Explore & More Closed Feb. 3rd-7th, Reopening Feb. 8th with 3 new exhibits

Since opening at Canalside last June, Explore & More has seen over 98,000 visitors representing 2,000 zip codes from around the world – but the work is not yet done! Explore & More will be closed February 3rd – February 7th to install three brand new play exhibits. These exhibits will be ready and open for play on Saturday, February 8th.

The first exhibit being installed is a Super Service Auto Center in the Driving Buffalo’s Dreams area. Designed by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in Wisconsin, and brought to Explore & More in collaboration with West Herr Automotive, the new exhibit aims to introduce little ones to jobs in the auto service industry through hands-on play. Little mechanics can step into a pretend auto shop equipped with all the tools they need to perform maintenance on a kid-sized car mounted on a lift. The exhibit’s interactive activities encourage cooperative play and stimulate the development of fundamental skills in young children.

The second exhibit premiering will be a replica of the West Side Bazaar Market in our Being Good Neighbors Play Zone. This space will create a pretend-play environment where a local marketplace representing Buffalo’s diverse West Side can share it’s story. The goals of this exhibit are to highlight diverse local cultures, establish Explore & More as a strong community partner, expose Museum guests to new products, aesthetics and materials, and to build social, linguistic, and mathematical skills.

Finally, the new indoor and inclusive Community Treehouse exhibit sponsored by Person Centered Services will open. This exhibit’s unique layout will be able to accommodate all visitors, regardless of any physical or developmental challenges. It has been thoughtfully designed and constructed by Buffalo Treehouse to provide a safe environment where children of differing levels and abilities can play together in a developmentally appropriate space.

The Person Centered Services Treehouse immerses visitors in a breathtaking Western New York woodland scene, taking the concept of an inclusive outdoor playground and transporting it indoors with a whimsical twist. Inclusive playgrounds break down physical and social barriers to play, providing a sensory-rich and fun experience for all while promoting opportunities for physical, cognitive, visual and auditory learning. The Treehouse structure will be accessible to everyone, including guests in wheeled mobility devices. Such features will ensure that no visitor feels unable to participate due to mobility constraints.

Explore & More Children’s Museum and BankOnBuffalo Partner to Collect Winter Clothing Items for Children in Need

Buffalo, NY, January 9, 2020

In recognition of the National Day of Service on Monday, January 20, which also happens to be Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum and BankOnBuffalo have partnered to collect winter clothing items (new hats, mittens and socks) for the children residing at Gerard Place. While BankOnBuffalo associates are already collecting these items internally, the official drive will kick off at Explore & More on January 20 in which any patron bringing in a donation will receive $3 off their admission for that day.

BankOnBuffalo is also the presenting sponsor for Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities – including stories and crafts — at Explore & More.

Since 2000, Gerard Place has been providing housing for homeless single parents and their families and empowering those parents through education, employment, vocational training, life skills classes and counseling. “Gerard Place is very grateful to BankOnBuffalo and Explore & More for their very generous drive to help the children and families in our very poor surrounding community. Organizations working together to provide essential clothing at this time of year for those most vulnerable in our community is what is best about Buffalo” David Zapfel, CEO/President of Gerard Place.

“In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision of building a better community, BankOnBuffalo employees are not taking this holiday off, but we are taking it on – by volunteering to collect needed hats, mittens and gloves to support Gerard Place and reduced admissions at the Explore & More Children’s Museum,” said Martin T. Griffith, BankOnBuffalo president. “As part of our commitment, we are also happy to donate 100 tickets for city children to have free admission on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”

In addition to the donation drive, Explore & More has planned a day of storytelling, crafts and activities all focused on celebrating Dr. King’s life and teachings of diversity, equality, freedom and resistance. Among the activities, Phyllis Thompson of Young Audiences of WNY will make a Story Quilt with the children, teaching them about the tradition of quilt making, including the meanings and symbolism of the designs. The Colored Musicians Club of WNY will also be on hand to perform for the children and families.

Additionally, through the generosity of BankOnBuffalo, 100 children from family members at the Northland Workforce Training Center and from Buffalo Public School #89 will get free admission to spend their day and play and learn at Explore & More on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. For more information on the museum, the clothing drive and the festivities for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, please contact Kristin Scholz at kscholz@exploreandmore.org or 716-380-8565.

Explore & More to Offer Special Programming and Free Admission for Veterans and Active Duty Military

Join Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum this Veterans Day, Monday, November 11 from 10am – 4pm as they honor those who have served our country with a full day of fun, hands-on activities. Thanks to the support of National Fuel, Explore & More will be offering FREE admission for all active duty and retired military members with ID.

Throughout the day and the museum, there will be military appreciation and recognition activities, providing immersive and memorable experiences for children, while teaching them how the military keeps us safe and why we celebrate Veterans Day. Children can make lap blankets for Veterans, thank you cards for deployed military members and dog tags for themselves. There will be entertainment by the Buffalo Dolls and surprise guests (Sabretooth) throughout the day. At 12:30 we will have a brief (no more than 15 minutes) ceremony with a presentation from the WNY Maritime Charter School Color Guard, the national anthem from students from Mel’s School of Music and Theater and words from some special guests. At that time, we will be making a special announcement that will be very impactful for our active military heroes.

Explore & More is also partnering with National Fuel to collect toiletry items for Niagara Falls Air Base troops being deployed overseas. Needed items include – soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste and baby wipes. Donations are being gratefully accepted at the front desk of the museum, now through November 11, 2019. Explore & More also created an Amazon account with a wish list of items that can be ordered online. Those who are interested can go to www.exploreandmore.org and click on the Veterans Day link located at the top of the website.

AT&T Launches STEM Enrichment Program at Explore & More

This past Tuesday, October 22nd, Explore & More was abuzz with STEM-related activities, thanks to the launch of an exciting new partnership with AT&T.

A volunteer shows how some farmers actually farm the wind in our Farm to Fork exhibit.

The AT&T and Explore & More STEM Enrichment Program plans to bring hands-on experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to up to 1,500 Buffalo area students. Participating students will visit the museum at no cost, and are given “passports” to move their way through hands-on activity stations across the museum.

At the program’s Tuesday launch, over 300 Buffalo Public School students learned firsthand how Buffalo played a key role in launching the Apollo rocket to the moon, programmed robots with code, and learned how to use wind to generate electricity.

In addition to school visits, select high school students will be trained as STEM Youth Educators by museum staff. These student leaders will serve as AT&T and Explore & More STEM Enrichment Program expert leaders and will receive a scholarship award at the conclusion of their involvement.

Buffalo Deputy Mayor Ellen Grant, Senator Tim Kennedy, AT&T Director of External Affairs Kevin Hanna and Explore & More CEO Michelle Urbanczyk announce new initiative to bring hands-on STEM based activities to Buffalo Public School children through the AT&T and Explore & More STEM Enrichment Program.

“It is an honor to work with Explore & More to develop this innovative STEM education program which will help young Buffalo students develop skills that will prepare them for success inside and outside the classroom in a wonderful learning and fun environment,” said Amy Kramer, President, New York State, AT&T.

“We’re so grateful to AT&T for their partnership as we work together to bring STEM concepts to life for area students,” said Explore & More CEO Michelle Urbanczyk. “Play encourages people of all ages to use their creativity and imagination to look at things in a whole new way, supercharging learning and sparking interests that open up whole new possibilities to explore.”

National Grid STEM Saturdays

This past weekend, Explore & More and National Grid teamed up to launch STEM Saturdays – an exciting new initiative to bring fun and engaging Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math based activities to power the play across the museum third Saturday of each month.

These monthly STEM Saturdays will include hands-on STEM based kids activities throughout the museum and in all three studios, including our Art Studio, Cooking Galley, and Tinkering Tank.    

Explore & More CEO Michelle Urbanczyk with National Grid regional director Ken Kujawa.

“We have long supported initiatives that introduce kids to fun STEM-related activities,” said National Grid regional director Ken Kujawa. “National Grid and our customers will always need people who are skilled in science, technology, engineering and math. By supporting STEM, and programs like those offered by Explore & More, we’re building an educated workforce that can benefit many in a variety of areas that support our business, our customers and our communities.”

“We are so thrilled to partner with National Grid as they bring a full day of STEM-based play opportunities to Explore & More,” said Explore & More CEO Michelle Urbanczyk. “Children learn best through play, and with STEM based play, a child uses their imagination and curiosity to experiment their way through problems and find solutions. This sort of play can light a passion for the STEM field that a child can carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

Boy using hand crank to generate electricity
Visitor powers Explore & More’s “Lighting Buffalo’s Imagination” exhibit.

To kick-off the inaugural STEM Saturday, elementary principals and teachers (K-4) were invited to come in for a free continental breakfast and full tour of the new museum, compliments of National Grid.

Join in the fun – the next STEM Saturdays are from 9:00 – 5:00 on Saturday, November 16th & Saturday, December 21st.