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KidsOutAndAbout Rochester latest e-newsletter
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KidsOutAndAbout's Master Guide to the Holidays
Where to cut your Christmas tree
2014 Holiday gift guide - reviews from KOAA
Breakfasts/other meals with Santa
Save the date for:
November 22: West Side Story opens from RAPA
November 26: A Christmas Carol opens at Geva
November 28: Santa Skydives in to Stokoe Farms to open the Christmas season
November 28-30: The Nutcracker at the Eastman Theatre
December 5: Play Pals opens at Strong museum
December 6: Liberty Pole Lighting Ceremony & Free Family Fun Downtown Rochester
December 6-14: Babes in Toyland from RAPA
December 9-14: Cinderella from the RBTL at the Auditorium Theatre
December 11-14: Little Women, the Musical from Stages at the Auditorium Center
December 13: Doug & Gary's 25th Reunion Concert at Nazareth Arts Center
December 13: Pittsford Ballet's Nutcracker
December 20-20: New York State Ballet's Nutcracker at Nazareth Arts Center
January 3: Eastman Community Music School Early Childhood winter session begins
Note: Next week, your e-newsletter will come on Wednesday. It will contain everything you need to entertain your out-of-town family post-Thanksgiving! Show them the best of what Rochester has to offer!
My daughter Madison has a Christmas tree in her bedroom.
"How cute, although maybe she's jumping the gun a little," you're thinking. "Maybe she should at least wait until Thanksgiving is over."
But see, it's not that she has a Christmas tree in there already. No, she has it there always. This is no little tabletop cutesy snip of greenery, either: it's a big old honkin' tree that takes up a good chunk of the room. She got it at a garage sale for $5, complete with ornaments. Ask her why it's there in March or June or October, and she'll stage an isn't-it-obvious teenagerish shrug and say, "Well, I love Christmas."
My friend Charles loved Mozart. Fortunately, the music industry has recorded a LOT of Mozart. I can only imagine how excited he was when those 100-CD changers came on the market; I bet he was first in line at the Circuit City in Florence, Alabama when they hit the shelves in 1987. When you'd go to Charles's office, you'd be plunged into an all-Mozart-all-the-time extravaganza. Of course, Charles was the only one who would know when the CD actually changed; it all sounded the same to the rest of us.
My friend Patrick is a journalist in Cleveland. Patrick loves the written word. Books drip from the walls, counters, coffee tables, and nightstands: fiction, nonfiction, books about travel, books about knitting, books about the Watergate era, even books about people who are members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (he wrote one of those). "Who needs a decorator when you can have books covering every blessed surface" is Patrick's motto.
Life is short, sometimes heartbreakingly so. But we often race through life at such breakneck speed that we forget to live what we love. Parents (particularly moms) tend to downplay their own fulfillment in favor of their family's day-to-day needs. But you want your kids to learn to revel in their passions, don't you? Remember, they learn by watching you.
I'm as guilty as anyone of perpetually chasing the end of an ever-lengthening to-do list. So I often need to remind myself: When it's 2065 and I'm looking back on the view from my rocking chair, will I be more pleased to reflect on the volume of tasks I crossed off, or on the times I listened to Mozart, turned the pages, or breathed in deep the pungent plastic scent of artificial Douglas fir? I think we all know the answer.
--Debra Ross, Publisher
2) Here is a person whose artistry helped me live what I love: baritone Derrick Smith. I am terribly sad to report that Derrick passed away on Tuesday at Strong. Derrick was a Rochester treasure: Famous for his performances both in our area and internationally, he was also a music educator at the Eastman School of Music, Eastman Community Music School, Hochstein School of Music, and Nazareth College. I had the privilege of working with him on projects starting about 7 years ago. And hearing him sing (which he once did in my living room...I think the rafters are still humming) was always a gift.
Everyone loved Derrick. We all admired (and many envied) his artistry, but we absolutely adored the man. He could give all-encompassing hugs like no one else. (How often do we say that publicly about classical musicians? Pretty much never. But I keep seeing that comment wherever his colleagues and friends have been leaving tributes in the last few days.)
3) KidsOutAndAbout's KidsOutAndAbout's Master Guide to the Holidays is up and getting LOTS of attention this week! Find out about all kinds of special holiday events at places likeGeorge Eastman House, Geva Theatre Center, Rochester Broadway Theatre League,Genesee Country Village, Nazareth Arts Center, and Marketplace Mall! But there is lots more... Christmas and Chanukah events, Holiday light displays, and...
Where to cut your Christmas tree
2014 Holiday gift guide - reviews from KOAA
Breakfasts/other meals with Santa
Upcoming Nutcracker performances
Upcoming performances of Handel's Messiah
4) Feeling grateful? Wondering how you and your kids can help out those less fortunate than you? We've got you covered!
4a) Cut the Violence Winter Coat Drive:
Monroe County Legislator Willie Joe Lightfoot& New Creations Unisex Shop are currently hosting their annual coat drive for the holiday season. Please bring new or barely-used coats to the dropoff point, New Creations Unisex Shop, at 647 Jefferson Avenue in Rochester. Contact number is Rep. Lightfoot's Legislative Office at 585 -753-1940. The coat drive is accepting kid- and adult-sized coats, gloves, and hats from November 20-December 10. Location drop off hours are Monday - Sunday 9 am - 9pm. Last year they gave out 80 coats; this year their goal is 100. Coats will be distributed to the needy at New Creations' annual Cut The Violence event on December 15 from 4pm till 8pm. (Free haircuts, toys, and community resource information will also be given out at this event.) KidsOutAndAbout.com is happy to be a media sponsor of this event, so if dropping off in the city is tough for you, email me (Debra Ross) at email@example.com so that we can make arrangements to get the coats from you at a mutually convenient place. There is a serious need for coats this year, so please plunder your closets and donate what you no longer need, as long as it's in good condition.
4b) WHERE TO VOLUNTEER: Speaking of feeling fortunate, if you're looking for an opportunity to reinforce the joy of giving, we've got a list of local organizations that provide volunteer opportunities for families..
4c) KidsOutAndAbout is teaming up with the Pirate Toy Fund Drive, as we do every year, to help them collect toys to help needy kids in our area for the holidays and year-round. The main 2014 Toy Drive is the week after Thanksgiving, December 1-6, 2014. Donate a new, unwrapped toy at area malls and Wegmans, and watch News 10 NBC in the mornings for the updates. And as usual, we have our KidsOutAndAbout Pirate Toy Fund Wall of Fame for those who donate and let us know about it. Please plan to do so!
5) TAKE THE TAVERNS HOME FOR THANKSGIVING! Chef Mike and his teams from Tavern 58 at Gibbs and the Tavern at Clover are preparing a traditional Turkey Dinner, with all the trimmings, for your Thanksgiving Table!You can order a complete meal for 10 for only $149! (Orders should be placed by Saturday Nov 22 and picked up Wednesday Nov 26. Call 347-2851 right now to place your order! Details are here: And yes, that $149 is a special (and correct!) price; the web site still says $180 as of this writing.
AFTER Thanksgiving... got relatives in town? Next Friday and Saturday, Tavern has a great gift card deal: Join them for dinner next weekend and you are able to purchase $50 gift cards for ONLY $25 -- limit two per person. Escape the shopping madness-relax with a great Tavern dinner and kick off the holiday season with great savings. Tavern58 at Gibbs (546-5800) and The Tavern at Clover (347-2851).
6) It's a FROZEN WONDERLAND holiday portrait event!
Trammel Photo and Itty Bitty Giggles have created a one-of-a-kind portrait set for your children's Holiday Portraits! Step into our FROZEN Wonderland set and let your children be the stars! They will smile with joy and you will have the most heartwarming holiday portraits you have ever experienced! All FROZEN costumes for boys and girls will be provided; all you do is bring your smiles! Check out their web site for more information, visit their Facebook page for more samples, and call 585-924-3340 to book your session! **Mention that you saw this notice here in KidsOutAndAbout.com, and get a FREE $10 booking coupon!
7) The Harley School's Open House is tomorrow, Friday, November 21!
Join us for an Open House for Nursery (age 3) to Grade 12 at The Harley School tomorrow, Nov. 21, at 9 a.m. Language-rich classrooms foster collaborative problem solving to help students become capable, confident, and eager learners.
Joy in Learning begins at age 3 in our Nursery/Preschool program. Tuition starts at $12,000. Through the Acorn Grant Program, Harley provides up to $5,000 to recognize parent investment and student potential. Financial aid is also available to families who qualify.
RSVP to Cheryl Skiba at 442-1770 or firstname.lastname@example.org. www.harleyschool.org #whyharley
(In addition to our normal Fri-Sun open play hours, Jump Club will be open next week on Monday, Nov 24 from 4-7pm and Wednesday, Nov 26 from 10am-5pm. Always check the Jump Club web site for up-to-date info about open play hours.) Also ask about their awesome Birthday Party Packages, including their new Private Party Package...Great for any upcoming Holiday parties you might be planning too!
The inaugural Rochester Mini Maker Faire will take place on November 22nd from 10:00 am til 4:00 pm at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. This festival will celebrate those who love to make, create, learn, play, invent, craft, hack, build, think and be inspired by science, technology, engineering, arts, music, and crafts. The day will be filled with exciting exhibitions, demonstrations, and hands-on activities for all ages. In addition, there will be interesting presentations, speakers, live music, and visual and performing arts. Tickets are available at: http://rochesterminimakerfaire.eventbrite.com.
10) YMCA of Greater Rochester's Family Week next week: Free Trial Membership!
It's that time of year again: The days are getting colder, the light begins to fade earlier, and we find ourselves being less active and not always making healthy food choices around the holidays. The Y is here to help! From November 24- November 30, new families, who are not currently members of the YMCA of Greater Rochester, can receive a free trial family membership for the week. To get started, call or visit any YMCA of Greater Rochester branch during National Family Week. Enjoy the benefits of a Y family membership all year long! Join this week and the Y will waive the joining fee. Save up to $75! Remember to bring a government issued photo I.D. with you on your first visit. Ready to become a member and enjoy savings of up to $75? Y members also receive priority enrollment and reduced fees on swim lessons, child care, youth sports, and camp. Visit rochesterymca.org/familyweek from Nov. 24-30 to join and save.
Get in the Mood for Gratitude is a complimentary program at Midtown Athletic Club for 7-12 year olds on Saturday morning, November 22nd. In this special engagement, kids explore gratitude through art, movement and storytelling just in time for Thanksgiving. This class is friend-centric, so grab a buddy and join us at the club Midtown. Register by emailing Junior Athletic Director, email@example.com before 11/20 and mom and dad can enjoy a complimentary smoothie during the event in our great caf.
Head to ArtsROC for a Minecraft and LEGO-themed day camp, Wednesday, November 26th! Camp runs from 9 am - 3pm. ArtsROC provides morning and afternoon snacks as well as a daily pizza lunch. Students are also invited to participate in outside play, so please send weather-appropriate clothing. We maintain a 1:10 adult staff to student ratio in all of our camps, with additional staffing from high-school students. ArtsROC's innovative computer-based Minecraft camps allow children to explore their creativity while improving their technical skills. Minecraft students can improve their game play, create personalized skin packs, learn to install their own mods, and participate in individual and group challenges on our internal ArtsROC Minecraft servers. Lego students can build a major Lego set, take part in creative design projects and speed building competitions, play games like Creationary and Lego Jeopardy, and utilize our Lego Stop-Motion Animation. Only $60 per day, with the option of aftercare until 5:30pm for $15 extra.
13) BRISTOL MOUNTAIN OPENS TODAY! Mother Nature has made herself known over the past week and Bristol Mountain has taken advantage of the earlier than normal frigid temperatures to get a jump on snowmaking operations. With one of the earliest start dates in their history, Bristol Mountain will kick off their 51st season TODAY. Last year the season began on November 26th and ran for 134 days. The hours of operation will be from 9am – 4pm. Rocket Run will be the only open trail and is rated for advanced level skiers and snowboarders only. The all-day lift ticket price will be $45. This lift ticket is valid from 9am-4pm. There will also be a $35 lift ticket for the 2pm-4pm time period. Resort services that will be open will be Guest Services, Rocket Lodge, Carver’s Kitchen, Rental, Bristol Ski & Sport and the Tuning Center.
14) The Nutcracker at Eastman Theatre!
The Rochester City Ballet / Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra annual performance of The Nutcracker isNEXT WEEK! It will be taking place as always the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after Thanksgiving, two performances per day. Kids tickets start at $12! I have always considered The Nutcracker the perfect "starter ballet" performance. Click here for tickets.
15) Breakfast with St. Nick at Genesee Country Village the Saturday after Thanksgiving: Reservations required!
The Genesee Country Village & Museum invites kids to crawl up on Santa's lap and whisper their innermost wishes for this Christmasat Breakfast with St. Nick on Saturday November 29! The Meeting Center will be decorated for the season and serving a kid-delicious breakfast in addition to the encounter with the 19th-century style Jolly Old Elf! Each child will also receive a 19th-century treat from Santa! Menu for Breakfast Buffet includes: Chocolate Chip & Plain Pancakes (Spiced Apples Whipped Cream & Syrup for Pancakes), Sausage, Scrambled Eggs, Hot Cocoa Bar, Coffee, Tea & Juice. Parents are encouraged to take pictures during this unique photo opportunity! This is a reservation-only event, and seating times are 9:30am, 10:30am & 11:30am. Hurry and reserve your spot now as these times do sell out! For more information please visit www.gcv.org
Play Pals Exhibit Opens December 6 & 7! The Strong museum's new Play Pals exhibit opens December 6 & 7. Delight in the opening weekend celebration featuring performances by nationally recognized singer and songwriter Billy Kelly. Visit the exhibit and discover the evolution of dolls, action figures, toy soldiers, and plush animals across three centuries of American history. Step into a life-size dollhouse complete with kitchen, nursery, garden, and family car (with working ignition, pedals, GPS, and more). Measure, weigh, and check the vital signs of your favorite stuffed animals in the GUND@ Teddy Bear Check-Up area. Test your reflexes in a teddy bear operation game and explore imaginary worlds at the action adventure table, complete with volcano, castle, and urban settings. Click here for more information.
Ahoy, mateys! Join award-winning hometown kid-rockers Doug & Gary, the Happy Pirates, as they reunite for one day only to celebrate 25 years of performing!
Doug & Gary are sure to get your entire family singing, dancing, and laughing with their Parents' Choice Award-winning classics like “Popcorn,” “Surfin’,” and their signature anthem, “I’m a Happy Pirate.”
Get your tickets here.
18) We've got giveaways! Family four-packs of tickets !
- Tickets to Laurie Berkner!
- Tickets to the Pittsford Ballet's Nutcracker
- Golden Legacy: 65 Years of Golden Books exhibit at the MAG
- Breakfast with St. Nick at Genesee Country Village
- Tickets to the Doug & Gary 25th Anniversary Concert
19) THURSDAY HIGHLIGHTS (Lots more here):
Thursday, November 20: Pajama Time Storytime @ Brighton Memorial Library at Brighton Memorial Library. Pajama Time Storytime for all ages with a caregiver in our Brighton Kiwanis Discovery Room! Pajamas, stuffed animal friends, and blankets are always welcome.
Thursday, November 20: Sweet Creations Gingerbread House Display at George Eastman House at George Eastman House. This popular holiday tradition returns for its 19th 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, November 20: Kids' LEGO Club at Arnett Branch Library. Kids can have fun building with LEGOs and making new friends with this free program! We will provide the LEGOs and a story for inspiration.This program is for kids ages 5 and up.
Thursday, November 20: Get Crafty at the Walworth Library at Walworth-Seely Public Library. Join us at the Walworth Library to do a fun craft on the third Thursday of each month. Our crafter, Jen, will teach you how to make fun accessories. Choice of two times: either 6:15-7:15 or 7:15-8:15 (choose one).
20) FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS (Lots more here)
Friday, November 21: Holiday Bazaar Arts & Crafts Sale at Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC). Showcases more than 200 artists and features various creative items including jewelry, glass, woodwork, clothing, ceramics, and holiday gifts. New this yearwine tasting!
21) SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS (Lots more here)
Saturday, November 22: Preparing for the Holidays - the 19th Century Way at Genesee Country Village & Museum. Nineteenth-century families needed to start early if they were going to be ready for the holidays. Share in that age-old experience on Saturday, Nov. 22, as Genesee Country Village & Museum presents Preparing for the Holidays the 19th-Century Way.
Saturday, November 22: I Made It! Thanksgiving Sides and Favors at Tops Cooking School. Kids of all ages can take part in getting the Thanksgiving meal on the table. Join Miss Ilene as we have fun making these Thanksgiving crowd pleasers.
Saturday, November 22: Rochester Mini Maker Faire at Rochester Mini Maker Faire. Celebration of everyone who loves to make, create, craft, build and anything DIY. Day will be filled with exhibitions, demonstrations, & hands-on activities for all ages, along with presentations, speakers, live music, and visual & performing arts.
Saturday, November 22: West Side Story at Rochester Association of Performing Arts (RAPA). West Side Story explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
Saturday, November 22: Holiday Music and Light Show at The Garden Factory. One fantastic room, perfectly dark until the switch is flipped and the lights come on, filling the room with lights that sparkle like the stars.
Sunday, November 23: 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.
Sunday, November 23: Stokoe Farms Christmas Tree Preview at Stokoe Farms. Are you an early bird real Christmas tree lover? Head out to Stokoe Farms for a Christmas Preview. Open from 10 am to 2 pm, Saturday and Sunday, November 22 & 23.
Sunday, November 23: DINOSAURS: Giants of Patagonia Giant-screen Film at Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC). Huge, thundering beasts darken the sky as they tower over you in the Star Theater dome at the Strasenburgh Planetarium!
23) 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: Nazareth Division III Men's Ice Hockey Game at Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex
Saturday: Westside YMCA Youth Half Night and Overnight at YMCA- Westside (Gates)
Sunday: Penfield Farmers' Market at Grossmans Garden & Home
The Bravo Family loves the arts.
Friday: Eastman Evening Concert at The Strong Museum
Saturday: Craft: Giving Thanks Box at Rochester Public Library - Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County
Sunday: Holiday Music and Light Show at The Garden Factory
This is the Woods Family. They love nature and the great outdoors.
Friday: Bunk with Beasts Overnight Experiences (Girl and Boy Scouts) at Seneca Park Zoo
Saturday: Science Saturdays-Insects! at Henrietta Public Library
Sunday: Stokoe Farms Christmas Tree Preview at Stokoe Farms
The Smart family focuses on educational and cultural activities.
Friday: Linkee Trivia Tournament at Barnes & Noble Booksellers/Pittsford
Saturday: Preparing for the Holidays - the 19th Century Way at Genesee Country Village & Museum
Sunday: Holiday Bazaar Arts & Crafts Sale at Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC)
The Wall Family prefers indoor activities.
Friday: Holiday Laser Show at RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium at Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC)
Saturday: Rhythm Connect--Drum with Me! Parent Child Class at Rhythm Connect
Sunday: Sweet Creations Gingerbread House Display at George Eastman House at George Eastman House
24) And here's your weekend, presented day-by-day for your convenience!
Friday, November 21
Saturday, November 22
Sunday, November 23
Have a wonderful weekend!
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
6. My local library
7. Lollypop Farm
8. Stokoe Farms
9. Genesee Country Village & Museum
11. Jungle Jolt
12. Rochester Children's Theatre
13. Jump Club
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!