Stuff to do with kids on Thanksgiving weekend


Learn the truth behind the 3 Little Pigs this weekend at Hudson Opera House.

By Katie Beltramo

Sure, Thanksgiving is great for spending time at home with family, friends, and food. But if you've got kids in the house (your own or guests or both), chances are pretty good that they'll be climbing the walls with energy to burn Friday morning.

Since I'm always on the lookout for family fun activities for my blog, Capital District Fun, the AOA editors asked me to look around for some good stuff going on this weekend.

Here are a few ideas...

Jump-start the season with some serious holiday cheer

+ Check out Schenectady County Historical Society's Festival of Trees or the North Country Festival of Trees in Glens Falls.

+ Drive through the the Capital Lights in Washington Park, beginning at 6 pm each evening. $15 per car. More for vans/limos

+ White Christmas, the musical based on the Bing Crosby movie, is at Proctor's. It's billed as appropriate for all ages. Evening shows at 8 pm & matinees at 2 pm.

Enjoy fun for the whole family while you get some gift shopping done

+ The Albany Institute of History & Art has a Free Thanksgiving Weekend and Holiday Gift Fair from Friday through Sunday. Storytelling and art making in the afternoon, free admission to the exhibits, and more than 50 vendors selling their wares.

+ From 11 am to 6 pm on Friday at the Albany Art Room, you can get 10% off open studio and in the shop by printing a coupon from their website. There's also hands-on participation in artwork, one If Kids Could Build What They Imagine, which involves tracks and marbles-bring your own cars to drive, as well as sculptures for kids to help paint. It's likely to get busy, so I'd recommend that you call to reserve a time for open studio.

+ The Schenectady Museum has a terrific gift shop, several special programs including a 'Tis the Season Planetarium Show (admission +$4), and on Saturday there's a free Telescope Workshop for folks who are considering purchasing one and need some guidance.

Embrace nature before it becomes frigid

+ Five Rivers has special programs on woodpeckers and deer on Saturday, and the nature center is always a hit with kids.

+ Albany Pine Bush has a different activity each day and plenty to see inside as well as out.

+ Both Thacher and Moreau Lake are having Wreath Making Workshops on Saturday. This is geared for grown-ups, but kids can tramp around outside while one of the grown-ups is getting crafty. Pre-register for workshops, though. If you go to Moreau, check out the newly-renovated Warming Hut.

+ Work off some of those calories with ice skating. A few rinks that have public skate times this weekend are:
Albany County Hockey Facility (near the airport)
Clifton Park Ice Arena
Union College Messa Rink

Favorites that are great for mixed age groups:

+ The New York State Museum has plenty that's interesting for grown-ups and kids, plus they're having a special Sesame Street Celebration this weekend. Free.

+ The Empire State Aerosciences Museum is an often-overlooked treasure that will delight both your toddler and Grandpa! ($5-$8, under 6 Free).

+ Tree Paad Fun Center in Malta has fun spaces for teensy kids and laser tag for the cool big kids, too.

Take a Drive for more family adventures.

+ The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown has their special Thanksgiving at the Farm program from 10 am to 4 pm on Friday and Saturday.

+ At 10 am and noon on Saturday, the Hudson Opera House is presenting family performances of the True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Paul Mesner Puppets at John L. Edwards School in Hudson. $10/adult, $5/kid.

+ Go on the super-fun Mountain Coaster at Jiminy Peak.

That's what we've come up with. Got other suggestions? We'd love to hear them.
Oh, and yes, clearly, you're going to need an extra piece of pie to get through all this activity.

Thanks to Jeni for the question, and for help with the answers!

The Albany Institute does advertise on AOA. The Albany Art Room has advertised classes on AOA in the past.


Thanks. These family friendly recommendations are just my speed.

Thanks for the great ideas! Just a heads up...Hannaford is allowing you to buy advance tickets to the light show in Washington park. They are charging $10 instead of the $15 per car when you purchase at the park.

Cheri, you're right that there's a discount, but the site also says that the $5 off is for Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays. I'm not sure how strict they are about it, though.

Swinburne is open for skating in the City of Albany! We're heading there at 3 today. Here's a link to their website -- it might not be updated with any applicable changes for this year, but the phone number works, I called it:

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