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BESTBETS

Slide through the snows of Little Valley and maybe start a tradition this winter.

How? On a sleigh, of course, fueled by hoof beat and surrounded by the glow of stars, oil lamps and a sweet commodity called hot chocolate.

Mansfield Coach & Cutter offers daily sleigh rides through Sunday, and weekends through February on 50 woodland acres. Old-fashioned decor and cookies are par for this torch-lighted course that offers a heart-warming, soul-tingling journey along country roads.

For rates and dates, call 938-6315. Group discounts are available. Located in the Town of Mansfield, 10 minutes from Ellicottville.

What makes a toy-maker tick?

Visit the Toy Town Museum, 636 Girard Ave., East Aurora, to discover a history of local toy makers. More than 80 items -- tracing the development of toys since 1874 -- are on display through May 2000 as part of the "Toy Companies of Western New York" exhibit.

The show includes historical displays from a gaggle of local crafters including Holland Crafts, Cheerio Products and the Brice Toy Co.

Admission to the museum, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, is free.

It could be called the King and You, Summerfare's premiere of "Tapestry: The Music of Carole King."

Featuring songs such as "I Feel the Earth Move," "The Locomotion" and "Natural Woman," this musical production features six performers and three musicians paying tribute to a woman whose "Tapestry" album outsold that performed by any living female.

This includes you, Natalie!

Performances commence at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Daemen College's Theater, 4380 Main St. They continue at 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. General admission is $21, with discounts available for senior citizens and students.

Special "pay what you can" performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. For more information, call 839-8540.

New Year's plans still a tad sketchy?

First, remember that imagination is more important than knowledge, and then open your mind to The Eclectic Co., Buffalo's improvisational theater and comedy group.

The ensemble will perform at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and 10:50 p.m in the Downtown Buffalo YWCA as part of First Night festivities.

First Night Buttons cost $6 and are necessary for admission. The "Y" is located one block south of Chippewa, near Huron at 190 Franklin.

And, if you decide to try the couch potato route for the millennium watch, catch The Eclectic Co. at 8 p.m. each Wednesday at the Calumet Arts Cafe, 56 W. Chippewa.

January is toddler time at the Clarence Public Library! Children ages 2 and 3 may bring an adult from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. each Friday for a story half-hour. Registration is suggested by calling 759-6651. Attendance is limited. The library is located at 9655 Main St.

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