We’ve all spent countless hours at the mall during the holiday season, pushing through the crowds, sweating in our winter coats and struggling to find parking. But not all malls are created equal; some shopping centres take it to that next level and become destinations unto themselves, bringing together entertainment, dining, hotels, specialty services, attractions and more. That’s why this season, we’ll be doing our cross border shopping at Buffalo’s Walden Galleria and Destiny USA in Syracuse.
Destiny USA is the largest shopping, dining and entertainment venue in New York State. To put it on a national scale, it’s the sixth largest in the United States, welcoming more than 26 million visitors annually. But don’t let that intimidate you!
There's a lot to love on-site, but we also appreciate that the shopping centre is just minutes away from the city’s charming historic downtown.
Destiny USA is home to a total of 250 top retail brands – including 21 outlets – meaning there are threads, kicks, accessories and gifts for everyone in the family. Fashionists will want to thumb their way through the racks of Coach, Michael Kors, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom Rack and a soon-to-open Kate Spade store in the outlet section of the centre.
Not to neglect the young and young-at-heart, Destiny USA recently welcomed a LEGO® Store which means Everything is Awesome! Next, peruse the toy-lined shelves of TJ Maxx, where Canadians can pay for their purchases in Canadian dollars.
Refresh and Refuel
World of Beer
We’d never talk down to a food court (a place where every craving can be satisfied), but Destiny USA also boasts 18 full-service restaurants, bringing the food offerings to a total of 45. Plus, a sit-down meal offers the relaxed respite you want before fueling up for another round of shopping. Our top food picks include Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant for crafty beers and elevated pub fare, Poke Noodle for fresh veggies and unami-rich proteins, and Texas de Brazil for charcuterie-style “salads” and gaucho-prepared grilled meats.
Fun for the Family
RPM Raceway | Destiny USA
Parents know that shopping with an entourage of kids in-tow can make retail therapy feel like retail anxiety. At Destiny USA, there are plenty of fun activities to occupy a high energy crowd of littles. Kids of all ages (and even adults) should race electric go-karts at RPM Raceway, then venture onto the world’s largest indoor, suspended ropes course at Canyon Climb Adventure. Escape from an Egyptian tomb at 5 Wits (named one of the top escape rooms in the country by USA Today), defeat your foes in APEX Entertainment’s two-storey apocalyptic New York City laser tag zone or try out the giant slides at Billy Beez. Don’t leave before taking a historic ride on the 110-year-old antique carousel.
Spend the Night
With so much to see and do, why not check in and chill out at Destiny USA’s on-site hotel? Embassy Suites by Hilton at Destiny USA offers a “Stay & Save” package with exclusive retail offers and dining deals for overnight guests. The “Shop & Drop” package delivery service transports your bags from Destiny USA to the hotel front desk.
Destiny USA is 300 kilometres from Ottawa and 400 kilometres from Montreal and Toronto.
Zara, Walden Galleria
Located in Buffalo, New York, Walden Galleria boasts more than 200 retail stores across two levels, which pretty well guarantees that shoppers will be reunited with their favourite brands. You’ll find us perusing Anthropologie, H&M, Free People, LOFT, Macy’s, Pandora, Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma.
A host of amenities and services alleviate the annoyances associated with common mall shopping. (But remember, Walden Galleria is not common, nor a mall.) Avoid the parking lot altogether; allow Walden Galleria's expert valet service to find and remember where the car is parked. Next, conveniently change Canadian currency at the EFX kiosk on the upper level (near Macy's) and enjoy free public Wi-Fi throughout the centre.
Refresh and Refuel
Restaurant Row, Walden GalleriaEveryone at the “dinner table” gets to satisfy their own craving when dining at Walden Galleria’s international food court. Diners preferring to elongate their meal can choose from any one of 11 full-service restaurants. There’s a Cheesecake Factory, Texas de Brazil, The Melting Pot, World of Beer, P.F. Chang’s and Jack Astor’s. And if you can’t live without a cup of Canadian coffee, there’s even a Tim Hortons.
Entertain Your Entourage
Urban Air Warrior Course
Shopping is best enjoyed when you're unhurried. At Walden Galleria, there are plenty of ways to distract your partner or kids - so you can non-stop shop. A few of our favourites include Regal Cinemas & RPX for the newest movies enjoyed in graduated, stadium-style seating with ample leg room, 5 Wits for a live-action adventure experience with computer-controlled special effects, Billy Beez for its "wild slides" and fun foam ballistics arena, and Dave & Buster’s Million Dollar Midway for 160-plus arcade games.
When it opens in early 2020, Urban Air Adventure Park will introduce 45,000-square-feet of high energy fun to Walden Galleria's already extensive offering. What all will be included? A full line-up of activities that'll include attractions like a Sky Rider Coaster, Ropes Course, Warrior Obstacle Course, Tubes Playground, climbing Walls, Warrior Battle Beam, Wipeout, ProZone Trampoline and Slam Dunk Zone.
Packages & Incentives
Cross border shoppers can take advantage of Walden Galleria’s “Shop & Stay” package which saves time and money by bundling Walden Galleria offerings with participating area hotels. In addition to discounted hotel rates (up to 10% off), shoppers receive a coupon book containing more than $300 USD in savings, a complimentary shopping tote and a Macy's gift card (value $25 - $50 USD).
Winter Fun Pass
The Fun Pass, a concept first introduced by Walden Galleria this past summer, has been continued for the winter season. The brand-new Winter Fun Pass offers shoppers big savings on dining and entertainment throughout the shopping centre. How does it work? Pay one flat price ($50 USD for adults and $40 USD for children) and visit your choice of four different dining and entertainment venues. And bonus, The Winter Fun Pass includes free entry to local area attractions in Western New York featuring admission to the Aquarium of Niagara and the NWHL Buffalo Beauts! The pass is available for presale in December and is valid from January 6 through March 16, 2020.
Walden Galleria is 173 kilometres from Toronto and 117 kilometres from Hamilton.
Presented in partnership with Destiny USA and Walden Galleria