Buffalo is embracing its winters like never before. Civic energy is at an all-time high and nearly every week features a new hotel, restaurant, craft brewery or distillery.
Lace up your skates and head to the Ice @ Canalside, a 33,000 square foot skating rink on a historic recreation of the Erie Canal (opening mid-November). Glide underneath whipple truss bridges and see the new developments all around the rink, like the $200 million HarborCenter complex featuring a 200-room Marriott Hotel, two NHL-size hockey rinks and two-story sports bar, (716) Food & Sport. Or rent one of the Ice Bikes of Buffalo, a bicycle fitted with a stainless steel frame for a seamless experience on the ice, believed to be the first of its kind available for public rental in North America. Across from Canalside, the Connecting Terminal grain elevator has a nightly light show on its walls.
Further up the Buffalo River, the Riverworks sports and entertainment complex houses curling and pond hockey tournaments throughout the winter in the shadow of the city’s historic grain elevators as well as a bar, restaurant, roller derby rink and concert venue. Soon, a grain elevator at RiverWorks will also have a new brewery. It’s one of a handful of craft breweries that are in development or have recently opened, including Resurgence, Big Ditch and Flying Bison Brewing Companies, as well as new distilleries: Lockhouse, Tommyrotter and Niagara Distilling Co.
Visitors touring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex in North Buffalo will see the house in its restored state for the first time this winter following more than 15 years and $50 million in restoration work. The Martin House is just the latest example of Buffalo reclaiming its extraordinary legacy of turn-of-the-century American architecture.
It’s hard to describe a theater experience at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo in one word, but magical just about sums it up. At Kleinhans Music Hall, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will be providing a full line-up of concerts for the Christmas season and throughout the winter.
Before you take your seat to for a show, spend the afternoon at some of Buffalo’s fine museums.Head to the Buffalo History Museum to see “Inside Tim Russert’s Office,” an exhibit commemorating the life of the Buffalo native and television icon that features the NBC workspace of the former Meet the Press host. Just down the street, the world-renowned Albright-Knox Art Gallery will be highlighting Pablo Picasso at its “Picasso and His Models” exhibit starting Nov. 5. Or browse through the outstanding collections of regional art at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
There’s one thing that can display Buffalo pride like no other: game day. Catch the final Bills home games of the season at New Era Stadium, or head to the Key Center for Sabres hockey or Bandits lacrosse. If you prefer to engage in the snow-tivities yourself, enjoy a day of skiing at Holiday Valley in Ellicottville, NY or Kissing Bridge in Colden. Chestnut Ridge in Orchard Park also provides fun for the family with its nostalgic toboggan chutes.
For more information about these events and much more, go to www.visitbuffaloniagara.com or call 1-800-BUFFALO.