Capital District Family Newsletter October 4, 2012
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Capital District Family Newsletter 10/4/12
There are 614 events coming up in the Capital District that are FREE!
2012 Winners: Top 20 Places To Bring Kids in the Capital District
Apple picking! Here's where to pick
COLUMBUS DAY! It's Monday!
Tons of upcoming festivals in the Capital Region
Mary Poppins the Musical is at Proctors in Schenectady through this Sunday! Katie went on Tuesday night and she wrote a great review! So if you're on the fence about whether to splurge on some family tickets, click here to read the review!
Dear KidsOutAndAbout readers:
I'm on the radio every Friday morning in Rochester, talking about what's happening there for kids and families. Last week, the two DJs and I were discussing our favorite seasons, because it had just turned to autumn officially. I was saying how my kids and husband love the fall, but that I personally prefer early summer. Tony and Kristie were exactly in tune with me, and for the same reasons: "Fall would be great," we all agreed, "If only it didn't lead to... WINTER."
We were having this discussion off the air, because it's important when you're doing a family-oriented radio show to focus on the POSITIVE. No one likes a wet blanket. Fortunately, this is not hard to do, because there are lots of sides to every situation, and all kinds of ways to find and focus on good things. And Tony and Kristie are fabulous at turning anything into a joke. So we can talk about all of the totally true reasons to love fall: the crispness in the air that makes everyone more energetic and productive, the wonderful tastes of the harvest, all of the fall festivals and activities that are available
because everyone knows that winter is JUST AROUND THE CORNER and we're all trying to cram in stuff before the snow flies. Oops, sorry, wait, can't go there. Must stay positive! This is a family-oriented newsletter!
Have you noticed that parenting is like that, too? Even if you feel at the end of your rope when your 3-year-old says "You can't make me!" for the hundreth time that day, you calmly and creatively find ways to give him choices. Even if you think your child's violin sounds like the banshees on their way to Hades (I know, I'm mixing cultural traditions there), you say things like, "I just love how hard you've been working on that piece. Play some more." And even if you're feeling doubts that you're up to the New-New Math that your 6th grader has brought home for homework, you smile and give it your best shot. That is: As a parent, even if what you feel inside is something different than what you're choosing to express, what you show can still be totally true and authentic...it's just careful. I think that's probably the mark of a real leader: To be able clearly to see all sides of an issue, and then nurture the positive while diminishing the effect of the negative. I try my best to be this way, too. Remember this during the second week of February when it's insanely cold and snowy out there and it seems winter will never END, and I'm cheerfully telling you about the best places to go ice skating...you can be pretty sure that at the same time, inside I'm shivering right along with you. :-)
(Oh, whoops, my smoke alarm just went off. Darn, this is the second time in two Wednesdays that I've ruined a pot by forgetting it on the stove while writing the newsletter. At least you know I'm dedicated. Excuse me while I open the doors and put on the fans...)
Okay! I'm back again and ready for...
2) FALL! Specifically, Columbus Day! Because it's great, you know it is! So do I!
I've totally forgotten that WINTER IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER.
Monday is Columbus Day, and it is traditionally the single busiest day of the KidsOutAndAbout year... really! More readers access KidsOutAndAbout on Columbus Day than any other single day, except this year it's possible that the Fourth of July may win as we had our biggest day ever. In any case, my theory is that everyone suddenly realizes that it's Columbus Day, and the kids have OFF, and my goodness what are we going to do with them? So they scramble over to KidsOutAndAbout to find activities. Fortunately, our area responds magnificently. Here is a huge list of activities, some free, that you and your family can enjoy this coming Monday. And we'll send out a special KidsOutAndAbout Columbus Day newsletter of highlights on Monday, too.
3) Create your own Fall traditions in the Capital District with:
- Apple Picking (remember, it will be over early this year, so don't wait until the end of the month!)
- Pumpkin Patches
- Corn mazes
- Halloween activities
- Tips for Fall Family Photography
- Tons of upcoming festivals in the Capital Region
The Miller's Harvest Festival at Hanford Mills Museum is Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm in East Meredith. The Festival features a farmers’ market, traditional crafts, entertainment, refreshments, children’s activities, horse-drawn wagon rides, guided Mill tours featuring a 1926 Fitz Overshot waterwheel and vintage woodworking machines, and the first public operation of the Mill’s restored water turbine. The Festival also offers a once-a-year opportunity to see the water-powered 1912 gristmill in action. Kids can shell and grind corn and then feed it to chickens; and also make corn husk dolls. The Museum’s 70-acre site will be open to explore. The mission of Hanford Mills Museum is to inspire audiences of all ages to explore connections between energy, technology, natural resources and entrepreneurship in rural communities with a focus on sustainable choices. Hanford Mills Museum is about 1 ½ hour drive from the Capital Region, 10 minutes from Oneonta. Kids 12 and under admitted free. Admission for adults and teens is $8.50. For more information, go to www.hanfordmills.org or call 607/278-5744.
5) Calling all librarians, teachers, and media-savvy parents! I have the perfect books-and-video competition for you! Are your kids budding actors or filmmakers? Here's a call for entries for the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival, curated by James Kennedy of the YA fantasy The Order of Odd-Fish. Participants are challenged to make a video that compresses the entire story of a Newbery award winning book into 90 seconds or less (no book trailers!). The deadline is November 10, 2012. About 20 of the winning entries will be screened at the New York Public Library on Sunday, December 2, and then the Festival will travel to Chicago, Portland, and Tacoma! For more information, including the inaugural entry (a very funny 90-second Wrinkle in Time) and one that my kids did last year which was one of the winning films—Linda Sue Park’s A Single Shard in 90 Seconds, click here. It’s a really worthwhile enterprise, trust me! And that page also contains a step-by-step how-to PDF which makes it easier than you’d think!
6) The office of General Services at the Empire State Plaza announces that Kidz Expo 2013 will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at Empire State Plaza. As always, it will include booths from the region's best family-friendly organizations, as well as performances by local and national groups, bounce houses and other active fun, train rides, crafts, food, and more.
7) HomeScienceTools.com is an amazing source of science kits and information for homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike. Kits in biology, geology, botany, chemistry, physics, and lots more (click here for the KidsOutAndAbout review of their Vitamin C testing kit). When you use THIS LINK you'll get 10% off your order through October 18!
--Debra Ross, Publisher
From your editor, Katie Beltramo:
8) I was lucky enough to go to Mary Poppins at Proctors in Schenectady for opening night on Tuesday. I thought it was great and I wrote a review that tells you what my family loved, what we didn't, and who should go (hint: pretty much everybody).
9) Families in the Capital District have their choice of family-friendly extravaganzas this weekend, because beyond Mary Poppins, there's also How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular at the Times Union Center and Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove at the Glens Falls Civic Center. All of these shows continue through Sunday.
10) Have some big kids up for serious scariness? Haunted Hayrides run at Engelke Farm on Friday and Saturday nights. The SCARY ride includes a Corn Maze & Bon Fire, too. This one's not for the young ones.
11) Check out some historic aircraft a the Wings Of Freedom Tour now on display at the Empire State Aerosciences Museum.
12) On Saturday, it's the 9th Annual Fall Festival at Thacher Park. Fun and entertainment for the entire family includes hayrides, music, food, vendors, games and more. My kids have been asking to go back ever since we hiked the Indian Ladder Trail a couple of weeks ago.
13) Bring friends, family, and colleagues to work together to create beautiful LEGO structures at the Albany Institute of History and Art's LEGO Building Challenge all weekend. I was a judge for last year's event, and it's a great, low-key event that inspires creativity while giving you a bit of bonding time with your favorite people. Basic building blocks will be provided; however, contestants may also bring their own. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Register online.
14) Don't forget that Sunday is Troy's Sixth Annual Chowderfest Taste and help crown the People's Choice Winner. Pay $1 per tasting cup of chowder and share it with your family. If your kids are picky eaters, this is an excellent opportunity for you! With a contest and so many people excited to try chowder, your kids might actually want to participate. My advice is to take them along for the walk, then pretend that you don't really want to share the chowder, but you will out of the goodness of your heart.
15) Reconnecting With Nature: A Program For Children & Parents: is a free nature scavenger hunt at Saratoga Springs Public Library on Columbus Day. the activity is designed for children ages 3 to 9 and the grown-ups who love them.
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:
The Walker family focuses on health and physical fitness. Here are their plans.
Friday: First Friday Hike at Albany Pine Bush
Saturday: Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove
Sunday: Heroic Corn Maze Adventure
Monday: Congress Park Nature Walk
This is the Woods Family. They love nature and the great outdoors.
Friday: STAR PARTY!
Saturday: Pumpkin Patch 2012
Sunday: Miller's Harvest Festival at Hanford Mills Museum
Monday: Reconnecting With Nature: A Program For Children & Parents
The Smart family focuses on educational and cultural activities. They also shop smart!
Friday: Wings Of Freedom Tour
Saturday: Father Goose's Tales
Sunday: Troy's Sixth Annual Chowderfest
Monday: LEGO Building Challenge
The Bravo Family loves the arts.
Friday: An Evening with Flamenco Vivo II
Saturday: Mary Poppins
Sunday: 2012 Columbus Day Festival at Cook Park
Monday: Seneca Ray Stoddard: Capturing the Adirondacks
The Wall Family prefers indoor activities. Here is their weekend itinerary:
Friday: How to Train Your Dragon
Saturday: Culture for Kids
Sunday: LEGO Building Challenge
Monday: Music for All Ages: A Family Concert with Roger Tincknell
17) Here is your day-by-day weekend guide to upcoming events:
Friday, October 5
Saturday, October 6
Sunday, October 7
Monday, October 8
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
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 132 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! Happy Columbus Day! (We'll be sending you a highlights list early Monday morning to give you a hand in last-minute plans!)