Top Fives

January 2012 Archives

This week there is a Zumba party, wine tasting, some great benefits and of course, Chowderfest! Get a sitter, head out and have a great time!

1. On Friday from 6 to 7:30 PM check out the ZUMBA Party! for the American Heart Association at the HealthPlex Fitness Center 1673 Route 9 Clifton Park. Join the HealthPlex Team for a 90 minute ZUMBA Fitness Dance Party to raise money for the American Heart Association and the Go Red for Women Campaign! Cost is a $10 Donation to the American Heart Association.

2. Also on Friday is the Winterfest Wine Tasting at the Holiday Inn at 232 Broadway in Saratoga Springs. Cost is $10 a person. Sample a selection of wines and hors d'oeuvres. All proceeds will benefit Mollie Wilmot Center at Saratoga Hospital and Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center of Saratoga. Call 584-6511 ext. 1352 for more information.

3. Saratoga Independent School is expanding its educational initiatives by creating a tuition assistance fund. To launch the funding, the school will be hosting its first-ever annual Casino Night and the public is cordially invited to join in the fun and a chance to win a million dollars. On Friday from 8-11pm at the Canfield Casino, cost is $65-150. Call (518) 583-0841 for more information.

4. Saturday is Saratoga Chowderfest 2012! This is one of the most fun and exciting annual Saratoga Springs activities! For a full list of participants and information click here.

5. On Sunday SPAC's Junior Committee is holding their 2nd Annual Winter Ball - BOND: Shaken Not Stirred at the Hall of Springs from 8:00-12:00 am. Bond attire admired, but not required. All proceeds benefit the Classical Performing Arts at SPAC.
Great stuff is happening this week everyone! Your little one can try out their reading skills with a friendly Newfoundland at the library, explore the outdoors at the State Park, take part in a Junior Book Club discussion group and much more! This weekend it will be Chowderfest and Winterfest too! There is something for everyone on the schedule this week so check it out and start making your plans!

1. On Tuesday head over to the Saratoga Springs Public Library for Quinn the Tail Waggin' Tutor from 5-6PM. Call 518-584-7860, opt. 3 each Tuesday to register your child for a 10 minute reading session with Quinn.

2. Also on Tuesday, Preschool Naturalists is from 11am-12:30pm at Saratoga Spa State Park. This is a nature class designed for children ages 3 to 5 and will focus on using all five senses to explore a certain aspect of the outdoor world. Children will also enjoy a nature related story and craft. Registration is required, call (518) 584-2000 ext 116 for more info. Fee is $3 per person or $5 per family.

3. On Wednesday there are two Preschool Open Houses to check out. Katrina Trask Nursery School is having an Open House today* 9-11 am and 6-7 pm, 24 Circular Street, Saratoga Springs. *Snow date: Friday, February 3rd from 9-11 am. The Saratoga Springs YMCA Branch will also have one today from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. 

4. Thursday from 6:30 to 8pm is the Saratoga Reads! Junior Book Discussion Part One at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Fourth, fifth and sixth grade students are invited to join Saratoga Springs High School students and Skidmore students to discuss one of the junior companion books, "Phinaes Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science" by John Fleischman. Free admission.

5. Chowderfest and Winterfest are this weekend! For a How To Guide on doing Chowderfest with the family, click here. And on Sunday at Prestwick Chase, 100 Saratoga Blvd, Saratoga Springs from noon-3pm is the WinterFest Cardboard & Duct Tape Sled Races! They will be held on the front lawns of Prestwick Chase. There will be no charge for admission. There are no entry fees for sled contestants.
Find a babysitter this week and head out for some great local events! Try some of the amazing olive oils and balsamic vinegars at Saratoga Olive Oil Co., check out a movie, try your turn at some country karaoke, and relax with meditation or some laughs!

1. On Tuesday, Jan 24th from 6:30 to 8PM head to the Saratoga Olive Oil Co. for an In-Store Demo! Admission is free, so bring out your inner chef and join the Saratoga Olive Co. crew for a night of cooking, food and fun!

2. There will be a public screening of "Gasland" on Wednesday, Jan 25th from 6:30 to 8:45 PM at the Crandall Library Community Room in Glens Falls. Admission is free. The Southern Adirondack Audubon and the Adirondack Mountain Club will present a free public screening of the film "Gasland," a Sundance Film Festival award winning documentary by filmmaker Josh Fox.

3. Country Idol Karaoke is returning to the Vapor Night Club at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway this Thursday, Jan 26th at 7:00 PM! WGNA's Kevin Richards will be the host, and five finalists will be selected every month to progress to the June 21st finals for a chance at the ultimate prizes of $5,000!

4. Check out the Vibrational Sound Bath & Gong Healing Meditation this Thursday, Jan 26th from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at One Big Roof, 433 Broadway, 3rd Floor, Suite 302 in Saratoga Springs. If you're looking for some relaxation, join them every Thursday evening to bring balance to your body and mind. Their intention is to promote harmony and peace, opening you to the quietness and stillness of the mind that is always present, but clouded by our distracting thoughts. Cost is $15.00 for donation.

5. Laughter is the Best Medicine at DiDonna's South Shore Restaurant at 113 Rte 9P in Malta! On Friday, January 27th from 8-10PMjoin them for this comedy night and see Tony DiDonna, Eric Ford, Jennifer McMullen, and Donnell Ellis for a night of great laughs. Admission is $15 per person or if you bring 4 people or more you get yourself in for FREE!
There are some fun and different choices for activities this week. From educational programs on how to deal with anger and develop coping skills to art workshops and Lego clubs there is something going on for everyone!

1. Do you have a child that needs to learn manage their anger? Saratoga Center for the Family will start a free 6-week program in "Anger Management for Children and Their Parents" at the Saratoga Springs Public Library starting this Wednesday, January 25th. Participants will learn how to identify triggers as well as develop coping skills, healthy expressions of anger and de-escalation techniques. The program will run 1/25, 2/1, 8, 15, 29, & 3/7 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Registration is required, call 584-7860 opt. 3.

2. Sesame Street Live presents 1-2-3 Imagine! with Elmo and Friends is at the Glens Falls Civic Center Tuesday and Wednesday, January 24th and 25th at 7pm.

3. Alphabet Soup at the Children's Museum on Thursday, January 26th from 10:30 - 11:00am. Starting with the letter A, each week kids will learn a new letter of the alphabet through crafts, games, stories, songs and more. This multidimensional language experience is a fun way to reinforce early literacy in preschoolers!

4. Also on Thursday, children in grades 3-5 are invited to the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library at 3:30pm for Lego Club. Participants will create a LEGO display based on a theme within a specified time limit. Registration is required. If you have any questions, please contact the Library at 371-8622.

5. Saturday, January 28th at The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls check out The YOU Collection! Their Saturday Morning Workshop for Ages 6-14 from 10:30am-noon. What do you collect? Cat figures? Rocks? Cars? Bring objects from your collection and create a still-life drawing or painting with your collection as the model in the Art Studio. Admission is FREE. For more information visit:  or call 518-792-1761.
This week you can choose between some great Martin Luther King, Jr. Day programs, Salsa on Sunday, hitting up a great local spot to help raise money for a fantastic local organization and more! Find yourself a sitter through Sittertoga over at Mamatoga and make your plans!

1. The Saratoga Springs Public Library is offering some great programs to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. First, they have their Volunteer MLK Day of Service: 9:30am - 10am in the H. Dutcher Community Room. Volunteers will gather to participate in the MLK Day of Service. Local agencies will be offering volunteers the opportunity to spend a few hours putting their hands to work painting, repairing, transporting, and other tasks. Volunteers are then invited to return to the H. Dutcher Community Room at 1pm for a complimentary lunch provided by local businesses and the League of Women Voters. To sign-up for a Day of Service volunteer project, e-mail Rabbi Jonathan Rubenstein, or call Temple Sinai, 518-584-8730.

2. Secondly, their MLK Jr. Day program will include music, films, discussions, and readings from Dr. King's speeches and writings. The special guest presenter will be civil rights activist Jim Kates, who volunteered for the Mississippi Summer Project in 1964 and later became a public school teacher, a nonviolence trainer for interpersonal and political movements, a poet, and a literary translator. Since 1997, he has co-directed the non-profit literary publishing house Zephyr Press, publishers of Letters from Mississippi: Reports from Civil Rights Volunteers & Poetry of the 1964 Freedom Summer. Participants in the program will also include musician Garland Nelson of Soul Session; Rev. Linda Hoddy of the Saratoga Unitarian-Universalist Society; Pat Nugent, President of the Saratoga County Chapter of the League of Women Voters; Native American storytellers and musicians Joe and Jesse Bruchac; and Saratoga Springs Supervisor Joanne Yepsen and Mayor Scott Johnson. From 2-4pm in the H. Dutcher Community Room.

3. Head to Cantina in Saratoga Springs on Wednesday, Jan. 18th to have a great meal and help raise funds for the Franklin Community Center. Get a sitter and head out to Cantina for a date night or a girls night and 30 percent of your bill will be donated to Franklin Community Center!

4. On Saturday, Jan. 21st at 11am Forno Bistro in Saratoga Springs is offering their Passport to a Country of Flavors, a Three-Class Cultural and Culinary Odyssey. An educational series focusing on the Food, Wine, Culture & History of the regions of Northern, Central & Southern Italy. Cost is $50.

5. If you love to dance or just want to try something new and fun, check out Salsa Sunday at the National Museum of Dance this Sunday, Jan. 22nd from 2-5pm. Come Salsa the afternoon away! This fun event co-sponsored with Tango Fusion Dance Company will feature Salsa classes for adults and children, general dancing, and a performance by Tango Fusion Company. Cost is $15 per person, $25 per couple, and $30 for families (2 adults with children under 15).
This week for the Top Five Kid Friendly Events there are some exciting things on tap! For this week there is a great children's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event and a can't miss Preschool Fair, plus there will be portraits and family reading fun and take your daughter to hit the slopes all week!

1. The Saratoga Springs Public Library is offering some great programs to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 16th. The Children's Program will take place from 2pm - 3pm in the Crawshaw Story Room. Picture books Dream Something Big by Dianna Hutts Aston and The Big Orange Splat by Daniel Pinkwater will be read. Both books celebrate imagination, creativity, and individuality. Children will each create their own sculpture using a variety of materials. This program is appropriate for children ages three and older and their families. No registration is required.

2. It is Take Your Daughter to Gore Week starting on Tuesday, Jan. 17th until Sun, Jan 22! This week, daughters 19 and under ski, ride, and tube free with full paying parent all week!

3. Picasso portraits, Mixed Up Collage Portraits is happening on Wednesday, January 18th for Artful Afternoons at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls. Drop-in between 1:30 and 4:30PM Wednesdays during the school year for children ages 6-12 with adult chaperone. Each week children are invited to learn about a specific artist, work of art, or style from the Museum's permanent collection. Children will explore a variety of artistic mediums as they create their own Hyde-inspired masterpiece. Keep in mind that this program follows the Glens Falls School District schedule for vacation and snow days. When you arrive, check in at the Admission Desk to receive a guide. Follow the guide as a family/group, and then join us in the Art Studio where you will create your own art!

4. On Thursday, January 19th Saratoga Reads! will be handing out family book bags that will contain two children's books related to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this year's Saratoga Reads book of choice.  The family book bags are suitable for children ages 3-12, and will include an activity sheet. They will be handing out ten bags at the Higher Grounds Caffe (at Saratoga Springs Public Library) on a first come/first served basis today at 10am. The bags are meant to be passed along and shared with other local families so everyone can take part in this great program!

5. The Saratoga Public Library is having their Preschool Fair on Saturday, January 21 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in the H. Dutcher Community Room. The preschool fair will include more than a dozen area preschools. Information about the schools and programs will be available as well as school representatives to answer questions. Sponsored by: The Waldorf School, Katrina Trask Nursery School, The Beagle School, and Saratoga Springs Public Library. Preschools attending:

    •    Abundant Life Preschool
    •    Apple-A-Day Nursery
    •    Apple Blossom Bunch Day Care
    •    Katrina Trask Nursery School
    •    Malta Montessori  School
    •    National Museum of Racing Preschool
    •    Saratoga Independent School
    •    Small Wonders Christian Preschool
    •    Spa Christian Preschool
    •    St. Clements Regional Catholic School
    •    St. Paul's Lutheran Church
    •    Storybook Academy
    •    The Beagle School
    •    The Early Childhood Center at Skidmore College
    •    The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs
    •    Saratoga Regional YMCA Preschool
This week for the kid friendly events choose between an Improv Boot Camp for teens, a great preschool program for little ones to meet new friends, plus some great hands on museum programs for kids that will explore art and science!

1. Teen Improv Boot Camp is at the Saratoga Springs Public Library on Tuesday, Jan. 10th. Join professional comic & improvisation instructor Terrie Gifford for four sessions of group improv comedy training which will finish with a performance on Jan. 31st that is open to the public and family and friends! Have a teen that wants to learn more about performing and improv? Then this is for them! Attendance at all workshops is required. Contact Trevor at 584-7860 x 239 for more information.

2. Tuesday for Tots is at the Children's Museum at Saratoga at 69 Caroline Street on Tuesday, Jan. 10th. This is a great program because it is offered twice during the day. Join them anytime between 10 am - 12 pm for play dough, crafts, games and friends! The afternoon session from 1-3pm offers all the same fun and is perfect for morning preschoolers!

3. Wednesday, Jan. 11th check out Artful Afternoons at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls. This week's theme is Functional Art in Hyde House, Sculpting Clay Pens. Drop-in between 1:30-4:30PM Wednesdays during the school year for children ages 6-12 with an adult chaperone. Each week children are invited to learn about a specific artist, work of art, or style from the Museum's permanent collection and will explore a variety of artistic mediums as they create their own Hyde-inspired masterpiece. When you arrive, check in at the Admission Desk to receive a guide, follow the guide as a family/group, and then join them in the Art Studio where your child will create their own art! Contact them at (518) 792-1761 for more information.

4. On Friday Jan. 13th check out Homeschool Fridays: Art of the Chinese Dragon from 10 to 11:30am at go! where children discover the world, 89 Warren St. in Glens Falls. Join artist Kimberly Leahey to explore the art of the Chinese Dragon using watercolors. Call 518-793-2773 for details and registration. Cost is $5 museum admission fee plus $5 program fee, ages 5-12.

5. On Saturday, January 14th at 1pm head to the Children's Museum of Science and Technology in Troy for What Goes Up: A Lesson in Floating and Sinking. Join CMOST staff in an exploration of what things go up and what things go down, in liquids. Kids will learn about density and buoyancy and get their hands wet during this workshop! Ages 4+, Free for CMOST Members, $2.00 Non-members, plus admission to The Museum.  Pre-registration is required.
This week there are some fun new things to try for your FAB (Found A Babysitter) time. Take your pick from Zumba, making your own pasta, live music, creating organic skin care products or scuba, yes, scuba! Learn something new, relax and recharge with these fun events!

1. Love Zumba? Then check out the Zumba Dance Party Fundraiser & Wine & Cheese Party at Universal Preservation Hall at 25 Washington Ave, Saratoga Springs on Thursday, Jan 12th from 6pm to 8:45pm. Join some of the Top Area Instructors: Anna Rivelo, Jennifer Cloherty, Sandy Rodriguez plus a surprise Guest Instructor! The dance party will take place from 6 - 8pm with the wine and cheese party to follow from 8 - 8:45pm. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. A percentage of funds raised will go to UPH's restoration project. Wine ($3 donation) with complimentary cheese, crackers, grapes and nuts. For more information Call Dawn at 518-542-4272 and click here.

2. On Friday, Jan. 13th head over to Saratoga Winery for some fabulous live music and hand crafted wine! From 6-9pm they are going to have Gravity's Justin Joyner playing live. Admission is free, you can can sip on some of their fabulous wine, enjoy some tasty treats and relax while listening to some great live music! A perfect place to stop before or after dinner or before heading out for a night on the town! The Saratoga Winery & Tasting Room is located at 462 Rt. 29 WEST in Saratoga Springs.

3. Saturday, Jan. 14th at 11am at Forno Bistro on Broadway in Saratoga Springs you can learn how to make fresh pasta from scratch then create a variety of of stuffed Ravioli at the Pasta & Ravioli Cooking Class with Mamma Theresa! This is a fun hands on class with Mamma Theresa, everyone's Italian grandmother. Afterward have a glass of wine and enjoy your ravioli! Cost is $45 per person, call 518-581-2401 for more information.

4. Have you ever wanted to learn how to make your own organic skin care products? At the Living Well Healing Arts Center, 18 Low Street in Ballston Spa you can do just that on Saturday, Jan. 14th from noon to 4pm. Create a special blend for your pregnancy and experience a Blessingsway Ceremony to celebrate your pregnancy, birth and journey into motherhood after creating your blends. Cost is $75. Call 518-307-9810 for more information.

5. It may be January, but that doesn't mean you can't try out scuba diving! On Sunday, Jan. 15th there is a FREE Discover SCUBA class at the Glens Falls high School Pool! From 9:30-11am you can take the opportunity to experience the underwater world with this free "try scuba" class. All you need is a swimsuit and a towel, they'll supply everything else, so go take the plunge!
From trivia to meditation to swing dancing, this week's Top FAB Five has a bunch of great new ideas to try for a night or afternoon without the kids. Plus you can throw in a free pilates class and a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new dance center in town to choose from!

1. Check out Trivia Night at the Parting Glass on Monday night! The Parting Glass - Saratoga's Original Irish Pub, has a bunch of great entertainment lined up for the new year! All are welcome for Trivia Night, starting at 7pm.

2. Need some stress relief after the holidays? Mindful Meditation is at the Saratoga Library at 12:30pm on Tuesday. Join them for an hour of lunch time meditation held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month in partnership with One Roof Holistic Health. Contact 584-7860 for more information.

3. Want to have fun, get a little exercise and learn something new all at the same time? Check out the Friday Night Dance Classes at the Malta Community Center featuring three great classes for dancers of all ages & abilities! Starting at 6:30 with Swing Dancing, 7:30 will be the Foxtrot, and 8:30 will have Progressive Swing. 

4. The Myers Dance Center located at 153 Regent Street in Saratoga Springs is having an open house for their new Saratoga location this Saturday. The ribbon cutting is scheduled for 2pm immediately followed by a meet and greet champagne reception with Miss Myers and staff from 2-4pm. From 4pm-5pm the public is invited to observe Northeast Ballet company class with a reception with the dancers immediately following. Niskayuna Wine and Liquors will provide Champagne for the event and small bites will be provided by Hattie's Restaurant.
You can even register students for classes at the event! For more information call (518) 374-0376.

5. The Pilates Institute at 37 Henry Street, Suite 202 in Saratoga Springs is having a FREE New Year's Pilates Mat Class on Saturday from 10-11am. Let The Pilates Institute help you get a kick start on those healthy resolutions for 2012 with a Free Trial Mat Class, plus if you sign up for their next Saturday Mat 8-Class Series you receive a special rate of $90!
The kids are back in school and the holidays are behind us, but there is still lots to do this week! Check out this week's Top 5 Picks for fun from the Children's Museum, the Library, plus some fun museum exhibitions and programs as well!

1. On Tuesday, head to the Children's Museum for Tuesday for Tots. They offer two sessions, one from 10am-12pm and one from 1-3pm. Join them for play dough, crafts, games and friends! The afternoon session offers all the same fun and is perfect for morning preschoolers! I love that they offer two sessions so you can plan around nap time!

2. On Thursday from 8-8:30 check out the Rebel Book Club at the Saratoga Springs Public Library, the only "no reading required" book club in the area! On the first Thursday of every month at the Saratoga Library they will tackle a topic and bring some books into the mix. This winter, some ideas that are going to address may include books from the antagonist's POV, books that exceed expectations (or were complete disappointments), based on true stories, books based on games, food books, and games based on books & literature! This is free and open to grades 6-12, a great way to get kids started in book clubs!

3. The Go! World Awareness Museum in Glens Falls at 89 Warren St. in Glens Falls has a great workshop to celebrate the new year: Learn the Chinese Lion Dance starting this Saturday from 2-3pm. Cost is $30 for 3 week class and the class will run on three consecutive Saturdays: January 7th, 14th and 21st from 2-3pm. Ages 8 and up; Class size minimum 5 - maximum 12. Call (518) 793-2773 for more information.

4. Don't forget that registration begins for all preschool programs at the Saratoga Springs Public Library this Saturday, January 7th. Everyone may register, regardless of residency, for all toddler and preschool storytimes, story/music, story/art and/or the parent/child workshops. Stop by the Children's Room or call 518-584-7860 opt 3 to register. Register once for the entire series.

5. At the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls they offering great Saturday Morning Workshops which are FREE and for ages 6-14. Adults are welcome but not required and there will be a new topic each week! This week's topic is New Year's Portrait Party. Meet the people in The Hyde Collection's portraits and invite them to a party in your painting project. Party favors will be provided. It's a great way to have kids get creative and learn more about art at the same time! Call (518) 792-1761 for more information.

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Jenny Witte has lived in the Saratoga Springs area for the past four years and has three children. In addition to being the Mamatoga founder she also teaches children's yoga and loves horseback riding.