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The Parenting Guide of Central New York | January 2017

Choose foods that fuel your health How a princess gown came to be Syracuse Stage’s first sensory-friendly show

GET OUT AND PLAY CNY places to ski, snowshoe, tube and more


THE WORLD’S BIGGEST BEDTIME STORY READ-ALONG January 18, 2017 al! n o i opt 6-8 p.m. s j P Destiny USA Canyon Area 9090 Destiny USA Dr. Syracuse, NY 13204 Free admission! First 500 children receive a “Goodnight Daniel Tiger” book!

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Family Times January 2017

For more information, contact WCNY at (315) 453-2424 or the Literacy Coalition at (315) 428-8129


4 • Editor’s Note 6 • Nutritional Content

Ditch the diet and make sustainable eating your New Year’s resolution.

10 • Show and Tell

Welcoming families to Syracuse Stage’s first sensory-friendly performance.


14 • Health Qs

A doctor devotes himself to treating patients from many countries.

16 • Get Out and Play

Central New York places to ski, snowshoe, tube and more.


Capture a Moment Brothers Brandon Domervil, age 14, and Logan Caswell, 8, skate at the Clinton Square ice rink in this photo taken by their mother, Alisha Caswell.

We welcome reader submissions, whether photos of your kids or their artwork. Send high-resolution photos (jpg format saved at 3-inches-by-5-inches or larger) or color artwork to Please include the child’s first name, age, hometown, and information about what’s going on in the photo (or art), as well as the parent or guardian’s full name and daytime phone number, for verification.

20 • Atypical Family

How a team of fashion design students made a wish come true.

24 • Family Fun Calendar of Events

Backpack Directory................ 31

Family Times January 2017


family times The Parenting

Guide of Central New York








uch of the news of 2016 reflected challenges to the idea of what is normal or usual, and some of the stories in this January issue touch on the same themes.

Deborah Cavanagh has for years written an award-winning column called Atypical Family; the word “atypical” is a pun, meaning both “atypical” (unusual) and “a typical” (average). She tells stories about life with her husband, her daughter, who has Down syndrome, and her son, who is typical. Deb’s gift, as a writer, is in making her family’s unique experiences ones that any reader can relate to. Read her January column on page 20. Also this month, Syracuse Stage puts on its first sensory-friendly show, a performance of Mary Poppins adapted for people with autism or other disorders. (To read about the theater’s efforts, see the story on page 10.) Parents of children with intellectual disabilities or behavioral challenges often face the judgment of bystanders when they take their children out in public. Kids—of any age, not just “terrible 2”—who are especially sensitive to noise, bright lights and sensory stimulation can easily become anxious, and they express their anxiety with what can look like a tantrum. Perhaps this effort by Syracuse Stage can be a cue to the rest of us. When we see a child crying or flailing, we can think not “That child is being naughty” but “That child is having a hard time.” And maybe: “What can I do to help?” Let’s consider asking different, and better, questions in 2017, and putting “What can I do to help?” at the top of the list. Happy New Year!


CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Tom Tartaro (Ext. 134) CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER Robin Turk GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Natalie Davis Greg Minix DIGITAL MEDIA MANAGER David Armelino CONTRIBUTORS Deborah Cavanagh,Tammy DiDomenico, Aaron Gifford, Eileen Gilligan, Linda Lowen, Maggie Lamond Simone, Laura Livingston Snyder, Chris Xaver SALES MANAGER Tim Hudson (114) ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Elizabeth Fortune (ext. 116) Lesli Mitchell (ext. 140) Lija Spoor (ext. 111) CLASSIFIED/BACKPACK Lija Spoor (ext. 111)

Reid Sullivan Editor in Chief

On the cover: Connor, age 10, of Cazenovia, is just beginning to learn to ski at Toggenburg Mountain. Inside: Connor is pictured with his father, Cameron Gale, who likes the terrain at Togg. For more about Central New York places for winter activities, see the story on page 16.

Michael Davis photos Robin Turk cover design Advertising deadline for February is Jan. 12. Calendar deadline for February is Jan. 6. 4

Family Times January 2017

GENERAL MANAGER/COMPTROLLER Deana Vigliotti (ext. 118) OFFICE MANAGER Christine Burrows

Subscribe to Family Times by mail and receive 12 issues for only $25. Call (315) 472-4669 to order. Family Times 1415 W. Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY 13204 (315) 472-4669 fax (315) 422-1721

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK January 29, 2017 through February 4, 2017

Celebrating a Tradition of Excellence in Catholic Education

Open House FEB. 2nd 6:30-8:00pm Please Join Us For The Holy Family School Annual

IRISH HOOLEY Saturday, February 11th 4:00 - 9:30pm Raffles, Silent Auctions and Live Auctions Delicious Food Beverages - Including Wine & Beer Music and Irish Dancing Fun Activities For The Kids Spend an evening enjoying family-friendly food, fun and entertainment while helping to support our school.

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Tickets available at the school office or at the door. Questions? Call 487-8515.

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nutritional CONTENT

Make Better Choices

How about a resolution to eat vegetables and other nutritious foods | BY MOLLY MORGAN


s you welcome the New Year, consider ditching the diet and instead focusing on changes you can stick with and sustain—with the key word being sustain! It is possible to meet your healthy eating goals without deprivation. You can set an example for your children with: balanced behavior around food, being (or becoming) active, making healthy choices, and having a positive attitude about body weight. In raising two little boys in this diet-crazy world and in maintaining my own weight, I have adopted two concepts that bring me clarity: 1. Food is fuel, and 2. It’s all about balance. With respect to “food is fuel”: Sure, it’s nice to like the way food tastes and, yes, food provides elements of joy and comfort. Yet, in the most basic sense, food is simply fuel—or calories—for our bodies. With “fuel” in mind, it’s easier to eat more of foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and yogurt, and to eat less of sourc6

Family Times January 2017

es of low-quality calories: cakes, cookies, chips and other treats. The concept of “balance” is equally important. You don’t have to avoid certain foods or drinks entirely; it’s all about the frequency and amount. For example, sometimes when we are out to eat, our little guys have a soda as a special treat. It is a rare occasion, not an everyday or every-week routine. Or we make a fun, sugary dessert when we have friends over. Again, the key is it isn’t an everyday routine. With this in mind, here are some tips to help you reach your goals in 2017: Set goals that are realistic and specific. For example, rather than setting a general goal “to exercise more,” set a more precise one like: “At least five days a week I’m going to walk or run for at least 20 minutes.” Or instead of saying “I’m going to drink more water,” try “Every day I will bring a water bottle with me on errands and to work and will drink it and refill it at least three times.”

Always strive to do better. When you focus on trying to do your best, each change builds on the previous one. Over time, your small efforts can add up to big results. I used to love to put sugar in my coffee, and although each teaspoon of sugar only has about 16 calories, that is 16 extra calories a day that I didn’t need! Consider this an opportunity to make a better choice, start retraining your taste buds and cut one teaspoon of sugar from your coffee every day. That one little change can yield big results: Over the course of a year that’s a savings of 7.6 cups of sugar. Then that little change becomes routine, and it can pave the way to another great change. Focus on more veggies and fruit. When you focus on the concept of food as fuel, it helps shift the emphasis to what you can and should be eating more of. Breakfast: Add sliced banana to cereal, or have a yogurt and frozen fruit smoothie, or top a slice of whole grain toast with smashed avocado, or sauté eggs with peppers and onions. continued on page 8


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continued from page 6 Lunch: Serve fruit and vegetable sides such as sliced cucumbers, olives, fresh fruit salad, fruit cups, applesauce, side salads made with leafy greens, baby carrots, apple, banana, orange or strawberries. Dinner: Include plenty of fruit and vegetables like salad, vegetable soup, sliced apples, vegetable noodles, cauliflower “rice,” applesauce, sautéed or roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes or cauliflower, fresh berries, or raw veggies and hummus dip.

Save the date!



Make a plan and stock up. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Take a look at your schedule and make a food plan, asking yourself: What am I going to have for meals? What can I make ahead on a night or day when I have more time? Then start to put your plan into action with a shopping list of what you need to make it happen. If you are really strapped for time, consider grocery store ready-to-eat foods that you can quickly reheat. (I use options like these from time to time.) Or if you love to cook yet get stuck in a rut, try a meal-delivery service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron, which delivers ingredients to your door. Break out of your comfort zone. We can get into a tiresome routine with foods. Trying different foods or recipes is a way to challenge yourself and your palate to learn to like new things. There is a phrase that I use sometimes in our house, which may seem harsh but is an important reminder: “It is OK if you don’t like it, but your body needs it!” This brings me back to the point that food is a source of necessary nutrients (in addition to calories). Yes, it is great to enjoy the foods we eat. But even if you don’t love vegetables, your body still needs the vitamins and minerals they deliver. Finding ones that you do like the most is critical for you to thrive. You can do it!

Where C.N.Y. families go to plan their summer!

Molly Morgan is a registered dietitian and author of three books, including, most recently, Drink Your Way to Gut Health. She lives in the Southern Tier area with her two children and husband.Visit her website at

Let’s talk about the opportunities!

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Family Times January 2017


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Family Times January 2017



A scene from Mary Poppins.

A Nanny for All Seasons

Syracuse Stage offers a sensory-friendly performance of Mary Poppins | BY REID SULLIVAN


yracuse’s professional regional theater will break new ground this month with a performance of Mary Poppins geared toward the sensitivities of people with sensory, social and learning disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder. Mary Poppins, a co-production of Syracuse Stage and the Syracuse University Drama Department, will be presented in a sensory-friendly performance on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include a 100 percent refund option right up to the start of the show. (At press time, tickets were selling briskly and might sell out by the time this story is published.) “For us it’s not too much (work), but for the families it’s amazing,” said Kate Laissle, assistant director of education, in a telephone interview. “We’re meeting children and families where they’re at. We say it’s a ‘shush-free environment and 10

Family Times January 2017

a judgment-free zone.’ All families are welcome.” Several adjustments will make the show more comfortable for people with sensory or related disorders. Syracuse Stage is selling about 100 fewer seats to free rows of the theater for people who need to move farther back. It is also setting up “chillout stations”: quiet rooms, equipped with monitors showing the performance, for kids, families and adults who need to leave the theater entirely and take a break. There will also be a cadre of volunteers, including professionals such as special education teachers, to help audience members, in addition to the trained ushers. And Syracuse Stage is sending “social stories” to people who have purchased tickets to the performance. Social stories are short descriptions of a situation that help people with autism know what to expect. For Mary Poppins,

the staff is putting together two different social stories, about going to a play at Syracuse Stage and about going to Mary Poppins. Putting on a sensory-friendly performance involved, first, getting the go-ahead from Bob Hupp, Syracuse Stage artistic director. “It is our hope to create a safe space where parents won’t need to worry about their child fidgeting, having to take a break when it’s not intermission or making noises during the performance,” Hupp said in a statement. In addition, Laissle and other staffers worked with local experts on autism and related disorders, watched YouTube videos of sensory-friendly shows produced in other locations, and consulted with Roger Ideishi, a national expert on presenting sensory-friendly productions. Ideishi is an occupational therapist continued on page 12

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continued from page 10

Laissle referred to as “the Johnny Appleseed of sensory friendly.” He travels to performing arts organizations around the country, helping them adjust their presentations to fit the concerns of people with sensitivities to noise, crowds, bright lights, surprises or other features of live storytelling. Sensory-friendly experiences have been presented by many cultural organizations across the country. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and several Broadway shows such as Wicked, Matilda and Phantom of the Opera have staged sensory- or autism-friendly shows. Locally, the MOST (Museum of Science and Technology) has for years held a monthly sensory-friendly evening at the museum. Syracuse Stage also contacted self-identified adults on the autism spectrum, members of the Central New York chapter of the Autism Society of America, and several other experts and members of local organizations to get advice on how to put on its first sensory-friendly show. “We wanted to make sure what we were doing was right for us,” Laissle said. “What’s good for New York City is not necessarily good for Central New York.” Ideishi, who attended a daytime school performance of Mary Poppins, explained that the effort to stage a sensory-friendly performance is a lot of buildup for a very subtle effect. He has known families to leave a show after 20 minutes, he told Laissle. At the time, he asked them if they left because they didn’t enjoy the show, but the families said, “No, that was great. Next time we hope to last half an hour.” MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO

A small—and yet huge—benefit is that the show will give families the chance to be at the theater together, instead of someone having to stay home with one of the children.

The final scene of Mary Poppins.

The endeavor, Laissle said, has impressed her for “how much the whole building is excited for this piece, from the directors to the cast members. Everyone at Syracuse Stage is involved in some way and is really thrilled.”

We Want Your Photos! Family Times wants to put your pictures in our magazine.

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Please include the child’s first name, age, hometown, and information about what’s going on in the photo (or art), as well as the parent or guardian’s full name and daytime phone number, for verification.


Family Times January 2017


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Speaking Their Language

Michael Tong devotes himself to treating patients from many countries BY TAMMY DiDOMENICO


t. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center has been committed to serving the immigrant populations of Central New York since its inception in 1869. As the hospital has grown, Michael Tong that commitment has endured. Through St. Joseph’s Physicians Family Medicine, the hospital is able to offer primary care in neighborhood settings. At the North Medical Center in Liverpool, Michael Tong, M.D., and his staff serve a growing immigrant population. Tong, a graduate of Marcellus High School who came to the United States from Vietnam as a teenager, understands the needs and concerns of newly settled patients (many also from Vietnam). He is sensitive to cultural differences that distinguish them from their American-born counterparts. Tong, a doctor with St. Joseph’s Health since 2003, recently spoke with Family Times about the unique challenges his patients face. How does your personal experience help you establish trust with your patients? Michael Tong: It is significant. I find that my patients seem more open. There often is a list of concerns and medical 14

Family Times January 2017

problems they want to address. This is especially true for psychological and domestic issues, which almost never get brought up when you have to go through a translator. Also, these patients often return to me for a second opinion when it comes to making important medical decisions. Trust is built through my relationship with these patients. What health issues are more common to immigrant populations? MT: I believe language barriers pose the most significant challenges. It’s challenging for them to even communicate their health concerns, or discuss health insurance. The cultural and linguistic differences can often result in misunderstandings, lack of compliance, and other consequences that can negatively influence the outcomes of treatment. Many of these patients don’t want to see a doctor unless they absolutely have to. As a result, I find it challenging to even discuss preventative medicine with them. Things such as treating cholesterol and high blood pressure, yearly mammograms, vaccinations, colonoscopy, and bone density tests often get neglected with this population. Also, children often come into the country with a significant lack of vaccinations. Tuberculosis and hepatitis continue to be among the more common diagnoses among the Asian population. Elderly who are unable to drive or speak the language

often live in isolation. This can lead to depression and anxiety. I don’t think we address enough the psychological side of medicine in the immigrant population— who are, unfortunately, the most at risk. What other challenges do your patients face? MT: Lack of health insurance is one of the leading obstacles preventing them from seeking health care. Many of my patients are not able to afford health coverage. Because of this, I think they are less likely to adhere to treatment regimens, or (they) delay in seeking medical care. How does your office address these issues? MT: For our Vietnamese patients, we have staff that can speak the language. Our office also tries to be proactive with insurance issues. We offer advice on how to select a plan that most fits their needs. For those without insurance, we have payment plans that can make the medical costs more affordable. St. Joseph’s Hospital is also making an effort to recruit more staff that can speak the language. We also offer documentation in different languages at the visits. For many elderly patients, their children work during the day and cannot provide transportation for their parents who seek care with us. We offer evening and weekend hours to help.

health Qs I am fortunate to work with a great staff. From reception to nursing, we treat every patient like we would like to be treated. This is good for patient care, regardless of what culture or what racial background a patient may have. Many on our staff are making efforts to learn patients’ native languages. I also try to learn languages in my spare time. I speak some Spanish; I hope to learn more. For those patients who can’t speak English, just being able to hear a few words in their language is enough to bring a smile to their faces. It is also a way to say, “I do appreciate you and respect you for who you are.” St. Joseph’s Hospital also has a CyraCom phone system (a translation service) to help. How can health care providers be more conscious of the needs of immigrant patients, no matter where they are from? MT: We strive to provide the very best services to all of our patients, not just a specific group of them. However, we are often under time pressure, which can hamper our ability to assess fully the clinical situation—particularly when it involves cultural and linguistic barriers. This can increase the likelihood of physicians resorting to stereotype, or making quick judgments


without sufficient information. I think this is dangerous. I think we should be more aware and sensitive to cultural differences. We should accept that every patient has a culture. We should embrace (our) diversity, and avoid letting personal beliefs, biases or behaviors influence our ability to treat patients. We have a very diverse community and I feel blessed to take care of many immigrants. I have many Vietnamese and Hispanic patients that I can communicate with in their languages. We also take care of patients from other countries such as China, the Philippines, Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Italy, Turkey, India, Germany, Cuba, Serbia, Russia, Poland. And our patients are very understanding and very loyal. If organizations that serve patients with limited English proficiency can employ and train a bilingual staff, not only can it help with the interpretation, it can help to serve as a liaison with community members. Health care providers can actually build trust through this type of relationship. When you refer immigrant patients to specialists, what considerations need to be addressed?



He finds new ways to stretch himself every day

Academically adventurous, intellectually inspiring Independent pre-k through grade 12 education in Central New York

MT: We try to refer to providers that have translating services. We make sure the patient has a family member who can speak English with them at the visit. In addition, I try to make my referral notes complete, in order to provide specialists with information prior to seeing our patients. Being able to communicate with some of these patients in their language, I can get a better history and a better picture of what’s going on. We try to be sensitive to cultural needs, too. For instance, Asian female patients prefer to see female OB-GYN specialists. We try to arrange for that. Transportation is a challenge for many of our patients, so the distance to the specialist is an important factor to consider. What has it meant to you, as a physician and as an immigrant, to serve this particular population? MT: It is very important. I truly appreciate their trust and loyalty. I think it is a very special group of patients I take care of, and I can’t say enough how much I appreciate them. Award-winning writer Tammy DiDomenico lives in DeWitt with her husband and two sons.

because his school creates possibilities, not pigeonholes. At MPH, we encourage your child to explore a wide range of intellectual, artistic, and athletic endeavors—so he grows more confident, agile, and self-aware.

Manlius PebbleHill School Family Times January 2017


Get Out and Play!

Baltimore Woods

Skiing, snowshoeing, tubing and more in CNY | BY AARON GIFFORD


ameron Gale learned how to ski in Switzerland, raced competitively at a New England prep school and at one point was internationally ranked. He also spent 10 years in Colorado. And yet Gale believes that Central New York’s own Toggenburg Mountain Winter Sports Center “hits all the right notes.”

Truxton, for example, is praised for its outstanding snowmaking capabilities. Greek Peak, in Cortland County, enjoys a reputation for steep, challenging terrain. Song Mountain, in Tully, is a special place for skiers and snowboarders who love jumps and rails. All three ski resorts, as well as Toggenburg, have earned high marks for the quality of their ski schools and lesson programs.

“If you have not skied many other places, you might not fully appreciate it,” said Gale, a Cazenovia father of two. His 15-yearold daughter, Annie, also skies at Togg regularly, and his 10-yearold son, Connor, is learning to ski there this winter. “You can get up and down so fast, so you get a lot of skiing in. There’s bumps, trees, open trails: You can get a lot of runs in and get the variety. Plus it’s got that small boutique resort feel, which is cozy. That’s hard to find.”

East of Syracuse, there are two facilities in the Mohawk Valley: Woods Valley, near Rome, and Snow Ridge. Both sit just below the Tug Hill Plateau and get an abundance of natural snow. An hour north of there is Watertown’s Dry Hill Ski Area, which also offers tubing.

Toggenburg isn’t the only local snow spot that has been regarded as world class for winter family fun. Highland Forest, an Onondaga County park in Fabius that previously hosted a national snowshoeing championship event, is hailed as the Adirondacks of Central New York. It boasts more than 20 miles of trails for both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing enthusiasts. On the northern end of Onondaga County, near Baldwinsville, sits Beaver Lake Nature Center, also an Onondaga County park. It has seven miles of cross-country ski trails and four miles of snowshoeing trails. For hiking, there are more than nine miles of trails, many of which offer beautiful views of the 600-acre Beaver Lake. As for the downhill ski centers, each facility has something special that differentiates it from others. Labrador Mountain in 16

Family Times January 2017

And while the widely known ski centers, both for downhill and cross-country, are located in somewhat rural areas and on the outskirts of Central New York metro centers, there are two lesser-known ski and tubing facilities within the Syracuse suburbs. Four Seasons Golf and Ski Center in Fayetteville is a year-round recreation center that also has batting cages, soccer cages, a driving range and miniature golf. It opened in 1958 as a golf center, adding skiing in the decades that followed and tubing in 1996. An express chairlift was built in 2004, followed by a conveyor lift in 2006 that allows skiers, boarders and tubers to glide up the hill. “We’ve taught a lot of people how to ski over the years,” said owner John Goodfellow. “Now we’ve got second and even third generations coming in to learn how to ski. It makes us feel pretty good about what we’ve offered here.” continued on page 18

Where The

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Song Mountain Resort 1 Song Mountain Road, Tully. 696-6711. Labrador Mountain 6935 Route 91, Truxton. 842-6204. Toggenburg Mountain Winter Sports Center 1135 Toggenburg Road, Fabius. (800) 720-8644. Greek Peak Mountain Resort 2000 Route 392, Cortland. (888) 353-5707. Woods Valley Ski Area 9100 Route 46, Westernville. 827-4206.


Snow Ridge Ski Resort 4173 West Road, Turin. 348-8456. Dry Hill Family Ski and Tubing Area 18160 Alpine Ridge Road, Watertown. (800) 379-8584. Camillus Ski Association 403 Blackmore Road, Camillus. 487-2778. Four Seasons Golf and Ski Center 8012 E. Genesee St., Fayetteville. 637-9023.

CROSS-COUNTY SKIING, SNOWSHOEING, HIKING Highland Forest 1254 Highland Park Road, Fabius. 683-5550.

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Family Times January 2017


Winter fun in Central New York isn’t just about competition and recreation; it’s also about education. The Baltimore Woods Nature Center, in Marcellus, offers a variety of programs for families and children. In December, the center was scheduled to host a caroling-in-the-woods event, a nighttime star party and a solstice hike. The center hosts a one-day outdoor winter program for school-aged children on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 16), and a four-day camp during the February recess. For homeschooled children, there is a Tuesday morning “Lives of Winter Animals” series in January and February.


While the camps and programs offer a variety of activities, a major part of Baltimore Woods’ mission has been to promote unstructured, free play in the outdoors, explained Stacy Drake, marketing director. “It’s very easy to appreciate the winter. Winter is a special time,” she said. “Just getting outside, you can find fun right away. Instead of sledding down the hill, kids just decide to slide down the hill on their bellies. It’s good old-fashioned fun in the snow!” Cameron Gale helps his son Connor at Toggenburg Mountain. continued from page 16 The Camillus Ski Association, west of Syracuse, has existed since 1965. The all-volunteer organization offers season memberships and is also open to the public. A tubing park was added there two years ago. More than 800 people visited the tubing park in the 2014-2015 winter season. Last year, which was a very mild winter that limited the tubing center to a total of just three days, 250 people came. Eventually, said Camillus Ski Association president Andy Arbital, lights will be added. “I guess our selling point is we’re local,” Arbital said. “It’s the kind of place where on a whim you can decide to go without having to plan so much ahead of time and without a long drive. We are close, safe, fun and affordable.” Like the Camillus Ski Association, the Cazenovia Ski Club is a nonprofit facility run by volunteers. According to its website, this hill just south of Chittenango Falls is “for real skiers.” Members boast of their hill’s steep incline, moguls and natural terrain. Although it’s a private facility, anyone can purchase a membership. The club was established in 1941. In the 1970s, skiing notable Viki Fleckenstein raced there before going on to compete in the Olympics and other international competitions.


Family Times January 2017

Aaron Gifford is an award-winning writer who lives in Cazenovia with his wife and two children.

FamilyTimes_January2017.pdf 1 12/6/2016 4:40:10 PM




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Family Times January 2017


In search of an impossibly perfect gown | BY DEBORAH CAVANAGH


very year for Halloween my teen daughter, Amanda, wants to dress as whatever character is her latest musical or movie obsession. She has been Tracy Turnblad from Hairspray, Giselle from Enchanted, Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Each costume is never the one you can buy off the rack. She always wants to be in a specific dress from a certain scene—that is impossible to find. Over the years I have gotten assistance from friends who sew, creative salespeople in stores and eBay. I have scoured thrift shops, begged my mom and spent way too much time in costume stores looking for wigs and accessories. This past Halloween I was completely stumped. Amanda insisted she be Christine Daae from Phantom of the Opera. Not the Christine Daae dress you could buy, but the Star Princess Christine Daae dress from the Masquerade Ball scene. (Yes, the dress actually has a name.) I Googled the requested frock. Impossible! There was tulle. There were bedazzled 20

Family Times January 2017

skirts. There was a detailed bodice with bling. There was no way I would be able to even remotely approximate any semblance of this creation. Nope. I went into task-avoidance mode. I spent hours attempting to find anything on the internet that would be acceptable to the would-be Christine Daae in my house. Amazon had to have something that would work. Or somebody on eBay must have made this blasted dress and would be willing to sell it to a desperate mom, right? Each time I would find a gown I thought was a reasonable approximation, Amanda would pull up the same annoying picture on the computer and say, “No, Mom, this one.” Then she would walk away with the certainty that it would be done—not because she is a brat but because she was certain I was up to the task. She believed I could work magic. Of course, this was my fault. I had never let her down before. The hours of enjoyment these dresses gave her after Halloween made up for all the toil and tribulation

that went into their creation. But this year was certainly going to be my undoing. Nothing I could come up with would suffice. There was no swaying her. No distracting her with other dresses adorned with jewels. No convincing her that with this unattainable request the magic had disappeared like a puff of smoke. My only hope was that the costume fairies would swoop into my house and deposit a much-needed gift. But they seemed to be hanging with the kitchen gnomes that never do my dishes like they are supposed to. I was going to be waiting a long time. The Halloween Dance was looming large, and my daughter had no costume being created and nothing on the horizon. One of the electives Amanda is taking in high school is Fashion Design Studio. The first project for the class was to design a hangtag for her proposed clothing line. When I first heard the term, I had to Google what a hangtag was and look at continued on page 22


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Family Times January 2017


continued from page 21 examples on Pinterest: It’s the little tag that goes on your clothing line to distinguish it from other designers’ lines. You want some sort of logo, emblem, or catchy name to make you memorable. One day I emailed her teacher, Barbara Grenga, with a question about the hangtag, and I explained the reason for Amanda’s choice of a masquerade mask as a logo. And then, as a random afterthought, I blurted out the story of my pathetic situation and asked for any suggestions on how to make the Christine Daae Star Princess Dress if one happened to be incredibly sewing-challenged. I attached a photo of the dress to emphasize the ridiculousness of the request. Thanking her in advance for even peeking at the image I sent, if only so she could share my pain, I launched my missive. An email response appeared within seconds: “Send in what you have and I will have a few of my advanced fashion students make the dress.” I am pretty certain Mrs. Grenga, along with everyone in my neighborhood, heard my whoop of joy as I shook my head in happy disbelief. Whatever advanced fashion class students would create would be 1,000 percent better than what I could cobble together. The sewing fairies had arrived. I bundled up the fabric, dress scraps, stars and anything else I could imagine might be helpful and sent it in to school with Amanda the next day. Later that day I received an email with a picture of the three Fayetteville-Manlius High School students—Cassidy Hatch, Amanda Hoffman and Anna Horan—at a design table cutting fabric and planning their attack. These students, with the guidance of their teacher, worked on the dress during free periods and after school all that week. Every couple of days I would receive an email from Mrs. Grenga with a picture to document the progress. I would see a table with different colored bowls of dye spread out for the bodice, which they hombre dyed; a hemmed skirt being adorned with stars; strips of fabric being fashioned into puffy sleeves. Cassidy, Amanda and Anna created the ultimate Christine Daae costume. The dress was completed in time for the dance. Amanda came down the stairs in costume, including dress, sparkly shoes, wig and masquerade mask. She said, “It’s perfect.” These girls did not have to accept this assignment. And yet, they did. They made this dress because it was a nice thing to do. It’s a notion that may seem as farfetched as fairies and kitchen gnomes, but I am here to tell you kindness does still exist. And for that, Amanda and I are both grateful. Deborah Cavanagh lives in Manlius with her husband and two children. She has written for local organizations supporting children and adults with special needs.

Students in Barbara Grenga’s fashion design class at Fayetteville-Manlius High School cut (top) and dye (bottom) parts of the Star Princess dress.


Family Times January 2017

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Please note: Mistakes happen. To confirm event details, call the sponsoring organization’s phone number or visit the website.

Friday, Dec. 30 Zoo to You. 2-3 p.m. School-aged children will

meet and learn about animals, birds and reptiles from a Rosamond Gifford Zoo educator. NOPL at Brewerton Library, 5440 Bennett St., Brewerton. Free. 676-7484.

Mary Poppins. 2 & 8 p.m.; through Jan. 8. In this musical based on the stories of M.L. Travers and the Disney film, a nanny arrives to charm the Banks children and their parents. Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. $20-$44. 443-3275.

Syracuse. Admission: $8/adults (ages 19-61); $5/ over age 62; $4/ages 3-18; free/age 2 and younger. 435-8511.

Monday, Jan. 2

Beauty and the Beast. 12:30 p.m. The Magic

See snow leopards, Humboldt penguins, red wolves and other animals for half price through Feb. 28. Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, 1 Conservation Place, Syracuse. Admission January and February: $4/adults; $2.50/age 62 & up; $2/ ages 3-18; free/age 2 and younger. 435-8511.

Circle Children’s Theatre presents an original, interactive version of the familiar story, in which children can help Beauty teach the Beast to be nicer and have good manners. Audience members are invited to dress up as a prince or princess. Spaghetti Warehouse, 689 N. Clinton St., Syracuse. $6. Reservations recommended: 449-3823.

Sunday, Jan. 1

Saturday, Dec. 31 Noon Year’s Eve. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Ring in the “noon” year with entertainment, a dance party and a sparkling-juice toast at noon. Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, 1 Conservation Place, 24

Family Times January 2017

WeDo Lego Robotics. 4-5:15 p.m. Kids in grades K-1 can work in teams of two to build and program a robot. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. Registration required: 637-6374. Craftastic Critters. 4:30-5:30 p.m.; also Jan. 9, 23 & 30. Kids in preschool through grade 2 can drop into the Fab Lab and make a craft. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. 637-6374.

The Shimmering Winter Sky. 6-7:30 p.m.

Join a naturalist for an evening of star gazing. Bring a flashlight with a red filter. Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 E. Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. $4/ parking. 638-2519.

First Snow Leopard Day. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

2017 See Ongoing Events

Tuesday, Jan. 3 Yoga Storytime. 10:30 a.m.; also Jan. 17 & 31.

Kids ages 3 to 6 and parents can learn yoga and literacy skills in a session that features puppets, stories, songs and breathing exercises. Participants must wear socks; mats provided. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. Registration required: 637-6374.

Coding for Kids. 4-5 p.m.; also Jan. 10, 17 & 24. Students in grades 3-5 can learn programming logic through the visual coding language Scratch. Each week will focus on a different project. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. Registration required: 637-6374. Drop In Craft and Storytime. 4:15-5 p.m.; also Jan. 10, 17, 24 & 31. Children ages 4-8 and their families can listen to stories and do crafts. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. 457-0310.

Baby Storytime with Signs. 10:30 a.m.; also Jan. 11 & 25. Babies and caregivers can take part in a language-building program that teaches and reinforces six basic signs. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. Registration required: 637-6374. Teen Geeks. 6-8 p.m.; also Jan. 18. Teens can

hang out, eat snacks, and play a different game or do another activity at each week’s session. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. 457-0310.

Friday, Jan. 6 Sing-Along Toddler Storytime. 10:30 a.m. Children ages 2-5, accompanied by a caregiver, can sing along with books and explore musical instruments. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. 435-5326. Wii and Game Fun. 3 p.m.; also Jan. 13, 20 &

27. Kids age 5 and up can test their skills on the Nintendo Wii and enjoy board games while they wait. Beauchamp Branch Library, 2111 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. 435-3395.

Knitters’ Corner. 3:30-4:30 p.m.; also Jan. 13,

Thursday, Jan. 5 Free to Be. 10:30-11:15 a.m. Children from infants to age 6 can take part in this early childhood music and acting class with live guitar music, creating unique lyrics. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. 637-6374.

Board Game Fun. 5:15 p.m.; also Jan. 10, 17,

24 & 31. Kids age 5 and up can learn to play a variety of games, including Apples to Apples, Uno, Scrabble, Stratego and more. Beauchamp Branch Library, 2111 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. 435-3395.

Craft Club. 5:15 p.m.; also Jan. 12 & 26. Children

Wednesday, Jan. 4 First Steps. 9:30 a.m.; also Jan. 11, 18 & 25.

Children who are good walkers, up to age 3, can with a caregiver take part in a program with music, movement, crafts and more. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. 6376374.

Preschool Play and Learn. 9:30 a.m.; also Jan. 11, 18 & 25. Kids can hear stories, sing songs, recite rhymes and take part in activities. Beauchamp Branch Library, 2111 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. 435-3395.

20 & 27. Young people ages 13-19 can learn the basics of knitting, using provided supplies. Snacks and beverages available. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. 435-5326.

Guided Moonlight Snowshoe Hike. 7 p.m. Explore the woodlands and frozen marshes on snowshoes with a guide; space limited. Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 E. Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. $5/snowshoe rental; $4/vehicle. Registration required day of hike: 638-2519.

can use their imaginations and discover new Erwin Nu Nursery School & crafting techniques. For age 5 and up. Beauchamp Branch Library, 2111 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. Syracuse City School District Universal 435-3395. Exhibition 10 a.m.-5 p.m. With Toys: Preindergarten Pre-KOpening. Moonlight Skiing and Snowshoeing. Until 9 The Inside Story, visitors can explore the basics of gears, pulleys and circuits while investigating how p.m.; through Jan. 8. Venture onto Beaver Lake’s different toys work. Sciencenter, 601 First St., Itha10 miles of trails (if the snow cover is adequate) lit ca. Admission: $8/adults; $7/seniors; $6/ages 3-17; by the moon. Hot chocolate and other refreshfree/under 3. (607) 272-0600. ments available at the visitor center. Bring a flashlight and a friend for safety. Beaver Lake Nature Paws to Read. 10:30-11:30 p.m. Children can Erwin Nu School & Nursery Center, 8477 E. Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. $5/ read to one of three friendly dogs from Paws Inc. hour for snowshoe rental; admission: $4/vehicle, of CNY. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Syracuse City School District Universal Liverpool. Free. 457-0310. paid as you exit. 638-2519.

Saturday, Jan. 7


Kids rule after school!


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Child-centered focus Certified Teachers FREE Syracuse City School District UPK Bright, spacious, inviting rooms h c r u o y e • PM class - 12:00 – 2:30 • Music Program Reser v Preschool ! y a Program d spot to • UPK PLUS – 8:30 – 2:30 • Art Enrichment Program • Tuesday, Thursday 9:00 – 12:00 • Outdoor Play Area • Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 9:00 – 12:00 • Large Indoor Grass Motor Area 920 Euclid Ave. Syracuse, NY 13210 (315) 472-5580 • Monday – Friday 9:00 – 12:00 • Excellent child/teacher ratio • AM class - 9:00 – 11:30 • PM class - 12:00 – 2:30 • UPK PLUS – 8:30 – 2:30

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Family Times January 2017



Homeschool Hang Out. 1-3 p.m. Homeschoolers can get together to watch movies and play games. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. 457-0310.


Rice Creek Ramble. 11 a.m.; also Jan. 14 & 21. People of all ages (kids must be accompanied by a caregiver) can go on an informative, family-friendly walk. Rice Creek Field Station, 193 Thompson Road, 1 mile south of SUNY Oswego’s main campus, Oswego. Call to check trail conditions the morning of the hike: 312-6677. Cinderella. 12:30 p.m. The Magic Circle Children’s Theatre presents an

original, interactive version of the tale, in which children can attend the royal ball and try on Cinderella’s slipper. Audience members are invited to dress up in their best finery. Spaghetti Warehouse, 689 N. Clinton St., Syracuse. $6. Reservations recommended: 449-3823.

Ukelele Workshop. 1-2 p.m. Beginners age 12 and up can learn ukulele

fundamentals from Pat Doherty. Participants should bring an instrument or call in advance to see if the library has one available. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. 457-0310.

Sciencenter Showtime. 2 p.m.; also Jan. 14, 21 & 28. See an interactive

presentation on a different aspect of science. This month’s topics include sound, engineering, physics and flight. Sciencenter, 601 First St., Ithaca. Admission: $8/adults; $7/seniors; $6/ages 3-17; free/under 3. (607) 272-0600.

Snowshoe Hike and Bonfire. 6 p.m. People of all ages can snowshoe

through the woods and fields, then gather at the bonfire and sip hot chocolate. An event for the whole family. Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 E. Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. $5/person. $5/hour for snowshoe rental. Admission: $4/vehicle, paid as you exit. Registration required: 638-2519.


Moto-Inventions. 1-2 p.m.; Sundays in January. Tinker with recycled mate-

rials and electricity to make whirling, moving machines. Sciencenter, 601 First St., Ithaca. Free admission Jan. 8. (607) 272-0600.

Babywearing-Friendly Country Line Dancing. 4-5:30 p.m. Take a Moonlight Skiing and Snowshoeing, Jan. 5-8

baby-friendly class in line dancing. Beginners welcome. May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society, 3800 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. $15. Registration recommend: 395-3643.

OPEN HOUSE Holy Cross School

February 7th 5:30-7pm

A foundation for life. 4200 E. Genesee St, DeWitt - 26

Family Times January 2017

Wednesday, Jan. 11

Yoga for Everyone. 6-7 p.m.; also Jan. 23 & 30. A class of gentle yoga for all. Betts Branch Library, 4862 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. 435-1940.

Creation Club Junior. 4 p.m.; also Jan. 25. Kids in grades 3-5 can learn skills for using technology for everything from 3D printing to game design. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. Registration required: 637-6374.

Prenatal Wellness and Yoga. 6 p.m. Mothers-

to-be can find out about nutrition, education, relief of pregnancy discomfort and more. Presented by CNY Doula Connection. CNY Healing Arts, 195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse. Free. Registration recommended: 395-3643.

Multiple Moms Mingle. 6:30 p.m. Monthly meet-

ing of mothers and expectant mothers of multiples. Tully’s, 2943 Erie Blvd. E., Syracuse. Reserve if you wish to attend:

Tuesday, Jan. 10 Signing Storytime. 10:30 a.m.; also Jan. 24.

Children ages 3-6 can learn six to seven signs that correspond to the week’s story. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. Registration required: 637-6374.

Teen MOPS. 4-6 p.m.; also Jan. 24. Pregnant women or young mothers, ages 13-21, with children under 6 enjoy a faith-based program with fun, food and activities while their children are cared for by the childcare program. Liverpool First United Methodist Church, 604 Oswego St., Liverpool. Free. Call or text: 569-2542 or (518) 441-3690. Stuffed Animal Storytime. 6:30-7 p.m. Chil-

dren ages 2-5 can wear pajamas and bring a stuffed animal to a storytime with songs and a craft. NOPL at North Syracuse, 100 Trolley Barn Lane, North Syracuse. Free. 458-6184.

Thursday, Jan. 12 Maker Club. 3:30-5 p.m. Children age 7 and

up (under 10 must be accompanied by an adult) can make miniature sculptures out of Starburst candies. NOPL at Cicero, 8686 Knowledge Lane, Cicero. Free. Registration required: 699-2032.

Teen Writer’s Guild. 4-5 p.m.; also Jan. 19.

Middle or high school students can participate in writing workshops that emphasize constructive feedback, brainstorming and support. Writers in all genres, from poetry to nonfiction essays, are welcome. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. 637-6374.

Hazard Chess Club. 5-7 p.m.; also Jan. 26. Play

chess or come learn the rules. Game boards and pieces provided. Those under 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. 435-5326.

Friday, Jan. 13 CNY Scholastic Art Awards. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., weekdays; 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays; through March 3. (Closed Jan. 16.) See over 1,000 award-winning artworks by CNY junior and senior high school students. Whitney Applied Technology

Center, Onondaga Community College, 4585 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse. Free. For group visits: email or call 498-7212.

Sensory Friendly Time. 5:30-7:30 p.m. MOST

staffers turn down the noise, turn off the flashing lights and shut off the air compressors so people with sensory issues can enjoy the museum. The museum also offers quiet areas where participants can sit, relax and regroup. Museum of Science and Technology (MOST), 500 S. Franklin St., Armory Square, Syracuse. Cost: $5. 425-9068, Ext. 2143.

Saturday, Jan. 14 Paws and Books. 10:30-11:30 a.m.; also Jan. 21.

Kids ages 5-12 can read to Cooper, a trained dog certified as a Canine Good Citizen. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. 435-5326.

Cinderella. 12:30 p.m. See Jan. 7 listing. Meditation for Beginners. 1-1:45 p.m. Instruc-

tor Judy Fancher will give information about simple meditation techniques, including breath, posture and basic principles of awareness. Betts Branch Library, 4862 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. Registration required: 435-1940.

Board Game Fun. 2-4 p.m. Children can play on some of the library’s board games or bring their own; for ages 5-12. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. 435-5326.

Battle of the Bands. 7 p.m. In the 15th annual

competition, high school bands vie for the title of best band (and a cash prize of $200 and recording time at a local studio). Jewish Community Center of Syracuse, 5655 Thompson Road, DeWitt. $9/ admission. 445-2360.


Family Times January 2017



Monday, Jan. 9


Sunday, Jan. 15

Tuesday, Jan. 17

Chemsations. 2 p.m.; also Jan. 22. Local high school students demonstrate chemical reactions with color changes, bubbles and light. Sciencenter, 601 First St., Ithaca. Admission: $8/adults; $7/seniors; $6/ages 3-17; free/under 3. (607) 272-0600.

See Ongoing Events

Wednesday, Jan. 18 Discovery Club. 4:15-5 p.m. Science enthusiasts can learn facts and con-

Monday, Jan. 16 MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY Museum of Science and Technology (MOST). 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Take

part in hands-on activities and learn about science through exhibits on the human body, geology, nanotechnology and more. Museum of Science and Technology (MOST), 500 S. Franklin St., Syracuse. Museum admission: $12/ adults; $10/seniors and ages 2-11. 425-9068.

Martin Luther King Celebration. 2-3 p.m. Kids age 5 and up can make word collages, dream mobiles and more. NOPL at North Syracuse, 100 Trolley Barn Lane, North Syracuse. Free. 458-6184.

duct science experiments. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. 457-0310.

Thursday, Jan. 19 Terrific Thursdays. 11 a.m.-noon. In a program for homeschooling students in grade 3 and up, children can work with an artist to build a tower out of a surprise material. Hot-glue guns will be used. DeWitt Community Library, Shoppingtown Mall (below food court), 3649 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt. Free. Registration required; list names and ages of those attending: 446-3578. Maker Club. 3:30-5 p.m. Children age 7 and up (under 10 must be accom-

panied by an adult) can work together or independently to design and build a working pencil box with only a few simple materials. NOPL at Cicero, 8686 Knowledge Lane, Cicero. Free. Registration required: 699-2032.

The Secret Life of Pets. 5 p.m. All ages can enjoy this animated film. Free popcorn. Beauchamp Branch Library, 2111 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. 435-3395. Xbox in the Evening for Teens. 5-7 p.m. Young people ages 13-19 can

enjoy gaming on the Xbox One. Pizza and beverages provided. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. 435-5326.

Friday, Jan. 20 Winter Craft Toddler Storytime. 10:30 a.m. Children ages 2-5, accompanied by a caregiver, can hear a winter-themed story and make some crafts. Hot cocoa provided. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. 435-5326.

EXCITED to learn, INSPIRED to grow.

Join us for our Open House January 29th Noon until 2 pm Learn about our science lab, art, music, and Gif ted & Talented programs; all while touring the school and meeting our outstanding teachers! At St. Margaret’s School, our foundation is built on: A Safe Environment: Not only do we have an exceptional nurse on staff, but all faculty and staff members are CPR and First Aid certified. Advanced Technology: Each classroom is equipped with iPad and Brightlinks technology, offering our students an exciting and engaging way to learn. Faith-Based Education: We pride ourselves in teaching as Jesus did, using Christian principles throughout each and every lesson. Academic Excellence: With our Spanish curriculum beginning as early as age 3, we believe it’s never too early to introduce a new language into our children’s everyday lives. Now offering a Gif ted & Talented program for students entering into 3rd grade! Visit us at for more information, or call to arrange a personal tour with our principal, Mrs. Hopkins.

201 Roxboro Road, Mattydale, NY 13211 315-455-5791


Family Times January 2017

Toddler Dance Party. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Children age 18 months to 5 years can dance, play musical instruments, play with bubbles, and more. DeWitt Community Library, Shoppingtown Mall (below food court), 3649 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt. Free. 446-3578.

Saturday, Jan. 21 Vex IX Robotics Competition. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Teams of elementary and

middle school students build a robot to solve an engineering challenge. (Snow date: Jan. 22.) Museum of Science and Technology (MOST), 500 S. Franklin St., Syracuse. Museum admission: $12/adults; $10/seniors and ages 2-11. Information for prospective participants: 425-9068, Ext. 2163 or

Junior Café Scientifique. 9:30-11 a.m. The Technology Alliance of Central

New York presents a talk by Ph.D. candidate Sara Velardi, who will discuss genetically modified organisms. Talks are aimed at middle school students, who must accompanied by an adult. Attendees can visit the exhibits after the presentation. Museum of Science and Technology (MOST), 500 S. Franklin St., Armory Square, Syracuse. Free. Register by email:

Winter Living Celebration. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Outdoor activities and demonstrations include cross-country skiing, horsedrawn sleigh rides and winter camping. Indoors there’ll be live music, children’s crafts, nature-related exhibits and refreshments for sale. Rogers Environmental Education Center, 2721 State Highway 80, Sherburne. Donations. (607) 674-4733. Pets Movie Day. Noon-4 p.m. See The Secret Life of Pets (noon), followed by Nine Lives (2 p.m.). Betts Branch Library, 4862 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. 435-1940. Cinderella. 12:30 p.m. See Jan. 7 listing. Pasta Dinner. 3:30-6:30 p.m. Dinners include macaroni with sausage

and meatballs, salad, bread, dessert and drink. Takeout available. St. Daniel Church gym, 3004 Court St., Syracuse. $9/adults; $8/senior citizens; $5/age 12 & under. 454-4946.

Sunday, Jan. 22 Birth Planning 101. 2-3:30 p.m. Syracuse Doula Chicks offer information

on various birth options, writing a birth plan and letting go of expectations. Natur-Tyme, 3160 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt. Free. Registration required: 488-6300.



CNY Scholastic Art Awards, Jan. 13

Monday, Jan. 23

Saturday, Jan. 28

Sing Along Friends Storytime. 10:15-11 a.m.; also Jan. 30. Children ages 2-5 and caregivers can share songs, stories and rhymes in a program that promotes early literacy skills. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. 457-0310. Registration required:

Rice Creek Story Hour. 11 a.m. Elementary-age children (kids must be accompanied by a caregiver) can hear tales of nature and animals’ wild ways. Rice Creek Field Station, 193 Thompson Road, 1 mile south of SUNY Oswego’s main campus, Oswego. Call to check trail conditions the morning of the hike: 312-6677.

Tuesday, Jan. 24

Dr. King Community Celebration. Noon-4

Family Fun Night. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Play with

Legos and take part in other fun family activities. NOPL at North Syracuse, 100 Trolley Barn Lane, North Syracuse. Free. 458-6184.

Wednesday, Jan. 25 Drop In Legos. 3-8 p.m. Visitors can check out

the Legos (and Duplos for younger children) in the Children’s Room. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. 457-0310.

Thursday, Jan. 26

p.m. Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his commitment to civil rights and social justice, with workshops, performances, a maker hall and more. Nottingham High School, 3100 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. Registration required: 4356275.

Cinderella. 12:30 p.m. See Jan. 7 listing. Duct Tape Projects. 2-4 p.m. Ages 5-12 can use duct tape to make wallets, bags, phone cases and more. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. 435-5326.

Sunday, Jan. 29 See Ongoing Events

Maker Club. 3:30-5 p.m. Children age 7 and up

(under 10 must be accompanied by an adult) can use transfer paper to customize a pillow, then stuff and sew it. NOPL at Cicero, 8686 Knowledge Lane, Cicero. Free. Registration required: 6992032.

Friday, Jan. 27 Full STEAM Ahead Storytime. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Children ages 3-5 can hear a story related to science, technology, engineering, art and math— and then do an experiment. DeWitt Community Library, Shoppingtown Mall (below food court), 3649 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt. Free. 446-3578.

Monday, Jan. 30 Stop Motion Animation. 2 p.m. Kids age 7 and up can use objects such as Legos or toy animals to create a short animated movie with an iPad Mini 4. Beauchamp Branch Library, 2111 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. 435-3395.

Tuesday, Jan. 31 Homeschool Chess Club. 1-2:30 p.m. Ho-

meschooling children (or their parents) who love or want to learn to play chess can gather in the

Sargent Meeting Room. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. 457-0310.

ONGOING EVENTS Erie Canal Museum Gingerbread Gallery.

Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; through Jan. 8; Dec. 31, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Closed Jan. 1.) See a fantastical village of more than 30 houses, boats and more incorporating gingerbread, candy, crackers and other edible items. Erie Canal Museum, 318 Erie Blvd. E., Syracuse. $7/adults; $5/seniors; $2/age 12 & under. 471-0593.

Horsedrawn Wagon or Sleigh Rides. Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; through Feb. 26. Twenty-minute ride into the woods at Highland Forest. Rides take place weather permitting. Highland Forest, 1254 Highland Park Road (off Route 80), Fabius. $6/person; $3/age 5 & under. 683-5550. Lights on the Lake. Daily, through Jan. 8, 5-10 p.m. Drive through the annual light extravaganza featuring two miles of life-size displays. Onondaga Lake Park, Onondaga Lake Parkway, Liverpool. $10/car, Monday-Thursday; $15/car, Friday-Sunday. 453-6712. Snow Leopard Days. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m, daily; Jan. 2-Feb. 28. Half-price admission at the zoo. Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, 1 Conservation Place, Syracuse. Admission in January & February: $4/adults; $2.50/age 62 & up; $2/ages 3-18; free/age 2 and younger. 435-8511. Ongoing attractions include Humboldt penguins. Weekend Walks With a Naturalist. Saturdays and Sundays, 2 p.m. Nature discovery hike with different topics each weekend. Beaver Lake Nature Center, Route 370, Baldwinsville. Admission: $4/vehicle. 638-2519.

Great Swamp Conservancy Nature Trails.

Daily, dawn to dusk. Throughout the year, visitors can grab their walking shoes and explore 4.5 miles of well-groomed, flat trails. Trails feature a 900-

Family Times January 2017



First Snow Leopard Days, See Ongoing Events

hibit: Work the Weighlock. The Stonecutters: Exhibit reveals the fascinating world of the stonecutters and quarrymen who built the 83 locks and 18 aqueducts along the 363-mile Erie Canal.

Everson Museum of Art. 401 Harrison St.

Tuesday-Friday, Sunday, noon- 5p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $8. 474-6064. World-class museum includes Children’s Interactive Gallery designed to acquaint beginning art viewers with basic art principles, with areas dedicated to portraiture, hands-on activities, and a classroom.


Museum of Science and Technology (MOST). 500 S. Franklin St., Armory Square,

Syracuse. Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Museum admission: $12/adults; $10/seniors and ages 2-11. IMAX admission only: $10/adults; $8/senior citizens and ages 2-11; (473-IMAX). 425-9068. Through Jan. 8: Nature’s Machines: Biomechanics. Planetarium (only available with museum admission): $2. 425-9068. Hands-on science center features the Bristol Omnitheater, Science Playhouse, Earth Science Discovery Cave, Technotown, and Flight and Space Exhibit. Silverman Planetarium shows “Zoo in the Sky,” for kids under age 8, Saturdays, Sundays and school holidays, 11:15 a.m.; “Seasonal Sky” Saturdays, Sundays and school holidays, 3:15 p.m.


m Fo

Onondaga Historical Association Museum.


321 Montgomery St., Syracuse. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Donation. 428-1864. Syracuse’s only comprehensive local history museum, with exhibits on architecture, local industries, transportation and more.

Sciencenter. 601 First St., Ithaca. Tuesday-Sat-

foot boardwalk, osprey nesting platform, and wetland and grassland restoration areas. The area is a stop for many migratory waterfowl and songbirds; other wildlife include muskrats and beavers. Great Swamp Conservancy, 3.5 miles off I-90, Exit 34, 8375 N. Main St., Canastota. Free. 697-2950.

dler Story Hour: Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 10-11 a.m. Preschool Story Hour: Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-noon. NOPL at Cicero Library, 8686 Knowledge Lane, Cicero. Free. 699-2032.

Baltimore Woods Nature Center. Hiking trails and parking are free and open every day from dawn to dusk. Interpretive Center open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed Sundays. Snowshoe rental: $5/day. 4007 Bishop Hill Road, Marcellus. 673-1350.

Ages 3-5: Thursdays, 11 a.m.-noon. NOPL at North Syracuse Library, 100 Trolley Barn Lane, North Syracuse. Free. Registration required: 458-6184.

Barnes & Noble Storytimes. Thursdays, 10 a.m. Join a storytime for toddlers and preschoolers that’s features a book, songs and coloring. Barnes & Noble, 3454 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt. Free. 449-2948. DeWitt Community Library. Library offers

hundreds of free programs for parents and children. DeWitt Community Library, Shoppingtown Mall (below food court), 3649 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt. 446-3578.

Maxwell Library Storytimes. Storytimes and

book groups for all ages. Call for dates and times. Maxwell Memorial Library, 14 Genesee St., Camillus. Free. 672-3661.

Northeast Community Center Library Storytimes. Preschool storytimes with rhymes

and occasional games; youngsters learn group listening and participation skills. Call for times. Northeast Community Center Library, 716 Hawley Ave., Syracuse. Free. 472-6343, Ext. 208.

NOPL at Brewerton Storytimes. Age 2 and older: Mondays, 10:30-11 a.m. and 1-1:30 p.m. NOPL at Brewerton Library, 5440 Bennett St., Brewerton. Free. 676-7484. NOPL at Cicero Library Storytimes. Tod30

Family Times January 2017

NOPL at North Syracuse Library Storytimes. Birth-age 3: Wednesdays, 10-11:15 a.m.

Petit Branch Library Storytimes. Tuesdays,

10:30 a.m. Toddler and preschooler storytime for children ages 18 months-5 years and caregivers. Includes stories, rhymes, finger plays and songs. Petit Branch Library, 105 Victoria Place, Syracuse. 435-3636.

Regional Market Farmers’ Market. Saturdays, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (year-round); Thursdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (May through November only). Shop seasonal produce, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, specialty foods and more on display throughout covered sheds; heated shops of Regional Market Commons feature gift and unique items including jewelry, paintings and home decor. Also, flea market, Sundays, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. 2100 Park St., Syracuse. 422-8647.

ATTRACTIONS Corning Museum of Glass. 1 Corning Glass

Center, Corning. Daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $18/adults; free/age 17 and under. (800) 732-6845. Ongoing: You Design It, We Make It: Glassblowers choose from among designs submitted by young visitors and create that work on the spot.

Erie Canal Museum. 318 Erie Blvd. E., Syracuse. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; closed holidays. Free. 471-0593. Interactive ex-

urday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Open Dec. 26 and Jan. 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Admission: $8/adults; $7/seniors; $6/ages 3-17; free/under 3. (607) 272-0600. Inspires people of all ages to discover the excitement of science through exhibits and programs. Explore the Sciencenter’s interactive exhibits. Fall exhibit From Here to There focuses on how things move on land, sea and air. Sciencenter, 601 First St., Ithaca. Center admission: $8/adults; $7/seniors; $6/ages 3-17; free/under 3. (607) 272-0600.


Strong National Museum of Play 1 Manhattan Square, Rochester. Admission: $14.50;

free/younger than 2. (585) 263-2700. Permanent exhibits include National Toy Hall of Fame with inductees such as alphabet blocks, Barbie, Crayola crayons, G.I. Joe and the ever-versatile cardboard box. Also, super-sized kids’ market and more; lunch available at Bill Gray’s Skyliner Diner.

Calendar listings are free! Email information about your family-friendly event to: Listings are due by Jan. 6 for the February issue.


P Befo J 63 E





Remedy Intelligent Staffing in Syracuse Body Recognition Class Movement. Music. Instruments. Imagination. We will explore the motions of our bodies with dance. For children 8 mos.-5 yrs old. Birthday parties available. Call Tamar @ 480-3975 or In Camillus & Manlius Time to Dance! Age 1 to Adults Call 922-3232 Still Time to Register!

Family Yoga Classes F-M Area Baby & Me: 6 weeks - crawling Toddler & Me: 1-4 Years Kids & Me: 5-9 Years For More info: Eva 491-7081 or


Jordan Elbridge Country Kids Childcare Center NOW ENROLLING 3 YEAR OLDS Pre-School Program: Ages 3-5yrs & Before & After School Program: UPK-6th Jordan United Methodist Church 63 Elbridge Street, Jordan ** 689-9686**

has openings in your area! if you are seeking work, register with us TODAY at or call us at 299-6977 “We Get People!”


Painting, bathroom, kitchen, basement, remodeling. Flooring, door & window installation, plumbing & electrical. Retired teacher, 35 yrs exp. Joe Ball, 436-9008

PET SERVICES SECOND CHANCE THRIFT SHOPPE TO RE-OPEN The Second Chance Thrift Shoppe of CNY inc. is operated 100% by volunteers and raises funds for local animal rescue programs. The shoppe is incorporated in New York as a nonprofit Charity Corporation and is in the process of applying for Federal status as a 501c3 tax exempt corporation. The thrift shoppe will reopen March 11th for its 5th year of operation and will remain open until Mid December. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Friday & Saturday. Second Chance Thrift Shoppe is located on Route 20 just 1/4 mile west of Morrisville in the former Buzzy’s Diner. Volunteers are always needed for 3 hour shifts to wait on customers during business hours or Wednesday evenings from 6:30 until 8 p.m. for general cleaning and restocking merchandise. The homeless puppies and kittens (and other animals) will love you for it. Stop in for volunteer information or contact Gail Smith at or call (315) 480-0336.

TO ADVERTISE IN BACK PACK DIRECTORY Call 472-4669 and press 2. February issue deadline: 1-12-17




CONGRATS! Elaine From Phoenix! WINNER of our December Giveaway!

Ichiban $30 Gift Certificate Entry deadline is noon on 1/18/17.


Send contact info to with “Ichiban” in the subject line.

Check out our Calendar! Don’t forget to pick up your Family Times every month to see what fun and exciting events are happening in Central New York!

Family Times January 2017




Upstate is the only children’s hospital for 700,000 families from Pennsylvania to Canada and the first nationally verified pediatric trauma center in New York state.



Downtown Campus, 750 East Adams St. Open 24/7

Community Campus, 4900 Broad Rd.


Monday thru Friday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: Noon to 10 p.m.




Family Times January 2017  

Family Times January 2017