Rochester Family Newsletter June 17, 2010 | Kids Out and About

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Rochester Family Newsletter June 17, 2010

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Rochester Family Newsletter 6/17/10

Dear KOA readers:

There's nothing like the first quart of freshly-picked strawberries of the season. Actually, in my house that is literally true: There is nothing like them because they are ALL GONE. This week, we got our first distribution from G and S Orchards, and my family inhaled everything. Except for the rhubarb; for no good reason, I am prejudiced against rhubarb. It may be packed with nutrition and vitamins, but I am unmoved. "Mix it with strawberries in pie," people tell me. My response: That would ruin perfectly good strawberries. June Santini of the Mendon Foodie blog (who is also KOA's business manager) tells me that rhubarb freezes great. Great. I have frozen mine for her. She can have it.

Anyway, back to the strawberries, most of which were eaten one-by-one out of the quart containers, but some of which were used in fresh ice cream. I have written about this before, but one of my wisest investments ever was the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker I bought from three years ago. (I just checked and the price is still $49.) I now know exactly what goes into the ice cream my family eats: Cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, and, this week, lots of strawberries. We spend a lot less, too, when we make it ourselves. (Hint: Much as I love Wegman's, cream is a lot cheaper at Tops or BJs.)

What? You haven't visited our pick-your-own-strawberries list yet? Check it out, pick your own, have a great time, and save a bundle! The strawberry picking link is at the top of every KOA page. And speaking of places to pick strawberries, last week I mistakenly said in the newsletter that Gro-Moore Farms' Strawberry Sunday was last Sunday. Actually, it is THIS Sunday, Father's Day.

This Sunday is also the Maplewood Rose Festival! My family loves getting photos at this festival, and I passed by there the other day (Lake Ave in Rochester) and it looks gorgeous. The forecast is calling for a cooler day on Sunday than on Saturday, but both days have chances of showers. Perhaps Saturday morning is the best bet.

2) We have a new COUPON PAGE. That's right: We decided that because KOA readers love giveaways so much and local businesses are willing to donate them, businesses would probably be equally eager to post coupons for readers. We were right! We just started this week, and already we have contributions to that page from places like Brown's Berry Patch (they're doing their KOA-readers-get-in-free-to-the-Barnyard-Adventure coupon again for July 4), Cascades Indoor Water Park at Greek Peak, Wickham Farms, DeLapa Photography, and Bowl-A-Roll. Childcare Dollar$ also used it as a means of getting the word out about how they can help with child care expenses. More coupons are on their way from the Rochester Museum & Science Center, Horizon Fun FX, Enchanted Rose Garden, Roseland Water Park, and other places. If your business would like to offer a coupon, just email June Santini at and she'll coordinate that with you. Use the coupons to save!!!

3) Speaking of Giveaways, Heidi over at Horizon Fun FX is giving away free certificates for skating passes for 10 (that's right, bring along 9 people!) to the first 200 people to email her. See the details on our Giveaways page. Also, today is the last day to enter the giveaway for the FREE WEEK AT SCIENCE CAMP at the RMSC. There are several other summer camps giving away free slots, plus tickets to Yo Gabba Gabba, and more, all on that Giveaway Page.

4) Once again, the Greater Rochester Health Foundation is asking for the input of parents and guardians of children ages 2-10. is an important resource for the's the fastest way for them to be in direct touch with families that care about health! Even if you’ve participated in one of their surveys in the past, please do so again -- because many of the questions change each quarter. Sharing your ideas and opinions in this brief but important survey about keeping our children healthy will only take about 5 minutes (it took me 2 minutes, in fact). And if you choose to identify yourself at the end of the survey, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a household membership to your choice of the Seneca Park Zoo, the Strong National Museum of Play, or the Rochester Museum & Science Center. To participate, simply click on the live link below:

5) Speaking of health: How do you know when a trip to the emergency room is warranted for your child? A new article from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield discusses how to make that decision.

6) We have a couple of new lists for summer fun, but we'd like you to add to them if possible! Here is our list of BEACHES in our area; if you have a favorite that is not listed, please email me the name and I'll put it on. And, a reader wrote in this week who was looking for a list of swim clubs or recreation centers with outdoor pools. We put together this list of places with outdoor pools, but I just KNOW there are lots more, especially on the west side. So, we're looking for places you can plunk yourself down by a pool for the day--which don't require residency in a certain place. Send them along, please!

7) Many of the local libraries have kickoff celebrations for summer reading next week! Monroe County's theme is "Make Waves!" The Webster Public Library's free party has a "Very Hungry Caterpillar" theme; that's next Tuesday, June 22, at 6pm. Visit with the Very Hungry Caterpillar and some of his friends, make a caterpillar craft, sit in for part of their Weston Woods film festival. Fun for the entire family! No registration required. And then the Very Hungry Caterpillar fun continues with a regular weekly 10:30 storytime starting the next day, Wednesday, June 23; however, you DO need to pre-register for that one, so here is a quick link to the signup form.

8) Congratulations to Jean from Rochester, who won the family pass to the Buffalo Zoo. If you're thinking of heading to Buffalo, check out our review, Family Friendly Buffalo: A Review of the Buffalo Zoo. Seneca Park Zoo members pay half price! Congratulations also to Timothy from Webster, who won the "Itty Bitty" portrait giveaway from Trammel Photographic.

9) wants to celebrate Rochester's most family-friendly restaurant, and we want your nominations! What is your favorite place to take your family out to eat in greater Rochester? It can be a locally-owned spot OR a chain, it doesn't matter. Please email me the name and general location of your favorite restaurant, to I'll collect nominations for a little while, then we'll be putting together a survey so you can vote for your favorite!

10) Top links for this week:

FREE family events coming up (212 of them, as of this writing!)
Summer Family Fun in Wayne County, NY
The Central Finger Lakes is Packed with Family Fun in New York State
Does everyone REALLY love MarineLand
CSAs (Community-Supported Agriculture) in our area
Birthday party venues and resources for our area
Indoor Recreation and Play Centers
Amusement Parks, some of which you probably haven't heard of
It's Their Vacation and You're The Tour Guide: How to Organize Camp Mom
Summer Camp Organizations (filter these by topic, there are a LOT!)
Week-by-week guide to summer camps in greater Rochester (new ones added each week)

11) Got child care expenses? You may qualify for financial support from the Children's Institute's Childcare DOLLAR$ project. The Children's Institute is a nonprofit company that has many programs and services to help parents in our area. Applicants to the Childcare DOLLAR@ project must be employed and meet income guidelines for their household size, must live in Monroe County, and must have children under the age of 13. Families can choose their child care providers. See this link for family size/income range.

12) Are you thinking of visiting Sesame Place with your kids? It's about a 6-hour drive from Rochester. Becky Lucyshyn has posted a review of this Langhorne, Pennsylvania attraction in Rochester's Examiner.

13) Sharon Lovejoy is an award-winning author of much-loved children's gardening books. She is giving a presentation this Saturday at the Phelps Community Center, “Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars: Keeping the Magic Alive Thru Generations.” Follow Sharon on a creative journey to rediscover the child within and learn how to share your newfound, infectious enthusiasm with the young and old “children” around you. It's $5/person or $10/family, and proceeds will benefit the Phelps Community Centers “Youth Educational Garden Program.” Her books will also be available for sale and signing.

14) The Town of Pittsford, in conjunction with the Pittsford Fire Department, Brighton Police Child Safety Seat Technicians, The Monroe County Office of Traffic Safety and the Safety Council of Central and Western NY will be holding a car seat check at the Town of Pittsford’s Highway Garage (60 Golf Avenue) NEXT Saturday, June 26, from 9am-12pm.  Take some extra time and make sure your kids are safely riding in your vehicle!

15) NEXT weekend (June 26 and 27) the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has waived freshwater fishing license requirements for the entire weekend.  To fish any other time of the year, residents will need a fishing license. If you've always wondered about whether you might want to take kids fishing, next weekend is the time to give it a try!
Life and Death of the Sun
16) Strasenburgh Planetarium's new summer show, "Life and Death of the Sun," will be opening up at the RMSC on Saturday, July 3. It's another presentation created by Strasenburgh director Steve Fentress and his incredibly talented staff, and will be about an hour long. My family is really looking forward to it. If Steve Fentress had a fan club, I'd be president; I'm so grateful that this wonderful resource is here in our community.

17) Our friends at Glaze and Glass -- pottery painting studio in Greece that is great for kids -- alerted us to this Saturday's Fired-Up Festival in Avon. What is a Raku firing? You can find out! The festival is from 10am-7pm, on Routes 5 & 20, just 3/4 miles west of exit 10 on Route 390. Glaze and Glass will also be there with supplies so kids can decorate their own pottery. (And by the way, next Friday night, 6/25, is Teen Night at Glaze and Glass.)

18) The Bravo Family, the Wall Family, the Woods Family, the Smart Family, and the Walker Family are as active as ever. Here is what they are up to this weekend:

The Walker FamilyThe Walker family focuses on health and physical fitness. Here are their plans this weekend:
Friday: The Walker family will take in the Red Wings baseball game, 7:05pm vs. Charlotte. The kids always love the fireworks at the end of the games on Friday and Saturday nights.
Saturday: It's Youth Night at the Westside YMCA! All kinds of active fun for kids in grades 2-6.
Sunday: The Walker family will go to the Maplewood Rose Festival.

The BravoFamilyThe Bravo Family loves the arts. They are going to try to do lots of great stuff this weekend:
Friday: The Bravo family will bring a dinner picnic to Pittsford for an evening of music from Blue Sky, a country rock band performing a free summer concert at the Port of Pittsford Park on the Erie Canal.
Saturday: They'll head to Avon for Avon's one-day Fired-Up Festival. It includes music, too... a real day for the arts!
Sunday: Wildflowers and Wine celebration at Montezuma Winery in Seneca Falls. (The Bravo kids like learning about the art of wine-making...they like all kinds of arts!)

The Woods FamilyThis is the Woods Family. They love nature and the great outdoors.
Friday: They'll attend the Festival on the Green, an outdoors festival in Honeoye Falls at Harry Allen Park. It's a wonderful small town festival with food, music, fireworks, kids activities, artists and their annual frog-jumping contest and pie-eating contest.
Saturday: The Maplewood Rose Festival! WXXI will be bringing SUPER WHY there.
Sunday: Strawberry Sunday at Gro-Moore Farms

The Smart FamilyThe Smart family focuses on educational and cultural activities.
Friday: Tops Cooking School is having a School Is Out cooking celebration at 4pm
Saturday: The Phoenix Boyschoir is in concert with the Amadeus Chorale at Twelve Corners Presbyterian Church in Brighton at 7pm. The Amadeus Chorale is a local kids' choir, and they are hosting this world-renowned choir for one performance only. This is a perfect introduction for kids to the choral arts.
Sunday: Father's Day will be a big day at Wickham Farms in Penfield. They'll have an animal petting zoo, and dads will get free jumping on the jumping pillow, mini-golf, and ice cream. (Must be Mr. Smart who is coordinating this outing!)

The Wall FamilyThe Wall Family prefers indoor activities. Here is their weekend itinerary:
Friday: Dr. Seuss Night at Barnes & Noble Webster
Saturday: Why not bring the outdoors indoors? It's a Summer Splash Luau festival this weekend at Strong National Museum of Play, and the Wall Family will be there.
Sunday: It's Railroad Day at the New York Museum of Transportation in Rush. Ride the track car! A great day for dads and kids together.

Plan your summer!, you can see upcoming events for any day...just click on the little calendar on the top of any KOA page.

Debra Ross

Sponsored by Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield