Rochester Family Newsletter June 24, 2010 | Kids Out and About

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Rochester Family Newsletter June 24, 2010

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Rochester Family Newsletter 6/24/10

Dear KOA readers:

I am in the middle of a little working vacation: Madison and I are currently in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We're here for the Jackson Hole Writer's Conference. This is actually an adult writing conference, but they welcome the children of conference participants, if the child is serious about writing. Hey, if a 6th grader says she wants to sit in writing seminars for four days, who am I to say no? So here we are. The conference starts today; we spent yesterday in Yellowstone National Park (look for a writeup soon)! Madison and I are in the photo to the right, by Firehole Falls.

We have been away since Monday, and for those of you who have more than one child, I can't recommend highly enough the experience of doing a little one-parent-one-child separate getaway. David says that he and Ella are having the exact same experience I'm having with Madison: Without the other sister to capture her attention (or annoyance), each child is measurably more mature, more relaxed, better able to focus, and easier to talk to. It's a wonderful break in the rhythm, a chance to get in touch with the young woman Madison is becoming--without distractions. I'm sure we'll never forget this trip.

2) Of course, most of you aren't planning a trip to the Rocky Mountains with one or more of your children..but can you get away closer to home and on a budget, and still have fun? You bet! We have some wonderful resources to help you:
The Central Finger Lakes is Packed with Family Fun in New York State
Summer Family Fun in Wayne County, NY
Does everyone REALLY love MarineLand?
Review of Roseland Water Park (which opens this weekend)
Review of Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park
Review of Cascades Indoor Water Park at Greek Peak
Review of the Buffalo Zoo
Review of Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Coming soon, we'll have a review of Water Safari, at Old Forge in the Adirondacks.
And here are a couple of places that are great for getaways right here in Rochester:
Here is our list of BEACHES in our area
List of places and swim clubs with outdoor pools
List of Amusement Parks in central and western New York
It's Their Vacation and You're The Tour Guide: How to Organize Camp Mom

3) The Harbour and Carousel Festival 2010 at Ontario Beach Park starts today and runs through Sunday! One of our great free festivals!

4) This will be the last week that the Greater Rochester Health Foundation is asking for the input of parents and guardians of children ages 2-10 for their current survey. Thank you to the hundreds of KOA readers who have already participated in this survey -- it only took me about 2 minutes. 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. 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) 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!

6) We have another couple of weeks of pick-your-own-strawberries--and then they'll be gone for another year. 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, for a little while longer.

7) This weekend, Roseland Water Park opens for the 2010 season, and today they'll be sending me a coupon for's new COUPON PAGE, which will let you save $4 off the price of a daily admission ticket. I'm secretly kind of loving the fact that the new KOA web site has altered my job description a little: I used to be just a gatherer, but now I'm a hunter, too! That is, not only am I still gathering the greatest stuff Rochester has to offer for families, but now I'm stalking bargains for my readers and shooting them down. (Not sure I like that metaphor, but hey, it's already past midnight, you need this newsletter in the morning, so you're stuck.) Visit that coupon page regularly to find all kinds of deals I've persuaded folks to offer readers -- this has become very popular for organizations as an inexpensive way to attract KOA readers to what they have to offer.

7) If your organization is interested in offering a coupon on the coupon page, please email June Santini at

8) Congratulations to Marianne and Laura, both from Rochester, who won Long Acre Farms's ticket giveaway for Long Acre's big School's Out Celebration this Friday and Saturday. There are still a bunch of giveaways, including FREE WEEKS AT CAMP -- so check out our always-popular  Giveaways page.

9) Summer's bounty makes a great time to introduce your kids to a variety of healthful foods. While you're doing that, a new article from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield gives some helpful recommendations for how to cut excess salt from your family's diet. Yummy recipes are included! In fact, we have a whole library of healthy kids articles that Excellus BCBS compiled for us -- they're brief and packed with practical tips. Check them out here.

10) Here are our most popular individual quick links:
FREE family events coming up (212 of them, as of this writing!)\

Birthday party venues and resources for our area
Indoor Recreation and Play Centers

12) If you just decided your child could benefit from going to camp this summer, there are still lots of openings -- I think the economy has affected enrollment a bit. But I've seen Rochester prices compared with those in other regions, and camp prices here are among the least expensive in the East. You get a great bargain for your money!
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)
Camps for next week only (June 28-July 2)

13) Your child can't commit to full-day acting summer camp but wants to get ready for next season's play or musical? Try a two-night drama workshop from A Magical Journey Thru Stages, led by the director of this season's School House Rock Live, Dianne Schaumberg. You will receive acting tips in a fun setting and will have time to practice your skills. These workshops focus on: Creating a believable and memorable character; incorporating meaningful movement into your acting; using your voice and facial expressions to express mood and capture the audience. For students entering Grades 6 - 12, cost is $40, dates are July 12th & July 15th, 7:00 - 9:00 PM. Click here for more information.

14) The Developmental Neuropsychology Lab, at the University of Rochester’s Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, is inviting the following groups to participate in exciting new research projects: 1) Children and adolescents diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder; 2) Children and adolescents with no autism diagnosis. The Developmental Neuropsychology Lab’s research focuses on improving the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities. They are interested in understanding how children learn to think, communicate, move, and even use senses such as vision, hearing, taste, and smell. In addition to contributing to the research, participants will receive payment for their time. If you would like to find out more about participating in the Developmental Neuropsychology Lab’s research, please visit their web site at or call (585) 273-4622.

15) A reader was hoping that we could compile a list of Places to Fish in greater Rochester. I think this is a great idea. If you fish with your kids, or if you KNOW where to fish with kids, can you email me the location? Thanks.

17) If your child has a love for reading and writing, it is Writers and Books's job to make sure that this love is nurtured. Register your child for a SummerWrite Youth Camp TODAY! Over the course of the summer, Writers & Books offers about 70 creative writing workshops for children and teens. Whether it’s fiction or drama, poetry or journaling, nature writing or cooking, they have something for everyone. Click here to see all of the camps for yourself! Important: Writers and Books offers financial assistance for those families that may not be able to afford the camps. Hurry though, because their funding is limited! Contact Ms. Kyvaughn Henry, Rochester Youth Year Fellow, 585-473-2590 x110 or for more information.

18) Thinking about home schooling for the 2010-2011 school year? You can decide to home school at any time, but summer is a popular time folks make the decision. Basically, the procedure in New York is: Notify your school district that you'll be home schooling with a Letter of Intent. They have a short time to get back to you with the forms, then you have a couple of weeks to complete a Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP). There are a bunch of local resource groups that can help and provide support: We have a list of them. The Simply Homeschooling group is an electronic list that distributes information to Rochester-area homeschoolers, the rest are groups that provide support, interaction, and classes. Here is a link that helps explain the New York State homeschooling regulations:

19) 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 whole family will go to the Cool Kids weekly Friday evening presentation in Sagawa Park, Brockport. This week, it's "En Garde! Fencing Fun!"
Saturday: The Rhinos are at home at Marina Auto Stadium on Saturday evening. The game starts at 7pm, and they take on the Puerto Rico Islanders.
Sunday: Ice Cream Social and Pool Party from Kids Miracle Making Club

The BravoFamilyThe Bravo Family loves the arts. They are going to try to do lots of great stuff this weekend:
Friday: A jazz ensemble called Nostalgic Reunion is playing the free concert in Pittsford at the Port of Pittsford Park on the Erie Canal on Friday night at 7pm.
Saturday: Discover Madagascar Day at the Seneca Park Zoo
They'll listen to the music at the Harbor and Carousel Festival at Ontario Beach Park.

The Woods FamilyThis is the Woods Family. They love nature and the great outdoors.
Friday: The Woods family will go to Rochester's annual Harbor & Carousel Festival at Ontario Beach Park. It runs through Sunday!
Saturday: Saturday is the second and last day of the Long Acre Farms Schools Out Celebration, and the Walker family will be there!
Park Point Classic Car Cruise Night at Park Point, RIT

The Smart FamilyThe Smart family focuses on educational and cultural activities.
Friday: The Smart family will go to the Brighton Library's party to start the summer reading: Make A Splash Kick-Off. Or, they may visit one of the other libraries' celebrations this week.
Saturday: The Smart family loves SMART EATING, so they'll go to the Cherry Celebration at Brown's Berry Patch.
War of 1812 in the Genesee Country at Genesee Country Village

The Wall FamilyThe Wall Family prefers indoor activities. Here is their weekend itinerary:
Friday: The older kids in the Wall family will do Teen Night at Glaze and Glass: Music, pizza, woda, and pottery to paint!
Saturday: The Little Buddies 10am show is Matilda. You can't really get more "indoors" than the Little Theatre.
Trolley and Track Car Rides at the New York Museum of Transportation in Rush.

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