As Buffalonians are being asked to practice safe “social distancing” for the foreseeable future, several of the city’s best cultural attractions, museums, galleries and institutions are offering a respite from any potential cabin fever. With virtual guides, online databases, DIY projects, and engaging videos, here are 10 ways you (and your kids) can enjoy some of the best places in Buffalo, even when their doors are closed.
In addition to their interactive online experiences, we’ve also included a link to each non-profits donation page should you feel compelled to assist them in these difficult times.
Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Digital Collection
The marvelous works of Picasso, Gauguin, Kahlo, Monet, Cezanne, Pollock, and so many more, are viewable right on your computer screen. Take a searchable walk through the halls and archives of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery when you search the collection using their online database. Search for artwork by artist, title, medium, time period, and more. Or, narrow it down by viewing the gallery’s “Collection Highlights” – 200 of the AK’s most noteworthy and popular works in their collection.
Buffalo History Museum’s Digital Catalog and Collection
Meet F.R.A.N.K. (Find Resources and New Knowledge) – the Buffalo History Museum’s database/virtual tour guide. F.R.A.N.K. allows you to access digital copies of Buffalo’s historical photos, maps, newspapers, business records, and much more. Also included are digital tours of the Buffalo History Museum’s collection, and a searchable archive of past museum exhibits.
Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Wednesday Runs and Virtual Walks
Explore Buffalo’s six beautiful Olmsted parks, parkways, circles and pocket parks with the friendly staff of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. From South Park to MLK Park, tune into their Facebook page to embark on virtual walks, Wednesday runs and learn something new about the some of the most well-designed parks in the nation – designed by legendary landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted.
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Streaming Performances – Tuesdays at 7pm
At the direction of Maestro JoAnn Falletta and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Executive Director Daniel Hart, archived BPO concerts will be broadcast on local radio station WNED Classical at 94.5 FM, and streamed through the WNED website, their mobile app, or by smart speaker, each Tuesday at 7:00pm. Beginning on March 24 with Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony No. 3, if you close your eyes, it’ll feel like you’re sitting in the magnificent Kleinhans Music Hall.
Buffalo Zoo’s #TheZooToYou Videos on Social Media
Get to know the animals of the Buffalo Zoo, up close and personal. Beginning with an outdoor session with Pearl the porcupine, the Buffalo Zoo’s #TheZooToYou series will introduce you to all the amazing creatures and critters that the Zoo has to offer. It’s a virtual walk on the wild side!
Burchfield Penney Art Center Sharing Burchfield’s Art and Journal Entries
While the doors of the Burchfield Penney Art Center are closed, the team is using this time to reflect with the art and writings of its namesake artist. Each day, the Burchfield Facebook page is sharing an image of Charles Burchfield’s intriguing works of art alongside one of his journal entries – offering a serene moment in these difficult days.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Virtual Tours
Join the Martin House’s executive director, Mary Roberts, for short, easily watchable mini-tours of the stunning Martin House. Learn about the Wisteria mosaic fireplace, interesting design features of the home and a history of the Martin family. Watch along on the Martin House’s Facebook page as they release new videos every few days.
Explore & More: The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum Sanity Savers, DIY Children’s Programming
For anyone practicing social distancing at home with children, we feel you. Thankfully the crafty folks at Explore & More: The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum have launched Sanity Savers – daily DIY crafts, experiments and more that you can easily accomplish with your kids in your own home. You can follow along daily on the Explore & More Facebook page.
Discover more at trsite.org
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site | Virtual Tour
Visiting the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site is a chance to experience a place where America entered a tense crossroads that helped to define its next one hundred years. Now, while the site has limited visitation, you can still take a stroll through an important moment in American history, complete with 360-degree views, interactive features and video. Check out the virtual tour here.
Old Fort Niagara | Live Webcam Streaming
While the re-enactors of this colonial era fort are taking a break, Old Fort Niagara’s lighthouse webcam offers you a bird’s-eye-view of the stronghold. Look out over the grounds of Old Fort Niagara from the vantage point that only the 1872 lighthouse can provide. In the distance, you’ll gaze out over the waters of Lake Ontario for a daily moment of zen. Is that you in the distance, Toronto?
Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens | Virtual Tour
Talk a virtual walk through the various houses of lush flowers and plantlife at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens. While the atriums are closed the Botanical Gardens are offering a whole host of plant-focused content for all of the greenthumbs out there with activities like their #ConnectWithNature campaign, Learn at Home content for kids, online horticultural classes, online botanical extras classes, and the Great Plant Sale online.
In addition to virtual tours and experiences, several of the city’s attractions, galleries and theatres have, sadly, had to temporarily close their doors. If you wish to support Buffalo’s wealth of wonderful cultural institutions in these difficult times, please consider a donation to the various organizations using the links provided below:
Buffalo Arts Studio | DONATE
Buffalo Bike Tours | GIFT CARDS
Buffalo Museum of Science | DONATE
Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village | DONATE
Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum | DONATE
Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park | DONATE
Campaign for Greater Buffalo | DONATE
CEPA Gallery | DONATE
Colored Musicians Club | DONATE
Explore Buffalo | DONATE
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Graycliff | DONATE
Gardens Buffalo Niagara | DONATE
GObike Buffalo | DONATE
Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center | DONATE
Nash House Museum | DONATE
National Comedy Center | DONATE
Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center | DONATE
Richardson Olmsted Campus | DONATE
Roycroft Campus | DONATE
Shea’s Performing Arts Center | DONATE
Tifft Nature Preserve | DONATE