School's out, and we all know what that means: summer. But who wants to spend summer vacation sitting home all day on the computer? Why not do something worthwhile, fun or educational?
There are plenty of local summer events to attend.
* The Taste of Buffalo (July 7 and 8) is always a favorite. Admission is free, and food items range from 50 cents to $3.50. Taste highlights all types of cuisine from local restaurants, from veggie burgers to stuffed banana peppers, cheesecake and strawberry crepes, so you're guaranteed to find something you like. Plus, there's always a ton of free stuff! Taste runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 7 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 8 and starts at Niagara Square and Delaware Avenue (www.tasteofbuffalo.com)
* If you want to check out some new music, there's always Thursday at the Square every Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. in Lafayette Square. Highlights this year include the Sam Roberts Band (July 5) and Dropkick Murphys and Jackdaw (both Sept. 20). Check out www.buffaloplace.com for the full lineup and for more information. The best part? It's free!
* America's Fair (Aug. 8 to 19), on the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg. Admission is $9 for anyone over 12, and $4 for kids 6-12. The Fair boasts so much food, entertainment, rides and games, you'll definitely want to spend a day! There are also several concerts held on the Fairgrounds, including a concert Aug. 16 featuring Corbin Bleu, Jordan Pruitt and Drake Bell ($42/$30). For more info, check out americas-fair.com.
* For just $10, on July 1, you can get a tour of the heart of Buffalo's "Polonia" (or Polish) area, centering around the Broadway Market area. The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and starts at St. Stanislaus Church on 123 Townsend St. Reservations aren't required, but you can visit http://www.buffalotours.org for more info or to find out about other interesting tours.
* One of the good-old-time-summer fun events is going to a Bisons game. Whether you're an avid baseball fan or not, going to a Bisons game is always fun. It's cheap ($5 to $10) and it's guaranteed to create some memories, so bring some friends to pump up the fun! Visit www.bisons.com for game dates and to buy tickets.
* If you want to do something not-so-traditional, why not take a tour of historic Shea's Performing Arts Center? The cost is just $4 for students and $8 for adults, but reservations are required. Visit sheas.org for times and dates, or call (716) 847-1410, Ext. 184 for ticket information.
* If you're looking to discover even more new music, why not take a trip to the Kingdom Bound 2007 Festival at Darien Lake? Featuring diverse Christian music acts from worship to blues to rock and everything in between, it's one of North America's largest and longest-running events of its kind. Artists scheduled to attend include Casting Crowns, Adam Farrell and local band Relevant Worship. Kingdom Bound runs Aug. 5 to 8. Visit www.kingdombound.org.
* Last is the National Buffalo Wing Festival, held Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1 and 2) at Dunn Tire Park and including everything from live music to a Hot Sauce Recipe Contest and even a "Miss Buffalo Wing" Contest. Festival admission is $5, with food tickets $1 each. For more info, go to www.buffalowing.com.
So now that we've covered the special events, how about some of those oldies-but-goodies?
* No matter how old you are, the Buffalo Zoo is always a fun way to spend a day. Admission is $8.50 for anyone over 14. Bring some friends and a disposable (or digital) camera and create memories!
* If you're more interested in art, plan a visit to the Albright Knox Art Gallery. Admission is FREE on Fridays from 3 to 10 p.m. At other times it's $8 for students and $10 for adults. Through July 29, you can view a special exhibit on paintings from the 1950s, and through Aug. 26, you can view Ken Heyman's exhibit, "Pop Portraits."
* Tifft Nature Preserve is also a great place to go. Admission is free, though donations are accepted, and it's located just 3 miles from downtown. It's a great place for everything from walking to bird watching, fishing and photography.
* Last (but definitely not least), you can always take a trip to the waterfront. It's always free and open, and you can catch the Metro Rail to get there. Whether you want to get some sun, lounge in the shade, or just enjoy the beautiful view, it's a great place to go, alone or with family or friends.
Melissa Kania will be a senior at City Honors.