Ask photographer and Little Herd Family Adventures founder Erica Eichelkraut about her passion for travel, and she’ll take you back to childhood years spent moving from city to city, something she surprisingly enjoyed. “Growing up, my mom’s job transferred us to all different cities. We got to know new people, new cultures, new foods, and new places all around America. I always felt nomadic, and I loved it,” she said. It is little surprise that Erica wanted to share her family’s adventures with others.
It all started with Erica’s desire to pass her passion for adventure on to her children. “My husband and I have always been travel lovers,” she explained. “It was important to us to still enjoy it by traveling with our kids from a young age. Travel can teach values like curiosity and empathy, and we are hoping to instill those values in our children.”
Erica and her family were having so much fun adventuring that Erica felt the need for an outlet. Thus, Little Herd Family Adventures was born, proudly centered in Buffalo. “I have been a champion for Buffalo for a while now, and we are really lucky to live here. It is awesome!” she said, noting that there are many nearby family activities that won’t break the bank.
Erica encourages families to get out and explore together, whether following in the footsteps of Little Herd or blazing new trails elsewhere!
Our family loves nature, so we do eco-friendly things like composting and growing our own food. COVID made us want to be outside more than ever. We have always felt a connection with the earth, and it grew even stronger. Every day, we were going to a park, and we never walked and hiked so much in our lives!
1. Lockport Nature Trail
This trail is a very easy trail to navigate with kids. It features a beautiful creek with waterfalls and at sunset, you can enjoy vibrant hues of neon yellow and orange. It is magical!
2. Griffis Sculpture Park
A donation is requested upon entering this unique park. Its lovely trail runs by an
amazing huge field filled with giant sculptures of everything from a praying mantis to the abstract to the human form. Our children love getting to see everything as they explore!
(A note from the Home team: Some of these sculptures show the human form in ways not all families may find comfortable. Please review the sculptures before visiting.)
3. Chestnut Ridge
What an amazing place to go for an autumn hike! The fall foliage here is incredible.
It is also so much fun to explore!
4. Beaver Meadow Audubon Center
Miles and miles of trails! See all kinds of animals through here on a beautiful,
easy walk with the kids in the middle of nowhere.
5. Delaware Park
Designed by famous architect Frederick Law Olmsted, this local gem is nestled in the
heart of Buffalo. It has a picturesque lake you can walk around or paddleboat on,
lots of colorful foliage, and is just minutes from the city!
Thrift or swap your costumes! We have really changed our views regarding the things we consume for our children. Now, we hold a costume swap with several families, or we head to our favorite little thrift stores to pick something up.
Like them apples?
We go apple-picking at Blackman Homestead Farm in Lockport. They have several varieties of apples, fresh-pressed apple cider, and we enjoy learning about the apple trees and products, too!
Ready for some spooky fun?
Halloween Sensory Boxes are just the thing! Collect empty tissue boxes or shoe boxes & cut slits on top (big enough for little hands to fit inside!) Fill with creepy-feeling household items & label. Let the kids guess what’s in there! Some ideas: zombie tongues (dried apricots or similar treats, vampire teeth (candy corn), snake skin + spider legs (textured rope + pipe cleaners), brains + eyes (cold spaghetti + peeled grapes)
Home movies, anyone?
We hold outdoor movie nights in the backyard with a sheet and projector. In the fall, it starts to get dark a little earlier so the kids aren’t up as late, and we savor those outdoor moments with hot cider and ‘smores!
Catch those leaves!
Enjoy a hike or a neighborhood walk together to find a colorful collection of leaves for your leaf light catchers! Press between book pages to dry for about a week, and then tape to your windows for a beautiful fall glow!
All good things. That first bit of cold weather can be shocking, so we try to welcome it with first frost luminaries! These glowing sculptures will add some light to those early dark nights. You’ll need bowls/cups of any size, full of water. Place smaller shapes on the inside, with water to weigh them down. Add sticks, pine cuttings, leaves, etc! Leave out all night & check in the morning.
For more great adventures, Buffalo fun and family-friendly activities check out Little Herd Adventures at littleherd.com