Robby & I enjoying a boat cruise around Sarasota Bay
Ahhh, vacation.  We recently took our first family-of-four vacation to Florida.  As my grandmother always says, "Good be away, but good to be home".  It really was good to be away and I actually had more fun and relaxed more than I thought I would having the kids in tow. 

Robby's third birthday is in two days and we've officially entered a trying time: terrible three's. Badgering, reminding, repeating, and often yelling are the sounds that echo through our house.  Time-outs are abundant.  It challenges me daily, but I'm more than up for it.  It is my job to mold this aged-3-years play dough into something wonderful, something pleasant and something fun to be around. 

Angie on the beach
Angie loving the sand on Siesta Key Beach, FL

To me, the bottom line is that I want to raise children that I CAN take on vacation and that I enjoy being around.  Our trip to Florida gave me hope that annual family vacations are rejuvenating for all, kids included. 

I want to see their smiles on the beach as they explore the sand and surf, I want to see their wonderment at four days in a row of brilliant sunshine, and I love how they crash in bed after a long day of vacation adventure. 

I don't expect perfect kids, but I am optimistic that mine will turn into good citizens and that I will forever enjoy their company*.

* ages 13-17 excluded

Thursday, 6/30: Interactive Art & Display Night at DiDonna's, 113 Route 9PMalta.   DiDonna's will be host to some wonderful local artists that will be visiting our restaurant to display their work as well as allow you to participate in creating!
Thursday, 6/30: BSpa Farmers' Market 3-6pm and concert in Wiswall Park from 6-8pm. 

Friday, 7/1: First Friday in Ballston Spa

Saturday, 7/2: Patriotic Picnic in Congress Park Sponsored by the Saratoga Children's Museum It's free but you have to pre-register.  Meet at the museum then march to Congress Park for a craft and snack.  Starts at 10am. 

All the following are on Monday the 4th of July
10:00am All-American Parade & Patriotic Pooches Parade Route: Down Broadway from VanDam Street to Spring Street 

11:00am Family Photo-Op with Patriotic Parade Characters Bring your camera for a family photo-op with Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and more!  Meet at the Carousel in Congress Park.

11:00am  to  3:00pm All-American BBQ & Dessert Festival Sample some of the best BBQ dishes and fantastic desserts and vote for your favorites!  Tastings held at participating restaurant locations around downtown Saratoga Springs with additional participants at the Holiday Inn.
Download the BBQ & Dessert Fest Map and Ballot

12:00pm - to 9:00pm Family Day in Congress Park Sponsored by the Saratoga Springs History Museum
Historic Games, Living History Re-Enactors, Live Music, Face Painting, Food, Carousel Rides, and more!
Fireworks at 9:15!

Back for another year, Regal Cinema is offering their Summer Movie Express.  This promotion features $1 tickets for select G or PG films during the week.  Last year it was free, but who's complaining?  Our closest location is Crossgates Mall in Albany, but it might be worth the drive to take the kids to a movie for just $1 per ticket.  Movies are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am starting today and continuing for the next 9 weeks. 
Here are the dates and movies:

6/28-6/29 (10am) RAMONA & BEEZUS and  YOGI BEAR
7/26-7/27 (10am) CLOUDY W/ MEATBALLS and KARATE KID
8/16-8/17 (10am) MARMADUKE and MONSTERS VS. ALIENS
8/23-8/24 (10am) CHARLOTTE'S WEB and PLANET 51

Of course another summer movie option is the Malta Drive-In  A unique experience that is definitely worth a visit.  Shows start at 9pm and admission is $8 for adults, under 12 are $3.  If you plan to bring in your own food, there is a $5 per vehicle fee to do so. 

A third option?  Yes!  First Friday's in Ballston Spa also features a free outdoor movie.  This Friday the selection is "Ironman 2" (rated PG-13) and the movie starts in Wiswall Park at dusk, approx. 9 pm.

Enjoy the show!

Register Online for VBS
We are a church-going family and very active at the First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa.  Our Pastor, Alan Rudnick is a popular blogger on Times Union, has a Twitter account and is definitely one of the more tech-savvy people I know.  Aside from all that, he's a wonderful pastor and friend.  I'm not here to try and convert anyone, but it would be silly of me not to extend an invitation to FBC Ballston Spa to anyone that may be looking for a church home.

In two weeks we start our Vacation Bible School program, which is a week-long camp program for school-aged kids (entering K-5).  Unlike many other summer programs, our VBS is in the evenings from 6-8pm and starts Sunday, July 10th.  This year's program is called Hometown Nazareth.  Kids will have fun exploring and learning about what it was like to live in Jesus' hometown.  This program will be tons of fun.  (I know this because I'm on the planning committee and running the music portion.)  This program is open to all children, all faiths, all levels of spirituality, etc.  Bonus: you'd have a couple hours to yourself each night!  Who couldn't use that??
What:  Vacation Bible School 2011 - Hometown Nazareth
Who's invited?:  Kids entering Kindergarten through 5th grade
When: Sunday, July 10th - Thursday, July 14th  6-8pm
Where:  The First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa  202 Milton Avenue, Ballston Spa, NY
Cost: suggested donation of $5 per child
Register online here!

On Tuesday, June 28 from  6:00pm - 8:00pm join Binx and a bunch of other mama's  at the newly opened Torso Lingerie Studio at  55 Front Street in Ballston Spa. 

"Join us for a fun and free night of friends, finger food, drinks, and lingerie!  There will be FREE bra fittings and you'll be able to browse all the collections available at the newly opened Torso.
Swag bags will be given to the first 25 people in the door!"

Sounds fun right?  RSVP here on Facebook.  Look forward to seeing lots of you there!

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Busy summer!
Another busy summer weekend, here we come!   I find myself having to pick and choose one cool event over another cool event because I just can't be everywhere.  Lots to do and so little time!  Starting off with tonight....

Thursday 6/23:  BSpa Farmers' Market from 3-6pm, Wiswall Park followed by the first BSpa Outdoor Concert featuring Ra Ra Riot and Sirsy!  Show starts at 6pm.  This one will be packed, so definitely get there early. 

Friday 6/24: Comedy Show at DiDonna's South Shore Restaurant.  Get a sitter for a night of laughter and fun! $15 per person gets you in to the event featuring four different comedians.  Food and drinks will be served before and during the show.
Also on Friday, UpBeat on the Roof concert series at Skidmore.  Details on the MaltaMama Calendar.

Saturday 6/25:  Farmers' Markets in Saratoga & Bspa (among many others in the area) and swim registration starts at the Ballston Spa Village Pool at 9am. 

Sunday 6/26:  The Village of Ballston Spa hosts its annual Family Fun Day on Sunday, June 26 at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds, from 3-9 pm. Food, live music, family games and activities for the kids followed by a fireworks display at dusk.  Free admission. 

The Ballston Spa Village Pool, with an opening day that is still "TBA" (according to their website) is across the river from Kelley Park and a great local and affordable option. Admission is $2 per swimmer, and kids under three are admitted free of charge.  We went several times last year and liked it a lot.  They offer swim lessons starting in July for ages 3 and up (must be potty trained).  Cost is a mere $35 but it is quite a time commitment, 6 weeks for 2-3 mornings a week.  More details are here on their websiteOpen registration for swim lessons is this Saturday and Sunday 6/25 and 6/26 from 9am-noon. 

The Peerless Pool in the Saratoga Spa State Park is a massive pool complex with a separate kid’s pool and splash area.  It opens on June 25th.  It is not the most affordable option when you consider the $8 per vehicle entrance to the park, in addition to the cost of admission to the pool ($2 adults, $1 children). The Peerless Pool is also closed on Tuesdays.  Operating hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.  

The Victoria Pool also opening June 25th is  located near the Saratoga Spa Golf Course.  This is a beautiful pool surrounded by brick archways and stunning architecture.  While Victoria Pool may not be the most kid-friendly spot, it’s by far the prettiest place to cool off. Admission here is $8 for adults and $4 for kids and it's open daily from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.     

For a beach experience, Moreau Lake State Park off of Northway Exit 17S is a wonderful option. The beach is open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and the cost is $8 per vehicle to enter the park. We've already been to Moreau this year and in addition to a wonderful beach, the playground area is fabulous!  No admission other than the $8 per vehicle, so pack a lunch and make a day of it!  Don't forget sunscreen and bug spray.

Don't forget about the local fountain parks either for a fun and no-cost cool down. 

Today's post is by Stacy Jubert from The Children's Guide....

School is almost out for the summer and for us parents that is not always as exciting as it is for the kids!!   I really love hosting children and family events, its fun for me to bring together local family friendly vendors with kids and families in the area!  This event I wanted to make different, and when I found FunFlicks, which offers outdoor movies, I knew what I would do!

This event is for kids of all ages featuring a Petting Zoo with a donkey and a pot belly pig!  Soccer with Afrims, Time Warner Cable will set up the Wii on the GIANT blow up movie screen, vendor activites and games, food and more!

At dusk we will begin the movie Yogi Bear.  Popcorn, cupcakes, cotton candy and more!  $3 per child, all of the details are on www.thechildrensguide.com

This event is Rain or Shine!!  If it rains we will move everything including the movie inside the Dome!  Feel free to bring your blankets for the movie!!  

Stacy Jubert


Sundae on the Farm
Sundae on the Farm is an annual  event which is both a celebration of agriculture and a fun family day; think ice cream sundaes, farm tours, wagon rides, live music, food demos, a farmers market, a spelling bee and an ice cream eating contest!  Each year it's held at a different farm and this year it's hosted by Clear Echo Farm in Schuylerville.  We went to last year's Sundae on the Farm and the kids and adults enjoyed themselves.  It was hot and a bit smelly, but the ice cream and apple pie were delish. 

Kids will enjoy getting up close and personal at the farm, and parents enjoy the farmer's market, ice cream, cooking demo's, etc.  A good Father's Day event.   

Sundae on the Farm
Sunday, June 19, 2011 – Father’s Day
Noon – 4 pm
At Clear Echo Farm in Schuylerville - 800 Rte. 32 North

If you're someone who enjoys food, fellowship, and supporting a good cause, this event is for you!  Hosted by To Love A Child, Epicuriosity is an evening of tasting, sessions and fun that will teach you to create and explore with food and wine.  Event takes place on June 28th from 6-9pm at The Arts Center in Troy. 

At the event, you'll attend two sessions:
     -   Ultimate Wine and Cheese Pairings  hosted byKurt Schmidt from Adventure in Food Trading Co.
     -   & Cooking & Eating the Mediterranean Way  hosted by  Shaw Rabadi,  Executive Chef, Author and Owner BFS Restaurant, Albany

Tickets are $40 per person and proceeds will benefit children’s nutritional programs funded by To Love a Child, Inc., a recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

June 28th, 2011  6-9pm at The Arts Center of the Capital Region,
265 River Street, Troy, NY
Buy your tickets online today!