Explore & More: Did We Survive the Scavenger Hunt?

The room was packed. The sound of fast-talking, anxious voices overpowered the lobby of 500 Seneca and you could barely hear the person next to you. All ages (18+, that is) and types (suits and sneakers) were huddled together, worshiping over a paper map. Playful banter and friendly (maybe?) competition ensued- gearing up to beat out the other in the game. By 5:45pm,  it became a room of salivating wolves.

Okay…we’re exaggerating- they were happy wolves! It was the Explore & More Children’s  Museum Scavenger Hunt! (now known as the Explore & More- the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Children’s Museum) The adult day of play event focuses on raising money for Explore & More through a fun hunt around the city of Buffalo. With a team of 4-5 people in one car, you utilize an app that messages trivia and clues as to where you need to go throughout the neighborhoods. This is how you accumulate points to win. So there we were- only 90 minutes to get in as many activities as we could with our friends Tom and Jess: mimic a statue at Albright-Knox, take a selfie with the Chef’s sauce can, find the type of bird above City Hall…we strategized as best we could and sometimes found ourselves racing against another team on foot while grabbing pictures and eating food.

We were so pumped to be a sponsor again this year. There are a few reasons we believe in this event:

  1. The proceeds go to the new Explore & More which opens Spring 2019 at Canalside. (duh.) The new location is massive (43,000 sq. ft.) and will offer MORE activities, adventure, and education for kids in a centralized location that benefits children in the city and surrounding neighborhood rings. Giving our youth the opportunity to access the museum is beneficial to ALL types of kids and that is one way we can grow happy, healthy, and curious people.
  2. We are starting our own family. We want Chloe and any future kids to have a beautiful, well-supported children’s museum where they can play and discover new things.
  3. Our region grows by new and re-imagined spaces for local residents of the 716 and those coming in to the area for a visit. With both of us being Leadership Buffalo graduates, one top of mind thing we took away from the program was ‘Make Buffalo Better’. Isn’t that exactly what the museum is going to do? A better city, region, and education for our future?

Enough sappy talk. The point here is the Scavenger Hunt was a HOOT. We cannot wait for next year and to see it double again (which it did in 2018!). If you missed it, that’s okay. You’ll make it in 2019. For now, consider supporting Explore & More through their new crowdfund campaign to make sure the ‘Lighting Buffalo’s Imagination’ exhibit comes to fruition. (Donate here) Come on and ‘play it forward’.

Because no matter what our age, we ALL want to get out there and play.

Lovebird Fav: The Healthy Scratch at Harborcenter

Inside The Healthy Scratch

The Healthy Scratch opened today inside the Harborcenter Shops! We are so pumped to have another juicery downtown, this time by Canalside and the Key Bank Center.

This place is the dream of the Pegula daughters, Jessie and Kelly, and is their first venture of brick & mortar business after being inspired by their parents.

It is the perfect grab & go spot for smoothies, juices, acai bowls, and artiasan toast. The cool chalkboard is easy to read and the girls have some samples if you are curious about which juice to get.

juices, shots, salads, overnight oats

I opted for a ‘Coming In Hot’: granola, cinnamon, cacao nibs, banana, & organic almond milk. So. Good. So good there is no picture to prove it. Gone in a minute. (whoops!)

They have a corner of One Buffalo gear, local organic beauty products, quick snacks like Boom Chicka Pop, and other items for your healthy lifestyle or for gifts.

I cannot come home without some cool shots for Beau, so i grabbed a wheatgrass and a detox. Absolutely making this a common stomping ground. I’d put a bet out there that we will check out their bowls and toast this week.

Buffalovebird Tips:

Park in the Harborcenter ramp- it’s FREE for the first hour. No-brainer. Park on P3 and take the elevator down. You can also take the subway all the way down, too, if you are up in the Theatre District/Chippewa area.

The Healthy Scratch website

Can we talk about these toasts?!

Canalside: The Ice Rink!

Oh, we are back! The beauty of a new computer! You can blog once more! Thank you to everyone who has been following along on our Instagram & Twitter accounts! You guys rock! We feel everything should end with an exclamation point right now! Our first post back? Our goosebump-inducing Canalside Ice Rink opener- what better than to get back in to things with Buffalo’s newest destination??

Canalside Ice Rink (photo by Insta user: @jordanschneider1
Canalside Ice Rink (photo by Insta user: @jordanschneider1

On Thursday 12/18/14, we were a handful of the lucky people who were able to experience the NEW Canalside Ice Rink in downtown Buffalo! You guys…you MUST go. Watching this once-Aud-then-grass-and-dirt site transform in the past 2 years has been quite the experience. Finally, Buffalo has another family, friends, and tourist destination to enjoy!

We were part of a sponsor team which means we were fortunate to get there and ‘Rush the Ice’ before the public could. As you know, we make our city life at the Hotel Lafayette and we love to walk or use the subway whenever we can in order to promote the city and its offerings. So we walked to Canalside in the early evening and met up with a few sponsor colleagues. Upon arrival, we beamed with excitement to see the massive transformation. You watch it unfold for months, but seeing the finished project at the end is always a surprise and incredibly rewarding.

The Ice at Canalside is huge and it is BEAUTIFUL. Being the former Erie Canal and old Aud- the bridges are up, the ice is down, and the waterfront has open a new chapter on Buffalo development. Decorated with lit pine swags along the bridges, a Christmas tree (sponsored by First Niagara), a Winter Cafe stocked with hot chocolate, popcorn, and warm pretzels…a skate rental ‘crate’ with fresh out-of-the-box skates (same building idea of reused shipping containers at Dog E Style), the summer Canalside Adirondack chairs sprawled through out so you can prep yourself, modern tables and chairs adorn one bridge, food trucks lined up, and Larkinville’s Market Stalls loaded with local vendors sprinkled the entire ice rink area. Heated stone walkways, a rubbery surface along the perimeter (so you can walk in your skates), heaters, and speakers pumping out holiday music filled the space. This being opening night, the crowd was trickling in for a couple hours before the big countdown!

The Zamboni clearing way in prep for the evening
The Zamboni clearing way in prep for the evening

With brief speeches, a holiday set performance by Neon Trees atop the Commerical St. Bridge, and demos by speed skaters, the Ice Bikes, and figure skaters- the time came! We ice-skate-stomped on to the rink among the first small crowd allowed on the ice as part of the lead sponsors. EVERYONE was smiling and laughing, hooting and hollering! Little hockey kids zipping by, couples holding hands trying not to fall, Mom’s with their cameras on the rails, old-school men skating with swagger, and hundreds watching on the sidelines- waiting to let loose in the rink. There was a wild rush we felt once we stepped on the ice- here we were- the original Erie Canal once stood here…the Aud (demolished in 2009) was once here <<and you can see the exact spot on the ice rink where an emblem is placed>>…to see so many people from all over WNY (and further!) here to enjoy DOWNTOWN left us with tons of cheesy warm & fuzzy feelings.

With being on the ice for only 10 minutes, a wild and gorgeous fireworks display shot off to the north of the rink. It was literally a constant ‘finale’ for minutes on end- hey, someone hire this guy for the 4th. People stopped mid-skate to watch. It was probably one of the best fireworks displays we have seen- ever. We kid you not. It was the perfect opening to the new rink and yet another surge of the city.

Thursday was an open skate- and free!- and anyone from age 2 to 102 could be found on the rink. Scattered among the skaters were some ice-bikers (the same fellas that bring you water bikes are now bringing you ice bikes to rent on the rink). We congratulated guy birds’ colleague (part owner of the water & ice bikes) on his new endeavor.

Ice bikes for rent at Canalside
Ice bikes for rent at Canalside


After skating for a good half hour, we hopped off the rink and walked across the street to the new Tim Hortons (located on the corner of the new Harborcenter), which was packed with people of all ages. Knowing (716) would be totally nuts (we were right), we hopped on the subway and got of to walk on to Chippewa and grab a a bite at The Lodge (gimme that Fish Taco). <<and here is to hoping the Liberty Hound will coincide more winter hours now?>> We didn’t stop talking about the evening and how excited we were to see OTHER PEOPLE excited about the city. The only thing is- the city has been revitalizing over the past two years. The rink isn’t the beginning- it’s another milestone of awesomeness and excitement for downtown. Congratulations to Canalside, its sponsors, and all of the workers to make this rink happen! (And thanks to Bass Pro Shops who ditched us a few years ago muahaha!)

waiting to get ice skates
waiting to get ice skates

With a surface LARGER than Rockefeller Center in NYC, the new Ice at Canalside is huge and you don’t have to wait long to get on (if there is a line). With music filling the air, there is something magical you feel while gliding around and seeing new development everywhere in downtown. We can’t wait to bring our families and friends to show it off (and to keep changing their minds about downtown!!). If there is ANYTHING you must do this winter in Buffalo- make sure you head to Canalside to skate your cares away!


Canalside Buffalo // Ice at Canalside

44 Prime St. Buffalo, NY 14202


(click above for the ice rink times & details!)

TICKETS: 13 & up: $5 // ages 6-12: $3 // 5 & under: free!



you can drive in and park in surrounding streets and lots (check Canalside website!)

OR we suggest if you’re a northtowner or above, park at UB on Main St. and take the subway in! The last stop drops you off at Canalside- no hassels!


(716): 7 Scott St. —> right across the street from the Ice 716.855.4716

Tim Horton’s: 100 Washington St. —> right across from the Ice

Liberty Hound: 1 Naval Park Cove —> literally right behind the rink; only seasonal hours in winter 716.845.9173

Lagerhaus 95: 95 Perry St. —> walkable from the rink; awesome African Peanut soup & beer 716.200.1798

Iron Works: 49 Illinois St. —> walkable from the rink; often has live music 716.200.1893

The Archer: 268 Main St. —> get on the FREE subway and get off at Seneca, it’s right in front of you 716.768.4661

coming soon in 2015 : Pizza Plant

anxious ^ pumped up- people wait to get on the ice (scene from Winterfest, Jan. 2015)
anxious ^ pumped up- people wait to get on the ice (scene from Winterfest, Jan. 2015)
get on it!!
get on it!!
you & your buds can reserve slots to go curling! check out the website for details
you & your buds can reserve slots to go curling! check out the website for details

Weekend Bash: 6/6 – 6/8

Summer is here, Buffalonians! You know it when you look at the events occurring this weekend and you just do not know where to start. We listed a brief weekenders to-do here, but make sure you check all sources to get ALL of the fantastic WNY dates!


  • Kiss the Summer Hello- SOLD OUT. Who is gonna propose on stage tonight while Jason Derulo sings ‘Marry Me’? Oh boy…Hit up some after parties downtown.
  • Red Cross Mash Bash: From 8pm-midnight, dance the night away at this military-themed fundraiser happening at the American Red Cross on Delaware Ave. Food, drinks, music, and…LANCE DIAMOND. ’nuff said. All proceeds support the Buffalo American Red Cross in emergency responses. $75/person. Read all the details here: The Bash
  • Eclectic Improv at Burchfield-Penney: 8pm, $15/person…have you seen these guys? Go laugh your butt off. *great date night
  • Polish Heritage Fest (Friday & Saturday): Head to the Hamburg Fairgrounds for a pierogi eating contest, live polka band, vendors, Polish Genealogy, and more. $10




  • Closing party for the Congress for New Urbanism. 6pm at Larkin Square and open to everyone. Music, food, drink- you know the drill in Larkinville. Mix and mingle with some great minds of architecture, design, builders, and revolutionists.

Willie Nelson & Alison Krauss at Artpark: You do not want to miss out on this performance in Lewiston. Hit up Tin Pan Alley, The Silo, or Town Hall American Bistro for dinner.

Saturday Artisan Market at Canalside: From 10-5, venture around the waterfront and check out numerous artisans and vendors while enjoying the sunshine.

East Aurora Music Festival: 33 bands, 10 venues, auction, 50/50, Del Aureo’s pizza, sliders, beer & wine, and kettle corn…you can literally walk the town from band to band! $10, wrist band. Look over the site for info & get your mobile map.

Master of Great Architecture Walking Tour: Meet up at The Archer on Main St. for a walking tour of Buffalo’s greatest architects’ buildings. $10, $5 for students. 90 minutes to 2 hours- good exercise! 😉 Enjoy dinner afterward at The Archer with 10% deal.



Battle of the Blues Bands: from 3-6:30pm, head to Canalside to check out the competitors to open for George Thorogood on 6/27. Bring your chairs.

Woodlawn Beach: $7 to park in lot….or sneak in from the other side. We never said that. Get some Vitamin C. Grab your towels, sunscreen, cooler, shades, and frisbee. Also, the new tiki bar is open. Once we sun it up, we will take some photos for you guys. (instagram: buffalovebirds)

Down By the River Tour: $15, $5 student with ID…explore The Erie Canal, Old First Ward neighborhood, Cobblestone District, and the railroad history of the waterfront. 90 minutes to 2 hours. Meet up at The Swannie House 170 Ohio St.

Weekend Bash: 3/21 – 3/23

March Madness has landed in Buffalo- and we have stepped up our game. Have you noticed the City of Good Neighbors blowing up Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram? We are pretty darn good at it, and it will only continue to grow. Make sure you’re helping out our #buffhoops visitors and show ’em what we are made of!


Blues & Brews kicks off at 6pm in the Ellicott Square Building 295 Main St. in downtown Buffalo. Live music from Chicago Jack and His Blues Band, pours from Flying Bison, and BBQ from Fat Bob’s Smokehouse.  Benefits Kevin Guest House. $35.00 in advance and $40.00 at the door. kevinguesthouse.org

Buffalo Motorama kicks off today and stays through the weekend at the Convention Center. Check out hot rods, classics, restored, unrestored, race cars, and the Munsters’ cars. Drop your lady off at the Women’s Oasis inside where she will forget you’re scoping out the awesome cars- she will be browsing with The Pampered Chef, thirty-one, Lia Sophia, D’Avolio and many more. Admission – adults $15, kids ages 6-12 – $7, kids under 6 – free

Buffalo, can you hear me? The Who’s Tommy is on at MusicalFare Theatre through 3/30. This riveting, moving rock opera is not to be missed. Get all your pinball wizard moves here. $42, can purchase online or at door. Daemen College 4380 Main St. Amherst.

The Buffalo Rotary Club is hosting their 8th Annual Wines of the World tonight at Kleinhans. Go international. Tickets $50.


NCAA D1 Men’s Basketball, obviously. Watch First Niagara Center’s site for details. Where will you be watching?

The Buffalo Military and Naval Park at Canalside will be open this weekend for tours. Make sure you reserve a hotspot at the Liberty Hound! Follow them on their new Twitter: @LibertyHoundBuf – Caitlin & The Moses Band is performing there 3:30-7pm.

The Iron Island Museum tour starts at 10:30am for you to learn all about the military history and hauntings. 998 E. Lovejoy St. Buffalo.

Zoso rocks out at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda Saturday at 8pm. This Led Zeppelin tribute band is awesome- we’ve lost count how many times we have watched them perform. Tight pants and all. $25-$35. Tickets easily scored online. Grab food at Remington Tavern while you’re at it. Want some BBQ? Head to Smoke on the Water.


Nickel City Chef.

Oops. Nope.

Sorry, guys. Still SOLD OUT. But you should definitely follow them on Twitter for live action updates! @NickelCityChef …Jennifer Boye of Mansion on Delaware vs Michael Dimmer of Black Market Food Truck!

***All the lovebirds need to head to their favorite local spot and hash out some important things: fill out the Best of Buffalo 2014 Readers Poll for Artvoice, figure out your plan of attack for Local Restaurant Week 3/31-4/6, and email Ashley@elmwoodvillage.org to get details on volunteering with the Spring Clean Up crew April 21-27!

Date Night Weekend Bash: 9/13- 9/15

Here are the top picks for your weekend dates!

FRI. 9/13

Buffalo Maritime Festival at Canalside is happening until Sunday 9/15 with the arrival of two tall ships, Peacemaker and Lynx. Joining our Spirit of Buffalo tall ship, the Maritime Festival is hosting ship tours, puppet shows for your children, the Canalside Food Fight on Saturday from 2-6pm, fireworks Saturday night, Canal Water & Whiskey audio tour sneak peek, and reenactments. Free! Not to mention one of favorite places, The Liberty Hound, will be open all weekend and will host the Beer Garden tonight. Check the website for parking info. (we still encourage you to use the subway! too easy!)

Canalside outdoor movie: The Pirates of the Caribbean at 7:30pm happens on the lawn. We say bundle up!

Djambossa performing at Coco on 888 Main St. at 8:30pm in Buffalo. Low lights, wine, savory menu…whisk yourselves away to a Paris-like feel tonight for dinner! Call for reservations: 716-332-1885

The Lodge is now open on 79 W. Chippewa for lunch, dinner, and late night. This beautiful new complex could be just what Chippewa needs. Be one of the first to experience it before the line is out the door. Click here to see some gorgeous interior shots.

SAT. 9/14

Johnny Appleseed Festival at Becker Farms & Vizcarra Vineyards is happening Sat. & Sun. where you can pick apples, take a hayride, enjoying live music, & wine! Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Flight of Five Winery Grand Opening in Lockport at Old City Hall is happening at 2pm! Head to Lockport for some wine & live music, pop over to Lake Effect Ice Cream, and a coffee at the new cafe Cream & Sugar (a new favorite of ours!) Read our archived post about Lockport and make a day of it!

Zombie Mud Run at the Great Pumpkin Farm! Ahhh! Registration is closed online, but you can sign up at 8am before you run from zombie in a 5K obstacle course. Can you survive??? Now THIS will be fun. $90. 11199 Main St. Clarence 14031

SUN. 9/15

Celtic Fest at Krull Park on route 18 in Olcott has it all: highlanders, pipes & drums, dancers, live music, and food. You can click here for pre-sale tickets or bring your cash at the entrance. The fest happens Sat. 10am-10pm & Sun. 10am-6pm. Free parking.

Freedom Run Winery outdoor film ‘Give & Take’ begins at 8pm. Wine, cocktails, and food set the ambiance for this Niagara Escarpment winery.

The Buffalo Bills play the Carolina Panthers at 1pm at Ralph Wilson. Did you get tickets? If not, host a party with your friends & family. Make sure your spread includes: Buffalo Wing Chicken Dip!