KidsOutAndAbout Rochester latest e-newsletter
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Upcoming FREE events (511 of them!)
Top 20 Places to Take Kids in Rochester
Local sledding hills
Where to go skiing
Where to go snowshoeing & cross-country skiing
Master Guide to Holiday Events in our area
Where to cut your own Christmas tree
Save the date for:
Tonight! Dec 5: Park Ave Merchants Holiday Open House 5-8:30
Now through Dec 28: A Christmas Carol at Geva
Dec 2-7: Pirate Toy Fund annual toy drive at the malls
Dec 7: Liberty Pole Lighting and FREE Holiday Family Fun Afternoon - City of Rochester
Dec 7: Fairport 2013 Come Home for the Holidays
Dec 10-15: How The Grinch Stole Christmas at the Auditorium Theatre
Dec 13-15: It's a Wonderful Life at Stages
Dec 14: The Wizard of Oz opens from Rochester Children's Theatre, Nazareth College
Dec 14: Ad Hoc Cracks the Nutcracker at Ad Hoc.
Dec 14: The Grinch Steals Christmas at The Little Theatre
Dec 20: Menchie's Frozen Yogurt Holiday Party
Dec 20-22: Gala Holiday Pops from the RPO
Dec 21: Babes in Toyland at Main Street Players
Dec 21: Family Day Skate! at Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex
Dec 22: The Night Before Christmas at RMSC
Dec 31: City of Rochester FREE Family New Year's Eve celebration
Jan 11: Project Rule's REIGN...the Concert. Be part of a 1000-member community chorus
Jan 14-15: Stages auditions for Sherlock Holmes
Dear KidsOutAndAbout readers:
It's the time of the year for... stories. There's nothing like a chill in the air and the holidays underfoot to make us want to snuggle down on a couch for a cup of tea and conversation.
Some stories are family legends, like the time Grandpa caught a hero fly ball barehanded during a stickball street championship game but never had his pinkie reset properly so that's why it looks like that. Some are life lessons about preparedness or having a sense of humor--or preparedness and having a sense of humor, like the story of the Adirondack camping debacle of 2008. Some are "don't worry, the kids will turn out okay" reminders, like the story about the successful Wall Street finance wizard who, when he was 5, used to show his best friend creative ways to pee in the back yard.
Stories teach the next generation the important lessons that anchor their lives in a time, place, and family. They connect the young, the old, and the middle-aged. But more important, they remind us to keep perspective, and to keep our eyes open for new material. Everything, even--or especially--the major inconveniences, provide the fabric of a new story. Times of endurance can be lightened by the mileage you'll get out of the story later on. (I told this to the girls as we huddled in that nylon tent by Eighth Lake, while the rain poured down in 40-degree weather and the bears (probably) wandered hungrily outside: What a STORY this will make. Just wait till we tell Daddy! They glared at me.) On the other hand, stories about tragedy or horrible mistakes are often best kept for private reflection rather than for public dissection, to serve as reminders to ourselves about the preciousness of life and the need to be vigilant.
We humans live, work, and think in stories. You're writing one right now. Make it memorable.
2) Have you donated a new, unwrapped toy to the Pirate Toy Fund Toy Drive yet? (You can do so at any area mall or Wegmans.) If you have, email me to get your name on the KidsOutAndAbout Pirate Toy Fund Wall of Fame and be entered to win a fabulous prize for your own family!
The Pirate Toy Fund is the only nonprofit organization of its kind in the country that supplies toys year-round to children in need within the greater Rochester region. The Pirate Toy Fund helps children who are ill, may have special needs, are victims of domestic violence or experience unexpected life-changing events. The Pirate Toy Fund is hoping to collect 14,000 toys this week during their primary drive. (You can donate through the rest of December.)
Every year, KidsOutAndAbout partners with the Pirate Toy Fund to help them reach their goal, and this year is no different... except we have a unique twist: We wanted to give a little love BACK! So we have Santa has filled a huge stocking with toys that we are giving away to one lucky donor family. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO ENTER is donate a toy, and then tell me about it. I'll put your name (or "anonymous") on the Wall of Fame, and Gary the Happy Pirate and I will draw the winner at random and deliver it on December 22. (If you don't want to enter the drawing that's fine, too... but let us know if you donated!) Instructions are here: http://rochester.kidsoutandabout.com/content/pirate-toy-fund-wall-fame-2013
3) This is the peak of the holiday activity season! KidsOutAndAbout is here to help, with our most popular articles this time of year:
- Master Guide to Holiday Events in our area
- Where to see Holiday Light Displays in our area -- updated with more! I looked at the numbers last night... over 23,000 people have looked at this page since THANKSGIVING! Whoa!
- Where to cut your own Christmas tree
- Looks like we're really going to get some SNOW so here is a list of local sledding hills!
- Where to go skiing
- Where to go snowshoeing & cross-country skiing
4) You have THREE MORE DAYS to make a huge difference by donating a coat to Rochester's needy kids! Monroe County Legislator Willie J. Lightfoot coordinates a fabulous event three times per year called Cut the Violence, in which his barbershop, New Creations Unisex Shop, gives away free haircuts to Rochester city kids age 10-17 and also provides their families with a one-stop shop for services and goods that they may need. This year, they need COATS. I told Mr. Lightfoot that KOAA readers are the most generous people you'd ever want to know, and and that WE WOULD GET HIM COATS. So I'm hoping you'll find the time between now and December 7 to donate a gently-used (or new) kid-sized coat. You can bring them either to New Creations, 647 Jefferson Ave, Rochester, 14611, or Mr. Lightfoot's office at 39 West Main Street, Rochester, 14614. Call 585-753-1940 if you would like more information about drop-off hours. THANK YOU from both Mr. Lightfoot and KidsOutAndAbout.
5) A no-brainer deal if your kids love indoor active fun!I'm so excited that the lovely folks at Kango Play Center (Jefferson Road in Henrietta) have a great special that they are offering for a limited time, but can be used at ANY time: They are currently offering a $95 voucher for a 20 Visit Play A Lot Pack for only $47. That's a 50% discount. These admissions never expire, and can be used by friends and family. Buy and share this deal with your friends to get a Free One Topping Pizza. Visit www.kangoplay.com and click on the coupon on their home page for details. Seriously, you won't see a deal this great anywhere besides this month at Kango. So take advantage of it now.
6) Discover Allendale Columbia School—the Cure for the Common Core.
Explore a different school of thought at Allendale Columbia. Our program goes far beyond books, tests, and state-mandated standards so students can dig deeper, and become independent thinkers and effective problem solvers. Learn more at an Open House at 9 a.m. on December 11 for Grades 6 through 12, or December 12 for Nursery through Grade 5. To register, visitAllendaleColumbia.org/DecemberOpenHouse.
- Ad Hoc Cracks the Nutcracker on December 14
- Free session at Total Sports Experience's new East Rochester location
- Tickets to the Pittsford Ballet's Nutcracker Ballet on December 14.
- Sweet & Sassy's Glittery Glam Express (includes party up-do, just-a-polish, make-up app, and special gift) - a great holiday gift that takes up no space!
- Tickets to It's a Wonderful Life next weekend at Stages!
- A Family Intro to Rock Climbing Package from RockVentures on University Ave in Rochester
Visit our Giveaway Page to find out how to enter each of these!
8) Help a Mendon company run by kids get their product to market with an Indiegogo campaign! Three of Hearts, LLC was started by Mendon teen Jake Blumenstock and his family when Jake was 9 years old. Jake decided to find a way to engage his peers in a fun way to learn about classical composers and their music, so with the help of his mom, Claudia, he founded Three of Hearts, LLC, as a way that teens and young adults invent interactive and educational board games and learn about business at the same time. Their motto is: Games with Brain. (Love it!) The team is currently raising money on the crowd funding site Indigogo to bring their game Rockin with Bach to market. Check out the campaign, and consider helping a local kid-based biz with a few bucks!
9) Thursday's Highlights (Click here for everything happening today):
Thursday, December 5: Snack & Movie at the Walworth Library at Walworth-Seely Public Library. Free and open to the public! The Smurfs team up with their human friends to rescue Smurfette, who has been kidnapped.
Thursday, December 5: Sweet Creations Gingerbread House Display at George Eastman House. This popular holiday tradition returns for its 18th season: Dozens of cleverly designed and decorated gingerbread creations will be on view throughout the museum. See clever confections from professional bakers, families, and community groups.
Thursday, December 5: American Girl Club at Chili Public Library. Join us for a book discussion, crafts and more, all about the American Girls! For grades 1-5. No registration is required. Stop by the Checkout Desk to pick up this month's book! *October meeting will be held at the Museum at 2525 Scottsville Road*
10) FRIDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS (click here for all):
Friday, December 6: Model Train Display at The Garden Factory. The renowned Garden Factory model train display opens for business the day after Thanksgiving and will run its daily rounds until December 31st.
Friday, December 6: Living Nativity at Crossroads Church, Webster, NY at Crossroads Community Church. FREE: An outdoor reenactment of the story of the very first Christmas with refreshments and activities inside
Friday, December 6: Holiday Spectacle of Lights at Irondequoit Parks & Recreation. 2nd Annual Spectacle of Lights! Help us spread the magic of the Holidays! Each evening we’ll have family friendly activities, hot cocoa & coffee, a fantastic display of Holiday lights and other special events planned!
Friday, December 6: SHREK the Musical at School of the Arts (SOTA). Based on the Story by William Steig and the DreamWorks Animation Film. Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire. Music by Jeanine Tesori.
11) SATURDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS (click here for all):
Saturday, December 7: Liberty Pole Lighting Ceremony and Free Family Fun Afternoon in Downtown Rochester at City of Rochester, NY. Free Family Event Downtown! Festivities begin at 4:30 pm at the Liberty Pole. Join Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, and other pals as local children’s choruses sing holiday songs. At 5 pm, Mayor Richards will light the Liberty Pole.
Saturday, December 7: Mascot Madness Shortstack Saturday at CDS Monarch. Join us for our Annual Mascot Madness Pancake Breakfast! Local Mascots and Santa will be available to meet and greet. The cost of the Breakfast is $5.00 a person and supports the Families In Need fund
Saturday, December 7: Holiday Gallery Opening at Spectrum Creative Arts. Join us for Spectrum's premiere gallery event! Showcasing the work of local artists, this winter/holiday collection is a perfect way for the whole family to get in the spirit of the season - with artistic flair! Free of charge.
Saturday, December 7: Animal Open House at The Barn Owl. Spend your afternoon with The Barn Owl's animals! You'll get a chance to meet each of our resident animals, learn about their native habitat, and what they like to eat. Includes a photo for each child with animal of their choice.
Saturday, December 7: SANTA is Coming to Jungle Jolt - FREE Pictures ! at Jungle Jolt. Jingle Jungle! Christmas is fast approaching. Santa is coming to Jungle Jolt! Come join us for FREE pictures with Santa on Saturday, December 7th from 11am to 1pm !
12) SUNDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS (Click here for all):
Sunday, December 8: Holiday for Hawks at Braddock Bay Raptor Research. Support raptor conservation! Come to the lodge at Braddock Bay Park and get ready for the holiday season with BBRR at this holiday fundraising sale! We’ll have raptor and nature related gifts for all ages, plus story and craft time for the kids!
Sunday, December 8: Eddie the Elk and the Twelve Days of Christmas at RMSC at Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC). Visitors enjoy this holiday favorite presented by the entertaining RMSC Players.
Sunday, December 8: A Festival of Trees at New York Power Authority. As one of the stops along the Holiday Lights of Niagara Tour, the Power Vista’s glass walkway will feature a dazzling display of artificial evergreen trees, adorned with energy efficient lights.
Sunday, December 8: Breakfast With Santa at YMCA- Bay View. Enjoy a homestyle breakfast of pancakes, sausage and juice. A visit from St. Nick, family games and activities. Reservations are required. OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY! Proceeds benefit the Invest In Youth Campaign.
13) The Bravo Family, the Wall Family, the Woods Family, the Smart Family, and the Walker Family are our fictional families that take their kids to activities based on their particular interests. Here is what they are up to this weekend:
The Walker family focuses on health and physical fitness.
Friday: Public Skating! at Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex
Saturday: Winter Fest and Pasta Dinner at YMCA Camp Arrowhead, Liberty Pole Lighting Ceremony and Free Family Fun Afternoon in Downtown Rochester at City of Rochester, NY
Sunday: Breakfast With Santa at YMCA- Bay View
This is the Woods Family. They love nature and the great outdoors.
Friday: Animal Tales Drop-In Story Time at Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester
Saturday: Holiday Spectacle of Lights at Irondequoit Parks & Recreation
Sunday: Holiday for Hawks at Braddock Bay Raptor Research
The Smart family focuses on educational and cultural activities.
Friday: Boy Scout Big Nights at the Seneca Park Zoo at Seneca Park Zoo
Saturday: Carol with the Coils at RMSC at Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC), Educator Appreciation Shopping Day at Barnes & Noble Booksellers/Pittsford
Sunday: Eddie the Elk and the Twelve Days of Christmas at Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC)
The Wall Family prefers indoor activities.
Friday: “Holiday Laser” Show at RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium
Saturday: KIDS NIGHT AT THE NORTHWEST FAMILY BRANCH at YMCA- Northwest, Holiday Open House at Edgerton Model Railroad Club
Sunday: Sweet Creations Gingerbread House Display at George Eastman House
2013's Top 20 Places to Take Kids in the Rochester area:
1. National Museum of Play at the Strong
2. Seneca Park Zoo
3. Rochester Museum & Science Center and Strasenburgh Planetarium
5. Kango Play Center
6. TYKEs Theatre (Theatre Young Kids Enjoy)
7. Lollypop Farm
8. Local Library
9. Genesee Country Village & Nature Center
11. Jump Club
12. Jungle Jolt
13. Wickham Farms
14. Brown's Berry Patch
15. Stokoe Farms
16. New York Museum of Transportation
17. Darien Lake Amusement Park
18. Rochester-area YMCAs
19. Rochester Red Wings baseball
20. Rochester Children's Theatre
Winners in Special Categories
Favorite Kid-Friendly Museum: National Museum of Play at the Strong
Favorite Nature Center: Mendon Ponds Park / Wild Wings
Favorite Children's Theater: TYKEs Theatre
Favorite Indoor Recreation Center: Kango Play Center
Favorite Farm (agri-entertainment): Lollypop Farm
Favorite Amusement Park: Seabreeze
Favorite Professional Sports Team: Rochester Red Wings