Here is this week’s KidsOutAndAbout newsletter.

Here’s some stuff that’s happening:

Fri, Jan 03: First Friday at Albany Institute of History and Art 1st Friday, administered by the Upstate Artists Guild, aims to introduce a wider audience to the unique vitality of the artists and venues of Albany. 1st Friday promotes interest in the arts by making it accessible, thereby strengthening the arts community in Albany. 

Fri, Jan 03: Perler Bead Crafts at Castleton Public Library Stop by and make something awesome out of perler beads! 

Fri, Jan 03: “All About Adaptations” at Thacher Nature Center at Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center & Thacher State Park Join us to explore how our wild animal neighbors are able to live where they do, survive and thrive! We will be examining a variety of skins, skulls, feathers and bones to gain an understanding of their unique adaptations. We will also make an animal track guide to help you track your furry neighbors. Call 518-872-0800 for more information. 

Fri, Jan 03: First Friday in Ballston Spa at Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association First Friday events are held on the First Friday of every month. Enjoy special happenings in many downtown shops, restaurants and museums– including featured shop promotions, art displays and demonstrations, family activities, live music, refreshments, with many venues open later into the evening. Use pull down locations below for more details of activities at different venues. Remember to purchase your First Friday Fanatic pin for $1 at most First Friday venues and use it every First Friday for special discounts at participating First Friday businesses. 

Fri, Jan 03: Mopco’s Family Improv Show at Mopco Improv Theatre Join us for this highly interactive, family-friendly improv show! We use audience suggestions and willing volunteers to create stories, characters, and songs off the top of our heads in this one of a kind performance. Younger audience members will have plenty of opportunities to be a part of the action and help our actors create the show. With plenty of opportunities to fill-in-the-blank and make their voice heard the fast-paced action will keep parents and kids at the edge of their seats. 

Sat, Jan 04: Painting Fun at Castleton Public Library Do you love painting? Stop by the library to have fun with all kinds of paint! 

Sat, Jan 04: Salutations of the Season! at Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site at Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site Join us for an evening of merriment at Schuyler Mansion’s annual Twelfth Night celebration! The evening’s festivities will highlight the Feast of Epiphany as it may have been celebrated by the Schuyler family in the 18th century. From 4:00 to 7:30 p.m., the site will host an open house, replete with 18th century holiday fare, live music, period reenactors, bonfires (weather dependent) and wassail toasts! Then cross the river, where the celebration continues at Crailo State Historic Site with Yuletide decorations, hearthside cooking, live music, re-enactors and other festive traditions of the 17th century! A special combination admission for both historic houses is available. Twelfth Night, or the Feast of Epiphany, was one of the traditional holidays celebrated by the Dutch and English of 17th and 18th century New York. Falling on January 6th, Twelfth Night was the final holiday of the season, marked by unsurpassed feasting and revelry. Come and celebrate with us! Snow date: Sun., Jan 5th, 4:00 – 7:30 p.m. 

Sat, Jan 04: Twelfth Night at Crailo State Historic Site The traditional Dutch celebration of the end of the holiday season! Museum open house with costumed interpreters and open hearth cooking demonstrations in the cellar kitchen. Combo tickets with Schuyler Mansion’s Salutations of the Season will be available. 

Sat, Jan 04: How to Do It: LEARN to SNOWSHOE at NYS DEC- Five Rivers Environmental Education Center Never tried snowshoeing before? Now is your chance to learn at Five Rivers! We’ll go over the basics of how to put snowshoes on (and take them off), walk, and turn. We’ll go outside to put our new skills to work on a short walk. Snowshoe rental fees are waived. Please register by Thursday, January 2. The outdoor portion of this program will be conducted on foot if there is insufficient snow. 

Sat, Jan 04: Snowshoe Hike at Albany Pine Bush at Albany Pine Bush Preserve & Discovery Center Have you tried snowshoeing? The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is a great place to get started with this fun sport. 

Sun, Jan 05: Open House: Circle of Friends at The Music Studio A one-hour music experience to introduce parents and children to our classes for children with special needs, led by our music therapist Beth McLaughlin and Music Studio founder and director Noel Liberty. Kids welcome! 

Sun, Jan 05: Family Watercolor Fun at Schenectady Jewish Community Center (SJCC) Bring the kids for a fun one-day watercolor class with instructor Amy Friedman, M.A. Start the new year by doing something creative together–a terrific way to spend time together on a chilly Sunday afternoon. All materials are included! 

Mon, Jan 06: After Dinner Book Club: “Dodge City,” by Tom Clavin at Castleton Public Library Join us the first Monday of each month for a book discussion! Books available at the front desk. 

Wed, Jan 08: Open House at The Music Studio A one-hour introduction to The Music Studio’s 4-week classes for young children. New sessions start January 19, 2020, so this Open House is the perfect opportunity to see whether your child is ready to begin his or her musical education. And it’s a fun outing with your child as well! 

Wed, Jan 08: Open House at The Music Studio A fun and engaging hour in which to experience the unique energy of The Music Studio’s classes for young children! We’re starting new sessions for children ages 2 to 7 beginning January 19, and this is a great way to find out if they’ll be a good fit for you and your child. Join us! 

Wed, Jan 08: Word Games at Castleton Public Library Stop by with a family member or friend to play giant Boggle, Bananagrams, and more! 

Thu, Jan 09: Teach My Kid to Read at The William K. Sanford Town Library/Colonie Town Library Workshop for adults to help them teach children to read. 

Thu, Jan 09: Open House Family Music at St. George’s Episcopal Church FREE Family Music Class for young children and their caregivers. 

Fri, Jan 10: Winter Edible Art at Castleton Public Library Make winter-inspired sculptures you can eat! All ages welcome. A 2nd Friday event. 

Sat, Jan 11: Annual Moonlight Ski and Snowshoe at Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park Join us at the popular and highly anticipated Annual Moonlight Ski and Snowshoe at Camp Saratoga on Scout Road. This is popular, so you need to reserve a free ticket. Click link for details. 

Sat, Jan 11: Winter Tracking Event at Eldridge Research Center Discover signs of the winter activities of animals. David Muska of Ondatra Adventures will teach the fundamentals of tracking and help you develop your skills through techniques such as clear print identification and track patterns. No prior tracking experience necessary. Bring a notebook and pencil/pen, snack, water, and weather-appropriate clothing/footwear. Depending on conditions, snowshoes may be helpful and are available on a first come, first served basis. All ages are welcome! 

Sat, Jan 11: Author Leroy Collins at Rensselaer Public Library Former NFL star talks about his memoir. 

Sat, Jan 11: Open House at The Music Studio A one-hour introduction to The Music Studio’s 4-week classes for young children. New sessions start January 19, 2020, so this Open House is the perfect opportunity to see whether your child is ready to begin his or her musical education. And it’s a fun outing with your child as well! 

Sat, Jan 11: Concerts for Tots – BASSic YOGA fun! at The College of Saint Rose Hearst Center You may have heard of Goat Yoga…we are offering Yoga with the Double Bass! Mama, Actor, and Yoga Instructor Becky from Heartspace Yoga in Troy, leads us through some playful moves with music performed by the double bass. The 9:30AM session is for caretaker with babies (non-walkers). During the 10:30AM session, Becky will lead young children in yoga with the music. No experience necessary! 

Sat, Jan 11: SARATOGA SPRINGS AREA PRESCHOOL FAIR at Saratoga Springs Public Library SARATOGA SPRINGS AREA PRESCHOOL FAIR 2020 Sponsored by the Waldorf School and Saratoga Springs Public Library Many preschools in one location to answer all of your questions! Join us for this free community event! 

Sat, Jan 11: Annual Moonlight Ski & Snowshoe at Camp Saratoga, Parking Lot 1 Join us at the popular and highly anticipated Annual Moonlight Ski and Snowshoe at Camp Saratoga on Scout Road. Luminaries will glow along 2.5 miles of groomed trails. Along the way you will find fields and forests, warming bonfires, and plenty of hot chocolate! 

Sat, Jan 11: Waldorf School: Early Childhood Open House at Waldorf School: Early Childhood Open House Saturday, January 11 10:00am-1:00pm Tour our early childhood campuses. Meet our faculty. Early Childhood Center 212 Lake Avenue Forest Campus 45 Kaydeross Avenue West Family Walk in the Woods begins at 10:00am 

Mon, Jan 13: Read to Lacey the Therapy Dog at Castleton Public Library Lacey loves for kids to read to her! Stop in to read to Lacey or just say “hi.” 

Tue, Jan 14: Introduction to Ancestry Library Edition at Castleton Public Library Discover your family history using Ancestry Library Edition! Registration required; call 518-732-0879. 

Wed, Jan 15: Friends of Castleton Public Library Meeting at Castleton Public Library Come get involved with the Friends of Castleton Public Library! In addition to funding our summer reading program and our museum pass program, the Friends also coordinate family-friendly events, volunteer, and raise money to donate to the library for materials and equipment. If you are interested in learning more about the Friends, please consider attending the Friends of CPL meeting at the library. 

Sat, Jan 18: Ice Fishing Contest at Grafton Lakes State Park Meets at the maintenance shop. $10/ person to register. Big cash prizes for adult categories, goodies for kids. Call the park for more details at 518-279-1155. 

Sat, Jan 18: Preschool Fair at The William K. Sanford Town Library/Colonie Town Library Parents of toddlers and preschoolers, please stop by to meet representatives of preschools in the Colonie area. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to preview what’s available, all in one place. 

Sat, Jan 18: Ronald McDonald House Charities – Annual Radiothon – At Crossgates Mall at Crossgates Mall Join RMHC and Albany Broadcasting for our 19th Annual Radiothon, which will once again be presented by our friends at Capital Bank. As the event grows closer, you will be able to find event info here – including how you can become part of our most vital fundraising event! 

Sat, Jan 18: Preschool Fair at William K. Sanford Town Library Come to the library to meet several local preschools 

Sat, Jan 18: Reptile Program at Via Aquarium at Via Aquarium Get to know some of our resident reptiles. 

Sat, Jan 18: Kids Cook!: Yogurt Parfaits at Castleton Public Library Join us to learn how to make a tasty yogurt parfait! Recommended for ages 5 and up. 

Sat, Jan 18: Weird Science with Professor Sparks at Firemen’s Association of the State of New York Museum of Firefighting He’s BACK!!! Join Professor Sparks as he explores the science of fire at the FASNY Museum of Firefighting on January 18, 2020, at 10:30am. 

Sat, Jan 18: Animal Signs in the Albany Pine Bush at Albany Pine Bush Preserve & Discovery Center Come and learn how to identify the clues that animals leave behind in the winter here in the Albany Pine Bush. Registration required. 

Sat, Jan 18: Lego Day at Rensselaer Public Library Play with Legos. 

Sun, Jan 19: High School Choral Festival at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall This is Albany Pro Musica’s 20th year hosting this beloved invitational festival of regional high school choirs. Guest composer and conductor Darrell Bryan, Adjunct Lecturer at Queen’s University and Artistic Director of the Kingston Chamber Choir will share the stage with Maestro Flores-Caraballo to conduct a festival chorus of more than 250 voices. Both Bryan and Flores-Caraballo are part of the faculty of the Pro Musica International Choral Festival, which will take place in Kingston, Ontario and Saratoga Springs in August 2020. 

Mon, Jan 20: New York State Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Observance at Empire State Plaza Free and Open to the Public: Speeches and Music at the Empire State Plaza followed by March 

Mon, Jan 20: Free Admission Day | Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Albany Institute of History and Art Visit the Albany Institute of History & Art for free, courtesy of M&T Bank! 

Mon, Jan 20: Winter Snowshoe Discovery Walk at Camp Saratoga, Parking Lot 1 Join us for a guided hike all about winter exploration and discovery! 

Tue, Jan 21: Castleton Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting at Castleton Public Library Monthly meeting of the CPL Board of Trustees. Members of the public are welcome to attend. 

Tue, Jan 21: Afternoon Book Club: “Varina,” by Charles Frazier at Castleton Public Library Join us the third Tuesday each month for a book discussion! Books available at front desk. 

Tue, Jan 21: Winter Animal Crafts at Castleton Public Library Celebrate animals that live in cold climates by making some fun winter animal crafts! 

Tue, Jan 21: Legal Clinic at Castleton Public Library Get a free, private, confidential consultation with an attorney. Appointment required; call 518-435-1770. 

Wed, Jan 22: Saratoga Independent School Open House at Saratoga Independent School (SIS) Open Houses are designed to give prospective students and families the opportunity to tour our campus, see classrooms in action, meet faculty and staff, and learn more about the strong academics and caring culture of our school. 

Wed, Jan 22: The Doane Stuart School – Open House at Doane Stuart School The best way to discover Doane Stuart is to visit! Join us for our Open House for students in grades 5 to 12. 

Wed, Jan 22: Military History Discussion Group: The Birth of the U.S. Navy at Castleton Public Library Join us to discuss military history. At each meeting, one person will lead by presenting an overview of a book that discusses a topic or era of military history. All eras are open, from ancient times to the present. The topic of this meeting will be the birth of the U.S. Navy, presented by Scott VanNederynen. 

Wed, Jan 22: Tour the Niskayuna Co-op Nursery School at Niskayuna Cooperative Nursery School It’s time to enroll your child in preschool for the 2020-21 school year! Tour the preschool on Jan. 22 from 6-7:30 pm to decide if cooperative play-based education is right for you and your preschooler! There’s lots of reading, crafts in which the KIDS get to create art rather than mimicking the adults’ idea of a masterpiece, clever fun ways to teach the skills needed for kindergarten, and always a period of unstructured time for children to learn how to interact with each other, an essential and often forgotten skill needed for school. Come see how it works! Bring your child and meet our co-op family. By the way, potty-training is NOT required and we are in a nut-free building. We are allergy aware and plan all snacks and edible activities around the children’s allergies. 

Sat, Jan 25: Annual Winter Festival at Grafton Lakes State Park Snow, ice and outdoor fun, plus the option to warmup in the welcome center with our exhibitors! Polar plunge at 10:30am for pre-registered folks. Fun for the whole family! 

Sat, Jan 25: Haudenosaunee Stories of Winter with Perry Ground at New York State Museum Perry Ground (Turtle Clan, Onondaga) shares tales from the Longhouse. He will share traditional legends, their customs and traditions in the winter months, and history of the Haudenosaunee people. The 11am program will be in the Long House in Native Peoples Hall and is designed for younger children. The 1pm show will be in the Museum’s Huxley Theater and is for families with older children. 

Sun, Jan 26: 9 to 5, The Musical at Schenectady Light Opera Company (SLOC) Based on the 1980 hit movie, 9 to 5, The Musical is a lively story of friendship and revenge. When three female coworkers hatch a plan to get even with their sexist, egotistical boss, hilarity ensues as they give their workplace the makeover they’ve always wanted! 

Sun, Jan 26: 9 to 5, The Musical at Schenectady Light Opera Company (SLOC) Based on the 1980 hit movie, 9 to 5, The Musical is a lively story of friendship and revenge. When three female coworkers hatch a plan to get even with their sexist, egotistical boss, hilarity ensues as they give their workplace the makeover they’ve always wanted! 

Sun, Jan 26: Fox Trot at the Albany Pine Bush at Albany Pine Bush Preserve & Discovery Center Join us for a short, inside presentation on the two species of fox that live in the Pine Bush. We will then continue outside for a hike to look for signs of foxes. Registration required. 

Mon, Jan 27: Pre K Nature Hour at Camp Saratoga, Parking Lot 1 This monthly program is for our youngest explorers (ages 3-6 years old) where we use children’s love of nature to teach simple concepts. 

Tue, Jan 28: Cool Science: Scribblebots! at Castleton Public Library Create your own “robot” that creates cool marker designs, and learn about how circuits work. 

Wed, Jan 29: Family Drop-In Storytime at William K. Sanford Town Library Storytime for kids of all ages. 

Wed, Jan 29: Tech Valley High School Information Session at Tech Valley High School Want to learn more about the unique education your student can receive at TVHS? Attend one of our on-site evening information sessions to learn more about what our school has to offer! 

Wed, Jan 29: Teen Time: TV Trivia at Castleton Public Library Compete to claim the title of TV trivia champion! Snacks will be available. For teens in 6th-12th grades. 

Thu, Jan 30: Sensory Play at Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) Help your child improve motor skills and increase their understanding of how the world works. Join CMOST staff in the GE Junior Discovery room for a hands-on sensory science activity. No pre-registration required, activity included with museum admission. Ages 2 – 6. 1/ 2 Crazy Color Fun 1/ 9 Artful Science 1/16 Wonderful Winter Adaptations 1/23 Beautiful Beaches 1/30 Wonderful Weather 

Thu, Jan 30: Science Explorers at The Children’s Museum at Saratoga This program is best suited for all ages. Join us for this popular weekly program where we discover the different ways in which science is all around us. 

Thu, Jan 30: Learn & Play Storytime at Castleton Public Library Children from birth to age 5 are invited to enjoy stories, rhymes, music, and movement while building their early literacy and motor skills! Join us every Thursday for fun and learning. 

Thu, Jan 30: Baby Lap Time at Schenectady County Public Library – Central Library This early literacy class will introduce baby to rhymes, bounces, songs, books, fingerplays and social interaction. For children age from 0 to 23 months, with an adult caregiver. No registration necessary. 

Thu, Jan 30: Open Art Studio January Canvas Painting Special $14 – Thursdays *Senior Discount Day! at Art in Mind Creative Wellness Studio Open Art Studio January Canvas Painting Special $14 – Thursdays *Senior Discount Day! Special during Open Art Studio this month: Paint one of the featured CANVAS PAINTINGS for only $14! All ages!* 

Thu, Jan 30: Family Drop-In Storytime at William K. Sanford Town Library Storytime for kids of all ages. 

Thu, Jan 30: Winter Session 2020 at Story Dance Studios Story Dance Studios provides a movement based program for children that combines story-telling with movement and music. In our classes, children will explore ways to move their bodies to music and use props and musical instruments to enhance the lesson. 

Fri, Jan 31: Family Story Time at the Scotia Library at Schenectady County Public Library – Scotia Branch Early literacy class for children birth to age 5, with an adult caregiver. Stories, songs, activities and social interaction for the whole family. No registration necessary. 

Fri, Jan 31: PJ Library Playgroup at The Herman & Libbie Michaelson Early Childhood Center of Temple Israel Join us every Friday for playtime in our indoor motor room and a fun Shabbat playtime. This program is open to children ages 3 months- 5 years and a caregiver. 

Fri, Jan 31: Investigate the A in STEaM Fridays at Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) Designed for our younger visitors, children will have an opportunity to explore a different creative art activity each week. 

Fri, Jan 31: Bridge Club at Castleton Public Library Come play bridge with us! Geared toward beginners and players who need a refresher.  

Fri, Jan 31: Family Movie Night: “Abominable” (PG) at Castleton Public Library Movie lovers of all ages are welcome at our Family Movie Night! Held upstairs. 

Sat, Feb 01: Groggy Groundhogs at Albany Pine Bush Preserve & Discovery Center Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow when he wakes up on February 2nd? Whether you call them groundhogs or woodchucks join us to learn more about these common mammals. 

Sat, Feb 01: Empire State Youth Orchestra – Annual Playathon – At Crossgates Mall at Crossgates Mall Support ESYO’s most important friend-raiser and fundraiser, and support the future of music! 

Sat, Feb 01: Art for All at Albany Institute of History and Art Bring your family to the museum and spend the day being creative! Adults and children of all ages are welcome to join us in the Albany Institute art studio on Saturdays for drop-in art making. Activities are based on our current exhibitions and include techniques involving painting, drawing, multimedia work, collage and more! Free with museum admission & always free for museum members 

Sat, Feb 01: Take Your Child to the Library Day at Castleton Public Library Learn about all the fun you can have with us (plus – pick up a special goodie bag to take home!). Drop in for a special storytime at 10:30, and drop in from 11:30-4:00 to make your own library card holder! 

Sat, Feb 01: Sojourner Truth: A Re-enactment by D. Colin at New York State Museum et and artist D. Colin performs a reenactment that serves as an invitation into the life story of Sojourner Truth, whose work put a lens on the intersection of race and gender, aided in the liberation of African Americans from slavery, pushed for the right to vote, and reminds us all about the powerful endurance of the human spirit. 

Sat, Feb 01: ESYO’s Annual Playathon at Crossgates Mall Over 500 ESYO youth musicians will transform Crossgates Mall into a symphony hall for its annual Playathon. This free, family event takes place from 11 am through 6:30 pm and showcases 11 ESYO ensembles–from the deep rumble of the percussion ensembles to the uplifting trills of the wind orchestra. The day will also include a Musical Petting Zoo from our friends at John Keal Music and live auctions to earn a chance to lead one of the ensembles! The marathon display of musical talent is more than simply a community concert; it helps ESYO ensure no qualified musician is ever turned away from the ESYO Experience because of inability to pay. The money raised will fund a substantial portion of ESYO’s operating expenses and musician scholarships. 

Sat, Feb 01: Ice Harvest Festival at Hanford Mills Museum at Hanford Mills Museum Come enjoy a day of hands-on history and winter fun. Ice harvests were once an essential part of winter in rural communities. Before there was refrigeration, ice was needed to preserve agricultural products and to keep food cold in the warmer months. Hanford Mills Museum celebrates this rural tradition with the Ice Harvest Festival. Using historic tools and techniques, visitors can cut and maneuver blocks of ice from the Mill Pond, and then transport the blocks to the ice house by sled. There will also be ice sculpting demonstrations, ice fishing, blacksmithing demonstrations, the hot soup buffet with soup and chili from favorite area restaurants, bonfires, local vendors including Byebrook Farm (farmstead Gouda cheese) and the Cooperstown Distillery (handcrafted spirits and cider), cooking and baking in the John Hanford Farmhouse, and films of ice harvests in the 1920s-40s. More activities will be added soon. This year, we will not be having horse-drawn sleigh rides. The Museum site is not big enough to accommodate the horses and the many people walking to and from the ice house. We will feature horses at events later in year. The Museum monitors and grooms the ice in the weeks leading up to the Ice Harvest Festival. Find out more about ice conditions, and tips for your Ice Harvest visit. 

Sun, Feb 02: Free Ice Skating at the Rink at Empire State Plaza at Empire State Plaza Free ice skating! Skate rentals available every day, rentals FREE on Saturday. Located in the shadow of the majestic State Capitol, amenities include a full-service snack bar, and a skate lounge with lockers and music. Open Monday to Friday from 12 – 3:30 pm and 4:30 – 8 pm. Open Saturday & Sunday from 12 – 2 pm, 3 – 5 pm, 6 – 8 pm. Closes early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Rentals are available whenever the rink is open for $3 for children under 12 and $4 for adults. A photo ID is required to rent skates. 

Sun, Feb 02: Beat the Snow Winter Concert Series at the Downtown Schenectady Public Library at Schenectady County Public Library The Friends of Schenectady County Public Library bring back their popular music series, Beat the Snow, again this year. Join us us Sunday afternoons this winter for musical fun for the whole family! 

Sun, Feb 02: Tinkergarten Classes at Prospect Park, Troy, NY Discover your superpowers this winter. #getoutside and we’ll experience the magic of the season–with inspiration from animal superheroes! There will be capes! Winter classes begin January 19th.