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Erie County Youth Services will sponsor a free Summer Reading & Writing Camp. Dog Ears Bookstore, 688 Abbott Road in South Buffalo, will host the camp. The first installment, for 7- and 8-year-olds, will run daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 24 to 28. Others will take place July 31 to Aug. 4 for those 9 to 11; and Aug. 14 to 18 for students ages 12 and 13. Camps a…

Jason Mendola and his wife, Abbi, became interested in kayaking about a decade ago during a trip to Central America. “We were on an excursion in Guatemala. We were kayaking and wondered, ‘How come we’ve never done this at home?’ When I came back, I did what everybody else does: went to a sporting goods store, bought the cheapest boat imaginable, got out on the B…

Canalside has become the center of the summer outdoor fitness craze in Western New York, but those who don’t often frequent the downtown Buffalo waterfront won’t be left in the cold in the coming weeks. Independent Health will continue to sponsor Fitness in the Parks group fitness classes in several counties. State parks have a slate of hikes, kayaks and other event…

Shirley Carnall’s family wasn’t sure what to make of it five years ago when she joined the Buffalo Outdoor Meetup group. “My dad put it this way: ‘You’re meeting people online and going into the woods with them?’” Carnell was in her late 40s when she clicked on Meetup.com and gained access to dozens of groups for hundreds of outings. It was a welcome…

It's Western New York's field of dreams. Batavia's Dwyer Stadium is in such an idyllic setting that it seems to appear out of the ether. Going there, you pass Centennial Park, a village green right out of Norman Rockwell. Victorian mansions are decked out for summer. The Batavia Downs, the legendary horse racing track dating to 1940, was an earlier stop on our 100 T…

The Explore & More Children’s Museum isn’t scheduled to open at Canalside until next summer but the museum aims to make its presence felt at both its current site in the Southtowns and on the Buffalo waterfront. Free Family Fun Fridays will take place at Canalside and Wander the World Wednesday (WOWs) at the museum, 300 Gleed Ave., East Aurora. Both will stre…

Set against the backdrop of the stunning Niagara Gorge, the Village of Lewiston is a historic community of one square mile on the Niagara River that prides itself on its walkability. Center Street is the hub of the picturesque village and a great place to spend the entire day or just a few hours before or after an event. During the popular Lewiston Art and Jazz festival…

Belly dancing, a new weekly Veggie Van workshop and a Slow Roll that launches Monday evening from The Buffalo News are among WNY Refresh top 10 picks of the Week when it comes to health, fitness, nutrition and family events in the region. To see this week’s complete calendar, click here. Also, look online and in Saturday's print edition of WNY Refresh for our annual o…

Parents have to get out sometimes. We need alone time, date nights and shopping trips without kids hanging on our hips. That basically means we have to rely on babysitters. We have to leave our children, our precious, beautiful children with people that aren't us. It's always tough. I feel so grateful to have found some really nice, reliable and sweet sitters. It's toug…

A nonprofit group made up of public health directors and leaders across the region looks to raise awareness about the importance of childhood vaccines. “Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death,” according to the Western New York Public Health Alliance. The alliance stresses immunizing c…

Following is a weekly listing of upcoming public events for those interested in health, fitness, nutrition and family support. The Buffalo News is now accepting more community events than ever for an expanded online calendar. If you would like your event included, submit the information two weeks in advance online at BuffaloNews.com/submit. Mail, fax and email submission…

By the time those battling drug addiction get to the Cazenovia Recovery Systems’ Supportive Living Program, they have gone through inpatient rehab and multiresidential treatment settings as they try to rebuild their lives. It can take months – or maybe never – before they have the opportunity to live in one of 19 apartment houses in Erie and Niagara counties as Ti…

The Buffalo News will host the next Slow Roll on Monday, June 19, and plans to add a few bells and whistles to the weekly all-ages bike ride. Participants can gather at The News, at Scott and Washington streets, at 5:15 p.m. Monday to learn how to stay healthy and active this summer with help from the American Heart Association, Theatre of Youth and the Wellness Institu…

It's a hallmark of life here in Western New York: We bite off more than we can chew. That's what happened to us here at The News, striving to complete our list of 100 Things Every Western New Yorker should do at least once. Several weeks ago, we asked for suggestions of additional ideas for the list. We needed two more, because there were two of our 100 that had pr…

A 5K run, yoga classes and meditation are on tap in the Outer Harbor on Saturday during the first Chase the Sun Yoga Festival. Love in Motion Yoga co-owners Kate Rogers and Kathleen Engelhardt came up with the idea for the festival, which will start at 9 a.m. with the run. “We had this idea of doing a 5K, having a recovery yoga class after the 5K and giving people …