by Doug Sitler

RoycroftInnWith summer still in full swing, there are numerous restaurant outdoor dining experiences waiting for you in the Buffalo-area. One of my favorite places to go no matter what time of the year is the historic and charming Roycroft Inn in East Aurora. However, in the summertime months, there is outdoor seating on The Peristyle – which is a columned porch that surrounds an internal courtyard garden. The serene, open-air setting creates a blissful three-way encounter between the guests, the food and the natural beauty of the Roycroft campus grounds.

After ordering off their delicious menu (psst…try the French Onion soup, it’s amazing!), you will become consumed by the landscape from the Peristyle’s raised vantage point. On one side, you receive a panoramic view of The Roycroft Campus, including The Copper Shop boutique. On the other side is the courtyard garden that features a small, babbling fountain set amongst a stone path and a small hedge. You certainly receive a strong feeling that you are at a place that is unique, inspiring, and relaxing. It is the perfect setting for a romantic dinner, or a leisurely long weekend lunch with friends and family. The combination of The Roycroft Inn’s exquisite food and garden setting will make any visit a memorable one.

The Roycroft Inn restaurant is open year round for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. For more information, please visit

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by Leah Mueller

exploreandmoreMy family and I are always looking for activities to keep us active until summer arrives.  This past weekend we visited Explore & More Children’s Museum in East Aurora. This attraction is geared for little ones and my 5 and 3 year olds fit right in!

Upon arrival my boys headed straight for the exhibit “Building Curiosity”. Here they put on construction gear, grab some tools and get straight to work building a house or whatever their imagination allows. Then, we moved on to the Frank Lloyd Wright themed architecture center where blocks of all different shapes and sizes give children a chance to design and construct their own masterpieces.

Our next exhibit brought us to “Culture Corners” and we discovered how canal locks work with a hands-on exhibit. Next, we entered international countries and used different musical instruments, clothing, wind mills, and more to see how others live around the world.

We also visited the food exhibit, rock climbing wall and fishing boat for a fresh ‘catch of the day.’ Overall this was a great way to spend the afternoon! Explore & More has many special programs and events throughout the year.

While you’re in East Aurora save some time to visit Toy Town Museum and Vidler’s 5&10 Cent Store, two more of many family friendly attractions within this quaint village.