The perfect staycation in Buffalo

If you’re staying in Buffalo over break, don’t fret, there’s tons to do


Being snowbound in Buffalo doesn’t mean you can’t have a brilliant spring break. There’s enough new art exhibitions in the city, sports games, plays and even tropical cocktails at the Botanical Gardens to keep you busy every glorious day of break.


Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Two new exhibitions will be gracing the halls of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Overtime: The Art of Work and Eye to Eye: Looking Beyond Likeness, opening on Saturday, March 7 at 7 p.m. The openings are free to the public but you can take a day out of Spring Break to explore the whole of the gallery.

Both exhibitions draw from the Gallery’s extensive collections. Overtime explores how artists from the 18th century to the present represent labor and Eye to Eye presents how social conventions and artistic techniques have influenced portraits since the 18th century.

Burchfield Penney Art Center

On Friday, March 13, the Burchfield Penney Art Center will be home to three new exhibits, two of which are collections of the gallery’s namesake artist, Charles Burchfield. Charles Burchfield: Audio Graphics and Charles Burchfield: A Resounding Roar explore Burchfield’s use of musical symbols in his paintings and how his love of sounds influenced his work. Robert Booth was influenced by Marcel Duchamp’s “readymades” – everyday objects turned into art – in the exhibit, The Scrutiny of Objects: Sculptures by Robert A. Booth. The objects are covered with tape, creating a new context for the viewer to see the objects and find new meanings in them.

CEPA Gallery

UB department of art MFA candidate Sangjun Yoo’s thesis exhibition is opening at the CEPA Gallery (30D Essex St.) on March 6. The site-specific video installation is an immersive environment for viewers. It closes on March 22 so be sure to stop by the free gallery to see this student’s work during Spring Break.

March is a big month for art exhibits as the CEPA gallery has another two exhibitions opening on March 7: Enter Here: Photobooth Portraits 1979-80 and Children of San Jose Del Negrito.


Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres are taking on the New York Rangers on March 14 at First Niagara Center. The puck drops at 7 p.m.

On March 16, the Buffalo Sabres face off against the Washington Capitals at 7 p.m. at First Niagara Center.

The New Jersey Devils are hitting First Niagara Center’s ice on March 20 at 7 p.m., against hometown Buffalo Sabres.

Buffalo Bandits

Kick off Spring Break with the Buffalo Bandits and the Toronto Rock at First Niagara Center. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13.

On Saturday, March 21, the Buffalo Bandits are taking on the Minnesota Swarm. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. at the First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo.

Pepsi Hockey Invitational

The 39th Annual Pepsi Hockey Invitational will be held at Holiday Twin Rinks & Leisure Rinks from March 6 to April 4. More than 270 teams from the United States and Canada will compete. There is no gate fee.

From March 13-15 and then from March 20-22, you can watch the House League teams battle it out on the ice.


After Miss Julie is running until March 22 at the Irish Classical Theatre Company, located at 625 Main St. in Buffalo. You can catch the show Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. There are student discounts available.

If you’re in the mood for some dystopian, post-apocalyptic theater, then check out After America: Wasteland 2015 at the Road Less Traveled Theater at 639 Main St., in the Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre. Shows are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Student tickets are just $15.

The Addams Family, an original story about Wednesday Addams and her new boyfriend, is showing at Lockport’s Historic Palace Theatre (2 East Ave., Lockport). Students pay just $15 to see the show, happening on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Topdog Underdog, described by the theater’s website as a “hard-hitting hip-hop journey of dizzying verbal virtuosity,” will grace the stage of Ujima Theatre. Ujima has been temporarily moved to Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center at 341 Delaware Ave. The show ends on March 15, so you don’t have much time to catch the show. Student tickets are $15 and shows are Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m.

Mothers and Sons, a production of the Buffalo United Artists, will only be showing for two days of Spring Break – Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Student tickets are $15. The play will be shown at Alleyway Theatre at 1 Curtain Up Alley in downtown Buffalo.

The neon green New Phoenix Theatre at 95 Johnson Park will be showing the play Angels Fall until April 4. The play, by Lanford Wilson, will show Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Although student tickets are regularly $20, Thursday is pay-what-you-can-night, perfect for poor college kids.

For a return to childhood, the Theatre of Youth at 203 Allen St., in Allentown, will be home to everyone’s favorite Roald Dahl character, the BFG (Big Friendly Giant). Shows are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. during Spring Break. Tickets are $24 or $26, depending on the seating section.

Cold and hot

For those of us not able to fly to Cancun or Jamaica, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens are hosting “Taste of Paradise.” For $35 ($40 if purchased after March 9), you can sip on garden cocktails from ONE ROQ Vodka, have some Dundee Ale and Lager and Seagrams Escapes Coolers, taste herbs, listen to tropical music and taste food from Buffalo’s Best Bar and Grill, Ilio DiPaolo’s, Lucarelli’s and other local restaurants. You’ll also get a preview of the Spring Flowers exhibition. The event runs from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, March 20.

On Saturday, March 21, the Aquarium of Niagara (701 Whirlpool St.) is having “Penguin Days,” letting visitors get close with a Peruvian penguin from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On the couch

For days when you just want to curl up in a warm blanket and shelter yourself from the snow and cold, there are some under-acknowledged shows and movies on Netflix you should binge watch:

TV Shows:

The Returned – the dead have returned to a picturesque French town

Luther – English detective series about a complicated, troubled detective

Wallander – Swedish detective series with complex and intriguing plots

Peaky Blinders – the suspenseful story of a gang in 1919 Birmingham, England

The Honorable Woman – intelligent drama about an Anglo-Israeli baroness

Peep Show – British comedy about two completely dysfunctional friends

Columbo – classic detective series about bumbling Lieutenant Columbo

Top of the Lake – detective story from New Zealand


Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart – Tim Burton-esque film about a boy who must not fall in love

Barbara – an East German woman is assigned to work in a rural hospital

Pi – a mind-bender about a man with a numerical obsession

Amelie – a visual masterpiece about the quirky life of one of Paris’ most adorable women

Nymphomanic Vol. 1 and 2 – the intensely gripping story of one woman’s lifetime of sexual encounters

And since we all know Buffalo’s 30 degree days are bikini-worthy, you’re going to want to warm up with a cozy drink at night. Here’s a recipe for fancy hot chocolate so you can relax and spend too many hours in front of your laptop or TV:

Delicious Chocolat Chaud (Hot Chocolate)

Ingredients (serves one)

10-12 oz. milk or substitute

1-1.5 oz. quality chocolate bar with few ingredients (adjust for desired strength)

A sweetener to taste (i.e. 2 tsp. cane sugar)

1.5 tsp of vanilla extract

1 tbsp heavy cream OR substitute 50 percent of the milk with half-and-half


½ tsp of instant espresso for mocha hot chocolate

Whipped cream

Chocolate shavings (garnish for the whipped cream)


Combine the liquid and chocolate on stovetop in a small saucepan and heat slowly, stirring frequently to avoid scorching the milk, until chocolate is completely melted and milk begins to steam.

Whisk or stir the mixture to a uniform texture.

Remove from heat.

Sweeten to taste.

Pour, top, and enjoy, but don't burn yourself.

Notes: The chocolate can be chopped for faster melting, but it isn't necessary.

Emma Janicki is a managing editor and can be contacted at