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Growing a family, with help How to help a young adult make healthy choices A parent’s good—and bad— reasons to worry



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How one couple overcame obstacles to having children.



Record your dreams to bring them closer to reality.



Sistina Giordano opens up about her life as a TV host and single mom.



Got salad? Avoiding the Freshman Fifteen at college.

BECAUSE I SAID SO A father’s guide to worrying about his teenage daughter.









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JANUARY 2018 | ISSUE NO. 189



hat’s it like to be a television personality and a single mom to two young children? Sistina Giordano, co-host of WSYR-Channel 9’s Bridge Street, opens up about her trials and triumphs on page 14.

Also in this issue, Family Times focuses on wellness, a preoccupation for many parents. On page 18, Deborah Cavanagh writes about how she and her husband helped their daughter enjoy eating out while paying attention to her diabetes. Lisa Barnes Dolbear, in Body/Mind, discusses how to transform vague goals into specific steps that can lead to lasting improvements (page 12). And Tammy DiDomenico interviews Nicole and Nick Gates, a young couple who faced infertility (page 8). Adding a little levity to the mix, Neil Davis talks about parental worries—ones that make a lot of sense, ones that make some sense, and ones that make no sense at all (page 22). The January calendar offers dozens of activities for families with children of all ages; most events are free. For details on what’s going on in CNY, see the calendar, starting on page 25.

Bill Brod EDITOR IN CHIEF Reid Sullivan MANAGING EDITOR Bill DeLapp PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Michael Davis CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Tom Tartaro (ext. 134) CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER Robin Barnes GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Greg Minix Rachel Barry DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER Aaron Scattergood CONTRIBUTORS Deborah Cavanagh, Tammy DiDomenico, Aaron Gifford, Eileen Gilligan, Linda Lowen, Maggie Lamond Simone, Laura Livingston Snyder, Chris Xaver SALES MANAGER Tim Hudson (ext. 114) ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Elizabeth Fortune (ext. 116) Lesli Mitchell (ext. 140) Ryann Nolan (ext. 146)




Paige Hart (ext. 111) GENERAL MANAGER/COMPTROLLER Deana Vigliotti (ext. 118)


Sistina Giordano is pictured with her daughter, Harper, 4, and son, Eddie, 2, at their home. Sistina writes about her life as a TV host and single mom on page 14.

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Growing a Family


Nick and Nicole Gates sit with their children, Jaxson, age 3, and twins Landon and Harper, 8 months.

How one couple coped with infertility BY TAMMY DiDOMENICO


nfertility is an increasingly common problem that affects each woman— and her partner—differently. The physical and emotional stress can be overwhelming. For Nicole Gates of Mattydale, the strain hit hardest nearly two years after she and her husband, Nick, successfully brought their son Jaxson into the world with the help of in vitro fertilization. The couple sought treatment with Robert Kiltz, M.D., at CNY Fertility in Syracuse after Nicole was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome in 2013. Despite her joy in doting on her son, she became consumed by the thought that she might not ever be able to give him a sibling. “I felt that I needed to give him that gift, and I was hard on myself for the fact that I couldn’t do that on my own,” says Nicole. The decision to try another round of fertility treatment was not an easy one, she says. But ultimately, it brought the couple closer. And it gave Jaxson not just one sibling but two. Landon and Harper were born last April. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about 12 percent of American women of childbearing age have difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term. The Gateses, both in their 20s at the time, endured six rounds of various treatments in their efforts to conceive Jaxson. The pregnancy itself was also troubled.


“I had a fairly rough pregnancy both times,” Nicole says. “With Jaxson, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, as well as preeclampsia in the late term, which led to me delivering him at 36 weeks.” “With the twins,” she says, “we went through infertility treatments twice; once in December of 2015, which did not take. Then in July or August of 2016, we were successful. I had a very rough pregnancy with them, being multiples, on top of all the regular pregnancy complications that I could have. I had hypertension, as well as diabetes and preeclampsia. I had been in and out of the hospital for three weeks at one point.” With both pregnancies, Nicole, now age 29, and Nick, 30, had decided to have two healthy embryos implanted to increase the chances for success. Very early in her second pregnancy—weeks before an ultrasound confirmed it—Nicole suspected that she was carrying twins. “Call it mother’s intuition or whatever. I just knew that we had more than one,” she says. “When we went for the ultrasound, we could see two on the screen. My husband looked as white as a ghost. I was full of emotion—joy and fear, pretty much every emotion you can have. It took several weeks, maybe even months, to process the fact that we were having twins. I don’t really think it set in for me until they were here.”


The pregnancy with the twins, coupled with the lingering hormonal effects of the treatments, made Nicole feel exhausted much sooner in her pregnancy than she had for Jaxson. But she was able to carry the twins to 37 weeks, and they were born naturally, without complications, and perfectly healthy: Landon weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce, and Harper came in at 6 pounds, 13 ounces. “Initially, I just focused on the end result,” Nicole says. “I didn’t even think about the risk factors.” Nicole says while she does not regret any of the treatments she endured, she does regret not sharing more with those closest to her. Now, she wants to discuss her experiences. Nicole entered Family Times’ 2017 Mommy + Me Cover Contest and was among the six finalists. In the essay she submitted, she wrote: “I wish infertility was talked about more.” “I eventually became more comfortable sharing our story because I could tell that there was so much that people didn’t know,” Nicole says now. “Honestly, when we went through the process the first time, there were a lot of unknowns. There was a lot of just following what we were told. We had no clue. It got to a point where we had to just take a break, take a step back because it was very overwhelming.” continued on page 10



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continued from page 8 As the couple decided to embark on another round of treatments, they faced different challenges. Nick admits that he initially had trouble understanding Nicole’s intense need to provide Jaxson with a sibling. An only child himself, he was fine with having just one. “I just knew what we had to do to get pregnant again—all that emotional roller coaster,” Nick says. “That’s something that people don’t tell you in the beginning (of fertility treatments). You have to make sure that your relationship is on a very strong foundation before you can start. And you have to have a really good support system, whether that’s parents, friends, a church or your community: You have to have something. When you get a negative result, it hits really, really hard.” “It was rough on our marriage,” Nicole continues. “We would get into fights about silly things. After taking a step back, we decided to try one more time.” A meeting with Kiltz also encouraged Nicole to examine her spiritual life. “He told me, ‘You need to have faith. You need to have hope,’” Nicole says. “I firmly believe that putting out positive energy, having the faith and having the hope made us successful,” Nicole says. “I

definitely feel like that made a world of difference. Dr. Kiltz had a major role in that.” The Gateses also learned to respect how each partner deals with infertility. “Infertility affects the woman and the man very differently,” Nicole says. “I had to share the feelings I was having. He never really understood; when you get a negative (pregnancy test), there is an emotional toll.” Meanwhile, after negative results, Nick was keeping his reactions to himself. When he eventually did open up, Nicole discovered he hadn’t wanted to burden her. She knows now that both partners need ways to cope with the reversals that are part of fertility treatment. Nicole was able to connect with another mother through CNY Fertility. “It was great to share thoughts with someone else who was experiencing the same thing,” she says. “You have to have somewhere else to turn because you can only rely on each other so much.” However, Nick adds, fathers do not receive much support for infertility issues. “From a guy’s perspective, you have to have at least a friend you can confide in. Someone who they can really open up to and say, ‘This is what we’re going through.’”

The Gateses also had to deal with the expense of treatments. IVF is often not fully covered by insurance plans. They were fortunate to qualify for a grant that helped with the expenses associated with their second round of treatments. Despite their struggles, they are in a better place as a couple today. “I believe we are great communicators, and we try to understand each other’s emotions,” Nicole says. In talking about the issue of infertility, Nicole wants to educate others about how to be sensitive toward people who are suffering. “You shouldn’t say things like, ‘Just relax.’ Or ‘It will happen when you least expect it,’” she says. “Those are exactly the things you don’t want to hear.” Since the April 24, 2017, birth of the twins, the Gateses have grown to relish being a family of five. And Jaxson, now age 3, has settled into his role as a big brother. “Having infertility, there’s always a question as to whether or not you are actually going to end up with children at all, let alone multiples,” Nicole says. “It’s a blessing to have one, let alone three. And it was even better to get one boy and girl.” Award-winning writer Tammy DiDomenico lives in DeWitt with her husband and two sons.

How IVF Happens The woman’s menstrual cycle is suppressed using medication. This treatment generally takes two weeks. The woman’s egg supply is boosted using a follicle-stimulating hormone. This is given through daily injections for up to 12 days, enabling the ovaries to release more than one egg for collection.

The eggs are collected using ultrasound-guided imaging. The woman is sedated during this procedure, which typically takes less than 30 minutes. The woman is also given more hormones to help prepare the uterus for implantation. At the same appointment, the male partner is asked to provide a sperm sample.

A day or so prior to the removal of her eggs, the woman will have another hormone injection that increases the chance of the eggs accepting the sperm.

The sperm is separated and “washed.” The eggs are mixed with a partner’s, or a donor’s, sperm in a lab. If the procedure is successful, the eggs will be fertilized within 24 hours. In

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some cases, individual eggs are injected with the sperm to increase the chance of fertilization. After fertilization, the eggs grow in the lab for several days before implantation into the womb. Generally, the healthiest one or two embryos are selected for transfer. A catheter is used to transfer the embryos through the vagina and into the womb. Sedation is usually not necessary.

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For the d r o c e R Writing goals down brings them within reach | BY LISA BARNES DOLBEAR


s a fitness instructor, I know that health and wellness play a major part in fresh starts. I see the gym packed with new people in January, and I notice their energy as they feel the exercise high for the first time.

it in a place where I’ll see it every day and it serves as a constant reminder to stay focused.”

This presents a challenge: How does one reconfigure routines in order to remain engaged and motivated?

Declaring your intentions and desires through writing or vision boards is also a way to experience progress in the moment. Framing a workout plan for the week or spending time cutting images from magazines to keep you inspired from one day to the next are simple ways to stay engaged with the goal. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, you might not see the numbers on the scale change right away, but you can swap in an inspirational quote or try a new workout immediately. That can help keep your goal feeling fresh and exciting.

For a start, writing things down can help, according to a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California. Gail Matthews has studied practices in goal setting. In one study, she followed the behavior of 267 people divided into two groups: those who wrote down their goals and those who didn’t. She concluded that those who wrote goals down and reported progress to a friend were 42 percent more likely to achieve them.

Marissa DeSantis, of DeWitt, is a mother of two toddlers. She uses a goal-setting concept from her work as an accounting manager for a trade association. “I make sure my goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. At work, we refer to this idea with the acronym SMART goals. It may seem cheesy, but I’ve found if I apply those same criteria to my personal goals, I’m more successful in achieving them.

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time to record your goals; it can be as simple as drafting a few key statements to sum them up. Or you can choose an online app to guide you through the process. (Check out for some ideas.)

“I live by the to-do list and inspiration boards, using both tangible and digital ways to note what I want to accomplish and how I’ll get it done. It’s about finding a way to connect all the parts together to get the bigger picture. Having inspiration boards around keeps me mindful of what I want to accomplish.”

It’s a hopeful time, but it’s also a mere moment in time, since many of these people will be gone by March. Health and wellness goals are some of the hardest to stay committed to because they usually require changing behavior. What’s more, progress can be slow at the start, with little to show for your efforts.

Single mom and aspiring fitness and figure competitor Megan Townsend, who lives in Marcellus, starts each year with a visual reminder of what she wants to accomplish. “I make a board that states my top goals: how much money I want to save, my fitness goals, etc.,” she says. “Sometimes it’s just a picture, other times it can be an inspirational quote. I put 12


I used a similar strategy while training for my first Ironman, which is a triathlon consisting of 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling and 26.2 miles of running. I broke down my goal into several small steps and mapped them out on a bulletin board in my office.


Run 15 miles

B e n c h press 40 l bs.

Swim 20 laps

C limb five High Peaks

Bike ar ound Skaneateles Lake

The process forced me to think about what it would really take to make progress week after week throughout the year, and manage my needs around other areas of my life. Each week I sat in front of that board with a stack of index cards and Postit notes, charting out the “mini-course” for the week, knowing it was part of a bigger picture.

huge X through it, and took great satisfaction in seeing that I was meeting these mini-goals day after day. It was a way for me to make the prospect of completing a 140.6-mile race seem less daunting and more doable with each week.

When I completed a workout, I drew a

Whether you’re plotting a series of mini-goals to a bigger dream, or crafting a vision board, the important thing to remember is that this act is the first step in

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your journey. Every step marks a change in your behavior and mindset, leading to success in the new year. Lisa Barnes Dolbear lives in DeWitt with her husband and two children. She is a three-time Ironman finisher, fitness instructor and lifestyle writer. She blogs at

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A Not -So-

Glamorous Life

Local talk show host and single mom Sistina Giordano takes it one day at a time PHOTOS BY MICHAEL DAVIS Â



On Dec. 13, when the photos on pages 14 and 15 were shot, WSYR-Channel 9’s Bridge Street and the show’s on-air personalities and crew were at the historic Marriott Syracuse Downtown (formerly called Hotel Syracuse). Sistina Giordano left her home south of Syracuse, charmed her guests and conferred with her coworkers on the set, and returned for photos at her house with her kids, Harper and Eddie.


t’s a little after 5 a.m. on a weekday when I roll over and swing my legs to the end of my king-size bed. Most days I follow the light of my iPhone to silence the alarm. All I’m thinking is “Don’t wake the little ones.” Like most mornings, I share the bed with my 4-yearold daughter. For the last year and half, most of my mornings have begun like this. Managing two children during the early hours is something I’ve grown used to—but I never imagined doing it on my own. Nearly two years ago, my life began to fall apart. What I thought I had was nearly nonexistent and what was left was beginning to fall apart. From the outside looking in, one would think I had it all, a husband, two children and a house in a quaint little village. But in February 2016 my life came crashing down on me with the collapse of my marriage. In September of that same year things reached their tipping point and we officially separated. I became a member of the single mom club and it was a club I wanted no part of. Silently I carried on. I continued to care

for my children and work full time, and I began to navigate my new reality. The early days brought fear and embarrassment, along with disappointment in myself over the failure of my marriage. Still, I got up, got dressed and went to work like I had every other day. With children, every day is different, but this is what it’s like lately: Most nights my daughter Harper starts in her bed. Some hours later I’ll hear the sounds of her little feet. I wake up with her warm body snuggled next to me. Her feet are almost always somewhere near my face, and the covers are twisted and crumpled. And, yes, I’ve read the books and heard the stories, but the reality is I need sleep and so does she. Most nights I find solace knowing that her late-night check-ins won’t last forever. After the 5 a.m. alarm, once the mad reach for my phone ends, the tiptoe to the bathroom begins, and so does my day. I am used to getting up at this hour because my early mornings started long before I had children. Early-morning waitress jobs in Manhattan, early-morning

runs in grad school, followed by beat-reporting assignments in Syracuse, and most recently early-morning TV makeup and hair prep. Getting up when I do gives me an hour to be camera- and mom-ready by 6. This routine has been a constant in my life, along with the daily demands of working as the co-host of WYSR-Channel 9’s Bridge Street. Once I’ve showered and dried my hair, I crouch in front of the full-length mirror in my walk-in closet to put on my makeup. (I’m a makeup artist, hairstylist and fashion coordinator all in one.) In an hour, my hair is in the giant multi-colored rollers that I wear on my drive to work, and I’m dressed in my favorite workout gear. My clothes are pressed and ready to go, and I nearly make it out of the bedroom before I hear the sound of one child or both. I try to be out the door by 7, always hoping for a quick handoff to my nanny. It almost never goes according to plan. Most days I’m inundated with “huggies and kissies” before I can make it to my car. I continued on page 16 Family Times JANUARY 2018


continued from page 15 don’t know where that phrase came from, but both kids have adopted it and use it to their advantage. Harper can be strong willed and almost always has me coming back for more hugs. Eddie gets them with his sweet little voice and the glisten in his eyes. Every once in a while, there’s a tantrum and that’s hard. But more often than not I somehow find a way to slip out. Over the last year, there have been a few nannies and our latest hire started less than a month ago. Choosing the right care for your children can be challenging but I’m thankful I have the choice. We’re still in the early days of Sarah tending to the kids. While I’m at work, I usually get text messages and photos of what they’re up to. Eddie, now 2 years old, and Harper both attend pre-school to give them some semblance of a routine. For a few hours, three days a week, they spend time in the classroom, and our nanny makes sure they get there. Their days are generally busy with fun kid stuff, from walking to the park to heading to the library. Finding someone who would engage both kids was important. And I’ve tried very hard to ensure that each person they’ve been with has done that.

By 5 p.m. I’m on my way home, and I’m almost always met with more love than I can imagine every day. Just when I think they couldn’t be any more excited, my garage door slams and Eddie is up on his feet hollering, “Mom, you came back!” Being a mom is hard. Being a working mom is harder. Being a single working mom is the hardest, and doing it while caring for two tiny humans who rely on you so completely can be daunting. But I love what I do, and I love my children more. Somehow we all make it work. I’m lucky in many ways. Though I have no family here—my parents and closest relatives are in Ontario, Canada, where I grew up—I’ve gotten love and support from friends, neighbors and co-workers. Each day, while I’m booking guests, writing scripts, and interviewing people on the show, Sarah is feeding Harper and Eddie, playing with them, and filling their brains with all kinds of adventure, real and imaginary. And I get to hear about it when I get home. I never completely understood it when other women would say it takes a village until I realized just how important friends are—especially when the support system you relied on has broken down. Becoming a single mother was a wake-up call and a great awakening at the same time.

And I’ve learned a lot—like that our choices and circumstances don’t define us. In fact, how we handle each situation and move forward can make even our most miserable circumstances miraculous. I still carry fear, anxiety and some guilt. I also carry hope that one day my daughter and son will look at me and know that I did the very best with what came my way. Several months back, around June, my then-3-year-old answered some questions about her dad for a Father’s Day craft. The words were on a simple worksheet on a plain white piece of paper, but they really struck me. In answer to the statement “My dad is my hero …” she said “because he’s strong like my mom.” Parents often can’t tell if they’re doing the right things, especially amid the flurry of a busy public work life like mine. But if in the eyes of my children I am a hero, then I know I’ve done my job. Sistina Giordano was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, Canada. She has lived in Central New York since 2012 and now makes her home in a village south of Syracuse, with her daughter, age 4, and son, 28 months. This year she became a U.S. citizen.

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Salad Days

A young adult gets a bigger taste of independence | BY DEBORAH CAVANAGH


hank goodness Amanda loves salad. We were at the indoor water park Splash Lagoon years ago, and a man came over to our table while we were eating lunch.

“Excuse me,” he said, “I just wanted to let you know that my wife and I are making our daughters watch your daughter eat her salad. It is an inspiration.” What we didn’t realize is that this love of vegetables and greens would serve us well when Amanda, who is now 20, graduated from high school and moved on to her next phase in life. I had been planning for this moment. I had researched. I had scheduled. I had assisted in coordinating interviews for college classes, created volunteer work opportunities, and scheduled social get-togethers that would happen on a regular basis. But I had forgotten about food.


Amanda has Down syndrome, along with celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. To say that we monitor her diet is an understatement.

community for most of the day, her meal routine has changed significantly. She is eating at restaurants nearly every meal.

When she was in the public school system, we coordinated with the nurse, along with the teaching assistant, for pretty much everything she ate during the day. Amanda brought her lunch three days a week. I would meticulously pack a nutritious, gluten-free lunch and include the carbohydrate number Amanda needed to program into her insulin pump. On the other two days she bought a lunch. Those meals had been carbohydrate-counted and deemed gluten-free in advance so as not to create any surprises.

One night, while going over her insulin pump history for the day, I realized Amanda had had a cheeseburger with no bun and french fries for lunch, a bag of chips for a snack, pizza for dinner and a milkshake for dessert!

This was a pattern developed in middle school, and we kept it throughout her Fayetteville-Manlius career because it worked. This fall we began Amanda’s new schedule. Because she is out and about in her


I hadn’t thought about this.

Let’s just say the Freshman Fifteen was alive and well in Manlius. When you are 4 feet 10 inches tall, with a slightly slower-than-average metabolism, this is not good. It happens to the best of us. Your routine changes. Workouts stop happening on a regular basis. Opportunities for social eating increase. All of a sudden, you’re putting on weight. continued on page 20

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continued from page 18 Add to this that we are trying to increase Amanda’s independence skills, so we encourage her to order for herself. This requires making a decision in a timely matter, looking at the server when ordering, and speaking clearly enough to be understood. All good things. But if everyone else at the table is ordering burgers and fries, who wants to buck that trend? And the final piece to this puzzle is that the mentors or friends that are with Amanda for these meals had not been given guidelines other than that the meal had to be gluten-free and we needed to figure out the carbohydrate number associated with it to accurately cover with insulin what Amanda consumed. We needed to act fast. Counting on Amanda’s love for salad, my husband, Brian, and I planned our discussion. We wanted to put a positive spin on this change of habit. Amanda has no real body awareness when it comes to weight. There are no positives or negatives associated with clothing size. There also does not seem to be any idea that there is a correlation between amount of food consumed and amount of weight gained or lost.

We had to empower Amanda with actions that allowed her to be the adult she is. She likes to have input regarding her day. She also likes to make choices. And she loves to go out to eat. One night after dinner—which not incidentally was a big salad with chicken—we told Amanda we wanted to chat with her about her work and school week.

Once we had an agreement from Amanda, we let the mentors and friends that were a part of her day know about the change. This actually made it much easier for them in the long run, as salads are available at almost all restaurants and the carbohydrate numbers are relatively easy to calculate. Amanda has quickly learned which eating establishments have her favorite salad options. She has found a variety of places to dine in throughout her community. She is eating healthy and still feels in charge. A win on all counts.

We asked her how she liked her schedule. We talked about her activities during the day. We then brought up going out to lunch. Reminding her that she loved salad, a fact that she agreed with, we discussed from now on ordering salads during the day.

Deborah Cavanagh lives in Manlius with her husband and two children. She has written for local organizations supporting children and adults with special needs.

While a basic vegetable salad might seem less than exciting, adding chicken, cheese and olives spices it up. And, of course, you can always garnish with a pickle, which happens to be another one of Amanda’s favorite foods. You get the bonus of choosing a dressing. This plan gave Amanda the opportunity to make lots of choices. She still felt in control of her meal experience to an extent. And we bargained with her that if she chose to have the salad and ate a healthy snack during the day she would have free choice for dessert in the evening.

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Learn about our science lab, art, music, and Gifted & Talented programs; all while touring the school and meeting our outstanding teachers! At St. Margaret’s School, our foundation is built on: Advanced Technology: Each classroom is equipped with iPad and Brightlink technology. We also offer 1:1 Chrome books in grades 3-6 which provide our students an exciting way to learn. Faith-Based Education: We pride ourselves in teaching as Jesus did, using Christian principles throughout each and every lesson.

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Danger Ahead! What to tell our kids about the hazards of life | BY NEIL DAVIS JR.


y daughter grew up. I try not to blame her, as this apparently just happens. Spoiler alert: If you feed kids enough, they become teenagers. Who knew?

It was probably in one of those baby books, but I can’t remember. I was focused on the sections that outlined the first terrifying year of childrearing. Was there a chapter toward the back called “What to Expect 15 Years Down the Road When Your Child Becomes Self-Sufficient?” I was prepared for her to age, to become less interested in Legos, to no longer fit into shopping cart seats. I didn’t want these things to happen, but I made my peace with them. What I was not ready for, however, was her independence. Sadie not only grew up, but she also grew out of the idea that she needs one of her parents there at her side, 24/7. Somewhere along the way, she learned to dress herself, brush her own teeth, and sometimes even moderate her intake of chocolate chip cookies. This would all be fine, except that her autonomy has amplified life’s inherent risk. Let’s face it: The world is an unnerving place. Click on the television any given day and you will hear a litany of reasons for never letting your children out of your sight: hurricanes, terrorism, mumps, Snapchat. Each night, I’m left wondering if I’ve adequately coached Sadie on the minefield of horrors that awaits her. Is she aware of the threats of fake news and cyberbullying? Does she know about the irreversible damage that can be caused by staring at the sun or Zac Ephron’s abs? To me, the 1970s seemed like a simpler time. As a kid, before I set off on my morning walk to elementary school, my mother would offer up warnings: Don’t talk to strangers; look both ways before crossing the street. Generally within the realm of normal parental worry. One particular piece of advice, however, always stood out: “Watch for falling icicles. You could lose an eye.” True, the icicle threat in Central New York can stretch from November to April. I still recall giving any hanging icicles a wide berth. To hear my mother tell it, half my school had been partially blinded. I used to scan every classroom for eye patches as I walked by. Such anxieties made me believe that my mother worried too much. Her teachings were often fear-based, intended to instill caution in an adventurous boy. She came backed by several nursing degrees and an impressive string of letters after her name, so it was tough to argue with her theories about the goodness of vegetables and the dangers of playing in the road. Still, I think she inflated the figures on cancer caused by Kool-Aid and the number of illnesses correlated with not wearing the right jacket. Or so I believed until I had a child of my own. Like all good parents, the instant my daughter was born, I developed an unhealthy suspicion of the universe. Things I had once considered harmless were redefined as hazardous.



“There’s a guy outside trying to lure kids to his truck with a Popsicle,” I would say with concern. “That’s the ice cream man,” a friend would reply. “It’s kind of his job.” And I actually have less to worry about than some parents. Sadie doesn’t have a nut allergy, a skateboard or a compulsion to climb tress. But that doesn’t matter. As a normal parent, I invent worry where none should exist. Every trampoline or swimming pool looks like a death trap. Every raccoon out in the middle of the afternoon is rabid. Every untied shoelace will get caught in an escalator. I wish I could go back, start over and warn Sadie about the truly scary things the world has to offer, like spiders and cauliflower. What about global warming and ingrown toenails? The outbreak of pumpkin spice items each autumn? That girl in The Ring? Clowns. And isn’t there more rational advice I could have imparted, like that every driver forgets how to merge when they approach Carrier Circle? Or that cellphones become obsolete the instant you buy them? Or that the inside of a warmed PopTart is nearly the temperature of the sun? We can’t raise our kids in a bubble. Helicopter parenting can provide a comforting—and false—sense of security. It can also drive you and your children crazy. C



I’ll admit that some of my mother’s advice was useful. Drinking alcohol and driving really is a bad idea. Doing homework is a good one. But some of her concerns were no more rational than my dog’s fear of the vacuum. Television didn’t make me stupid. Video games didn’t warp my vision. I kept making that face, and it didn’t stay that way.

really only one warning that I hope my daughter heeds: Your own children will eventually grow up, and you won’t be ready for it. Neil Davis works at Bristol-Myers Squibb and lives in Liverpool with his daughter, Sadie

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2017 Please note: Mistakes happen. To confirm event details, call the sponsoring organization’s phone number or visit the website.

Saturday, Dec. 30 Pokemon Open Play. 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; also

Jan. 27. Kids ages 8-12 can come play Pokemon with their own cards or borrow from experts at TCGPlayer. All interest and experience levels are welcome. Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville, 5110 Jamesville Road, Jamesville. Free. (315) 446-3578. A Charlie Brown Christmas. 11 a.m. In this puppet version of the popular television special, the Peanuts gang gets together to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Open Hand performers use 11 hand-crafted puppets in the show. Open Hand Theater, Shoppingtown Mall, 3649 Erie Blvd. E., Suite No. 3, DeWitt. $13-$15/adults; $8-$10/ youth; free/under 2. (315) 476-0466. Aladdin. 12:30 p.m. The Magic Circle Children’s Theatre presents an interactive, comic version of the tale, in which children in the audience help Aladdin find the magic lamp and win the princess’ heart. Children are invited to dress as their favorite fairy tale character. Spaghetti Warehouse, 689 N. Clinton St., Syracuse. $6. Reservations recommended: (315) 449-3823. Noon Year’s Eve Party. Noon. Kids and parents can ring in the New Year with an event that features music, dancing, crafts, snacks, and a countdown at noon. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. (315) 637-6374. Building Fun. 2 p.m. Children can build with the Big Blue Blocks. Betts Branch Library, 4862 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-1940.

Sunday, Dec. 31

Wednesday, Jan. 3

Noon Year’s Eve. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Ring

Storytime. 10 a.m.; also Jan. 10, 17, 24 & 31. Early

in the “noon” year with entertainment, games, crafts, and a sparkling-juice toast at noon. Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, 1 Conservation Place, Syracuse. Admission: $8/adults (ages 19-61); $5/over age 62; $4/ages 3-18; free/age 2 and younger. (315) 435-8511.

Monday, Jan. 1

Happy New Year! First Day Hike. 11 a.m. Families, individuals

and leashed dogs may choose among three kinds of hikes in an event presented by the Friends of Clark Reservation. Sign in at the big pavilion, Clark Reservation, 6105 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville. Free.

Tuesday, Jan. 2 First Snow Leopard Day. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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. (315) 435-8511.

readers can practice literacy skills with music, rhymes, movement and stories; for ages from infants through 5 years. Beauchamp Branch Library, 2111 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-3395. Multiple Moms Mingle. 6 p.m. Monthly meeting of mothers and expectant mothers of multiples. Twin Trees Too, 1029 Milton Ave., Syracuse. For more details and to reserve if you wish to attend: Teen Geeks. 6-8 p.m.; also Jan. 17. Teens can play board games in the first session of the month and video games in the second. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. (315) 4570310.

Words and Music Songwriter Woodshed.

6:30-9 p.m. Songwriters of all ages and skill levels can bring work, and get and give constructive opinions and suggestions. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. (315) 457-0310.

Thursday, Jan. 4 Maker Club. 5:15 p.m.; also Jan. 18. Kids age 5

and up can discover new techniques to make items with various materials. Beauchamp Branch Library, 2111 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-3395. Disney on Ice. 7 p.m.; through Jan. 7. In a show filled with jumps, acrobatics and breathtaking skating, eight Disney princesses embark on adventures to make their dreams come true. War Memorial Arena, 515 Montgomery St., Syracuse. $15-$100.

Friday, Jan. 5 Free to Be. 10:30-11:15 a.m. Children from

infants to age 6 can sing along to live guitar while creating unique lyrics. Fayetteville Free Library,



300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. (315) 637-



Drop-In Craft Time. 2-3 p.m. Kids age 3 and up and caregivers can make a simple craft. NOPL Cicero, 8686 Knowledge Lane, Cicero. Free. (315) 699-2032. Teen Open Homework Hour. 3:30-5 p.m.; also Jan. 12 & 19. Young people ages 13-19 can come by for homework help and healthy snacks. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-5326. Modular Robotics. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Teens can use Cubelets to build different kinds of robots. Petit Branch Library, 105 Victoria Place, Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-3636. Disney on Ice. 7 p.m.; through Jan. 7. See Jan. 4 listing.

Saturday, Jan. 6 Experimental Pancakes. 10 a.m.-noon. Kids

can explore how ingredients work together; edible results are not guaranteed. (Ingredients include wheat flour, eggs and dairy products.) NOPL Cicero, 8686 Knowledge Lane, Cicero. Free. Registration required: (315) 699-2032. Paws and Books. 10:30 a.m.; also Jan. 20. Kids ages 5-12 can read a story to Cooper, a dog certified as a Canine Good Citizen. Afterward, they can stay to make a dog-related craft. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-5326. Paws to Read. 10:30-11:30 a.m.; also Jan. 13, 20 & 27. Kids can read to a friendly dog from Paws Inc. of CNY. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. (315) 457-0310. Rice Creek Ramble. 11 a.m.; also Jan. 13 & 20. People of all ages (kids under 17 must be accompanied by an adult) 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: (315) 312-6677. Disney on Ice. 11 a.m., 3 & 7 p.m.; through Jan. 7. See Jan. 4 listing. Aladdin. 12:30 p.m. See Dec. 30 listing. Sciencenter Showtime. 2 p.m.; Saturdays. In upcoming sessions of this weekly interactive series, topics will include: the science of sound, dog behavior, the Frankenstein monster’s legacy, and flight. Sciencenter, 601 First St., Ithaca. Admission: $8/ages 2-64; $7/seniors, age 65-plus; free/under 2. (607) 272-0600.

Sunday, Jan. 7 Disney on Ice. Noon & 4 p.m. See Jan. 4 listing. Chemsations. 2 p.m.; also Jan. 21. 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.

Monday, Jan. 8 Rhyme Times. 10:30 a.m.; also Jan. 22. Children

from infants to age 2 (siblings of all ages welcome) can, with a caregiver, learn songs and nursery rhymes, followed by free play. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-5326. STEAM for Homeschoolers. 11 a.m. Elementary-level homeschool students can explore topics such as coding, robots, 3D printers and computer



To Build a Fire, Jan. 20 aided design (CAD). Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. (315) 637-6374. Monday Funday. 5 p.m.; also Jan. 22 & 29. Children ages 5-10 can make a craft. Maxwell Memorial Library, 14 Genesee St., Camillus. Free. (315) 672-3661. Paws to Read. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Children can have 15 minutes to work with therapy dog Mollie. Salina Library, 100 Belmont St., Mattydale. Free. Registration required: (315) 454-4524. Planning for Your Postpartum. 6 p.m. Mothers-to-be can find out about placenta encapsulation and other natural ways to ease the transition, in a class taught by Chris Herrera and Sherri Morris, both postpartum doulas. Presented by CNY Doula Connection. CNY Healing Arts, 195 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse. Free. Registration recommended: (607) 483-8284. DIY Girls. 6:30 p.m. Girls in grades 5-7 will learn about the history and design of henna. Onondaga Free Library, 4840 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse. Free. Registration required: (315) 492-1727.

Tuesday, Jan. 9 Signing Storytime. 10:30 a.m.; also Jan. 23.

Children ages 3-6 can learn several signs that correspond to the stories that day. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. (315) 637-6374. Teen MOPS. 4-6 p.m.; also Jan. 23. 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. (315) 569-2542. Winter Wonderland. 4:30 p.m. Children ages 5-12 can make giant snowflakes, blizzards in a bottle, and snow; all supplies are provided. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-5326. STEAM Lab. 5:30 p.m.; also Jan. 16, 23 & 30. Children age 7 and up can explore science, technology, engineering, art and math concepts by creating, experimenting and playing. Beauchamp Branch Library, 2111 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-3395.

Paw Patrol Storytime. 6:30-7 p.m. Children ages 2-5 and their caregiver can hear a story about the Paw Patrol crew, then do a themed craft. NOPL North Syracuse, 100 Trolley Barn Lane, North Syracuse. Free. (315) 458-6184.

Wednesday, Jan. 10 First Steps. 9:30 a.m.; also Jan. 17, 24 & 31.

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. (315) 637-6374. Baby Storytime. 10:30 a.m.; also Jan. 17, 24 & 31. Babies and caregivers can share rhymes, songs, stories and signs in this language-building program. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. (315) 637-6374. Teen Anime Night. 6-8 p.m. Teens can come and talk about anime. Cosplay is okay, but library staff must approve. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. (315) 457-0310. Pokemon. 6:30 p.m. Children in grade 2 and up can play with their own decks or borrow from a limited number supplied by the experts at TCGPlayer. All skill levels welcome. Onondaga Free Library, 4840 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse. Free. Registration requested: (315) 492-1727.

Thursday, Jan. 11 Preschool Book Club. 10:30 a.m.; also Jan. 18 & 25. Children ages 3-5 can bring a parent or guardian to read a book together and then talk about things happening in the book. Maxwell Memorial Library, 14 Genesee St., Camillus. Free. (315) 672-3661. Smartplay. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Children age 6 and under can explore a free-play environment that promotes discovery, creativity and the development of early literacy skills. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. (315) 637-6374. Trail Tales. 1 p.m.; also Jan. 25. Children ages 3-5 can hear a naturalist read two stories, then go on a group hike tied to the stories. Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 E. Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. $4/parking. (315) 638-2519. Teen Writing and Drawing Group. 3:30-5 p.m. Teens can share art or writing, get feedback, and talk about their projects. Petit Branch Library, 105 Victoria Place, Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-3636.


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Teen Writer’s Guild. 4-5 p.m. Join fellow teens

to write in any of a variety of genres, receive feedback and get support. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. (315) 637-6374. Sensory Friendly Time. 4-7 p.m. Staff turn down the noise, turn off flashing lights, and shut off air compressors so people with sensory processing challenges can enjoy the museum. Museum of Science and Technology (MOST). 500 S. Franklin St., Armory Square, Syracuse. Museum admission: $12/ adults; $10/seniors and ages 2-11. (315) 425-9068.

Teen Graphic Novel and Comic Book Club. 5 p.m. Young people ages 13-19 can talk

about this month’s selection, Brian Vaughan’s Paper Girls. After the discussion, participants can work on their own graphic novels. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-5326. Martin Luther King Craft. 5:15 p.m. Kids age 5 and up can make a dove of peace to honor civil rights activists. Beauchamp Branch Library, 2111 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-3395. Financing College. 7-8:30 p.m. A panel of experts will address college financial topics. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. (315) 457-0310. Registration required:

Friday, Jan. 12 First Day CNY Scholastic Art Awards. 9

a.m.-7 p.m., weekdays; 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays; through March 2. (Closed Jan. 15.) 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 (315) 498-2221. Time for Tots Playgroup. 9:30-10:45 a.m.; also Jan. 26. Education playgroup for children ages 18 months-5 years and their caregiver. Stories, songs, arts and crafts, and more. Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, 8131 Soule Road, Liverpool. $3/ family. Registration recommended: (315) 622-2843. Family Dance Party. 2-3 p.m.; also Jan. 19 & 26. Active toddlers and preschoolers, and their grownups, can dance to music, using props and playing rhythm instruments. NOPL Cicero, 8686 Knowledge Lane, Cicero. Free. (315) 699-2032.

Picture Book Club. 11 a.m. Kids in pre-K to

grade 1 can read picture books together and take part in related activities. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. (315) 637-6374. Alice in Wonderland. 12:30 p.m. The Magic Circle Children’s Theatre presents an interactive version of the tale, in which children in the audience help Alice play croquet with the Queen, color the roses red, and join in the Wonderland fun. Children are invited to dress as their favorite fairy tale character. Spaghetti Warehouse, 689 N. Clinton St., Syracuse. $6. Reservations recommended: (315) 449-3823.

Ukulele for Beginners.

1-2 p.m. Pat Doherty teaches a class for newcomers to the ukulele. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. (315) 457-0310. Mad Scientists. 2 p.m. Kids in K-5 can see science demos and participate in hands-on experiments. Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville, 5110 Jamesville Road, Jamesville. Free. Registration required: (315) 446-3578. Battle of the Bands. 7 p.m. In the 16th 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. (315) 445-2360.

Sunday, Jan. 14 Sciencenter Free Sunday. Noon-5 p.m. See the new exhibit Sonic Sensation, exploring the science of sound and hearing. Sciencenter, 601 First St., Ithaca. Admission is free today. (607) 272-0600.

Monday, Jan. 15

Family Drive-In Movie. 10 a.m. In this indoor

activity, kids can decorate their own carboard-box cars and sit in them while watching Despicable Me 3. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. Registration required: (315) 637-6374. Drop In Crafts. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Kids can make fun, seasonal crafts in the Children’s Room with provided materials. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. (315) 457-0310. Winter STEAM. 2-3 p.m. Children age 7 and up can make an igloo with marshmallows and toothpicks and learn about penguins. NOPL North Syracuse, 100 Trolley Barn Lane, North Syracuse. Free. (315) 458-6184. Teen Minecraft. 3-4:30 p.m. Kids in grades 6-12 can hang out and play on the library’s server. Salina Library, 100 Belmont St., Mattydale. Free. Registration required: (315) 454-4524. Homeschooling 101 for Parents. 7-8:30 p.m. Homeschooling parents meet and talk about a different topic each month. This month’s topic is free library apps, databases and other resources to enhance homeschooling at all levels. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. (315) 457-0310.

Tuesday, Jan. 16 Yoga Storytime. 10:30 a.m.; also Jan. 30. Children ages 3-6 take part in a full-body experience that incorporates yoga poses, breathing exercises, songs and more. Mats are provided; socks must be worn. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. Registration required: (315) 637-6374. Teen Theater Group. 6-7 p.m. Teens can join in improvisation games and read through scenes from plays. No audience is present. NOPL Cicero, 8686 Knowledge Lane, Cicero. Free. (315) 699-2032.

Wednesday, Jan. 17 Homeschool Tech Club. 1:30-3:30 P.M.

Homeschoolers in grades 7-12 can learn about Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. Bring a laptop and know your Google account login and password. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. (315) 457-0310. Registration required: Giant Jenga for Teens. 6-7 p.m. See how high the tower can get. NOPL Cicero, 8686 Knowledge Lane, Cicero. Free. (315) 699-2032.

Saturday, Jan. 13 Grandfather Frost. 11 a.m. In this Russian folk tale, puppets have the roles of Grandfather Frost, a mischievous cat and a lost girl. Open Hand Theater, Shoppingtown Mall, Suite No. 3, 3649 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt. $5. (315) 476-0466.

Thursday, Jan. 18 Terrific Thursdays. 11 a.m.; part 2 on Jan. 25. Homeschooled students in grades 4-12 and accompanying adults can learn how to meditate with

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instructor Pam Steele. Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville, 5110 Jamesville Road, Jamesville. Free. Registration required: (315) 446-3578. Career and Technical Education Expo. 4-8 p.m. Parents, families and community members can learn about the partnerships Syracuse students can take part in to learn technical, academic and professional leadership skills. PSLA at Fowler High School gymnasium, 227 Magnolia St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-4964. syracuse Family Crafternoon. 4-5 p.m. Children (especially those in pre-K through grade 2, but all are welcome) can drop into the Fab Lab and try their hands at a craft, with materials provided. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. (315) 637-6374. Grub Club. 6-7:30 p.m. Kids in grades 6-12 can make a few recipes using a mug and a microwave. Salina Library, 100 Belmont St., Mattydale. Free. Registration required: (315) 454-4524.

Friday, Jan. 19 Star Party. 7-9 p.m. Using a telescope, look for the

area surrounding the constellation Orion, Uranus, and other features of the winter sky. Dress warmly. (Backup date: Jan. 20.) Baltimore Woods Nature Center, 4007 Bishop Hill Road, Marcellus. $9. (315) 673-1350. Register:

Saturday, Jan. 20 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. 21.) 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: (315) 425-9068, Ext. 2163 or pplumley@ Junior Café Scientifique. 9:30-11 a.m. The Technology Alliance of Central New York presents a talk on the subject of lava and mass extinctions. The talk is geared toward middle school students, who must be accompanied by an adult. Museum of Science and Technology (MOST), 500 S. Franklin St., Armory Square, Syracuse. Free. Register by email: To Build a Fire. 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Learn to make and maintain fires in cold, snowy, wet conditions. Dress for the weather. Program is for age 10 and up. Baltimore Woods Nature Center, 4007 Bishop Hill Road, Marcellus. $9. (315) 673-1350. Register: Parent and Me Craft Class. 11 a.m. Kids ages 5-10 and a caregiver can work on a creative project together. Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville, 5110 Jamesville Road, Jamesville. Free. Registration required: (315) 446-3578. 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 Route 80, Sherburne. Donations. (607) 674-4733. Alice in Wonderland. 12:30 p.m. See Jan. 13 listing. Art at the Library. 2 p.m. All ages of kids can use children’s literature to inspire them in exploring concepts of art such as line, shape, color and texture in various media, including paint and found objects. Beauchamp Branch Library, 2111 S. Salina St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-3395. Xbox for Teens. 2 p.m. Young people ages 13-19 can play on the Xbox One and have snacks and beverages. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-5326. Science Saturday. 2-4 p.m. Kids age 7 and up can learn about circuitry and robotics with two different, hands-on learning kits. Petit Branch Library, 105 Victoria Place, Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-3636.

Family Dance. 6:30 p.m. Children and adults of all

ages and abilities are welcome to join in fun and simple dances. United Church of Fayetteville, 310 E. Genesee St., Fayetteville. $2/adults; $1/teens & kids.

Sunday, Jan. 21

See Ongoing Events

Monday, Jan. 22 Gaming for Adults with Special Needs. 1:30-3 p.m. Adults with special needs can play Wii games and board games; caregivers must remain in the room. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. (315) 457-0310. American Girl. 6 p.m. Kids ages 7-12 can hear stories, make crafts and learn about various time periods represented by the American Girl dolls and books. Onondaga Free Library, 4840 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse. Free. Registration required: (315) 492-1727.

Tuesday, Jan. 23 See Ongoing Events

Wednesday, Jan. 24 See Ongoing Events

Thursday, Jan. 25

Calendar listings are free! Email information about your family-friendly event to: Listings are due by Jan. 5 for the February issue.

Jordan Elbridge


Pre-School: ALL Ages 3-5yrs AGES Before & After School: 3yrs-6th

Music and Movement. 10:30 a.m. Listen to stories

while hanging out with other families. Fayetteville Free Library, 300 Orchard St., Fayetteville. Free. (315) 6376374.

Moonlight Skiing and Snowshoeing. Until 9 p.m.; through Jan.

Jordan United Methodist Church 63 Elbridge Street, Jordan 315-689-9686 •

28. Venture onto Beaver Lake’s 10 miles of trails (if the snow cover is adequate) lit by the moon. Hot chocolate and other refreshments available at the visitor center. Bring a flashlight and a friend for safety. Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 E. Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. $5/hour for snowshoe rental; Admission: $4/vehicle, paid as you exit. (315) 638-2519. Pajama Story Hour and Craft. 6:30 p.m. Kids can wear pajamas, hear stories, make a craft, and eat some snacks. Petit Branch Library, 105 Victoria Place, Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-3636.

Friday, Jan. 26 Game On. 2:30 p.m. Kids ages 5-19 can play board games, card games, or games on the Xbox One. Snacks and drinks provided. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-5326. Kids Minecraft. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Kids in grades 3-5 can hang out and play on the library’s server. Salina Library, 100 Belmont St., Mattydale. Free. Registration required: (315) 454-4524. Guided Moonlight Snowshoe Hike. 7 p.m. Explore the woodlands and frozen marshes on snowshoes with a guide; space limited. Program is only offered when conditions are acceptable. Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 E. Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. $5/snowshoe rental; $4/ vehicle. Registration required day of hike: (315) 638-2519.

Saturday, Jan. 27 Book Art. 10 a.m.-noon. Participants age 10 and up can learn how to upcycle book pages into origami animals. Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool. Free. (315) 457-0310. Registration required: Toddlers’ Tango. 11 a.m. Young children can take part in this music and movement program. Petit Branch


Winter Yoga sessions beginning for boys and girls the 2nd week in January. CLASS SEGMENTS: • Ages 7 - 14: Tues, Wed, or Thurs

• Ages 4 - 7: Thursdays • Ages 2 1/2 - 6* Family Yoga:

First Saturday of each month.

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Library, 105 Victoria Place, Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-3636.

Rice Creek Story Hour. 11 a.m. Elementary-age children ages (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. (315) 312-6677. Alice in Wonderland. 12:30 p.m. See Jan. 13 listing. Make Your Own Piano. 2:30 p.m. Children ages 5-12 can make a piano out of household objects and the MaKey Makey kit, which turns everyday objects into touchpads. Hazard Branch Library, 1620 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. Free. (315) 435-5326. Snowshoe Hike and Bonfire. 6 p.m. Snowshoe through forests and fields on the Southern Exposure field; when you return, sit by a bonfire and enjoy hot chocolate. Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 E. Mud Lake Road, Baldwinsville. $5/ person; $4/vehicle. Registration required: (315) 638-2519. Under the Owl Moon. 7-8 p.m.

Participants (age 6 and up) can bring a flashlight and search for owls, then head inside for hot chocolate and a reading of a favorite owl story. Baltimore Woods Nature Center, 4007 Bishop Hill Road, Marcellus. $9. (315) 673-1350. Register:

Sunday, Jan. 28

See Ongoing Events

Monday, Jan. 29 See Ongoing Events

Tuesday, Jan. 30 See Ongoing Events

Wednesday, Jan. 31 See Ongoing Events

ONGOING EVENTS Lights on the Lake. 5-10 p.m., daily; through

Jan. 7. Drive through the annual light extravaganza featuring two miles of life-size displays, themed sections and a grand finale. Onondaga Lake Park, Onondaga Lake Parkway, Liverpool. $6/car, Mondays & Tuesdays with Wegmans Shoppers Club card. $10/car, Monday-Thursday; $15/car, Friday-Sunday. (315) 453-6712.

Erie Canal Museum Gingerbread Gallery.

Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; through Jan. 7. (Closed Jan. 1.) Dec. 31, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. See a fantastical village of houses, boats and more, built with gingerbread, candy, crackers and other edible items. Erie Canal Museum, 318 Erie Blvd. E., Syracuse. $7/adults; $5/ seniors; $2/age 12 & under. (315) 471-0593. Horsedrawn Sleigh (or Hay) Rides. Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; through Feb. 25. Also Jan. 1; Jan. 15 & Feb. 19. A 20-minute ride into the woods. Highland Forest Park, County Road 128, Fabius. $6/adults; $3/age 5 & under. (315) 683-5550. CNY Scholastic Art Awards. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., weekdays; 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays;



Jan. 12-March 2. (Closed Jan. 15.) 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 (315) 498-2221. Prenatal Yoga. Fridays, 9 a.m., Center of Grace, 8219 Market Place, Manlius. Sundays, 11 a.m., Sky Yoga & Wellness, 42 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles. Calming class leads participants through gentle flow and breath work in postures adapted to the pregnant body. All levels welcome. $15/session. Peanut Butter Jelly Time. Thursdays, 5 p.m. Members of the community can join in making more than a hundred bagged lunches to hand out to the hungry and homeless in downtown Syracuse. The Road, 4845 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse. Free. (315) 218-6066. 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. (315) 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 900foot 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. (315) 697-2950. 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. (315) 673-1350.

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. (315) 449-2948.

Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville (formerly DeWitt Community Library) Storytimes. Mondays, 10:30 a.m., Jan. 8-Feb. 19: Babies & Books (birth to 18 months). Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., Jan. 9-Feb. 20: Story Play (birth to age 5). Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Jan. 10Feb. 21: Toddler Time (18-36 months). Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., Jan. 11-Feb. 22: Preschool Storytimes (ages 3-5). Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville, 5110 Jamesville Road, Jamesville. Free. Registration required: (315) 446-3578.

Fairmount Community Library Storytimes. Little Movers (good walkers ages 1-3):

Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:15 a.m. Small Steps (unstructured play for ages 0-2 years): Tuesdays, 10:15 a.m. Creative Kids (stories and crafts for preschoolers): Mondays, 11:15 a.m., Thursdays, 10:15 a.m. Fairmount Community Library, 406 Chapel Dr., Syracuse. Free. (315) 487-8933. Maxwell Library Storytimes. Storytimes and book groups for all ages. Call for dates and times. Maxwell Memorial Library, 14 Genesee St., Camillus. Free. (315) 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. (315) 472-6343, Ext. 208. NOPL Brewerton Storytimes. Age 2 and up: Mondays, 10:30-11:30 a.m. NOPL Brewerton, 5440 Bennett St., Brewerton. (315) 676-7484. NOPL Cicero Library Storytimes. Toddler Story Hour: Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 10-11 a.m. Preschool Story Hour: Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-noon. NOPL Cicero, 8686 Knowledge Lane, Cicero. Free. (315) 699-2032.

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

3-5: Thursdays, 11 a.m.-noon. Daycare Storytime: Fridays, 10-10:30 a.m. NOPL North Syracuse, 100 Trolley Barn Lane, North Syracuse. Free. Registration required: (315) 458-6184. Onondaga Free Library Storytimes. Mother Goose Time (age 2 and under): Tuesdays, 11 a.m. Family Storytimes (age 2 and older): Wednesdays, 10 a.m., and Thursdays, 11 a.m. Onondaga Free Library, 4840 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse. Free. (315) 492-1727. 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. (315) 435-3636. Regional Market Farmers’ Market. Saturdays, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. 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. (315) 422-8647.



Entry deadline is noon on 1/11/18.

TO ENTER: Send contact info to with “raceway” in the subject line.

Spring 2018 Musical Theatre Classes

Grades 2-12 & Pre-K-Grade 1

February Break Camps February 19-23

Grades 1-5

Advanced Production Grades 8 - 12 April Break Camp April 23-27

Grades 1-9

Grades 6-12

A Great Holiday Gift for your Child or Grandchild FAMILY TIMES JANUARY 2018


Upstate’s Bariatric Program is the most established program in Central New York, (weightloss) surgery, come learn more from our experts about weight loss surgery and how it can improve your overall health.

TO REGISTER FOR A FREE UPCOMING INFO SESSION VISIT WWW.UPSTATE.EDU/BARIATRICS OR CALL (315) 492-5036. Information sessions are held at Upstate University Hospital’s Community Campus, 4900 Broad Road, Syracuse. (Formerly Community General Hospital)


Family Times January 2018  
Family Times January 2018  

Family Times January 2018