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Rochester Family Newsletter September 11, 2014

Upcoming FREE events: 998 of them!
Upcoming concerts & performances
Upcoming festivals
14 Tips to Get Your Child Ready For Nursery School 
Ready for Back to School? We're Here to Help!
Catching ZZZ's to get A's: Getting Your Child on a Regular Back-To-School Sleep Schedule

Save the date for:

September 20: Eastman Early Childhood Music classes begin. Register now!
September 13: Greentopia festival (KOAA is media sponsor)
September 13: Stokoe Farms season opening weekend
September 15: Special one-day Geva sale for A Christmas Carol
September 18-27: Fringe Festival (KOAA is media sponsor)
September 27: Barktober Fest at Lollypop Farm (KOAA is media sponsor of their Puppy Playhouse kids zone)
September 27: Stokoe Farms 5K Run/2 Mile Walk: Trees for Troops

September 27: Walk for Rehema Home: A family-friendly festival in North Ponds Park & fundraiser for Kenyan orphans 
October 1:
 Deadline to register for Eastman Community Music School classes and ensembles. Private lessons may begin at any time.

Dear KidsOutAndAbout readers:

The five-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks was the first time my kids ever saw me cry.

On September 11, 2006, the girls and I were in a pizza restaurant in Virginia Beach. They were 5 and 7 years old. A television was playing high in a corner, and there was a replay of the second plane hitting the Twin Towers. “What’s that?” Madison asked, and pointed, more in curiosity than horror. For all she knew, it was some kind of weird movie.

I had always been hesitant to cry in front of my kids, for several reasons: At a young age, kids can only handle so much, and a parent being out of control can be terribly frightening. I didn't want to worry them needlessly, either about me or what was on the screen. Plus, I had decided never to trivialize crying; in other words, I try to reserve it for times when it is particularly meaningful. (That is: Death merits tears. Burning the scrambled eggs, not so much.) In this case, of course, it was compounded by the fact that it is a mother’s job is to keep her kids safe... And on September 11, 2001, none of us felt safe.

But that day, September 11, 2006, I let the tears come, a bit. I was far from the only person in the place with dry eyes, though none of us was sobbing outright. I told my girls briefly what had happened 5 years earlier. It was the right moment to tell them, and the right way to tell them. They weren't scarred, but they understood something of the significance of the event. They have never forgotten that day, the day that Mom cried.

Every family handles these issues differently. I was fortunate that my kids were babies when the attacks happened, and I could choose how and when to tell them about that awful day. Others did not have it easy; kids expect—and deserve—to be brought up in safety and love. For some older kids, even outside of the regions where the attacks occurred, their world was rocked as much as ours was.

All these years later, I find it easier to talk about the events of 2001, in large part because our country hasn't suffered anything close to that scale since. (Knock wood and all that.) I can’t look at a military serviceperson without feeling awash in gratitude. (To all who serve or have loved ones in the armed forces: Thank you.)

I invite you, each September 11, to spend a few minutes with the memories of this day, either alone or with your kids. A few minutes to remember what is right, what is important, what is good... and to think about what we can do to preserve our future for our children.

--Debra Ross, Publisher

2) GREENTOPIA ECOFEST is this Saturday, 10am-10pm! 

This year’s Ecofest, held in Rochester’s High Falls District, will feature a variety of old favorites and a bunch of new and exciting activities. Unlike many festivals in our area, almost every event at Greentopia Fall Festival is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, even the great KIDSTUFF area, which is open from 10am-6pm. The area includes including exhibits by the Rochester Museum and Science Center, Gonondagan Iroquois Center, Music for Everyone, and the WXXI Biennial Open House. NEW THIS YEAR:The National Guard will be supplying a ROCK CLIMBING WALL for all those kids and young adults (heck, pretty much anyone can give this a try…) wanting to test their fitness and skill. No precious experience necessary. 

3) Looking for a high-quality school-year music program for your child? Registration is still open for fall lessons, classes and ensembles at the Eastman Community Music School! ECMS offers classical and jazz lessons for all instruments, voice and composition; classes in music theory, history, and technology; and numerous ensembles from intimate chamber groups to large ensembles. Each week, ECMS students of all ages and abilities attend approximately 900 lessons and 100 classes and ensembles on our Gibbs Street campus. Have a child between 4 mos. and 6 years old? Become a part of Early Childhood Music, a program which has attracted national and international attention and has been featured on network television. Visit or call (585) 274-1400 for more information. Dont wait: Fall semester is underway for school-age children and begins September 20th for Early Childhood program participants!

4) FARMAPALOOZA and MOREWickham Farms is gearing up for fall! The farm is now making its delicious donuts daily, and its corn maze is now open! At 2 1/2 acres and about 45 minutes to navigate, the maze is just the right size for younger children ($5 each, with children under 2 free with a paid participant). The farm is also kicking off fall this Saturday, September 13 with Farmapalooza, a free event to celebrate farming from noon to 3 p.m. Dairy farmers will be on hand with a milk mustache photo booth, free dairy samples and hands-on butter making. A honey maker will show a bee colony and offer honey tasting. Visiting farm animals will add to the farm's usual collection of goats, chickens, and rabbit. A tractor will be available for climbing. Kid fiddlers from the Kanack School of Music and juggler Alex Rozanov will also perform. The event will also include face painting ($1), pumpkin painting ($3 and $5) and hayrides ($1.50).

5) Creative Kiddos classes at Spotlight Studios in Fairport ages 3 & 4 starts next week!

Creative Kiddos is a creative arts class designed for little minds to explore, learn, and create using music, art, movement, theatre, and much more! Each class will icnlude: singing, playing instruments, dancing, reading/acting out stires, creating an art project, that will all revolve around our Theme of the Day. Held at Spotlight Studios in Fairport. Age 3: Thursdays, 9am-11:30am; Age 4: Fridays, 9am-11:30am. Cost is only $250 for 12 weeks, taught by Amanda Valvano Meldrum. Click here for more information.

6) Mark your calendar: Weepeats Childrens Consignment Fall Sale is September 26 - 28, 2014! This is your chance to SELL, SAVE and SHOP for childrens clothing, toys, gear, and equipment. You dont want to miss this sale! Register to Consign HERE. Friday, Sept. 26, 2014: 9am - 6pm $5 Admission entire weekend (kids FREE) Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014: 9am - 4pm $2 Admission (kids FREE) Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014: 9am - Noon HALF PRICE SALE Free Admission

7) Was your child born for the stage? Are they one of those quiet, but vast oceans of contemplation that just need encouragement to release all that amazing creativity? Susan Gibney is bringing her 30 years of professional experience in film, television, and theater to the Rochester community; she has launched her new acting studio, Rogue Actor Training, at the Village Gate in Rochester. Through games, exercises, mask building and work, and introduction to various performance genres, each student will learn the fundamentals of building a character through a personally-chosen monologue that they will perform at the end of the 6-week session. Click here to see class offerings for ages 9-12, 13-18, and adults.

8) Come one, come all to the 2014 Walk for Rehema Home, Saturday, September 27, at North Ponds Park in Webster! Please join us at this annual family-friendly fundraising event and help us raise money for medicine, food, clothing, and education for the incredible kids at Rehema Home orphanages in Kenya! Time: 9:00am Registration & 9:30am Start. Highlights: Shop at our Kenyan duka (boutique); Jump til you're tired in the bounce house; Get your groove on with live African beats; Make a child's wish come true at the Giving Tree; Get your face painted; Find out your Kenyan name; Bonus - top fundraisers win big prizes and bragging rights! Registration Fee: $5 for children & $15 for adults. Don't wait - preregister now

9) Pumpkin patches, apple picking, corn mazes, and Halloween... yep, we're starting to think Fall around here. (Just ignore this if you haven't accepted the end of summer yet.) Bust out those hoodies and boots! KidsOutAndAbout has a master guide to farms, festivals, and all things Autumn.

10) STOKOE FARMS OPENING WEEKEND this weekend! Why does Stokoe Farms care so much about the Trees for Troops program?  Because of the giant bear hugs they get from returning soldiers who just happened to receive a real Christmas tree in the middle of the desert on  a desolate December night.  We may think we know what it’s like to sit in a tent, in a war zone during Christmas, but we don’t.  So grab your spouse, your kids and your friends and Run OR Walk the 3rd Annual Trees for Troops 5K Run/2 Mile Walk at Stokoe Farms.  Saturday, September 27th at 9:30.  100% of runner entry fees goes directly to sending real Christmas trees to real soldiers!
T-shirts, cash prizes and tickets to Harvest Fest!

11) Homeschool parents! Cobblestone School is pleased to announce a brand new offering - classes for home school students in grades 3 through 6! We invite students to join our regularly scheduled classes in subjects such as Math, Art, or ELA, to work with other students on challenging and engaging topics. Our professional teachers are experts at individualizing instruction and will welcome new students, two or more days a week, into their class. For more information, or to set up an appointment, please call Sara Shaw, Director of Admissions at Cobblestone School 585-271-4548. 

12) KidsOutAndAbout is excited about this year's Rochester Fringe Festival, which starts this coming Thursday! There are more family-friendly performances than ever before. For the next 2 weeks, we'll be highlighting some of them here. 

Magic Words! Magic Rain!

Sat., Sept. 20 10:00am • 45 mins • All Ages • $5 • Writers & Books

Sound, movement, and words whirl together to make this interactive poetry performance one you won’t forget. Poets Sally Bittner Bonn, L. John Cies­linski & M.J. Iuppa perform their original poetry along with selections from other children’s favorites like Shel Silverstein. We’ll get your toes tapping and fingers snapping with poems you’ll love like a sudden late summer storm.

13) Best App Designers for Young Kids
The term "screen time" has developed an unfair connotation. Sure, kids need lots of physical and imaginative play, but there are some high quality games available for kids on tablets, Smartphones, and eReaders which deserve high praise. 

Check out our article on the Top 8 App Designers for Young Kids reviewed by our editor Kathleen McCormack.

14) Someone recently asked me what I thought is the most memorable food in Rochester. It's funny:What immediately came to mind were two appetizers.

1) Tempura Baby Peppers at Tavern at Clover in Pittsford (Baby bell peppers stuffed with brie and crab with a cherry jalapeno jam)
2) Bacon Wrapped Dates at the Gatehouse Cafe at the Village Gate in Rochester (Dates stuffed with manchego cheese, wrapped in bacon, Woodfired and Drizzled with Balsamic Honey.

Me and these appetizers, we're BFFs now... so if you ever want to do something especially nice for me (this is a completely blatant and public hint to my husband David) take me to one of these places and you can be my best friend too.

What do you think is the most memorable dining experience in Rochester?

15) THURSDAY HIGHLIGHTS (Lots more here):

Thursday, September 11: Willy Wonka and Drama Kids Contest at Rochester Public Library - Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County. Be a part of the Rochester Fringe Festival and win one full school year of Drama Kids Community classes.

Thursday, September 11: Children's Theatre Auditions  at Best Foot Forward . Auditions for "Disney Revue" Ages 4-12 Thursday, September 11th and Friday, September 12th from 5-6:30pm. For more info go

Thursday, September 11: Make It & Take It Crafts at Parma Public Library. Make a variety of crafts supplied by the library to take home. No registration required.

Thursday, September 11: Wickham Farms Corn Maze at Wickham Farms. Maze is open daily til dusk!

16) FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS (Lots more here)

Friday, September 12: Open Auditions for "The Wizard of Oz" at Bravo! Theatre Arts Jr. Company . Auditions: 9/8/2014 & 9/12/2014 from 5P- 7P at the Fairport Baptist Home located 4646 Fairport 9 Mile Point Rd. Children ages 5-18 encouraged to come out and have a wonderful theatrical experience! Everyone who auditions makes it in! No cuts!!!

Friday, September 12: Greentopia | ECOFEST at Greentopia Festival.  Greentopia | ECOFEST is your one-stop destination for a weekend like none other.

Friday, September 12: Story Time Stars at Pittsford Community Library. Children ages 3-5 are invited to enjoy a half hour of stories, songs, and fingerplays.

Friday, September 12: Animal Tales Drop-In Story Time at Lollypop Farm at Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester. Enjoy a animal-themed story or two and a humane education component from Lollypop Farm!

Friday, September 12: New Raptor Added to Wild Wings! at Wild Wings, Inc.. INTRODUCING our newest resident at Wild Wingssmall, cute, colorful and big eyes. Can you guess what species of bird has arrived? Come to introduce yourself! We are opened Friday-Tuesday. 10:00-2:00

17) SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS (Lots more here)

Saturday, September 13: WXXI Open House at WXXI. Rochester's public media station opens its doors at 280 State Street for a day of fun and discovery.

Saturday, September 13: Farmapalooza! at Wickham Farms. A free event to celebrate all kinds of farming!

Saturday, September 13: Heroes Weekend  at Long Acre Farms. Local Police, Fire and Rescue members can save on their admission with ID

Saturday, September 13: Military Appreciation Day at STOKOE FARMS at Stokoe Farms. Join Stokoe Farms for Military Appreciation Day. Military personnel and their families, active duty and retired, enjoy Stokoe Farms Harvest Fest for FREE! Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14.

Saturday, September 13: Animal birthday: Bornean orangutan at Seneca Park Zoo. Celebrate birthdays for our Bornean orangutans!


18) SUNDAY HIGHLIGHTS (Lots more here)

Sunday, September 14: Open Skating at Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex. Come join us at Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex for public skating. It starts from 1:00pm until 2:50pm and is open to all ages. We also have a Bill Gray's restaurant and tap room located in our facility.

Sunday, September 14: Brandenburg and Beyond Chamber Music Concert at Society for Chamber Music in Rochester. The Society for Chamber Music in Rochesters 38th season kicks off with a Baroque concert entitled Brandenburg and Beyond. The pre-concert talk with Artistic Directors Juliana Athayde and Erik Behr begins at 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, September 14: Turtle Hill Folk Festival 2014 at Golden Link Folk Singing Society. Golden Link Folk Singing Society presents a great weekend of folk music featuring concerts, workshops, dancing, camping, campfire singing, food, and fun!

Sunday, September 14: You Pick Raspberries at G and S Orchards at G and S Orchards. Come out and Pick Raspberries at G and S Orchards just 15 minutes from downtown Rochester!

19) The Bravo Family, the Wall Family, the Woods Family, the Smart Family, and the Walker Familyare 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: Moonlight Maze at Long Acre Farms
Saturday: Farmapalooza! at Wickham Farms
Sunday: Rochester Junior Americans Empire Team Vs. Adirondack Wings at Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex


The Bravo Family loves the arts.
Friday: Open Auditions for "The Wizard of Oz" at Bravo! Theatre Arts Jr. Company 
Saturday: Turtle Hill Folk Festival 2014 at Golden Link Folk Singing Society
Sunday: Brandenburg and Beyond Chamber Music Concert at Society for Chamber Music in Rochester


This is the Woods Family. They love nature and the great outdoors.
Friday: Animal Tales Drop-In Story Time at Lollypop Farm at Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester
Saturday: Animal birthday: Bornean orangutan at Seneca Park Zoo
Sunday: OPENING WEEKEND at STOKOE FARMS! at Stokoe Farms


The Smart family focuses on educational and cultural activities.
Friday: Greentopia | ECOFEST at Greentopia Festival
Saturday: WXXI Open House at WXXI
Sunday: Costume Swap Drop-Off at Brighton Memorial Library


The Wall Family prefers indoor activities.
Friday: Story Time Stars at Pittsford Community Library
Saturday: Willy Wonka and Drama Kids Contest at Rochester Public Library - Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County
Sunday: Over The Rainbow Weekend at The Strong Museum


20) And here's your weekend , presented day-by-day for your convenience...

Friday, September 12 
Saturday, September 13
Sunday, September 14

Debra Ross

Congratulations to all Rochester-area organizations who made the list of 2014's Top 20 Places to Take Rochester Kids

2014's Top 20:
1. Strong National Museum of Play
2. Seneca Park Zoo
3. TYKEs Theatre
4. Rochester Museum & Science Center
5. Seabreeze
6. My local library
7. Lollypop Farm
8. Stokoe Farms
9. Genesee Country Village & Museum
10. Bounce-It-Out
11. Jungle Jolt
12. Rochester Children's Theatre
13. Jump Club
14. YMCA
15. Darien Lake Amusement Park
16. Wild Wings Nature Center at Mendon Ponds
17. Jewish Community Center
18. Brown's Berry Patch
19. Wickham Farms
20. Clubhouse Fun Center

Click here to find out who won in each category!

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