June/July Issue STAYCATION

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Volume 9 |June 2011 | KidsFunPlaza


While Pregnant

WAYS TO HAVE A GREAT STAYCATION with Your Toddler June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 1

Educators of the Month: Sylvan Learning Centers................................................................4 Parent of the Month: Avon Scherff

In the Oven: Camping while Pregnant..........................................................................9 Community Guide: Staycations Guide............................................................................13 Baby: Summer Safety for your Baby.......................................................................14 Community: BACC, Ballston Area Community Center.................................................16 Buy Local: The Great Escape

& Splashwater Kingdom .............................................18

Toddler: 5 Ways to Have a Great Staycation with Your Toddler................................23 Kiddo: Have a Four-Year-Old?

Vacation at Home! ..................................................24

Health Provider of the Month: Dr. Joseph Gulyas, DC

Heath Care Provider of the Month......................................................................26

KidsFunKitchen....................................................................................................28 Tween:

Staycation Tips for Families with Tweens....................................................29


A Staycation with Teens...............................................................................30

Grandma’s Wisdom Don’t Rush Your Children To Grow Up............................................33


Inspiring and Empowering Young Women............................................................6




Meet BACC, Ballston Area Community Center

Summer Safety for your Baby Tips for Families with Tweens

29 Ways to Have a Great Staycation with Your Toddler

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Ana Roca Castro Ana@KidsFunPlaza.com EDITOR IN CHIEF

Cassandra Spellman Cassandra@KidsFunPlaza.com

Art Director

Catalina Arango Catalina@KidsFunPlaza.com Marketing Director

Coleen Valenti Coleen@KidsFunPlaza.com


elcome to the June issue of Kids Fun Plaza! The days are getting longer, the temperatures higher, the number of school days fewer and fewer— summer is here! As I mentioned in my letter from last month, I am a first-time mother. My husband and I welcomed our daughter in the cold, snowy days of January. In fact, she arrived home in the midst of a severe snowstorm! Five months later, it’s looking quite a bit different outside our windows. The summer presents a whole new territory for our family. We haven’t yet experienced this season with a baby and we are looking forward to all that awaits us!

Marketing Coordinator

Amanda Savarese Amanda@KidsFunPlaza.com Diversity Manager

Roxanna Homic Roxanna@KidsFunPlaza.com


Cassandra Spellman Amanda Savarese

Summer offers opportunities for all families. With school ending and vacation time approaching for many parents, summer is one of the ideal times to relax, explore, and bond as a family. Yet, the prospect of taking a family vacation is sometimes quite daunting, especially considering today’s economic climate. The simple fact is that many families cannot afford the transportation, hotel, food, and admission costs of a typical summer vacation.

Amanda Mouttaki

If your family meets this description, we have a terrific alternative for you: the “staycation!” A staycation is simply a vacation spent at home, enjoying the wonderful opportunities right within your own backyard. You will be amazed at what awaits you in your local area!

Rachel Breidster

Recognizing that different ages present varying challenges and interests, our writers have prepared articles to meet your family’s particular needs. Amanda and Andrea provide some staycation suggestions for toddlers. If you have tweens in your family (children ages 9-12), Connie has the perfect article for you. Laura presents staycation ideas for teens, too! Perhaps you are like my husband and me and this is your first summer with a baby. My article will help you make sure your baby is safe while you enjoy some fun in the sun during your staycation! Finally, Rachel’s article will remind all of us to enjoy our children while they are still children, whatever the stage or age! Whether your summer destination is near or far, we hope that these beautiful, sunny summer days bring many opportunities for your family members to grow ever closer and to create wonderful memories together!

Cassandra Spellman

Laura Franklin Andrea Updyke Connie Roberts

Caroline Lewin Barrett Kiki Lightbourn Roxanna Homic Karen Katz

Check out our Facebook Page for contests. http://facebook.com/KidsFunPlaza Follow us on Twitter Twitter @KidsFunPlaza

June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 3


Sylvan Learning Center, the nation’s leading provider of tutoring and supplemental education for students of all ages, grades and skill levels, has approximately 900 centers nationwide. Three of those centers are located right here in the Capital District: in Albany, Clifton Park, and Niskayuna. These local centers have helped families meet their educational goals in reading, math, writing, study skills, SAT/ACT Prep and adult test-prep since 1996.


ylvan staff members work closely with the Capital District community, including partnerships with local schools and organizations. Our local centers are particularly proud of our certified teachers, and we are excited to introduce you to three of our phenomenal educators:

Alison War r en

Director of Education, Niskayuna Alison Warren has worked for Sylvan Learning for seven years. She started as a Sylvan teacher in Rochester and has been with the Capital Region Sylvan centers since 2007. For the past 4 years, Alison has been the Director of Education at our Niskayuna location. Alison received her Master’s Degree in English from the University of London and is a certified teacher. As Director of Education, she oversees the educational programs of over 70 students at the Niskayuna Sylvan center. She meets monthly with parents to discuss their goals for their children and their student’s progress towards meeting those goals. 4 KidsFunPlaza | Tech Valley, NY |June 2011

By AMANDA SAVARESE Blog.KidsFunPlaza.com & KidsFunKitchen.com

Not a mommy yet, But looking forward to when the time comes! Finishing education while loving life at Kids Fun Plaza! Total social butterfly, A member of five chambers, Women in Business, Young Professionals, & GenNEXT!

She communicates with local school district teachers about the students’ educational plans and she oversees a staff of 10 Master’s level, state certified teachers. Alison walked into her first Sylvan center seven years ago, convinced that there had to be a way to reach students who were struggling to achieve their academic goals in a traditional school setting. As she says, “I’m still here because I feel as good as they do when a student gets a good grade, or feels proud about completing a school project, or gets excited about returning to Sylvan for the summer to keep working on his or her academics.” At this time of year, Alison especially loves working with our SAT Prep students. “They are at a point in their academic career where they are putting forth great effort and it is very rewarding to play a part in helping students reach a major academic goal like college.”

Lester began teaching as a second career, and is currently a 5th grade teacher in the Capital District. It only made sense to him to join the Sylvan team when he was looking for a part-time job. “It is obvious that the Sylvan environment encourages students while building skills—I wanted to be part of that. I make sure I know each child’s name and his or her back-story. It’s all about building personal connections and relationships. I love Sylvan and I want them to love their time here as well.”

Jennif er Bloss

Clifton Park Teacher and former Director of Education:

Les ter Betor

Albany Teacher and Past Sylvan Parent tLester first came to Sylvan as a parent of a 3rd grade student struggling with math concepts. It had been a long road of issues that boiled down to her not developing the background knowledge to be a successful math student. He remembers as a parent being surprised by the extensive testing and the in-depth program designed for his daughter. They decided to go ahead and enroll. “It was the best investment we could have ever made. I saw my daughter develop self-confidence; she went from someone who despised math to someone who loved math. The year she completed her program at Sylvan she scored a 4 on the New York State Math exams. Now, as a freshman in high school, math is her best subject. Sylvan was truly a longterm solution for my daughter.”

Jennifer started at Sylvan in 1996 as a newly certified young teacher, fresh from her Master’s Degree at Eastern University in Pennsylvania. Through the years she has worked in a variety of capacities as a Teacher and as a Director for various Sylvan locations and for the past several years she has lived and worked in Clifton Park. Jenn says, “Working for Sylvan has allowed me to grow as a teacher and to develop administrative and management skills. This has been very gratifying professionally.” Jenn has seen students experience success with Sylvan’s reading program. “Students who work to develop better reading skills see the benefit in all academic areas. They do better in science, social studies and even math.” In addition, Jenn enjoys teaching Sylvan’s Study Skills course because she believes that students learn life-long skills like time management and organization that are applicable not just to middle and high school, but also to college, employment and even household management. Jenn should know, as she balances working part-time for Sylvan, being active in the community, and raising five children! June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 5

Avon Scherff

Inspiring and Empowering Young Women By Beth Levine, TheAngelForever.com

Encourage young women to discover their dreams, to believe their future holds endless possibilities, and empower them to make it happen.”


hose are the words that make up the mission statement of the non-profit I Am I Can. This new organization starting in the Capital District is the brain child of Avon Scherff, the owner of Scherff Insurance Agency, Inc. The mother of a teenage son, Avon wants to join with other professional women in the community to mentor girls in grades 9-12. The organization will provide encouragement, guidance, and advocacy to young women as they focus on a goal after high school graduation. Avon Scherff talks about her organization with passion and vigor. She is excited to share her dream to help high school girls set, work toward, and reach goals. Scherff wants to help teen girls think ahead about life after high school. She wants them to graduate and then have something to do after. That may be the military, college, vocational school, starting their own business, or something else. Avon has spent the last few months working with people in the community to set up a board for I Am I Can. They have bylaws established, along with some community directors and advocates. Now Avon hopes that, with additional people taking on responsibility within the organization, they can all work toward the three core values of I Am I Can:

u v w

The future belongs to those who dare to dream

Self-empowerment can bring monumental change

Every young woman has endless potential

It is because of this dedication to Saratoga and the greater Capital District community that Avon Scherff was selected as the May Parent of the Month.

Q&A WITH AVON SCHERFF Q: – Please explain what I Am I Can is and why you decided to create this non-profit organization in June. A: As a young girl from a struggling family, I have a passion to work with girls to instill in them that all things are possible – if they believe! My son is a junior in high school, so I see and hear about the struggles of teenage girls in our own community. I want to be able to provide a resource for girls who lack self-confidence and self-esteem, girls who feel like they are invisible and have no options.

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Q – Dream it. Believe it. Do it. Those are the powerful words that support the mission statement behind I Am I Can. How do you help encourage young women to follow this using your mission statement? A: I think any relationship takes time to build. Our advocates/mentors will work with these young women on a one-on-one basis to develop trust. They will spend time together in the hopes of “building them up” and instilling in them that there is a wonderful life ahead of them filled with opportunity. We want all young women to embrace a dream, believe in themselves, and become empowered to make it happen. Q – What is the most rewarding part of your non-profit work? A: I think what has amazed me thus far in building this organization are the stories that other professional women have shared with me about their lives. I don’t think my story or experiences are unique. There are many women that I know who have overcome huge adversity to achieve their dreams. Many of them have shared their struggles, their tragedies, their hardships. This only reinforces my belief that life is not a sequence of events; events in our lives shape who we become. Q – How has being a parent helped you with your role in the community? A: Because I have a son who is a junior in high school, I have had the opportunity to meet with the guidance counselors, school psychologist, school nurse, etc. to talk about the organization and the resources we can bring to the girls we serve. I also think being a parent

PARENT OF THE MONTH allows me some insight into the challenges they face as students. Previous to launching my own non-profit, I served on several other boards and committees, which provided me the experience relevant to starting I Am I Can. Q – If money were no issue, what additional items would you love to have for I Am I Can? A: The fundraising that we do will provide financial resources to the girls during high school, but if money were no issue, we could provide funding to support post-graduate goals: college, military programs, cosmetology school, technical school, etc. We encourage the girls to have a professional goal after high school, but clearly recognize that college may not be for everyone.

Mission Statement “Encourage young women to discover their dreams, to believe their future holds endless possibilities and empower them to make it happen.”

Q – What are some opportunities for people in the community to get involved with I Am I Can? A: We are in need of women who would like to get involved and have a passion to work with young women. We have board positions available, as well as Community Directors and Advocates. We will be holding informational meetings in January for those who would like to learn more. A big thank you to Avon Scherff, the founder of I Am I Can, for taking the time to do this interview. It was a pleasure talking with her and learning about her new organization to help high school girls within the region to reach their goals. I wish Avon and I Am I Can much success. By early 2011, I Am I Can hopes to have secured an official non-profit title. Soon girls and mentors will be paired. Remember, as more volunteers within the area step forward, additional I Am I Can locations for girls in other counties are possible.

Beth is a happily married teacher, now SAHM to her two young sons. She has a passion for all things Disney, reading, crafting , and traveling. A camera is always close to catch memories for her blog, TheAngelForever.com

Core Values belongs to The future to dream. re da o those wh Self-empowerment can bring monumental change.

Online at: www.iamicanachieve.org

Every young woman has endless potential.


To learn more about I Am I Can, please go to the website IAmICanAchieve.org Here you will find additional information about the program, including how to contact Avon about Student Participation, Board positions, Community Directors, Mentors/Advocates, Volunteering Opportunities, and donations of time, talent, or treasure. June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 7

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By Karen Katz, Techvalleymom.com

Canned goods such as green beans, tuna fish, and pears are good options as well. Getting the daily recommended intake of calcium through dairy products may be more difficult without refrigeration, but items such as powdered milk are available. Calcium-fortified cereal and almonds are also calcium-rich foods. Do not forget to pack any recommended vitamins and plenty of fresh water.


amping while pregnant may seem intimidating: alone in the wilderness, away from the comforts of civilization. However, with the proper planning, you can make camping a fun and healthy experience. The first and foremost concern should be nutrition. Remember, women should consume about 300 more calories per day while pregnant, so prepare your meals accordingly. Don’t plan on “roughing it” with baked beans and s’mores; you must bring enough food for well-rounded meals that provide the proper nutrition for you and your baby. According to WebMD.com, the recommended daily servings for pregnant women include 6-11 servings of grains, 2-4 servings of fruit, 4+ servings of vegetables, 4 servings of dairy products, and 3 servings of protein. Dried goods that do not require refrigeration, such as rice, nuts, and dried fruit, are ideal for camping purposes.

Another major factor you should plan for is comfort. While low-stress exercise is highly recommended for pregnant women, do not overexert yourself. Pregnant women are more prone to fatigue, so take frequent breaks and keep the walking pace manageable. Wear comfortable shoes. For sleep, ensure that you have a lot of padding for the hard ground. Be liberal with pillows! While pregnant, hormonal changes cause blood to flow more quickly through your kidneys, causing frequent urination. Ensure that you always have a comfortable place to relieve yourself. Before you go to sleep, locate a spot that you can easily find in the dark if you feel the urge to urinate at night. Finally, make sure that your camping partner(s) understand your pregnancy needs and will provide you with the proper support. Plan for emergencies—stay near the car or ensure that you can communicate with someone who is able to help. Don’t be afraid to be too demanding; do what is necessary to ensure your comfort and your baby’s safety. With proper planning, your camping trip should go smoothly and be a fun experience! Just moved in the Tech Valley with my husband, a toddler and one more cooking. Trying to accept all the changes. Blogging myself out of therapy! http://techvalleymom.com

June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 9


STAYCATIONS in Tech Valley, NY Adirondack Balloon Flights Phil Jackson Glenns Falls, NY (518)793-6342 www.albany.com/business/adirondackballoon-flights-515/website/ Fly with Phil Jackson, the regions premier and most experienced balloon ride pilot with over 30 years and 3000 flights in the Lake George area. We specialize in Private and Small Group balloon rides. Call now to reserve your flight!

The Saratoga Winery & Tasting Room Saratoga Springs, NY Step into the Adirondacks just three miles from downtown Saratoga. Pull up a chair at our comfortable and inviting tasting bar. The aroma of aging wine is sure to please your senses as you sip away. Sit back, relax and experience great wine.

Adirondack Winery & Tasting Room Lake George, NY Adirondack Winery is the region’s first Micro Winery! A wine tasting includes a souvenir glass. 35+ wine types hand-crafted locally. Gourmet cheese, foods, chocolates, wine ice cream, and unique wine-related gifts and accessories also available.

Irish American Heritage Museum Albany NY

The Irish American Heritage Museum is dedicated to the preservation and promulgation of Irish American cultural traditions. We devise projects and develop programs focusing on the unique heritage of the sons and daughters of American Heritage.

Sylvan Beach Amusement Park 112 Bridge Street - Sylvan Beach, NY (315) 762-5212 sylvanbeachamusementpark.com Sylvan Beach Amusement Park has rides, food and entertainment on the shores of Oneida Lake for all agese!

Altamont Fair - The Capital Region’s Hometown Fair 129 Grand Street Albany, NY (518) 861-6671 / (518) 861-7251

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Dutch Apple Cruises 141 Broadway, Albany, NY (518) 463-0220/ (518) 463-0235 dutchapplecruises.com Dutch Apple Cruises, come join us on the Hudson, for entertainment, sightseeing, and more fun. Give us a call to reserve. Let us help make your cruise an enjoyable one!

Ellms Family Farm 468 Charlton Road, Ballston Spa, NY (518) 884-8168 • ellmsfarms.com Great family fun with mazes, Jumping Pillow, slides, zip lines, kid-friendly evening Halloween hay rides and delicious homemade apple cider donuts!

Saratoga Casino and Raceway 342 Jefferson Street, Saratoga Springs, NY (518) 581-5769 / (518) 581-5880 www.saratogagaming.com Discover 1,700 slots, electronic table games, live harness racing, live simulcast coverage, an array of delicious dining options and Vapor, a modern, casually chic night club at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway.

walls of all difficulties, routes of all difficulties, and we welcome new routes - just bring a roll of tape and a marker and label your favorite route. All walls are painted with landscapes, sunsets, and wild animals, providing some imaginative eye candy while you climb.

Albany Live at five Albany Riverfront Park at the Corning Preserve Albany, NY • 518-434-2032 www.albanyny.org/government/departments/generalservices/specialevents/aliveatfive.aspx Alive at Five has kept downtown Albany’s spirits high after work on Thursdays throughout the summer for 22 years. The stage comes alive with music from national, regional and local artists; each night plays host to a different genre of music. The weekend kicks-off with an early start, as many of Albany’s professionals, community members and friends enjoy the diverse musical talent presented during the series.

Proctors Theater 432 State Street, Schenectady, NY (518) 346-6204 • proctors.org Through arts and community leadership be

Rollarama Skating Center 2710 a catalyst for excellence in education sustain economic development and civic engageHamburg Street Schenectady, NY ment to enhance the quality of life in the (518) 355-2140 greater capital region. http://www.rollarama.com Family style fun to be had on our beautiful maple skating surface. Enjoy our game room, snack bar and lots of great music. We are located in the heart of the Town of Rotterdam. Book your Birthday party or your private skating or non skating event!

Playdium Bowling Center 363 Ontario Street childrensmuseumatsaratoga.org The Children’s Museum at Saratoga inspires curiosity, sparks imagination and nurtures discovery through the use of hands-on, inquiry based experiences.

Air Rock Gym 4C Vatrano Rd., Albany, NY (518)459-7625 • airrockgym.com A.I.R. is the premier indoor rock gym of Albany, NY! Our facility includes an assortment of overhangs, floor-to-ceiling cracks, the option to climb across the ceiling, and wall surface features that give you the closest indoor experience to outdoor climbing, in any weather and right next door! We have

Palace Theater 19 Clinton Avenue # 6, Albany, NY (518) 465-3334 • palacealbany.com he Palace Theatre has entered the twenty-first century as a venerable and vital cultural and entertainment facility serving the Capital Region community. On-going renovations, restorations and improvements ensure the service of this architecturally significant landmark for us and future generations.

Times Union Center 51 South Pearl Street Albany, NY (518) 487-2000 • centeralbany.com The Times Union Center is an indoor arena, located in Albany, New York, that can fit from 6,000-17,500 people, with a maximum seating capacity of 15,500, for sporting events. The arena also has 25 luxury suites, each having 16 seats, cable T.V., private bathroom, and private refrigerator, and are located at the top of the inner bowl.

“Staycations” Capital Repertory Theatre 111 North Pearl Street, Albany, NY (518) 445-7469 • capitalrep.org Capital Repertory Theatre is a professional, not-for-profit cultural organization with a mission to create meaningful theatre generated by an authentic link to the community it serves. Capital Rep is also the only member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) within fourteen counties of the Upper Hudson-Mohawk Valley.

Dudley Obersvatory 107 Nott Ter # 201, Schenectady, NY (518) 382-7583 www. dudleyobservatory.org/ The Dudley Observatory, chartered by the State of New York in 1852, is the oldest independent organization in the country supporting research and education in astronomy and the history of astronomy. Our vision is to be a nationally recognized center for educational outreach and historical research in astronomy that is vibrant and expanding its impact, programming, and resources through both its own unique efforts and partnerships with other leading organizations.

Calypso’s Cove 3183 State Route 28, Old Forge, NY 315-369-6145 www.calypsoscove.com

Camping in the Adirondacks 43 Broadway, Saranac Lake, NY 518-891-3745/ 518-891-3768 adirondacks.com/camping.html

Offers the area afternoon and evening entertainment at an affordable price. With something for everyone, your adventure to Calypso’s Cove is sure to be a memorable one!

Get the inside scoop on the best places to go camping, where to stay, who the local experts are and where to buy the best equipment!

Old Forge Camping Resort 3347 State Route 28, Old Forge, NY 1-800-CAMPING www.oldforgecamping.com We offer lodging in our Adirondack cottage rentals, log cabins rentals, RV camping and tent sites and has a picnic table, fire circle, and is conveniently located near one of our seven heated Restroom and Shower Facilities all at an affordable cost.

Water’s Edge Inn 3188 State Route 28, Old Forge, NY 315-369-2484 www.watersedgeinn.com The Hotel offers Standard Rooms & Suites with refrigerators & balconies in every room in the lodge, Complimentary Continental Breakfast, a Heated Indoor Pool and Sauna, Complimentary High Speed Wireless Internet and great family service.

Saratoga Automobile Museum 110 Avenue of the Pines Saratoga Springs, NY (518) 587-1935 saratogaautomuseum.org Enchanted Forest/Water Safari The mission of the Saratoga Automobile 3183 State Rt. 28, Old Forge, NY Museum is to preserve, interpret and exhibit automobiles and automotive artifacts. We 315-369-6145 / 315-369-640 celebrate the automobile and educate the info@watersafari.com general public, students and enthusiasts www.watersafari.com regarding the role of the automobile in New York State and in the wider world. In addition to technical and design aspects, our educational focus is on the past, present and future social and economic impact of the automobile.

Theme Park with over 50 rides and attractions including 32 heated water rides.

Glens Falls Civic Center 1 Civic Center Plaza Glens Falls, NY (518) 798-0202 • glensfallscc.com

Zoom Flume offers safe water fun, excitement and relaxation for all ages in a beautiful natural setting.

A model building situated among the foothills of the Adirondacks, the Glens Falls Civic Center is the ideal host of sporting events, concerts, and family entertainment since its construction in 1979. The Civic Center is owned by the city of Glens Falls and managed by Global Spectrum, a Philadelphiabased company that is a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment firms, Comcast-Spectacor.

Lake George Lodging Ottawa Street, Lake George, NY www.lakegeorge.com/lodging/ Discover Lake George lodging accommodations perfect for your vacation getaway! Choose from Lake George hotels, motels, resorts, campgrounds, inns, cabins and more for every taste and budget.

The Sagamore 110 Sagamore Road, Bolton Landing, NY (800) 358-3585 www.thesagamore.com Poised on the southern end of Green Island, The Sagamore commands stunning views of Lake George and the islands that grace its waters. This family friendly golf and lakefront resort offers luxury accommodations, extraordinary dining, superb fitness and spa facilities and a host of opportunities to enjoy the incredible beauty of the Adirondacks.

The Inn at Saratoga 231 Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY 800) 274-3573 / 518-583-2543 info@theinnatsaratoga.com www.theinnatsaratoga.com Albany Pools & Spray Pools, NY albany.com/aboutalbany/pools.cfm Find the perfect pool to go to in Albany!

Zoom Flume Water Park 91 Shady Glen Road, East Durham, NY www.zoomflume.com

Saratoga Spa State Park Allison Schweizer 19 Roosevelt Drive Saratoga Springs, NY 518-584-2535 allison.schweizer@oprhp.state.ny.us www.saratogaspastatepark.org

Six Flags Great Escape 89 Six Flags Drive Queensbury, NY There are many Park Attractions such as ex(888) 708-2684 quisite restaraunts, Trails & Maps, The Springs, The Victorian & Peerless Pool, Historical www.sixflagsgreatescapelodge.com The Great Escape, a 140-acre theme park featuring awesome rides, great shows, and incredible attractions, plus Splashwater Kingdom, Lodge & Indoor Waterpark!

Buildings, and events to enjoy!

June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 11


STAYCATIONS in Tech Valley, NY You’ll have fun discovering everything from butterflies to dragonflies to trees and shrubs to snakes and more. The kids will be amazed, and it’s really affordable (just $5 per family).

Saratoga Performing Arts Center 108 Avenue of the Pines Saratoga Springs, NY 518-587-3330 / 518-584-0809 www.spac.org The Saratoga Performing Arts Center, set in a 2,400 acre park preserve surrounded by hiking trails, geysers and natural mineral springs has set the stage for world-class experiences for generations. From a picnic on the lawn, to before or after dinner drinks at the Jazz Bar, or elegant dining at The Hall of Springs Restaurant, a visit to SPAC is always an unforgettable experience.

Shepard Park Canada Street, Lake George, NY 518-668-2864 lakegeorge.com/music-and-fireworks free music concerts and fireworks during the summer months!

Golf Courses/Clubs In & Around Upstate NY www.albany.com/guide/attractionsentertainment_golf.cfm Various golf courses throughout Upstate NY– from championship courses the pros play at, to par three perfect for a beginner or a relaxing quick game of golf.

Albany Pine Bush Preserve 195 New Karner Road, NY 518-456-0655 info@albanypinebush.org www.albanypinebush.org Spend the afternoon learning and observing at the Pine Bush Discovery Center in Albany.

Albany Parks, NY www.albany.com/parks Albany Parks Guide: Hike, Bike, Swim & Camp Around The Capital Region!

11th Annual Balloon Festival Cambridge Hotel, 4 West Main Street, Cambridge MA, NY 518-607-0877 cambridgechamber@gmail.com www.washingtoncounty.org/ 11th Annual Balloon Festival, June 3-5, 2011, A free family festival that is fun for everyone!

The Arts Center of the Capital Region 265 River Street, Troy, NY 12180 518-273-0552 justine@artscenteronline.org www.artsceteronline.org Offering a wide range of classes in the visual, literary and performing arts, The Arts Center maintains a varied and growing portfolio of programs and services for artists, audiences, and organizations.

National Baseball Hall of Fame 25 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY 1-888-HALL-OF-FAME 607-547-2044 • www.baseballhall.org The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum collections feature more than 38,000 three-dimensional items, three million books and documents and 500,000 photographs. The Museum tells visitors the story of baseball through its three-story timeline, with the majestic Plaque Gallery serving as a centerpiece.

Oasis Family Fun Park 97 North Greenbush Road Troy, NY 518-283-3646 www.oasispark.net To provide you and your family with an affordable, fun and memorable experience by offering you quality products and services in an environment which is clean, safe and above all family friendly.

Saratoga Automobile Museum 110 Ave of the Pines, Saratoga Springs, NY 518-587-1935 • saratogaautomuseum.org Most automobile museums remain static, featuring one exhibit for years at a time. But the Saratoga Automobile Museum continues to buck that trend, mounting three major exhibits yearly in the Golub Gallery.

Howe Caverns, Inc. 255 Discovery Drive Howes Cave, NY The Stockade Historic District 518-296-8900 www.historicstockade.com www.howecaverns.com The Stockade Association was formed by a Howe Caverns is a premier attraction which provides unparalleled cavern adventures designed to enlighten, entertain, and educate

group of concerned residents in 1958. They recognized that due to an accident of history, the Stockade area of Schenectady possessed the largest collection of authentic colonial houses of any neighborhood in the United States.

Looking for family related events and resources in Tech Valley NY ?

Interactive directory where families can find everything in the area ! 12 KidsFunPlaza | Tech Valley, NY |June 2011


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By Cassandra Spellman, paxetbaby.com.

Summer Safety for Your Baby I

love the summer, but having fun in the sun does present some dangers to your little one. Here are ways to keep your baby safe through the upcoming months! As always, it is best to discuss these concerns with your baby’s pediatrician.




Who doesn’t love the bright sunshine of a June afternoon? Sunshine is beautiful, but can be harmful, especially to a baby whose skin is thinner than that of an adult and is therefore more prone to sunburn. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends coverage as the best protection: dress your baby a light long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and a wide-brimmed hat. Move your baby under a shady tree, an umbrella, or stroller canopy. If possible, avoid being outdoors during the peak sun time (10 AM 4 PM).


your baby is less than six months old and the above precautions are unavailable, then a small amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF may be applied to the baby’s face and the back of his or her hands. Prior to doing this, make sure your baby has no reaction by first applying a small amount of sunscreen to a limited area. For babies over six months, sunscreen should definitely be used, even on cloudy days! 14 KidsFunPlaza | Tech Valley, NY |June 2011

Water Safety There is nothing like a refreshing swim on a summer day! Remember, however, to never leave your baby unattended by a body of water, including baby pools. Even those two or so inches of water pose a danger of drowning. If you decide to have your infant or baby “test the waters,” you or another adult should provide touch supervision: always keep your hands on your baby. Also, if your baby cannot lift his or her head to a 90 degree angle, then he or she isn’t ready to be in the water. One final note about water safety: if you take your baby with you for a boat ride, your baby should always wear a life preserver that fits properly (and you should as well, in order to keep yourself safe and to set a good example!).

Heat Safety Some summer days turn out to be real sizzlers and it’s important to make sure your baby isn’t overheating. Cars become very hot, very fast! Babies left in hot cars may quickly experience heat exhaustion, which may then lead to heat stroke. Don’t ever leave your baby in the car alone! Also, your baby may become extra thirsty in the heat, so be prepared to breastfeed more frequently or to take extra formula with you on your summer excursions!

Bug Safety One sign of summer is the seemingly inevitable mosquito bite! How can you protect your baby from unwelcome bugs? Try avoiding areas that attract insects such as stagnant water, leafy overgrowth, or sweet-smelling flowers. The long sleeves that keep your baby safe from the sun will also protect him or her from bug bites or stings. You can also drape a mosquito net over your baby’s stroller to keep bugs out. Bees are attracted to bright, patterned clothing, so try to dress your baby in subdued colors. If your baby is older than two months, you may also use insect repellant that contains a low concentration of DEET (10-30% is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics).

Enjoy! Cassandra Spellman is grateful to be a wife and new mother! She enjoys writing, gardening, and tracking her adventures in the world of parenting on her blog paxetbaby.com.

With a little preparation, you will have all you need to keep your baby safe this summer! Ensuring your baby’s safety will help you and your little one create many beautiful memories throughout these sunny, warm days! June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 15


By: Amanda Savarese Blog.KidsFunPlaza.com & KidsFunKitchen.com

Meet BACC, Ballston Area Community Center, and its Very Own “Godfather,”



allston Area Community Center is a nonprofit organization located right in the heart of Ballston Spa! BACC offers many different programs for children and teens of all ages, including: school age child care, summer activities, specialized teen programs, toddler open gym, and universal pre-kindergarten, all run by a wide range of volunteers and dedicated staff! One of their upcoming activities is the Summer Travel Program, which BACC operates for nine consecutive, one-week sessions! Participants may attend as many or as few weeks as desired. The children are supervised by BACC’s experienced adult staff who choose fun and exciting adventures, such as visits to Herkimer Diamond Mines, Moreau State Park, Albany Laser Tag, Grafton State Park, Six Flags New England, Albany Planetarium, and many more! Visit their website to learn more at: www.ballstonareacc.org! After meeting with BACC’s Youth Director, Michael Laudacina, I fully realized all of the wonderful opportunities they give to children and teens. Michael has an extensive background helping the youth in our community. When he moved here over twenty years ago, his friend, Steve Lewandowski, strongly encouraged him to apply to the YMCA of Saratoga. He followed Steve’s advice and was hired as a Rover. Shortly after he was promoted to “Director of Youth & Sports,” a position he held until his retirement eighteen years later. With the help and support of the YMCA’s director, Keith Coss, Michael was able to create many new programs and later 16 KidsFunPlaza | Tech Valley, NY |June 2011

received multiple awards for his achievements. He also credits his wife, Patti Laudacina, for her tremendous encouragement. Michael met his wife through his position at the YMCA; she was actually hired at the same time as he and has worked side-by-side with him, generating new ideas for youth programs. Without the help and support of these key people, Michael is confident he wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what he did. After Michael retired from the YMCA, he found that he missed interacting with children and teens. This all changed when Kathi Leigh, the Executive Director at BACC, asked if he would be interested in starting some youth programs at their facility. He enthusiastically agreed and has now been with the BACC for two years, loving every minute of it! SOME OF THE PROGRAMS THAT HE HAS DESIGNED AT THE BACC INCLUDE: * Youth Basketball Leagues: offered this summer on Monday, Wednesday & Friday teams.

* Summer Travel Program: gives kids a wonderful opportunity to get out and experience great places throughout the Capital District while being supervised. * Zumba Classes: offered to teens & up to fight youth obesity. * RAD kids: teaches children safety. This is a hands-on, activity-based, physical skill development program. It educates children to recognize, avoid, and if necessary, respond to potential danger. * Teen dinner: offered every month and allows everyone to get involved, whether by cooking, cleaning or serving. The social interaction is great and it’s always a full house! * ROCK Club: a program designed by children ages 12-18, it stands for “Relationships Outreach Community Kids.” The focus of this club is volunteering to do community service: cleaning up streets, planting gardens, and more!

Another great service BACC offers is free tutoring from Skidmore students. You can be sure that your child is learning and understanding his or her work! Michael said that working at BACC is fun because he can observe kids helping other kids, building self-esteem while everyone is modeling and molding their core values. Michael was given the nickname “The Godfather” many years ago because of his looks, the way he talks, the manner in which he does business…and most of all because of the relationships and guidance he has always offered. At this point in Michael’s life he wakes up every day and can’t wait to get to work! He loves what he does and wouldn’t change a thing. He finds his inspiration to do the best job possible in his six grandchildren, who are the loves of his life. Michael’s dream is to see people paying it forward and that “when people think of teens, they will think of the BACC, knowing that it’s a safe haven.” June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 17


the GREAT ESCAPE & Splashwater KINGDOM



estled in the heart of the Adirondacks, a region brimming with history and natural beauty, The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom is an experience unlike any other with over 135 rides, shows, attractions, and two full children’s areas to fill your day with fun and memories. What a wonderful destination for a staycation! A visit to The Great Escape includes two parks for the price of one with Splashwater Kingdom, the best there is in outdoor water park fun; Splashwater Kingdom features 10 white water attractions! The history of Storytown, combined with the thrills of Six Flags, makes The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom one unforgettable family experience. This year there is even more to look forward to, as The Great Escape introduces Timbertown! This new children’s area will allow families to enjoy a place that complements the beautiful Adirondack region. Six brand new characters corresponding to the Adirondack theme will be introduced, including the popular “Spruce the Moose.” Families visiting the park will be able to sing, dance and take photos with the furry friends, giving children a fresh experience at the park!

18 KidsFunPlaza | Tech Valley, NY |June 2011


the GREAT ESCAPE & Splashwater KINGDOM


Dress Up and Dance A magical trunk filled with costumes is sure to provide non-stop music, laughs, and, of course, dancing! Dressing up and using your imagination is great fun and the perfect way to enjoy your day.

High Noon Hold Up A thrilling spectacle show filled with hand-to-hand combat and fun, heart-stopping fights that will have everyone coming back for more.

Keepin’ the Beat

KidPalooza Dance party for our littlest guests to show off how low they can go with the Limbo, The Twist, Itsy Bitsy Spider and more.

Rhythm Recycled Strolling street entertainment.

RockNation This high energy song and dance production features powerhouse vocals and the hottest choreography. Showcasing hits from 80’s rock to today’s pop.

Song and dance spectacle highlighting songs that truly make us move from the Fabulous 50’s to Disco and Motown.

After meeting with Rebecca Close, Communications Manager at The Great Escape, and learning about all of the new and exciting events that are taking place this summer, I had to share! A staycation with such a wide range of options is sure to be a great time for everyone in the family, whether it’s going on all of the roller coasters, spending a day in Splash Water Kingdom, participating in the shows that are offered or staying the night at The Great Escape lodge! I hope everyone gets a chance to spend time at The Great Escape this season; it will be a fun and exciting adventure for the whole family!

“With the history of Storytown combined with the thrills of Six Flags, The Great Escape is the best family entertainment value for Lake George visitors and the NY Capital Region.” Rebecca Close June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 19

20 KidsFunPlaza | Tech Valley, NY |June 2011

Strawberry Kiki Fruit Tarts

Fruit with Sorbet

Raspberry Pie

Baked Chicken with Carrots and Olives

Cheesecake Squares

Trail Mix Honey Baked Chicken Fruit with Sorbet

Apple Maple Pecan Bread

Arroz Con Pollo


Grilled Beef S’Mores

Churasco Cubano Fruit

Strawberry Sauce Crunchy Fruit Salad Black Eyed Pea Soup

Tomato Soup with Garlic Cheddar Croutons

Cuban Lentil Soup

Strawberry Melon Salad



Shrimp Samosas


Shrimp Pasta in Foil

Pasta with Tomato and Peas


Cheesecake with Lime-Poached Pears

Banana Bread

Apricot Danish and Coffee


Coconut Potato Candies

Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter

Whole Grain Toast with Apple Butter

Simple Sesame Noodles

Honey Fruit Salad

Mango Slices

Caramelized Onion and Apple MiniTarts

Cherry Tomato salad

Orange Sticky Buns


Guava Cake

Ropa Vieja

Graham Crackers

Spaghetti with Artichoke

Fab Fruit Salad


Vanilla Cake

Chicken Stuffing Casserole

Asparagus and Carrot Noodles

Rigatoni Filetto

Maple Flavored Barbecue Chicken

Fruit Smoothie

Boiled Egg and Toast

Glory Muffins


Roast Beef Sandwich

Veggie Fried Rice


Scrambled Eggs and Sausage

Buttered Rosemary Rolls

MONDAY July 11

Cheesey Crock Pot Chicken

Honey Baked Ham

Chicken Noodle Bake



Yogurt and Graham Crackers

Whole Grain Toast with Nutella

Whole Grain Toast with Apple Butter

MONDAY June 27


Curried Coconut Shrimp

Seafood Salad

Mozarella and Tomato Salad

MONDAY June 20

Blueberry Muffin

SUNDAY July 10


Pumpkin Bread



Blueberry Scones

SUNDAY June 26


Three Cheese Scrambled Eggs

SUNDAY June 19


Find all the recipes and shopping lists on KidsFunKitchen.com






42 Oz



35 Cups

10 Oz

10 ½ Cups

14 Cups

35 Oz

KIDS (2-8)








Monthly Menu

June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 21

Number Of Servings

Lemon Cake

Brazo de Gitano

No-Bake Apple Walnut Tart

Vanilla Ice Cream


Spiced Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream

32 16


16 11,630 Cal




Spiced Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream


Ropa Vieja

Dominican Snacocho


Fruit and String Cheese

Trail Mix

19 12,117 Cal

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Garlic Broccoli


Cereal with Milk


Apples and Honey

Black Bean and Salmon Tostada

Yogurt Covered Pretzels

Rice Bake

White Chocolate Chip Raspberry Waffles


Eggs and Homefries


Raspberry Pie

Pinapple Glazed Chicken

Whole Grain Toast with Nutella

Cuban Chicken Soup

Banana Crumb Muffins

FRIDAY June 24



16 10,983 Cal

Pumpkin Pie

Vaca Frita


Sweet Potato Potstickers

Chinese Chicken Salad

Fluffy Pancakes



Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Cuban Paella

Crispy Fried Tofu

Bartlett Pear Salad

Mint and Cilantro Melon Salad



10 12,751 Cal

Apple Pie

Chicken Crunch



Ginger Steak Salad

Make Ahead Muffins



Dessert Pizzas

Chicken in Orange Sauce

Grapes and cheese

Loaded Nachos

Asparagus and Sundried Tomato Frittata

FRIDAY July 15

Cuban Pot Roast

Chicken Cordon Blue

Oxtail Stew

Healthy Baked Porkchops


Apple Spice Cookie Bar

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Carrot sticks and peanut butter

Scallion Pancakes

Catfish Bites

Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese


Baked Lemon Pasta

Yogurt with granola

Watermelon Salad

Peachy Fruit Salad


Dessert Pizzas

Mozzarella Chicken

Whole Grain Toast with Apple Butter

Cherry Tomato salad

Zuchini Bread


Peanut Butter Cookies


Cbuttermilek Ranch Chicken Breast

Healthy Chicken Stew

Summertme Chicken


Baked Sweet Potatoe Chips

Graham Crackers and fruit

Trail Mix

Cuban Lentil Soup

Black Eyed Pea Soup

Tomato Soup with Garlic Cheddar Croutons

Just enter your age, height, weight & gender at: mypyramidtracker.gov/ planner


45 ½ Cups

21 Oz

14 Cups

21 Cups

56 Oz



35 Cups

12 Oz

10 ½ Cups

17 ½ Cups

42 Oz

Kiki Lightbourn


22 KidsFunPlaza | Tech Valley, NY |June 2011

By Andrea Updyke, lilkidthings.com



Ways to Have a Great Staycation with Your Toddler


acations are a lot of fun, but they can also be expensive. This summer, I am expecting our second child so we decided to forgo the family trip and see what our own city has to offer us and our two-year-old. If you are looking for ways to make family staycation memories with your toddler, here are five suggestions!



Public Pools and Splash Yards

Part of the fun of taking a vacation is staying in a hotel with a great pool. Why not try out a public pool across town that is new to your kids? Our city pools are all different and it’s fun to visit each one of them. Many even have splash yards that toddlers love!


Ride the Bus

If you have a child who loves transportation, this can be a fun and inexpensive way to see your town. Most buses are air conditioned and my toddler loves being able to see out the big windows as we ride around downtown.


Live Shows

My son is two and a half so we have to keep that in mind when making local plans. We heard that Sesame Street Live was coming to our city and decided that it would be perfect for him. They offered a morning showing, which was great because we were still home by naptime! Plus, they let us bring our own snacks so that helped keep the cost down!


Morning Movies

During the summer, many movie theaters offer free or discounted morning movies for the kiddos. Check with your local theater to see what programs they offer. Our theater will be playing kid-friendly movies all summer on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for only $1.00 starting this month. It’s a great way to beat the heat and do something special.

Go Out to Breakfast

There is something about going out to breakfast that is a simple vacation pleasure. Why not try it at home? Pick a fun restaurant and get the gang all together for a fun meal in the morning!

Whatever you decide for your staycation, spending time together as a family is the key to making fun and long-lasting memories. Do you have a favorite staycation activity? Andrea Updyke is the Founder and Author of Lil-Kid-Things, a blog discussing the joys and challenges of Motherhood, taking care of a home and staying sane in an ever-changing world. She spent her pre-children years working in the Corporate World. These days, she is expecting her 2nd child, taking orders from a two- year-old, and loving (almost) every minute! June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 23

By Amanda Mouttaki , marocmama.com

Have a Four-Year-Old?


Vacation at Home!

As a full-time working mom of two, I find that my husband and I often don’t have time to take a family vacation for more than even a weekend. As fun as traveling vacations can be, along with the time required, they also tend to be expensive and exhausting if you’re bringing young children along. But don’t think that you have to leave your hometown to have a great vacation. Here are some of my favorite summer “stay-cation” ideas for preschoolers.

MAKE A WATER PARK IN YOUR YARD In the summer you can find a lot of great deals at garage sales or on freecycle for “water park” elements. A small pool, slip and slide, buckets, and sprinkler have all the makings for a fun afternoon. Mix them up and use them interchangeably throughout the summer for new experiences.

Go sight-seeing

Find a recipe unique to your family or community

Maybe you think there’s nothing interesting to see or to do in your town. For your kids, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Call your local fire station, grocery store, or post office and ask to come in for a tour. What are the local historical sites? What are places that make your community unique? Visit and share these locations with your child.

Spend time reading, grocery shopping and making this recipe with your child


Plant a garden or container garden Kids love getting dirty and this activity is fun, brightens up your home and will provide long-term enjoyment. Gardening is a great way for kids to learn early science skills and about their natural environment. If you are planting vegetables, it is even more rewarding for kids to eat what they planted.

Take advantage of free activities in your area Make a community scrapbook Take your visit one step further and snap some pictures along the way. Use the pictures to then make a scrapbook of your adventure. If you’re tech-savvy, consider creating a digital scrapbook to share with your friends and family in other areas. 24 KidsFunPlaza | Tech Valley, NY |June 2011

Can you believe one of my kids’ favorite summer activities is to go on a picnic at our weekly outdoor concert series? They love eating out on a blanket and dancing to the music. It’s also very relaxing for mom and dad! Amanda Mouttaki is a curious, world traveling mom of two busy boys, foodie at heart, addicted to social media and lover of all things Moroccan. She blogs at MarocMama.com, a site dedicated to Moroccan cuisine, whole foods, and living in a multicultural family.

Go on an international scavenger hunt at your grocery store Many of our products come from around the world. On a day when you have plenty of time, go shopping with your child(ren) and list all of the countries you see represented by the various products. You can then take it a step further and check out books from your library about one or two (or ten!) of these countries to

learn more.

Read. Read. Read. Whether you have 5 minutes or an hour, reading with your child can take you near or far. Not only that, but it strengthens his or her skills for the upcoming school year.

Hope these ideas help to get you and your little ones off to a great summer start!

June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 25


Dr. Joseph Gulyas, DC Alina Hensley is happily raising her daughter in her native New York, and passionately passing on her love for writing, culture, and the arts.

By Alina M. Hensley, TheCraningGap.blogspot.com


t ’s no question that I am always surprised by each healthcare provider I get the chance to inter view. I walk in with preconceived notions of what a general practitioner, a pediatrician or a chiropractor is, and I walk out enlightened. My experience with Dr. Gulyas was no dif ferent.

I have mothers who come here on their way home from the hospital- they have me look at their baby before they even take them home. Birth is often a very traumatic experience, physically, not just for mothers, but for babies, too.”

Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Chemistry from Skidmore, Dr. Gulyas received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the New York Chiropractic College on Long Island, and is certified by the Southeast Back Institute of Atlanta. His postgraduate work included a specialty in the treatment of disc related conditions and the care of children, which truly seems to have become a passion of his. Opening his first office in 1988, he finally branched out into Northeast Spine and Wellness in 2004. His reach extends into the community, and his work with charities has nominated him for a Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce Inspiration Award. From sending care packages to soldiers in Iraq to gathering school supplies for children in Mali, West Africa where his daughter lived and worked as a teacher, it is evident that Dr. Gulyas and his office have a truly person-first mindset. To call the man a chiropractor would be a shortsighted, for his work does not stop at the spine. In fact, from there, it is only a beginning. The analogy he uses makes me chuckle, but it is also remarkably accurate. “The spine is like a circuit breaker,” he says. “If the lights go out somewhere in the house, you just have to flip the breaker back on. If you don’t put the circuit back, what’s going to happen down the road?” Dr. Gulyas is a whole health practitioner, using spinal manipulation combined with common sense and alternative medicine such as herbs and nutritionals to treat patients with a highly effective, drug free approach. “We work a lot with homeschooling groups,” explains, which comes as no surprise to me. “Whole families come in and they gather around the table and watch as everyone gets adjusted. It becomes a science class, and they learn as they stand here.” The work he has done counseling young mothers to listen first to their intuition has been motivating and groundbreaking for the area. He encourages women, especially those pregnant for the first time, to look into their options and make educated decisions about such things as choosing a midwife, birthing at home, and everything that comes thereafter. “I have mothers who come here on their way home from the hospital- they have me look at their baby before they even take them home. Birth is often a very traumatic experience, physically, not

26 KidsFunPlaza | Tech Valley, NY |June 2011

just for mothers, but for babies, too. Things like SIDS and Failure to Thrive have been connected to misalignments in the C1 and C2 vertebrae. We use the gentlest pressure, as gentle as if you were touching your own eyeball. If we can get to them first, before the problems even start, we can help them make it to 100.” We also talk about how nutrition is able to help with things farther down the road. “Changes in diet can help with Autism, even with ADHD.” We even discuss how something as simple as apple cider vinegar can fix all kinds of wrongs, from acid reflux to bad skin. His opinion of pharmaceuticals and quick-grab remedies such as Tylenol for fevers is echoed by most naturally-minded people. For me, he is preaching to the choir. “When I was little, whenever we would get sick it was like, ‘Uh-oh, here it comes,’ and you’d get all bundled up in blankets and smeared with mustard plaster, and why? Because it works. The fever is going to spike, you just have to keep them comfortable. You can’t fool Mother Nature. That fever means your body is doing its job. It’s burning off the sickness.” His mother and his grandmother are a testament to what he practices. Neither of them are on medication, and his grandmother is about to celebrate her 100th birthday. “Yes, we’re living longer, but we have to do a better job of living well,” says. “Not in a nursing home.” Join the practice at 325 Ushers Rd in Clifton Park, or 1873 Western Ave in Albany. Contact him at 518-877-0516 or visit him at DrGulyas.com. June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 27


Caroline Lewin Barrett . blog.timesunion.com/tablefor5 www.ourdailyeats.com

Late Spring Green Salad 1 small head leafy green lettuce 1 c. sugar snap peas, trimmed 1 oz. crumbled goat cheese 1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 c. olive oil with 1/8 c. red wine vinegar (or less if you don’t like it tart), and a small handful of chopped fresh herbs (chives and basil are especially good here.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Tear the lettuce leaves apart, rinse, and spin dry. Slice each pea in half (both of these tasks are great jobs for a kid!) Place in a bowl, top with the remaining ingredients and drizzle vinaigrette over all. Store remaining dressing in a small glass jar in the refrigerator. Keeps for a week.

Our hammock sits in the shade of the old magnolia tree out back. There was a time that we were in that hammock a few times each week. When my kids were really little, and I was looking for a quiet spot, I’d leave all three in my husband’s care. Then, I’d pour myself a cool drink. Pick up the newspaper or my book. Then, I’d tiptoe out of the house, to the shady solitude that waited. It never lasted long. Zoe was usually the first to find me, appearing out of nowhere, and asking if there was room on the hammock. Knowing my quiet reading time was over, I’d move over. We’d sway and talk. Even though my plan was changed, I was always happy for a little body to share the comfort of the hammock. Next would come Lucy, book in one hand, doll in the other. We’d squeeze over for her, and then it would be three of us girls, watching clouds. Lucy always hung her foot off the edge, idly pushing us now and then.

Eventually, Paul would come through the house, baby Elliot on his hip. His face and eyes would be red from crying. Everywhere the sisters went, he had to go too. Happy to have found us, he’d snuggle on my chest and after watching clouds for a short while, drift off to sleep. It’s been many years since my oldest snuggled with me in the hammock. When I ask her now, she gives me an eleven year old look and blushes. Cuddling with me is no longer what she wants to do. So I have to come up with other ways of being close to her. Lucky for me, she likes to cook. Last week, I asked her to walk to the farmers market with me. She even let me hold her hand for a few moments. We created this salad together, before she was off, back to her ipod and books. It wasn’t an idle afternoon spent cuddling, but I was happy, just the same.

Caroline Barrett is the mother of three food-loving children and the wife of Paul, an exceptionally grateful husband. They live in Delmar, where they are always looking for a good meal.

28 KidsFunPlaza | Tech Valley, NY |June 2011

Caroline and Paul are the owners of a small food manufacturing company, Our Daily Nuts. They produce maple roasted nuts and distribute their product throughout the Eastern US. Their products can be found at: http://www.ourdailynuts.com.

Connie Roberts



taycations are still hot this year. What seemed like a fad is still going strong, due to high gas prices and the poor economy. Families who are looking for ways to save are realizing that trips far from home are too costly. Staying at home or close to home, but making the time feel like a vacation and giving the chance to bond as a family, is what a staycation is all about. When you have a tween in your family, be sure to keep his or her interests in mind as you plan your fun. Tweens, or children between the ages of 9 – 12, like to be active, try new things and many enjoy time with their families (although they won’t admit it). Resist your tween’s request to invite a friend to your family staycation. Although your tween may feel like it’s the end of the world to be away from his or her friend, this temporary separation will allow you to enjoy more time together as a family.

Water Fun – Whether at a beach, lake, pool or water park, swimming, splashing and sliding are high energy activities that tweens love. Pack a special picnic lunch or take food for a barbeque. Don’t forget the towels and sunscreen. Ask your tween if a special purchase should be made such as tubes, floats, or boogie boards. Splurge on some ice cream or other treat! Movie or Video Game Day – Get together with your tween and rent some movies and/or video games; have a viewing or playing marathon! Order pizza and have snacks Andrea Updyke on-hand, especially popcorn and movie theatre candy. Break up the day with a movie trivia game, Pictionary, or card games. The winner can choose the next movie or video game.

Camping – You can set up a tent in the backyard or stay at a local campground. Whichever you choose, ask your tween what type of activities you should include in the trip. Is your tween into sports, nature, music, acting or cooking? With camping, you can incorporate lots of games and crafts. Frugal Mall Day –

Set a budget for your tween for something that he or she wants to buy and then walk the mall. Go into stores you’ve never been before, take a ride on the bungee jump, stop at the kiosks and get your nails done, or play with a toy helicopter. Don’t forget to pick up that special something for your tween. Eat in the food court or go out for dinner.

Play Tourist – Visit your local tourism board with your tween to speak to a representative and to gather lots of brochures. Be sure to inquire about discounts or free tours. Many companies offer behind-the-scene tours that are fun and include free samples! You’ll be surprised at the places and events you didn’t even know existed right where you live. Choose some that interest you and visit them. Take your camera and get some photos. Act like a tourist for the day! When you include your tween in the decision making, a staycation can help your family bond, save you money, and create memories to last a lifetime. Think outside the box and take some chances. For example, even if you’re not a fan of video games, give them a try! Your tween will think you’re the best parent ever!

Staycation Tips for Families with Tweens Advocate for social causes, product review writer and mom providing parenting and special education information. http://brainfoggles.com June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 29 http://conniesview.com http://mychroniclife.com


By Laura Franklin, Better in Bulk.net

A Staycation with Teens I

recall the days when my kids were younger and it was a challenge to find things to do and places to go during the summer. I always had to take into account nap times, where I would be able to change a diaper or nurse a baby while we were out, and how long a small child’s attention span would last on an outing. We passed on far too many day trips because they simply weren’t child-friendly enough. Now that my kids are older, I don’t have to worry anymore about diaper changes and nap times, but the teen and tween years have brought their own set of challenges. The hardest thing about keeping teens happily occupied during family activities is probably the fact that hanging out with the family is no longer cool. When I suggest a family outing, I am almost always met with moans and complaints. While it’s wonderful to enjoy the “lazy days of summer” by sleeping in and taking it extra-easy, I have found that the less I plan, the more trouble I’m in with my older kids. My teens may not wander around the house chanting that phrase that haunts all mothers (“Moooom, I’m BORED. What can I do?”), but boredom is nearly always our fault, nonetheless. So to combat the lack of enthusiasm for family outings AND the teen’s dislike for being bored, I have found a few simple solutions for finding fun day trips and keeping busy during the summer. As much as my teens like to complain when I suggest that we go see the monuments downtown or visit a local park, if I suggest the same activity with friends, they jump at the chance to come along. Sometimes bringing along an extra friend or two makes all the difference. Including friends in our activities comes with the added bonus of getting to know my kids’ friends really well. Another “trick” I’ve had to employ is the simple, “This is what we’re doing, period,” tactic. Most of the time, regardless of the moans and groans when we’re planning a trip, once we’ve left the house, the attitudes change. Even the teens have fun because we are doing something productive. The last factor that has made a big impact on the amount of fun we can have during a summer family outing is supplying my older kids with a camera. As a photographer myself, the pictures that I take on trips are so important to me. When I include my kids in helping to capture the memories, they seem to look at the experience through different eyes. They search for things of beauty and interest as well as things to share with their friends when they get back home, and in the middle of the picture-taking, they end up finding a little bit of fun. Laura is a busy mother of five kids, ranging in age from 6 to 14, in the Washington DC area. She is a photographer, author of the blog http://betterinbulk.net, an editor at www.5minutesformom.com, as well as part of the blogger advisory board of http://bit.ly/broadcastbloggers

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Our family doesn’t usually take a big vacation during the summer months, and so our little staycations are an important part of our summer break. Planning activities that everyone will love is still a challenge, but once we get out of the house and start exploring our area, we never regret the time that we’ve spent together.


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By Rachel Breidster

Grandma’s Wisdom

DON’T RUSH YOUR CHILDREN TO GRow So here you are…you have this precious newborn in your arms and from that moment on, your whole life changes. Say goodbye to sleep, real meals, and any “me” time that you use to have. As your baby grows and reaches each new stage, you are filled with pride and excitement. That very first smile melts your heart; you become the paparazzi and your baby is the superstar. Every milestone is looked forward to like Christmas morning and each new stage your baby reaches gives you the breathers you had been missing for months and years. Once your baby learns to walk, talk, and become independent, you beam with pride. Though you loved doing everything for your baby, when he or she can feed him or herself, get dressed, and turn on the TV like a big kid, you are also relieved that you can now sit down and enjoy your morning coffee for the first time since you can remember. Then more years pass. You are still beaming with pride, but would give anything to go back in time and be their everything again. The dreaded teen years are approaching quickly and you don’t know how you will make it through them without going completely gray…if you have any hair left at all! At first being the local “chill” spot for your teen and his or her friends seemed like a brilliant idea. Then you realize that their constant noise and your own yelling drowns out any normal thoughts


you use to enjoy. “Today maybe I can finally try that new recipe… HEY, TURN THAT MUSIC DOWN!” or, “Wow, I might be able to get the living room painted soon… YESS! I’ll take you guys in ONE MINUTE! Just go outside for a few!” The day your teen can get his or her license could possibly give you more freedom since you no longer need to drive your teen around everywhere, and maybe the “crew” will stop eating you out of house and home. Then before you can blink twice…they are grown up. You are staring at your little baby, wondering where the years have gone and wishing you had a time machine to go relive every beautiful moment that your child gave you. Time goes by too fast. Think of when you were in school being the kid, when you were getting married, or when you were pregnant. Doesn’t it seem like yesterday? Don’t rush your children to grow up. They’ll do that all on their own. Enjoy every stage, every spilled drink, every muddy floor, and, yes, even every little tantrum. Relish bath time, raspberries on bellies, and all the cuddles. Make plenty of room when they climb into your bed. Savor the burnt toast on Mother’s Day. Take time to understand the nerves on their first date; you had them once upon a time. Snap that extra photo on prom day, just in case. Most of all, treasure each age because one day, they’ll be grown and asking how you ever did it, because now it’s their turn to be a loving parent. June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 33

Photographs: Tower of cups: Kevin Lawver on Flickr; Pasta: Jamieanne on Flickr, ; Stars: NASA Goddard Photo and video on Flickr

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SCHENECTADY MUSEUM & SUITS-BUECHE PLANETARIUM • FETCH! LAB: 3:00 4:30 pm Come to this exciting weekly program to learn about science and do hands-on activities like the ones on the popular PBS tv show!

• Cowboy Astronomer Planetarium Show July 7, 2pm Narrated by Cowboy Humorist Baxter Black, this skillfully woven tapestry combines star tales and Native American legends with constellations, star-hopping, and astronomy facts. This show will run at 2:00 PM Thursdays through Sundays. Museum admission plus $4

Stack ‘em Up Build a tower of cups as high as possible at the Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium’s FETCH! Lab. June 23, 24, 25 and 26. Motion Picture Create a thaumatrope – an optical illusion toy that makes two pictures look like one. July 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Photographs: Tower of cups: Kevin Lawver on Flickr; Pasta: Jamieanne on Flickr, ; Stars: NASA Goddard Photo and video on Flickr

Float My Boat Explore floating and sinking when you construct at tinfoil boat and load it with pennies. July 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Eat Like a Bird It’s feeding time! Learn how a bird’s beak type relates to what it eats and where it lives. JJuly 14, 15, 16 and 17.

Schenectady County Public Library

15 Nott Terrace Heights, Schenectady Phone: (518) 382-7890 Email: Programs@SchenectadyMuseum.org www.schenectadymuseum.org

St. Anthony’s Church FESTA FRIDAY June 17th 6PM-11PM Saturday June 18th 3PM-11PM Sunday June 19th 3PM-10 PM Come and enjoy a variety of great foods like Cavatelli, Minestra, Trippa, Antipasto, Calamari, Zeppole, Pizza, Eggplant , Empanadas , Pastries and so much ,much more! * Family Fun * Italian Cooking demonstrations Celebrating our Faith , Culture and Foods! 331 Seward Place Schenectady, NY 12305

Kindermusik june 30th 10:30 am Join us for music and fun with Lisa Russo. For families with pre-school age children. No registration required. Contact: Children’s Room, Central Library at 518.388.4540

Schenectady County Public Library 99 Clinton Street Schenectady, NY 12305 Phone: 518.388.4500 www.scpl.org June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 35

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WHERE TO GO Saratoga County



Garden Workshops July 6, 13, 20 and 27, 10:30-11:30 am Join us every Wednesday to watch our garden grow as we learn more about gardening and the environment while we tend our own vegeta- ble garden.

Puppet Show: “The Beatitudes” June 19th at 12:00 pm. The Parish Family group of St. Edwards (Clifton Park) invites all parents and kids to our June Puppet Show:“The Beatitudes” On June 19th at 12:00 pm, right after the 11:00 am mass. Please bring a dish and register at the sign-up table or at: http://parishfamilies. org/rsvp-to-our-next-event Artrageous! July 13, 20 & 27, 2pm-3pm free with Museum admission. Recommended for grades kindergarten and up. Want to be the next Picasso? Each week we will explore a different art style and medium, for a summer full of artrageous fun.

Summer Science July 11, 18, and 25, 2 pm, $2 per child. Recommended for grades kindergarten and up. Join us each week for handson learning about the different ways science is all around us. This month’s topics include weather, bridges, and the science of making ice cream! Stretching with Stuffee. July 1, 15 & 29, 10am-10:30am Stuffee will join us to facilitate exercise through silly songs and stretching. This gentle program will promote imaginative movement and flexibility. Kids and parents, please come dressed to move! Free with museum admission 69 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs • Phone: (518) 584-5540. www. cmssny.org

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Marriage isn’t a one-time deal Instead it is a sacrament that needs our dedication and work on a daily basis. Anthony Ferraioli, M.D. a marriage expert and author of “Don’t Get Married” will help us embark on a new journey of discovery with our spouses. Let’s fall in love again 5, 10, 15 years later. If the extra pounds, crazy life or even the white hair are hiding your bride/groom, then you shouldn’t miss this opportunity on June 19th at 12:00 pm, right after our 11:00 am mass at St. Edwards in Clifton Park. The kids will enjoy a Puppet Show and we’ll have lunch together. Please bring a dish and register at the sign up table or at: http://parishfamilies.org/rsvp-to-our-next-event/

CLIFTON PARK-HALFMOON PUBLIC LIBRARY Peter Pan June 27, 6-8pm Come to the general information meeting and auditions for this summer’s Peter Pan Theatre Workshop & Performance on stage at the CPH Library! This is the original, non-musical 1930’s version of the play, with approximately 25 roles of varying size for children and teens, ages 8-16. For more information, contact the Library at 371-8622, ask for Youth Services. Registration required, and begins Mon., June 13 at 9am

475 Moe Road, Clifton Park, NY. • Phone: (518) 371-8622 Email: cphcirc@sals.edu • cphlibrary.org

ACTIVITIES in Tech Valley New York Rensselaer County TROY PUBLIC LIBRARY • Preschool Family Story Time Wednesdays, June 22, 29 and July 6, 13, 20 and 27. 10:30 am Family Storytime will be offered for children up to the age of 5, accompanied by parents and caregivers. We will share stories, rhymes, songs and simple crafts. Mondays at 10:30 am – Sycaway Branch Wednesdays at 10:30 am – Main Library Fridays at 10:30 am – Lansingburgh Branch

Albany County BETHLEHEM PUBLIC LIBRARY •Father’s Day Stories and Songs June 19, 2:00 - 2:45 pm. Age 2-7 and families. Your librarian Cathy and her Dad would like to share a special storytime and singalong with you and your Dad. Moms and grandparents are welcome, too. Bring a blanket..

• Evening on the Green Terry Gordon Quintet. july 6. Familiar songs from the standard jazz repertoire and creative original compositions. Mixed Company, July 13. A six-piece band blending popular tunes from rock and soul to swing.

Summer Reading Program Stop into the Troy Public Library after June 26th and pick up a reading record or sign up online. Bring it to the library each week for a free prize. Plus you may enter our weekly raffle for a chance at bigger prizes all summer long! Then join us for our End of Summer Reading Party with refreshments on August 18th, and pick out a free book to keep! Ages 3 and up.

• Join Rosey the Reading Dog Main Library. Thursday, June 16 at 3:30- 4:30 pm Call 274-7071 to reserve a 15 minute spot. For children 5 and up. Please join us and read your favorite book to Rosey. Thinking about getting a dog? Help one of Rosey’s friends who are in desperate need of a home…visit – Dogs in Danger and check out the ASPCA. Sycaway Branch : School 18, Hoosick Street , Troy NY Phone: (518) 274-1822 Lansingburgh Branch: 114th Street and 4th Avenue, Troy NY Phone: (518) 235-5310 Main Library: 100 Second Street, Troy NY Phone: (518) 274-7071. Email: troyref@uhls.lib.ny.us • thetroylibrary.org www.engagedpatrons.org/Eventscalendar

Niskie Dixie Cats. July 20. Sing-along favorites from the 30’s and 40’s done Dixieland style. The Fighting 86’s Celtic music trio.

• Catch the world by the tale - Healthy Kids Edition June 29, 1:00 - 3:00 pm The Storycrafters, Jeri Burns and Barry Marshall, lead a world story tour.

•Cooks and books-My Friend Clifford Storytime . June 15. 10:00 AM Age 2-6 and families. He’s big. He’s red. He’s a DOG. We’ll read Clifford stories and then we’ll make dog biscuits. 451 Delaware Ave • Phone: (518) 439-9314 . Email:bpl@uhls.lib.ny.us • bethlehempubliclibrary.org

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NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM ART SMART June 25 : 1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. Families: Adults and children 7 and older. ee: $9/Members, $10/Non-members ART SMART is an interactive hands-on workshop designed for children and adults to participate together. Each month participants will explore a pre-selected painting within the Museum, discuss who the artist is, the time frame it was painted in, the feelings it evokes and the artist’s style and technique. The second half of the program is a hands-on art activity expressing a theme in the artist’s style. Time Tunnel Day Camp July 05, 2011 : 9:00 A.M. Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–4 p.m. FREE Location: Student Center Time Tunnel offers children entering first through eighth grades entertaining education, hands-on enrichment, and enjoyable recreation. Each two-week session usually features Museum education activities, swimming, an artist in residence, and daily visits to the Computer Room. Sessions can be divided into one-week blocks as needed. Early and late-day sessions are available for an additional fee. Pre-registration is required for all sessions. Special rates are available for Museum members. For more information, visit call 518-402-5019, e-mail jgreenou@mail.nysed.gov, or visit www.nysm.nysed.gov/programs/timetunnel.

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Creative Art Day June 18, 2011 : 1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. Families are welcome to join Museum art instructor Peggy Steinbach for a creative activity based on a Museum exhibition. Family Fun Day June 18, 2011 : 1:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M. 3rd Saturday of every month 1–4 p.m. FREE The Museum offers fun for the whole family with games, crafts, and other theme-based activities Insects At Night: A New York State Museum Goes To The Parks Program July 15, 2011 : 8:00 P.M. - 9:30 P.M. Although most people see insects during the daytime, many kinds of insects are active at night. Dr. Tim McCabe, an entomologist at the State Museum, explores nocturnal insect activity and diversity through the use of special light traps that bring night-flying insects to the scientists! This program will begin at sunset, rain or shine. Cultural Education Center of the Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY. Phone: (518) 474-5877. Email:msparks@mail.nysed.gov • nysm.nysed.gov

Editorial Calendar for KidsFunPlaza! Month



January 11

New Beginnings

Health Care Providers

February 11



March 11



April 11



May 11



June 11



July 11

Arts & Crafts

Museums/Local Arts

August 11


After Schools

September 11



October 11


Party Resources

November 11



December 11


Kid Friendly Restaurants

To be on the guides contact advertise@kidsfunplaza.com or call 888-512-1444 June 2011 | Tech Valley, NY | KidsFunPlaza 39

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