Classes are over, the snow has melted, and the bulky coats have been put back into the closet. Several students will head back to wherever they came from, but many UB people will be stuck in the Queen City over the summer due to apartment leases, jobs or summer classes. These students will need some sort of activity to occupy their free time and fit their meager budgets.
Buffalo, when not under a sheet of ice, is actually quite active in the arts. First, there is the Allentown Art Festival, which takes place this year on June 11 and 12. The festival features over 400 vendors and artists and stretches for several blocks in the Allentown area near Downtown Buffalo.
For yet more art, the Elmwood Art Festival will take place on Aug. 27 and 28 and also features local artists and vendors. The Elmwood festival stretches between Lafayette and West Ferry.
If where to find live, free music is the question, then the Thursday in the Square series is the answer. Running every Thursday from June 10 to Aug. 12 in Lafayette Square downtown, Buffalo and M&T Bank bring some surprisingly popular acts to town with free admission. The lineup for this year will be announced on May 27.
The M & T Plaza Event Series is the easiest way to get a music fix as well as lunch. Every weekday throughout the summer, the plaza in front of M & T Bank downtown hosts various music and entertainment venues for the lunch hour.
Starting on May 19 and running until Oct. 27, the Downtown Country Market will allow people to purchase farm-fresh products directly from the farms that produced them. The market is located along Main Street between Court Street and Church Street.
Niagara Square, in front of City Hall, will be the place to go to expand that waistline on July 9 and 10 with the Taste of Buffalo. This event is a smorgasbord of food and entertainment that features some of the incredible foods from the Western New York area. Foods from all over the globe will be offered and the event is bring-your-own-Pepto.
Greek food, Greek music, Greek culture; it must be the Hellenic Festival. Taking place June 3 through 5 at the Hellenic Orthodox Church, the festival celebrates everything from the birthplace of democracy. Though it is the most expensive event on this list, the $2 admission fee is not likely to break any budgets.
A great game of basketball is a common summertime sight. The Gus Macker Three-on-Three Tournament, taking place June 25 and 26, is a great way to show off skills and play around with thousands of other people. The tournament's venue is in Niagara Square and is as much fun to watch as it is to play. It costs money to enter a team, but it is free to watch.
The Chase Corporate Challenge is one of the largest charity-driven events in Buffalo. Taking place on June 9, the challenge is more than just a simple race to raise funds. This year the main charity is Child Care Resource Network and the top five teams from both men and women receive $1,000 for the charity of their choice. There is also a T-shirt contest and a general party atmosphere. Last year, the team from UB won the men's race, so go out and cheer them on again this year.
Shakespeare in Delaware Park is a Buffalo staple for the summer and is one of the largest and most successful outdoor Shakespeare festivals in the country. Even people who are not Shakespeare fans tend to enjoy the productions, and the fact that it is free admission and a wonderful evening in Delaware Park is welcome by almost all. This year will offer "The Merchant of Venice" – arguably the Bard's most controversial play – from June 16 to July 10, and "As You Like It" from July 21 through Aug. 14.
Theaters downtown and all over the metro area offer several plays to enjoy for varying amounts of admission.
Even if the day consists of visiting the Waterfront, one of the main parks in the city, boating on Lake Erie, or simply hanging out and shopping at one of the malls or the Elmwood area, anyone can find stuff to do this summer.