A MILLION Thanks to Our Friends at Delaware North!

Delaware North Co-CEO, Lou Jacobs, and his wife, Joan, made the $1 million gift announcement with some third grade friends from Waterfront Elementary.

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!

“Being good neighbors, celebrating our diversity, and investing in the future of Buffalo’s children are shared missions of both Explore & More and Delaware North. Like our investment in Say Yes, we are happy to be a part of this project that will have such a profound impact on the lives of children and families here for years to come,” said Lou Jacobs, Co-CEO of Delaware North, the global hospitality and food service company that was founded 100 years ago in Buffalo and is headquartered here today.

The announcement was made at a Culture Day program that Explore & More educators facilitated with third-grade students at Waterfront Elementary/Buffalo Public School #95. Soon to be neighbors with the new Explore & More, Waterfront Elementary continues to be an important and cherished partner of the Museum.

“Like their team is doing today, Explore & More provides experiential learning opportunities that expand on what our students are learning in the classroom, and that are an important part of healthy child development, said David Hills, Principal of Waterfront Elementary/Buffalo Public School #95. “Today they are impacting this one classroom of our students, so you can imagine the impact they will have on the hundreds of thousands and children and families when they are right here on the waterfront, accessible to so many.”

Delaware North’s longstanding commitment to Buffalo is unparalleled, and its commitment to serving children – especially children in need – has never been more evident. Explore & More is thrilled to partner with this most honorable Good Neighbor to bring hands-on early learning experiences to the children of Buffalo, helping to move the needle on school readiness while making an important economic impact.

Delaware North is one of the largest privately-held hospitality and food service companies in the world. Founded in 1915 and owned by the Jacobs family for 100 years, Delaware North has global operations at high-profile places such as sports and entertainment venues, national and state parks, destination resorts and restaurants, airports, and regional casinos. Its 60,000 employee associates are dedicated to creating special experiences one guest at a time in serving more than 500 million guests annually. Delaware North has annual revenue of about $3 billion in the sports, travel hospitality, restaurants and catering, parks, resorts, gaming, and specialty retail industries.

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 due November 23, 2015. Here are the requirements and the detailed RFP (PDF).

NEW – Please also see the addendum (PDF).

Our New Site at Canalside!

It’s a GO!

4 story South Aud

Draft Conceptual Rendering

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 out.  That’s GREAT news for Explore & More, but EVEN BETTER news for the children and families of Western New York, and the hundreds of Buffalo voices that contributed to these plans for a world-class institution on Buffalo’s waterfront.

press conference for new site

From left to right at the press conference announcing the new site: E&M Board President Matt Davison, Senator Marc Panepinto, Senator Tim Kennedy, Congressman Brian Higgins, E&M Director of Waterfront Expansion Barbara Leggett, ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia, Mayor Byron Brown, NYPA Chairman John Koelmel, Regional President of Empire State Development Sam Hoyt, E&M Capital Campaign Chair and Managing Partner of Phillips Lytle David McNamara


As ECHDC Board Chairman and John R. Oishei Foundation President Robert Gioia said at the press conference that day, “Canalside’s future is looking brighter than ever as we move forward with improved plans for the Explore & More Children’s Museum. ECHDC shares Explore & More’s optimism and enthusiasm for a children’s museum on the South Aud Block. The museum will add to our success for making Canalside a year-round attraction for all ages.”

When ECHDC first proposed this new site, we had our work cut out for us.  Knowing that our community deserved nothing less than a dynamic, engaging and sustainable institution, Explore & More needed to perform the necessary due diligence to make sure the new site could deliver on the plans that had been developed in collaboration with the community, our staff, our board, our donors, our visitors, and the area’s leaders.  After careful and thorough review across all categories, the result was two big thumbs up!  This new site gives the Museum its own building, which allows for greater safety and comfort for our visitors, more room to grow, and more sponsorship opportunities for greater sustainability.  It also offers more useable space inside and out – letting us accommodate more happy visitors!

And so our work begins a new, finalizing floor plans and getting everything set to put shovels in the ground next year!  We expect to open at Canalside in the second half of 2018, but you know us – we’ve been a part of the fabric of Canalside for quite some time already.  We continue to build our programs there and across Western New York, and increase our offerings, piloting new programs and exhibits, at our current location in East Aurora…so you don’t have to wait at all to enjoy the full Explore & More experience right now.  See you soon!


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 to reduce these visits reflects a variety of factors that administrators and teachers face today.

A study at The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has proven that “enriching field trips contribute to the development of students into civilized young men and women who possess more knowledge about art, have stronger critical-thinking skills, exhibit increased historical empathy, display higher levels of tolerance, and have a greater taste for consuming art and culture.” (Learn more about the study »)

Planning ahead is the best way to ensure that your students will have the opportunity to participate. The Target Field Trip Grant offers free buses to K-12 students nationwide. (Visit their website for more information »)

Remember, it’s never too early to schedule a visit to Explore & More, or to book an E&M program at your location too!

Donate today to help keep the play alive!Donate Now