Rochester Family Newsletter June 21, 2012 | Kids Out and About Rochester

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Rochester Family Newsletter June 21, 2012

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Useful Links

2012 Winners: Top 20 Places To Bring Kids in the Rochester Area
50 Ways to Love Your Summer -- Leaving the Technology Inside!
25 SUMMER FESTIVALS in Rochester & the Finger Lakes
Amusement Parks within Driving Distance
Where to play mini golf
Last weekend to PICK STRAWBERRIES, Cherries are beginning
Giveaways page: Tickets to Rhinos, Long Acre Farms
It's their vacation, and you're the tour guide: How to run Camp Mom
June 23 (This Saturday): How to participate in the Great American Backyard Campout
Fourth of July Parades, Celebrations, Fireworks and Festivals in Greater Rochester

402 upcoming FREE events

Dear KidsOutAndAbout readers:

School's out... now what?

It would be great if every summer could seem to our children like an endlessly delicious time of sprinklers and watermelon, bike rides, adventures in the creek, and ball games. But the younger generation gets more and more accustomed to passive entertainment sitting in front of a screen, and so nowadays, many of us have to thrust them out of doors for their own good!. My kids are no different: Yes, even the original "out and about" family has trouble here! When the weather got nice, I had to start mandating that my preteens spend time outside every day. And I found myself banging my head against the wall when they asked me, "What should we do?" (Think back to when you were a kid: How much did you ask YOUR parents what you should play outside? Unthinkable!) I found myself humming the Paul Simon song, "Slip out the back, Jack... Make a new plan, Stan..." Thus my new article, 50 Ways to Love Your Summer, was born.

For preteens and up, I'd say just print out the list, give it to them, push them out the door, and don't let them in until they at least use their imaginations a bit. Younger kids, of course, need a bit more structure and adult interaction, so get your minds around the fact that summer fun isn't just for kids: You, too, can eat watermelon in the sprinkler, hike to a creek and wade, build a fort, hunt for fireflies, or any of the other 46 ideas. Along the way, you'll recapture that sense of wonder of being a kid in a beautiful world.

2) Of course, some moms were BORN to be coordinators, in which case have I got an article for you! My classic article, It's Their Vacation and You're the Tour Guide: How to Organize Camp Mom, has been around for several years, and each year I add to it based on suggestions from readers.The article rose spontaneously over the years from the experience of thousands of parents who wanted to combine the richness of a relaxed summer with the opportunity for the entire family to learn together. That's why I call my strategy Camp Mom: It's a mixture of structured and unstructured activities in which everyone is learning together, growing, and having fun. I hope you enjoy reading it, and if you have your own ideas to add, please email them to me so I can add them to the article. (And if anyone else makes Camp Mom T-shirts, please feel free to email me a photo... I might use them in an article!)

3) On the other hand, if you love a good traditional summer camp, there is still time to sign your child up for many area summer camps! Check out our big summer camp calendar here! It's listed WEEK-BY-WEEK so you can plan your summer accordingly!

Each day on our Facebook page we have been posting a Summer Camp of the Day. Here are the ones we highlighted this week:

Photography Without A Camera From Genesee Center for Arts & Education
Rochester Ravens 3-Day Soccer Camp in early July
Rock-N-Roll Camp for Girls
School of Rock camp for everyone!
Vista Teach Lego WeDo Robotics Intro Level Camp

4) Speaking of camp, how about campING! This Saturday, June 23, is the Great American Backyard Campout! Katie Beltramo, our Albany KidsOutAndAbout editor, wrote a terrific article for us with tips for how families can participate (get to that article by clicking here... recipes for easy and yummy backyard cooking included!). Then yesterday, NewsChannel 13 in Albany had her on the noon news to talk about it! Her tips are applicable everywhere, and she's fun to watch, so click on the screen shot to the right (or here) to get the scoop!

5) The most important page on our site these days -- especially for Camp Mom organizers, is the Everything That's Free button, which Everything that's FREEis linked from every page on KidsOutAndAbout. There are currently 402 upcoming events on the calendar that are utterly, totally, FREE.

6) If you'd like to get out and about in the local area this summer, we have two great resources for you!

6a) First, as you know if you've read this newsletter for the last month, we have tallied the results for our 2012 survey. So click through to see the full list of the Top 20 Places to Take Kids in Rochester... it will give you great ideas for summer fun!

6b) Second, you might want to check out our 3-minute music video of 60 beautiful places to visit with families in and around Rochester; we produced this last year, but I know some of you haven't seen it. Watch it with your kids and see how many you've already been to, and how many remain in your "bucket list." (Note: Mystrees in Henrietta is no longer open; when we released the video last year, they were so inundated with requests they couldn't accommodate them all.)  Please share the link to this around Facebook, too! Your friends will be happy you did! And for those of you who know your kids music scene: Yes, the composer and singer is none other than Mark Asch, who plays keyboards for the kids rock band StarFish.


7) Seabreeze is of course one of the 60 places to go in the video, and this year it's #7 on our Top 20 list. KidsOutAndAbout has an exclusive Seabreeze coupon for you to use! You can either print out the coupon and use it at the gate to get either $2 or $3 off admission, or use a special promo code when you purchase your tickets online! Click here for the Seabreeze coupon!

8) We also have a buy-one-get-one-free ice cream deal through Wickham Farms in Penfield; click here for the Wickham Farms coupon!

9) And the Ralph Honda KidsOutAndAbout Buy-One-Gift-Card-Get-One-Free deal is still on too: For every $20 Gift card you buy, Ralph Honda will give you a second Absolutely FREE!!  No limit on purchase quantity (though you can use only 1 card per visit). and they service all makes and models, not just Hondas. For details go to:  or call 585-225-3200.

10) My favorite way to get out and about in this weekend unquestionably: STRAWBERRY PICKING. Where To Pick Summer Fruit in the Rochester area page. We've not only picked strawberries ourselves, but we just got inundated with our weekly share from the G and S Orchards CSA. Whoa! The strawberries are awesome! Bu this is likely to be the last weekend of them, and cherries are just about ripe, too! Blueberries are next, and EVERYTHING is early. Our summer fruit page has the whole scoop about where to go.

Mark your calendars for NEXT Saturday, June 30!

11) June 30 Day: Hep Kids: For years, has been pushing for a kids event in conjunction with the Rochester Jazz Festival. Well, this year WXXI and The Little Theatre seized on the idea and together ran with it, creating a special Hep Kids event at the Jazz Festival...and it's FREE! Of course, that made us ecstatic, so KidsOutAndAbout is one of the sponsors. Hep Kids: The Family Spot at the Jazz Festival will be held at The Little Theatre on Saturday, June 30, from 11am-3pm. the Jazz Tent, parking lot, and cafe will be all yours to enjoy! The activities are developed for toddlers through 8 years of age. Click the link for the schedule of AWESOME events and activities.

12) June 30 Evening: June 30 is the day to kick off the first weekend of summer: It will be KidsOutAndAbout's SCHOOL'S OUT BLAST at the Rochester Rhinos at Sahlen's Stadium: KidsOutAndAbout readers get a great discount (must pre-purchase), plus there will be all kinds of free games and activities like bounce houses, human foosball, and more! Click the link for details and to purchase tickets.

13) There are tons of ways to celebrate our nation's Independence in Greater Rochester. Check out our list of Fourth of July Parades, Celebrations, Fireworks, and Festivals. Some events start this weekend, while others are on Tuesday, so don't wait until July 4 to make your plans!

14) Save the date! The Brockport BBQ & Music Festival is Saturday, July 7, 2012! The Rotary Foundation of Brockport is seeking contestants for its 3rd annual Kids 'Que BBQ Cook-Off held at the Brockport BBQ & Music Festival on July 7, 2012. The Kids 'Que features kids age 6-16 cooking burgers and desserts on the grill to submit to a blind judging panel.  Participants are required to cook their dishes on site at Northampton Park, the home of the event for the second year. Only wood or charcoal are allowed making this cook-off a challenging and fun task. The Kids compete for cash and trophies. Teams of up to 3 kids are allowed. The BBQ Festival, also, offers a chili cook off and the Backyard Rib cook off for parents, all on July 7. Registration for all contests is at Please register now; there are only 3 weeks left before the festival!


15) We've got giveaways on our giveaway page, of course. Several camp giveaways are today or tomorrow, and we have a special package for the KidsOutAndAbout Day at the Rochester Rhinos on June 30, which includes four tickets, a bobblehead Hall of Fame doll, a t-shirt, a signed team photo, and possibly more! We also have an amazing Long Acre Farms giveaway for a party in the maze just before the corn maze season officially begins--a $300 value!

Congratulations to Kathy from Rochester, whose child won a week at Big Fat Messy Art Camp at The Art Stop in Webster.

16) If your business would like to offer a giveaway, email me the details and, if it's appropriate, we'll get it on the page right away. And of course, click here to get to our main giveaway page to get details on how to enter these drawings! That page had almost 30,000 views in the past year, so it's a great way to be visible to our community.

17) I typically announce the giveaways on our Facebook page as soon as they're posted, so I encourage you to check there regularly. 88% of our readers use Facebook...are you one of them? Please do "Like" us by clicking the Like button here.


18) What can you do for ABSOLUTELY NO COST?There are currently 402 FREE upcoming events on our calendar. Who wins when organizations around here offer things to do for free? We ALL do!


18)  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. Here are their plans this weekend.
Friday: Red Wings Baseball Game with post-game fireworks
Saturday: Early June Special at Seabreeze
Sunday: Strawberry Celebration at Brown's Berry Patch

The Bravo Family loves the arts.
FridayAirplay Juggling & Funshop at Cool Kids in Sagawa Park
SaturdayFree Music Together Demonstration Class
SundayRace/Walk for Music!

This is the Woods Family. They love nature and the great outdoors.
Friday: School's Out Celebration at Long Acre Farms
Saturday: Discover Madagascar Day at the Seneca Park Zoo
SundayFamily Golf Challenge Day at Locust Hill, for the SE YMCA

The Smart family focuses on educational and cultural activities. They also shop smart!
Friday: Lego Master Building Class at ArtsROC in Pittsford
Saturday: War of 1812 and Jane Austen Weekend at Genesee Country Village
SundayLong Acre Farms Summer Reading Program


The Wall Family prefers indoor activities. Here is their weekend itinerary:
Friday: Building with KEVA Planks at the Rochester Museum & Science Center
Saturday: Family Day at Painting with a Twist
SundaySummer Reading Club with the Irondequoit Library

19) Want to see what is happening day by day in the greater Rochester area? There are LOTS MORE ACTIVITIES than just what are listed for our families. Here are some links to make it easy.

Friday, June 22
Saturday, June 23
Sunday, June 24

20) Did you know I'm on WARM 101.3 and Fickle 93.3? Friday mornings between 7 and 9:45, I join Tony & Kristie on WARM for hours of scintillating wit and penetrating insight between the soft rock favorites... and at 7:40 and 8:40 I give you the secrets behind family-friendly weekend events. And at 8:06 I'm on Fickle 93.3 with Marti Casper, doing the same, though maybe with a little more of an edge! Tune in on Fridays! You can help decide the music, too: Take the WARM song surveys: Click here to sign up and have the chance to win great prizes!

Have a terrific weekend!

Debra Ross