Griffis Sculpture Park - yes, bring the kids! - The Buffalo News
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Griffis Sculpture Park - yes, bring the kids!

I've lived here my entire life, but had never been to Griffis Sculpture Park. It seemed like it was too far away, or too much walking for my kids, or maybe just not family friendly.

Boy was I wrong.

One day, my girls and I decided to take the drive. It was about 45-minutes from our East Aurora home. The Park is in Cattaraugus County between Ashford Hollow and East Otto. So, off we were. We had a packed lunch and our stroller. The drive was beautiful. The rolling hills, gorgeous landscape and farmland were simply breathtaking.

No, that's not a real spider, it's a super cool sculpture. One of hundreds at Griffis Sculpture Park. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

Once we got there, we paid our entrance fees (adults $5, kids under 12, free) as instructed per their honor system. We put it all in the yellow box. Be sure to have cash with you since nobody is there to take credit cards, give you change, etc. Then we had to figure out which way to go, as there are a few different tails to pick from.

You'll find hundreds of large scale sculptures placed through miles of hiking trails. The sculptures are beautiful, colorful and my kids loved trying to figure out what each one was and what it meant. This was a favorite.

The sculptures are set along the hiking trails all through the park. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

It is nature at its finest. The trails are a bit of a rough terrain, but we were fine pushing the baby stroller through the fields. There are some benches, and picnic tables if you'd like to take a break, have some lunch or just relax. It really is a great place to enjoy art and nature together. You can stay as long as you'd like. Five minutes or five hours. There's plenty to see. You'll get your steps in, and see amazing, colorful works of art.

We spent hours there, had a lunch and a ball. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

We spent about three hours walking around, checking things out. The sculpture park is over 400 acres of land with around 250 sculptures exhibited. We didn't see everything but we did enjoy our time. There aren't many places that can be appreciated and enjoyed by my little girls (ages 2 and 5) and my big girls (ages 20 and 21). Griffis Sculpture Park is one of them.

There is an art center on the property, but we did not make it there. There are restrooms, but we only saw the ones near the parking lot. Once you get into the trails, you're out of luck.

It's a beautiful hike alongside incredible artwork. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

Recommendations

  • Wear comfortable shoes (sneakers, not sandals).
  • Don't forget the sunblock.
  • Strollers are fine, but may get muddy. Ours did, so putting it in the car was no fun.
  • Bring a lunch, sit under a tree or at one of the picnic tables and have a picnic.
  • Bring cash for the admission box.
  • Bring a camera.
  • Be warned - there is an area with nude sculptures around a pond area.

Rules

  • Pack out what you pack in - do not litter.
  • Keep dogs on leash at all times.
  • No camping.
  • No alcohol.
  • No campfires or smoking to prevent fires.
  • No fishing -the park is a nature preserve.

 

GRIFFIS SCULPTURE PARK

6902 Mill Valley Road, East Otto

Hours: Open dawn to dusk daily May 1 through Oct. 31.

Cost: $5 adults, $3 for seniors and students, children 12 and younger are admitted free. (Honor system, put it in the yellow box.)

Information: Griffispark.org

Special event: The band 10,000 Maniacs performing the entire "In My Tribe" album to benefit the park from 2 to 7 p.m. July 16. Gates open at noon. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. By tickets ONLINE. The event will take place on the top of the hill at the Mill Valley site of the park. It is a 10-minute walk uphill to the festival site. There will be a shuttle service to help attendees get to the concert area. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs.

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