Free concert in B Spa!
Next Tuesday, May 4th, head to downtown Ballston Spa for a free concert at the First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa.  Just because it happens to be at a church (my church, BTW), it will be loud and it will rock.  Not really an event for the little kids, but if you can grab a friend and go, it will definitely be a good time. 
   
Concert starts at 7pm and features three bands; LyrycystThe Music Room, and Adam Cappa .
Where: First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa, 202 Milton Ave
When: Tuesday, May 4th at 7pm
Contact: 518-885-8361 for more info
Cost: Free but donations will be accepted for the bands

I hope everyone has a great weekend and enjoys the beautiful weather!  See you again on Monday- 

 
 
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Saturday, May 1st marks the opening day for the Saratoga Farmers Market.  You may remember I posted about the indoor market several weeks ago which is great, but there is nothing like the outdoor market to kick-start your weekend!  There are always lots of mama's and kids and there is even a flower drawing activity for kids on Saturday from 9am-1pm in the market shed.  If that's not enough to get you there, enjoy live music by a group called Special Creek. 
What: Saratoga Farmers' Market first outdoor market of the season!
Time: 9am-1pm
Location: 103 High Rock Ave, Saratoga

 
 
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I'm not sure how you would have missed Congress Park if you've ever as much as driven through downtown Saratoga, but I still felt compelled to write about it for my P&P series. 
Congress Park is always an interesting experience.  Whether you're admiring (or being attacked by) the ducks, picnicking next to stoners, listening to music from Saratoga's finest roster of street musicians, or riding the carousel, Congress Park has a little something for everyone! 

I love having a park like this in the middle of downtown Saratoga because it's fun to grab food or ice cream and head to the park for some people-watching on a nice day.  Congress Park also has a slew of activities in the summer like craft fairs, shows, live music, etc.  I will definitely post about those events in the future.  The carousel opens on May 9th, Mother's Day.  I don't know about you, but I can think of a few better things to do than ride the carousel on Mother's Day!  Alas, Congress Park is almost unavoidable if you're in Saratoga, but it is also a good time.  No playgrounds or bathrooms, but ducks, fountains, ponds, fields and frisbees (and if you're lucky, live music). 

 
 
Click here for more details
We're going to keep the train momentum going today and talk about the fact that a full size Thomas the Tank Engine and Sir Topham Hatt are coming to our area!  If your kids are crazy about trains, this may be just the ticket for you.  Dates are May 22-23 and 29-30 at the Upper Hudson River Railroad in North Creek, NY.  Tickets are $18 for children over two and adults and can be purchased here.

What do you get?  A 25 minute ride with a full size Thomas the Tank Engine™, meet and greet with Sir Topham Hatt, storytelling, live music, and bangin' good time (although I don't think they serve cocktails on board).  I'm on the edge of the track about this event.  On one hand I think it would be great fun and Robby would probably enjoy it, on the other hand it seems like quite a production for what will end up being a quick train ride.  Definitely something to consider for the train-enthusiast in your life. 

 
 
Robby and the train table
Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you all had a nice weekend.  The weather could have been better on Sunday, but we are still in April which tends to be hit or miss around here. 
My son Robby loves trains so this weekend we bought him a Kidcraft train table and train sets off of Craigslist.  I love Craigslist for kids items because you never know how long kids will be interested in something.  Jude and I spent our Saturday night going to town with this train set, which ironically is called Train Town.  We probably had more fun setting it up than Robby will ever have playing with it!  After some heated debates about track and accessory placement, we have a finished masterpiece.  We also used wood glue to glue the tracks in place, which I think was a good decision.  BTW, the Kidcraft train sets are definitely not as good quality as Thomas stuff, but they are compatible with all the Thomas tracks and trains.  

And now for a completely unrelated but cool thing today: Philly Pretzel Factory in Clifton Park is having a Free Pretzel Day.  Stop in from 10am-8pm and try one of their soft pretzels!  This will certainly make my trip to the Clifton Park DMV (in the mall) a little more palatable!     

 
 
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Saturday April 24th marks Saratoga's 4th annual Mardi Gras festival and parade!  If you're in Saratoga, definitely check out the website for info on entertainment and happenings.  We took Robby last year to the festival and had a great time.  The festival runs from 11am-4:30pm with the parade at noon on Beekman Street.  The Saratoga Downtowner Hotel on broadway has live bands from 12:30-4:30.  There will also be a Cajun Cooking Competition & Tasting Festival at various downtown Saratoga Springs area restaurants from 12:30pm - 4pm. For a serving price of $1.00!  Check the website for a list of participating restaurants

Have a great weekend everyone and see you back here on Monday!

 
 
Dakota Ridge Farm
This Free Llama Hike just be my favorite Weekend Best Bet I've ever posted!  This is in part because Robby and I went to Dakota Ridge Farm this week to see the llamas and had an absolute blast.  The other reasons are because it is local (Ballston Spa), free (always good), educational (almost always good), and something completely different to do (unless you grew up on a llama farm).  

Robby and I went to DRF on Tuesday and met Katrina (in the picture with Robby) who is the owner.  She’s a wonderful woman who is patient with kids and super accommodating.  As you can see from the picture, we got very up close and personal with on of the over 50 llamas on site!  Robby fed the horses and played with the llamas who are all very gentle.  A llama hike normally would cost $20 for adults and $10 for kids but this weekend it’s free! If you can’t make it this weekend, certainly talk to her about setting up another tour or hike in the future.  I’m contemplating a MaltaMama event at Dakota Ridge sometime in the near future.  More info on that later.

Dakota Ridge Farm is located on 189 East High Street in Ballston Spa.  It is very close to the Spa Brauhaus restaurant.  The hike is Saturday, April 24th from 1pm-2pm.  Find more event details on their Facebook page and be sure to RSVP to llamawhisp@aol.com or call 518-885-0756.

 

 
 
CMOST on the web
Need an Earth Day activity?  It's Thursday, April 22nd and if that doesn't mean a whole lot to you, no sweat!  You can still enjoy this activity at the Children's Museum of Science and Technology in Troy despite your feelings about Earth Day! 

On Thursday, April 22nd at 10:30 AM, the museum is hosting an Earth Day Celebration called: Seed Scientists
From their website:  Join us for this special Earth Day event as we investigate seeds and the science the brings things to life. Children will investigate seeds, plant a garden in an egg carton to take home and read the story The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle in this hands-on workshop. Ages 2+. (Pre-registration is required. Free for CMOST members. $2.00 for Non-members.)

CMOST is located in Troy (not my favorite city) on 250 Jordan Road (in Rensselaer Technology Park) 12180
To register or contact them, call 518-235-2120.

 
 
Malta Community Center Summer 2010
If you live in Malta you'll probably get one of these in the mail but in case you don't, view the PDF here or just click on the picture of the brochure.

This summer there will be a Summer Preschool Program for kids ages 3-5 running on Thursdays from 10:30-11:30 in July and August.  You don't need to enroll in every Thursday which is nice, and each week is a new theme.  The cost per day is $8 resident $9 non-resident.  Adult is required here, so it's not a drop-off preschool!  That would be really great, huh?  I can think of a million things to do during that hour...

One thing I need to do is find out when the open gym times are because they are not listed in the brochure like they usually are.  I will post them here as soon as I find out.  

There are a few special concerts and a family day that is listed in the book.  I will absolutely post about those special events here at MaltaMama so you won't miss anything!  Registration starts May 3rd.   

 
 
Malta Ecological Park
Playgrounds are great, but sometimes it's nice to get out and just enjoy nature.  A great spot for this is the Town of Malta Ecological Park.  It's located on Malta Ave about two miles off of Route 9 heading toward downtown B Spa.  The only trick is that coming from Route 9, the Malta Ave bridge over the Northway is closed so you'd have to detour via East High Street (off of Route 9 by Ripe Tomato) and then right onto VanAernem Road, then your next left onto Malta Ave.  email me if you need specifics! colleen@maltamama.com

The Malta Eco Park has a couple miles of wooded trails with a few bridges and a little pond.  There's a big field you'll walk to which would be great for a picnic lunch.  Along the trails are nice descriptive nature signs to add an eductional element.  Stroller mama's, it's best to use a jogger or all-terain here because the trails aren't paved.  I've done a carrier with Robby in the past but this year we just walked it.  All in all it may not be the most exciting place, but it's yet another local stomping ground for the family.  Enjoy nature in Malta!  Oh yeah, no bathrooms here :-)