Hot 5 in July

An opinionated to-do list

enLIGHTen, presented by the Richardson Olmsted Campus and the BPO, is a free celebratory light show and concert happening on July 28.

Richardson image by Joe Cascio; Forest image by Elizabeth Licata; Photo of Botannical Gardens by kc kratt


Hey, hot stuff. Though you may want to hunker down in air-conditioned comfort, we’ve come up with a list of happenings that will tempt you outside—even the book festival here has outdoor activities. July’s hot weather will prepare you for climate-change-induced increasing temperatures year-round. So, get outside and enjoy summer in Western New York.


Forest Bathing at Reinstein Woods

Start July off right with a little arboreal cleanse. Forest bathing or shinrin-yoku, “taking in the forest atmosphere,” became part of a national public health program in Japan in 1982, and the practice has spread like wildfire. (Speaking of which, please keep all open flames away from trees). Simply visiting a natural area and walking in a relaxed way offers calming, rejuvenating, and restorative benefits, including boosted immune system functioning, reduced blood pressure and stress, improved mood, and increased energy level and focus. This walk focuses on the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest to induce relaxation. 

July 1 at 10 a.m. at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve (93 Honorine Dr., Cheektowaga; or 683-5959). Registration required.


Sixth Annual Buffalo BookFest

This day-long festival is dedicated to printing and the book arts, including the third  annual Upstate Wayzgoose, a gathering of printers, book artists, and lovers of the craft, plus free hands-on demos all day, for all ages. This year’s event is bigger and better, with the addition of Book Arts vendors from the Upstate NY region, as a part of the Wayzgoose arm of the event. The event takes place inside both floors of the Book Arts Center, stretches across the newly opened Mohawk Street, and spills into the adjacent parking lot. Don’t miss the curiously satisfying steamroller printmaking all day—and  demonstrations from origami and hand-stitched bookmaking to screenprinting posters and t-shirts, papermaking, and printmaking. More than thirty vendors sell goods like hand-printed cards, crafts, and antique type and presses. Admission to BookFest is free, with free parking on adjacent streets.

July 8 from 12 to 5 p.m. at Western New York Book Arts Center (468 Washington St.; or 348-1430)


Canadian Hall of Fame: Loverboy and Kim Mitchell

Artpark’s Tuesdays in the Park series brings two popular Canadian musical acts to its amphitheater from which you can see actual Canada. It’s so meta. Mitchell, who headed Max Webster before embarking on a solo career, is known for hits like “Rock ’n’ Roll Duty” and “No More Walking Away.” Loverboy, a staple in any I-heart-the-eighties play mix, topped the charts with “Working for the Weekend,” “Turn Me Loose,” and “Lovin’ Every Minute of It.” Might as well head to Lewiston and take in this nostalgia-filled summer concert. Red leather pants optional. (Tip: Here’s great opportunity to check out the many terrific restaurants in the village of Lewiston for an early dinner before the concert.) 

July 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Artpark Amphitheater (450 S. 4th St., Lewiston; or 754-4375) 


Botanics & Brews

Sip beer under a tent on the front lawn of the Botanical Gardens amid the front entrance garden framed by thousands of flowers, perennials, bushes, and a sprinkling of sculptures. Tickets (Garden members $30; general $35) include craft beer tasting from Try-It Distributing, beer and cheese pairings from Cabot Cheese, delicious tidbits from Oliver’s, live music from JJ SWING, and chances to win fabulous raffle prizes. Take advantage of the tours offered; if you haven’t seen the new aquatic garden and Asian Rainforest, you’re in for a real treat. Outdoor gardens include the lovely and picturesque Peace Garden and the Healing Garden, which lends itself to spiritual healing, meditation, and reflection. Set aside some time for a walk along the path that loops around the Garden grounds.

July 13, 6–9 p.m. at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens (2655 S. Park Ave.; or 827-1584)



To celebrate the successful completion of the first phase of redevelopment and thank the community for its support, the Richardson Olmsted Campus and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra present a free celebratory light show (designed by local artist Keith Harrington) and concert on the renewed South Lawn. enLIGHTen features a ninety-minute concert by the BPO conducted by JoAnn Falletta spotlighting the historical function of the Richardson as a place of healing by featuring music by famous composers who lived with mental illness and created great works, including Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Handel, among others. 

July 28 (rain date July 30), Richardson Olmsted Campus (444 Forest Ave.; 601-1150)                        


Wendy Guild Swearingen is senior editor of Spree.


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