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Winter 2020 Family Activities in New York’s Capital Region

Happy New Year! As we kick off 2020, keep busy with these enjoyable, low-cost winter 2020 family activities in New York’s Capital Region that take place from January through March 2020.

Empire “Skate” Plaza
Open Daily 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. (closed for maintenance 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Saturdays | Free Rental Day (Courtesy of Hannaford Supermarkets)
Saturday, January 4, 2020 | Learn to Skate Clinic (10 a.m. & 11 a.m.)
Saturday, February 1, 2020 | Learn to Skate Clinic (10 a.m. & 11 a.m.)
Saturday, March 7, 2020 | Learn to Skate Clinic (10 a.m. & 11 a.m.)
Empire State Plaza Ice Rink, Empire State Plaza Albany, NY 12210

Head over to the State Capitol for some ice skating! Skating is free. Don’t have skates? Rentals are available for $3 for children and $4 for adults (anyone over age 12). Take a look at the schedule above for free rental days and a line-up of instructional clinics. Note, the rink may be closed if the weather gets too warm, so check out Empire State Plaza’s website for more information.

Story Art at the New York State Museum
Thursday, January 9, 2020 | 11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Thursday, February 6, 2020 | 11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Thursday, March 5, 2020 | 11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
New York State Museum, 222 Madison Avenue Albany, NY 12230

This program is great for toddlers and preschoolers, and it is free to attend. Tickets for Story Art can be picked up at the front desk of the museum. Here is more information.

Albany Figure Skating Club Open House
Saturday, January 4, 2020 | 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Bethlehem YMCA, 900 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054

Did you know that January is National Skating Month? Celebrate with the Albany Figure Skating Club as they host an open house to give mini-lessons and answer questions about their Learn to Skate program. Admission is free and skate rentals are available. Here is more information about the Albany Figure Skating Club.

NYS Great Places and Spaces
Saturday, January 11, 2020 | 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
New York State Museum, 222 Madison Avenue Albany, NY 12230

The New York State Museum is hosting a series of events to ‘celebrate what’s great in New York State!’ Visit their website for a full list of events. The museum is free to attend for all.

Free Admission Day: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, January 20, 2020 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Albany Institute of History & Art, 125 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12210

On this day, enjoy free admission. There will also be a special program in the art studio from 10 am – 4:30 p.m. Here is more information.

Sense-Able Science at miSci
Friday, January 24, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
15 Nott Terrace Heights
Schenectady, NY 12308

Children (3-12) $8. Adults (13+) $12. Seniors (65+) $10. Please call the Autism Society to reserve your tickets (518) 355-2191

miSci will offer a sensory-friendly experience for families to visit the museum with a loved one with autism. The museum will open early at 10:00 a.m. Visitors are welcome to stay longer when the museum officially opens at 12:00 p.m. Staff at miSci have received training by the Autism Society. Visual support will be available at the museum to help participants enjoy the exhibits, and social narratives are available on the miSci website to help families be prepared for their miSci experience. Here is more information.

Grafton Lakes’ 35th Annual Winter Fest
Saturday, January 25, 2020 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
100 Grafton Lakes State Park Way, Grafton, NY 12082

This free festival is fun for the whole family! Activities will include kid games indoors and outdoors, crafts, live animal presenters, the Polar Plunge, snowshoeing and so much more! Here is more information on the event.

Clifton Park Winterfest
Saturday, February 15, 2020 | 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Free Admission
Clifton Park, NY 12065 (various locations)

Each year, the Town of Clifton Park hosts its annual Winterfest. Events include Taste of Clifton Park Best Soup Contest, Clifton Park Idol singing competition, Clifton Park Community Chorus performance, face painting and more. Some highlights include:

  • Taste of Clifton Park Best Soup Contest
  • Clifton Park Idol Singing Competition
  • Clifton Park Community Chorus Performance
  • Face Painting & More

Here is more information.

Rock and Fossil Fun Fair
Saturday, February 15 – Sunday February 16, 2020 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
New York State Museum, 222 Madison Avenue Albany, NY 12230

This fourth annual family-friendly event gives you a chance to have fun with science with ten science activities, face painting, balloon animals, and prizes. Here is more information.

Free Admission Day: President’s Day
Monday, February 17, 2020 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Albany Institute of History & Art, 125 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12210

On this day, enjoy free admission. There will also be a special program in the art studio from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Here is more information.

Five Rivers – Family Fun Program
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 | 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054

Adults (parent, grandparent, or guardian) and children (ages 2-4) together will take part in exploring the natural world during different seasons of the year. Each 1-hour session will begin with the sharing of a storybook on a nature topic. Participants will take part in an outdoor activity that is suggested by the book. After their guided walk, they will return indoors to take part in a craft or take-home project. Here is their full event calendar.

Palace Theater Movie Series: Frozen
Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 1 p.m.
19 Clinton Ave, Albany, NY 12207

It’s Family Fun Day at the Palace Theater! Tickets are $5 each with free popcorn for children ages 12 and under. There are pre-film games and activities followed by a showing of Frozen. Here is more information.

Social Saturdays at The Wonder Room
Open Play | Saturday, January 4, 2020 | 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Open Play | Saturday, January 11, 2020 | 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Open Play | Saturday, February 15, 2020 | 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Open Play | Saturday, February 22, 2020 | 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
896 Saratoga Road (Route 50)
Ballston Lake, NY 12019
518-602-0237

The Wonder Room is an early childhood learning center that encourages experiential learning in a play-based setting. Two Saturdays per month the Wonder Room has drop-in hours for children who are 18 months or older. The cost is $7/child. Any accompanying adults and babies are FREE. Here is more information.

Chowderfest 2020 in Saratoga Springs
Saturday, Feb 1, 2020 | All-day

Part of Winterfest, Chowderfest is one of the area’s most highly anticipated events of the year and the perfect activity for a cold winter’s day. Stroll through downtown Saratoga and purchase a $1 cup (3 oz. serving) of chowder from as many participating establishments as you’d like. Some restaurants will be offering classic varieties, while some may be serving original, unique concoctions. Over 80 vendors participate, including Saratoga County’s best restaurants and caterers. After you’ve enjoyed sample after sample of delicious, warm chowder, vote for your favorite!

Join us for a day of live music, family-friendly activities and, of course, a wide variety of chowders! Here is more information.

Some highlights include:

  • Taste of Clifton Park Best Soup Contest
  • Clifton Park Idol Singing Competition
  • Clifton Park Community Chorus Performance
  • Face Painting & More

Superhero Dance Party
Saturday, Feb 29, 2020 | 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Gurtler Brothers VFW
190 Excelsior Ave
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Her Royal Treatment Parties, LLC is hosting a children’s event called the Superhero’s Dance Party. The event is for both boys and girls and will take place at the Gurtler Brothers VFW in Saratoga Springs on Feb. 29 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. They will have a live DJ who will get all the little ones moving and shaking, Superhero Meet & Greets, photo booth & souvenirs photo, and face painting. There will be pizza, treats, and beverages for purchase. Children are encouraged to dress in their favorite Superhero attire as there will be a lot of photo opportunities. Here is more information.

Don’t forget to check out your local library during the holiday break as there are occasional free activities and programs for young children there as well.

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