By Alicia Dziak
Woo hoo! School is out for summer! If you live in Ellicottville, you know there’s plenty of awesome activities to keep kids (and parents!) busy for the next couple months.
Now open daily throughout the summer, head to Holiday Valley’s Sky High Adventure Park.
Sky High is made up of three components: the Aerial Park, the Climbing Forest and the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster.
The Aerial Park, the largest of its kind in New York State and third largest in the U.S., combines a series of platforms and bridges built in a 4-acre section of the woods near the resort’s Tannenbaum Lodge. The Aerial Park includes 142 platforms, 170 elements and 43 ziplines, with the tallest platform at 68 feet and the longest zip line measuring 350 feet. For rates and to make reservations, visit www.holidayvalley.com/summer/sky-high- adventure-park/.
Those ages five and up can enjoy the Climbing Forest, which is like a 3D version of a rock wall, and only one of three in the country. There are 10 trees outfitted with color-coded climbing holds and the difficulty ranges from very easy (yellow) to very challenging (purple). Each climber is fitted with a harness that is clipped into an Auto Belay system. Once a climber reaches the top of the tree at up to 45 feet, they just let go and the belay system slowly lowers them to the ground.
There is also a kids’ area with two trees where the youngest climbers can climb about 6 feet up and climb back down.
For rate info, visit www.holidayvalley.com/summer/sky-high- adventure-park/climbing- forest/.
The Mountain Coaster takes riders up the hill in their own car and lets them control their own speed on the way back down.
Cool off this summer at HV’s three-pool complex, open daily through Labor Day. Splash into a kiddie pool, a lap pool and an activity pool, featuring a diving board and slide, play a variety of poolside games, like giant Jenga or Cornhole, or grab a frozen mocktail from the Cabana Bar.
The Ellicottville Rodeo is back with loads of entertainment for the kids and also for the adults! Check out the article on page 1 for more info.
Get the kids in on the area’s live music scene.
End June with the holiday weekend and the annual Summer Music Festival at Holiday Valley and in the village. This year’s festival, presented by the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce, features the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, July 1 and Grand Funk Railroad on Sunday, July 2. Other weekend highlights include the annual pet parade, strawberry festival and much more. For more info, visit www.ellicottvilleny.com.
The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce presents the newest edition of the Gazebo Series, sponsored by CCSE Federal Credit Union. The concerts take place in the gazebo on Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. and are rain or shine.
The performance schedule is as follows:
• June 29: The Buffalo Five featuring Carolyn Lamson
• July 6: Miller and the Other Sinners
• July 13: Black & Blues Band
• July 20: Old Hippies
• July 27: Black Rock Zydeco
• Aug. 3: Lady Rush & the Vinyls
• Aug. 11: Shake on the Lake, presented by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council.
Performances start at 8 p.m.
Nearby Allegany State Park (ASP) offers family-friendly concerts all summer long. Weekly artists-in-residence will perform concerts throughout the week starting July 3. Performers include Darrell Porter, Will Lowry, Jess Chizuk, Davis & Eng Band, Keith James, Ken Hardley, Sean Patrick McGraw and Katy Webster. In addition, the park will host its annual Fireworks at Quaker Lake July 3, Beach Party on July 21 and Rock the Park on Aug. 18.
Head to Red House Lake or Quaker Lake and rent a kayak, SUP, canoe or paddle boat and explore the water. Or sit in the sand and enjoy the beaches.
The park also hosts numerous programs all summer long, including 10 new programs like Wetland Walks, Night Hikes, Team Challenge Games and more. For more info, visit www.facebook.com/alleganystatepark.
If hiking and biking are up your alley, check out miles of trails at ASP, as well as at Holiday Valley, McCarty State Forest and Little Rock City. Head to Griffis Sculpture Park to meander through the woods while checking out a variety of unique 3D artwork.
Summer is here and it’s time for long days in the sun enjoying everything the area has to offer! Make your summer bucket list with the kids and start checking things off!