getaway from the daily grind. Take part in one of the many festivals held throughout the year, or simply enjoy the leaves as they change colors in the fall from the deck of one of the vacation rentals in the area. Whether you need ideas for things to do or you are looking for ways to fill in the gaps in your itinerary, this guide lists 10 popular things for families with children to do and see in the area.

1. Learn to Snowboard

standing snowboard

Kids as young as three can learn snowboarding skills at Holiday Valley. Knowledgeable instructors use specially-designed snowboards to teach kids ages three to five all the boarding basics. Sign older kids and adults up for advanced classes to hone existing skills, or take a class in cross-country skiing. Rent snowshoes to hike through the forest, or head inside the lodge to warm up with a cup of cocoa.

2. Ride the Mountain Coaster

the mountain coaster
Source: Flickr / Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau

Experience the thrill of the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster. This 1,865-foot, gravity-powered coaster takes you through 15 curves, 12 waves, a jump, and a large circle spiral. The ride takes approximately six minutes depending on how fast you want to go. Let the smaller kids ride with a parent while older teens ride alone.

3. Rent Bikes

three bicycles parked

Enjoy nature with the family when you ride bikes on one of the many trails in the area. Whether you bring your bikes from home to your vacation rental or rent bikes at Ellicottville Bike Rentals, you can choose between many trails to enjoy. For a rocky excursion, choose the Bent Rim Trail, and for an easier ride, explore the trails in Allegany State Park. Check out the Finger Lakes Trail, an 880-mile stretch of trail with varying degrees of difficulty.

4. Take a Guided Kayak Tour

yellow kayak boats

If you and the family enjoy kayaking, rent kayaks and sign up for a tour with Adventure Bound. This tour takes you through the Cattaraugus County waterways along Cattaraugus Creek. Choose from one of many different custom group packages that accommodate different fitness and age groups. Learn how to paddle at Spruce Lake, and then take a scenic trip through beautiful gorges and around waterfalls. Stop for a short lunch on the shore, and view various wildlife as you paddle.

5. Catch Some Fish

fishing net and gadgets

If you are a beginning angler, sign up for fishing classes at Orvis. From there, take a guided wading or float trip to learn the best places to catch fish in the area. Cattaraugus County boasts some of the best fishing for rainbow and brown trout, as well as large mouth and small mouth bass, muskie, and steelhead trout. Make sure you have a current fishing license from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

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6. Go Snowmobiling

red snowmobile

Have some amazing fun in the snow with the family when you rent snowmobiles from Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Services. Plow through some of the best trails in western New York around Chautauqua Lake. Whether you prefer to go to remote areas that only the locals know about or want to stay where all the action is, the experienced guides can lead the way. Choose from a quick two-hour trip, or opt for the all-day cruise through the backwoods. Operators must be at least 16 years of age with a valid driver‘s license, and passengers must be at least 8 years old.

7. Experience the Thrill of Snow Tubing

snow tube slide
Source: Flickr / Maxim B.

Head to the Holiday Valley Tubing Park for a day full of thrills and adventure. The 20-lane tubing park features three group lanes that are 900 feet long with a 100 vertical foot drop, as well as a little tubers’ area for young children. The park has a warming hut at the bottom of the lanes that includes a snack bar and rest rooms. You can also cook s‘mores and take a small rest at the giant bonfire pit.

8. Beat the Heat Swimming

blue pool water

Beat the heat in the summer at Allegany State Park. Three pools await you and the family for a day of fun. The toddler pool is ideal for younger children, a lap pool is ideal for exercise, and an activity pool has a slide for splashing around. Dive from the diving board, and then spread out a towel and get some sun on the deck.

9. Rent Horses at the Gentle Thunder Farm

white horse

If you and the family love horses, sign up to ride the trails at the Gentle Thunder Farm. Open year-round, the farm provides custom and guided trail riding, a carriage ride, and even riding lessons for newbies.

10. Bowl a Few Frames

bowling balls

Bowling is a popular pastime in Ellicottville, and several bowling alleys offer state-of-the-art games and fun for all ages. Stop by Tim and Bonnie‘s Pizza and Bowling for a few games. The alley has large projection screens, black lights, and a spacious arcade with all the latest popular titles. Call ahead to celebrate birthdays and other events, or visit the small restaurant to enjoy pizza, burgers, fries, and other fast foods and drinks.

 
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