As a lifelong Buffalonian, I’ve seen every type of snowfall. Then there’s the snow we Northeasterners live for. Big, fluffy flakes that seem to be falling in slow motion – the kind where you single one out and watch it fall all the way to the ground. If you happen to be in East Aurora during one of those snowfalls during the holiday season, you’d most likely agree that it’s sheer perfection.
I was lucky enough to share one of those perfect days with my special holiday someone as we walked, shopped and indulged in East Aurora’s quaint village offerings.
We needed the right kickoff, and a breakfast at Elm Street Bakery is exactly the spot to help lay a hearty foundation. Just off Main Street, this bakery/café/bar (known for delicious wood-fire pizza) hits all the right notes with scratch-made breads, pastries, muffins and sandwiches as well as organic, steal-cut oatmeal and fresh fruit parfaits. Our choices included a salmon bialy on an onion bagel, an ESB breakfast sandwich and a flaky Pain Au Chocolate (chocolate-filled croissant).
The Hollywood Holidays Series at The Aurora Theatre is in full swing, so we caught a flick during our village stroll. As if we weren’t already in the spirit, an afternoon showing of Miracle on 34th Street was a surefire way to turn up the festive dial. From now until December 23 you can catch A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, and The Polar Express playing on the big screen. And as a special treat for the little ones, Santa will be making an appearance on Saturday mornings at the theater.
The only way to really explore the vast shopping experience East Aurora has to offer is by foot. You certainly can’t miss staples like Vidler’s and the village’s many art galleries, but if you’re moving too fast you might miss smaller stores like Toy Loft, Head Over Heels, Four Bees Cottage, Aurora Outfitters and so many more. As an added bonus, not only are the shops decked out for the season; many have fantastic offers going on.
We properly capped off our visit by sharing a steaming mug of hot cocoa from Taste, Main Street’s bistro-style coffee house. If you want something a little higher-octane, try one of their seasonal lattes or mochas.
Not to be missed is East Aurora’s annual Christmas Carolcade on December 16 from 7-8 p.m. A tradition that started in 1972, families and friends will come together on Main Street in front of Vidler’s to sing traditional Christmas carols, enjoy hot cocoa courtesy of Vidler’s and to see East Aurora’s historic Main Street adorned for the holidays.
East Aurora is one of those unique places that is even more beautiful when winter arrives, so embrace its incredible charm and festive spirit!
Buffalo has undergone quite the transformation in the last few years. First–time visitors are discovering an unexpected haven of glorious architecture; an expansive, active and fun waterfront and an out-of-this-world culinary and craft beverage scene. Former residents are discovering that the Buffalo they left behind is more beautiful and energetic than ever. Even the frequent Buffalo visitor will be pleased to notice an ever-evolving Buffalo, with new developments, hotels, restaurants and attractions coming online month after month, year after year.
Such is the case for Huffington Post writer Malerie Yolen-Cohen who, before her visit earlier this summer, had discovered Buffalo’s impressive qualities in 2014. In this updated piece for HuffPo, Yolen-Cohen describes how Buffalo, in just a few years, has gone from the brink of a breakthrough to a full blown cultural renaissance.
“Three years ago, I wrote this HuffPo piece about Buffalo NY, then on the verge of re-creation from an industrial center to a collegial, fun, and livable city. At the time, Buffalo was just beginning to realize the benefits of its notable architecture – buildings that stood through the Urban-Renewal craze of the ‘60’s – heralded as some of the best examples of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, and other Starchitects of the day.
Now, there are Architectural Tours of all kinds, and Buffalo continues to add fantastic restaurants and innovative public spaces from once-decaying factories and institutions. Brand new this year (2017); two boutique hotels – Hotel Henry and Curtiss Hotel; Riverworks – grain-silos turned brewery and adult playground; and additions to Canalside,” Yolen-Cohen writes.
You can read through Malerie Yolen-Cohen’s 10 Great Reasons to Return to Buffalo NY Now, here.
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