Capital District Family Newsletter Sept 6, 2012
Capital District Family Newsletter 9/6/12
There are a whole bunch of events coming up in the Capital District that are FREE!
Check out our fabulous new article:
2012 Winners: Top 20 Places To Bring Kids in the Capital District
Outdoor Fun Centers within Driving Distance
Playgrounds in the Capital District
Apple picking is starting! Here's where to pick
Smithsonian Day is September 29! Free entry to tons of Museums! Click here to be reminded.
Dear KidsOutAndAbout readers:
This time of year means not only that we are awash in both a school frenzy and a food frenzy. And often they overlap.
Despite the wacky weather in the spring, the sheer bounty of the harvest season has left me amazed at what mother nature produces when given the right incentives. I get shares from two CSAs, and the last several weeks have had me bringing home 20-30 pounds of produce from each farm. This all would be overwhelming were it not for the fact that we split the shares with friends, and that some of those same friends (you know who you are, June) are my closest advisors about how to cook it all.
Cabbage used to be my downfall (despite my Polish heritage!), until last year when I asked readers for their cabbage recipes. It made for an incredibly useful article, which I share with you here: Cabbage Recipes Sent in by Readers. Aren't KOA readers awesome? Bet you never thought of some of those ways to dress up a cabbage. And if you have more ideas, I'm happy to add them to the article, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) This year, we're focusing on zucchini, eggplant, and other squash. So could you please send me the recipe, the method, or links to your favorite ways to use squash? Together, we'll make another article like the cabbage one. Your recipe will help thousands of moms feed their families nutritiously and decrease the angst! Please send your recipe(s) to me; again, the address is email@example.com. Please let me know how you'd like me to attribute it (first name? first/last? town?).
3) Here are some other useful recipes we've compiled over the years just for this time of year:
Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup
The Easiest Bread to Bake with Kids: Artisan Bread
Easy Apple Sauce that even a preteen can make
Secret to Easy and Awesome Apple Pie
Practical Solutions to the Problem of No Time To Cook
And our back-to-school lunch articles:
Making a Nutritious Lunch Fun for Kids
Back-to-School: Tips for Packing a Fun and Healthful Lunch for your Child
Packing Lunches that Pack Punches: Lunchbox Ideas
Oh, and one back-to-school sleep article (not that it does THAT much good now but it's one of the hottest pages this week):
Getting Your Kids on a Regular Back-to-School Sleep Schedule
4) APPLE PICKING!
Apple picking has already started. Here's the deal: Remember that killer frost and snow in April after the blossoms had emerged super-early due to the warm March weather? Well, it means that there are somewhat fewer apples this year, and they'll be smaller and somewhat more expensive. However, the hot July weather made them super-sweet and also early! So start visiting a local pick-your-own apple location this weekend! KidsOutAndAbout.com has the area's comprehensive list of places you can pick!
5) My colleague June Santini went to the New York State Fair last weekend. Here is her report:
Family fun was certainly on tap this year at the New York State Fair. And I don’t just mean the 25-cent milk bar tap, although the cold, creamy, chocolate milk flowing out of an erstwhile beer tap was a highlight. We unknowingly looked for the milk bar in the Dairy Barn, wandering up and down the aisles of softly lowing cows. Helpful farmers and excited 4H kids groomed their animals for competition and pointed us to the Dairy Products Building and the waiting milk bar’s refreshment. The butter sculpture was also in the Dairy Products building and is a must-see.
We also enjoyed seeing all the winners in the many interesting categories in all of the buildings we visited, from quilts to guinea pigs and tablescapes! The kids enjoyed the rides and we all enjoyed the food! There were so many interesting things it was difficult to choose. Our favorite though, was the Irish Egg Rolls. Imagine all the ingredients of a Reuben sandwich wrapped up in a crunchy spring roll wrapper and served with Russian dressing for dipping. Yum! We couldn’t see it all, so I guess we’ll have to go back next year!
6) This article we published last week got a TON of clicks even though it was one of those lower-reader weeks because everyone took off for Labor Day weekend. So I'm highlighting it here again: With the high price of gas these days, most people are looking for legitimate ways to boost their gas mileage. Sadly, much of the advice and tips out there in the marketplace are simply scams. Before spending additional money to improve your miles per gallon, read these myths compiled for Capital District moms by Ralph Honda.
7) On Carol White Llewllyn's recent vacation to the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, she decided to try zip lining at Berkshire East Canopy Tours in Charlemont. This company is listed among the top ten zip line companies in the U.S. by USA Today. Carol wondered how her gentle and relatively non-athletic 12-year-old daughters would take to jumping off a platform at tree level and flying, suspended 30 or more feet off the ground. In fact, they loved it, as did the whole family! Although this activity is a bit pricey for most families to do on a regular basis (tours range from $20-$100 for kids, seniors and the military, and $30-$110 for adults), for a birthday, vacation or special event, it’s a fantastic adventure activity for families with kids age 8 and up (minimum weight 70 lbs.). For more on their experience or to read tips on zip lining, visit Zippin’ Through the Treetops at Berkshire East Canopy Tours.
8) What would you do with a gift certificate for $50 to Home Science Tools? 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). And they gave us a $50 gift certificate to give away, but the drawing is a bit unusual. Check out our Giveaway page to see how to enter.
--Debra Ross, Publisher
From your editor, Katie Beltramo:
I hope everyone's settling into whatever your new routine may be. My 7-year-old has told me that her new teacher is "just a teeny smidgen" nicer than last year's teacher, which shocked me, because I was under the impression that last year's teacher was the Nicest Teacher of All Time. So we're starting off well.
9) In addition to playing her first soccer game of the season this Saturday, my 10-year old will be walking with her Girl Scout friends at the Fireplug 500 Walk For Animals in Schenectady's Central Park to raise money for the Animal Protective Foundation. What's amazed me is how comfortable she's felt approaching neighbors and friends asking for donations. Seriously, I think she has a future as a Director of Development. So if you see us coming your way before Saturday, you might want to hide your wallet.
10) Also on Saturday, the Back to School Expo 2012 at Empire State Plaza includes plenty of fun and educational activities as well as a guest appearance by Zendaya, who plays Rocky on Shake It Up! If that guest description is meaningless to you, I bet that you're not a 9-year-old girl. This event is $7 general admission, with children 2 and under free.
11) Another downtown Albany event on Saturday is a 9/11 Film screening of a documentary called The Second Day. I was curious about just how child-appropriate this might be, so I checked into it and found out it's a film made by an 11-year-old boy, and it's titled The Second Day because September 11th was his second day of kindergarten. You can check out a preview (or even watch the whole thing for $3.99) by clicking on the title.
12) All weekend, it's also the 37th Annual Greek Festival, and if you feel like it, you can couple that with Saturday's the Little Italy Streetfest in Schenectady to make it a big Mediterranean Culture Weekend. Sounds to me like some excellent opportunities to not cook any dinner all weekend long!
13) The Music Studio has several open houses coming up, a great free way to give your child a little taste of music. If you're pondering trying a new activity with your child and you haven't seen an open house, it's always worth it to call and see if you can do a free trial class. The worst they can say is no, right?
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: First Friday Hike at Albany Pine Bush
Saturday: Fireplug 500 Walk For Animals
Sunday: Kicks for Kids Soccer Clinic for ages 18 mos. to 4 years or Lil Sluggers Baseball for kids ages 2 to 5 years at Halfmoon Sportsplex
This is the Woods Family. They love nature and the great outdoors.
Friday: 2012 Waterford Tugboat Roundup
Saturday: Raptor Awareness Day at Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park
Sunday: Jr. Birders Club "Hawk Watch" at Thacher Park
The Smart family focuses on educational and cultural activities. They also shop smart!
Friday: 2nd Annual Downtown Albany Jazz Competition
Saturday: Back to School Expo 2012
Sunday: 1st Annual Saratoga Water Garden Tour
The Bravo Family loves the arts.
Friday: 2nd Annual Downtown Albany Jazz Competition
Saturday: Arts & Crafts Festival at Sage College
Sunday: 37th Annual Greek Festival
The Wall Family prefers indoor activities. Here is their weekend itinerary:
Friday: Pre-School Story Hour with Pam at the Open Door Bookstore
Saturday: 9/11 Film screening and Creative Art Day at the New York State Museum
Sunday: The Music Studio - Open House Event
15) Here is your day-by-day weekend guide to upcoming events:
Friday, September 7
Saturday, September 8
Sunday, September 9
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
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!