Let’s Get Physical!

Let’s face it, in the winter months it is tough to get the kids outside and running as often as we would like. Many days it is just too cold to play outside. That is why Explore & More presents an annual program called Let’s Get Physical!

Explore & More first presented this program in 2009 and it has steadily grown since its inception. Let’s Get Physical runs annually on the first and third Saturdays of each month from November – March from 11:00am-2:00pm in the gym. The program incorporates numerous physical education techniques and movement-centric play tools including games, music, Imagination Playground as so much more!

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Summer Fun: Wandering our World Around Buffalo!

By: Amelia Blake, Manager of Interpretive Programs

Who are your neighbors? Do they celebrate the same holidays as you? Do they eat the same food as you? Wear the same clothing? Listen to the same music? Often, the answer to these questions are no! We live in a region bursting with cultural diversity from both recent immigrant populations to those who have lived in our community for generations.

Explore & More has a long-standing reputation for providing high quality, one-of-a-kind cultural programming in schools, community centers and at our Museum. This summer, thanks to the generous support of the New York State Council on the Arts and the Charles D. and Mary A. Bauer Foundation, Explore & More celebrated nine different cultures that help to make up the fabric of Buffalo! Each Wednesday in July and August, our programming staff highlighted a different culture including: India, China, Germany, Somalia, Italy, Poland, Myanmar (Burma), Yemen and Colombia. Every program featured cultural music or dance performances, food, language activities, and a unique art project. We worked directly with the members of these communities to accurately represent the featured cultures.

Our summer opened with a celebration of India featuring dance performances throughout the afternoon from Devi Bollywood Dance. Even our youngest visitors were up and moving as they learned some simple traditional dance moves. The fun continued throughout the summer with performances from The Red Dragon School of Martial Arts, ACCESS of WNY, Amor and Heritage and The Polish Heritage Dancers of WNY just to name a few.

In addition to performances, food, language, and art projects, each child that participated in Wander our World received a “Passport” for further exploration of the culture. Each child receives a passport which includes information on common object identification including translations, popular holiday celebrations in that culture, sports played, and other facts to inspire continued investigation into the culture.

We have known for years that our cultural programming is fun, engaging, and educational! This year we went even further and took an extensive review of how our programming impacts the cultural awareness of participants. Early findings have showed that after visitors participated in one of our Wander our World programs they were inspired to learn more about the culture presented. Additionally, a large portion of participants were unaware of these cultures in their own neighborhoods prior to our program. These preliminary results show the importance of continuing and growing this type of programming.

Buffalo is known as the City of Good Neighbors. Showcasing the diverse cultures in Western New York is just one way that Explore & More investigates what it means to be a good neighbor. Through programming like Wander our World, we are able to increase cultural awareness and acceptance within our community. Cultural programming and exhibits help to teach our young visitors not only what being a good neighbor means but also how each one of them can actually become a good neighbor!

Family Fun at Canalside

By: Amelia Blake, Manager of Interpretive Programs

This year was our 8th year with FREE family fun programming at the waterfront! During the summer of 2017, Explore & More hosted 11 activities days along the boardwalk of Canalside. On each of these days we brought hands-on, play based learning activities from our Museum to the heart of the city.

Our Family Fun Days at Canalside are located just steps from the location of our brand new Canalside Museum! The excitement surrounding the spring ground breaking and subsequent construction site fueled the program plan for this summers’ activities. This summer, each Family Fun Day at Canalside highlighted one of the exciting new Play Zones that will be in our future Museum. These Play Zones are: Being Good Neighbors, Moving Water, Playing Together, Lighting Buffalo’s Imagination, Building Buffalo, Farm-to-Fork, and the Rooftop Garden. In addition to the large Play Zones, our summer programming also showcased the Art Studio, Tinkering Lab and Driving Buffalo’s Dreams.

We kicked off our summer programming at the end of June with an exciting announcement that West Herr will be sponsoring Driving Buffalo’s Dreams within the Lighting Buffalo’s Imagination Play Zone. Children and their adults were able to design and assemble their own three-dimensional car to drive around! Each child designs his/her own car based on unique interests and aspirations. In our Driving Buffalo Dream’s area of the new Museum, children will be able to accomplish this same project. Additionally, visitors will have the opportunity to incorporate their own design into a digital scene of Buffalo. Individuals will be able to manipulate their car as they drive around the city!

The summer fun continued in the weeks to follow! Playing Together sponsored by Delaware North, Buffalo Bills Foundation, Buffalo Sabres Foundation and New Era was featured through a variety of fun games that encouraged children to work together. Some of our most popular activities of the day were lawn bowling, catch, and walking on stilts! These activities were designed for children to refine their gross motor skills, work together as a team, and make new friends.

Our activities inspired by the Rooftop Garden, sponsored by The Wegmans Family Foundation, allowed participants to become a gardener for the day. Each person decorated a small pot and planted a fruit or vegetable of choice. The Farm-to-Fork (sponsored by Wegmans) activity day allowed participants to learn how food is grown and role-play as a farmer, farm market worker or chef.

A sneak peek of Being Good Neighbors (sponsored by the Paul A. Saffrin Foundation) brought culture to life. Participants created art projects inspired by the cultures of India, China, Germany, Colombia, Somalia and Italy. In addition to art projects, participants were able to watch an incredible performance by Eric Borketey Ansuade. Born in Ghana, West Africa, Eric incorporates acrobatics in his traditional and contemporary dance. This performance captivated visitors of all ages.

Throughout the course of the summer, Explore & More reached thousands of people with our free programming. It is thanks to our generous sponsors at Wegmans and Western New York Immediate Care that we are able to spend the summer providing this series of programs for FREE to the children of Western New York. We can’t wait to see what next summer brings!

Summer Fun With Explore & More!

Explore & More’s Summer Fun is back both at Canalside and in East Aurora, with FREE Family Fun Fridays at Canalside and Wander the World Wednesday WOWs at the Museum.

Free outdoor fun at Canalside means Family Fun Fridays, beginning June 23rd, 11am – 2pm. Each week we will celebrate a different educational play zone area of the new Museum at Canalside with crafts, games and activities. Below is a list of this summer’s themes and days. (Please note: There is no Family Fun Friday on July 28 or August 4 due to Canalside festivals, but those dates are replaced with two Sundays, July 9 and August 27.)

June 23: Farm-to-Fork
June 30: Driving Buffalo’s Dreams
July 7: Playing Together
July 9: Recycled Creations (Sunday)
July 14: Rooftop Garden
July 21: Building Buffalo
July 28: OFF
August 4: OFF
August 11: Tinkering
August 18: Moving Water
August 25: Fine Arts Day
August 27: Imagination Playground (Sunday)
September 1: Being Good Neighbors
These great programs are FREE to you thanks to the generosity of our sponsors:
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Wander the World with us this summer during Wednesday WOWs at Explore & More! Each Wednesday in July and August, 11am – 2pm, we will visit a different country and explore the culture, crafts, traditions, performances, food, clothing, language and more!

July 5 – India
July 12 – China
July 19 – Germany
July 26 – Somalia
August 2 – Italy
August 9 – Poland
August 16 – Burma
August 23 – Yemen
August 30 – Colombia
Wednesday WOW programs are ongoing from 11am – 2pm, and FREE with your admission or membership thanks to the New York State Council for the Arts with the Support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as the Charles D. and Mary A. Bauer Foundation, along with Employer Services Corporation.

Driving the Fun Downtown for Touch-A-Truck June 11th!

We had a blast at Touch-A-Truck with over 4,000 friends, and raised over $70,000!

 

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Thanks to our generous event sponsors:

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