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In Our Neck of the Woods

Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park
An Artvoice guide to fun and interesting destinations in our own backyard Albright Knox Art Gallery

Spend the day at the Albright Knox Art Gallery and surround yourself with beautiful, contemporary and modern art. Take a guided tour through the gallery on Thursdays-Sundays, or look through the collections at your own pace as they pop out at you from the clean white walls. Make sure to pick up an audio wand at the front desk for a more enriching experience about the artwork you will be viewing. After you tour around and see pieces by Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and other talented artists, grab a bite to eat at the AK Café. Enjoy delicious seasonal sweets and dishes at the perfect place to see the Albright Knox’s Sculpture Garden just outside of the café. If you plan on a late visit, the café is open for dinner on the first Friday of the month. Plus, on First Fridays, gallery admission is free!

Current Exhibition: Sincerely Yours: Treasures of the Queen City (July 5- September 14) featuring artwork by Frida Kahlo, Vincent van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, and more 20th century contemporary artists.

Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park

Come down to the beautiful Buffalo Waterfront and be amazed as you explore the Naval and Military Park’s exhibits. As there is no other ship museum within 100 miles of Buffalo, the Naval Park is a must see exhibit. Visit the new museum building and see various naval and military artifacts from documents to old uniforms. See a multitude of old military equipment and vessels, like the X-Ron 1 Rotorcycle Helicopter, the Army M-41 Tank, and the P-39 Airacobra. Outside of the museum and in the water are three naval vessels: the USS Little Rock guided missile cruiser, the USS Croaker Submarine, and the USS the Sullivans Destroyer ship. Tour these naval treasures, and then take a walk down to the Marina for lunch, or just to enjoy the beautiful waterfront scenery.

Buffalo History Museum

Visit one of the greatest collections of Buffalo and Western New York history at the Buffalo History Museum. Since the museum only offers guided tours on the third Friday of the month, you are free to explore the collections at your leisure, featuring thousands of artifacts, photographs, and books. See old Western New York inventions, learn about the Native Americans of the past, and visit recreations of some of Buffalo’s 19th century shops. The museum’s collection also includes pieces from the Erie Canal, the War of 1812, and more. After you’re finished touring the museum, be sure to visit Delaware Park and the Japanese Gardens just behind the museum for a peaceful afternoon outdoors.

Be sure to see the Antique and Classic Car Show at the Buffalo History Museum on August 3rd!

Burchfield Penney Art Center

Visit the Burchfield Penney Art Center and see the wonderful works of Charles Burchfield and many other talented artists from the Western New York region. Take a tour on a Thursday, Saturday, or Sunday to see the largest public collection of Burchfield’s unique watercolor work. The architecture of the building itself is highly influenced by Burchfield, as you can see from the open corridors and the ceiling lights arranged to form the constellation Orion. Once you’ve completed a tour, stop by the Burchfield Penney’s café for some homemade soup or a drink. Be sure to visit on the second Friday of the month when the Burchfield Penney sponsors a variety of fun events, and museum admission is free to members!

The upcoming Second Friday, August 8, will include a performance from the Unusually Different Ensemble and a Silent/Sound film presentation.

Upcoming Exhibitions: Displacement: Barge Prototype (August 8-October 19), and Jesse Walp: Ripe (August 8-January 25)

Darwin Martin House

As it is considered one of the greatest achievements of Frank Lloyd Wright’s career, the Darwin Martin House is a must see for any architecture fans. There are a number of different tour options to fit your staycation schedule. Take a tour of the complex for just an hour and see the first floor of the main house, the pergola, the conservatory, and the carriage house. You can also go on a two-hour tour and get the chance to explore the second floor of the main house, the Barton House, the Prairie house, and the Gardener’s Cottage too! For big Wright fans, spend the entire day touring around the city to see more Wright architecture at places like the Filling Station and the Graycliff Estate, and get the chance to take a tour at all of the stops along the way.

The next “All Wright All Day” tours are offered on July 31, August 8, and August 22.

Graycliff Estate

Another Frank Lloyd Wright architectural masterpiece, the Graycliff estate stands next to the beautiful Lake Erie. Take an hour tour of the grounds and see the exterior of the buildings on the estate as well as the first floor of the Isabelle R. Martin house. You can also take an extended, two hour tour to learn even more about the history of Graycliff, and see both floors of the Isabelle R. Martin house as well as the first floor of the Foster House. You can even take a relaxing Twilight Hour tour of the grounds and top off the evening with wine, cheese, and fresh summer fruits as you enjoy the sunset at Graycliff. See the genius of Wright’s 1920s natural and organic architectural designs at this stunning lakeside estate. The Graycliff Estate is also part of the “All Wright All Day” tour, along with the Darwin Martin House, so tour both and more Wright architecture all day long!

The next “All Wright All Day” tours are offered on July 31, August 8, and August 22.

Griffis Sculpture Park

Explore the beauty of sculpture in this 400 acre park filled with over 250 sculptures. Hike through the hills and forests of the Griffis Sculpture Park and discover the beauty of these majestic, larger than life metal sculptures. Picnics in the park are allowed, so be sure to bring a blanket or find one of the park’s picnic tables so you and the family can enjoy lunch in the great outdoors. The Sculpture Park opens as early as 8:00 am and closes at 8:00 pm, so you can see the sculptures in the morning, afternoon, and evening. See sculptural renditions of people, animals, nature and even abstract sculptures. On August 17, you’ll get the chance to see the park during the Griffis Sculpture Park’s 2nd Annual Summer Festival. See performances by Black Rock Zydeco, Workingman’s Dead, and Folk Faces. There will be craft activities and a scavenger hunt for children, as well as tours of the park for the whole family.

Old Fort Niagara

Old Fort Niagara is the perfect place for a day trip with the family. Experience Western New York history for yourself as you tour through the 18th century buildings and across the green grounds. In the summer, guided tours of the grounds are available, and you will get the chance to interact with people who will professionally reenact characters from the old Niagara Frontier. Outside of the fort buildings, you can see musket and artillery firing demonstrations, and gaze up at the fort’s original War of 1812 flag flying high and proud above the grounds. You can even watch artisans hard at work as they craft their wares with old style techniques. When you’re done with your tour, stop by the Fort’s Log Cabin for an affordable lunch of hot dogs or sandwiches, and ice cream for dessert. While the fort is open year round, you should take the opportunity to visit while it’s warm and sunny.

Upcoming events: Soldiers of the Revolution (August 2-3), Buffalo Philharmonic Concert at the Fort (August 9), and the War of 1812 Encampment (August 30-31)

Other Staycation Destinations Aquarium of Niagara

An inland, saltwater aquarium featuring many exotic marine animals. Watch Penguin or Shark feedings, Sea Lion shows, and meet the stars of the shows yourself. There are plenty of interesting fish and ocean creatures to see and learn about.


A beautiful park venue for theater productions, symphony orchestras, rock and pop concerts and more. Artpark also offers art camp for the kids! Come see exciting performances from Aretha Franklin, 3 Doors Down, Styx, and more, as well as a stage production of Mary Poppins this summer.

Broadway Market

The Buffalo Broadway Market has been known for its unique, family owned businesses and amazing personal service since 1888. Shop at bakeries, butcher shops, fruit/vegetable stands and more in its old world market atmosphere.

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens

Featuring many beautiful outdoor and indoor gardens, the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens is the perfect place to see an exotic and beautiful assortment of flowers and plant life. Visit the many gardens, like the Everglades Showcase, the Orchid or Rose gardens, the Cacti and Succulent garden, the Wegmans Family Garden, the Butterfly exhibit, and many more.

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

See amazing musical performances at the Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark that is widely considered one of the finest concert halls in the United States. Experience a variety of musical events, from pop music to jazz to classic strings orchestra.

Buffalo Zoo

Fun for all ages, the Buffalo Zoo has a variety of mammals, reptiles, birds, insects, a new baby rhino, and more to see and interact with. Send your children to Zoo Camp to learn about these amazing and exotic creatures. Many family friendly events are available, like Friday Nights at the Zoo.

Cave of the Winds

Be prepared to get wet as you walk along wooden walkways, just feet away from the rushing waters of the Bridal Veil Falls. Experience the stormy conditions of water and mist from the Niagara Falls.

Colored Musicians Club

Originally created back when musician’s local unions were segregated, the Colored Musicians Club has long been a hub for jazz for members and non-members alike. In the past, jazz stars such as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and more played at this Buffalo club. Today, the club still offers live jazz performances with open “Jam Sessions” on Sunday nights.

Darien Lake Theme Park Resort

This amusement park, water park, and campgrounds combo is the perfect place for summer family fun. With exciting thrill rides like the Motorcoaster and the Ride of Steel, plus plenty of water rides and a lazy river, Darien Lake is sure to be a day trip of fun, excitement, and relaxation for all ages.

Irish Classical Theatre Company at the Andrews Theatre

See amazing productions of Irish, American, and International classic literature and modern plays in the intimate setting of the Andrews Theatre, where you are never more than ten feet from the stage. Upcoming productions include The Liar by David Ives and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.

Lancaster Opera House

Come see an assortment of musicals, concerts, dinner theater productions, plays, films, and more at the Lancaster Opera House. Upcoming 2014-2015 productions include Fiddler on the Roof, The Glass Menagerie, Singin’ in the Rain, and more!

Niagara Hobby and Craft Mart

Open since 1986, find fun hobby and craft supplies for the family at the Niagara Hobby and Craft Mart. See amazing model train and dollhouse displays, and pick up whatever you might need for your own collections.

Penn Dixie Paleontological & Outdoor Education Center

Spend the day digging up fossils unearthed from under layers of shale. The fossils are 380 million year old Devonian era fossils, and you will only need a small shovel and a pail to dig up these ancient treasures.

Rainbow Air Helicopter Tours

See the majestic Niagara Falls from high above in the sky as you fly above the waters in a McDonnell Douglas 500E Helicopter. It’s the perfect seat to see the Niagara and Horseshoe Falls.

Roycroft Campus Corporation

Visit the Roycroft Campus, a complex of nine old guild buildings from the late 19th century. Formerly a center for craftsmanship and philosophy, the Roycroft Campus will teach visitors about the Arts and Crafts movement, and tour through the Print Shops, the Roycroft Inn, the Furniture Shop, and the Copper Shop and Gallery.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park

Since 1976, Shakespeare in Delaware Park has offered free, quality performances of classic Shakespeare plays to the public on the scenic Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park. Two plays are performed every summer in the park in the evening.

Shea’s Performing Arts Center

Experience Broadway productions of your favorite musicals and more in this beautiful auditorium. Upcoming shows include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Mama Mia. Experience these amazing performances with the whole family.

Theater of Youth

See performances for the whole family at the Historic Allendale Theater. Upcoming performances include Seussical the Musical, and The Night Before Christmas.

Ujima Theatre

The Ujima Theatre is the only professional theatre in Western New York that is dedicated to the growth and performances of African American and other Third World actors and artists. Come see beautiful performances that depict the lives and struggles of people in minority.

Vidler’s 5 & 10

Visit the largest 5 & 10 store in the world, with over 75,000 different items throughout four 19th century buildings and two floors.

Museums, Galleries, etc. Buffalo Arts Studio

The Buffalo Arts Studio is a non-profit organization and cultural center that provides exhibitions, art classes, public art projects, and more for the Buffalo area in order to enrich the community and share an appreciation for art.

Buffalo Fire Historical Society

A museum dedicated to teaching about firefighting in the Buffalo area, fire safety and prevention, and the Buffalo Fire Department.

Buffalo Museum of Science

With a collection of over 700,000 specimens, the Buffalo Museum of Science aims to teach visitors about the natural and physical science, with a focus on Western New York.

Carnegie Art Center

Andrew Carnegie funded the building of this center in 1903. Since, it has been dedicated to sharing artwork, architecture, and history in order to stimulate artistic appreciation in the community.

Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University

Located at Niagara University, the Castellani Art Museum is Niagara County’s only collecting art museum, and features the work of famous artists like Piccaso, Dali, Muro, Warhol, and more. Its collection includes 5,700 works of art.

CEPA Gallery

The CEPA Gallery is a contemporary photography and visual arts center. Featuring four galleries of changing exhibitions, the CEPA Gallery also has a public darkroom and photo lab.

Chautauqua Institution

This historic lakeside village and educational center focuses on spreading and growing an appreciation for the arts, education, and religion. Many lectures, classes and artistic performances are held in the summer, as well as other recreational activities.

El Buen Amigo

A Latin American Fair Trade store and Art Gallery combo, El Buen Amigo shares the beauty and culture of Latin American folk art. They also offer Salsa Dancing classes and Spanish classes to further share the rich Latin American culture.

El Museo Francisco Oller y Diego Rivera

El Museo features contemporary art from emerging, mid-career, and established Latino artists. Since 1990, it has expanded to include the work of other minorities and Greater Buffalo’s refugees and immigrants.

Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum

This museum contains one of the rarest collections of Roycroft artifacts, ranging from books and furniture, to oil paintings and leatherwork. The tour of this house will teach you about the life of Elbert Hubbard and the Roycroft Arts and Crafts Movement that he founded.

Erie Canal Discovery Center

This center is a new, state of the art interpretive center of the Erie Canal, meant to educate visitors and help them envision what life was like around the Erie Canal in the past. It includes technology that lets paintings “come to life” and recreates an Erie Canal packet boat so visitors can take a “ride” down the canal.

Explore & More Children’s Museum

This museum offers hundreds of exhibits for children ages 1-10 and their families. Children can play and learn about food, architecture, fossils, art, culture, and more in the museum’s highly interactive exhibits.

Freedom Crossing: The Underground Railroad in Greater Niagara

This center serves to tell the story of the Underground Railroad, a trail slaves traveled in order to escape to freedom in Canada, through photographs, artifacts, books, contemporary artwork, and videos.

Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center

Founded in 1974 in an old icehouse, the Hallwals Center has long been a place to share the innovations and skill of local artists. Their artists include not just visual artists, but musicians, performing artists, writers, video makers, and more.

Hull Family Home & Farmstead

The oldest stone dwelling in Erie County, the Hull Family Home is a rare example of Federal style architecture from 1810. Warren Hull built this two-story house, basement included, for his family, and after renovations it still contains much of the original woodwork.

Ira G. Ross Aerospace Museum

Located in the old terminal building of the Niagara Falls International Airport, the Aerospace Museum has a huge collection of aerospace artifacts including a Bell P-39 Aerocobra, the first US commercially licensed helicopter, the actual control panel used during the Apollo moon missions, and more.

Lower Lakes Marine Historical Society Museum

Housed within an old ship chandler building, the museum features a collection of artifacts from ships that sailed across the Great Lakes. It tells the story of the evolution of the Buffalo Waterfront through its displays and exhibits.

Millard Fillmore House

Built by Millard Fillmore himself in 1826, this is the only remaining house of the 13th president, besides the White House itself. After renovations, the house has been restored to its Federal style state, and filled with furnishings that were owned by the Fillmore family during their Buffalo and White House years.

Museum of Disability History

Dedicated to helping others understand and be more accepting of those with disabilities, the Museum of Disability History’s exhibits show how those with disabilities were helped and viewed in the past and the present. It also showcases innovations in technology for the disabled, and the success of those in sports despite their disabilities.

Seneca-Iroquois National Museum

This museum aims to share the culture and history of the Onöndowa’ga:’ and Hodinöhsö:ni’ people. Along with recreations of old native buildings, the museum showcases one million other artifacts like photographs, documents, archeological materials, publications, and more.

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site

In the house where Theodore Roosevelt was sworn into office, the historical site has many exhibits about the Pan-American exposition of 1901, recreated 20th century styled rooms, and how Roosevelt helped to shape the country today.

Western New York Book Arts Center

Featuring a letterpress and screenprinting studio, a gallery, a working museum, and a boutique, the Western New York Book Arts Center is dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of printing and the book related arts. It also hosts events like the Buffalo Book Fest and holds many book exhibitions.

Artvoice's 2014 Staycation Feature

Suggested Ways to Chillax Near Home

Fun and Interesting Destinations in Our Own Backyard

Summer's the Time to Enjoy Our Waterways

Staycation Venue Directory

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