Let’s all hope and pray that the sub-zero temps of February 2015 are behind us, and winter weekends from here on out will be spent outside, frolicking in the snow, enjoying winter activities that we all know and love, but will not risk our fingers to frostbite. Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to make some headway on our original winter to-do list. If not, we’ve narrowed it down to a must-do-or-will-certainly-regret-it list. It’s time to once again leave the house and enjoy the several (okay let’s not push it) – hand full of things Buffalo’s got going on while snow still graces us with it’s lovely white presence.
Tubing at Kissing Bridge
If you haven’t gone, you simply must go. This is one of those rare winter activities you will truly miss when it’s gone – whether you’re a kid, an adult, a kid at heart masquerading as an adult or a stuffy, actually boring, real life adult. Now that we’ve seen a turn for the better in the weather patterns (and yes, by that I mean above 10 degrees fahrenheit), this is the absolute perfect time to head down to KB, grab a $15 unlimited tubing ticket and get flying down that hill, friends and lovers by your side like it was 1999 (or whatever year you peaked).
Here’s the thing, we love summer farmers markets, sun on our faces, oodles of fresh produce and tons of stuff that you have no idea what the hell is, but buy anyway in hopes of figuring out how to cook with it before it goes bad. But there’s something even more communal about strolling through one of the only winter markets in WNY with every other market-loving freak in a 25 mile radius. Coming in from the cold and finding a bounty of fantastic local goods warms the soul, and keeps your batteries charged until you somehow absorb a healthy does of Vitamin D enough to keep you out of the loony bin. In terms of fresh produce and community gatherings, things can get sketchy in the spring. And waiting for the first summer market to sprout is more tortuous than you remember. Take what you can get now. (Okay, so this one doesn’t fizzle until May 2. But still, it’s called the Winter Market at Horsefeathers. It belongs here.)
Do not underestimate the power of learning – and maybe even conquering – something new to boost a snow battered spirit. Put down the ice pick and head to one of WNY’s new curling rinks at either Buffalo Riverworks or The Ice at Canalside. There it will cost you $15 per person for one hour (minimum of 4 people, max of 10 people) and includes an instructor and all the equipment you could want – and then some (stones, grippers & sliders, brushes).
Buffalo’s very own mini version of skating at Bryant Park is something everyone should check out. Although, now that I come to think of it, skating at Bryant Park is nowhere near free. It’s free nature isn’t the only thing the Rotary Rink has going for it. It’s near the metro and more Urban chic than any other option in town. Show up, rent skates for $3 or use your own, and get movin’. You only have until March 15 when their season ends (weather dependent).
Sure, a regular old sledding session will do, but it’s just not the same as getting shot from a chute down a giant hill from a considerably higher starting point. Take your sled for a ride down a toboggan or just stay home. Enough said. Toboggan chutes are operated from 10 AM- 4 PM on weekends and on Fridays from 4 PM- 8 PM (weather permitting). You’re racing against the uncertainty of melting snow here. Needless to say the chutes could close tomorrow or could be operational well into April. Great view at the top too.
You may be tempted to skip this one, thinking “That’s just silly,” or “All I need is a bar to enjoy a drink – not roaring fire required”. Sure, my obsession with finding comfortable bars with hearty fireplaces may have something to do with the lack of hearth in my small and getting smaller apartment, but the pleasure one gets from being near an open fire is real. Grab some friends, coworkers or your “bae” (I hate myself right now) and head to one of our favorites of the season – Hamburg Brewing Company or Pan American Grill and Brewery. Both fireplaces are exceptional and offer plenty of room for fireside chats, card games, drinking games and even a few rounds of “Heads Up!” – ya know, the hilarious app game by Ellen Degeneres. Anyway, you never know when those fireplaces will be turnt down for the season. Catch ’em while they’re hot. Here are some more ideas.
Let’s face it, if you don’t love the new rink – ice bikes included, you’re a year-round Grinch. (In which case you’ll probably take that compliment.) Sure we don’t love long lines, but now that the initial novelty has worn off. We’d say the chance of getting onto the ice within a reasonable amount of time is probable. Drop by with a pair of skates or a ten spot to cover admission, rentals and a cup of coca and experience the waterfront – winter edition – before it melts away for (hopefully) more than a few months. The season is slated to end Sunday, March 15.
Sure it’s warmer than it was yesterday (probably), but that doesn’t mean everyone rushing outside in shorts and flip flops (yet – wait til the end of March to see such a sight). Some of us aren’t ready to venture outdoors, you say. For those humans, we recommend dropping by The Knox for a last chance look at an Arturo Herrera exhibit on display until April 5. “Herrera explores the intersection of painting, drawing, and sculpture to create what he calls, “little bits of modernism.” Working primarily in collage, paint, paper cut-outs, and relief, Herrera taps into the unconscious by merging fragments of found images and abstract shapes, creating partially obscured imaginings imbued with dark psychological undertones,” explains The Albright-Knox Art Gallery‘s website.
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