Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Teaching Peace

On Thursday night, one of my favorite kids performers is coming to Tawasentha Park... or more likely the Guilderland HS auditorium, thanks to all this bloody rain.

I listened to Red Grammer growing up and his album Teaching Peace is something I listen to with my kids now.


Check him out tomorrow night.

According to the Guilderland TowNEws, the event is free (but the 'free' has an asterisk behind it with no follow up info... so I'm not sure what that means)

Thursday - July 2 - 7:30 P.M.
Red Grammer
Grammy Nominated Kids' Entertainer!
Sponsored by: Stewart's Shops
(will be moved to Guilderland HS in the case of rain )

Free Family Film Festival

Regal Cinemas is offering free kids movies for the summer. They take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 AM for the rest of the summer. You can get the tickets on the day of the movie. The movies are rated G and PG. It looks like you can do this at Crossgates and the Clifton Park Mall, but check out their website because it looks like a nationwide thing.

I've done this before...it's a great place to get some nice air conditioning when the weather gets warm... IF the weather gets warm. And if your kids can't sit through it, no problem... it's free.

Here is their schedule from their website:

06/30/2009-07/02/2009Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (G)

Alvin And The Chipmunks (PG)
07/07/2009-07/09/2009Space Chimps (G)

Firehouse Dog (PG)
07/14/2009-07/16/2009Everyone's Hero (G)

Robots (PG)
07/21/2009-07/23/2009Horton Hears A Who (G)

Flicka (PG)
07/28/2009-07/30/2009Rugrats: The Movie (G)

Nim's Island (PG)
08/04/2009-08/06/2009Charlotte's Web (G)
08/11/2009-08/13/2009Mr. Bean's Holiday (G)

Madagascar 2: Escape To Africa (PG)
08/18/2009-08/20/2009Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Veggie Tale Movie (G)

Kung Fu Panda (PG)
08/25/2009-08/27/2009The Tale Of Despereaux (G)

Igor (PG)

Thanks to Leanne G. for the tip!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Backyard Campout

With the recent monsoon , the last thing on anyone's mind has been camping. But now, with the the first day of summer under our belts, it's time to dust off the old camping gear and start roughing it.

June 27th is the official date (that's this Saturday people... yes, June is almost over) for the Great American Backyard Campout. Check out this site to help you rediscover the finer things the outdoors has to offer (sans mosquitoes and using poison ivy for T.P.)

Helpful hints include:
  • how to pitch a tent,
  • how to play flashlight tag
  • how to hike,
  • how to identify insects,
  • how to locate a campground if your backyard isn't ideal for this type of thing etc...

My favorite hint is: If you have kids coming, ensure you have enough adults to manage them.

Too true, too true. Our family recently went to Thompson's Lake and there were times I didn't think two adults were enough. In all of my travels I've come to realize that it's always better to have one more adult than child on hand.

I've often heard that your kids will remember these camping trips much more than they will elaborate vacations ...(so glad we recently spent a gajillion dollars on our trip to Disneyworld). So get outside, channel your inner boy/girl scout, and don't forget the s'mores.

(What's your favorite campground in the area?)

Thanks to Laura D. for the tip!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Free Science for Dads

Free Admission to CMOST for Dad on Father’s Day!

Kids can bring their Dads to CMOST on Father’s Day, June 21st from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and his admission is free!

What better way to celebrate? Despite what he says, he'd much rather do this than experiment on the grill and lie around in a hammock all day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pass It On Sale

It's that time of year again... What?! Summer has barely begun, yet you can start pulling out all that fall/winter stuff you want to get rid of. The Pass It On Sale is starting to open up for consignors.

If you are a returning consignor or a first time parent, visit their website to start the process of sorting, labeling, tagging, bagging etc.

New consignors can hop on board starting Wednesday, June 24th at 8:00PM.

The actual sale will be held during the week of August 9th.

You can also sign up for volunteer shifts which allows you to get in early and scope out the good stuff before the hordes descend upon the field house.

*Little tip for ya... if you really don't NEED anything, I would highly suggest avoiding the first day. I have only heard nightmarish stories about standing in lines and overall chaos. Go on the half price days and you can usually walk out with some great stuff at 50% off. Plus, you'll never know what you missed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Movie Premiere

This might be of interest to those of you trying to protect your impressionable imps from all the marketing that bombards them in the checkout lines, TV, and everywhere in between.

Consuming Kids
- The Commercialization of Childhood
The Linda, WAMC's Performing Arts Studio (339 Central Avenue, Albany, NY)

Co presented by the Honest Weight Food Co-op
and WAMC's Documentary Film Series

Thursday June 18, 7pm $6
Consuming Kids throws desperately needed light on the practices of a relentless multi-billion dollar marketing machine that now sells kids and their parents everything from junk food and violent video games to bogus educational products and the family car. Drawing on the insights of health care professionals, children's advocates, and industry insiders, the film focuses on the explosive growth of child marketing in the wake of deregulation, showing how youth marketers have used the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world. Consuming Kids pushes back against the wholesale commercialization of childhood, raising urgent questions about the ethics of children's marketing and its impact on the health and well-being of kids
Tickets available at thelinda.org or by calling 518-465-5233

Trailer: http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=maeXjey_ FGA

Following the film, the discussion will include these panelists:
  • Kathleen Crowley, Ph.D- Professor of Psychology at the College of Saint Rose
  • Chris Mercogliano- Author, educator, and former director of the Free School
  • Robin Voetterl, Ph.D- Professor of Education and Department Chair at Siena College

Thursday, June 11, 2009


According to the Times Union 'Best of the Capital Region' poll the following restaurants have been voted for the best restaurants for kids.

1. Friendly’s, various locations

2. Red Robin, Route 9, Latham, and 1 Halfmoon Crossing, Halfmoon

3. Chuck E Cheese, Latham Farms

And this from their site:

Why? Fried foods and ice cream. What more could a kid want? As for parents: an inexpensive menu. The top three this year are a repeat of last year’s winners, showing, if anything, that there’s some stability in the kids’ restaurant field.

Really??? This is the best we've got? I refuse to believe it. C'mon Albany, where do you like to take your kids that is not a major chain? I bet we can come up with some other ideas.

For example, Shalimar on Central Ave. They have never charged me for my little kids (2&4) at the lunch buffet I Just called to check and 3 and under are free, but anyone older is full price), the kheer (rice pudding) rocks, and they can be loud and messy without a problem. Another plus is that they don't serve blue soda there, like some people.

What do you suggest?

(Not to get totally down on Friendly's though, they are known for their free ice cream give aways and now you can sign up to be their BFF)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cake Wreck

I took a cake decorating class last summer at JoAnn's for several reasons:
  • partly to channel my creative energy,
  • partly to learn how to ice a cake without getting crumbs everywhere,
  • partly because I was lured in by the $15 class fee (just wait till they hit you with the materials list... that's how they get you!),
  • but mostly it was an excuse to avoid diaper duty (doody) at home for 2 1/2 hours a week.
The nice thing is that after four classes, you can make some cakes that can actually pass for pretty good (my expectations were not that hard to surpass).

I made this cake for my daughter's 4th birthday. Not bad for 4 weeks training, huh?

But to see cake decorating taken to a whole new level, you have to look at this blog. Especially this one. Hilarious. It's what I aspire to.

For a full list of classes JoAnn's offers (beading, knitting, pom pom wall hangings) you can check out their schedule. It's crafty.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Splash Fountain!

At the risk of exposing one of my best kept secrets, I am going to let you in on a little place I love to take the kids to cool off. The fountains at the UAlbany campus are perfect for little ones.. I'll let the pics do the talking.

This is how deep the fountain is all around. It's perfect for shorties.


These fountains are a new addition, and I think the kids might like these more than the big one.

We happened to have the scooter and the big wheel in the trunk, and the fountain became even more exciting!

Visitor parking is free on Saturday and Sundays, right next to Collins Circle. Spread the word, but not too much!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Where can I buy glitter in bulk?

Look no further.

Here is a cool site that has nothing to do with Albany, but everything to do with online shopping... and kids. Thought I'd pass it on.

Discount School Supply

Thanks to Laura D. for the tip!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June 6th is on!

Whatever you do, do not sit at home this weekend... There is just too much going on.


Art on Lark is this weekend and it's going to be fantastic....

From their website:
Art on Lark is a day to celebrate the vibrant and exciting arts scene that Albany has. While you walk down the sidewalks, enjoy the city's biggest art exhibit while listening to this region's up & coming musicians and watching a daring new dance performance. Lark Street itself will be transformed into a giant visual and performing arts center for the day.
There will be plenty to do for the kids including a Tie-Dye Booth sponsored by the awesome Albany Art Room. You can bring your own whites, or buy some there and engage in some peace, love, and hippie fun. For a full schedule of the Art of Lark Events look here.

15th Annual Kids' Arts Festival
The 15th Annual Kids' Arts Festival on June 6, 2009 will include over 25 hands-on arts activities for pre-school and school age children, as well as many performances. The festival starts at noon; food and free parking will be available. This fun-filled day is free to attend, and a great way to introduce your little ones to the arts.

Find out more info here. June 6, 2009 from 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm


History and Heritage Day: Road trip!
Drive around Schenectady and see what you can find.

Enjoy a self-guided tour of the places that shaped the history of Schenectady County! Pick up a driving map (with points of historic interest) at the Schenectady County Historical Society or at the Chamber of Schenectady County. Activities during the day include live music, French & Indian War re-enactment, artisans, crafters, and more!


Charlton Party in the Park - Drive up to Charlton, NY (north of Schenectady) for a party in the park. Local musicans, wall climbing and a Magician called Evil Dan... hmm.. sounds interesting. Fireworks at dusk.

Enjoy the summer and Get out of the House!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Corning Preserve

This has got to be one of my favorite places to take the kids. You've got everything a kid could be entertained by in one convenient location.

1. A river (the Hudson, specifically)
2. Boats (because of the river)
3. Bridges (also because of the river)
4. Trains (that go over the river on the bridges)
5. A bridge turns around to let big boats pass by. (I'm sure there is a technical name for it, but I haven't brushed up on my Thomas the Tank Engine trivia).

It's like a living, breathing transportation video for kids.

There is a small playground with picnic tables, but we usually skip that and head on up the path towards the riverfront stage (where you can see the Alive at Five shows, which coincidentally start this week) . Here the kids usually like to put on 'musicals' for me and whoever else happens to be sitting in the amphitheater area on their lunch break. It's even more amusing when they drag me into their little shows... (well, less amusing for me, more amusing for those who are watching).
There is also a secret path behind the two ponds that take you along the highway... the kids usually stand there and try to get the trucks to blow their horns by making the ubiquitous 'up and down pulling motion' with their hands. 9 times out of 10 it works and that basically makes their little pre-schooler day.

Other highlights include a giant compass rose embedded into the pavement (for some reason, they love that thing), a model of a prehistoric bony fish, and a huge hill to roll down.

You can also book your duck tours from here. This place is a winner anytime of year...In the winter, we are usually the only people there, but in the spring/summer it is busy during the lunch hour with all the power walkers.

We saw these baby geese the last time we were there.

There is usually plenty of parking during the day and restrooms (which I have never used because they look kind of scary). You can find it right here.

Directions: From Madison Avenue, go under 787 and turn left on Quay street. You'll see signs for the Corning Preserve on the right about a half a mile away.

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