By Alicia Dziak

On Saturday, Nov. 11, we set aside a day to honor all the men and women who have served our country on Veterans Day. (The observance day is Friday, Nov. 10.) If you’re looking for a meaningful and family-friendly activity to enjoy with the kids on their day off, check out these local happenings:

On Friday, Nov. 10, the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military park, located at One Naval Park Cove in downtown Buffalo, will host its Veterans Day Weekend Hall of Honor Ceremony and USS Juneau/Sullivan Brothers Day. This event marks the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the cruiser USS Juneau (CL-52) in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal and subsequent loss of all five Sullivan brothers. The event will start at 10 a.m. in the Hangar Bldg.  For more info, visit

Take the kids to Explore and More, on Gleed Avenue in East Aurora. Honor local Veterans by helping make a blanket that will be donated to the local Veteran Affair’s Hospital.

On both Friday and Saturday, active duty, retired, and dependent military personnel receive free admission with ID. This program is generously supported by the Charles D. and Mary A. Bauer Foundation. For more info, visit

On Saturday, Nov. 11, take a drive north and learn about Fort Niagara’s role in World War I. At 1 p.m., Robert Emerson, Executive Director of the Old Fort Niagara Association, will present a program in the Visitor Center theatre about Fort Niagara’s role in World War I. “New” Fort Niagara was used as a training facility for two United States Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) camps in 1917 when the ROTC program was just getting started. Mr. Emerson’s presentation will share historical background information and photos that show how the current Fort Niagara State Park was altered to train young men for military service 100 years ago. This accompanies a special World War I exhibit in the Visitor Center museum that features uniforms, artifacts, letters and photos specific to the training camps.

Veterans and active military people with ID will be admitted free on Veterans Day. Otherwise, the cost to attend the presentation and visit the World War I exhibit is included in regular admission to the fort ($12 for adults, $8 for children ages 6-12, free for children 5 and under) and is free to members of the Old Fort Niagara Association. For more info, visit

The Buffalo History Museum will feature Secrets from the Stacks-Veterans Day, a one-morning pop-up display of pictures, books, manuscripts, or other items from the library collection that you can actually sit down with and handle. Free with Museum admission; drop in to the Research Library any time between 10 a.m. and noon. For more info, visit