48 Freeman Road
Williamsville, NY 14221
Phone: (716) 634-2700
Fax: (716) 634-1644
Sports Performance Park is a unique state-of-the-art training venue for baseball and softball players. Staffed by trained professionals, it has 65,000 square feet of training area, including eight batting cages, two baseball simulator cages, pitching machines, eight pitching stations, a 13,000-square-foot training field with dugouts, and lots more. The facilities can be used by individuals or rented out by teams for a practice session. Patrons have the option to join as members to get special discounts and other perks. The facility is also available for birthday parties. Special clinics are held during school breaks and during the summer. Rentals start from USD25 per hour for the pitching mound. -Christine A. Smyczynski
Built in 1993, UB Stadium at the University of Buffalo is an approximately 30,000 seater home ground for the football bulls. Though, primarily used for hosting football matches it also has A 400-meter racing track and other facilities such as press box, high-tech training facilities, meeting rooms and even luxury suites, thus making this stadium an A-list venue, and very deservingly so.
The Amherst Pepsi Center, a 182,000 square foot, two-story facility, is one of the largest recreational ice complexes in the country. The facility has four ice surfaces, which are used for recreational open skating, youth, adult and USA hockey, figure skating, and inline roller hockey. Located within the center is Performance Sports Training, an 8,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, the premier sports training company in western New York. The center also has a pro shop, Front Row Sports, the largest supplier of sports equipment in the Niagara region. The center is surrounded with 20 acres of green space with 5 softball, 2 baseball, three soccer and a junior football field. Hours vary daily, call for skate times. – Christine A. Smyczynski
The largest of Buffalo's three public parks that include golf courses, this one named for Buffalo native and former President Grover Cleveland offers 18 holes directly across the Main Street Campus of the University of New York at Buffalo. In addition to the course, there are also tennis courts and a polo field. The course is a par 69 for men and a 72 for women, all compiled upon a beautiful 5584 yards. A pro shop, food concession and golf cart rentals are available, check website for tee-times and other information.
Located in Amherst, this 18-hole par 69 is short on distance at 5,584 yards, but it can be tricky with well-placed bunkers and water in play. A public course, it offers gas cart rentals, a golf pro on site, pro shop and rental clubs. Practice makes perfect with a putting green as well as chipping and bunker areas.
This path, which is located in suburban Buffalo behind the Amherst Police department, has recreational trails for hiking, walking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The 2.3-mile trail winds through the woods and along the shores of Walton Pond and Audubon Lake, which are home to native waterfowl. The woods that surround the lake comprise an old growth forest, which includes some 150-year-old trees. The trails are flat, making them perfect for novice cross-country skiers and snowshoers in the winter, and hikers and bikers in the summer. The library and town senior citizens center are also located adjacent to the park. - Christine A. Smyczynski
Competing teams enter the 9,200-square-foot, multi-level sports arena that's complete with crazy lighting, fog machines and secret passages. Each player carries a phaser to zap the enemy and wears a vest with sensors, identification lights and LED readout. This facility is a popular spot for birthday parties, other celebrations and corporate events. Participants can also enjoy Tron Racing, an outdoor attraction, featuring state-of-the art electric race cars and Cyber Sport, an interactive team game for up to 10 players, where players ride in custom-made cyber cars. The facility also has arcade games, a snack bar and party room. - Christine A. Smyczynski
The Great Pumpkin Farm is a lovely way to celebrate autumn in Western New York. It is the place to find all your fall decorating needs, including hay bales, corn stalks and of course, pumpkins. They have thousands of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes, from tiny gourds to huge hundred-pounders. In addition, you can get apples and fresh squeezed cider. There are a variety of activities including pony rides, a corn maze, live entertainment, tractor-drawn hay rides, face paining and more. Special opening festivals include the Oinktoberfest BBQ cook-off and the World Pumpkin Weigh-off. - Christine Smyczynski
For decades, equipment used by firefighters from the early 1800s gathered rust in musty rooms until it was decided in 1981 that these brave men should have more significance than just dusty memories. Included is an 1831 hand pump, an parade carriage from 1893, and an early 20th-century street-corner fire alarm. Throughout the museum visitors will see what it takes to make it as a firefighter and the obstacles they face on the job. One display honors a group of firefighters who lost their lives when a propane tank exploded. The museum is run by volunteers with no admission fee and it is a great place to take the kids as well as anyone interested in what real heroes do.
One of the last green spaces that remains from the days when the Lovejoy Neighborhood was known as Churchyard Farm and owned by soon-to-be-President Millard Fillmore, this small park has become a sort of environmental shrine for the residents. It was named after Father Louis Hennepin, the first European to see Niagara Falls, and dedicated to the people of Lovejoy in 1913. In the past, the park, which juts onto Bailey Street, was used for a number of recreational purposes, including jogging, sledding and ice skating. Today, most of those activities are gone, however it still remains a somewhat tranquil oasis from yesteryear in the middle of the Lovejoy.
One of the oldest in the U.S. and in existence since 1875, this zoo displays more than 1,000 species of animals and 300 types of plants on its 23-acre Delaware Park site. Newer attractions include the lion and tiger habitats, and the gorilla rain forest exhibit. Favorites include the children's petting zoo, polar bears and the North American Bison. Food, a seasonal carousel and train rides are available. This is a great way to visit your favourite animals in their naturalistic habitats. Especially worth mentioning is their new and lush Rainforest Falls exhibit.
This museum is dedicated to all things science, from cosmology and natural history to archaeology and zoology, the museum's collection surely has something to entice the visitor. One of the highlights is the ephemeral Tibetan Sand Mandala that appears and disappears in accordance with the Buddhist axiom of impermanence. The museum also has one of the largest known Kodiak bear specimens in North America and its perfect for posing pictures. If you visit at night, you can visit the Kellogg observatory and take a look into the heavens (weather permitting). The museum also promotes science in the community among citizens as well as educators and researchers, with its various programs for children, families and schools held throughout the year. Check website for completer list of exhibits and event schedule.