The 2021 Holiday Shopping Guide is a unique blend of independently owned and operated businesses in a variety of industries, such as retail, food, dining, arts, non-profit, and more, all designed to encourage WNY residents to #shoplocal. Sponsored by Visit Buffalo Niagara and Erie County, the 2021 guide will explore all the unique shopping districts that Erie County has to offer. To view this year’s full holiday shopping guide, click here!
South Buffalo has always been the heart of Buffalo’s Irish community. What was true one hundred years ago, is true today. The heart of this close-knit city within a city is the Irish Center where Irish music, dance and culture is celebrated and preserved. Republic of Ireland flags line nearby streets and Irish pubs can be found along thoroughfares like Abbott Road and South Park Avenue. This side of the city is also home to three of the best wing joints in the world – 911 Tavern, Doc Sullivan’s and the Blackthorn Pub (the longtime favorite of beloved native son, the late Tim Russert). South Buffalo also has the good fortune (the luck of the Irish?) to be anchored by two Frederick Law Olmsted parks. South Park is home to the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens while Cazenovia Park is the more scenic of the two, highlighted by the gently flowing creek it was named after.
The conservatory and botanical gardens were created from the visions of extraordinary men. David F. Day, Frederick Law Olmsted, John F. Cowell, Frederick A. Lord and William A. Burnham of Lord & Burnham Co.. Each of these talented individuals contributed to the inception, design and success of the South Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. In the 1860s, David F. Day, a Buffalo city attorney and judge, and later Parks Commissioner, was instrumental in including botanical collections in the City of Buffalo and continued to support a south park conservatory project with great enthusiasm. The 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo helped to spur the success of the South Park Conservatory by providing trolley rides from downtown Buffalo to the conservatory. Tens of thousands of people visited the breathtaking conservatory and delighted in the exotic collection of plants and flowers. With 15 full-time employees, eight part-time employees, over 250 active volunteers and a dynamic board of directors, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society is thriving! Today, over 125,000 people annually visit the Botanical Gardens to enjoy the amazing architecture and the indoor and outdoor garden sanctuaries. It is a gathering place where visitors can find peace and harmony and enjoy the simple power of the natural world. Some visitors also see it as a place for spiritual healing, meditation and reflection.
In addition to housing an amazing collection of plants, the Botanical Gardens host a variety of events year round. Now through January 2, 2022, they have their “Poinsettia and Railway Exhibit,” whose bright colors are sure to put you in a festive mood. Also through December, they have their “Gardens After Dark.” Each Gardens After Dark exhibit will focus on our mission of connecting people to the natural world in a new way and in a new light- literally! Their first exhibit of the Gardens After Dark series, Magical Poinsettias, will be held on select nights in December 2021 to complement their annual Poinsettia & Railway Exhibit. Experience the charm of this magical time of year and enjoy the tropical Botanical Gardens, the railway exhibit, poinsettia collection, and decorative trees will be a spectacular sight after dark! Experience the Poinsettia & Railway Exhibit during the day, at night during Gardens After Dark, or both!
Reservations are required so check their site for hours. If you are looking for the perfect gift for that plant enthusiast in your life, consider getting them a membership to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. It comes with a variety of perks like free admission, discounts on select items and classes and even a discount at some local nurseries! This is also a great spot to use your Shop 716 gift card.
Joy and jealousy, desire and dejection, solitude and sadness, loyalty and love — flowers echo each voice of the human heart.
While the symbolic and legendary meanings of flowers were known to many during Elizabethan times, it was the Victorians who assigned simple messages to individual flowers. Introduced to the Swedish court in 1714 by Charles II, the Victorian mode of flower language soon spread throughout Europe.
During this time of strict protocol and conformity, men and women used the beauty and color of flowers to express emotions, wishes and thoughts they dared not speak, and every corsage, bouquet, and garland represented a carefully chosen sentiment. Presentation was also important; for example, a bouquet with a ribbon tied to the left told about the giver, while a ribbon tied to the right signified the receiver. Upside-down bouquets portrayed the exact opposite of the flowers’ common meanings: to receive an inverted rose was the ultimate form of rejection.
Flower Language became so important that durch die Blume sprechen (speaking through flowers) became a Western proverb, which meant any flowery or poetic expression hiding a secret message of love.
Woyshner’s is the Buffalo area’s largest full service flower shop, family owned and operated since 1960. Their designers are experienced in all phases of floral design, plus a designer in our staff who has been trained in Europe and Japan. Whether you are looking for a beautiful arrangement to compliment your holiday table décor or looking to give flowers to a loved one, we recommend a visit to Woyshner’s! Don’t forget to stop by their Christmas shoppe, featuring department 56 collectibles, Old World Christmas ornaments, and Buffalo’s favorite chicken wing and pierogi ornament! Truly something for everyone.
Many people look at the Buffalo Irish Center through the eyes of one of its many organizations that meet there. That is simply seeing Ireland as a green island instead of the ’40 shades of green’ that weave together the intricate tapestry of different elements that bind and define our culture and heritage.
The Buffalo Irish Center is much more than a meeting place in a pub, a bingo hall, or an establishment for little girls to learn dancing. The Center has grown to become home to over a dozen non-profit Irish-American organizations each promoting a different aspect of its culture. Collectively, the Buffalo Irish Center has become one of the richest cultural and ethnic centers in Western New York.
For everything from weddings to fundraisers and anything in between, air-conditioned hall rentals are available with catering optional. The beautiful wainscoted décor of the Claddagh Room would set off any event for up to 120 seated people. The larger Emerald Room can seat 270 people.
Inside the Buffalo Irish Center is the GAAA Irish Library. This library was originally formed to house a collection of books donated by Mr. Roy Phelps of Niagara Falls. Through the years, it has evolved into a unique ethnic library in Western New York, one of a kind.
The Buffalo Irish Center has a thriving live music scene including a variety of musical acts and styles. While they feature Irish & Celtic music , you can also hear everything from standards, oldies, classic and current rock! They also have a pub on the premises which features some tasty dishes. They are currently offering a 50th anniversary special – only $50 for the year and $30 to renew! This includes Complimentary Member party, GAAA Newsletter, Buffalo Irish Times Subscription, 20% Discount on BIC Gear and Pub Food Discounts!
In Dog Ears Bookstore, you can find everything from new releases to old classics, with titles for a range of ages and audiences. Enjoy adult and children’s books of all genres! All proceeds from the bookstore go directly to programs that promote children’s creativity and literacy throughout Western New York.
Their café has been a community staple for many years, offering local residents and visitors a unique and welcoming atmosphere. They provide quality food and beverages, using only the freshest ingredients.
Prefer to shop online? You can support Dog Ears’ store by making your purchases through their Bookshop.org affiliate link. Not sure what to read next? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will help you find your next good book! Would you like to give the gift of a good book but not sure what the recipient would prefer? You can purchase a gift card here through their Bookshop.org affiliation and then shop with us online! You can never go wrong by giving a book as a gift and you’re supporting the community.
Buffalo has a rich and storied history. At one time our fair city was the 8th largest city in the country, a major artery connecting the Midwest to the east coast. People from Buffalo have gone on to do amazing things, whether it be acting or making it all the way to the presidency. Our community is the very definition of the American melting pot analogy. People from all over the world have settled here – Poland, Germany, Italy, Vietnam, Laos, Ireland, Yemen, Afghanistan and the list goes on.
Forgotten Buffalo, the region’s authority on unique landmarks, classic taverns, old world neighborhoods and “Nickel City” oddities presents Buffalo’s original “Off the Beaten Track” tours. Much more than your average historical tour, these are interactive adventures. Forgotten Buffalo Tours allow “urban explorers” to eat, drink and laugh their way through local history!
Led by media personality Eddy Dobosiewicz and trained Buffalo architecture and history docent* Marty Biniasz, each tour will give you a sense why Buffalo-Niagara is one of the most unique urban communities in the world. Forgotten Buffalo’s excursions are highly interactive historical tours that are much more than names and dates. They are designed to be experiential as well as informational. They are very passionate about our areas past, present and future, and make their adventures light hearted and entertaining. Tours last 4-5 hours and includes round trip bus transport, dinner, docent led tour, entertainment, prizes and giveaways.
If you have a history buff in your family, book them one of Forgotten Buffalo’s tours. They’ll be excited to learn. Be sure to check their website to see all upcoming tours – past tours have included Polish Tavern Christmas tour, Buffalo Brewery Tours and Ethnic Buffalo Tours.
The Western New York area has a rich and proud railway heritage spanning over 150 years. Numerous trunk line, short line, interurban and city street railways crisscrossed the region, and Buffalo, because of its geographic location on the Great Lakes, grew to become the nation’s second largest railroad center. With this growth came many railroad related industries which contributed significantly to the development of railroad technology throughout the world.
In August 1980 the Western New York Railway Historical Society, Inc. was founded to ensure that what remains of our Railway Heritage is preserved for present and future generations. Their primary goal was achieved in October of 2010 with the establishment of the “Heritage Discovery Center, ” a permanent railroad museum, to house, preserve and display railroad equipment, photographic collections, numerous paper items and hundreds of railroad related artifacts. Many society functions are held at the museum each year.
The Society has restored to its original state, the former Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway (Baltimore & Ohio) passenger station and freight depot (built in 1912 and 1913) in Orchard Park, New York. Restoration work is nearly complete on the former Lehigh Valley Railroad depot which was built in 1896 in Williamsville, New York.
As the largest, independent Rail Historical Society in New York State, with almost 500 members, they have been recognized by the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society as recipients of the 1986 Niederlander Award, “For special achievement by a local historical society” in preserving our Railway Heritage. In 2013 the Orchard Park Depot received the prestigious “Preservation Buffalo Niagara Award.” As one of Western New York’s preeminent preservation organizations, they selected the Orchard Park Depot to receive an award for their conservation and stewardship of the Orchard Park BR&P railroad depot.
If you have someone in your life who loves trains or history, we highly recommend checking out the Western New York Railway Society’s museum or even giving the gift of a membership!
McKay’s Clothing is a third generation family run business established in 1973. They are located in the Irish Heritage District of South Buffalo, New York. Their policy has always been customer satisfaction. They provide high quality products at reasonable prices. Customer loyalty has enabled McKay’s Clothing to grow and expand their products and services. Their in house, computerized embroidery has allowed them to serve a vast majority of the local schools and companies for their uniform needs.
Their vendors have taken notice of these ethics, and recognized McKay’s Clothing with several awards. In 2003 they were appointed to the Carhartt Retail Advisory Board, and in 2006 they were voted Retailer of the Year from Carhartt. With their continued efforts to provide excellent products and services, they look forward to serving you in the future.
They offer a great selection of clothing and boots suited to both the outdoors, work and school. They offer brands like Carhartt, Dickies and also do custom embroidery. If you are looking for some great clothes for yourself or to give as a gift, look no further than McKay’s Clothing. They take the Shop 716 gift card too!
Have you picked up your Shop 716 eGift Card yet? Gift cards are still available while supplies last! Promotional gift cards must be used by December 30,2021. Support local – buy yours today and view the full list of participating businesses here: https://amherst.org/shop716/
Support your local restaurants, retailers and attractions. Keep your hard earned money, right here where you live. By doing so, you keep your friends and family employed and create more local jobs. Shopping local conserves energy and resources and is better for the environment!
WNY is our home & we can show the #Buffalove we have by shopping and supporting our local businesses. The Shop 716 initiative is to be a champion of all business, supporting the shop/support local themes; to develop business unity and camaraderie to uplift our entire region.