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BEST BETS

1. He's not a flake! He just photographed them!

That's Wilson A. Bentley, who created global news in 1885 with the first photo of an ice crystal. Over the years he captured 5,000 flakes with his camera, and guess what?

No two were alike!

Discover more about Bentley and all other sorts of weather workings at the Buffalo Museum of Science's cool exhibit, Winter Wonders, opening Friday and running through Feb. 23.

Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $7 adults, $5 children/students, $6 seniors.

Find the museum at 1020 Humboldt Parkway.

2. Model railroads R Us.

It's that time of year again, when fathers of all ages attempt hand-and-knee posture to adjust train track under the tree.

Make this year's display special. First attend a gym, then try the Train and Toy Show at the Hamburg Fairgrounds.

Watch the live steamers, miniatures and circus display model.

Sponsored by the Western New York Railway Historical Society, proceeds benefit restoration of the society's two depots and 25 pieces of rolling stock.

Admission is $5 adults, $3 children under age 12.

Find the show inside the International Agri-Center.

3. Stuffed rabbit, anyone?

Of the velveteen variety?

Watch Margery Williams' classic story come to life on stage at the Theatre of Youth - opening Friday and running through Dec. 31.

"The Velveteen Rabbit" becomes real in more ways than one as life-size toys sing and dance in an enchanted nursery. Remember Nana? The wise Skin Horse? How about Tin Soldier? They all appear in this full-scale musical adaptation.

Call 884-4400 for show times.

Tickets range from $14 to $16.

Performances at the Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St.

4. Tonight!

Attend a Christmas tree decorating ceremony like no other as the National Kidney Foundation salutes those who have given the gifts of life as well as the lucky souls who received them.

Taking place in the first-floor cafeteria of Children's Hospital, the event is free and includes refreshments, music and one very special tree.

Decorating starts at 6 p.m. sharp.

The hospital is located at 219 Bryant St.

5. What do Mr. and Mrs. Claus do for the holidays?

Besides the obvious, that is.

The good folks at the Lancaster Opera House will inform with "Christmas With the Kringles" featuring Kringle Jingles, Blitzen Bingo, Snowytime Stories and some confounding confections.

All tickets cost $10.

Show times: 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 to 2 p.m. Saturday, and 10 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

e-mail: jkwiatkowski@buffnews.com

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