Welcome back to the snowy arctic-like tundra that is UB and the Buffalo surrounding area. The ‘spring’ semester is now underway, but the ice and blowing, drifting snow that characterize Buffalo winters will be sticking around – at least for the next few months. But winter weather offers lots of opportunities for outdoor (and indoor) activities at UB and in the surrounding community, so don’t despair. Here are a few ideas to take a break from classes and homework that will get your mind off of the cold:
This year, UB’s annual Winterfest celebration will take place on Saturday, February 14. UB is proud of its winter traditions, and will host a broomball tournament and ice skating and ice bowling on UB’s own wintertime outdoor ice rink. There will also be a snowman-building contest and an igloo-building contest and also sledding and horse-drawn sleigh rides throughout campus! Activities will go on rain or shine, sun or blizzard and will run from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Winterfest is a great way to meet new people on campus and enjoy Buffalo’s infamous winter weather.
Ice skating at Northtown Center, Canalside or HARBORCENTER
Whether you’re an avid skater or new to the rink, there are lots of places in Buffalo to go ice skating, both indoor and out. At Canalside in downtown Buffalo, you’ll find an outdoor rink bigger than the rink at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Visitors can ice skate, participate in curling, and rent ice bikes. Skating is $5 and it’s $3 to rent skates, and curling costs $15 for an hour of ice time and includes an instructor and all the equipment necessary. Ice bikes can be rented for $10 for 30 minutes. If you’d rather skate indoors, you can visit the Northtown Center, directly across from the Flint Entrance of UB North Campus, or the HARBORCENTER, which is located in downtown Buffalo across from the First Niagara Center. Skating costs $6 and $3 for rentals at both the Northtown Center and HARBORCENTER. Above is a picture of me and my friends skating at the Northtown Center. There are also other outdoor ice skating rinks scattered throughout Western New York, including the actual ice rink used in the 2008 Winter Classic NHL game between the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins – located in East Aurora.
If you’d prefer to relax and take a break from physical activity, enjoy a nice cup of warm hot chocolate at any number of cafes in Buffalo. If you’re up for a drive, Taste in East Aurora is well-known for its hot chocolate and build-your-own s’mores platter. If you’d like to stay closer to campus, you can visit SPoT Coffee in the Elmwood Village or Panera Bread, whose signature hot chocolate boasts a whipped cream, drizzled salted caramel and chocolate chip marshmallows.
“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
– Hal Borland