The Niagara Historical Society & Museum seeks out the details of local historical events to highlight the stories behind the history. This quest for the details began when the Historical Society’s first president and museum founder, Janet Carnochan, wrote about the history of the community and collected artifacts that represent the history of the region. The museum collection began in 1896, and grew to chronicle the battles, refugee emigrations, and recreational developments that shaped the region. Today the museum houses more than 8,000 artifacts and 40,000 documents that rotate through the permanent exhibits, including a powder horn belonging to Chief Joseph Brant, uniforms from the War of 1812, and early Canadianna furniture. The museum’s historical significance even extends to the three separate buildings that house its artifacts. The high-school building was originally constructed in 1875, and Memorial Hall was recognized as the oldest museum building in the province by the Ontario Heritage Trust.
Louis Tussaud's Waxworks entices curious families and individual seekers with rooms brimming with waxified legends, people, and achievements. Today's Groupon grants admission for two guests into Waxworks' sprawling English Tudor–style building, which houses 16 theme galleries, filled with glossy tableaus of more than 100 true-to-life wax figures crafted by international artists. Past and present celebrities—including film and music stars, politicians, religious figures, and famous heroes and villains—pause from high-stakes staring contests for photo opportunities with passing patrons. Sit on Oprah's couch, snuggle into bed with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, or play host to an unblinking audience of invisible fish.
Ripley?s has enthralled audiences for more than nine decades with its dedication to revealing odd and unexplainable rarities from around the globe. But it all began with one man: Robert Ripley, a wildly successful and eccentric character who rose to fame during the first half of the 20th century. After selling his first cartoon to Life magazine at age 14, he set out on a quick-paced career of drawing sports cartoons for the New York Globe. During a slow day at the office, he sketched nine unusual sporting events and finished his work with a title: ?Believe It or Not!? It became immensely popular, allowing Ripley to travel the world in search of more bizarre stories to put into his comic strips. While visiting relatively unknown areas in locales such as India, China, and the inside of his neighbor?s chimney, he picked up a slew of unbelievable souvenirs that later became fixtures in several of Ripley?s museums, or as they?re affectionately called today, Odditoriums. Ripley?s now encompasses publications, attractions, a television show, and a blog, all of which carry Ripley?s tradition of reporting on the world?s curiosities.
Contra-rotating blades once powered by a Porsche engine sit peacefully on a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter. Nearby, a World War II seafaring destroyer with nine battle stars to its name takes its place among tanks such as the 22.3-ton tank that served in the Korean Conflict. Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park's curators have amassed many such machines designed for––and veterans of––combat. Their numerous exhibits feature relics such as the only guided-missile cruiser on display in America. The role women have played in the military earns its own exhibit, as does memorabilia of former POWs and a collection of favorite cobbler recipes from WWII to present-day generals.
What does it feel like to be caught in a tornado? How big were mastodons? How do engineers test automobile designs? All of these questions and more are answered at the Buffalo Museum of Science, where families can explore paleontology, biology, astronomy, and archaeology?and that's before you factor in rotating exhibits on fields such as robotics or entomology.
The discoveries continue beyond the museum walls. Buffalo Museum of Science also operates the Tifft Nature Preserve, a 264-acre wetland preserve in South Buffalo, and sponsors on-location events to expose students of all ages to immersive science education.
Western New York Book Arts Center celebrates the artistry that goes into making a book. An actual, physical book. In this age of digital everything, it's important to educate people about what makes books such unique artifacts?namely their typeface, binding, and ability to summon the dead. The arts center offers an assortment of art-based workshops and classes, as well as a walk-in boutique, gallery, and a working museum. Through rotating exhibits and a gift shop stocked with screen-printed t-shirts and letterpress notebooks, the organization helps the increasingly tech-oriented public learn to love books again.