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COMMENTARY

Discount Diva: Six ways to enjoy the rest of summer

Samantha Christmann

Here I am, waiting for summer to begin, and it’s almost over.

I know, we’ve technically got until Sept. 22 until summer leaves us for another year. But once the kids start school, that’s it for us. Goodbye, footloose-and-fancy-free schedule; hello homework, hurried mornings and early bedtimes.

I want to make the most of our last, dwindling days of vacation before buckling down for the school year. I’m sure you do, too. Here are a few suggestions for free family fun.

Eclipse View and Do. SUNY Buffalo State will have a free event Monday for those who would like to view the eclipse.

The school will provide telescopes with solar filters and hand out free solar eclipse glasses so people can watch the action safely. There also will be astronomy and cultural activities for kids and adults, and food trucks.

It happens from 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the R-14 lot on Rockwell Road near Grant Street. For more information, call the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium, 878-4911, email planetarium@buffalostate.edu or visit FergusonPlanetarium.net.

Eat a dog, save a cat. Visit George’s Hot Dogs, 5808 Herman Hill Road in Hamburg from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, and proceeds from every hot dog you buy will go to Ten Lives Club, a cat adoption organization.

There also will be theme baskets and, as long as it’s not too hot outside, lots of cuddly kitties that are up for adoption.

Kidsfest at Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. There will be hands-on arts projects, kids-oriented performances and, on Sunday, Aug. 27, there will be a Kidsfest parade.

At the festival, there will be food, a family-friendly dance tent, environmental awareness demonstrations, more than 170 artist and craft vendors, and more than 50 performances on three stages.

It goes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday (with an after-hours concert from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m.) and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday on Elmwood Avenue between West Ferry and St. James Place.

Two Irish festivals. The South Buffalo Irish Festival will take place Sept. 2 at Cazenovia Park with lots of live music, Irish dancing and food. Admission is free.

For kids, there will be face painting, a rock climbing wall, laser tag, putt putt and more. The festival starts at 11 a.m. and the last band, Jackdaw, goes on at 9 p.m.

The Buffalo Irish Festival charges $8 for kids and seniors, $10 for adults ($10 and $15 at the gate, respectively), or $20 for a weekend pass. But, if you arrive at the Buffalo Irish Festival from 4 to 5:30 p.m. sharp on Friday, you can get in for free. It goes until 11 p.m.

If you don’t mind paying, it goes from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. It’s at the Outer Harbor, 225 Fuhrmann Blvd.

• Forest bathing. Based on the Japanese shinrin-yoku, forest bathing helps you focus on all the sights, sounds and smells of the woods to ease anxiety, reduce stress and promote relaxation.

The walk begins at 10 a.m. Sept. 2 at the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive in Depew. Registration is required by calling 683-5959. Visit ReinsteinWoods.org for more information.

Free family fun with Explore & More at Canalside. Don’t miss the season’s last three of these events, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday (Fine Arts Day), Sunday (Imagination Playground) and Sept. 1 (Being Good Neighbors).

Got consumer tips or questions? Email schristmann@buffnews.com or tweet @discountdivasam.

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