All across New York state, museums, zoos and botanical gardens, historic homes, living history museums, arts centers and cultural organizations will offer a fascinating world of art, photography, history, science, pop-culture and more during the first New York State Museum Week -- May 31 to June 6.
New York State Museum Week is an "I Love New York" event. Promoted by New York State Sen. Betty Little and organized by I Love New York with assistance from the Museum Association of New York, the event is meant to publicize the state's cultural/heritage community to residents and visitors alike.
Participating as "The Tonawandas: Western Gateway to the Erie Canal Heritage Community" are the North Tonawanda History Museum at 54 Webster St., and the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum at 180 Thompson St., both in the City of North Tonawanda; and the Historical Society of the Tonawandas Museum in the City of Tonawanda at 113 Main St.
Hours for the local museums are: North Tonawanda History Museum, every day except Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, Thursday, May 31, through Sunday, June 3, and Wednesday, June 6; the Historical Society of the Tonawandas Museum, Thursday, May 31, 1 to 6 p.m., Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Benjamin Long Homestead, operated by the Historical Society of the Tonawandas, at 24 East Niagara St., in the City of Tonawanda, will also be open on Sunday, June 3, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Visitors to the three participating museums are invited to remain in the area after their museum visits.
The Historic Riviera Theatre, at 67 Webster St., will feature "Legends of Doo Wop," featuring The Teenagers and Shades of Blue at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 2. On Tuesday, June 6, Nathan Avakian will play the Mighty Wurlitzer organ at 7:30 p.m. Contact the Riviera Theatre to order tickets in advance (www.rivieratheatre.org).
The North Tonawanda History Museum and the Riviera Theatre are located in the historic downtown shopping district of North Tonawanda, with Webster Street connecting to Main Street in the City of Tonawanda. The two downtowns have an eclectic variety of shops to cater to visitors.
There will be a classic car show on Webster Street in the evening of Monday, June 4, hosted by the Canalside Creamery, at 82 Webster St., where you can enjoy ice cream and other treats while you enjoy the Tonawandas.
Volunteers and staff in the Gateway Cities Visitors Center in the North Tonawanda History Museum can direct you to a variety of shopping opportunities and restaurants in the Tonawandas, as well as helping with directions to the other participating museums. There are restaurants downtown and on the Erie Canal and Niagara River, and waterfront parks on both the Canal and River. History Museum staff will provide you with directions or maps of the area. The communities have a number of military memorials, including the nationally significant Seabees and Marine Memorials in North Tonawanda's Veterans Park.
New York State Museum Week is designed to give guests a taste of what museums have available throughout the year and it is a perfect opportunity for neighboring residents and visitors alike to discover (or rediscover) these remarkable cultural institutions and their contributions to the preservation of this state's rich heritage. More than 150 museums are participating statewide.