Playground at Saratoga Track
This is it folks, time to say goodbye to the Saratoga Race Course.  The end of the track ushers in the beginning of the school year and back to business.  Very bittersweet.  This weekend is your last chance to go and enjoy the track and attend the annual Family Fun Fest! 

On Sunday, September 4th and Monday the 5th, families families are invited to experience fun, games, and entertainment at Saratoga Race Course’s annual Family Fun Fest, to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region.

The two-day festival will take place on Sunday, September 4th from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Monday, September 5th, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. During this time, the backyard area will host a variety of family-friendly attractions such as carnival games, face painting, caricatures, spin art, giant inflatables and pony rides. 
I would suggest getting there early because lines for especially the pony rides can get pretty long.  We went last year and enjoyed a more 'local' crowd (most of the tourists have left) and a fun event. 

Proceeds from activities at the Family Fun Fest benefit Ronald McDonald Charities of the Capital Region.

Coming Soon!!
I'm taking about a week off from MaltaMama.  We are heading out of town on vacation AND I am prepping for the launch of SaratogaMama
I am so excited to share this awesome sight with you!  It will be everything you like about MaltaMama, only better!  Easier to navigate, more features, a better calendar and so on. 
Despite my short hiatus, I will be announcing a giveaway next week and promise to post as much as I can

Have a wonderful weekend and I'll be back soon!

The fact that it's Travers Weekend may mean nothing to you, but to a lot of Saratoga, it's the biggest to-do all year! This weekend will certainly mean more traffic downtown and more reckless drivers on the road, so be careful and patient.  Not interested in the track?  You can still partake in the fun by attending the Travers Eve Party in downtown Saratoga. 
Travers Eve Schedule, Friday, August 26th, 7-10 p.m.
  • Meet and Greet with leading Saratoga jockeys at the parking lot of Saratowner Downtowner Motel, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Enjoy entertainment from Reggie and the Red Hot Feetwarmers, Sparkles the tall juggler, MaryLeigh & the Fauves & the Racing City Chorus. Face painting by P.J. Duell and Balloons with Mr. & Mrs. Bill along Broadway, 7 to 10 p.m.
  • “Horse Squishy”, with Saratoga Race Course logo, to be given to kids at Impressions, G. Willikers, Celtic Treasures, The Candy Company, Ben and Jerry’s, Plum Dandy, Soave Faire and Zola Kids. *
  • Travers-themed mardi gras beads to be given to adults at Hattie’s, Gaffney’s, Lillian’s, Circus Café, Olde Bryan Inn, Sperry’s, Ben and Jerry’s, Irish Times and The Parting Glass. *
Also, don't forget about the Fair & Travers Restaurant Week

Day Out with Thomas:  For all you Thomas fans out there, this annual event is sure to please.  My son isn't really into Thomas, so we've never done this, but the families I know that have really enjoyed it. 
Thomas the Tank Engine To Visit August 27, 28, September 3 & 4, 2011. Take a 25-minute ride with Thomas the Tank Engine with an opportunity to meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of The Railway. Enjoy activities for the whole family, including arts & crafts, storytelling, video viewing, live music, magic show, miniature golf, & bounce castles.  This event is a little out of town.... 3 Railroad Place, North Creek, New York 12853.  Tickets range from $15-$19 per person.  Buy tickets here.

Ultimate BM
Thursday - As part of the GE Kids in Free series, Barry Manilow tickets are free for kids!  BM will be at SPAC this Thursday, August 25th at 7:30pm.  Not feelin' the BM?  Head to Wiswall Park in BSpa for the music of Ten Pound Tiger at 6pm. 

Also on Thursday, it's Summer Night Out at Clifton Park Center from 5pm-8pm.  Enjoy live music, food, children's games, bouncy houses, balloons, shopping deals and much more! 

Friday -  10am, Wiggle and Giggle at The Children's Museum of Saratoga. 
Cost: Free with admission A time for children to explore the many different things that they can do with their bodies...crawl through tunnels, walk the balance beam, roll balls, toss bean bags, and make music with all kinds of instruments. A great time to meet new friends and get some exercise.

This Friday's Upbeat on the Roof concert at Tang Museum at Skidmore is a father/son duo the Tichy Boys.  They blend their collective musical histories into one entity, unleashing genuine roots music, rock and roll, classic country, and rockabilly.

BTW, I never thought I'd have a picture of Barry Manilow on MaltaMama.  First time for everything! 

Valley Cats
My family and I recently attended a Tri-City Valley Cats baseball game at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy.  The Valley Cats are a local minor league baseball team.  We had a blast! The game was lively and the stadium full of energy. 
Speaking of the stadium, 'The Joe' is a great venue.  There's not a bad seat in the house, the bathrooms are clean, it's family-friendly, and the food/beverages are reasonably priced.

The Cats play five more home games, tonight, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7pm, Sunday, August 28th at 5pm and Monday, August 29th at 7pm. 
Game day tickets are $6 each for general admission.  Here's a link to driving directions.  Check it out if you get a chance!  Even if you don't make it the entire game (we didn't) it is still a memorable summer outing.

The Washington County Fair
Happy Monday!  I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.  I can't believe we are nearing the end of August!  It doesn't seem possible.  Though I do enjoy back-to-school shopping, I do not enjoy bidding farewell to summer.  September will bring major changes for me, and you!  I'm launching SaratogaMama very soon and I can't wait to tell you more about it.  What I can say is that it will be everything you like about MaltaMama only better!   

This Saturday is the annual Travers Race at Saratoga Race Course.  It's a big day for Saratoga as this race is the most well-attended of the season.  To kick off the madness in Saratoga, now through Thursday is Travers Restaurant Week.  At 40 area restaurants, you can enjoy a three-course meal for $18.64 (year of the first Travers Race).  Here's a list of participating restaurants.  BSpa/Malta joints include Loca Luna, Sunset Cafe, Finish Line Restaurant and Bar, and Cliff's Country Inn.  

The Washington County Fair
Today (gates open at 5pm) is Day 1 of the Washington County Fair. It ends on Sunday, Aug 28th so you have plenty of time to get there!  Tuesday-Sunday gates open at 9am, but rides don't start runnin' until noon.  Admission is $10/adult kids under 14 are free.  Here are Directions to the Fairgrounds which are in Greenwich:

I'll be back with more fun next week.  Enjoy the weekend everyone! 
Tiny Tots Tearoom
Friday, 8/19:  Rocking PJ Party at TIny Tots Tea Room, 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Tiny Tots Tea Room is hosting a Rocking PJ Party on Friday August 19th from 9 am to 7 pm. There are opportunities for drop off during the day or stop in for open play during the day long party!   They will be drawing prizes for back to school items all day for all ages.  Pull out your (kids) PJ's
Drop-Off Package: Cost: $25 for first child.  Siblings $18
That includes three hours of play, food, juice box and an anti-cranky snack. 
Open play is $7 and $3.50 for siblings. 

Saturday/Sunday:  Round Lake Arts & Crafts Festival.  This major crafts fest takes place in the heart of Round Lake.  This is a large craft fair with fantastic vendors and typically a good deal of kids items.  There are plenty of shady spots in the park too if you get there early.  The hours are Saturday from 9am-5pm and Sunday from 10am-4:30pm.  I would suggest getting there early for the best chance at parking close.  There is parking near the fair, but it's often easier to park in the Malta Mall shopping center and take the shuttle bus to the fair. 

Saratoga Polo
Guest blogger and local mama Christine Rudnick shares about her experience at Saratoga Polo. 

The Saratoga Polo Association is welcoming a new audience to the game of Polo.  I couldn’t resist wanting in on the action.  Our family made it a priority to get to a match this summer.  The match did not disappoint and the experience was priceless.

My husband, 3 ½ year old son, 2 year old daughter, my in-laws and I arrived at the Saratoga Polo fields, behind the Saratoga Hospital, at 5pm on Sunday.  At the gravel drive we purchased our general admission ticket to tailgate, braving the threat of storm, were assured that we’d be compensated if the game was called before the 4th chukker (don’t chuckle, it’s a period in polo).  They also threw in a frisbee as they moved the game time up to assure getting the game in.  The parking attendant, security, photographer, and dip contest judges were all friendly, inviting, and a resource of knowledge.  They all wanted to know if we were enjoying ourselves and made sure to invite us to trophy ceremony after the 6th Chukker. 

We settled in on our tailgate, blanket, and chairs and opened our moveable feast just as the 8 players and ponies took the field.  First off, a ball knocked (flew!) over the sideboards and rolled to my feet (It’s yours to keep)!  For the next 2 hours we shared as close spectators to this fast sport, the casual atmosphere of getting to know “the neighbors”, and walks to the trailers to see the ponies.  After the 3rd Chukker everyone in attendance is invited onto the field to replace the divots. Not only is this a big hit with the children but it allowed all of us to get up and interact with the game!  At the close of the evening we stood front row to the trophy ceremony, mingled with the players, and had the SPA match ball signed.

The polo match is must do outing for our active families.  Everyone left the field smiling and we were home in time to the put the children to sleep.  We vow to learn more about the sport but promise to clear our schedule for another match before the end of the season.  See you on the field!

Matches are every Friday and Sunday evening through Labor Day beginning at 5:30 pm.
Gates open at 4 pm. 
Admission to the Clubhouse: $25 a person, Children under 12 free
Admission to tailgate: $25 per vehicle

I'm having trouble planning for fall because I don't want summer to end!  Registration is open for just about all Fall activities and I'm sure spots are filling fast.  Here is an overview of some sports options for the fall.  If I'm missing anything, please leave a comment here to help others!  The green text links to the registration info.   Game on!

Fall 2011 SWSC Rec Soccer Program At Gavin Park - Outdoor
Pre-K to 6th Grade
Session: - 7-weeks Saturday September 10th to Saturday October 29th
Days & Times: Saturdays 9:00-10:00 AM  &  Wednesdays 5:30-6:30 PM
at Gavin Park
Format: Skills Training 25% and Game Play 75% - small sided for a lot of touches & goals
Cost:  $55 Wilton Residents and active SWSC Members$65 Saratoga School District$75 Others
If you have any questions or comments, please email or call Dennis Ward 424-1233.

SoccerTots Indoor Soccer in Malta
8 week sessions, ages 18mos - 6y/o.  SoccerTots is a motor skills development program that offers soccer classes for children 18 months to 6 years old. SoccerTots is non-competitive, and is not affiliated with a soccer club or league.  They will give you a trial class too if you are interested.

City of Saratoga Springs Recreation Soccer Program plays at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway (Racino).  Open to kids Pre-K and up. They charge quite a bit more for out of district residents, but an option nonetheless.  Register here

Ballston Area Recreation Committee offers tons of sports throughout the year; everything from T-ball and basketball to swim team and ski trips.  Kids must be entering or currently in Kindergarten to participate. 

Learn to Swim programs at Ballston Spa High School
- For children K-6.  Starts on October 1st.  Cost is $35 for BSpa residents and $50 for non.  Still way cheaper than the YMCA. 

Saratoga YMCA has lots of activities including Swim Classes, music & movement, parents night out events and lots more.  Fall Session I starts September 12th.  Registration open now. 

Malta Community Center also offers lots for kids of all ages.  Dance classes, yoga, martial arts, soccer and basketball to name a few.  Registration is open and most classes begin in mid-September.