10 Things You Need to Do In Buffalo this Winter

Lexi

As Buffalonians, we’re winter pros. We’ve survived the Blizzard of ‘93, the December Storm of ‘01, the October Surprise of ‘06, and the North American Winter Storm in ‘14. So, chances are you already have kitty litter in your truck, bags of salt piled on your front porch and your snow boots readily available.

But, even the most seasoned Buffalonian knows that one of the most difficult tasks in the winter is simply finding new things to do. As riveting as Buffalo is, it can be pretty easy to let the weather, icy roads and warm booze keep you cozy on your couch.

So, we’re here to help. Here are 10 things you need to do in Buffalo this winter.

1. For the Southtowners: East Aurora Carolcade

carolcade

When: Dec. 17th, 2016 7pm
Where: East Aurora Carol Cade

As our good friend Buddy the Elf would say: The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Join East Aurora’s carolers on Main Street for the 44th Annual Carolcade — a night of singing, Santa Claus visits, hot chocolate, donuts and holiday joy.

This year the town is looking to break a Guinness Record for largest outdoor caroling event. So come sing your heart out! (And did we mention there’s no open container law in East Aurora?)

2. For the Seinfeld lovers: Festivus

pexels-photo-29543

When: Dec. 23, 2016 at 8:30 pm
Where: Hydraulic Hearth

Hydraulic Hearth and Community Beer Works are once again teaming up to throw a Festivus party unlike any other. Attendees can expect feats of strength, airing of grievances, an Elaine dance-off, costume contest, Seinfeld trivia and, of course, an unadorned Festivus pole.

Food and drink specials will begin at 8:30 p.m. and complimentary snacks will also be provided.

3. For the party animals: Brew Year’s Eve

pexels-photo-59884

When: Dec. 31, 2017
Where: Buffalo RiverWorks

Ring in the new year with some of your favorite local breweries at RiverWorks Brew Year’s Eve. The event features a sneak peek of RiverWorks Brews exclusive first sampling, a champagne toast, hat, noisemakers, food and dessert stations, beer and wine stations and much more.

Pre-sale tickets are $110 per couple (or $65 for the single peeps) and can be purchased on Buffalo RiverWorks website.

4. For the outdoor adventurers: Winterfest

snow-tubing-93024_960_720

When: January 12-15, 2017
Where: Town of Tonawanda facilities

Craving a holiday challenge? Town of Tonawanda Youth, Parks and Recreation’s annual Winterfest may have everything you need. This five-day event has everything from firework to ice skating, Kan Jam tournaments, magic shows and much more.

There are plenty of activities for all ages, including wine tasting, adult dancing and children’s outdoor games.

5. For the wine-lovers: Niagara Icewine Festival

pexels-photo-225228

When: Jan. 13-15, 20-22 and 27-29, 2017
Where: Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls (close enough, guys)

‘Tis the season for drinking wine. You might as well make it festive. Enter: the 22nd Annual Icewine Festival, a three-weekend long wine festival that celebrates Ontario’s own Icewine.

The festival’s events include wine samplings, comedy festivals, musical guests, food pairings (what’s better than chocolate and wine?) and cocktail competitions.

For the fanciest of wine lovers, tickets for the all-inclusive Icewine Gala cost $185. For the rest of us, an individual experience costs $10 per event or $40 for the three-weekend discover pass.

6. For the family friendly: Chillabration

12485834_595033200644571_8346471078696574590_o
When: Jan. 13-16, 2017
Where: Canalside

Between ice skating, ice bicycling, friendly curling competitions, karaoke and trivia nights, and open-mic nights featuring the talents poets, comedians and local musicians, there’s no shortage of festive fun to be had on any day of the week at Canalside.

If you’re looking for some post-holiday fun, Chillabration at Canalside is a family friendly, four-day celebration. Take part in dinosaur skate featuring artifacts from the Buffalo Science Museum, ice sculptures, children’s programming and crafts, amusement rides, ice skating performances, live music, food trucks and more.

7. For the foodies: Buffalo Soup-Fest

soup-1429797_640

When: Jan. 28, 2017
Where: Buffalo Niagara Convention Center

There’s nothing like a hot and flavorful bowl of soup to warm you up after a long day in the cold weather. If you don’t think one bowl of soup can fill the void in your stomach, we’ve got the event for you.

Buffalo Soup-Fest offers 75 different types of soup from 30 different restaurants. While the 2017 menu hasn’t been finalized just yet — we’re pretty confident it’ll be a good line up. Last year’s soups ranged from Beer Cheese Soup and Buffalo Chicken Ramen to Blazing Bison Chili and Pierogi. There’s a flavor for everyone.

Tickets are $5 for entry and soups can be bought with “soup bucks” (which can be purchased for $1 each).

8. For the beer enthusiasts: WNY Winter Brewfest

summer-sunshine-alcohol-drink

When: Feb. 3, 2017
Where: Tonawanda Castle

Craft beers are having their moment — and WNY Winter Brewfest is all about celebrating our favorites. Attendees are able to sample some of Buffalo’s best beers, hard ciders and seasonal IPA’s. And, since beer pairs nicely with games, you’ll be able to play a few rounds of giant beer pong, giant Jenga and other activities.

Tickets ($45 a person) are limited, so if you’re interested in tasting craft brews all night, make sure to book your ticket quick.

9. For the animal lovers: Buffalo Zoo Polar Bites

pexels-photo-167848

When: Feb. 23, 2017
Where: Buffalo Niagara Convention Center

Buffalo is bringing back Buffalo Zoo Polar Bites – another winter fundraising event that is sure to be entertaining. Guests can expect a fun night featuring basket auctions, food samplings from some of Western New York’s favorite restaurants and a meet and greet with some of the zoo’s ambassador animals.

Tickets are $30 presale and $40 at the door and include admission, unlimited food samplings, two drink tickets, free parking and more.

10. For the ski bums: Penguin Paddle

peguinpaddle

When: Feb. 25, 2017
Where: Holiday Valley

On February 25, slide down a ski slope on your stomach for one awesome cause.The Holiday Valley annual Penguin Paddle raises money for the Lounsbury Adaptive Program, which is an adaptive ski program for people with disabilities and military veterans.

Tickets range from $1 to $5, so grab a drink, gear up in your garbage bag and spend the day sliding and skiing.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Buffalo during the winter? We’d love to know. Tweet us @Quinlancompany

5 Popular Podcasts You Should Download Right Now

Lexi

Last week, Michelle Miller Levitt, CEO of Too Much Neon, Buffalo’s first professional podcast service, visited Quinlan to discuss the impact of podcasting on content marketing. We learned a ton about Too Much Neon’s services — and even more about the benefits of podcasts.

Let’s talk podcasts

According to Edison Research, 98 million Americans have listened to a podcast and over 20 percent of Americans listen to podcasts once a month — that’s the same percentage as Americans that use Twitter! With over 60,000 podcasts on iTunes and counting, it’s clear that podcasting is in it for the long haul. So… let’s talk about it.

When you think about it, the growth of podcasts is easy to understand. This content marketing gem is:

  • Easy to produce
  • Available and applicable to all industries and niche groups
  • More intimate than video
  • Great for commuters and multitaskers
  • Simple to integrate with your existing content strategy

“Since the growth of on-demand companies like Netflix, people have a different set of expectations from other organizations,” notes Michelle. “Consumers now expect content on demand, and podcasts deliver on that expectation.”

This has resulted in companies needing to act more and more like media companies, which requires the implementation of interesting and engaging video and audio content. Enter podcasts as marketing tools.

“Some of the most popular podcasts are upwards of one to two hours long and people are regularly consuming this content,” Michelle notes, “so the idea of being able to spend an hour providing valuable content to your listeners, while building up your brand is extremely appealing to businesses.”

Advertising in podcasts

Due to the personalized nature of podcast advertising, listeners actually prefer to hear advertisements in podcasts than many other traditional media forms. In fact, 45 percent of listeners visit a sponsor’s website and 42 percent are willing to try a new product or service. That’s the beauty of auditory storytelling: your audience feels a more authentic connection with your brand, leading to stronger relationships and a greater sense of trust.

As a form of entertainment, content marketing tool and advertising platform, podcasts offer endless benefits. Want to learn more about Buffalo’s professional podcast studio, Too Much Neon? Have an idea for a podcast but don’t know where to begin? Contact Michelle and her team. They’ll get you off to a rad start.

In the meantime, we’ll leave you with a list of binge-worthy, popular podcasts to get started with.

Social Pros

Average Show Length: 45 minutes

_o6aax9dl_y-drew-patrick-miller

Winner of the best podcast at the Content Marketing Awards, Jay Baer from Convince & Convert and Adam Brown from Salesforce, sit down each week to interview social media practitioners from a variety of brands, like Dell, Ford and ESPN. They cover important trends in social media marketing, insightful tips and the skills needed to be successful with social media.

Best For: Anyone looking to develop stronger social media skills.

Why You Should Listen:

  • The podcast is applicable to all marketers, from novices to the self-declared social media “experts”
  • The hosts always ask their guest for one specific tip on how to become a “social media pro”
  • The show is professional without being bland or boring

99% Invisible

Show length: 15 Minutes

zefmwh1nr5q-williams-sbln

Roman Mars, the host and producer of 99% Invisible, funded this incredibly popular podcast on Kickstarter, as a way to teach people about the “hidden design” in all things.

Best For: Architect nerds and design enthusiasts, as well as anyone who is intrigued by the hidden and unexpected history behind the items that you use every day.

Why You Should Listen:

  • Roman’s voice is soothing, comforting and captivating all at once
  • Includes dynamic audio content from other videos and news sources
  • Makes you feel a little bit smarter every time you listen to it

Entrepreneur on Fire

Average Show Length: 30 Minutes

czwzjymwi9o-corey-blaz

Entrepreneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas, is a daily podcast that interviews entrepreneurs about the process of starting their business. Dumas focuses on his guest’s worst entrepreneurial moments, the steps they took to make their ah-ha moment into success, and the important lessons that they learned along the way. The podcast has over 1400 episodes featuring entrepreneurs such as Barbara Corcoran, Gary Vaynerchuk and Seth Godin.

Best For: Any professional who is looking to create their own startup, find ways to influence their current workplace, or just need a bit of daily inspiration to get them moving.

Why You Should Listen:

  • The “Lightning Round” at the end of every episode gives the audience a ton of insight
  • The length of the show is perfect – not so long that the information is dry or boring, but long enough to get an appropriate amount of information from the guest
  • Dumas captivates and inspires his audience every episode

Invisibilia

Show Length: 60 Minutes

eolpjytrbsq-jeff-sheldon
Invisibilia, a podcast about the hidden forces behind human behavior, ideas, assumptions and emotions. Lulu Miller, Hannah Rosin and Alex Spiegel combine storytelling and scientific research in a way that makes you question the way that life works.

Best For: Anyone who loves connecting with other people, questioning social norms and exploring the mystery of the human mind.

Why You Should Listen:

  • Amazing characters with bizarre stories and backgrounds featured in every episode
  • The show’s hosts will have you questioning your sanity and the world around you
  • Feels incredibly immersive for a podcast

WTF

Show Length: 60 Minutes

mike-1737614_640
A millennial’s Howard Stern, comedian Marc Maron interviews celebrities and other comedian guests on his weekly podcast, WTF. Notable guests include President Barack Obama, Katie Couric, Amy Schumer, John Oliver and Louis CK.

Best For: Someone who loves the appeal of tabloid gossip, but craves more substance and raw emotion in their entertainment.

Why You Should Listen:

  • Maron’s interviews go from being hauntingly depressive to hysterical and personable in minutes
  • There is a huge range of interviews to listen to (761 and counting)
  • The non traditional interview format makes you feel like you’re really getting to know each guest

QUINLAN PODCASTS: (Yeah… you read that correctly)

Field Recordings

podcasting

Show Length: 30-60 minutes

Yep. Quinlan’s creative director, Frank Conjerti, started Field Recordings with the infamous Ben Kirst, to recognize the often overlooked talents of local musicians, writers, entrepreneurs and athletes. We might be a little biased, but if you’re interested in listening to genuine and funny conversations with some of the less-acknowledged Queen City contributors, Field Recordings is worth a listen. You’re welcome for the shout out, Frank.

The Devil’s Due

hosts-1

Show Length: 60-90 minutes

Believe it or not, it doesn’t stop there. Quinlan’s senior web developer, Drew Celestino, is a casual podcast pro himself. Co-host of The Devil’s Due, Drew and his co-host talk about the Netflix series, “Daredevil” and other series such as “Luke Cage” and “Jessica Jones.” The show delves into the comic book world featuring geek culture news, listener questions and interviews. That’s not all — Drew is also the sound engineer and the web guru for his podcast.

Which podcasts are you listening to? We’d love to find out. Tweet us @QuinlanCompany.