The third-oldest zoo in the United States, the Buffalo Zoo was originally founded in 1875 as a deer park in the northwest corner of Delaware Park. Since then, it has grown into a 23.5-acre home for diverse species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish, all under the care of the Zoological Society of Buffalo, an organization dedicated to advancing the conservation of the world’s exotic, endangered, and ordinary animals. Within its habitats, creatures ranging from Asian elephants to poison arrow frogs serve as ambassadors from far-off kingdoms, and at the Delta Sonic Heritage Farm’s 1800s-era barn, a collection of berkshire pigs, southdown sheep, and other farm animals represents the fauna that once commonly lived along the Erie Canal. To carry out its educational mission, the zoo regularly hosts programs such as behind-the-scenes workshops and Zoo Snooze, in which kids can stay over for the night and wake up alongside the lions roaring angrily at their rooster alarm clocks.
For almost 40 years, the instructors and staff of Dip 'N Dive have demystified the magic of breathing underwater. They instruct and outfit both scuba divers and snorkelers at their Buffalo location, and the facility's curriculum of PADI and NAUI courses help budding divers stay safe, maintain control of their equipment, and walk like Naomi Campbell while wearing fins. From beginning diving lessons to advanced instructor training, courses include classroom work, pool exercises, and real open-water-diving trips.
The historic 85-year-old Riviera Theatre welcomes moviegoers to experience the show-stopping splendor of an original 1920s movie palace, boasting no less than 1,150 seats and myriad perching possibilities for taking in a roster of Streisand's most beloved films. Beginning June 30 with What's Up, Doc? and concluding with The Way We Were on September 1, the film series presents nine of Babs's best flicks for ultimate fan perusal and trivia-night upsets at Fran Drescher's house. Bask beneath the crystal-laden chandelier on July 21 and August 11 to chortle along to Barbra's portrayal of famed comedienne Fannie Brice in both Funny Girl and Funny Lady respectively, and mark your calendar for July 7, when A Star is Born examines Streisand's brief foray into celestial midwifery. Pummel your senses in The Main Event (July 28), extend greetings to Hello, Dolly! (August 4), witness the charged banter during The Owl and the Pussycat (August 18), and don cloudless glasses during On a Clear Day You Can See Forever(August 25).
In the 2001 movie Osmosis Jones, Bill Murray's character dreams of attending the National Buffalo Wing Festival. Although that made for an amusing plot point, there was a problem: at the time, no such festival existed. When Buffalo native Drew Cerza heard about this oversight, he realized that it was a wrong that needed righting. He threw his inaugural festival that same year, and the rest is meaty, sauce-slathered history. Now, every Labor Day weekend, wing fans flock to Buffalo, and they usually bring their appetites to chow through one million-plus wings over the duration of the festival.
At each festival, restaurant representatives travel to Coca-Cola Field to share their tastiest, hottest sauces with festivalgoers. A select group of buffalo wing purists participate in the festival's traditional and creative sauce competitions, whipping up sauces onstage before serving their concoctions to a panel of local celebrity judges. The sauce-off is one of the festival's many contests, which also include wing eating competitions and bobbing for wings in a pool of blue cheese.
Aside from the many wing-based events, the festival features entertainment ranging from live music to live quiz shows. In 2006, the festival even hosted a wedding, fulfilling every father's fantasy of grabbing a snack as he accompanies his daughter down the aisle.
Owner Deanna Giordano founded Studio Sophia as a means of maintaining her lifelong commitment to fitness and health. Inside the facility, Deanna has created a warm atmosphere—one free of mirrors and judgment and filled only with encouragement. Those inviting airs surround groups of exercisers during classes held six days per week, including Latin-infused Zumba sessions and multiple variants of yoga and Pilates.
The brainchild of owner Dale Ali and chef Sergio Aquino, Epic Restaurant and Lounge captures diners’ interest with dishes that showcase fresh, seasonal ingredients as well as the chef’s mastery of culinary techniques ranging from classic French to peasant, according to Buffalo Spree. The menu—which the Buffalo News called “ambitious” and “totally different from any other in the area”—comprises upscale dinner fare with unexpected twists: the grilled rib eye arrives with pomegranate jam, and the duck breast is flanked by a cilantro-nutmeg emulsion and rubber-ducky bodyguards.
The eatery also strives to be epic in its drink selection with a varnished wooden bar offering more than 25 imported or microbrewery beers as well as an extensive wine list. Diners can kick off the weekend with dinner, drinks, and jams every Friday night, with entertainment alternating between salsa and live bands.