Explore & More at Canalside

Turning dreams into reality, the playful way

The dream of building a new Explore & More Children’s Museum on the Buffalo Waterfront is becoming a reality! Our plans for a new, 43,000 square foot museum in the South Aud Block of Canalside are well underway. We’ve already completed our schematic designs, and have been very successful in our Play It Forward capital campaign. We’re so grateful for the generosity of our community, and also for the many other generous capital gifts that continue to come in.

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation broke ground on Explore & More’s new site in March 2017! Our new home will be an incredible boost to our mission—and Buffalo. Here’s just a sampling of the impact our expansion will have.


With new visitors coming to play, Explore & More can have a nearly $90 million economic impact over the next 10 years.


Explore & More will be a public space where children and families from all walks of life can play together. And the impact goes far beyond childhood—people who visit museums are more likely to vote, be active in their communities and volunteer as adults.


Today, 50% of children in the city of Buffalo enter kindergarten at a remedial level. Studies show that kindergarteners who visit a museum—even if it’s only once—have higher achievement scores by 3rd grade, no matter their socio-economic status.

The Explore & More Blog

The Work & Play of Progress

  • Professionals At Play

    Explore & More’s Membership Coordinator Dan Walsh, Director of Marketing Jeannine Weber Kahabka, Manager of Interpretive Programs Amelia Blake and Floor Manager Danielle Gmerek checked out the exhibits at the Strong National Museum of Play on a rare “adults only” Night of Play. They were guests of the Museum Association of New York’s annual conference held in Rochester this year…. Read more »

  • April Break Week

    Join us each day this week for a week full of worldly fun with your little one! This spring break, we’ll be traveling around the globe daily from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. with crafts, activities and more that will keep your little explorers laughing and learning each day. On Monday, we welcome the Seneca Nation for a Haudenosaunee Day of… Read more »

  • Greenway Greenlights Play 

    Explore & More Children’s Museum was proud to accept an incredible grant of $120,000 from the Buffalo & Erie County Greenway Standing Committee comprised of Erie County, NY, The City of Buffalo, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and the New York Power Authority. This gift will not only directly support our Moving Water exhibit in our new Museum at Canalside in Buffalo, but will also be generously matched dollar-for-dollar through the recently awarded Ralph C. Wilson… Read more »

  • Tax Credit Possible

    We were delighted to have New York State Senator Charles Schumer come to our construction site at Canalside to announce he is leading the charge to push for a phenomenal $35 million tax credit which could yield $7-$8 million in grant funds back to the museum. The competition is fierce for these national community development fund tax credits, the recipients… Read more »

  • Ralph Wilson Grant Challenge

    On the sweetest Valentine’s Day we’ve ever had, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation made a sweetheart of a deal – announcing a matching $6 million challenge grant to Explore & More Children’s Museum if the museum can raise $6 million on our own. We gratefully accept that challenge! Half of the grant funds will go toward construction of the… Read more »

  • The Wheels On the Bus

    Our ongoing gratitude to the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association for their 10-year commitment to providing free buses to Title 1 schools so these students can come visit our current and future location. The 2018 installment of this incredibly generous and thoughtful $270,100 gift given over 10 years was presented at the Buffalo Auto Show, removing a critical obstacle to… Read more »

  • February Break Week

    Looking for something fun AND educational for your kids to do this February Break Week? Bring the whole family to Explore & More for a week long Arts celebration. Children and their caregivers will explore a different art projects each day from February 19th – February 23rd. Activities will be hosted in our workshop room from 11:00am – 2:00pm. These… Read more »

  • March to Membership

    It’s time to play! Explore & More Children’s Museum thanks all of our members for keeping the laughter and learning going since 1994. It’s because of our wonderful community of playful minds and explorers of all ages that we are able to keep growing to new heights – and new spaces! Due to strong interest in maintaining ongoing memberships at… Read more »

  • Let’s Keep the Conversation Going (& Growing)

    You’ve heard the rumors on the playground – Explore & More Children’s Museum is growing! We are underway with our biggest change yet as we get ready to open a new place of play at the heart of Buffalo’s Canalside. As we change, grow and go to new heights of playing and learning, it’s important that we hear from you,… Read more »

  • Welcome, Michelle!

    Explore & More Children’s Museum is proud to welcome our newest member, Michelle Urbanczyk, to the fun! In the early fall of last year, we set out to find a new CEO for our growing Museum. The goal was to find a passionate and strategic leader, who also had a strong business background that would help us to deliver an… Read more »

  • Investing In The Future For Our Children

    KeyBank partnered with the First Niagara Foundation to make a generous $500,000 donation to Explore & More Children’s Museum, helping to build our new 43,000 square foot museum on the waterfront on the South Aud Block of Canalside. KeyBank Upstate New York Regional Executive Gary Quenneville said, “This new museum will help children learn in a fun way for years to come…. Read more »

  • Explore & More Gift Shop!

    At Explore & More, our Gift Shop features educational toys for children 6 months old and up. During your visit to our museum, be sure to check out our Festive Fun for Little Ones $10 gifts and under table, and our free holiday gift-wrapping with any gift shop purchase. Donations for gift-wrapping are appreciated and all funds will help to… Read more »

  • December Break Week

    Looking for something fun AND educational for your kids to do this Winter Break Week? Bring the whole family to Explore & More for a week long STEM celebration. Children and their caregivers will explore a different STEM concept each day from December 26th – December 30th. Activities will be hosted in our workshop room from 11:00am – 2:00pm. These… Read more »

  • 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… Read more »

  • 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… Read more »

  • 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… Read 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… Read more »

  • 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… Read more »

  • 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… Read more »

  • 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!   . Thanks to our generous event sponsors:         JIM ANDO PLUMBING                           Bank of Holland Colvin Draperies

  • Travel the World Around Buffalo This Spring Break!

    Meet The Animals

    Explore & More is the perfect place to spend your STAYCATION, visiting a different home country of a Buffalo immigrant population each day over spring break!  From food sampling to craft making, games to performances, language activities, art projects, there’s so much to explore! The Museum is open 10:00am-5:00pm each day listed below, with our special activities ongoing from 11:00am-2:00pm…. Read more »

  • AuSome Evenings Welcomes Erie Canal Play in April!

    Have a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder? Join other families impacted by ASD for a fun, safe and welcoming evening each month at Explore & More Children’s Museum! Created and run in partnership with Buffalo State College’s Exceptional Education Department, the Children’s Guild Foundation, and Women of Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, AuSome Evenings at Explore & More, the second… Read more »

  • Groundbreaking for New Museum in March!

    Both the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) Board and the Buffalo Planning Board met this week and approved the architectural plans so that construction can begin on the new Explore & More Children’s Museum at Canalside. “Today’s design approval is the final step for Explore & More Children’s Museum at Canalside before construction begins on this much anticipated project,”… Read more »

  • Fall in LOVE with Creativity During February Family Fun Week

    Making Art With Monet

    Bring your imagination to Explore & More over February break and get creative with our Family Fun Week exploring the arts! We are OPEN 10am – 5pm with special activities 11am – 2pm, Monday February 20th – Friday February 24th: Monday, Feb. 20: Participate in our Voting activity for Presidents’ Day and make your own voting ribbon! Tuesday, Feb. 21:… Read more »

  • STEM Family Fun at Explore & More Over Winter Break

    Thanks to a generous grant from our friends at the Kenmore Rotary Club, families enjoyed a week of fun STEM activities at Explore & More over the December break week. From creating squishy circuits to building with Rigamajig, from playing with light boards to painting with magnets, children and their families enjoyed a variety of building, engineering and science activities in… Read more »

  • Things That Go Sniffle in the Night

    Dr. Chow from Western New York Immediate Care will be here every third Saturday at 11:00am through May to talk to parents and answer questions about family health and childhood illnesses. The talks are in the Museum, so your children can play while you get your questions answered and some valuable information about keeping your family healthy!

  • Let’s Get Physical Every Saturday!

    Join us every Saturday (excluding December 24 & 31) November – March for fun family time in the gym, 11am – 2pm! From Zumba to kids’ yoga, hula hooping to Jump Bunch sports, there’s something to get everyone in the family moving. Let’s Get Physical programs are drop-in, ongoing, and FREE with your admission or membership, thanks to our generous sponsor, BlueCross BlueShield… Read more »

  • $1 Million Gift Brings Museum Closer to Canalside!

    Explore & More Children’s Museum recently announced a $1 million capital gift from the Paul A. Saffrin Foundation for the Play It Forward capital campaign to build the new museum at Canalside. With ground breaking set for March, and a planned opening in the second half of 2018, this gift will go toward sponsorship of the Being Good Neighbors educational play… Read more »

  • Haudenosaunee Day of Sharing, October 10!

    Don’t miss our favorite Day of Sharing with our Iroquois friends coming up October 10th.  The kids have the day off of school, so bring the whole family and immerse yourself in Haudenosaunee customs, traditions and fun! We will have beading activities with the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum and a Three Sisters activity with the Ganondagan State Historic Site, all from… Read more »

  • Over 6,000 Students Visited Us With Their Schools This Year!

    With summer here, we would like to take the time to thank all of the schools and administrators that chose Explore & More for a field trip or program in the 2015-2016 school year! This year, over 6,000 students visited Explore & More in East Aurora for a field trip or workshop. Thanks to the generous donation from the Niagara… Read more »

  • New School Year, New Explore & More Programs!

    Plan for the 2016-2017 school year with new and innovative programs from Explore & More! Explore & More is excited to announce the launch of new and exciting programming for the 2016-2017 school year! Programs include Tinkering, Playing with Food, and Erie Canal Play Days. All programs align with NYS Curriculum Standards and Common Core. These exciting, innovative programs will… Read more »

  • M&T Expands Partnership to Include Capital Investment, Curriculum Development

    A sunny day of fun at Canalside was the backdrop for Explore & More and M&T Bank’s announcement of the expansion of their partnership to include a capital investment in the new museum at Canalside, and Explore & More’s assistance with first-grade curriculum for Westminster Community Charter School in the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood. These new investments bring M&T’s total commitment… Read more »

  • Wednesday WOWs Mean Summer Fun at Explore & More!

    Wednesday WOWs are in full swing at Explore & More, with themed activities for all ages every Wednesday, 11am – 2pm, throughout July and August. From PUSH Physical Theatre and Healthy Eating, to activities with acclaimed local children’s author Keith White, Jr., Wednesday WOWs will feature special guests, activities, crafts, performances and fun for all ages. Wednesday WOWs are drop-in… Read more »

  • Explore & More Summer Fun at Canalside!

    Explore & More is enjoying its 9th season at Canalside with free family outdoor fun every Friday, through September 2nd, from 11am – 2pm.  Bring the whole family to enjoy FREE, drop-in, hands-on activities outdoors, under tents on the lawns adjacent to the Canals every Friday! *Please note: Daycares, camps, school groups and other groups must contact our Programs Manager… Read more »

  • Travel the World Around Buffalo This Spring Break!

      Explore & More is the perfect place to spend your STAYCATION, visiting a different home country of a Buffalo immigrant population each day over spring break!  From food sampling to craft making, games to performances, language activities, art projects, there’s so much to explore! The Museum is open 10:00am-5:00pm each day listed below, with our special activities ongoing from… Read more »

  • Spring It On!

    Explore & More is happy to participate again in the United Way’s Spring It On program.  This 24-hour, community-wide fundraising event will help raise funds for a variety of free admission opportunities for families and small groups at Explore & More.  Visit our Spring It On page here from 8:00am March 24th through 8:00am March 25th to support our campaign!

  • Driving the Fun Downtown for Touch-A-Truck for a Citywide Day of Play!

    WHAT A DAY WE HAD! Check out all the fun that happened June 5th during the Citywide Day of Play at Touch-A-Truck.  We can’t wait for next year, June 11, 2017!                   Thanks to our generous event sponsors:                                          A-Clean Windows… Read more »

  • Membership Corner

    Members-Only Hours Coming Again Soon!  From 8am – 10am on the third Saturday of every quarter, member families will have a special opportunity to explore the Museum before we open to the public.  Use the quiet time to get creative with our exhibits and your child’s imagination!  The next Members-Only Hours are April 16th. Our Membership Advisory Council (MAC) will… Read more »

  • Lunar New Year Celebration Recap

    Show & Tell

    What a week we had celebrating the Lunar New Year over the February break! Each day children tasted dumplings, cookies, and green tea, created a Lunar New Year themed craft, practiced writing Chinese characters, and had their name written in Chinese. Throughout the week children created dragon puppets, clay pottery, and Beijing Opera Masks in our workshop room. On the… Read more »

  • Spotlight on: Explore & More’s Junior Docent Program

    This fall, Explore & More launched a Junior Docent pilot program. This innovative community initiative welcomes high school teens ages 14-18 to Explore & More through a series of trainings focused on the importance of volunteerism and multi-cultural sensitivity. Our partnership with International Prep High School of Buffalo has afforded eight high school seniors the opportunity to enhance their leadership… Read more »

  • February Means Friendship at Explore & More…and a SWEET Deal!

    February is Friendship Month at Explore & More, and that means there’s a SWEET Deal for you and a friend! Bring a friend in and both sign up for memberships between now and February 14, and you’ll both receive $10 off your membership! Already a member? You’ll be receiving an email with a $10 off coupon to share with a… Read more »

  • Come Play With Us!

    Iroquois Day of Sharing


  • Douglas Love on AM Buffalo – Video Link

    CEO Douglas Love talks about what the children’s museum experience can mean for young minds on AM Buffalo today!  Click here to watch!

  • A MILLION Thanks to Our Friends at Delaware North!

    In the season of thankfulness, we are so grateful to have recently announced a $1 million capital gift from Delaware North for the Play It Forward campaign! With this gift, Delaware North will sponsor the Being Good Neighbors educational play zone in the new museum at Canalside. We can’t think of a better neighbor than our friends at Delaware North!… Read more »

  • Request for Proposals!

    Explore & More Children’s Museum is requesting proposals for Interior Design and Construction Phase Services  for the new museum at Canalside on Buffalo’s Waterfront. Qualified firms must demonstrate expertise in program development level functions through project design, procurement, construction administration, and commissioning. The project work requires full architectural and engineering services for the museum interior, utility design and mechanical design.  Proposals are… Read more »

  • Our New Site at Canalside!

    It’s a GO! On September 16th, the Board of ECHDC voted to accept the term agreement for Explore & More’s new site in the South Aud Block at Canalside. Over just a few yards from our originally proposed site, this new site sits on both towpaths, and will give the Museum a stand-alone building with more usable space inside and… Read more »

  • The Educational Value of Field Trips

    Taking students to cultural institutions can have a lasting impact. The field trip is a longstanding tradition in American public education. Students pile into yellow buses to visit a variety of cultural institutions including art, natural history, children’s and science museums as well as, theaters, zoos and historical sites. Today, culturally enriching field trips are on the decline. The decision… Read more »

  • The Summer Slide

    Is the summer achievement gap avoidable? To achieve in life and school, children and adults need ongoing opportunities to enrich their skills. This is especially true during the summer months. Many Americans have visions of summer as a carefree time when “kids can be kids.” Adult caretakers take for granted the prospect of enriching experiences such as summer camps, time… Read more »

  • Reading Instruction in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose

    A Report from the Alliance for Childhood and Defending the Early Years. In the United States, there is a widespread belief that teaching children to read early—in Kindergarten or even PreKindergarten—will help them be better readers in the long-run. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence that this is so. How then did this idea take hold so strongly? Read the… Read more »

  • Our Move to Canalside

    You may have read some stories recently in the news about changes in our move to Canalside. Here’s the update! ECHDC had originally slated the Museum for a parcel in the South Aud Block that was both on the tow path of the canal and abutting Main Street. Last fall, they decided to put that parcel out to bid for… Read more »

Get Involved with Canalside

VOLUNTEER. You can get involved by volunteering at the museum or on one of our committees. We have immediate openings available in our Docent Program. Learn more.

SHOW & TELL PRESENTATIONS. For more information about getting involved, attend a Show & Tell presentation. Learn more.