BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Business was booming at Explore & More Children’s Museum at Buffalo’s waterfront on Sunday.

“We love it,” said mother of two Julia Britton. “There is a lot for the kids to do. It is a great time. We love it here.”

Julia and her husband Andrew had never brought their 5-year-old daughter, Ava, and 1-year-old son, Bear, to the museum before. “It’s awesome. We looked it up before we came. A lot of people I work with have visited and love it.”

The crowds came as no surprise to the children’s museum staff, as the museum offered free admission to Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield members and “pay what you can” admission for the general public on Sunday. It’s one of many attractions across Western New York offering a family fun atmosphere with many kids off from school this week.

“We want to make sure that we’re accessible to every family,” explained Explore & More Advancement Manager Mariah Prentiss. “So days when we can provide free through Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, or ‘pay what you wish,’ just means we are being true to our mission.”

Four other family freebies:

1. Canalside is offering free skating on Monday.

2. Grand Island Library will have a mobile dome planetarium to explore the night sky and learn about astronomy. It is scheduled for Tuesday. For more info, click here.

3. The Tifft Nature Preserve is offering a volunteer led wellness walk

4. Rolly Pollies is offering select free classes on Tuesday and Friday at its various locations. For times, locations and registration information, click here

Ali Touhey is an anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2023. View more of her work here.