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Looking for a Twist on Winter Fun? 14 Things to Do in Olean and Allegany

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By Eva Potter

Winter is jammed with unique and fun-for-all-ages events in Olean and Allegany. This month’s exciting lineup offers a varied menu of entertainment choices for all ages, including sledding, music, basketball, theater, art and shopping. So get busy and fill your social calendar now.

Jan. 16

“Skewed Perspective” Art Exhibition

A life-size apartment is the foundation for Buffalo artist Anne Muntges’ exhibition at the Center Gallery on the Olean campus of Jamestown Community College on North Union Street. See how this artist re-orders an ordinary domestic interior, pushing us to examine how we think about the spaces we live in. Muntges will speak at a free, public reception Jan. 16, 6–8 p.m., in the second-floor gallery of the College Center. The exhibition is on display until Feb. 5. Visit the admission-free gallery 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. See samples of Muntges’ work at http://www.annemuntges.com.

Jan. 17

Free Balloon Art Workshop

Connect with your inner child and attend free Balloon Art workshops at the Olean Public Library on Jan. 17 and Jan. 24, 10:30–11:30 a.m. Dave McHenry, locally known as Balloon Man, will teach beginning balloon twisting techniques in the second of a three-session workshop. Space is limited. Call (716) 372-0200 to register.

Jan. 17-18 

Greater Olean Outdoor and Rec Sports Show

Bring the whole family to this annual favorite produced by the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce and held at Good Times of Olean at 800 East State St.

This year’s show spotlights experts, 48 vendors and a slew of products  for a variety of outdoor sports including camping, paddle sports, hiking, hunting, skiing, snowmobiling, bird watching, fishing and more. Show dates and times are Jan. 17, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Jan. 18, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children and seniors. For details, visit www.oleanny.com or call (716) 372-4433.

Jan. 18

St. Bonaventure A-10 Basketball

Get ready for some exciting men’s college hoops at St. Bonaventure University. The men’s team plays in the prestigious A-10 conference and consistently delivers adrenaline-pumping games. The upcoming schedule includes contests against Saint Joseph’s on Jan. 18 at 2:30 p.m., LaSalle on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., VCU on Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. and U. Mass on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. Also, check out the women’s schedule at www.gobonnies.com.

Jan. 20 

A Night of Jazz Appreciation

Kick back at the Olean Public Library and get ready for a night of jazz exploration by Moses Howden and Les Sabina as they deliver practical and historic insight into this soulful style of music. The event runs 7–8 p.m. and is free to the public.

Jan. 20

Canticle Farm Winter Market

Get local, naturally grown produce and other local goods in Allegany at the Canticle Farm Winter Market — always open to the public. You’ll find head lettuce, kale, mesclun mix, carrots, potatoes, rutabagas, onions, garlic, cabbage, winter squash and more, while local vendors tempt you with honey, maple products, fresh meats, cheeses, ice cream, yogurt, frozen blueberries and jam. On Jan. 20, visit the market at 3809 Old State Rd. from 2–6 p.m. Additional dates include Feb. 3 and 17; March 3, 17 and 31; and April 14 and 28.

Jan. 24 

Mission to Halley’s Comet 

Need to get away from it all? Then a Mission to Halley’s Comet is the perfect trip. The Challenger Learning Center in Allegany offers an action-packed, family-friendly simulated space experience, great for adults and teens (fifth grade and up). Lift-off is at 5:30 p.m. As an astronaut, you will navigate through space using smarts, creativity and teamwork to reach Halley’s Comet as it rushes by Earth. Light refreshments and snacks included. Reserve now by calling (716) 379-8686 (leave message) or email Fred@DRCLC.org. Tickets are $30 per person, $50 per couple.

Jan. 30

Drink Wine and Dance

Dancing and wine tasting make a great combination at the Drink Wine and Dance event at Carter’s Event Center on 2593 West Five Mile Rd. in Allegany. From 6–9 p.m., sip some of the area’s finest wines and take free mini lessons in ballroom, Zumba, hip-hop and more from the pros at Neighborhood School of Dance. ID required. Tickets are $30. Details at www.DrinkWineAndDance.com.

Jan. 31

Southern Tier Curling Tournament

The second annual Southern Tier Curling Tournament is happening again at Good Times of Olean. Last year’s event drew more than 60 teams and some 1,000 attendees. Whether you are a participant or spectator, this event is an absolute blast — no prior experience required. Email todd@goodtimesolean.com for a registration form or call (716) 379-8210.

Feb. 12 

“Arsenic and Old Lace”

Take in a live, classic performance of “Arsenic and Old Lace” at the Olean Theatre Workshop at 702 Washington St. in Olean. This beloved favorite is the comedic tale of the Brewster sisters, charming spinster aunts, who aren’t as innocent as they seem. Show times are Feb. 12, 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 15 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call (716) 373-SHOW or visit http://www.oleanworkshop.org/tickets.html.

Feb. 16-20 

Winter Break Art Camp

Chase away cabin fever at the Cattaraugus County Arts Council’s Winter Break Art Camp. Kids ages 4–11 will love hanging with friends while creating their own masterpieces. ClayVenture, 9–10 a.m. daily, is designed for budding artists ages 4–7, who will have fun and get messy while learning hand-building techniques. The cost is $65 and includes supplies. ArtVenture, 10:30– noon daily, is designed for older artists, ages 7–11, and includes engaging projects with inspiration from Andy Warhol, Mexican folk art, stained glass, painting and pottery. To register, call (716) 372-7455 or visit www.myartscouncil.net/kids-classes.html.

Feb. 16

Great Sledding “Snow” Down

Energize your kids with a Winter Break program at the Dresser-Rand Training and Conference Center at JCC. The Great Sledding “Snow” Down is a fun and educational S.T.E.M. camp where kids (ages 9–14) will design and build sleds out of cardboard and pieces of wood, all leading to a lighthearted camp competition. Cost is $75 for the weeklong program. Space is limited. Contact Jane Northrup by email at janenorthrup@mail.sunyjcc.edu or call (716) 376-7506.

Things to Do All Winter

Sledding at St. Bonaventure Golf Course

Get your sledding thrills at St. Bonaventure’s steep and fast hill on the backside of the St. Bonaventure Clubhouse in Allegany. It’s free and it’s really fun. Dress warmly, wear a helmet if you have one, and push off for a great ride.

Shop for the Unique 

Art on Main, a fine art consignment shop run by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council, located at 100 W. Main St. in Allegany, is the perfect place to buy that special occasion gift or treat yourself to a gem. You’ll find unique items like pottery, jewelry, wood bowls, paintings, scarves, prints, cards, original art and more by regional and international artists like Mikel Wintermantel, Karen Fitzpatrick, Terry Saye, Nance Jackson, Ron & Amy Peterson, Elliott Hutten, Cherie Antle, Kristina McLeod, Courtney Blackmon-Mealy, Penelope Minner, Rena Neese, Michael Weishan, Pat Eckstrom, Lisa Conklin, Barbara Fox and more. Check out the always revolving inventory. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. or by appointment. Your purchase supports local and regional arts programming and events.

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