With school out for the summer and families looking for activities to fill their days, one of Buffalo's newest attractions is ready to welcome guests full-time. As of Thursday, Explore & More children's museum is now open daily at Canalside.
Since early May, the new museum had only been open on weekends. With that soft opening now over, visitors can now enjoy the new facility any day between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
For nearly 25 years, Explore & More operated in a small space in East Aurora. CEO Michelle Urbancyzk says the new building offers educational play zones and hands-on learning spaces that appeal to a wider age range.
"We grew up a little but with this museum. Here, we're seeing anywhere up to 12 years of age, where before in East Aurora, we kind of peaked at around 7 years old," Urbanczyk said.
One of the features CEO Michelle Urbanczyk likes the most honors the city's reputation as The City of Good Neighbors. One of the first things visitors see is a series of rooms depicting households of different cultures. Currently, that includes re-creations of Puerto Rican, Yemeni, and Seneca Nation homes. Those homes will change periodically, with consultation from community groups.
"Our museum is for everyone. Our families come in all shapes and sizes, and we respect that," Urbanczyk said.
Urbanczyk says with the more central location, she is already seeing a big difference in where visitors are coming from. She says that includes more diverse Western New York zip codes, families from southern Ontario, and tourists in Buffalo from out-of-town.