By Alicia Dziak

The first long weekend of the school year is here, and if you’re looking for a memorable way to spend it with the kids, you have your pick!

Celebrate the 20th Annual WNY Earth Science Day at Penn Dixie on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. The first 200 visitors will receive a free fossil collecting bag and a copy of The Geology and Paleontology of Eighteen Mile Creek by Amadeus Grabau, the foremost guide to fossils in the region.

Learn about Western New York’s natural resources and our planet through interactive exhibits and demonstrations in a family-friendly setting. The exhibitor tent will include The Buffalo Zoo, Botanical Gardens, Bookmobile, Reinstein Woods, SUNY Buffalo Geology, Earth Dimensions, Past & Present Rock Shop, and many more. We’re happy to have Lloyd Taco Truck back as our lunch vendor this year.

Stay the whole day and enjoy the free 6:30 p.m. astronomy program offering stunning views of three planets and distant bodies like open star clusters.

For more info, visit

As the leaves begin to change, it’s the prefect time to explore our area’s state parks, and it’s hard to argue that Letchworth State Park offers some of the best scenery around. If checking out the trails and waterfalls isn’t enough of a lure, how about the annual Letchworth Arts and Crafts Show Oct. 7-9? For 42 years, The Arts Council for Wyoming County has produced this event that has grown from a small group of local artists displaying their work outdoors to a show that hosts over 300 artisans, artists, and master craftpersons from throughout the country. This groundbreaking show has been ranked in the top 50 Art Festivals in the United States, and boasts some of the best pottery, paintings, quilts, fiber arts, handcrafted jewelry, photography, furniture, decorative painting, dried floral arrangements, packaged specialty foods, and so much more. Food vendors, live entertainment, and other fun activities for the entire family round out the event.

The Show is held at the Highbanks Recreation Area of Letchworth State Park. Admission to the festival is free with an $10 per car entry fee to the park. Show hours are: Saturday, Oct. 7,10-5 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 8, 10-5 p.m.and Monday, Oct. 9, 10-4 p.m. For more info, visit

Ellicottville’s annual Fall Festival also features a large arts and crafts fair, and is happening Oct. 7 and 8. For more info, see the article on page 1.

Art lovers can also enjoy Buffalo’s Albright Knox Museum on Oct. 7 for $5 Family Funday. On the second Sunday of each month, museum admission for the entire family is just $5, and includes an array of programming for children and their families. For more info, visit

If you’re up for an adventure that combines art and nature, check out NIGHT LIGHTS at Griffis Sculpture Park. See the complete story on page 1.

How about America’s only mini Renaissance Fair with a Halloween and pirate theme? Holiday Hollow’s Halloween & Pirate Festival, at 1410 Main Road in Corfu, runs every weekend in October and on Columbus Day and offers fun, non-scary Halloween family entertainment with seven live stage shows and hours of fun. Opening day is Saturday, Oct. 7.  The Silver Anniversary brings two new shows:  the comic “Witches’ Coven” show and a new Gypsy comedy show, along with the famous pirate sword fighting, Haunted Parlor, Mad Tea Party, Talking Pumpkins, Fairy Tale (“of Sorts”) and Wacky Witch’s Spooky Forest cooking show, as well as the amazing Haunted Parlor, Hook’s Dark Maze, and more!  For more info, visit

Enchanted Forest returns to Buffalo Audubon Society’s Beaver Meadow Oct. 6-8 over Columbus Day weekend. During this event, guests will enjoy an evening visit with the animals, (portrayed by costumed interpreters) who call Beaver Meadow home. Walk by lantern through the woods and meet these nocturnal creatures who will tell you about themselves.

Fun for the whole family, the Enchanted Forest is an experience you will remember for a lifetime! Pre-registration is required by calling (585) 457-3228.

Of course, this weekend is a great time to stock up on all your fall favorites.

Head to Wendel’s for hayrides, their famous chicken barbecue, pumpkins, cider and everything you need to celebrate the season.

However you plan to spend the long weekend, be sure to enjoy it!