Roc Parent September/October 2017

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IN THIS ISSUE • • • • • •

Fall fun for families We rate the “scary” on Halloween haunts Which farm market has the best donut? Apples are the core of Wayne County tourism Get off screens and get moving Scenic wonders: The Bluffs & Letchworth

Armed with Google and a glue gun PREPPING FOR A GREAT SCHOOL YEAR

Homework for parents

September/October 2017


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Roc Publishing LLC

Sharing a virtual fist-bump with parents readying for a transition school year … we’ve got this!

Roc Parent | She Rocs 2280 East Ave. Rochester, NY 14610 (585) 348-9712

It’s back-to-school time … and for many of us moms and dads, it’s not “just another September,” but rather the start of a transition school year. It’s my third school transition in eight years — my daughters, who are in the same grade, started pre-school in 2009, kindergarten/elementary school in 2012, and now middle school in September 2017. Yes, admittedly, I was that mom who followed the bus on the first day of kindergarten and took photos as they entered the school. With the fears that all school transitions bring, I realize this is the biggest transition yet — a much larger school with hundreds of new faces, as several elementary schools are blended. And here’s the part where my fears were confirmed: While at a neighborhood nail salon this summer I chatted with a woman Dresden Engle whose son is a student at the middle school Managing Editor where my daughters soon will be sixthgraders. I asked her what the middle school is like. Her answer: “Have you ever seen a prison movie?” My heart stopped and I audibly gasped. She went on to tell me stories of bullying and bad language … and more. “It’s not like it was in elementary school, that’s for sure,” she said. Oh boy. I’ve already been mourning their quaint, nurturing one-floor elementary school every time I’ve driven past it this summer. Can middle school be that bad? I’m banking on “no” (especially since I’m really scared of prison films). I remind myself that growth is good and that my daughters and their Salley Thornton friends are ready for this next step in life. Publisher As a family we’re getting on the rollercoaster and s,trapping on the seatbelts as we prepare to chug up the hill (click, click, click, click, click). And we’re hoping the big fall after the first ascent isn’t too scary. Here’s to all the parents experiencing a transition school year — whether it’s pre-school, kindergarten, middle school, high school, or college. We’ve got this ... .

Salley Thornton Publisher Dresden Engle Managing Editor Sara Hickman-Himes Art Director/Designer Alexis Ganter Digital Editor Lindsay Warren Baker Production Manager Rachel Cucchiara Social Media Manager Paul Olcott Distribution Manager and Videographer Copy Editing/Proofreading Jann Nyffeler Gini Keck Sharon Engle Photographers Renee Veniskey Brian Steblen Paul Olcott

COLUMNISTS Elizabeth Crony, Dr. Amy Jerum, Deanna King, Deena Viviani, Dante Worth

FEATURED WRITERS Lindsay Warren Baker, Breanna Banford, Amanda Cucchiara, Dresden Engle, Robin Flanigan, Christina Gray, Sue Henninger, Dawn Kellogg, Mary Kokinda, Linda Quinlan, Dr. Katie Rizzone, Janet Schwan

ADVERTISING Alexis Ganter Salley Thornton


September/October 2017

Roc Parent Magazine

WRITERS IN THIS ISSUE LINDSAY WARREN BAKER is a stage director, writer, teaching artist, acting coach, and yoga instructor. She’s an adjunct instructor of opera and also a dramatic coach at the Eastman School of Music. She also worked in various capacities with Geva Theatre Center, Eastman Opera Theatre, and the Ohio Light Opera, and is a member of the creative team at Roc Parent/She Rocs magazines. AMANDA CUCCHIARA, sister of Roc Parent Social Media Manager Rachel Cucchiara, is a Webster native. After four years of working at a nonprofit in Manhattan, she is heading back to school this fall to pursue her master’s degree in Industrial Relations from Cornell University. In this issue, she shares her secrets for fall family fun in Rochester. CHRISTINA GRAY is an aspiring PR professional and a dancer focused on African and modern dance. She has performed with FuturPointe and Borinquen Dance Theatre. This December she completes a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations from SUNY Brockport. SUE HENNINGER is a freelance writer, a regular contributor to family magazines, and the coauthor of The Ultimate Guide to College Transfer: From Surviving to Thriving. Contact or connect with her at AMY JERUM, DNP, CPNP-PC, PMHS, is a doctorally prepared pediatric nurse practitioner and board-certified pediatric mental health specialist. She is also the director of Workforce Development at URMC Complex Care Center, a faculty member of CAP-PC (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for Primary Care), and assistant professor of Clinical Nursing at University of Rochester, School of Nursing. DEANNA KING is the mother of three pleasant surprises ages seven, 10, and 17. Clearly, she isn’t good at family planning, but has mastered the art of writing — especially the honest truth about parenting. Nowadays, Deanna’s sarcastic wit can be heard every morning on The Brother Wease Show on Radio 95.1. Check out her blog at blog MARY KOKINDA earned her master’s degree in inclusive childhood education. She’s also certified in literacy education and holds a bachelor’s degree in English, however she loves teaching math, too! Mary has worked locally as a classroom teacher for more than 12 years. She is looking forward to getting to know her new class soon! KATIE RIZZONE, M.D., M.P.H., is an assistant professor of Orthopedics at UR Medicine and specializes in non-operative sports medicine. Her special interests include musculoskeletal ailments including strains, sprains, tendonitis, fractures, sports concussions, and arthritis, as well as medical problems unique to the female athlete and runners. JANET SCHWAN is a freelance writer for senior, parent, and children’s magazines, and a retired elementary school teacher. She and her husband, John, are the former owners of Children’s Corner Nursery School and Family Daycare in Greece, NY. They now enjoy helping care for their three granddaughters, Maya, Aubrey, and Macie. DEENA VIVIANI works by day as a young adult services librarian at Brighton Memorial Library and by night she writes for children. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Communications from SUNY Brockport and a master’s degree in Library Science from the University at Buffalo. Deena lives in Rochester with her young daughter and musician husband.

CONTENTS 6 12 16 20 24 27

FEATURES Cover Story DIY costumes armed with Google and a glue gun The new school year Mom and dad have homework, too The great donut tasting Who has the best fried cakes in town? Apple Tour in Wayne County 20 years of deliciousness Too scary for my kid? Roc Parent ranks the scare factor for you Curated calendar Our picks for fall fun

COLUMNS 8 The Cynical Mother Snacks, snacks, snacks! Stop asking for snacks!

Abby enjoys the hay maze at Lagoner Farms during the Wayne County Apple Tour. PHOTO COURTESY OF WAYNE COUNTY TOURISM.

29 36 38 43

Ghost deer? Tours start this fall to see Seneca white deer At grandma’s house Kids need to play by the rules Roc Parent Pick The scenic wonders of Chimney Bluffs and Letchworth Get kids moving Get ‘em off screens and outdoors

10 Ask Dr. Amy It’s OK for your kids to experience failure 34 Book Nook Experience the comic craze


Micah Nelson of Lima plays knight vs. dragon with his son Max in the Sunken Garden at Highland Park. Roc Parent shows you on pages 6 and 7 how this dragon costume was made. PHOTO BY RENEE VENISKEY.

September/October 2017



Fall settles in and we’re all well aware Halloween is approaching. But, alas, it’s now one week before the big night and your trick-or-treater finally decides what he wants to be — a fire dragon from Dragon Mania Legends. What? A character from a tablet game? OK, challenge accepted! Armed with Google and a glue gun, I was able to craft a fun and easy costume.

Google it

Lindsay Warren Baker works the glue gun. PHOTO BY PAUL OLCOTT

Start with the image of the desired character or person or creature. In my case, which version of the fire dragon does he want to be? We searched the images together so we could talk about what the important elements of the costume needed to be. Never made a dragon before? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Search keywords like “dragon,” “dragon wings,” “dragon tail,” etc. to find images and even instructions from people who already did the work and are willing to share their process. You can then adapt for your particular project. I find Pinterest and Etsy to be particularly helpful sites. After you’re done searching and have your game plan it’s time to start crafting!

Glue-gun it

The glue gun is my primary tool for costume assembly. If you don’t already own a glue gun, you can find them at craft stores and even dollar stores on occasion. I use a mini-glue gun, as it’s easy to manage and you can buy the glue sticks in bulk. They can get leaky, so I use a paper plate to rest the hot gun on so that glue puddles don’t end up on my table, floor, or wherever I’m working.


September/October 2017

Lindsay Warren Baker works with her trick-or-treater to choose and plan Halloween costumes … and then she works both Google and a glue gun make the magic happen.

Roc Parent Magazine

Other materials Sweatsuit: I remember that as a child I would get frustrated when I had to cover up my costume with a coat, in order to stay warm if it was cold or dry if it was rainy. The solution? A sweatsuit. Using sweats as a foundation means you can layer up your child as much as necessary underneath the costume, and your little creature can still spook the neighbors freely (as well as show off your handiwork)! Cardboard: Leftover boxes in your garage or attic, and toilet paper rolls are surprisingly malleable and can be sculpted and shaped before being covered by … Felt: You can buy a variety of colors of craft felt off the bolt. That way you can get as much or as little as you need. It’s easy to cut out, easy to glue or sew, and durable, plus it doesn’t require hemming, Tip: Don’t forget your Joann’s coupon! They are available via mailing list, website, or text message. Hats and gloves: For this particular project, I also used a baseball cap for the foundation for the “dragon head,” red gloves for the “claws,” fiberfill to stuff the “tail,” gold tulle for the “fire,” and white fabric and black construction paper for the eyes (that I already had at the house). So … this Halloween, I encourage you to embrace your inner crafter and get gluing!

Max loves his dragon costume so much he plans to wear it again this Halloween! PHOTO BY RENEE VENISKEY

Baker uses existing accessories as the base for her costume creations. To create the dragon’s head, she covered a baseball hat with felt. PHOTO BY PAUL OLCOTT

September/October 2017


The a King n n a e D y B

Snack attack: My kids ask for snacks ... while still chewing other snacks I have a friend whose daughter went to several camps this summer. At one camp she learned fencing … as one never knows when one will need to defend herself in the suburbs with an epée, foil, or saber. She performed a Broadway play at another camp. Her final and favorite is a survival camp, where she spent a week deep in the Adirondack Mountains. Campers bond as they learn to live off the land. Clearly, they didn’t watch Kevin Bacon’s movie White Water Summer. As for my children, what did they do this summer? They attended a couple of day camps — playing basketball and painting, but for the most part they just had snacks. I am convinced my children have tapeworms. There is no other explanation for their incessant need for food. They want a snack before breakfast. They will actually ask for a snack while I am cleaning up after lunch. My son has asked for a snack with a fork in his hand. My daughter has asked for a snack while chewing a snack. They want snacks minutes before dinner and moments after. They want a snack before bed. There is a good chance they dream of snacks. Children survive an entire school year

without snacking all day, but are famished in the summer. “There is no way you are hungry again,” I insist time and time again. My daughter has given some Academy Award-winning performances. She will grab her stomach, nearly collapsing to the floor in agony while pleading, “But I am starving.” Meryl Streep doesn’t have anything on this girl. The grocery store clerk must think I have an unhealthy obsession with Goldfish crackers. Don’t judge me. I also feed my children fruit, yogurt, cashews, etc. But I am not Queen Bey. I don’t have millions in the bank (or take photographs

with my newborn children in a garden while wearing a blanket and a veil, but I digress). Crackers are on the menu every now and then. My children happen to enjoy Autolyzed Yeast and Thiamine Mononitrate. Also, according to the box, these crackers are “made with smiles.” Broccoli can’t say that. The issue really isn’t what they are eating, but the frequency. Someone once suggested they serve themselves. Yes, they are capable of opening a refrigerator or cabinet and putting food on a plate. Unfortunately, children don’t quite grasp the importance of portion control. I don’t want them starring in a reality show on TLC. I would have to clean up the mess anyway. My son “helped” clear the table after lunch this week and somehow managed to make the kitchen dirtier. My children could have clean hands and yet still leave a thin film on the refrigerator handle. Maybe they dip their hands in maple syrup when I’m not looking? A child’s definition of clean isn’t the same as mine. I prefer not to live in filth. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. One day my children will, hopefully, take care of me … and I will have just one request: snacks.

Unfortunately, children don’t quite grasp the importance of portion control. I don’t want them starring in a reality show on TLC. 8

September/October 2017

Roc Parent Magazine



Mozart Requiem & Marriage of Figaro Presented by the New York State Ballet with the Lyric Voices and Dr. Jared Chase Orchestra

Presented by the New York State Ballet with the Rochester Lyric Opera and Dr. Jared Chase Orchestra

BALLET Presented by the New York State Ballet with the Rochester Lyric Opera and Dr. Jared Chase Orchestra

Learning to fail — it’s OK Dear Dr. Amy: My son didn’t make the football team! He is devastated. We have hired a specialty defense instructor. The poor kid has my husband’s weak knees. What else should we do? I have heard of football players taking ballet. Do you know anything about this? Signed, I already bought the jersey … Dear Sidelined Mom: Parents tend to think their most important role is helping their kids succeed. But what about the importance of teaching kids to fail? There is a compelling body of evidence that kids need help learning how to fail. How do we help a kid cope when he or she doesn’t get picked for the team or the lead in the school play … but rather is cast as “the rock”? What about when Harvard passes on their application? Not learning to tolerate the disappointment of failure leaves kids with an inability to cope when the inevitable failure does occur. And perhaps even more important, it can make kids give up trying. The greatest success stories most often start as stories of failure. We tend to remember the success, but the true legends failed epically and repeatedly long before they hit the mark. It is through failure that we learn, grow, and ultimately succeed. Famous basketball star Michael Jordan has spoken a lot about

turning failure into success. He said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” In fact, he wasn’t chosen for the varsity team as a sophomore in high school. The coaches recognized that if Jordan made the team, he would almost never play. Instead, they put him on the JV team where he could better hone his skills. Jordan was devastated. He has told the story of crying in his room, ready to abandon his dreams of playing ball. It was his mother who spoke to him about picking himself up and doing what champions do — try, learn, try again. So he played JV and worked himself to the limit. Being able to cope with frustration and disappointment is an important life skill to master. It will help a kid become more independent and ultimately succeed in future endeavors — whether the goals are athletic, personal, or academic. Unfortunately, as the world puts increasing pressure on kids to win, we are seeing more and more kids who become panic-stricken over the smallest misstep. So how do we help kids to learn to fail and get back on the horse? My advice to parents in many situations starts with acknowledgment and empathy. Please don’t say, “Don’t worry, it’s no big

deal.” Rather, offer validation of their feelings: “I know you really wanted to get on the team. I can see that you’re really bummed out about this.” Let the child talk if he wants to, but it’s also OK to give him some space to process his feelings. These are teachable moments and an opportunity to help your children develop problem-solving skills. Ask them what they might do differently next time. For example, teach your teenager to come up with a study plan (not writing it yourself!) or suggesting they talk to the teacher when they start to struggle. It is also important for parents to serve as role models for disappointment. Don’t just tell kids about the promotion you got. Tell them about the college you didn’t get into or the internship you missed out on. Kids are rarely exposed to the reality of the time we took the wrong path and had to figure out how to get back on track. And if fear of failure impairs daily functioning, it may be time to talk to your pediatric provider, who may refer you to a therapist. Amy Lyons, a local therapist with URMC, said treatment may involve “exposure therapy,” a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. “The idea is to get them used to the notion that things don’t have to be perfect and it’s not the end of the world,” she said. “A kid can learn to acknowledge the discomfort and, with practice, learn to cope with it.” It’s hard to watch your child fail. Think back to when she was learning to walk — if you had never let go of her hands, she would have never experienced the pride of succeeding on her own.

It is also important for parents to serve as role models for disappointment. Don’t just tell kids about the promotion you got. Tell them about the college you didn’t get into or the internship you missed out on. 10

September/October 2017

Roc Parent Magazine

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Navigating the school year Mom and dad have homework, too By MARY KOKINDA

You might be surprised to know that teachers often feel just like kids about the first day of school. As a teacher for 12 years, that mix of nervous energy and genuine excitement is still familiar to me. As a parent, you can start the school year feeling these things, too. However, you might find it easier to advocate for your child and feel more comfortable in general by engaging in positive communication

with your child’s new teacher early on.

Workin’ the website and email

There are a number of ways to find out what your child is going to learn during the year. First, look at the school’s website to find curriculum information. Be sure to look ahead at dates for school events, vacation

days, and testing and mark your calendar now. Also, plan to attend the events specially planned to help you as a parent. Email is a great way to ask for clarification on topics you have concerns about long before problems arise or worries bubble up. If you make an effort to understand the teacher’s expectations as well as the school’s policies, you will start off on the right foot. Many schools and teachers put great

These Webster middle schoolers are ready for the new school year. From left are siblings Lily, Aiden, and Sydney Lagoe and schoolmate Aria Olcott. PHOTO BY PAUL OLCOTT 12

September/October 2017

Roc Parent Magazine

effort into keeping their websites updated. Use these as a resource; don’t just go by what you see or hear from other parents.

How much homework help?

Homework is that time of day when schoolwork and home life become blurred. Try to find answers to these questions as soon as possible: How much assistance should I provide when my child is struggling with homework? May I send in incomplete work when my child does not understand what to do? If my child loses or forgets homework, shall we contact a classmate and have her parent send us a photo of the homework? Remember, it is OK to tell teachers that you have a hard time helping your child with homework or that you really aren’t sure about the teacher’s grading system. It’s also OK to let us know that your child is having a meltdown that you have to deal with before you can spend quality time reading together at night.

Checking the backpacks

On the other hand, you’ll want to become familiar with certain academic requirements for your child’s grade level and find out how much time is expected to be spent on schoolwork at home. There are usually a certain number of reading minutes per day, and math-fact practice is often reinforced after school hours. Teachers may have great resources and routines set up for their students, so just ask if you haven’t been informed. But first, you might want to check your child’s folders and backpack for materials that were intended for you. And if your child resides at more than one home during the school year, please ask the teacher to provide more than one copy of all handouts going home in the backpack (so both Mom and Dad, or Grandma or another guardian, all have the same information at each household on any given day).

Policies and Volunteering

Not everything you’ll want to know is about academics though. It’s good to know food policies for your child’s classroom, and how birthdays or holidays are acknowledged. These days, healthy options are encouraged for many celebrations so be prepared to offer pretzels, fruit, or even fun erasers for the kids instead of candy or cookies. At times parents are needed to supervise or volunteer during events or field trips,

Brighton teacher Paula Tantillo, left, talks with a parent before the school-year starts, to answer questions and learn more about one of her new students. PHOTO BY PAUL OLCOTT

but as your child gets older, less of that support may be needed. Let the teacher know if you are interested in helping or becoming more involved. The school’s PTA also usually has a website that can assist with answers and advice.

Speaking Up

Lastly, remember that your job as a parent is definitely to advocate for your child. So speak up and share your observations with teachers. Sometimes hearing about how a student acts at home is extremely helpful. After all, we all want the best for the child you send to us every day.

Remember, it is OK to tell us that you have a hard time helping your child with homework or that you really aren’t sure about the teacher’s grading system.

September/October 2017







Fall fun, food & frights

d nuts In search of the best

Witness this Webster woman’s serious, yet delicious, 10-year journey


From the orange and red leaves to cozy sweaters and Halloween, there’s nothing I dislike about fall! For the past 10 years, my friends and family have indulged me as I lead them on tours of area farm markets to find the best fried cake (aka donut) and evaluate the competition. So when Roc Parent asked me to share my research with you readers, I jumped right in. While my search is broad — from Stokoe Farms in Scottsville and Green Acre Farm in Greece to Gro-Moore in Henrietta and Powers Farm Market in Pittsford — in this article I will introduce you to three local haunts in the Webster/Penfield area. I opted to focus on my hometown as this is the 10th anniversary of Amanda’s Fall Donut Tasting Weekend! We traveled to Schutt’s Apple Mill on Plank Road, Bauman’s Farm Market and Greenhouses, and Herman’s Farm Market & Cider Mill on Five Mile Line Road.


I have chosen to sample each location’s plain fried cake, and have rated it, based on my preferences, on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). The cake is evaluated on density, texture, appearance, and overall fall experience. While I’ll do my official 2017 judging in October, for this article I did a sneak-peek sampling. Amanda Cucchiara visits Schutt’s Apple Mill as she preps for the 10th annual Fall Donut Tasting Weekend. PHOTO BY RACHEL CUCCHIARA


September/October 2017

Roc Parent Magazine

Fall fun, food & frights


TOUR STOPS Schutt’s Apple Mill

I started with a visit to Schutt’s Apple Mill, a legend since 1918 — not only for its extensive selection of apples and quaint general store, but also for the controversy surrounding the pronunciation of the family name (is it “Shoot-z” or “Shut-z”?). Flavors: Plain, glazed, and cinnamon Pricing: Single 85 cents, half-dozen $5.10; dozen $8.50; online Dozen $22.99 (includes free shipping) EVALUATION — 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) Density: 3 — Very dense and doughy Texture: 4 — Crispy, flaky edges Appearance: 4 — Medium-sized, fit perfectly in your palm Overall Fall Experience: 5 — Schutt’s is a top-notch visit. In addition to the fry cakes, they offer everything apple (apple cider, apple frost, and 20+ varieties of both U-Pick and prepared apples), ample outdoor seating, and tours.


Bauman’s Farm Market and Greenhouses

Next up was Bauman’s Farm Market and Greenhouses, which has grown fresh produce and flowers since 1908. Flavors: Plain, glazed, powdered sugar, and cinnamon Pricing: Single 85 cents, Half-Dozen $4.99, Dozen $8.99


What a hard decision to make! Ultimately, you can’t go wrong — Bauman’s is our family favorite and certainly holds a special place in my heart, but Herman’s is a strong competitor, and Schutt’s is the whole package with something for everyone. So start planning your trips. I hope to meet you, Roc Parent families, on the road.

VISITOR INFO SCHUTT’S APPLE MILL Where: 1063 Plank Road, Webster Hours: Open year-round; 9 a.m-6 p.m. MondayWednesday; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m Sunday. More info: (585) 872-2924, BAUMAN’S FARM MARKET AND GREENHOUSES Where: 1340 Five Mile Line Road, Webster Hours: Open May-December; 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday More info: (585) 671-2820, HERMAN’S FARM MARKET & CIDER MILL Where: 741 Five Mile Line Road, Webster Hours: Open Spring, Summer, and Fall; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m-6 p.m Saturday and Sunday More info: (585) 671-1246,

EVALUATION — 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) Density: 4 — Not as dense, but soft and syrupy Texture: 4 — Very moist, and keep well for breakfast the next day Appearance: 4 — Large and a dark golden brown color. Overall Fall Experience: 5 — Bauman’s giant teepee, Scary Pumpkin Room, and extensive JellyBelly collection make this another must-see market for the family.


Herman’s Farm Market & Cider Mill

Continuing on Five Mile Line Road, the last stop on my tour was Herman’s Farm Market & Cider Mill. Flavors: Plain, glazed, cinnamon, pumpkin, and glazed pumpkin Pricing: Single 80 cents, Half-Dozen $4.74, Dozen $7.99 EVALUATION — 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) Density: 4 — A perfect balance between airy and doughy Texture: 4 — Very fluffy Appearance: 5 — The smallest (and cutest!) of the cakes Overall Fall Experience: 3 — Herman’s is a much quieter, simpler experience than the others, with limited activities for children, but offers many colorful gourds, mums, and pumpkins.

JUDGE FOR YOURSELF If you want to sink your teeth in, Cucchiara’s 2017 spreadsheet is available for download at

Cucchiara takes her judging seriously ... rating local fried cakes on their density and appearance. Hmmmm (and “Mmmmm”), what farm market will be the 2017 winner?

September/October 2017


Fall fun, food & frights

Fall fun, food & frights

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Fall fun, food & frights

Wayne County Apple Tour celebrates

a sweet 20 years Did you know … we live in the largest apple-growing region in the state — and second largest in the country? STAFF REPORTS

Crunch on this: the annual Wayne County Apple Tour celebrates its 20th year this fall, running the month of October and crunching it up a bit with a Tasting Weekend on Columbus Day Weekend, Friday through Monday, Oct. 6-9. Apple lovers throughout western and central New York have long explored Wayne County to pick fresh apples, enjoy the fall colors, and enjoy a day of family fun. The tour was formalized in 1997 in this picturesque region that stretches to the shores of Lake Ontario just east of Rochester (with the county line being about a half-hour drive from the city of Rochester). So, why all the hoopla? Well, our very own Wayne County happens to be the largest apple-producing county in New York state — and the second largest in the entire country (surpassed only by Washington). October is the busiest month for Wayne County, as tourists flock to orchards and farm markets and attractions to pick, eat, play, and have fun, amidst the fall foliage. “The businesses team up to showcase all we have to offer,” said Christine Worth, Wayne County’s director of tourism, noting that the adventures are family friendly as well as ideal for a date or girls’ weekend. “And who doesn’t like an apple?”

Oh, the places you’ll go

Wayne County Tourism partners with 13 20

September/October 2017

Families can pick their own apples at several farms in Wayne County. PHOTO COURTESY WAYNE COUNTY TOURISM.

local businesses to host the tour, including farms, farm markets, wineries, and a distillery. Visitors can download a tour map at, or pick up a copy at any tour stop. The lucky 13 stops on the tour offer harvest activities throughout October, with special activities planned for Tasting Weekend. “Disconnect yourself from your devices, experience the nature and beauty we have around us, and make your memories in Wayne County,” Worth said.

New this year

Wager’s Country Apple in Red Creek,

Roc Parent Magazine

boasts four decades in business and a 100-acre farm full of apples, strawberries, peaches, and sweet cherries. They also have an in-store bakery and barn sale.

Old favorites

Three attractions have been part of the tour for all of its two decades: Burnap’s Farm Market, which is fun for the whole family, with chickens, goats, and a large farm market; Long Acre Farms, known for the Amazing Maize Maze and Back 40 Adventure, as well as homemade ice cream and JD Wine Cellars; and The Apple Shed, with a cider mill, a country café, and a corn slide for kids.

Tour must-do list Pick your own apples at one of the many farms and apple orchards on the tour. Stop for lunch at the café at Lagoner Farms. Experience and escape Amazing Maize Maze at Long Acre Farms. Play at many stops with hayrides, tractor rides, pumpkins patches, corn canons and more. Find your new favorite apple by tasting all the varieties at seven farm markets. Stock up on fall goodies like fresh pies, apple salsa, and homemade preserves. Pick out colorful mums and bright orange pumpkins. Enjoy wine tasting at Thorpe Vineyards, Young Sommer Winery, and JD Wine Cellars. Try a glass of hard cider at Apple Country Spirits or Embark Craft Ciderworks at Lagoner Farm.

Apples at the core of tourism New York State has 51,097 acres of apple trees and 20,862 of them are in Wayne County — making it the top appleproducing county in the state. McIntosh is the top production apple in Wayne County. Imported from Ontario, Canada shortly after its discovery in 1811, this apple thrived here because of its hardy constitution and love of cool nights. Other varieties grown in the county include Empire, Red Delicious, Cortland, Rome, Idared, and Crispin, plus dozens more less popular (but equally delicious) varieties. Apple farming has been a way of life in Wayne County for centuries, and is home to several multi-generational farms. Two recognized Century Farms (100 years) — Lagoner Farms and Orbaker’s Fruit Farm — are on the Tour and were established in 1909 and 1889, respectively. For more information on Wayne County, the Apple Tasting Tour, or the apple industry, contact Wayne County Tourism at 800-527-6510 or visit waynecounty

The 13 Apple Tasting Tour stops: Apple Country Spirits 3274 Eddy Road, Williamson Apple Town Farm Market 4734 Route 104, Williamson Brownell’s Farm Market 5247 East Lake Road, Williamson Burnaps Farm Market & Garden Café 7277 Maple Avenue, Sodus Jensen’s Farm Market 1040 Canandaigua Road, Macedon Lagoner Farm Market & Embark Craft Ciderworks 6895 Lake Avenue, Williamson Long Acre Farms & JD Wine Cellars 1342 Eddy Road, Macedon Morgan’s Farm Market 3821 Cory Corners Road, Marion Mackquinle Farm 5630 Norris Rd, North Rose Orbaker’s Fruit Farm 3451 Lake Road, Williamson The Apple Shed 3391 Fairville-Maple Ridge Road, Newark Thorpe Vineyard 8150 Chimney Heights Blvd, Wolcott Wagers Country Apple 7047 Main Street, Red Creek, Young Sommer Winery 4287 Jersey Road, Williamson For information and directions to each site, visit appletasting for a mobile locator or call Wayne County Tourism at 800-527-6510.

Apples travel worldwide from the orchards of Wayne County. Visitors to the county’s Apple Tour in October can experience the deliciousness and freshness firsthand, right off the tree. PHOTOS COURTESY WAYNE COUNTY TOURISM.

September/October 2017


Fall fun, food & frights




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Fall fun, food & frights


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Fall fun, food & frights

Roc Parent ranks the scare factor of local Halloween attractions BY CHRISTINA GRAY and DRESDEN ENGLE

Fall fun fills family calendars every October. And as parents pick and choose from a long list of Halloween activities, they may pause to decide if an event may be too scary for their kids. So as you ponder the tricks and treats of Spooktober, remember that many of today’s Halloween happenings have turned from the original focus on warding off evil spirits to days and nights of adventure, laughter, and extreme fun. The Rochester area boasts a variety of Halloween adventures, but still beware of the fear and scare. To help gauge the ghouls, we have rated attractions via our Scare-O-Meter — determined by polling past patrons and tallying the recommendations of the attraction’s staff. Each rating ranges from zero to one scarecrow (family friendly) to the max of five scarecrows (inappropriate for young children … and perhaps even too scary for some big kids and parents).

An array of carved pumpkins greet visitors inside the family-friendly teepees at Powers Farm Market in Pittsford. PROVIDED PHOTO 24

September/October 2017

Roc Parent Magazine

Verhulst Haunted Hayrides 5161 W. Ridge Road, Spencerport (585) 352-8284 | Verhulst Haunted Hayrides brings you deep into the woods, where you meet haunting witches, bloody Wizard of Oz characters, and zombie-like wizards. At the end of the ride you have the option of walking through a Haunted Corn Maze (where you most likely will be chased by a chainsaw-revving actor). AGE: Not recommended for children 8 and under ADMISSION: $20 (military and veterans $12) SCARE-O-METER SCARE-O-METER (for Haunted Hayride): (for Haunted Corn Maze):

Haunted Hayrides of Greater Rochester 3329 Eddy Road, Williamson (585) 423-2991 Haunted Hayrides of Greater Rochester opens Sept. 29 to spine-chilling screams on the haunted DeFisher Fruit Farm. On-site acitivites include The Screamatorium, Spinnng Tunnel, 3D Maze, and the indoor Mummy Theatre. AGE: Not recommended for children ages 8 and under. The website said, “It’s scary. ... It is not for the faint of heart” (or those with health issues). ADMISSION: $17-$26 SCARE-O-METER:

Zoo Boo Hayrides at Powers Farm Market 161 Marsh Road, Pittsford (585) 586-4631 Powers Farm Market is ideal for a family outing, with animals to feed and the world’s largest teepes to explore, plus pumpkins and a farm-market store. The hayride takes families along rolling hills into a dramatically decorated woods. AGE: All ages ADMISSION: $6-$9 SCARE-O-METER (daytime hay rides):

SCARE-O-METER (nightime hay rides):

Seneca Park Zoo 2222 St. Paul St. Rochester (585) 336-7200

For three consecutive weekends, the Seneca Park Zoo hosts Zoo Boo (Oct. 15-16, 22-23, 29-30). Little ones are invited to wear costumes and enjoy and adventure with the orangutans, while getting treats at stations throughout the zoo. SCARE-O-METER: AGE: All ages, especially those who enjoy trick-ortreating and animals ADMISSION: $9-$12

Dark Matter Scream Works The Mall at Greece Ridge 271 Greece Ridge Center Drive, Rochester (585) 451-9952 | Dark Matter Scream Works is moving to a new location this Halloween season — The Mall at Greece Ridge Center — allowing for more space and four new attractions that will boost up the level of madness. AGE: Not recommended under 12. The website says, “At Dark Matter Scream Works we do our best to make sure every customer is extremely frightened.” However, from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, there will be an event for kids that is touted as non-gory and child appropriate. ADMISSION: $18-$24 (military and veterans: $2 discount) SCARE-O-METER:

Holiday Hollow Halloween & Pirate Festival 1410 Main Road, Corfu (716) 474-4300 Holiday Hollow’s Halloween & Pirate Festival runs every weekend in October and on Columbus Day and offers fun, non-scary Halloween family entertainment with seven live stage shows, and hours of fun. Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. AGE: All ages ADMISSION: $12-$13 (ages 2 and under free) SCARE-O-METER:

September/October 2017


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Fall fun, food & frights CURATED CALENDAR

Fall fun ... a short drive for out-of-the-ordinary experiences Bristol Mountain Fall Sky Rides Weekends from noon-4 p.m., Sept. 9 to Oct. 29, and Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 9. Fall Festival Sunday, Oct. 8, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Scaerial Adventures Haunted Headlamp Tours Enjoy fun and frights in the dark Friday and Saturday nights in October on the haunted zip-lines and eerie bridges of the Aerial Adventures courses at Bristol Mountain. There are three spooky (not scary) aerial adventure courses and two “SC-AERIAL” adventure fright courses (which are not for the faint of heart!). Where: Scaerial Adventures 5589 South Hill Road, Canandaigua Sky Rides and Fall Festival 5662 Route 64, Canandaigua Learn more: bristolmountain

Sky Rides at Bristol Mountain run weekends Sept. 9 to Oct. 29, offering a view of the fall foliage Finger Lakes style. PHOTO COURTESY ONTARIO COUNTY

Fall foliage train rides Fall Foliage by Trolley Sundays, Sept. 17-Oct. 29 Enjoy the beauty of autumn from the window of an authentic 90-year-old electric trolley car. Trolleys depart every half hour starting at 11:30 a.m.

Special-event days: Halloween Trolley Express Saturday, Oct. 21 Featuring indoor trick-or-treating in Halloween-decorated trolley cars. Toddler Trick-or-Treat Tuesday, Oct. 31, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: 6393 East River Road, Rush Learn more: Train rides along the canal Saturdays, Oct. 7, 14, 21; Wednesday, Oct. 18; Sunday, Oct. 22 Two-hour train rides through the wooded scenery and along The Erie Canal, which is even more stunning as the trees are ablaze with fall foliage. Special event: Jumpin’ Pumpkin Jamboree Saturday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Medina Railroad presents this activity-filled event. Where: 530 West Ave., Medina Learn more:

Route 96, Victor Learn more: eastviewmall/com/Events

Sunflower Spectacular at Wickham Farms Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26-27 and Sept. 2-3 Experience the beauty and colors of tens of thousands of sunflowers. Wickham Farms planted in the spring more than 85,000 sunflower seeds in 15 different varieties to cover a fiveacre field (which is four football fields of sunflowers!). You can pick your own sunflowers plus enjoy the other farm activities, including a five-acre corn maze and hayride through the vegetable fields. Where: Wickham, 1303 Sweets Corners Road, Penfield (across Route 250 from the main Wickham Farms barn) Learn more:

Eastview Mall Halloween Party Saturday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Take part in a spooktacular Super Saturday Halloween Party! Little ghosts and goblins will enjoy donuts, cider, dancing to a live band, and trick-or-treating around the mall (at participating stores). Where: Main Court at Eastview, 7979


September/October 2017


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Fall fun, food & frights

Planning for up-close encounters with Seneca white deer this fall


BY SUE HENNINGER Children squeal with excitement as one trots out of the woods. Adults beam when they spot a small group grazing peacefully by Route 96A a few miles south of Geneva. Whenever a “ghost deer” materializes, it’s a thrilling sight for anyone who appreciates nature’s wonders.

Family-friendly theater productions this fall

“In the Heights” Sept. 5-Oct. 8 This landmark musical by the creator of “Hamilton” was the winner of four Tony Awards (including Best Musical and Best Original Score) and a Pulitzer Prize-nominee. In ‘the Heights’ life is always colorful and the air is filled with the sounds of salsa, merengue, soul, hip-hop and R&B. Where: Geva Theatre Center, 75 Woodbury Blvd., Rochester Recommended Age: Ages 10 and up Learn more: “School of Rock” Sept. 30-Oct. 7 Based on the hit film, this hilarious new musical follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher who turns a class of straight-A students into a guitarshredding, bass-slapping, mindblowing rock band. This high-octane production features 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, plus all the original songs from the movie and musical theater’s first-ever kids rock band playing their instruments live on stage. Where: Auditorium Theatre, 885 East Main Street, Rochester Recommended Age: Ages 8 and up Learn more:

“A Year with Frog and Toad: The Musical” Sept. 30-Oct. 15 “A Year with Frog and Toad: The Musical” presented by RAPA Family Theatre, tells the story of a friendship that endures throughout the seasons. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in the differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make believe… all charm. Where: Kodak Center Studio Theatre, 200 West Ridge Rd., Rochester Tickets: $10 children 12 and under, $18 seniors and students, $20 adults Recommended Age: All ages Learn more:

TYKES Academy: From your living room to the stage TYKEs (Theater Young Kids Enjoy) at the JCC will kick off its 2017-2018 theater season in November. But TYKES Academy begins the week of Sept. 25, for ages 4 to 7 (classes are 4 to 5 p.m. Thursdays) and ages 8 and up (classes are 4 to 5:30 p.m. Mondays). To learn more about this on-stage acting program, connect with TYKES at or (585) 461-2000.

September/October 2017


Why are they white?


“Disney’s The Little Mermaid” Oct. 24-Oct. 29 Broadway’s under-the-sea spectacular! In a magical kingdom beneath the sea, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, the musical features songs “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl, “Part of Your World” and more. Where: Auditorium Theatre, 85 East Main Street, Rochester Recommended Age: Ages 5 and up Learn more:

White deer are a natural variation of their brown relatives. The difference lies in the lack of pigmentation in their fur. Not to be confused with albino deer (who have pink eyes), white deer have the brown eyes and body structure of the darker white-tailed deer with which they have peacefully co-existed for decades on Seneca Army Depot land. Here, the deer have been protected by fencing, a lack of predators, and controlled hunting policies. In 1999 a group of local conservationists formed Seneca White Deer (SWD), a notfor-profit organization whose mission is to protect these unique animals while encouraging the public to learn more about them.

Tours may start this fall

SWD president Dennis Money says the group is planning to launch an exciting new eco-tourism venture this fall. He is hopeful that, by the end of October, visitors of all ages will be able to tour the depot habitat by bus, with a knowledgeable tour guide describing the rich natural and military history of the region. A newly constructed Welcome Center will be the starting and ending point for the tours and will have exhibits, photos, and merchandise. Depending on the season, deer won’t be the only wildlife eagle-eyed parents and kids might spot on the tours. Rabbits, skunks, bank beavers, and other woodland friends make their homes there. Larger birds — pheasants, turkeys, and hawks — may be visible from the bus as well. However, Money reminds visitors that wildlife sightings can’t be guaranteed. It’s not an animal theme park, he said, noting, “They’re free-range critters!” For further information on the Welcome Center, tour availability, or the white deer, visit

Fall fun, food & frights

A Family Musical

September 5 - October 8

Tickets From

$25 (585) 232-4382 • 75 Woodbury Blvd., Rochester, NY 14607

Fall fun, food & frights CURATED CALENDAR Family fun at the Fringe Festival A glorious 10 days of arts and fun erupt in downtown Rochester each September as the Key Bank Rochester Fringe Festival takes to the streets, the tents, and the theaters. And this year there are even more kid-friendly shows and activities! Here are some of the family-friendly shows and events, with a full schedule and tickets at Children’s Storytime with Mrs. Kasha Davis Saturday, Sept. 16 at 10:30-11:30 a.m. Join drag superstar Mrs. Kasha Davis for stories and a craft project focused on celebrating gender individuality and expression. This program is geared toward pre-school-age children and their families. Where: Central Library, 115 South Ave., Rochester Tickets: Free/No tickets or registration required (seating and craft supplies available on a first-come basis) Amazing Animal Allstars Saturday, Sept. 16, 11 a.m. and noon Wildlife Educators Coalition presents education, ecology, and entertainment, featuring animals from all around the world — bugs, reptiles, primates, and parrots. Where: MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Ave., Rochester Tickets: $12 all ages The Sky Sands Silly Kids Show! Saturday, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. Award-winning entertainer Sky Sands combines magic with comedy and audience participation. “Sky was able to strike a balance between keeping the younger kids engaged and the older kids interested, while at the same time making the parents laugh,” said Kathy Wolf, Children’s Librarian, Central Library. That’s why people say “This Sky’s Funny!” Where: School of the Arts, 45 Prince St., Rochester Tickets: $12 all ages

Jimmy C’s Kids Magic Show Saturday, Sept. 16 and 23 at 1 p.m. Sunday Sept. 17 at 3 p.m. Magician Jimmy C presents a show full of exciting magic, the silliest of comedy, and lots of song and dance. Where: School of the Arts, 45 Prince St., Rochester Tickets: $10 ages five and over “The Seal Maiden” Saturday, Sept. 16, 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, 2:30 p.m. Sunday Sept. 17, 1 p.m. The Seal Maiden tells the enchanting story of a young seal, who – finding herself stranded on the beach after the tide has turned – is transformed into a young woman. She adapts to her new life and flourishes, yet is torn by a longing to return to the sea. This Celtic tale of beauty and sorrow is told through dance and the music of Karan Casey and Niall Vallely. Where: School of the Arts, 45 Prince St., Rochester Tickets: $12 all ages “Really Rosie” Sunday, Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. With music by Carole King, and book and lyrics by Maurice Sendak (the title character based on a girl he knew from his youth), this musical tells the story of the sassiest girl on Avenue P, who entertains by directing and starring in a dramatic and (slightly) exaggerated story of her life from her unique point of view. Directed by local theater professionals and starring local youth actors, Last Fool Productions’ debut show will charm and transport your whole family. Where: Blackfriars Theatre, 795 East

Main St., Rochester Tickets: $15 adults/$10 kids 12 and under Disco Kids Saturday Sept. 23, at 11 a.m.-Noon Big party for pint-size partiers takes over Club Spiegeltent. The next generation of club kids is here. Disco Kids is a fun-filled dance extravaganza that is the talk of kid town. Lights, music, and glow sticks … Where: Spiegeltent, 100 N. Chestnut St., Rochester Tickets: $6 Street Chalk Art Saturday, Sept. 23, Noon-2 p.m. The fun continues after the Kids Disco boogie with Chalk Art, transforming Gibbs Street (closed to traffic) into one giant, colorful canvas with help from art mentors from the Carlson MetroCenter YMCA. We bring the chalk, you bring the creativity! Where: Gibbs Street (between Main and East), Rochester Tickets: Free “Coyote Challenges the World” Saturday, Sept. 23, 12:30 p.m. Open Road Theatre focuses on the issue of bullying using the Native American Medicine Wheel. We all need to be accepted and appreciated, but how do we achieve this? Coyote declares he is the smartest, best-looking animal, so he should be the Ruler of the World. Eagle, Bear, Snowy Owl, and Mouse challenge Coyote to four leadership tests. Will Coyote achieve acceptance as their leader? Is he a bully or a leader? For all ages. Where: School of the Arts, 45 Prince St., Rochester Tickets: $14 all ages

September/October 2017


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Comic relief ... right off the bookshelf By DEENA VIVIANI

National Comic Book Day is September 25. Join the celebration and the current comic craze by reading a graphic novel this fall, which may feature animals, kids, teens, or superheroes. AGES 6 TO 9 This Little Piggy: An Owner’s Manual By Cyndi Marko

What happens when you want a pet really badly, but you have trouble convincing your mom that a pig is the perfect addition to your family? Especially if your mom loves her garden more than any animal in the world? Why, you make lists of things to do that may convince her, of course, and then try them all! After dealing with baths, meals, tricks, and treats, the brother/sister/pig team in this book may find just the perfect way to impress their mom after all. Good job, Snowflake! Aladdin PIX is a new line of books that combine the best part of a picture book (the illustrations tell half the story), an early-reader chapter book (the short chapters and fast-moving story appeal to reluctant and first readers), and a comic book (the speech bubbles, frames, and silly pictures add humor). The instructional, second-person style of writing lets readers put themselves into the story, imagining that they have a pig of their own, with comedic results. The ending comes full circle when this sow saves what mom has sowed. (Aladdin PIX, 2017, hardcover, $14.99) 34

September/October 2017

Roc Parent Magazine

AGES 9 TO 13 Science Comics: Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers Written by M.K. Reed Illustrated by Joe Flood

The Industrial Revolution transformed the world not only through great advances in manufacturing and power sources, but also through the act of uncovering the first Mesozoic fossils while roads, factories, and more were built. This spawned a great race between British scientists to identify and explain dinosaurs. Spanning from the early 1800s to the present day, this graphic nonfiction volume in the “Science Comics” series combines a fascinating spread of facts (who named the dinosaurs?) with blips of humor (the illustrations of skeletons sometimes talk to the reader). The early paleontologists are discussed as much as the fossils are, serving as the “characters” in this story. Dinosaur fans will appreciate the new angle this book offers. Other volumes in this series include the topics of volcanoes, bats, and plagues, with robots and drones soon to follow. (First Second, 2016, paperback, $9.99)

AGES 15 TO 18 Spill Zone Written by Scott Westerfeld Illustrated by Alex Puvilland

Three years ago, an unexplained event occurred, contaminating Addison’s hometown of Poughkeepsie. It mutated animals, changed the physics of the landscape, and rendered her little sister mute. Another problem? Addie’s parents have not been seen since. In order to make money to care for her family, she sneaks into the deadly Spill Zone and photographs the bizarre sights and then sells them through a dealer. When she is offered a million-dollar deal to steal something from the Spill Zone hospital, she agrees despite the danger, vowing to make this her last trip into the forbidden territory. Except, of course, something hitches a ride out with her. While some Spill Zone details seem purposefully vague in order to keep up the suspense and get readers to clamor for book two (it works), this does not detract from the dark, atmospheric story, which is enhanced by the cinematic artwork. Fans of I Am Legend, The Walking Dead, creepy dolls, and abandoned hospitals will enjoy this book. Parents, please note: The text is peppered with swear words, which are totally appropriate for a character being chased by mutant rats, but may be too much for some families. (First Second, 2017, hardcover, $22.99)

PICTURE BOOK AGES 4 TO 8 Mr. Particular: The World’s Choosiest Champion!

AGES 8 TO 12 Mighty Jack Written by Ben Hatke (First Second, 2016, paperback, $14.99)

Written by Jason Kirschner AGES 8 TO 12 (Sterling, 2016, hardcover, $14.95)

CHAPTER BOOKS AGES 5 TO 7 Haggis and Tank Unleashed series

Written by Jessica Young Illustrated by James Burks (Scholastic Branches, 2015, paperback, $4.99)

AGES 6 TO 9 Snail Has Lunch Written by Mary Peterson (Aladdin PIX, 2016, hardcover, $12.99)

AGES 6 TO 11 Hansel & Gretel & Zombies

Recess Warriors: Hero is a Four-Letter Word Written by Marcus Emerson (Roaring Brook Press, 2017, paperback, $12.99)

YOUNG ADULT AGES 9 TO 15 Lumberjanes series

Created by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen, and Noelle Stevenson (Boom! Box, 2015, paperback, $14.99)

AGES 9 TO 15 The Time Museum series Written by Matthew Loux (First Second, 2017, paperback, $14.99)

Written by Benjamin Harper Illustrated by Fernando Cano AGES 12 TO 18 (Stone Arch Books, 2016, paper- Delilah Dirk series back, $5.95) Written by Tony Cliff (First Second, 2015, paperback, $17.99) MIDDLE GRADE

AGES 8 TO 12 Real Friends Written by Shannon Hale Illustrated by LeUyen Pham (First Second, 2017, paperback, $12.99)

AGES 12 TO 18 Goldie Vance series

Written by Hope Larson Illustrated by Brittney Williams (Boom! Box, 2016, paperback, $14.99)

September/October 2017


Playing (by the rules) with Grandma Parents and grandparents team up to teach best behaviors By JANET SCHWAN

Oh, the joy of going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house — all the love and attention and fun … but also rules. Probably the most powerful aid to a grandparent is the child’s wish to cooperate. If being with Grandma and Grandpa is a secure, loving, enjoyable experience he or she will be eager to please them. Only then will “consequence training” work. But that appreciation must be built gradually and not entirely on gifts or bribery, although a little of each is welcome. Here’s a scenario that played out with my granddaughter, where a lesson was learned. I joined her for a toddler class at the library. While sitting together at the PlayDoh table, I watched her collect all the colored balls of squishy synthetic clay, busily pushing them together. A little boy was sitting next to us, watching, so I suggested, “Let’s give him some of your Play-Doh. You’ve got a lot.” “No,” she answered and pulled the large lumpy ball closer. I asked the little boy his name and chatted 36

September/October 2017

briefly with his mom. “Can you give Toby a little now? ” I asked my granddaughter again. “No!” she answered sternly. “If you can’t share, we will have to leave,” I told her. “No!” she said one more time. “OK,” I said, handing the Play-Doh to Toby and picking her up. As I carried her to the hall and put her feet on the floor, she looked at me with startled disbelief. “Let’s go see Grandpa,” I said, and we walked to the table in the lobby where he was reading. “Lori didn’t want to share the Play-Doh,” I told him, “so we had to leave.” “That’s right,” grandpa said. “You can sit here, Lori,” I said, pulling out a chair for her. As she climbed up, I explained to her, “You have two choices: We can go home or we can go back to class if you will share the Play-Doh. Think about it.” Grandpa and I sat there quietly, sharing his magazine. After a few long minutes, I asked her, “Would you like to go home now or

Roc Parent Magazine

would you like to go back to class?” “I go back to class,” she said. “Will you share the Play-Doh?” I asked. “I share,” she answered meekly. I smiled and we walked back, hand in hand. Sure, she’ll still need guidance in sharing but I don’t believe she will refuse again. When spending time with grandparents, we must remember that the child is adjusting to two different households, each with its own set of rules. This special person needs time to practice the behaviors expected in different environments. It helps to confide in the parents and enlist their support, so we are all on the same page in regard to discipline. In Wonderful Ways To Love A Grandchild, well-known family therapist Judy Ford wrote: “You are a teacher, a mentor, a model for living. Your grandchildren may not do exactly what you say, but never doubt for a moment that they are listening to you, imitating you, emulating what you do and what you say. “Even from a distance, they are observing you. What do you want them to know?”

Two scenic wonders:

The Bluffs & Letchworth Our editor selected our fall “Roc Parent Pick” — Chimney Bluffs State Park and Letchworth State Park. As two of nature’s masterpieces the parks are being promoted together as the Finger Lakes Scenic Wonders ( And, oh so lucky for us, they are only about an hour drive from Rochester, although in opposite directions The Bluffs and Letchworth are an inspiration for outdoor activity and family fun and creating memories that last for a lifetime (plus, of course, photography). And to enhance the splendor — visiting these stellar spectacles during fall foliage! The Chimney Bluffs, towering 150 feet above Lake Ontario, are large clay formations dating back more than 5,000 years — created by a glacier and continually remolded via waves and weather. Visitors have compared The Bluffs, via reviews on and, with Monument Valley in Utah and have described it as “other-wordly, like Mars” and being “moon-like in its appearance.” One reviewer noted, “From the base of the bluffs looking up, it feels like you are somewhere really far away or on another planet.” Letchworth State Park, also known as “The Grand Canyon of the East,” hosts some of the most fascinating waterfall and gorge scenery in the United States. In fact, Letchworth won the USA Today

Readers’ Choice Award for Best State Park in the United States two years back. Letchworth was chosen from more than 6,000 parks across the nation. Three major waterfalls can be experienced, as the Genesee River roars through the gorge between cliffs — as high as 600 feet in some places — surrounded by lush forests. Visitors have described Letchworth as “stunning,” “spectacular,” “breathtaking views at every turn,” and “photos don’t do the park justice.”

A trip to The Bluffs is a fun family outing. PHOTOS COURTESY WAYNE COUNTY TOURISM


September/October 2017

Roc Parent Magazine

the public for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The park also has a conference center, a museum, gift shop, views of Mt. Morris Dam, the Mary Jemison statue and cabin, and a campground with 270 campsites and 82 cabins. Letchworth is open year-round and each season has its charm and highlights: rainbows over waterfalls in spring and summer, frozen falls in the winter, and foliage in fall. One popular event in fall is the arts and crafts festival over Columbus Day weekend.


Land and water clash at Chimney Bluffs, sculpting the most dramatic landscape on the Lake Ontario shore. You can experience massive earthen spires from above or along the lakeshore on nature trails. Day-use services include picnic areas, nature trails, and restrooms. From the park’s hiking trails, visitors can view the large clay formations at the water’s edge for which the park is named. The Bluffs formed from eroded drumlins, teardrop-shaped hills of glacial till that were deposited and shaped by glaciers during the most recent ice age-Drumlins are piles of ground up mud and stones pushed along by the glacier as it scoured the land. The erosive power of wind, rain, snow, and waves has formed the dramatic landscape into sharp pinnacles. The 597-acre state park is situated on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, east of Rochester and Sodus Bay. The land was acquired by the state of New York in 1963 after having previously been operated informally as a privately owned recreation area. Visitor amenities, including a parking lot, restrooms, and picnic areas, were installed in 1999. It is considered a year-round park for hiking and picnicking in the summer. Swimming is prohibited. Winter activities include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, a trailhead for snowmobiling is also located within the park.


• The hike is described as a moderately challenging but very steep. Most families with children can handle the trails (when it’s dry vs. muddy), but beware of the erosion. The bluffs are eroding one to five feet each year. • Wear sneakers and bring water. Hike time estimated at 45 minutes to one hour. • Trails are pedestrian only (not suitable for bikes, strollers, or wheelchairs). • Trails run along the shoreline and offer panoramic views and photo opportunities, stretching just over 1.2 miles. • The bluff trail is not for those who fear heights. At times there is very little between you and the edge — and some old offshoots of the trail lead right off a cliff. • If you want a less challenging hike, you can park at the western end of the park and take a blacktop trail right to the shore of Lake Ontario

and see the bluffs to your east. • Household pets are allowed but must be caged or on leash six-feet or less in length (must have proof of rabies inoculation). However, hikers have advised that it is best to not bring your dog on the Bluff trails, for safety’s sake. • Plenty of picnic tables plus grills are on site, plus a public restroom.


Address: 7700 Garner Road, Wolcott, NY Phone: (315) 947-5205 Seasons/Hours: Open year-round, dawn-dusk. Admission: Free (but vehicle entrance fee is $5 per car, which includes a visitor pamphlet, collected April 1 to Oct. 31) Best time to visit: Summer and fall Timing: Plan for half a day to enjoy the park. A walk along the Bluff Trail and then back through the woods takes about an hour and a half.


Letchworth State Park spans more than 14,000 acres with spectacular vistas and more than 30 waterfalls. The magnificent park offers nature, history, and performing arts programs, guided walks, tours, a lecture series, whitewater rafting, kayaking, a pool for swimming, and hot-air ballooning. There are 66 miles of hiking trails as well as trails for horseback riding, biking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. The historic and restored Glen Iris Inn, located in the park (the original home of Mr. Letchworth), offers overnight accommodations and is open to

• The best address to enter on your GPS: 6625 Denton Corners Rd., Castile, NY 14427 • While hiking in the park is rewarded by spectacular vistas, there are many features available by car. Multi-generation families, from young children to Grandma, can view several sites with minimal walking. • There is little or no cell phone reception in the park (so best to take care of GPS and Google planning in advance). • Currently in 2017 (till 2018) the trail to Upper Falls is closed due to a new railroad bridge being installed, but some visitors have found watching that activity interesting. This construction has also closed the south entrance to the park at Portageville. • Deer and other wildlife run throughout the park. • Dogs are allowed on a leash (must have proof of rabies inoculation). But prohibited from buildings and trails. • Plenty of picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and playgrounds.


Address: 1 Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY Phone: (585) 493-3600 Seasons/Hours: Open year-round, 6 a.m.-11 p.m. Admission to park: $10 vehicle entrance fee (per car, collected late May to end of October) Admission to museum: $1 adult; 50 cents child; $3 family Best time to visit: All seasons, but peak time is during fall foliage Timing: You can drive the park in 30 minutes but most people spend several hours, as they stop to see views, have a picnic, walk or hike.

Mother Nature’s paintbrush creates dramatic colors along the Letchworth gorge each fall. PHOTO BY JOHN KUCKO

September/October 2017


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Let’s keep ’em


Getting our kids off screens and outside to play By DR. KATIE RIZZONE, M.D., M.P.H., Sports Medicine Physician at UR Medicine

Many children aren’t getting the exercise they need, and the lures of electronic devices and 24/7 TV is part of the problem. It’s too easy for kids to fill their free hours with video games, texting, and binge-watching.

How much exercise should children get?

The Physical Activity Guidelines for

Americans, issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommend that children and adolescents ages 6 to 17 years get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

How much exercise are kids actually getting? Many kids are falling short of the recommendations. According to a survey of ninth- to 12th-grade students by the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention, only 11 percent of girls and 24 percent of boys said they were physically active at least 60 minutes per day.

Why is this important? Partially related to this lack of recommended activity, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that the prevalence of overweight or obesity in children and youth in the United States is more than 15 percent, a value that has tripled since the 1960s.

September/October 2017


Some 80 percent of children carry childhood weight problems into adulthood and put themselves at greater risk of related problems such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular issues.

Does activity fall during the school year? It depends on the child. Kids who are in school-based or community sports programs may stay active all year, playing their sport during the season and training during the off-season. I’m especially concerned about the kids who aren’t in structured programs — which is actually the majority of children. They need ways to enjoy exercise for their health, for socialization, and for building confidence. Exercise and active play can and should be enjoyed by kids of all skill levels. The activity doesn’t have to be sports-related; it can be non-competitive activities such as biking, walking, or hiking; even old-school pastimes like tag are fun and beneficial for health.

How do I get my kids to be active? Shift their free time from “screen” time to “active play” time. Be aware of how many hours you and your children spend watching TV or at the computer, smart phone, or tablet. Then set reasonable limits to leave more time for physical activity. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children two years old or older spend no more than two hours a day watching TV, playing video games, and using the computer. When you do watch TV with your kids, use the time during the commercials for some quick activity — crunches, jumping jacks, pushups, or running in place. Model healthy behavior by being more active yourself and encouraging your kids to join in. You can incorporate physical activity in your family’s daily routine by taking walks together after dinner and on weekends, playing backyard games, and including kids in housework or yard work (you can offer non-food rewards for completing these chores). It’s a great way to get some quality family time. Take advantage of warm weather and encourage kids to be outside. Make use of public parks and playgrounds for family activities. Give children toys that encourage active play — balls, kites, jump ropes. 44

September/October 2017

Shift their free time from “screen” time to “active play” time. Be aware of how many hours you and your children spend watching TV or at the computer, smart phone, or tablet. Then set reasonable limits to leave more time for physical activity. Have safety concerns affected activity levels, as kids seem to have less freedom outdoors?

In generations past, kids did seem to have more freedom to travel their neighborhoods, making it easier to engage in spontaneous play such as pick-up basketball and sandlot baseball games. Parents have become more cautious. But while we focus on safeguarding our children from harm, it’s also important to recognize the long-term health risks that inactivity can have on them. Your child’s age, maturity level, and degree of self-confidence will help you determine the amount of independent play they can do. And you can build in some precautions to help keep them safe. Kids venturing out to play should keep

Roc Parent Magazine

parents and babysitters up to date on their destination, time for return, etc. You can purchase a wearable GPS locator for them or install a GPS tracker app on their phone, if they carry one, to give you some added peace of mind. Kids can pair up for activities that take them outdoors and away from their backyards, like riding a bike, walking, or hiking. Kids who walk or hike should stick to well-traveled trails, traveling in pairs or more, and follow pedestrian and traffic safety rules. Safety gear is essential — make sure they wear a well-fitting helmet for biking and rollerblading, eye protection for ball sports, and wear sun block when they’ll be outdoors. As parents, we can help our children by making sure they have the time, resources, and encouragement they need to keep their minds and bodies healthy.

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