Capital District Family Newsletter November 1, 2012 | Kids Out and About Albany

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Capital District Family Newsletter November 1, 2012

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Capital District Family Newsletter 11/1/12

There are 340 events coming up in the Capital District that are FREE!

2012 Winners: Top 20 Places To Bring Kids in the Capital District

Save the Date for:
Saturday, November 3: Treasure Island opens at Steamer No. 10 Theatre
Wednesday, November 7: Wicked opens at Proctors
November 10-12: FREE Family Veteran’s Day Weekend & Mummy Birthday at Albany Institute
November 17: 12th Annual Nature's Thanksgiving Celebration at Thacher Nature Center

Publisher's Note

Dear KidsOutAndAbout readers:

Can you hear the voices? I can. They're tiny, but you may hear them too... "We're heeeeerrrrre! We're your friends! We know you LOOOVE us, Deb! We know you WAAAANT us!:

Yep. It's the candy. And it's calling me. I bet the voices are calling to you, too, in the same words (except, I hope, the "Deb" part, because that would mean even your kids' candy is calling me). Even the kinds I don't like, like Laffy Taffy and Slim Jim, are singing to me like the Sirens sang to Odysseus. Of course, Odysseus got his men to tie him to the mast of the ship, and although I'm betting my children would be eager to do that with me, I figured there must be a better way.

And there is! KidsOutAndAbout editors from across our network have worked as a team to put together this very helpful article:

What to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy

You can play with it, give it away, make art, or learn from it... but there are all kinds of ideas that don't add inches to your waistline. Read about them there!

2) Giveaways

KidsOutAndAbout has a giveaway page that for years has been one of the most active pages on KidsOutAndAbout. We're starting to focus on stuff to win to give kids for the holidays, so if you have any suggestions, shoot me an email. We have giveaways for:

  • A ZhuZhu Pets Prize Pack
  • A Chipper the Squirrel travel kit
  • Six CDs of the most popular albums from Music for Little People
  • A Child's Hanukkah CD (songs with dialogue interspersed)
  • A Child's Celebration of Christmas CD (humorous songs)

3) For all of you Rush fans who came out of the closet when I published my Take Your Daughter to Rush Day article last week (so many women! yes!), we did get to meet Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee backstage last Friday night (that's a link to a photo). Alex gave Ella a guitar pic. "She plays guitar!" I told him. "Now she'll play better!" he said.

4) A KOA reader, Carrie Falzone of Insite Marketing, is our graphic designer, and I can't help saying how much I sorta-kinda LOVE our new overall homepage that shows all of our sites throughout the country. So a big shout out THANK YOU to Carrie! If your organization is in need of graphic design, we recommend her wholeheartedly. Prompt, reasonably priced, and a joy to work with.

--Debra Ross, Publisher

From your editor, Katie Beltramo:Katie Beltramo, editor

I don't want to make your head spin or anything, but now that Halloween's over, have you considered getting ready for winter?

5) There are a couple of great opportunities this weekend. First, all weekend, it's the Albany Ski & Snowboard Expo  at Empire State Plaza. Except that you should totally go on Sunday, because I'll be there from 11:30 am to 3 pm at the Family Fun Zone doing a snowflake craft. I'll be in my Kids Out And About t-shirt and everything, so please come say hi to me!

6) Saturday is also  Try Hockey for Free Day with Schenectady Youth Hockey Association. Kids ages 4 to 9 are welcome! Kids will skate, use sticks and pucks, even play small games. Bring bike helmet, winter gloves, and skates. Skates and sticks to borrow will be available. But you need to register in advance at

7) My family is excited for another ski season, and we've already got our seasonal ski rentals, which is absolutely the cheapest way to go if you expect to ski at least 3 or 4 days over the course of a season. If you're considering starting your kids on skis, I'd highly recommend season passes at Maple Ski Ridge, located right here in the Capital District in Rotterdam. You can sign up for ski or snowboard lessons or just plan on visiting frequently because it's so convenient. 

The slopes offer enough challenge to keep beginner-to-intermediate skiers engaged and lines are short, but the best part about it is that it feels like your friendly neighborhood mountain. It's a great place for new skiers to gain confidence, but it's also great because once the kids are competent, a parent could reasonably head into the lodge for a cup of coffee and keep an eye on the kids from inside. I'd rather ski than drink coffee, myself, but that level of comfort is priceless. Anyway, I know that I'm rambling, but when I first went to Maple Ski Ridge (as I explained on my blog, Capital District Fun), I was kicking myself that we hadn't started earlier and just gone for the season passes right away. So, learn from our mistake, please. 

8) If you're not ready for winter sports just yet, there are plenty of opportunities on Saturday to get active and explore. There's  SPORTIME Family Fun Day at SPORTIME Tennis, Fitness, and Multi Sport, there's an Intro to Geocaching at Thacher Park at Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center. Or enjoy a stroll and bring your camera for a  Photography Walk at Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park.

9) There are also some wonderful family-friendly theater options this week. There's Performance of Little Mermaid Jr at Saratoga Children's Theatre, with a cast of 28 local children. At Steamer No. 10 Theatre they're performing Treasure Island, and on Saturday, there's a great "beginner" theater piece, Treasured Stories by Eric Carle at Proctors Theater. Speaking of Proctors, keep in mind that Wicked is opening next week. It's recommended for ages 8 and up, and I'll be posting a review of it shortly after it opens.

10) Saturday also offers the opportunity to cultivate the mind or ponder your academic options. There's a language program for children ages 5 to 8 called Learn Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Expand Your World. at The Language Learning Institute, LLC. There's also an Open House at The Susan Odell Taylor School, where you can tour the school, have a snack and take part in some craft activities for the kids. The Wonder Room is also offering a program called  How to Choose a Preschool: An Informal Discussion.

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.
Friday: Making crafts with their Halloween candy!
Saturday: Try Hockey for Free Day with Schenectady Youth Hockey Association at Schenectady Youth Hockey Association
Sunday: Albany Ski & Snowboard Expo at Alpin Haus


The Bravo Family loves the arts.
Friday: Performance of Little Mermaid Jr at Saratoga Children's Theatre
Saturday: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle at Proctors Theater at Proctors Theater
Sunday: Treasure Island at Steamer No. 10 Theatre


This is the Woods Family. They love nature and the great outdoors.
Friday: First Friday Hike: Wild Turkeys at Albany Pine Bush Preserve & Discovery Center
Saturday: Family Fun: FUN with TREES at NYS DEC- Five Rivers Environmental Education Center
Sunday: Oh Deer! at Albany Pine Bush Preserve & Discovery Center


The Smart family focuses on educational and cultural activities.
Friday: WeeRead Pajama Party at Berkshire Museum
Saturday: How to Choose a Preschool: An Informal Discussion at The Wonder Room
Sunday: I love Israel Day at Clifton Park Chabad


The Wall Family prefers indoor activities.
Saturday: Art for All at Albany Institute of History and Art
Sunday: Treasure Island at Steamer No. 10 Theatre


12)  Here is your day-by-day weekend guide to upcoming events:
Friday, November 2
Saturday, November 3
Sunday, November 4


13) How to "Like" us more effectively

On the KidsOutAndAbout Facebook page, we often have interesting discussions, and that's where we announce giveaways first. Over 3000 of you are signed up to get our Facebook posts, but recent Facebook changes mean they only show a few hundred of you any of our given posts... unless... you "like" us specially.

Here's how: If you go to our Facebook page, hover your mouse over the "Like" button. When you do, you'll see two lines: Show in News Feed, and Add to Interest List. Please make sure both are indicated. When you hit Add to Interest Lists, if you don't have any interest lists, you can just add a new one. How about calling it: Stuff to do with kids! That way you should be able to hear from us when we post. Thanks.



Everything that's free (upcoming events that are free)
Top 20 Places to Take Kids in the Capital District
Indoor Play Centers
Places to have birthday parties
Private Schools
Extracurricular classes
Clubs/Scouts/Teams for Kids and Parents
Parks / Outdoor recreation areas
Kid-friendly restaurants
Organizations & schools that provide resources for kids with special needs
Upcoming shows and performances

15) Have you wondered about creative places to host your child's birthday party in the Albany-Troy-Schenectady area? There are 132 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!

Debra Ross

Katie Beltramo