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Family

Sometimes fun is fun and sometimes fun is more than just a good time. Sometimes, it comes with a lesson or two. Or more. At Explore & More Children's Museum in East Aurora, kids do a good deal of learning, even if they don’t quite realize it. I’ve been here quite a few times, although this was the first for my little ones. Emma, 4, and Ella, 1, both really enjoyed…

Family

Spring will be here before we know it – so it might be a good idea to enjoy the winter weather while it lasts. Glide over to The Healthy Zone Rink in East Aurora for some ice time. We had a blast – and can’t wait to go back. We went on a Saturday afternoon. It was chilly so we were surely grateful for the warming lodge. It’s nice to have a place to warm up every s…

Family

Curiosity is the hallmark of a happy childhood, and toddlers are curious little people with big appetites for fun. They’re no longer infants, but aren’t quite preschoolers yet. They need to continue to develop motor skills, but this is also an important time for intellectual, social and emotional growth. And, if you don't keep them moving and wear them out, they'll wea…

Family

As a mom, it’s easy to get tired of bounce houses. I mean, they seem to be everywhere. So when I was looking for someplace to bring my kiddos on a random Tuesday morning, I wasn’t exactly thrilled when the only place that seemed to be open was a facility in Williamsville called Leaps N’ Bounce. I’d never heard of it. But boredom had taken over our home, and the wea…

Family

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss Book? “The Cat in the Hat?” “Horton Hears a Who?” Or perhaps it's “Green Eggs and Ham” that fills you with literary love? There is no denying, Dr. Seuss books are a rite of passage for children. In my house, we have stacks of Seuss books and there always is a motive for my daughter’s bedtime choice. If she’s looking for a la…

Family

The anticipation had been building in our house as we waited for the big day of "Sesame Street Live: Let's Dance!" at Shea's Performing Arts Center. "Sesame Street" is a favorite of my two little ones. At ages 4 and 1, both girls enjoy the music, characters and fun of one of the most beloved children’s programs ever. But would "Sesame Street Live" keep them as entertaine…

Family

If your kids love Elmo, Cookie Monster and all of the other fuzzy monsters on Sesame Street - and - if they just can’t sit still for very long – “Let’s Dance” may be perfect for them. That’s because the show - visiting  Shea's Performing Arts Center from Feb. 24 to 28 - encourages kids to get up and stay up. “Sesame Street Live” is always a big hit with ki…

Family

Here are a few words of advice for a visit to Build-A-Bear Workshop. Be prepared to say what I said a bunch of times: "Not now, sweetie. Maybe next time." The phrase will come in handy. My daughter, Emma and I went to the Walden Galleria to check out the process. It is quite a process. It was a Saturday afternoon and we were armed with our gift card from Aunt Shannon. Per…

Family

1) Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament, 1:30 to 10 p.m. Feb. 19, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 20, and 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 21 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.) Free to attend to spectate. Commentary: The more I think about it, the more RiverWorks seems to be a perfect location for the pond hockey tournament, an event that suffered from Mother Nature's cruelty (rea…

Family

It’s winter break, and thousands of children are off school with plenty of time on their hands. This is your chance to visit all those attractions you haven’t been to yet. Put on those ice skates. Get the sleds to the hill. And if it’s too cold and snowy for you, go to the movies – or throw the “Frozen” DVD on again. Many museums offer special activities this…

Family

Rainbow Roller Rink in North Tonawanda may be the best deal in town. I’ve taken my kids to Rainbow Rink many times over the years. It is always fun, clean and high energy. The music is pumping, kids and adults are skating ‘round and ‘round, having a ball. It’s just a little too busy to bring little ones, though. It’s a bit dark, loud and fast for them. So, I was…

Family

It never fails. A few days into winter break - the kids get bored. They start going nuts and driving you nuts, too. They need to run around and let off some of that energy that is bottled up inside. Here are ten fun places that are sure to fit the bill and wear them out. Get Air Trampoline Park (3637 Union Road, Cheektowaga; getairbuffalo.com) It may drive you nuts when …

Family

It's fish fry season in Buffalo. The annual Lenten favorite is a popular dish not only in traditional restaurants and bars, but also at schools, churches and community centers. With so many choices, Gusto is here to  help with our annual guide to the community fish fry. If your fish fry didn’t make it, it's not too late to be included. We will continue to update this l…

Family

Thank the Catholic Church for your fish fry. Before Vatican II in the 1960s, Catholics were required to give up meat not just on Fridays during Lent, but on Fridays all year round. That called for creativity. Japanese Catholics came up with tempura, deep-fried vegetables. The name comes from the start of the Gospel in traditional Latin: “In illo tempore,” or “in tho…

Family

If you haven’t been to the Aquarium of Niagara recently, now might be the perfect time to check it out. It has a special new resident, a dedicated staff and big plans for the future. My husband and I brought our two little ones on a recent Saturday afternoon. We were impressed, moved by what we saw and our girls had a ball. I’ve been to the aquarium quite a few times,…