Famous for its waters, there’s plenty to do shoreside.
More small town festivities are slated for Gowanda’s Heritage Harvest Festival, September 15, including a scarecrow contest, pumpkin painting, arts and crafts, live music and lots of vendors. Don’t pass up a tour of Pine Hill Cemetery as locals dressed in period costume portray notable cemetery residents.
The Western New York Gas and Steam Show Association starts its engines, September 6-9 in Alexander, for four days of threshing, sawing, plowing, pulling and digging with antique internal engines, steam tractors, diesel trucks and superstocks. The Annual Fall Rally will draw an expected crowd of 30,000 for horse and steamer pulls, antique cars and garden tractors, an auction, plus plenty of food and live music. Come dig the dust, dirt and noise.
Bring the kids, and the kid in you, to Bubblefest at the Buffalo Museum of Science, and see bubbles so big you can stand in them. On September 8, the Museum and Martin Luther King, Jr. Park will pop with bubble crafts, a bubble dance room with glow in the dark bubbles, a Kiddy Car Wash, bubbling live music and—you guessed it—performances of Bubblemania. Tip: bring a change of clothes for the kids, they may get damp.
Why not take a walk on the dark side with a Marble Orchard Ghost Walk, Saturdays in September and October starting at the Peace Garden in Lewiston. Hear true tales of tragedy, murder and mystery, local ghost stories and myths, as your Marble Orchard Players guide leads you through the historic district and Village Cemetery for an eerie adventure full of history and legend. Don’t forget your flashlight—it will get darker.
Come to the Trailside Lodge Area and watch Native American dancers bring their culture to life during Native America Heritage Days at Letchworth State Park, September 15. Enjoy athletic and craft demonstrations and taste Native American food as you learn about this fascinating culture. Then return to the Highbanks Recreation Area, October 6-8, and shop over 300 arts and crafts exhibitors at the Letchworth Arts and Crafts Show and Sale.
Wildlife experts can’t wait to show off their live birds of prey, old and new world primates, reptiles and exotic animals during the NYPA Wildlife Festival at the Niagara Power Project’s Power Vista, September 22-23. It’s one of many free fall events sponsored by The Niagara Project Power Vista Center.
Located between Rochester and Buffalo, you’ll find fear factors for every taste at Darien Lake Theme Park’s Family FrightFest. Suitable for the younger set is Old McDonald’s Haymazing Adventure, Trick or Treat Trail and Pumpkin Painting. The more fearless can dare the Haunted Graveyard, Grim Reaper Barge, Manic Mansion and Nightmare Acres. Or take the Fright Night Field Trip to the campgrounds’ darkest corners.
Watch the sun rise or set over Lake Ontario from the shores of Golden Hill State Park and you’ll remember it always. Enjoy camping and boating through mid-October, shoreline hiking, picnicking and walking tours of Thirty Mile Lighthouse. The lighthouse cottage is available for vacation rentals, complete with stunning lake views.
Luminaries will light the paths to Batavia’s Halloween Candlelight Cemetery Tour, Oct 20 and 27. Your guide would love to introduce you to some dear departed Batavians portrayed by costumed actors—or are they? It’s hard to tell in the candlelight.
From its commanding bluff above Lake Ontario, Old Fort Niagara has guarded the entrance to the Niagara River since 1726. Today this National Historic Landmark offers a fascinating collection of living history exhibits and events. Spirits of the past return for Haunted Fortress days, October 20 and 27, when ghosts from the Fort’s storied past walk its ramparts. Bring a flashlight and leave younger children at home.
For more information, visit the Greater Niagara region.