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BEST BETS

1. Get into the heart of apple country.

It's the fifth annual Apple Harvest at Niagara County's Fairgrounds this weekend.

These folks have put apples into everything: sausage, pizza, pie, sundaes, frapples and fudge, to name a few. Besides that, there is an arts and crafts show, games for children, hayrides, a scarecrow village maze and chicken dinners.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Directions: Take Exit 49 (Depew) off the Thruway and travel north 18 miles. The fairgrounds is on Route 78, north of Lockport.

Admission is $1 person; parking is free.

2. Do wolves really eat grandmothers?

Find out the facts and lore attached to this magnificent animal.

Sila, a silver wolf, and Merlin, a black wolf, will be at the Genesee Country Nature Center in Mumford at 7 p.m. Wednesday. They are from part of the Ambassador Wolf Program of Colorado's Mission: Wolf. Kent Weber, director of Mission: Wolf, and handler Tracy Brooks will present a slide presentation providing information on communication, folklore and the possibility of wolves living in the Northeast.

Admissions is $4 for adults; $3 for children ages 4 to 16. For directions and reservations, call 538-6822.

3. Your first crack at Halloween.

Visit Holiday Hollow, where family entertainment abounds. There is a haunted forest walk, a talking pumpkin show, a haunted library, the Hook & Smee stage show, a Halloween riddle trail. Also available are gifts and crafts, skill games, a fortuneteller and refreshments.

Geared for families with young children, the activities avoid terrifying and gruesome scenes. Admission is $5 per person.

Holiday Hollow is on Route 5 in Pembroke, one mile east of Route 77. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends in October, as well as Columbus Day. Call 762-8160 for details.
4. Don't be in the dark about the dark.

The Buffalo Museum of Science presents "In the Dark," an exhibit that goes beneath the soil to see moles, millipedes and worms; deep within a Kentucky limestone cave, and beneath the ocean near the Galapagos Islands. It also shows how humans have adapted to the dark.

There are games, walk-through dioramas and numerous activities to explain how creatures exist in lightless environments.

Organized by the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History, this traveling exhibit opens Saturday and runs through Jan. 11. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, except for Friday, when the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Admission is $5.25 for adults; $3.25 for children, seniors and students with ID; members and children under 3 are admitted free.

5. Find out what it was like to live on the Niagara Frontier during the 18th century.

Visitors to Old Fort Niagara can witness what residents did to prepare for the winter during the pre-industrial era. Costumed volunteers will demonstrate such skills as soapmaking, apple butter making, smoking and jerking meats, shot casting, cloth dying, quilting and cooking. Brant's Volunteers, a local re-enactment unit, will portray fur trading in the historic trade room. Also, there will be musket and rifle firing demonstrations.

Events take place between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Admission is $6.75 for adults; $4.50 for children 6 to 12; free for children under age 6.

Old Fort Niagara is in Youngstown, 14 miles north of Niagara Falls via the Robert Moses Parkway North.