Capital District Family Newsletter August 9, 2012
|Click here to receive our free weekly e-newsletter every Thursday morning!|
There are 183 Events coming up in the Capital District that are FREE!
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
For many years before I had kids, I thought hard about the kind of parent I wanted to be. Back in the '70s when child psychology was in its ascendance, I'd often read my mother's advice books before she got to them. I remember telling her when I was 10 or so, in response to a technique she was trying: "That's fogging, Mom. It's from When I Say No, I Feel Guilty. It won't work on me." I vowed to do things differently than my parents did, and it has actually worked out that way. Thinking through childrearing in advance--not popular during our parents' generation, where one mostly had kids just because that's what people did--really works.
But there were many aspects of parenting that I wasn't prepared for. One of those was how it would feel when my kids hated something I loved. They don't talk about THAT in advice books! For example: This time of year, we are awash in wonderful fruits and vegetables from the CSAs in which we participate. The bounty is HUGE nowadays, especially when you get to pick your own, as Ella and I did on Saturday (extra points if you can tell me what we were picking!):
So my kitchen is filled with the season's bounty and wonderful new things to taste. We've tried kohlrabi and tomatillos and I've roasted my first beets and I've presented my family with a terrific recipe I devised for Swiss chard (email me if you want it). OK, I admit to giving away every single eggplant that comes my way, because I have an irrational prejudice against eggplant. For the most part, though, it's wonderful.
But it seems that my children's main job these days is to throw a wet blanket over it all. They meet every new dish with stony suspicion, as though I'm trying to trick them into being tortured rather than presenting them with a gustatory gift. It's hard to take delight in something when your joy is met with a scowl. So I fake it until I feel good about it again. (Fortunately, I have a husband who praises my cooking to the skies, probably in an attempt to trick the kids into mustering some enthusiasm.)
I wish I'd known this, and a thousand other small things, before I had kids.
What is it YOU wish YOU'D known before embarking on the Good Ship Parenthood? The accumulated wisdom of our readers always makes for terrific articles. Email me your thoughts, with your first name & town (or however you'd like to be attributed), and we'll build the article together.
Review of Let's Go Chipper: Into the Great Outdoors
2) Another thing these days that we seem to have to urge kids into doing is exploring nature. I'm sure you've heard that buzzphrase "nature deprivation disorder," which refers to our tendency these days to keep kids inside, whether for convenience or for safety. So resources have been developed to encourage families to get back out there and explore the great wide world together, and Let's Go Chipper is one of them. It's a fun activity system consisting of books, DVDs, CDs, activity books, etc. Our KidsOutAndAbout editor for the Hudson Valley, Anne Siller, just sent us this review of Let's Go Chipper. And the Chipper folks liked it so well that they responded by giving us an extra set to give away to a lucky one of you! See our giveaway page for details and to enter.
Smugglers' Notch video review
3) A few weeks ago, my family visited Smugglers' Notch, a resort in the Green Mountains of Vermont. I had heard about Smugglers' Notch for years, and had wanted to take a trip there ever since Jackie Perrin first reviewed it for KidsOutAndAbout years ago. It's a resort for active outdoorsy families. Yes, you could sit around one of their several great pool areas for your entire trip, but really no one does that because of the appeal of all of the other activities, like hiking with llamas or zipping along at 35 mph or being flung into a clear mountain reservoir on an aqua launch. I will be providing a full written review of Smugglers' Notch within a week, but because a couple of minutes of video are worth a thousand words, you should check out this video we made made to give you a vivid taste of the Smuggs experience.
What's coming up at KidsOutAndAbout.com
4) It's back-to-school time, and next week we will be sending you a special edition of our newsletter devoted exclusively to the wonderful extracurricular classes offered throughout our area. Expect that special email on Tuesday!
5) Also, next week (with luck and blessings from the programmer gods), we will release KidsOutAndAbout 4.0. The site will have a somewhat new look and feel, but more important, we've worked hard to create features that you have requested during the past couple of years. Here's just one new feature: Every event on our calendar will have a "Remind Me" feature. When you see an event that interests you, all you'll need to do will be to click on the Remind Me button, enter your email, indicate when you want to be reminded, and whammo, it will all happen.
6) This week, the most popular pages on KidsOutAndAbout are:
- Top 20 Places To Bring Kids in the Capital District
- 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
--Debra Ross, Publisher
From your editor, Katie Beltramo:
7) Have you ever been to Thacher Park in Voorheesville? Those who have are nodding happily right now as they're reading this, but those who haven't are probably wondering why Thacher Park and the Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center have such fervent fans. There are real reasons why Thacher Park has won the KidsOutAndAbout.com survey for top nature center two years in a row, and is #4 OVERALL on the Top 20 places to take kids! Capital District Fun this week features a post all about Thacher Park and why you must go there. Like, today. If I were you, I'd stop reading this newsletter right now and just go there.
8) The Zoppé Italian Circus starts today and continues through Sunday, rain or shine, under a real big-top tent next to Proctors Theatre in Schenectady. If you've been wishing you could see the Olympics in person, this will go a long way toward satisfying your craving to see the world's most graceful and athletic humans doing all kinds of amazing things: There are aerial dancers, an equestrian ballerina, tightrope walkers, and performers Nino and Pepino from Italy's Zoppé clown family dynasty. Plus, it seems, a neat dog show that is a real crowd-pleaser even if it doesn't really lend an Olympic feel to the proceedings. What's more, Zoppé Ticket holders receive a FREE ticket to The Greatest Show on Earth for every Zoppé ticket they have purchased (redeem at Proctors). Click here for details.
9) Wondering where to pick berries and peaches? Blueberries are basically done, 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.
10) 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 183 upcoming events on the calendar that are utterly, totally, FREE. Here are some highlights:
Today: Animal Tracking Walk at Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park
Today: Music Jam at the New York State Museum
Tonight: Schenectady County Family Movie Night (Happy Feet 2)
Tonight: Guilderland Performing Arts Center (GPAC) Summer Concert Series
Friday: Public Star Party at Landis Arboretum
Friday/Saturday: Moreau Fun Days & Classic Car Show
Saturday: Jo Henley Band ~ Americana/folk rock: A Free Concert at Freedom Park in Scotia
Sunday: Discover SCUBA at Rich Morin's Professional Scuba and Snorkel Centers
Sunday: Wister Quartet ~ classical: A Free Concert at Freedom Park in Scotia
11) 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: Family Fun Fridays at Saratoga Race Course
Saturday: Mom & Baby Exercise Class at Top Form of Clifton Park
Sunday: Discover SCUBA at Gurney Lane Recreation Area
This is the Woods Family. They love nature and the great outdoors.
Friday: Public Star Party at Landis Arboretum
Saturday: Fish Printing by the Pond at Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Par
Sunday: "A Buffet for the Birds" at Thacher Nature Center
The Smart family focuses on educational and cultural activities. They also shop smart!
Friday: Favorite Author: Eric Carle at The Wonder Room
Saturday: Open House at North Country Academy
Sunday: Brian Gibney Band at Clifton Commons
The Bravo Family loves the arts.
Friday: Hairspray--Musical in Washington Park
Saturday: Zoppé Italian Circus at Proctors Theater
Sunday: Music Haven Concert Series: McPeake With Jane Rothfield & Allan Carr
The Wall Family prefers indoor activities. Here is their weekend itinerary:
Friday: The Tortoise Versus the Hare at Proctors
Saturday: Creative Art Day at the New York State Museum
Sunday: Program Series: Discover Mediterranean Cooking at World Awareness Children's Museum
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
14) 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!
15) 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!
16) 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!
Enjoy the weekend!