Wednesday, February 20, 2013

10 Places to Visit This Winter for $15 or Less

For many people, winter doesn’t just bring about snow. Weight gain in the cold-weather months is a real concern, as we exercise less, spend more time indoors and eat pastas and other comfort foods.

This winter, get moving by exploring Western New York’s best indoor attractions.


1. Aquarium of Niagara (Niagara Falls)

Time: Daily: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $10 for adults, $6 for children 3-6
More Information: Website

Don’t miss the seahorse exhibit on the second floor. Plus, watch penguin feedings at 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. and catch a sea lion show at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. Sharks are fed on opposite days at 11:30 a.m.

Building maintenance may affect scheduled programming, so call ahead of time to confirm the day’s schedule.

2. Buffalo Museum of Science (Buffalo)

Time: Daily: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $9 for adults, $7 for children ages 2-17
More Information: Website

Learn the science behind snowflakes, predict the weather using meterology, and find out how scientists study fossil evidence. You can also explore anatomy and genetics at the museum’s Independent Health exhibit.

3. Explore and More (East Aurora)

Time: Wednesday - Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $5, Free for children under the age of 1
More Information: Website

A children’s museum in East Aurora, Explore and More is designed for children ages 1 to 10 and features exhibits about architecture, culture, food and art. Children can design and build a house, find out where food comes from and learn about cultures from around the world, including Mexico and the Netherlands.

4. Bounce Magic (Orchard Park, Amherst)

Time: Orchard Park: Monday – Friday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Amherst: Thursday – Monday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: Orchard Park: $10, Amherst: $12
More Information: Website

Rediscover “play.” Slide down an inflatable slide, jump in a bounce house, or play arcade games or mini golf. Bounce Magic in Orchard Park and Amherst open play every day, so you can stay and play for as long as you like.

5. Buffalo History Museum (Buffalo)

Time: Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday – Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $7 for adults, $2.50 for children 7 to 12
More Information: Website

The history museum’s Origins exhibit displays some of the museum’s earliest artifacts and closes in early March. Its Ever After exhibit displays rarely-seen artifacts owned by the museum and the Street of Shops takes you on a tour of 19th century businesses, including Buffalo Savings Bank. You’ll also see Millard Fillmore’s carriage.

Schedule your visit on a weekend when the trains are running. The train display includes a scale Erie Canal lock and 100 miniature buildings portraying 19th century Buffalo and Western New York.

6. Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site (Buffalo)

Time: Tours scheduled hourly, beginning at 9:30 a.m. weekdays and 12:30 p.m. weekends. Last tour: 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-18
More Information: Website

Journey to the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, where you’ll see the electric lights that lit the grounds and can watch a period film clip. You’ll stand in the room where Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th president of the United States and see where he wrote his first official proclamation as President of the United States.

7. Martin House Complex (Buffalo)

Time: Daily: hours vary by month
Cost: $15 for a basic tour
More Information: Website

Learn about famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright on a tour of the Martin House in Buffalo, originally built in 1907. On the basic tour, you’ll survey the exterior of the house, tour the floor spaces of the Martin House and proceed down the pergola and into the lush, plant-filled conservatory with the Nike in its focal niche. Finally, you’ll visit the extraordinary carriage house and Wisteria Museum Shop.

8. Skyzone (Cheektowaga)

Time: Daily: Monday - Thursday 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: $14 for 60 minute open jump
More Information: Website

Skyzone is an indoor trampoline park that makes it fun to exercise. Open jump allows access to Skyzone's main court, sky slam basketball, a foam pit and 3D Dodgeball. The entire interior is connected by trampolines, and you can literally bounce off the walls.

9. West Side Bazaar (Buffalo)

Time: Tuesday – Friday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free; most merchandise $20 or less
More Information: Website

The West Side Bazaar has 22 booths and a kitchen, offering authentic ethnic cuisine, jewelry and fashion items. Check out JJ Jam's, Queen City Sweetz, Moon Lady's Arts and Crafts, Pearl's Seeds and many others.

West Side Bazaar is part of the Westminster Economic Development Initiative, an organization that empowers individuals, especially refugees and immigrants, to take charge of their financial future. It provides a low-risk opportunity to start a business and offers mentoring, networking and loan opportunities to its participants.

10. Niagara Climbing Center (North Tonawanda)

Time: Monday – Friday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: $15 for unlimited day pass, special rates available for kids, students and groups
More Information: Website

Niagara Climbing Center is for every level of climber, from beginner to expert and has 30 different wall stations, each 20 feet high, and features to build skill, such as roofs and bulges.

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