Day After Thanksgiving – Family Fun Day

The holidays are a time to spend with family and loved ones, and there’s no better way to continue those Thanksgiving celebrations than by spending the day together at Explore & More! Gather the whole family for a special day of learning, playing and fun-filled activities at the Museum.

On Friday, November 24th from 11:00am – 2:00pm, children of all ages and their caregivers are invited to join us for a hands-on art project of designing snow globes to celebrate the holiday season! Free for members and included with paid general admission, this activity is designed to extend the experiential learning of our Museum exhibits into a take-home art project that you and your family can continue to enjoy.

With our hands-on snow globe activity, children will develop and improve their fine motor skills as they engage in manipulative, exploratory play – all while utilizing their scientific thinking in terms of measurements and number operations. And, each child will leave with a distinct work of art that expresses their personal interest, which only reinforces their sense of personality and wonder.

While our special activity only lasts through the early afternoon, the Museum will be open from 10:00am-5:00pm for a full day of fun! Don’t forget to stop by the front desk and renew your membership or purchase a gift membership for a loved one at a special 10% off Black Friday discount.

Additionally, members receive 15% off in our gift shop on November 25th only. Check out our great selection of educational toys that will keep your little ones busy playing and learning without even noticing!

Chris Jacobs Delivers Funding For Explore & More

On a beautiful sunny day in August on Buffalo’s Waterfront, standing near the construction site of the new Explore & More Children’s Museum, New York State Senator Chris Jacobs announced a state grant that he secured to support of the new museum at Canalside and its construction.

“The number of visitors at Canalside continues to grow, as does the impact the revitalized waterfront is having on the community,” said Jacobs.  “Major investments in projects like Explore & More Children’s Museum will help get this project completed as soon as possible, ensuring that we continue to build on the momentum already underway.”

The Explore & More Children’s Museum project will be the recipient of a $500,000 state grant.  “The success of projects like Explore & More will do so much more besides enriching the overall Canalside and waterfront experience for everyone who visits,” said Senator Jacobs.  “It will create jobs, attract more visitors and spending from outside the state and region, and further advance our goal of Buffalo’s waterfront becoming a year-round destination.”

Two additional grants were also given by the Senator to the Buffalo Heritage Carousel project and for a major expansion at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.

Explore & More Board of Trustees, staff, donors, business and community leaders and members of the Capital and Advancement Committee were in attendance to thank Senator Jacobs for his on-going efforts and support on behalf of the museum.

This support will allow Explore & More to continue to provided critically important informal learning experiences for all and ensure that Explore & More will be an important asset to the wellbeing of all children and families in Western New York.

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!


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!