By Alicia Dziak

The finals, field trips and end-of-year celebrations have come to an end, and now it’s time to embark on that wonderful summer vacation adventure! After nine months of note taking, test taking, studying and homework, it’s time for some fun, and there’s plenty to do to keep everyone busy from now until September.

SYI’s Spray Park on Franklin St. is the perfect place for the little ones to cool off on hot days. The park will be open every day, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the best part? It’s free!

The SYI outdoor pool on South Buffalo St. will open for the season on June 22, and will be open daily from 1 to 8 p.m. (but closes at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for swimming lessons.)

SYI also offers an abundance of camps to keep the kids busy all summer. Choose from soccer, tennis, volleyball and golf camps, bowling, and children’s art program run in conjunction with the Springville Center for the Arts. Visit www.syionline for more info.

Of course, anyone who lives in Springville knows another great spot to cool off is the creek at Sprague Brook Park. While you’re there, you can also enjoy the hiking and biking trails, tennis courts, playgrounds and open spaces for lots of fun lawn games.  Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it, or reserve your spot at the campgrounds to extend your stay. Call (716) 858-8355 for reservations.

If you like the great outdoors in WNY, New York state parks offer everything you look for in an outdoor experience.

If you like waterfalls and gorges, check out Letchworth State Park, which also boasts cabins and camp sites, weekly programming, scenic trails, shady picnic areas and opportunities for whitewater rafting.

Allegany State Park offers hundreds of camp sites, cabins and full service cottages, miles of hiking and biking trails, two beaches, and plenty of rentals to keep you busy on and off the lake. The park also hosts numerous daily programs and special events all summer long, most of which are free. For more info, visit

Lake Erie beaches are plentiful, and for a flat entry fee, you can check out Lake Erie State Park,. Evangola State Park, Woodlawn Beach State Park and more along the shores.

Head to Griffis Sculpture Park to meander through the woods while checking out a variety of unique 3D artwork, some of which you can even climb on.

If climbing is your thing, check out Rock City Park in Olean or Little Rock City in Little Valley and Thunder Rocks at Allegany State Park for giant rock formations you can go on and in.

Now open daily throughout the summer, head to Holiday Valley’s Sky High Adventure Park, which includes the Aerial Park, the Climbing Forest and the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster.

New this year is the Mister Happy Gem Mining Company. Targeted to children as young as 2, the experience mimics old fashioned panning for gold. Each miner purchases a bag of sand that contains either gems or fossils.  The contents of the bag are dumped into a mining pan.  The “miners” wash the sand away with water that flows through a 65 foot long sluice and the treasures are left in the pan.  An identification card is included for children to learn more about their gems or fossils.

Mister Happy Gem Mine is located at Sky High, near Holiday Valley’s Tannenbaum Lodge.   

A Grand Opening Celebration will be held on Saturday, June 23rd at 11a. m. Special prizes will be hidden in the mining bags on that day including a season pass to Holiday Valley’s summer pool complex.

While in Ellicottville, cool off this summer at HV’s three-pool complex, open daily through Labor Day. Splash into a kiddie pool, a lap pool and an activity pool, featuring a diving board and slide, play a variety of poolside games, like giant Jenga or Cornhole, or grab a frozen mocktail from the Cabana Bar.

Looking for some unique entertainment? The Ellicottville Championship Rodeo returns July 5-8, featuring a jam packed show with nine exciting rodeo events, along with Hardway Buckout Junior Bull Riding, contract acts and clowns. A kids’ stick horse race and a variety of great food round out the event. For more info, visit

Get the kids in on the area’s live music scene this summer.

Right here in Springville, the Thursday concert series is underway. Concerts are held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Fiddlers Green Park gazebo in downtown Springville. Shows are free and open to the public. In case of rain, concerts are held in the town hall at 86 Franklin St.

June 21: Band of Brothers (classic rock)

June 28: Springville Jazz Band (jazz, big band, swing)

July 4: Gene Hilts & the Rustic Ramblers (traditional county) at Concord Community Park followed by fireworks

July 5: The Road Runners (oldies rock ‘n’ roll)

July 12: Mercantile Musicians (country, bluegrass and country gospel)

July 19: Queen City Swing Big Band (big band swing)

July 26: Homemade Jam (country and oldies)

Aug. 2: Gene Hilts & the Rustic Ramblers (traditional country)

Aug. 9: One Song (vintage country)

Aug. 16: The Pyramid Band (big band)

Aug. 23: Low Blue Flame (rock ‘n’ roll, country, blues)

Aug. 30: Western New Yorkers (country music)

Ellicottville’s Summer Music Festival is coming to Holiday Valley June 29-July 1.

On Friday, June 29, Michael Glabicki, the lead singer of Rusted Root, and his new band, Uprooted, will take to the stage performing Rusted Root classics as well as new tracks. Opener in Funktional Flow.

The following night, on June 30, check out Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx, celebrating the “40th Anniversary Grand Illusion Album Tour”.

Dennis DeYoung is a founding member of  STYX and the lead singer and writer on seven of the band’s eight top 10 hits. His live concert with his six-piece band showcases all the STYX Greatest Hits spanning the 70s, 80s and 90s.

On Sunday, July 1, the Buffalo Philharmonic will be back for their 25th engagement at the Summer Music Festival. The show, “Vinyl Fever,” will feature songs from the Beatles, Billy Joel, Abba, The Beach Boys, Motown and more. The evening will conclude with everyone’s favorite 1812 Overture and Stars and Stripes forever to an incredible fireworks display. This is an all ages event, so pack up your picnic basket and bring the whole family. As always, 12 and under are free to both concerts.

Bets pricing is available through June 18. For tickets and information, visit

Other area venues offering outdoor entertainment include Canalside, Allegany State Park, Darien Lake, ArtPark, just to name a few. Check out the Outdoor Summer Concert Guide at

Of course, We Love Springville and shopping local is our favorite thing to do! Stroll the streets of Springville and the surrounding towns and find unique gifts, grab an ice cream cone or fro-yo, and be sure to say hi to all of your neighbors and the local business owners.

September will be here before you know it, so get going on your plans to make this summer the best one yet!