Capital District Family Newsletter July 19, 2012
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There are 266 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
Dear KidsOutAndAbout readers:
Regular readers of this newsletter know how much I prize excellence. This week, I found it in an unexpected place: in court! And, of course, it all made me think about parenting.
I was called for jury duty on Tuesday. To my surprise, I found the whole experience to be just what most clichés say the government is not: It was a model of efficiency, reason, sobriety, and the pursuit of justice. Judge Karen Morris instilled a very American reverence for the value of each individual within the system as she gave instructions to the potential jurors. She listened carefully to all of the answers--I have rarely seen anyone listen so carefully and seriously--and responded with intelligence, care, objectivity, and humanity. We all felt... safe.
And I found myself thinking she'd be a great mother.
What? Yes. See, here's the thing: I, like most of you, have adjudicated thousands of squabbles, small and large, between my kids. I hate it. I stomp my foot and wonder how those two girls can behave so short-sightedly. Of course, it's because they're kids, and each has to find some way to manage how her whims often clash with her sister's. It's all part of growing up.
I assume it's often frustrating to Judge Morris, too, because she presides over conflicts that are much more serious than whose turn it is to sit in the front seat. But I watched Judge Morris approach the process as a job that she plans to do excellently, expertly, and even with good humor. Thinking about this made me realize in a flash that it's my job, too, to help ensure that my kids are each heard, that injustices are resolved, that personal prejudices are set aside, and that we accomplish what is right by working together. It's my job to give them that safe place to think and grow, and I want to do it as excellently and expertly as Judge Morris did on Tuesday. I wish I'd been selected as a juror, because I wanted to be in her presence and learn more.
Maybe someday my kids will even feel the same way about me. Now that would be true success, wouldn't it?
(Oh, wow! I just found this before hitting the Send button! Turns out that last year, Judge Morris published a book called Law Made Fun Through Harry Potter's Adventures: 99 Lessons in Law from the Wizarding World for Fans of All Ages. Whoops, I think I just graduated from "fan" to "groupie.")
2) Is it silly to be in love with one's own web site's new article? Well, call me guilty, then, because I simply adore our brand-new article:
Splashy Fun in New York's Capital Region: Water Parks, Splash Pads, and Spraygrounds
This is one comprehensive and fun to read article, with lots of links to maps for how to get where you want to go. It includes pools, too, so find one near you! I hear the one on New Scotland Ave is no longer a secret. Yay to Katie for compiling it!
3) Wondering where to pick berries? Blueberries, raspberries, and peaches are now in season! Oh, and currants, too, but I never know what to do with a currant even if it's staring me in the face. The KidsOutAndAbout list of Where To Pick Summer Fruit is one of our most popular pages these days.
4) If you love a good traditional summer camp (and the peace and quiet it brings you while the kids are there), there is still time to sign your child up for many area summer camps! Check out our big summer camp calendar here! It's listed WEEK-BY-WEEK so you can plan your summer accordingly!
5) 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 266 upcoming events on the calendar that are utterly, totally, FREE.
6) If you'd like to get out and about in the local area this summer, we've got a great resource for you! As you know if you've read this newsletter for the last month, we have tallied the results for our 2012 survey. So click through to see the full list of the Top 20 Places to Take Kids in the Capital Region... it will give you great ideas for summer fun!
--Debra Ross, Publisher
From your editor, Katie Beltramo:
Hey! Did anyone else catch Improv Everywhere's latest mission? They went to a mini-golf course and treated it like a major golf championship? If it inspired you, check out a list of mini-golf spots around the Capital District.
7) Summer's in full swing, which means it's time the annual Saratoga County Fair! It's one of the biggest and most popular fairs of the season, and it continues through Sunday.
8) Friday night is also a newer--and completely free--annual event, Schenectady County Summer Night. This year's celebration includes music, art, and outdoor movies of cartoons to keep the kids occupied while they wait for the fireworks.
9) Or you can beat the heat on Friday night with some indoor fun. Afrim's has a new program, Summer Movie Night at Afrim's: Alvin and the Chipmunks and there's another Parents Night Out at Tiny Tots Tea Room. What parent doesn't love a parents' night out? Or a parents' night in? Or a parents' nap, for that matter?
10) This Friday they're also making "grown-up" attractions more family-friendly with special events like the Family Fun Fridays at Saratoga Race Course and the CDPHP Family Night Series and New York City Ballet at SPAC.
11) Saturday is the Summer Fest at Mine Kill State Park. It's their biggest event of the season. Our family visited Mine Kill over Memorial Day Weekend--check out Capital District Fun to hear about our adventure.
12) Want to immerse yourself in some American history or present-day American culture steeped in history? Check out the Civil War Reenactment at the Adirondack Museum or the Keep the Fires Burning Pow Wow in Rotterdam.
13) Two free outdoor musicals, Cabaret--Musical in Washington Park and The Not So Common Players present Oliver! continue this weekend. If you have a beginner theater-goer, check out Annie, Jr. at Clifton Commons Stage.
14) Another awesome and unique theater experience is Blue Man Group. They're at Proctors Theater this weekend.
15) Did you know that every Tuesday and Wednesday in the summer, Regal Cinemas at Crossgates Mall and Clifton Park Center present movies for only $1 at 10am? Yes! Each Tuesday and Wednesday is a different pair of movies to choose from. Click here to find out what next week's movies are!
Bowtie Cinemas in Schenectady does this, too, only for them it's FREE, and it's just one movie to choose from. Just like the Regal Cinemas movies, it's also Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am. Click here for next week's movie details.
16) 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:
This is the Woods Family. They love nature and the great outdoors.
Friday:Delegan Pond Exploration Open Hours at Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park
Saturday: Summer Fest at Mine Kill State Park
Sunday: Keep the Fires Burning Pow Wow
The Smart family focuses on educational and cultural activities. They also shop smart!
Friday: CSI-U: Blood Spatter Analysis at Saratoga Springs Public Library
Saturday: Civil War Reenactment at the Adirondack Museum
Sunday: Maria Zemantauski & Friends ~ flamenco guitar/dance: A Free Concert at Freedom Park in Scotia
The Bravo Family loves the arts.
Friday: ‘TUTE FOR TOTS—Stories Under the Sea at the Albany Institute of History and Art during the day, then CDPHP Family Night Series and New York City Ballet at SPAC in the evening
Saturday: Cryin' Out Loud: A Free Concert at Freedom Park in Scotia
Sunday: Music Haven Concert Series: Deb Callahan Band With Alison Jacobs & Matt Mirable
The Wall Family prefers indoor activities. Here is their weekend itinerary:
Friday: Summer Movie Night at Afrim's: Alvin and the Chipmunks
Saturday:Whale of a Time at the New York State Museum
Sunday: The Big Apple Circus in Lake George--Dream Big with Grandma's Farewell Tour!
Everything that's free (upcoming events that are free...266 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
19) 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!
20) 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!
21) 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!