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Off school for winter break? What to do with the kids this week in Buffalo area

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 week. Children can solve puzzling construction problems using metal washers, wooden clothespins and hex nuts at the Buffalo Science Museum.

They can celebrate the Chinese Year of the Monkey all week at Explore & More Children’s Museum.

Or attend a Star Wars Jedi Academy at the library.

With fresh snow on Tuesday, sledding hills should be in prime condition this week, and it’s a good time to go snowshoeing.

Some experts say the key to a great week off is planning, but if you’re still looking for something to do, here are suggestions:

• Aquarium of Niagara, 701 Whirlpool St., Niagara Falls; 9 to 5 p.m. daily; 285-3575 or visit aquariumofniagara.org.

• Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; Kid’s Day Tuesday; 827-1584 or visit buffalogardens.com.

• Buffalo & Erie County Library, various branches, visit buffalolib.org.

• Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; activities for National Engineers Week; 896-5200 or visit sciencebuff.org.

• Buffalo Zoo, 300 Parkside Ave.; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 837-3900 or visit buffalozoo.org.

• Canalside Buffalo, off Marine Drive; skating, curling, ice bike rentals; 574-1537 or visit canalsidebuffalo.com.

• Charles E. Burchfield Nature & Art Center, 2001 Union Road, West Seneca; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 677-4843 or visit burchfieldnac.org.

• Erie County Parks; 9 a.m. to dusk; visit www2.erie.gov/parks and click Winter Sports for daily conditions.

• Explore & More, 300 Gleed Ave., East Aurora; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; 566-5131 or visit exploreandmore.org.

• Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, 180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda; noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday; STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) activities this week; 693-1885 or visit carrouselmuseum.org.

• Niagara County Parks; 7 a.m. to dusk; visit niagaracounty.com/Parks.

• Niagara Falls State Park; 278-1796 or visit niagarafallsstatepark.com.

• Old Fort Niagara, Scott Avenue, Youngstown; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; 745-7611 or visit oldfortniagara.org.

• Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve & Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Cheektowaga; 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday; trails open daily; 683-5959 or visit www.dec.ny.gov/education/1977.html.

• Tifft Nature Preserve, 1200 Fuhrmann Blvd.; visitors center staffed 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday; 825-6397 or visit sciencebuff.org/tifft-nature-preserve.

email: bobrien@buffnews.com

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