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Hot 5

An opinionated to-do list for June

KeyBank Summer Solstice Celebration at Artpark


Get outside while the getting is good. Our idea of al fresco fun takes you across Western New York so you can discover for yourself the little pockets of charm and culture we’ve come to love. From South Buffalo and downtown to Lewiston and Albion in western Niagara County, you’ll find plenty to celebrate outdoors this June.



My Pick

KeyBank Summer Solstice Celebration at Artpark

Artpark celebrates the beginning of summer by transforming the park grounds and the Amphitheater into a celebration for all ages. The Fairy House Festival features creations designed and constructed by artists and the community, among other fairy fun. Roaming performers and storytellers entertain after. In case you missed it last summer, William Close & Earth Harp Collective performs at 7 p.m. around the “painted parking lot,” 2017’s re-creation of Gene Davis’ Niagara 1979, with a large-scale interactive dance finale collaboration with choreographer Jon Lehrer. Plus, there’s an expanded selection of food vendors and a beer garden/wine bar.   

Tickets are $10 and are available on the website and at tickets.com, by phone at 1-888-223-6000, and at the Artpark Box Office and day of the Festival. June 16, starting at noon at Artpark (4th St., Lewiston; artpark.net)



Buffalo Pints & Pierogi Fest

Sample a showcase of traditional and unique pierogi dishes made by local restaurants and food trucks. To address the first part of the festival name, beer stations and multiple cash bars are set up, plus live music, giant inflatables, games, a pierogi eating contest, vendor market, and more. Tickets are $10 plus tax and include admission to the event and can be purchased online or at the door. (Kids 10 and under get in free.) Visit the website pintsandpierogifest.com and the Facebook event page for more info.

June 3, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. at the outdoor rinks at Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St., more info here)


Albion Strawberry Festival

You’ll get way more than strawberries here. Festival highlights include a giant parade with loads of marching bands, chalk walk, carnival, live music, pancake breakfast, car and boat show, chicken barbecue, 5k/8k walk/run, a visit from the “Original Santa,” craft show, and lots more. It’s like Albion crams a whole summer’s worth of festivities into one weekend. Oh, and lots of strawberry desserts, too.

June 8 & 9 Friday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m. in the Village of Albion (albionstrawberryfestival.com)


Tifft at Twilight: The Quest

Tifft invites grownups to form a team of eight people or fewer and embark on a scavenger hunt through its trails while (re)discovering the beauty of the preserve on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, and enjoy specialty cocktails and food truck fare. General admission ($40) includes entry into the Quest scavenger hunt and Tifft Nature Preserve. You’ll also have access to the Tifft Visitor Center, games, live entertainment, and one comp beverage. You may want to spend the extra dough ($70) on a VIP ticket. After having a couple drinks and traipsing around in the woods, you’ll appreciate the private restroom facilities, plus you’ll get a quick check-in through the VIP admission line, exclusive access to the newly redesigned outdoor deck, separate bar, and complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Bring a jacket because this event is rain or shine, no refunds. Adults 21+.

June 20 from 6–9 p.m. at Tifft Nature Preserve (tifft.org)


Parkside Garden & Architecture Tour

Tour the local gardens nestled between the beautiful homes of the Parkside neighborhood, the suburb designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1870. More than fifty gardens will be open to visitors—from formal to quirky, edible to elaborate.  Plus free admission to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Darwin Martin House conservatory and gardens. A garden map with a directory is available for $5. The tour is self-guided.

June 24, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Hillside Children’s Center (70 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, 838-1240; gardensbuffaloniagara.com/events)


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