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50 ways to leave your mother... ...or anyone else you've had enough of over Thanksgiving. We've got a whole lot of ways to avoid boredom and entertain guests during next week's holiday break.

It's bound to happen during the long Thanksgiving weekend, that moment when you can't bear to watch another football game or toy commercial, or listen to one more story about someone's vacation, surgery or divorce. Friends and relatives are wonderful to have around during the holidays, but there comes a time when you know it's time to go out on the town.

You won't be alone. There are hundreds of diversions in our gritty city, and thousands of people -- just like you, your friends and your relatives -- who feel the need to be entertained. For your pleasure, we've come up with 50 activities (count them, we dare you) that cover such a wide range of interests, even your snarkiest relative will be pleased (or too shocked to complain). Many are events that take place between Wednesday and Nov. 25. Some are timeless. A few are even free.

1. Bring your babe to the woods for a nature discovery program from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Beaver Meadow Audubon Center, 1610 Welch Road in North Java. $5 for child (age 3 to 5) and adult. Register by calling (585) 457-3228.

2. American Song Book hits the Riviera Theatre at 2 p.m. Wednesday for monthly vaudeville show. $5 at 67 Webster St. in North Tonawanda.

3. All-ages show at the Town Ballroom, 681 Main St., starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday and features the alternative sounds of Dinosaur Jr., Shonen Knife and The Juliet Dagger. $20 advance/$24 door.

4. Kavinoky Theatre's "Crazy Mary" by A.R. Gurney will get you going at 2 p.m. Sunday at D'Youville College, 320 Porter Ave. (Can't make it then? Additional showtimes at

5. Blues fever starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday with Kim Mitchell at Tralf Music Hall. ($22 Ticketmaster).

6. More blues performed by Mark Winsick at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday inside the old but venerable Sportsmen's Tavern, 326 Amherst St.

7. Gobble chocolate while singing the blues with Jony James at 10 p.m. Wednesday inside Chocolate Bar, 114 W. Chippewa St.

8. Watch hundreds of turkeys flock by in various attire on Delaware Avenue around 10 a.m. Thursday during the historic and histrionic Turkey Trot. Many vantage points to choose from, but at the corner of Allen Street, the landscape is oh so intriguing. And make sure you hit Arby's for coffee! (

9. Hang out with truckers for a Thanksgiving to remember at Jim's Truck Plaza Restaurant, 2125 Walden Ave. in Cheektowaga. The Walden Avenue truck stop features turkey dinner with the trimmings starting at noon.

10. Our suggested Thanksgiving movie marathon starts with dysfunctional family "Hannah and Her Sisters" starring Woody Allen and Mia Farrow (1986, rated PG).

11. Leave the pigskin fanatics at home and go bowling at Voelker's Lanes, 686 Amherst St. Open bowling starts at 5 p.m. Thursday (Yes, Thursday!) at $3.25 per game.

12. Midnight Madness: Go loony at Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, 1900 Military Road, starting at 12:01 a.m. next Friday.

13. Movie II: "Scent of a Woman" with Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell shows "Dancing With the Stars" how a tango should be performed. The ultimate film to give thanks by (1992, rated R).

14. Check out the last days of "Remembering Tomorrow" by Catherine Parker; it runs through Nov. 25 at Insite Gallery, 810 Elmwood Ave. (887-2921)

15. See if Bill Cosby still has it at 8 p.m. next Friday inside Seneca Niagara Casino, 310 4th St., Niagara Falls ($50 and $60 at Eight Clans Gift Shop, Ticketmaster).

16. Movie III: "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" with John Candy and Steve Martin. Think flying home from Manhattan is bad? See what these buffoons go through to get home in time to eat turkey (1987, rated R).

17. Broadway Market looks good in tinsel during Christmas Food Fair from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Friday and Nov. 24 (

18. Not ready for Ellicottville? Experience another kind of boarding at Xtreme Wheels, 356 Hertel Ave. Noon to 10 p.m. next Friday for $10. Fight Your Turkey Day I concert starts at 6 p.m. and features: Last Hour, Affront the Riot, Fraility, Wings of Eden and Surrender the Hope. $6 advance. $7 door (871-9361).

19. Movie IV: "Pieces of April" -- shot in three weeks on a $200,000 budget -- features Katie Holmes with tattoos (2003, rated PG-13).

20. View Art Deco the way it was meant to be seen -- up close -- during a walking tour of City Hall from Buffalo Tours. Meet at lobby desk at noon next Friday (852-3300)

21. All pigged out and nowhere to go? Try the Gobble Walk from 10 a.m. to noon next Friday at Woodlawn Beach State Park. This fast-paced, two-mile hike tracks the boardwalk, beach, nature trails and the magnificent sand dunes (826-8895).

22. Edgy drama in an edgier setting: "The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant" presented by Torn Space Theater at the Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle & Library, 612 Fillmore Ave. 8 p.m. next Friday and Nov. 24 for $12 and $20 (812-5733).

23. Movie V: "Home for the Holidays" finds Dylan McDermott and Holly Hunter directed by Jodie Foster (1995, rated PG-13).

24. The world's largest elf in person at the Fairgrounds Holiday Lights Festival! Running from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. next Friday to Dec. 30 at 5600 McKinley Parkway in Hamburg. $15 per car (

25. Head for Bada Bing Bar and Grill at 115 W. Chippewa St. next Friday to watch the Buffalo Sabres try and score -- goals, that is. Game time 7:30 p.m. against the Montreal Canadiens.

26. Comet watching anyone? Here Come the Comets and Any December at Staples of Allentown, 523 Allen St. Show starts at 10 p.m. next Friday.

27. Unique holiday gifts also at Annual Artist Exhibit and Sale in Tri-Main Center, 2495 Main St., Suite 500 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 24 (833-4450).

28. Movie VI: "Miracle on 34th Street" with Maureen O'Sullivan and little Natalie Wood starts with Macy's Thanksgiving Parade (1947).

29. "A Christmas Carol" plays at 7:30 p.m. next Friday and Nov. 24 inside Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster. Tickets $14 and $16.

30. In the mood for a living Christmas tree? Head for Urban Roots for Buy Buffalo Week: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 24. Find your roots at 428 Rhode Island St. (362-8982).

31. Even Santa eats breakfast, so why not join him at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 24 at Magruders Restaurant, 4945 Broadway in Depew? Presented by the Lancaster Opera House for $12 a pop.

32. On Nov. 24, the college football party starts at 1 p.m. inside The Steer, 3151 Main St. Listen as the UB Bulls take on Kent State, and sip Hot Apple Toddies while you're at it.

33. During the World's Largest Disco on Nov. 24 at the Buffalo Convention Center, stop by the Buffalo House, 172 Franklin St., for a room with a view of disco ducks. Grab a drink and watch the goings-on across the way.

34. Culture cravers head to Corning's Market District as the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, 111 Cedar St., launches next Friday a Native American pottery exhibit never before on public display. Hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission $6.50 adult, $5.50 student (

35. Artsy gifts for artsy friends at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery gift shop, 1285 Elmwood Ave. While you're there check out the "Panza Collection: An Experience of Color and Light." It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 24 and Nov. 25. Admission $10 adult, $8 senior/student (882-8700).

36. A museum dedicated to gathering the history of fire service: Firemen's Memorial Exhibit Center of Western New York, 4140 Seneca St. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 24 (712-0413).

37. Not-your-average tour: Try Artspace's "Backyard: An Emerging Neighborhood" (across from the Delta Sonic on Main Street) 11 a.m. to noon Nov. 24. Visit 7/0 2/S aturdays-behind-artspace.html

38. Got a bit of Scrooge going on? Check out "The Nutcracker" at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 24 or 2 p.m. Nov. 25 at Shea's Performing Arts Center. Performed by BalletMet and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets $28 to $55 ( or boxoffice).

39. Grab a bite at Gigi's on 257 East Ferry St., where fried chicken and sweet potato pie rule.

40. Attention Cat People (we know who you are): Buffalo's Cat Fanciers Allbreed Cat Show Returns to the Hamburg Fairgrounds' Agri-Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 24 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 25. $5 adults, $4 children.

41. Jazz matinee with the Ronnie Davis combo and Gretchen Schultz from 3 to 6 p.m. Nov. 24 at Sportsmen's Tavern, 326 Amherst St.

42. Give thanks for beer during the Buffalo Brew 5.5-hour tour starting at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 24 behind the Goodwill Store at the southeast corner of Main Street and Transit Road. $50 will get you transportation to breweries and bars plus more (

43. Dreaming of a warm-weather vacation but lack the funds? Head to Dave and Busters at the Eastern Hills Mall, 4545 Transit Road in Clarence to watch the Bills play a balmy game in Jacksonville, Fla. starting at 1 p.m. Nov. 25. Play some Skee-ball, why don't you?

44. Sunday jazz at Nietzsche's starts at 6 p.m.: Rose Bond with the Allen Street Jazz Band.

45. Gusto at the Gallery's lineup for next Friday includes screenings of three documentaries and a performance by Janet Reed and Dancers. The free event starts at 3 p.m.; Reed and Dancers are scheduled to perform at 7:30.

46. Polka off the pounds for $10 with the Bedrock Boys and Nickel City Notes in the Lily of the Valley Banquet Center, 2379 Union Road. 7 p.m. Nov. 24 (668-6800).

47. "Moon for the Misbegotten" continues the Eugene O'Neill retrospective by Irish Classical Theatre at the Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. with 2 p.m. Nov. 25 staging. Tickets $37 to $42 at 853-4282. (for additional showtimes, go to

48. Thirty-three dollars gets you an invite to Stas and Stella's Mostly Traditional Polish Wedding at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 25 with music by the City Side Players inside the swanky Hearthstone Manor, 333 Dick Road (684-8850).

49. Trans-Siberian Orchestra: String musicians with long hair play Christmas classics -- with a good light show. 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25 at HSBC Arena. ($39.50 and $49.50 at or 888 223 6000).

50. Four architectural tours at your fingertips! Grab your cell phone (2 4/7 ) and head downtown for a Self-Guided Audio Tour from Buffalo Tours. Check out

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