Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Indoor Yard Sale

Ok, with weather like this, yard sale season seems ice ages away.  But never fear, you can get still get your rummaging fix this coming weekend.

CBA is hosting an Indoor Yard Sale this Saturday.  From their description:

 Come join the fun and get great deals on thousands of items, all donated by CBA families. Everything for your home, appliances, furniture, clothing for your entire family, office products, books, toys, and more! Food & drinks on site. Proceeds to benefit CBA Lacrosse. Snow date on Feb. 28th.

When: Sat, Feb 27, 2010 | 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Where: 12 Airline Drive, Colonie New York
Cost: Free Admission 
For More Information Call: 452-9809 

Thanks, Leanne!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wasting Away

As you get older, you can choose to live life to its fullest, squeezing every last drop out of your existence on this earthy plane...


if that sounds like too much work, you can move to Albany and buy some property here:

Someone wasn't feeling too optimistic when they came up with that one.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Henry Hudson Planetarium

This weekend the Henry Hudson Planetarium is offering their children's program. Here's what they say on their website:

11 AM. Interactive program exploring the stars, planets, comets and constellations in the night sky. Children will meet Henry Hudson (puppet) and discover how he used the stars to sail his boat, The Half Moon, here in 1609. Geared to children ages 3-7 and their families. $3 all seatsThere is another show at 1pm geared toward children ages 8 and up.
These shows are few and far between, so check it out if you have the chance. The planetarium is housed in the Albany Heritage Area Visitor Center, which has a small museum and gift shop attached.

And if you are looking for a unique place to have a birthday party, look no further. $150 for a maximum of 25 children. Included a staff led planetarium show and party space.

The Visitor Center can be found at 25 Quackenbush Pl., Albany, 12207, (518) 434-0405

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pine Bush Preserve and Discovery Center

I have driven past the Pine Bush Preserve Discovery Center numerous times, but finally made it over there last Monday to check it out. (They are not usually open on Mondays, but this was an exception due the school break).

What a great place! The exhibits are new and and engaging with a variety of hands on activities for kids and adults to try. It kind of reminded me of smaller, free-er CMOST.

Some of the highlights for my kids were the binoculars they could use to explore all of the 'indoor wildlife', the wind/sand demonstration, and a very special cookie jar.

There is another room with a story nook, puppets, crafts and other activities to keep little hands and minds busy.

After the indoor discovery, we took to the outdoors to explore the sandy terrain of the Pine Bush trails.

Some Words of Caution (i.e. learn from my mistakes)

1. Study the trail map beforehand. What I thought was going to be a 30 minute stroll, turned into a 2 hour hike because mama took a wrong turn.
2. Eat lunch beforehand. (2 hours with hungry kids makes for a VERY LONG 2 hours).
3. Brush up on some games that help keep little minds off of their little legs hurting.
4. Learn to ignore repeated pleas, like "Carry Me" and "Where's the car?"
5. Rinse and repeat.

Honestly, we did have a really fun time. They played in the snow, made tracks in the mud, listened for birds and other wildlife, and learned to distinguish the different colored trails (something mommy didn't learn fast enough). I once read in a Montessori book that a child is capable of walking a mile for every year of their age. Initially I had my doubts, but after that day, I realize it's not entirely unrealistic.

The Pine Bush has a pretty steady calendar of things to do including guided nature hikes, movies, and educational programs. You can check it out here or for some more descriptions of their educational programs, including a pre-shool program, check here.

Pine Bush Discovery Center

Tuesday-Friday: 9AM-4PM
Saturday and Sunday: 10AM-4PM
Open most holiday Mondays. Please call ahead.
Free and open year round.

Outdoor Skating

Here is a great link from All Over Albany listing all the places in the area where you can ice skate outdoors.

Monday, February 15, 2010

MASS MoCA and Kidspace

BlockquoteFor Valentine's Day I drove my three favorite lovebugs to MASS MoCA (no...not a giant cup of hot chocolate) for a fun outing in the name of culture. I have always wanted to visit the museum, but usually get sidetracked for one reason or another (read: outlet shopping) and was especially interested in checking out the Kidspace gallery for the little ones.

I am now in love with the place.

The Kidspace gallery was a little smaller than I thought it would be, but it kept us occupied for well over an hour. The current exhibit, You Are What you Eat, features five artists whose primary art material is food. Included were a Big Bang installation made out of gummy candy and some of Joan Steiner's Look-Alikes, which you might recognize from the recent exhibit at the NYS Museum.
Sign on the door read: Please don't eat the exhibits.

Gummy Bear Big Bang

Yes, that coral is made out of Cheetos.

As for the rest of the museum... it was amazing. It kept us all engaged for the rest of the afternoon (and to do that for a 3 and 4 year old, I say kudos) It's a great place to just wander around and discover the various warehouse spaces and the diverse collection of contemporary works.

On the way home from the museum we took a little detour though the quaint little town of Williamstown and stopped at Where Did You Get That? (cool toy store) and Tunnel City Coffee.

Overall, it was a great way to spend a Valentine's Day, or any day for that matter.

MASS MoCA Information:
11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. closed Tuesday
Summer Hours - 10:00 a.m - 6:00 p.m

Kidspace open from 11-4. Art making activities are only available on the weekend.

$15 adults
$10 students
$5 children 6–16
Free for children 5 and under
Free to members

Combo Ticket
With Norman Rockwell Museum $25

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Winter Break Outings

Here are some events for your family to enjoy during the February break.

Steamer 10 Theatre Vacation Daze - some of these popular performances are already sold out, but there are still some tickets left for later in the week.

- The science museum will be open M-F from 10-5 for their general admission events. They are also offering a February School Vacation Camp for ages 5-10.

Albany Art Room - There is always fun to be had (and messes to be made). There is also a special clay open studio on the 19th from 11-2 for kids and adults.

Albany Public Library
- Check out their calendar for stuff to do this week. There are craft projects at the Main Branch everyday,movies, as well as the chance to try out the Wii and to work on the Altered Books Art Project at the Pine Hills and Delaware Branches.

New York State Museum
- Here is a link of all the things going on at the museum. Not to mention the carousel.

Emma Treadwell Nature Center - They have a few activities going on for families involving snow shoeing, dream catchers, black bears and s'mores.

Albany Institute of History & Art - Here is a link to their Vacation Art Break. (from ages 6 and up)

Schenectady Museum and Planetarium - Check here for a list of daily events, planetarium shows, and camp.

Don't forget Open Skate at the Times Union Center.

This should get you started for now. I'll post more if I run across anything.

Salad Spinner Art

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! I'll post our special V-day adventure soon, but in the meantime I thought I would share a little craft that's easy enough to do at home. Put some painting clothes one, because it could get a little messy.

Step 1: The kids really love cutting, so I folded some paper in half and let them work on cutting out half hearts I drew on paper.

Step 2 + : This is the fun and messy part. You need a salad spinner. I had one that I bought from the Christmas Tree Shop for about $3. We taped the heart on the bottom of the basket and dribbled paint all over it.

Step 3: Spin it! Spin it real good.

Step 4: Admire.

These are some of the final products. To deliver them as Valentines, we folded them back in half, punched a hole in the top and tied a yarn bow through it to make it a pretty package. The kids had fun lacing the holes, too.

Here is a much better and more methodical way to doing this at home. I was kind of winging it this time, but now that I have the hang of it, it's definitely something we'll be playing around with more.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Why Quiet Time Should Not Be Unsupervised

Yes, my friends, that is glitter CONFETTI all over. And this is only one room (albeit the hardest hit) of many.

I should have know things were strange when it was very quiet....too quiet... and then all of a sudden I hear my son yell "Happy Birthday to Everyone!!!"

I think the next time we'll try the Balloon Room instead.

My poor vacuum is crying in the corner.

Ready and Able

Able Bakers
has finally opened at 540 Delaware Avenue (next to the Yoga Loft) and the whole neighborhood is abuzz about it.

I stopped in this afternoon and was pleasantly surprised at the large selection in this cozy little shop. Plenty of yummy treats for Valentine's Day and beyond, fresh breads, cakes, pastries, cookies etc. I bought multi-grain ciabatta, Valentine's cupcakes (for the kids), chocolate chip cannoli, and some cookies.

The kids loved the rotating refrigerated pastry shelf chock full of treats.

Stop in when you have the chance and indulge your sweet tooth.

PS. If you mention their website you get 10% off your purchase... I totally forgot to do that.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ice Skating Lessons at the TU Center

Found on All Over Albany.

The TU Center is holding open ice skating sessions February 16-18 (that's next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). There will be three sessions a day:

  • 12 pm - 2 pm

  • 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  • 5 pm - 7pm

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids 12 and under. (The tickets will only be sold day of.) Skate rental is $5. If you print out this flyer, you can park in the TUC garage for $3.

More info: 487-2000.

St. Rose Physical Education Program

Here's a program for the kiddos to help the afternoon go by a little faster. Classes start this coming Tuesday, but it seems like there is still plenty of room. I did this last year with my daughter. It's basically St. Rose students doing gym class activities with the kids in a large gymnasium, so there is plenty of opportunity to burn off some energy.

You can also get the application here, and information about a cheap swimming class here. (Note: The swimming classes are filled, but you can get on a waiting list).

Physical Education for Elementary Students
Spring 2010

Who: Home Schooled &/or Preschool Children (3-12 years)

What: Elementary Physical Education Classes

Where: The College of Saint Rose Campus Activities Center Gymnasium

When: Tuesdays 1:15-2:15 P.M.
February 16th
, February 23rd, March 9th, March 16th, March 30th, April 6th, April 13th, April 20th.
Note: No class on March 2nd Mid-Winter Break or March 23rd Advisement Day.

Cost: $30.00 for 8 sessions
Please make checks payable to "The College of Saint Rose" and mail to the following address:
The College of Saint Rose
432 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12203
Attn: Dr. Ann Neilson Box #2489

Questions: Please call Dr. Ann Neilson at (518) 454-5248 or e-mail at neilsona@strose.edu

FIRST COME. FIRST SERVE. Payment is the only way to hold a place in
these physical education classes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Star Gazing

Here's a STELLAR activity for you and your family.

The Hirsch Observatory on the RPI campus offers free observation hours every Saturday night (from Feb. 7th - Nov. 21st) from 8pm - 10pm.

View the galaxy through their on-site telescopes (most are child-friendly, too!) And when the weather doesn't cooperate they will have astronomy programs instead.

You gotta admit... it sounds kind of fun (and worthwhile) to keep the kiddos up past their bedtime to gaze at the stars. It even sounds like a romantic date night...not that any parent reading this remembers what that means.

Go here to get yourself started on your out of this world adventure.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pigeon Party, Part Deux.

If you missed all the excitement about our favorite flying rat (that's my friends nickname for pigeons), you can try again.

Pigeon Party! at The Egg.
Saturday, February 13, 11:00 AM

PS. Maybe if you hide out in the bathroom after the show, you can sneak into the Chinese New Year Celebration Double Feature (it starts at 6pm on the same day).

Chinese New Year Celebration

Valentine's Day. Schmalentine's Day. Spend the weekend celebrating the Chinese New Year starting with the New Year Celebration at The Egg.

February 13th, 6:00PM.

Cheap Ticket Alert from the Chinese Community Center Website:
To celebrate Chinese New Year Celebration coming on Feb 13, Asian Food Market (located on 91 Colvin Ave. in Albany) will give one ticket of 2010 Chinese New Year Celebration on Egg theater on Feb 13 to customer, who purchase food for $88 or more. And Asian Food Market is selling ticket for the celebration as well. Ticket is $10.

$5 bucks cheaper than at the Egg.

pe your Year of the Tiger

Valentine's Party at St. Rose

The College of St. Rose Council for Exceptional Children will be sponsoring a Valentine's Day Party. Bring your kids and enjoy crafts and festive games with the help of some St. Rose college students.

Tuesday, February 9th
5:00-7:00 PM
Saint Joes Auditorium
The auditorium is located on Madison Ave. directly to the right of the St. Rose sign. You can park in the Music lot which is at the traffic light across from the sign (btwn. North Main and Partridge.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I've have come to a cruel, cruel, crossroad in life. A crossroad that leads either to eternal youth or the impending reality of settling .

The signs were there all along. I knew it was coming...

I have to get a minivan.

Why is the the thought of this so offensive? I've test driven them, been amazed at their storage capacity, the myriad seat configurations, the sheer number of cupholders that is enough to send one into a beverage induced reverie... but somehow I truly feel that this is the point of no return. A point at which I will have traded in my youth for something more... more... sensible. There, I said it.

Is this the point in life that I am supposed to read How Stella Got Her Groove Back and actually 'get it'? Surely, not yet.

We are still in the process of looking. I think we've narrowed it down to the Odyssey, which could be viewed symbolically...you know, as I commence the next chapter in the epic parental voyage that my life has become. But, mostly we chose it because Consumer Reports gave it a big ole high five. (Sensible, right?) So much for symbolism.

But, it is a fact. In the next month or so, I will be viewing the streets of Albany through the elevated carriage of my very own mom-mobile. You'll know me by the disco ball hanging from the rearview and a bumper sticker that says "This is how I roll". I figure that if I take the 'mini-van as ironic statement on suburban culture' viewpoint I'll feel better about this decision. And by the time I realize that there is no irony, I'll be too busy enjoying the fact that I can now take road trips to IKEA and fill my ample van with big ticket items (instead of the surplus tea lights and picture frames I inevitably end up with).

Maybe, just maybe, this won't be so bad after all.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dance for Haiti

Here's something fun for your Friday...

Dance & Donate for Haiti at the Delaware Community School (between Hurlbut & Bertha St in Albany)

Friday, February 5 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm.

Neighbors have pulled together drummers and dance teachers for this benefit.

$5 for dancers. $1 for childcare. No partner needed.

Once you've burned off some calories, add them back on at the bake sale, and then head on over to Delaware Ave and check out some of the great First Friday Venues.

Proceeds got to Gaskov Clerge Foundation - a medical relief aid agency in Haiti.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Winter Fest

How does this sound? Snow ball throwing contest, sled dogs, horse drawn sleigh rides, ice fishing contests, and a polar plunge? Then the Winter Fest at Grafton Lakes will be right up your alley.

Grafton Lake State Park
When: Saturday, February 6, 5 a.m.-4 p.m.
Price: $2; family, $5
Phone: 279-1155

Check here for a full day of events.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Swap Meet

I love how there are so many cool people in the area who are dedicated to bringing on the sunshine. If you haven't already seen this blog, Our Yellow House, you should definitely check it out. A little dose of happy creativity to get you inspired.

So, the cool project she is proposing is a mail swap. You can read all the details here. Sign up and get ready to make and receive some pretty mail this month.

Yet another way someone is turning 'ice' into 'ice cream'. Love it!

Monday, February 1, 2010

This site is awesome.

Check this site out. So sweet! Just think, one day your kids will be posting your pictures on here.

My parents being awesome in 1976.


Yes, that time of year is upon us. The time when we put the fate of our perpetual winter into the hands, or in this case, furry little paws, of Punxsutawney Phil (oooh, spell check went crazy on that one). I know meterologists have years of schooling and 'science' on their side... but this little dude has instinct... and if there one thing I've learned, don't mess with groundhog instinct. (Let's just say we had a groundhog incident last spring... and the groundhog won).

Whether or not you believe that by being spooked by his shadow Senor Phil has the ability to predict six more weeks of winter, I'm willing to take what I can get... along with the gajillion other people traveling down to Gobbler's Knob tomorrow morning to get the forecast at 7:25 am.

If you don't think you're going to take the overnight trek to middle of nowhere PA, you can follow the festivities by webcam. Yes, I mean it.

And if you're too busy to check that out, text the word "Groundhog" to 247365 to get your very own prediction. I mean that too... but I wish I didn't.

Also, and you might have already seen this, but PETA is calling for an animatronic version of Phil. Ostensibly so that the real groundhog can live a normal life, unfettered by the demands of the papparazzi and the brutish manhandling of older gentleman with a penchant for dressing like Abraham Lincoln (aka...The Inner Circle).

A robot-groundhog. Really? But, you gotta admit, this is kind of creepy.

Anyway, if you are looking for a fabulous way to celebrate this milestone, head over to the Bethlehem Public Library tomorrow for a Groundhog Day! celebration. (They supplied the exclamation point).

Time: 1:30-2:30
Description: Age 3 and up with family. Join them for stories, dancing and a shadow craft to celebrate the holiday! (again...their exclamation)
Location: Community Room.

Seriously, who's going to pass up groundhog day dancing? Maybe they'll do the 'robot'.

(robo-groundhog picture courtesy of bestweekever.tv)
Related Posts with Thumbnails