2015 was a year of remarkable transformation for Explore Buffalo. In just their second year of operation, tour attendance more than doubled from over 6,000 in 2014 to approximately 14,000 in 2015! The tour season brought many new tours, including greatly expanded bus and bike tours, and new kayak tours with partner Elevator Alley Kayak. Tours also expanded to new locations, including the Fontana Boathouse and downtown Lockport, while core tours of Silo City, downtown, Delaware Avenue, mob history and more remained very popular. Overall, Explore Buffalo led 763 tours in the 2015 season.
During Explore Buffalo’s January Winter Celebration held at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, guests were invited to vote on a tour they would like to see added in the coming season. Several are being considered and are in the process of being developed, including The Albright Estate. Three additional downtown tours will be added to the schedule, each focusing on a particular area of downtown — Best of Buffalo, Downtown Beaux Arts and Downtown Deco. Please visit www.explorebuffalo.org for more information on the upcoming season which starts in May.
Explore Buffalo doesn’t hibernate in the winter. Adventures in History talks are currently going on at First Presbyterian Church, 1 Symphony Circle, Buffalo, on Thursday evenings. Visit www.explorebuffalo.org for dates and topics.
Brewing Buffalo Bus Tours are scheduled for March 5, April 9 and April 23. Reservations are required for these tours. A new tour gaining interest is Inside St. Mary’s School for the Deaf. Upcoming tours will be held at 6 p.m. March 2, April 6 and May 6.
School tours, a main focus of the group, will be enhanced this year with the addition of an Explore Buffalo Downtown Tour Workbook to be distributed free of charge to students in grades two through five. The workbook, created by Explore Buffalo volunteers, is also available for purchase at many Buffalo locations including the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, Clayton’s Toy Store, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Darwin-Martin House and Talking Leaves.
Explore Buffalo’s 2016 season kickoff event will be held Thursday, May 12, at the new Tewskbury Lodge at Riverfest Park. Along with refreshments, mini tours of the park area will be offered.
A City of Light Bus Tour, based on the bestselling historical novel “City of Light” by local author Lauren Belfer, is always a popular excursion and this year extra tours are being added. The first tour will be offered on Saturday, March 12.
For a peek behind the scenes, you’ll want to sign up for the Electric Tower & Big Ditch Brewery Behind-the-Scenes Tour on March 24. Go where few Buffalonians have gone before in one of Buffalo’s most recognizable landmarks, then enjoy a flight of beer and appetizers at the Big Ditch Brewery. Reservations are required.
The ever-popular Twilight Tours of Homes will be held on Thursday, June 16. This year’s tour will feature homes in the Chapin Parkway neighborhood.
To enhance your tour and event planning, Explorer Passes are available at individual, student, family and patron levels. Please visit Explore Buffalo’s website to purchase, or call 245-3032. It’s going to be a very busy year and you won’t want to miss a thing!
For more information and to make tour reservations, please call 245-3032 or visit www.explorebuffalo.org. You can also follow Explore Buffalo on Facebook for frequent updates.