Before the Snow Flies, Get Your Buffalove On!

Soon, pumpkins will be passe! Photo from wikipedia.org

Soon, pumpkins will be passe! Photo from wikipedia.org

At 2 am on Sunday, November 2nd, we will set our clocks back an hour. Those of us who are elbow-to-elbow at the oaken alters of our local pub will look to the person next to us and toast to another hour of ales. Those of us who are parents will shed a silent tear because our little Noahs and Norahs will be jumping on our beds at 6 instead of 7. But, as this moment of celebration or condemnation passes, the next realization will be the same. WINTER IS COMING! It’s coming at breakneck speed, and like Sammy at the 15, we’re showboating – flaunting our long, lazy summer, and winter is just about to take us out at the knees, ending our celebration. The remedy for this? Tuck that ball, bear down, and finish autumn in style. Here are a few ideas of things to enjoy before the cold, snowy weather takes them away from us.

The Disc Golf promised land! Photo from reddit.com

The Disc Golf promised land! Photo from reddit.com

Fresh Food Markets: In November? YES! Local farmers and those who sell their products are committed to bringing you fresh produce right up until the snow flies. There is nothing better in Western New York than its locally grown foods, so be sure you stop out and grab your gourds and greens! Autumn is chili season, stew season, soup season – it’s good food season, and these purveyors are one-stop shops for all of the necessary ingredients. In mere days, pumpkins will be out of style, but don’t let that squash your hopes! Turn these Halloween throwaways into a delicious pumpkin pie. It’s not too late; markets in Blasdell, East Aurora, Elmwood-Bidwell, Hamburg, Holland, and more will remain open in the coming weeks. For more information, visit: http://www.bestofwny.com/farmers_market/

Disc Golf: Our region is rich in wooded areas and parks, and these are even more beautiful in the full-flamed colors of autumn. Even better than a walk in the woods is a walk in the woods with a few friends, a cooler, and a stack of Frisbees. You may think to yourself “I’ve never played, so I am no good!” Being bad at disc golf makes it even more fun. Who wants to finish a course in 45 minutes? I’d rather take an afternoon stroll at my leisure, inadvertently disrupt some deer munching on grass, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and relax with some friends. Even if you don’t have discs, I guarantee you know someone who does, and disc golf Frisbees are like lighters. No one gives you one and really expects you to return it. The area is surrounded by courses that range from incredibly difficult to easily played by my seven year old daughter. For courses near you, check out http://www.nrdg.org/courses.html

It's Go Time! Photo of the 2013 Turkey Trot from healthybuffalo.org

It’s Go Time! Photo of the 2013 Turkey Trot from healthybuffalo.org

RUN A RACE!: You may be familiar with my previous post about running, “A Drinking Town With a Running Problem,” and I stand by every word. I have recently become a “runner.” I qualify that with quotation marks because I’ll never finish first. I’m not the long, lean type you normally associate with runners; in fact, my high school teacher once told me I look like a fire hydrant. He may have been referring to my red face as I was doubled over and gasping for air, but more likely, he was referring to my short, round physique. Anyway, I’m letting the cat out of the bag. These races are often for charity and almost always include beer. BEER! That’s something we can all get behind! There are nearly 25 races in the month of November, ranging from 5k (about 3 miles) to ½ marathons (13.1 miles), highlighted by the 118th Annual Turkey Trot! Join 15,000 other Buffalonians, as we earn our extra scoop of stuffing! Regional races are listed here: http://buffalorunners.com/calendar_2014.htm

Canalside: The site of so much of Buffalo’s summer excitement has a lot to offer through the fall. Bring the kids to have their picture taken with Shark Girl, or to build that final sand castle in the giant sandbox! Experience history in the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park with a self-guided tour through real battleships and a submarine. Grab some truffle fries and enjoy a pint in the warmth of the Liberty Hound. Make one last memory of the amazing, extended summer that 2014 had to offer us.

Shark Girl at Canalside. Photo from twitter.com

Shark Girl at Canalside. Photo from twitter.com

The Zoo!: While the Buffalo Zoo remains open year ‘round, the snowfall may make it a little more difficult for the wagon full of little ones to maneuver around the park. Take advantage of the unseasonable warmth and take a tour of the zoo before time runs out! Just this week, the zoo welcomed a new baby giraffe, and in addition, the zoo is home to a baby rhino and, of course, Luna and Kali, the polar bears. Too much adorable to handle! They will be hosting a Veteran’s Day event, for which Vets and up to four guests will be admitted for only $5 with a valid military ID. Their Zooper Saturday events run through the end of the year, which is free with admission and includes a slew of additional activities for all ages.

Who can resist this face?! Photo from The Buffalo News

Who can resist this face?! Photo from The Buffalo News

It is inevitable that the flakes will soon fly. Personally, I love the snow, and everything that it brings – sledding, hot chocolate, snowmen, lazy movie days on the couch with family – everything. At the same time, I recognize that not everyone feels the way that I do, so I encourage everyone to take full advantage of the moments we have left before the days of scraping windshields and shoveling driveways. Get your cidered-up, cooled down, bon-fired Buffalove on before it’s too late.

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