11 Unique Things To Do in Buffalo with Out-of-Town Guests

It’s fun getting visitors in Buffalo. We are always pretty dang pumped to show people around and give them ideas for things to do, places to eat, and where to stay so they will have the ultimate WNY experience. 

Besides the usual suspect stops in and around town, here is a list of our fav 11 unique things to do when you have fam and friends in town:

Shark Girl Selfie / Canalside

You’ll learn fast that Buffalo is getting bigger and bigger on public art (thanks to many initiatives of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery). One such famous public resident is Shark Girl, located at Canalside near the upcoming Explore & More Children’s Museum. Getting a selfie with this girl is a must! Who is Shark Girl??

Forest Lawn Trolley

We have famous dead people. Presidents, musicians, artists, pioneers…look up the tour schedule and book one through the cemetery. It’s manicured landscape adds to the awe of who you see in there and you’ll be surprised by the history you’ll learn. Book a Forest Lawn Tour

Hatchets + Hops

photo: Megan Ann Photography

Axes and beer. Guaranteed your friends and family haven’t done anything like this before! Throw some axes and see if you can bullseye it. Hang out at Misuta Chows after (nearby). Yep, sign me up!

McKinley Assassination Site

A small piece of history is over on Fordham Dr. where McKinley was shot in 1901 at the PanAm Expo. An underdog spot to visit where you feel like you’re back in time. Take me there!

Mural tour (on your own)

Us, Niagara Falls, NY

Murals pop up all over the city every couple of months. We’re are becoming a destination to see these, so why not map out some sites you want to see and get some great pics? Use Nickel City Pretty as a good reference point on where to find some.

The real wings at Nine-Eleven Tavern and Bar Bill

wings at Bar Bill

Take it from a local: we know where the best wings are. Take the off-beaten path and take a ride to East Aurora for Bar Bill wings (and beef on weck!) and the South Buffalo underdog Nine-Eleven Tavern.

Explore Buffalo Tours

Historic Shea’s in downtown Buffalo

Nothing better than hearing the history from the best. Check out their site to see what kind of tours they have going on. Architecture…food…crime history…something for everyone. Explore Buffalo

West Side Bazaar

An expo of some of our best international dishes in Buffalo. Get a little bit of everything including Thai, Indian, and Ethiopian. It doesn’t get more authentic than here. You’ll find beautiful artisan work here, too. Take me to the West side

Pedal Tours

pic from Buffalo Pedal Tours Instagram

A couple years ago, Buffalo got a few pedal tours under its belt for bar crawls, food tours, and city views. From Buffalo Pedal Tours to the Consumer Craft, the Tiki Tour to CycleBoats…ya gotta really work it to get there!

Niagara Wine Trail

Rent a small bus and take the wine trail experience. Great way to see Niagara County, taste some wine, eat some chocolate, and hang out in the vineyards. A fun event for guests to take home some wine! Follow the trail…

Riverworks: Zipline/Rock Climb/Kayak/Roller Girls

Riverworks has something for everyone. Adventure, food and drink, views, and if you check the schedule…some badass chicks on wheels. You can definitely make a solid day of hanging out there. Everything at Riverworks

Buffalo Go-To: Red Siren in Elmwood Village

We are always checking out places in and around Buffalo where we can get gifts for everyone on our list. Where are the best places for one stop shopping? What about unique gifts for someone that has everything?

Luckily for us Buffalonians, Red Siren opened up shop on Elmwood Ave. and has us popping in over and over. From gifts for the hostess to a sparkly holiday dress, men’s accessories to jewelry for your bff- Red Siren carries a lot more than your usual shop.

Here are some great finds we love:

For the Football lover. Sunday’s are for football around these parts. There are some really cool women and men’s pieces and accessories in Red Siren that are perfect for Bills day.

For the hostess: There is some seriously pretty host and hostess gifts at Red Siren. No one can go wrong with some handmade entertaining and serveware. There are some unique engraved decor pieces, too.

The cool dude: Red Siren even has a section for the fellas including attire for business and casual, accessories like socks and ties, and these cool pants. We’re diggin’ the red corduroys for Christmas.

For Mom or your Sister: Big fan of Nest candles and luckily we can pick them up here. The holiday scents are there! And how adorbs are the picture frames? Load it up with a family photo to finish the look!

Babies, future babies, Baby Mamas: well of course our fav section right now is where we can pick up some cute things for Chloe! Those baby socks are rattles and she has been keeping warm with her bear hat.

Whether you need holiday gifts, a new outfit, something fun for New Years…we bet you’re going to find something at Red Siren. Watch their Instagram for updates on new things that arrive at the store every week! @the_red_siren

There is easy street parking right on the corner of Elmwood and Bidwell. Afterward, pop over to Caffe Aroma for some tea to warm up! Red Siren is a surprising shop that offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Pop in and say hi to the girls there and leave with full bags of beautiful surprises.

Details:

Red Siren // 976 Elmwood Ave. Buffalo, NY 14222

Holiday hours for 2017: Mon-Wed 11-7…Thurs-Sat 10-7…Christmas’s Eve 10-4…Closed Christmas…after Christmas from Tues-Sat 11-6:30 ((check website for usual times))

Parking: street

Follow on Instagram: @the_red_siren

Perfect for friends, family, babies, significant others, treating yo’self

How To: Hotel Henry- A Date Night Staycation

Hotel Henry is open! The former Buffalo State Asylum is being transformed in to something incredible. And the urban resort is just the beginning…

Hotel-Henry
entrance to Hotel Henry // pic: The Buffalo News

The hotel sits on the Richardson Olmsted Complex and occupies the towers (also known as Building 45) which are centrally located among the former asylum campus. With the entire complex being redeveloped in phases, the hotel and conference center is only the beginning (see the Master Plan here). The complex began coming to fruition in 1872 and opened in 1880 as the asylum. After 40 years of nothing, we now are seeing a whole new surge of restoration that nests among the museums and Elmwood Village.


Stay at Hotel Henry: Bookings range $155-$170 (hey, not bad!). There are 88 urban hotel rooms.

Who is Henry?: Henry Hobson Richardson- the dude who created this gorgeous architecture design and teamed up with Frederick Law Olmsted for the complex.

Eat: 100 Acres: The Kitchen at Hotel Henry is open with breakfast and soft-opening dinner hours. Check their website for more details. Nearby in Elmwood Village, we suggest Thin Man Brewery, Squeeze Juicery, MTK, or Kuni’s.

100 acres: the kitchens


Explore: The Hotel and center is open to the public and the Lipsey Buffalo Architecture Museum is arriving soon inside. The North Patio is outside and overlooks the main entrance of the hotel. Swanky, no?

Book your event: We were at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s big Hob Nob event and it was awesome. The party took place on three floors and people were hanging out in the lounge area, listening to live music outside and on the 4th floor, and noshing on macarons on floor 3. An awesome venue for weddings, showers, parties, conferences, and business events. We already know some people getting married there this year!

Getting in: Take Rockwell across from the Albright-Knox. Make a left on to Cleveland and *boom* the stunning entry needs no introduction. Parking on premise. The cool part here is the mix of old and modern architecture.

Things to do nearby: The hotel is in the perfect location. You have Elmwood Village which is full of restaurants and shops, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery across the street, the Buffalo History Museum, and Delaware Park all within a one mile or less radius. You can get to downtown within 15 minutes and are close to main thruways.

Tour: Get a public or private tour of the complex and learn about the history, architecture, patient life in the asylum…Richardson Olmsted Campus Tours

Good for: date night, breakfast, staycations, throwing parties, suggesting to out-of-towners

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a hotel henry room


 

 

Elmwood’s ‘House of Pain’: BikeorBar


spin class at BikeorBar

It is now mid-March, the baby is here and it is time for guy bird to take off his pregnancy weight. With a pregnant wife and a couple of serious exams for work I may have hibernated, sat around reading, and stress ate a few too many Snickers. The timing is perfect to get serious because it is right about when all of the New Years resolution folks start to fade. I invite everyone to join me at my favorite spot to sweat: Bikeorbar.

This “House of Pain”, located in the Elmwood Village, is Buffalo’s first indoor cycling studio and it will leave you crying for mommy and then crawling back begging for more. This elite fitness studio offers an array of ass-kickin’ workouts while pumping bass into your veins. Imagine a one night stand between  Lance Armstrong & Beyonce  that gave birth to a child that was raised by Jillian Michaels & Kanye West and I give you BikeorBar.


Every class offered here will have you soaking wet and breathless. With the best stationary bikes in WNY they offer Spinning, Rowing, Barre, Aerial, Yoga, etc. My personal favorites are their hybrid classes that combine things like spinning and cross-fit in to one class that will for sure make you unable to lift the shampoo in your morning shower. Classes start as early as 5:45am and as late as 7:45pm. Take advantage of a BAFF class (bring a friend free) and then select from one of their many packages they offer. Take advantage of private classes/training as well.

The key to a good group class is the instructor and that is where BikeorBar really shines and sets itself apart from the competition. Every instructor (and I mean every single one) is going to destroy you. They all equally take full joy in watching you cry. The core of BikeorBar starts with the boss lady and headmistress, Alex, who welcomes all challengers- oh, did I forget to mention there is a scoreboard so let your competitive side go nuts (Alex doesn’t lose nor does she like to). Next up is the Sicilian Sensation that always has her sassy pants on: Brit (I call her “The Truth” because she will make you truly know what you’re made of). The sweetheart of the group who is all smiles while she yells at you: Tay (all you moms out there- she recently had a little boy and looks amazing already). MaryKate will have you doing things you never knew you could at her 5:45am rowing class. The silent statue of a man, Johnny, specializes in one on one training (should be a separate waiver to sign before a one on one with him). Last but not least the tatted up and by far the most intense instructor there: MJ (have the wheel barrel ready to roll you out after her class). Side note: I learned the hard way that “Hip Hop Spin” does NOT mean ‘oh cool Hip Hop music’– this is the most intense spinning class offered here and if you have a chance to take Bella’s or JayZ ‘s class you will not have a second to catch your breath. You have been warned. Live DJ Big Rob spinning during Friday night spin class is an epic and energetic event. Sign up at least a week in advance to get a spot.

live dj during spin: DJ Big Rob

This place will quickly become your fitness family or for me my daily therapy sessions because Brit is such a good listener and after a one hour session with her my daily stress is quickly forgotten. This place welcomes all levels of fitness: first time spinners, cyclists, triathletes, gymnasts, yogis, dancers and most importantly those looking to get their asses handed to them with a smile and a side of bass.

As a former Division I swimmer and aspiring triathlete with loads of triathlons under my belt and a handful of half-Ironman events, this is where you will find me getting the bulk of my training done. So download your MindBody app, get logged into Spivi and go to Bikeorbar.com to get signed up for your first class. Coming soon to a cycling studio near you- catch guy bird at his first “Bring a Baby to Barre” class with Tay, It will be quite the show. 

-Beau

rowing class

The Ultimate Love Guide Part 2: Valentine Cool Things to Do

cupid-arrow

Part 2 in 2017’s Valentine’s lovefest: cool things to do…besides food.

We have rounded up ideas for you- couples, friends, Galentine’s Day lovers, singles, family. Take a look at our top picks to celebrate! If you’re out-of-the-box, this list is for you.


Part 2: Cupid Adventures

2/9: Ashkers: Tango Lessons– why not register you and your better half for tango lessons beginning in March? It is the vertical expression of horizontal desire, after all…tango

2/10: MUSEjar: BYOB Couples Paint Night– for the artists and non-artists. It’s all about teamwork to create this painting. *eat at Elm Street Bakery afterward

2/10: Red Hot Chili Peppers at KeyBank Center- give it away give it away give it away now! 90’s dates are always the answer. *eat at Lagerhaus95 afterward

2/10 – 2/20: Niagara Falls Aquarium: Sealed With A Kiss– get kisses from the aquarium’s Harbor seals & a pic to share on social media (of course)! *cute for kids! eat at Rainforest Cafe or The Griffon Gastropub

2/11: Costamagna Designs: La Seduction– seduction? Yes. A collaboration with Primrose Path Boutique and Private Knives Catering makes for something unique to do with your partner. *get dinner at Rick’s on Main after

2/11: Buffalo Philharmonic: A Valentine Romance– special event with tunes from Broadway and the American songbook. Classic. *get dinner nearby at Lait Cru Brasserie

2/12: Buffalo History Museum: Jazz on Second Sundays– tour the museum and enjoy live jazz music while you mellow out together. *eat at Trattoria Aroma after

hatchets2/14: Hatchets & Hops: Axes and Oh’s– we see what you did there, guys. Want something majorly outside of the box? THIS is what to go to. Throw axes as you celebrate love. YES. *eat at Big Ditch afterward

now through 2/14: Adopt-An-Animal at the Buffalo Zoo! Instead of dinner or chocolate or a card, give your animal lover this opportunity to be a ‘parent’. Includes zoo passes!

2/17: Lake Erie Wine County: Wine & Chocolate Weekend– really, do we need to convince you of this?? *perfect for the girls

2/19: Darwin Martin House: there are a couple events you can check out, but we kinda like the idea of the Snowshoes & Cocoa experience on 2/19!

2/23: The Game of Thrones Experience– well this is different! GOT fans you NEED to go immerse yourself in to the music & visuals with a full live orchestra and choir with theme composer Ramin Djawadi. We are #HouseStark…just sayin’.

2/25 – 2/26: Buffalo Botanical Gardens: Orchid Show– the orchids are back and beautiful, as always! Relax and walk through the beautiful colors at the gardens. *eat at Curly’s afterward

2/26: HEAL BFLO: Yoga Retreat– ya gotta stay flexible if you’re gonna make it work. Hit up this all day retreat with friends or your partner to bring yourself back to center.

latte-art2/27: Public Espresso: Milk Steaming & Latte Art– these guys always have fun events at the Hotel, including this one. Can you latte art? (we can’t) *eat at Casa Azul afterward

Buffalo Science Museum: Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World– now through May 7! Check out the electric evolution of one of the world’s most famous instruments. Rock on. *eat on Hertel Ave. afterward

Niagara Falls Culinary Institute– check out the different events happening throughout February, like ‘Chocolate Truffles’ and ‘Sundae Funday’. *great for families, too!

Buffalo Botanical Gardens: Lumagination– the gardens are lit up at night with fantastic bright colors and this year, they have teamed up with the UB Theatre & Dance Department to bring in never-before-seen designs. *great for bringing the kids, too!

lumagination
Dennis J. Luthart photo

Makers Buffalo– check out everything goin’ down this month at Makers Buffalo that you can do with friends or your significant other. Pick from wood burning, embroidery, or creating the Spike Quartz necklace.

 

The Story of Us

Before we made downtown Buffalo our home, our lives were slightly far away. It was one of those love-at-first-sight sappy love stories…we kid you not. On a trip back home to Newfane, NY for a girls’ night, I walked in to Taboo (now called Lock 34) and locked eyes with a very cute bartender (cliche, you say?). Nervous, I ordered a salad and my best girl acted as wing-woman to make sure we at least said more than our dinner orders to him. After the number swap and setting a date, the rest is history. Inseparable.

To give you the super quick version of how we met and fell in love, we want to share our Save the Date from fall 2014 with you. We wrote this story in a Tim Horton’s one rainy night after our engagement in 2013 and Vallarina Creative designed the fun layout with us!

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Beau moved in to the Hotel Lafayette in early Spring 2012- one of the very first tenants in the newly restored building. We received a hardhat tour from Rocco Termini himself before it was even completed and signed on right away, dirt floors and all. I visited from Erie, PA every weekend and we explored Buffalo together- kayaking, trying new restaurants, watching Canalside being built, smelling Cheerios, and biking to Elmwood Village. The city was coming alive with new business and places to eat every month. In the Fall of 2012, I moved to Buffalo after it had impressed me so. There was so much fun to be had, how could I not be here during its rebirth?

Things were changing, yet people found our adventures hard to believe.

‘Ok. We’ll show you.’

And so became the Buffalovebirds idea. The story of us.

Okay, so there is the Save the Date Love Story…what about the wedding??

buff news 5
The Riggs Wedding, Larkin Square 8/8/15

Well you’re just gonna have to wait for the next post. 😉

 

-Lindsay