You could spend this Saturday afternoon doing the same old thing.
Or you could follow this (admittedly fairly bizarre) itinerary of carousel-riding, American raga music, bubble tea and Italian food.
North Tonawanda is home to all of the above, and who says you shouldn't explore it all in one afternoon? By Saturday night, you should feel more well-rounded. You did, after all, listen to primitive guitar music and ride a carousel in the same day. Think of all the stories you can tell your friends later at the bar. No doubt they'll be jealous.
Weather: It looks like Saturday will start out rainy and hit a high temperature of 55 degrees, but most of the places featured in this guide are indoors.
Have you ever wondered what happens to one of those shiny, lacquered carousel animal seats after its merry-go-round home gets torn down? No? But now are you maybe wondering a little? The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum (180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda) preserves the faux horses and their tiny spots in history. Explore vintage carousel animals and observe the process behind building a carousel seat. You can even ride a carousel. What could make you want to hop on the twirling blast-from-the-past more than an afternoon spent studying a bunch of unhinged carousel components? Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3.50 for children ages 2 through 16 and is free for children younger than 2.
After spending the first part of the afternoon inside a colorful museum, continue the visual stimulation with a trip for some bright pink bubble tea and a comic book at Pulp 716 (31 Webster St., North Tonawanda).
Choose your tea from an absurd amount of flavors. Reminisce on a comic from your childhood or explore a modern one, rediscovering a love of both tapioca pearls and Spider-Man.
At over 110 years old, the Carnegie Art Center (240 Goundry St., North Tonawanda) is a landmark. Originally a library, the neoclassical structure now serves as a public art space, home to gallery exhibitions, workshops and live music. Catch an American raga show by Mikee Strongman and Ravi Padmanabha from 1 to 3 p.m. on April 20 for $10.
While you're there, take a look at the current exhibition featuring work by Mary Wyrick and Eric Evinczik, on view through April 26. Their paintings tackle thought-provoking themes such as antiquated social group norms and nostalgic human interaction.
After all that art interpretation and raga music, you'll need to refuel with some homestyle Italian and American food at Pane's Restaurant (984 Payne Ave., North Tonawanda). Enjoy soup in a bread bowl. Order a pasta combo of rigatoni Parmesan, Italian bread and a Caesar salad all for under $10. Eat it all while surrounded by brick walls, cushy booths and red checkered tablecloths in true Italian restaurant fashion.
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Related: More in our series
How to spend a Saturday afternoon: Lewiston
How to spend a Saturday afternoon: Iron Island, Ike & BG's, MLK Park, Golden Cup Coffee
How to spend a Saturday afternoon: Wilkeson Point, Niagara Cafe, El Museo, Tipico
How to spend a Saturday afternoon: The Benjaman Gallery, Pho Dollar, Broderick Park, Bootleg Bucha