I hope everyone enjoys this beautiful Memorial Day.  Take a moment and remember the veterans that have served and those who are currently serving.  Those who have fought for our freedom, laid down their lives, and honored our nation through their service.  We salute you!

I'll be back with my regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow.  Happy Memorial Day! 
 
 
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The temperature this week felt more like Labor Day than Memorial Day but we are officially kicking off summer this weekend!  I'm looking forward to the parks opening their sprinkler/fountains next week and the start of the public pool season.  I'll be posting about all that stuff throughout June.  Today's post is a 'leftovers' post because it contains a few unrelated topics.
  
Tons of stores have Memorial Day sales this weekend.  If you're in the shopping mood, you can definitely get some bargains.  Before you go, check my favorite printable coupons website.  Here's a link to a Babies r Us coupon for 20% off any single regularly priced baby item.  Moms-to- be, crib mattress, breast pump, glider?  It expires Saturday the 29th, so get there quick!
Here's another good deal.  IsaBooties who makes amazing baby shoes, similar to Robeez but eco-friendly and made in the USA is offering all their shoes for $20 this weekend only!

If you need another parade fix, Glens Falls has their Memorial Day parade on Monday the 31st at 10am.  It starts on Bay Street and heads North.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!  I'm taking Monday off, so I will be back writing on Tuesday.  Enjoy the wonderful weather!  

 
 
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On Saturday, May 29th at 9am the annual Memorial Day Parade will take place in downtown Ballston Spa.  It starts on Milton Ave and continues onto Front Street and Low Street.  9am sounds a little early for a parade, but you can always stop for coffee at Coffee Planet, tea at Whistling Kettle, Kelley Park, or the Ballston Spa Library afterwards.  

What about the rest of the weekend?  If you haven't been to the Malta Drive-In Theatre, consider going this weekend!  Shrek Forever After is showing and starts at 8:50pm.  Admission is $8 for adults and $3 for kids under 12.  You can bring your own food and snacks, but you may be asked to pay a $5/vehicle outside food charge.  They are obviously trying to promote their own concession stand.  Kids, especially infants do particularly well at the drive-in because they usually just sleep the whole time.  It's a neat experience for the bigger kids too.  

 
 
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I've been very curious about Tumbling Tykes for a long time and finally decided to go.  It's located in Latham on Route 7, about two miles down from where Babies R Us is.  The address is 1050 Troy-Schenectady Road and it's pretty easy to find.  From Malta it took me about 25 minutes.  Admission into the play area is $7 per child, over the age of one.  They offer memberships too, which turn out to be a good deal if you're planning on going frequently.  Annual memberships are $175/one child, $225 for a family.  A mid-level commitment would be to purchase a 10 visit pass for $60.  I opted for the day pass. 

If you've been to Tiny Tots Tearoom, Tykes is pretty similar in terms of the 'playground' gear.  Tykes is basically a large room with tons of climb on toys, ride on toys, play houses, tunnels, ball pit, trampolines, etc.  Adults and kids have to take their shoes off before entering the playground and also use hand sanitizer, which I think is a positive.  Definitely remember to wear socks or they will ask you to purchase a pair.  There were a few areas for parents to sit and watch the kids play, but you really have to stay in the playground area with your child the whole time, unlike the TT Tearoom where you can watch from afar.  Robby had a great time at Tykes, and really that's what matters the most to me.  I thought it was very nice, but not a place I would add to our regular activity roster, mainly because of the distance, partly because there's a lot of other great places!   They offer some snacks to purchase, but it's much easier to bring your own food and eat there, which they definitely allow for.  Would I go back?  Yes, but I don't have anything on the calendar yet.  It will be great when the weather gets cold.  Hours are Mon 9:30-3:00, T 9:30-5:00, W 9:30-3:00, Th 9:30-3:00, Fr 9:00-3:00, Sat 9:00-12:00, Sun 9:30-12:00.

 
 
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Who doesn't like a good parade?  This week there are a few Memorial Day parades I'll mention, but the first is Wednesday night in Saratoga.  Kickoff is at 6:30 and goes from North Broadway to Congress Park.  I'll bet that Bettie's Cakes will be baking up some Memorial Day cupcakes for the occasion but get there before they close at 7pm.  They are located in the Downstreet Marketplace, 454 Broadway.
If you like craft projects (I don't), I came across this patriotic wind sock craft.  I'm sure your kids would love it.  Mine would probably eat the glue, throw the paper, wreck the stars and drive me crazy! 

 
 
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I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I wanted to start off this week with a Parks & Playgrounds post because the weather is going to be fantastic.  We had a busy weekend, but got a lot done around the yard.  Later this week I'll share my favorite local place for outdoor plants.  But let's get rolling on this week's P&P.

I took Robby to the Wood Road Elementary School (my alma mater) playground last week what a find it was!  Nothing like what I remembered, although it would be a fossil by now if it was still standing.  (yes, I'm that old)  If you head out of Ballston Spa on Route 67 going toward Galway, you will pass by the BSpa elementary schools on your right.  The street name is Wood Road off of 67.  Drive straight past the complex and around the back and you'll first hit the playground in the top photo.  This one looks almost brand new and was very cool.  We went around 5pm on a weeknight and there was no one there.  Some nice slides and climbing things, swings, basketball court, and a picnic table.  No infant swings, which makes sense at an elementary school.  Also, no bathrooms unless you sneak in the school, which I wouldn't recommend.  Visibility is good here too. 
If you keep driving around the back of the schools, you'll hit another playground complex seen in the bottom photo.  This one is nice, but slightly more disjointed and probably a little older than the other playground.  There are some funky looking playground apparatus here that look almost like torture devices.  They're not, but there's definitely some stuff here for older kids, not really toddler-friendly.  I don't think visibility is very good here.  If you have a runner, he/she may get pretty far on their own!  A couple picnic tables, basketball and no bathrooms.  I personally like the other playground better, as it just seems more manageable.  

Obviously a visit to the elementary schools during the school day is out of the question.  But for evenings, weekends, and when school is out of session, this is another playground option to keep in mind.  Where should I go next?  Any park/playground suggestions?  Leave a comment or email me!  colleen@maltamama.com 
 

 
 
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The suspense that once was the construction next to McDonald's on Route 67 in Malta is no longer.  My mouth was watering over the possibilities of a cafe, coffee shop or bakery!  I drove by early Wednesday morning and saw the big red check mark that is part of the Verizon sign being hoisted into place and thanked Dunkin' Donuts for still being in business.  Malta is seriously lacking in places to eat! 
If you're for some reason still without a cell phone, want to upgrade and committ to seemingly life-long Verizon contracts, or need to complain about your current iron clad Verizon contract, look no further!  I'll be two doors down at Dunkin' Donuts enjoying an iced coffee and a manager's special donut.  That is until someone finally decides to open an eatery in Malta! 

 
 
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Our family uses Mint.com to manage our monthly budget and expenses.  I check the site about weekly and see where we're at according to our budget.  If the site could talk, it would (in a very stern voice) tell me not to go shopping this weekend.  The good news is that this weekend my plans included buying used stuff!  Starting on Friday, May 21st from 1pm-5pm, the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library is having a used book sale.  Most paperbacks will be $.50 and hard covers will be $1.  Hours are Friday 1pm-5pm, Saturday 10-4pm, and Sunday 12-4pm.
This weekend is also big for garage sales.  Our  neighborhood, Highpointe in Malta is having a sale running from Friday-Sunday.  Last year I scored tons of kid stuff.  For listings of other local garage sales, check here on Craigslist
Enjoy the beautiful day! 

 
 
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I don't pretend to be a fashionista at all.  I'm envious of moms that so effortlessly pull off 'trendy' in their own way like local mom, blogger, Saratoga Mama co-founder, PR guru Lizzie Sorensen.  I can take a diaper bag suggestion from her but will never look as cool carrying it.  Another local mom (and blog) I envy is Upstate and Personal.  Just because I may rock 'frump', doesn't mean that my friends and readers aren't fashionistas.  Upstate & Personal mentioned a local 'sample sale' at the Marika Charles Factory Store in Rotterdam.  It's this Friday-Sunday, May 21-23rd.  According to U&P, the sale will have some great graphic tees at about $25 or less.  Made locally and sold internationally, this is a neat opportunity for us locals to snag a designer dud.  For hours and directions, visit the website.       

 
 
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The Burgess-Kimball Memorial Park is located in Milton on Rowland Street just south of Geyser Road and across from an HSBC bank.  This park is a nice alternative to Kelley Park in Ballston Spa and the Malta parks (Shenentaha or Malta Community).  On the weekday that we visited it was not particularly busy.  There's a nice playground for bigger kids that is quite high.  Can be fun for the little one's too, but you have to watch them carefully.  There's a small playground structure (bottom picture) but that will get old pretty quickly.  Visibility is nice at the BK Memorial Park and it is fenced in so the kids can't stray too far.  There are two swing sets with infant swings, handicapped swings, and traditional.  Unique features: a sandbox, seesaw's (sp?), a shaky bus (top photo) and some different slides.  BK also has basketball courts, tennis, baseball, two pavilions, bathrooms, a Coke vending machine, and plenty of parking.  We had a great visit with no injuries, tears, and only one time-out for throwing wood chips.  I'd call that a success! 

The park's pavilions are also available to hold an outdoor gathering.  Click here for reservation information and an application.  For more information contact the Town Clerk at 885-9220 ext. 110.