JAVA, N.Y. (WKBW) — We're coming up on mid-winter break at schools, a chance for families to take advantage of some free time and enjoy what WNY has to offer. We're giving you and your family some recommendations.
First up—getting outside to explore nature.
"It's imperative, we live in Western New York, so get out and explore everything you can," said Lauren Makeyenko, Director of Education at the Buffalo Audubon Society.
The 324 acres at Beaver Meadow in Java could be a good place to start. Makekenko says they've been busy out there entertaining families all winter.
"They were making snow angels and we were all on snow shoes and we spray painted the snow and froze bubbles. If the snow is packable, fort building is amazing," said Makeyenko.
She recommends enjoying the sights and sounds and getting active on snow shoes.
"We have snow shoes all the way down to toddler size to adult sizes," said Makeyenko.
It'll cost you $5 per person to rent some, they're free for Buffalo Audubon members.
Another thing you can tackle out there is the Winter Hiking Challenge by Outdoor Chronicles. It started in December and runs through March, with a chance to check out 16 parks, each with a unique landmark.
Registration costs $20, all profits come back to Beaver Meadow.
And the more snow, the better. There could be some snow shoeing programs coming for families as long as there's at least 5-6 inches on the ground.
"Even if there isn't snow, it's still really fun to get outdoors in the winter," said Makeyenko.