Capital District Family Newsletter August 2, 2012
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Check out our fabulous new article:
Splashy Fun in New York's Capital Region: Water Parks, Splash Pads, and Spraygrounds
2012 Winners: Top 20 Places To Bring Kids in the Capital District
50 Ways to Love Your Summer -- Leaving the Technology Inside!
Summer Camp Lists for 2012
Outdoor Fun Centers within Driving Distance
Playgrounds in the Capital District
15 Not-To-Miss Tips for Taking Your Kids Hiking
How to Recognize Poison Ivy for when you're hiking with kids
Who do our children belong to?
I know what you're thinking: "Deb, my children belong to ME. They're mine. They're knit inseparably into my soul until the end of time." Believe me, I hear you, and I feel the same way. And that's why this piece by our Albany KidsOutAndAbout editor tugged at me so profoundly that I'm still thinking about it days later.
Katie Beltramo, our editor, is a talented essayist; she also runs Capital District Fun and has a large following. She gets to write about personally meaningful topics, and her latest essay, In the NICU, is about the first days after she gave birth to her oldest daughter. Here's the line that got me: The nurse again. She waits a beat, then retrieves her baby from my incompetent arms.
Her baby, not Katie's, at least for those days.
As parents, we vibrate with the wrongness of strangers coming between us and our children. Every cell of my body resonates with Katie's story. And yet, it got me thinking: In a certain sense, it's happening to us parents every single day: As they grow, Madison and Ella are less and less mine and more their very own selves. I'm proud to be able to let go as they become more competent, but at the same time, I want to keep them small, to keep them safe, to guide them every step of the way. Nowadays, they make their own mistakes, and have their own successes, and those are not mine. It's all good, and proper, and the way life should go. But it is not always easy to balance living vibrantly in the present while a stranger named The Future is calling our children to a path that is theirs, not ours. The fact that good things do end, though, is what makes them ever more precious while we have them, and I try to cling to that preciousness while acknowledging my own grief about the parenting chapter of my life ending someday.
Who do our children belong to? They belong to themselves, they belong to the future, and yes, they belong to us, forever. Hug those babies, no matter how old they are.
2) I was looking at the numbers (I always look at the numbers!) and I try to keep my fingers on the pulse of our most popular pages in the past week so I can make sure to link to them front and center. This week, the pages were:
- Top 20 Places To Bring Kids in the Capital District (can you imagine... over a thousand new people coming to KidsOutAndAbout last week went to that page!)
- Splashy Fun in New York's Capital Region: Water Parks, Splash Pads, and Spraygrounds
- Amusement parks and outdoor play centers you can drive to
- Berry Picking in the Capital District
- $1 Summer Movies on Tuesdays & Wednesdays at Crossgates Mall
- $1 Summer Movies on Tuesdays & Wednesdays at Clifton Park Center
3) Wondering where to pick berries? Blueberries are just fading from the season, but raspberries and peaches are now in season! As you see above, the KidsOutAndAbout list of Where To Pick Summer Fruit is one of our most popular pages these days.
4) The most important page on our site these days -- especially for Camp Mom organizers, is the Everything That's Free button, which is linked from every page on KidsOutAndAbout. There are currently 239 upcoming events on the calendar that are utterly, totally, FREE.
5) A couple of weeks ago, Visit Rochester, the Rochester, NY tourism bureau, invited a bunch of Capital District writers to experience family-friendly Rochester so they could take what they found back to the Capital Region. Katie was among them! Here are some of the articles that have been produced as a result:
- A Girl's Guide to the Women's Suffrage Movement: Visiting the Susan B. Anthony House - by Adrienne Veglia Mazeau, for Albany Kid
- (By the way, I also really like Adrienne's article about a day trip to Fort Tigonderoga with young kids, also for Albany Kid, although of course that has nothing to do with Rochester.)
- Fun in Rochester: Seabreeze, Abbott's, and Ontario Beach Park - by Katie Beltramo, for Capital District Fun
- Fun in Rochester: Saturday Night with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra - by Katie Beltramo, for Capital District Fun
- Fun in Rochester: Kids Guide to Genesee Country Museum - by Katie Beltramo, for Capital District Fun
6) As regular readers know, I like to celebrate things. With some occasions, you're pretty much forced to celebrate them, because everyone around you is doing it, like the 4th of July. Other things are unimportant to the culture but important to you, and you can choose to celebrate them, or, say, ignore them and do the laundry. I say: Celebrate. So this Sunday, I celebrate the 44th anniversary of a couple of gametes joining forces to create the being that ultimately became yours truly. I do this every year (usually privately--because hey, I know it's a little strange--but this year I guess I'm telling 15,000 people). I mean, why not.
--Debra Ross, Publisher
From your editor, Katie Beltramo:
7) There are some wonderful opportunities for kids to enjoy the arts this weekend. On Friday there's a Puppet Making Workshop with LARAC and The Puppet People for ages 6 to 8. The super-fun musical Hairspray is opening this weekend in Washington Park. If you like to hold out for the kid-and-adult double feature, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Hairspray will BOTH be performed August 14th to 19th.
8) On Saturday, soak up some culture with a children's opera when the Seagle Music Colony Presents “Little Red Riding Hood” at the World Awareness Children's Museum. I've reviewed this awesome little museum in the past, and I highly recommend it. Yes, it's a bit of a drive, but you can pair it with a trip to Moreau Lake State Park and have yourself a mini-vacation.
9) This is also a great weekend to try geocaching! There's a Learn to Geocache Workshop for Kids at Saratoga Spa State Park on Friday, and on Saturday there's an Intro to Geocaching at Thacher Park. If you've never tried, geocaching, it's a great way to use your brain and get active outside. My family recently attended a Learn to Geocache event at Mine Kill State Park, if you want more information about what you do.
10) Celebrate different cultures this weekend with MCDONALD'S AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY DAY on Saturday in Albany or the Shalom Festival in Saratoga. Both offer food, entertainment, vendors, and fun for kids.
11) Author Josh Grogan of Marley & Me fame will be at the Dog Days of Summer Event at the Adirondack Museum on Saturday.
12) Another hugely popular event with little kids and the families who love them is Saturday's Big Truck Day with the Children's Museum at Maple Avenue Middle School.
13) What are next Tuesday & Wednesday's $1 Movies at Regal Cinema Clifton Park Center and Crossgates Mall? They show at 10am both days and you get to pick from two different kid-friendly movies... but you want to make sure to get there early. Click here to find out what's playing next week.
14) The Bravo Family, the Wall Family, the Woods Family, the Smart Family, and the Walker Family are our fictional families that take their kids to activities based on their particular interests. Here is what they are up to this weekend:
The Walker family focuses on health and physical fitness. Here are their plans.
Friday: ValleyCats Baseball w/ Fireworks
Saturday: Intro to Geocaching at Thacher Park
Sunday: checking out a water park
This is the Woods Family. They love nature and the great outdoors.
Friday: First Friday Hike at Albany Pine Bush
Saturday: Watchable Wildlife: THE HUCKLEBERRY BIRD at NYS DEC- Five Rivers Environmental Education Center
Sunday:Ten Year Vamp at Clifton Commons
The Smart family focuses on educational and cultural activities. They also shop smart!
Friday: 1st Friday Of Albany
Saturday: MCDONALD'S AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY DAY
Sunday: Shalom Festival in Saratoga
The Bravo Family loves the arts.
Friday: The Philadelphia Orchestra - Cirque de la Symphonie - Family Night at SPAC
Saturday: Wild Adriatic ~ rock & soul: A Free Concert at Freedom Park in Scotia
Sunday: Hairspray--Musical in Washington Park
The Wall Family prefers indoor activities. Here is their weekend itinerary:
Friday: ‘TUTE FOR TOTS—Pattern at Albany Institute of History and Art
Saturday: Seagle Music Colony Presents “Little Red Riding Hood”
Sunday: Albany Institute of History and Art
Everything that's free (upcoming events that are free...239 of them on the calendar right now!)
Top 20 Places to Take Kids in the Capital District
Indoor Play Centers
Places to have birthday parties
Clubs/Scouts/Teams for Kids and Parents
Parks / Outdoor recreation areas
Organizations & schools that provide resources for kids with special needs
Upcoming shows and performances
17) Folks who "Like" the KidsOutAndAbout.com Albany listing on Facebook find out about stuff in advance and even can enter Facebook-only giveaways, so make sure to Like us! These Facebook-Only Giveaways happen frequently, so don't miss a thing..."like" us today!
18) Have you wondered about creative places to host your child's birthday party in the Albany-Troy-Schenectady area? There are 122 Birthday Party Locations on our list; check them out!
19) We're sure you can think of other folks who would enjoy finding out what's up for kids and families every week, so please, think of a few friends and forward it along! Here is the direct link they can use to sign up, themselves.
Enjoy the weekend!