Items tagged with 'stufftodo'

Stuff to do this weekend -- and the next, and the one after that, and the one after that...

stuff to do forever composite

More than 500 weekends worth of proof that the Capital Region is anything but dull.

One of the perks of producing AOA has been that it was our job to know about interesting events happening in and around the Capital Region. And there's a lot.

In fact, most weeks we were overwhelmed with the amount and the variety of things to do around the area. And for roughly 545 posts over the years, it has been our pleasure to share all the music, art, theater, tours, talks, films, fundraisers, festivals and more that go on each weekend. (And ,for that matter, also during the week.)

Many of you have told us that you looked forward to these posts, that they've helped you make plans and create memories. That makes us so happy. But it also makes us sad that we won't be around to help.

So here's a kit -- a sort of DIY guide -- for finding fun stuff to do on your Capital Region weekends.

We hope you find it useful. And, as always, if there's something you like to do that didn't make our list, please add to it in the comment section so everyone can benefit.

Thanks for trusting us to help with your plans, and may all of your weekends be fantastic weekends!

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Stuff to do this weekend

It's a Wonderful Life -still.jpeg

"Every time a bell rings..."

This weekend starts off with the winter solstice. Yes, the daylight will be short -- but there are twinkle lights and hot cocoa and a whole weekend of fun stuff to do on the horizon.

After the jump, we've put together a list of goings-on to help make your weekend merry and bright. Planning something you don't see here? It's the season of sharing, so drop it in the comment section and let the rest of us know about it.

And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend!

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The week ahead

WVL Radio It's A Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life: Live From WVL Radio Theatre -- a stage adaptation/radio play of It's a Wonderful Life -- is at Proctors this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (wintry and then not), to holiday movies, to stories, to the stage, to hoops, to skating, to music...

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Heavy Metal: Cast Iron Stoves from the Capital Region at the Albany Institute

Albany Institute stoves

A peek at some of the stoves in the institute's collection from a bunch of years ago when we got a behind-the-scenes tour.

As you'd expect, the collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art has its fair share of art.

But it also has all sorts of other items -- clothing, furniture, documents, various local objects, even stoves. Yep, stoves.

Well, they're not just any stoves. They're intricately-designed and decorated cast iron stoves from the time when Albany and Troy were manufacturing centers for the hot items. And the institute is putting a bunch of them on display.

The exhibit Heavy Metal: Cast Iron Stoves from the Capital Region opens this Saturday. Blurbage:

During the nineteenth century, Albany and Troy, New York, manufacturers were considered to be among the largest producers of cast-iron stoves in the world. Stoves made in these cities were renowned for their fine-quality castings and innovations in technology and design. The strategic location of Albany and Troy, located nine miles apart on opposite banks of the Hudson River, afforded easy and inexpensive transportation of raw materials to the foundries, and finished stoves to worldwide markets.
Cast-iron stove making reached its highest artistic achievement and technological advancement between 1840 and 1870. Flask casting and the advent of the cupola furnace permitted more elaborate designs and finer-quality castings. Stove designers borrowed freely from architectural and cabinetmakers' design books, a process that resulted in the use of Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Rococo revival motifs, patriotic symbols, and lavish floral designs, all reflecting current taste and sentiment. Stoves were given romantic names like "Venetian Parlor," "Gothic Parlor," and "The Temple" to enhance their allure and help the buyer identify them when ordering from a catalogue.

The exhibit will be on display until next August. And the Albany Institute's Tammis Groft will be giving a talk about the exhibit February 24.

The Swinburne Skating Rink is open for the winter

Swinburne skating rink ice

The city of Albany's Swinburne Skating Rink is now open for the winter season.

The rink is in Swinburne Park (surprise) and it's covered, so it can operate in all weather. It's open for ice skating Monday-Sunday (see the schedule below), and it also offers learn-to-skate, stick-and-puck, and hockey sessions.

Admission is $1 / 50 for under 18 / 25 cents for seniors. Skate rental is $3. Skate sharpening is $5. And the rink is available to rent for parties.

If you haven't been to the rink before, it's located just to the west of Bleecker Stadium. And if you're looking for a place park, there's a lot off 2nd Street. (That street runs one-way west, so the the closest cross to head up that block is Ontario.)

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Stuff to do this weekend

Santa Speedo Sprint

The Santa Speedo Sprint returns to Lark Street this weekend.

Thanks for tuning in. Cue the theme music for Stuff to Do This Weekend.

Coming up: Holiday music, scantily-clad Santas, Elf with all the popcorn you can eat, and much more. But first, a word from our sponsors.

And remember, if you're doing something exciting that's missing from our list, be sure to add it in the comment section. It's the season of sharing.

Whatever you're doing, be sure to bundle up, drink something warm, and have a fantastic weekend.

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First Day Hikes

One of the best ways to make winter more enjoyable is to actually get outside for some sort of activity. And here's an opportunity to do so...

A bunch of New York State parks, wildlife areas, and historic sites are hosting "First Day Hikes" on January 1. "Staff from State Parks and DEC, along with volunteers at many sites, will lead these family-friendly walks and hikes, which range from one to five miles depending on the location and conditions."

That's a State Parks map of the various sites offering First Day Hikes. They activities are free, but some of them require pre-registration.

Here's a quick overview of the hikes at sites around the immediate Capital Region...

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Trey Anastasio's new band Ghosts of the Forest is playing The Palace

trey anastasio 2018

A new band headed up by Trey Anastasio -- Ghosts of the Forest -- is set to play The Palace April 9. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, December 15 -- they're $45 and up. (There's also a presale that starts December 12.)

Ghosts of the Forest includes Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Jennifer Hartswick, Celisse Henderson, Tony Markellis, and Ray Paczkowski. The Palace show is one of seven the band is group in April.

And, of course, Anastasio was just recently in town for two shows at TU Center with Phish.

photo via Trey Anastasio's website

Tedeschi Trucks Band back at SPAC

tedeschi trucks band

The Tedeschi Trucks Band will be back at SPAC July 14. Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 14 -- they're $19.50 and up. (There's also a lawn seat four pack for $60.)

The lineup also includes Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope.

This will be four summers in a row that Tedeschi Trucks Band is playing at SPAC. So, presumably, people keep showing up and in not-small numbers. That's another way of saying that if you want your pick of tickets, it's probably not a bad idea to get them sooner rather than later.

SPAC lawn season pass
A reminder that Live Nation's SPAC lawn seat season passes for pop shows are now on sale for the upcoming season. The passes include access to shows, including sold-out shows, as well priority entry and complimentary lawn chair rental. The passes are $299 (plus fees) and will be on sale from December 4-December 18.

Lawn tickets at SPAC tend to be in the $25-$35 range (with some exceptions, see above). So if you think you might go to 10 (or so) shows next season, it could be worth it.

photo: Mark Seliger

The week ahead

The Rep Miss Bennet Christmas at Pemberley

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley continues at The Rep. / phot via Capital Repertory Theatre Facebook

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (sunny ), to Muppets, to the stage, to marijuana, to stories, to skating, to music...

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Albany Archives at APL: Local history of Christmas cards and Santa

Pease Christmas Card

That first printed Christmas card. / image courtesy of Manchester Metropolitan University

The first Christmas card printed in the United State was printed in Albany.

It's true. It was printed at 516 Broadway -- "The Temple of Fancy" -- in 1851.

Matt Malette -- Mr. Albany Archives -- will be at the Albany Public Library's Washington Ave Branch December 19 talk to talk about that bit of local holiday history. He'll also be taking up the Troy roots of the famous poem "A Visit From Saint Nicholas," which was first published in the Troy Sentinel, and other other local Santa historical whatnot.

The talk is Wednesday, December 19 at 6:30 pm in the branch's large auditorium (if you enter through the front door, keep walking toward the back of the library). It's free.

The 2019 MLK Day celebration at the ESP will include Rashad Jennings and Lillias White


Martin Luther King Jr. delivering a speech in New York City in 1962 commemorate the 100th anniversary of the issuance of Abraham Lincoln’s Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. The State Museum has the audio of the speech -- the only known copy -- posted online. / photo: NYS Archives

The Empire State Plaza will again host a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is January 21 this time around.

The 2019 event will include a keynote speech by Rashad Jennings, the former NFL running back and Dancing With the Stars winner who's become a motivational speaker, author, and philanthropist. And it will feature a performance by Tony-winning Broadway vocalist Lillias White.

The celebration is Monday, January 21 in the ESP Convention Center. A volunteer fair starts at 9 am that day, and the program begins at 10 am. It's free.

Following the event at the ESP, the annual city of Albany Beloved Community March will stretch from the concourse entrance on Madison Ave to the King Monument in Lincoln Park for a wreath-laying ceremony. (There will also be a CDTA bus to transport people.) And the Albany City Hall carillon will play a concert at noon.

Dr. King Children's Essay & Fine Arts Exhibit
The state Education Department is again sponsoring an exhibition of student art inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. (Maybe you remember seeing the exhibit in the ESP concourse.) It's open to students enrolled in any K-12 program. And the deadline to enter is December 17.

AOA is a sponsor of events at the ESP.

Marijuana: Justice, Equity, Reinvestment at Albany Capital Center

drug policy alliance marijuana conference Albany Capital Center logo

A conference called Marijuana: Justice, Equity, Reinvestment will be at the Albany Capital Center December 11 and 12. It's backed by the New York office of the Drug Policy Alliance. Conference blurbage:

Creating a system to tax and regulate marijuana use by adults over the age of 21 is a sound economic investment for the state of New York. In the states with existing regulated markets, previously static economies have experienced a new small business boom coupled with technological advances that benefit a variety of industries. Additionally, legalization presents an opportunity for New York's agrarian community to foster the development of a new crop that is sustainable, resilient, and widely consumed. Similar to the rise of New York's craft wine and beer industries, a regulated marijuana market could also provide opportunities for small businesses in small towns across the state to cultivate a business model that is not reliant on access to large amounts of capital but is instead dependent on local resources as well as their own ingenuity and creativity.
The state of New York is well positioned to make a significant impact on the developmental trajectory of the nascent legal industry in a way that strongly favors diversity and inclusion. The history of marijuana prohibition in New York and lessons learned from other states have produced a wealth of information that can be used to preemptively address potential barriers to progress as the state transitions away from the failed experiment of prohibition.

That link above includes the conference schedule. The lineup includes all sorts of speakers: elected officials, advocates, academics, business owners, doctors.

It's free to attend, but registration is required.

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Stuff to do this weekend

How The Grinch Stole Christmas Musical on stage

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical is at Proctors. / photo:

Welcome to the weekend.

There's a lot going on and we know you're busy, so here's a list of events we thought you might like to check out.

Planning something you don't see here? Tell us about it in the comment section of this post.

And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend.

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Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon

Hilton Barn by rail trail 2018-October  v2

The first Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon is Saturday, April 13. The race is from Voorheesville to the riverfront in the city of Albany. Course blurbage:

The course is point-to-point, starting at Stephen P. Wallace (New Scotland Town) Park and finishing at Jennings Landing on the Hudson River. The first 2 miles are on the streets of Voorheesville. The next 9 miles are on the gently descending newly paved path of the Albany County Rail Trail. The final 2.1 miles follows the route of the soon to be completed rail trail connector to the Hudson River bike path.

The race is organized ARE Event Productions, which is involved with a bunch of other running events around the area.

Registration is open for the half marathon. The base level entry fee is currently $60 through December 31 and includes a t-shirt and post-race meal. (There are also "premium" and "VIP" registration levels that include more amenities.)

Mohawk Hudson River Marathon
While we're on the topic... Next year's Mohawk Hudson River Marathon is October 13 (corrected) The race starts in Schenectady and largely follows the Mohawk-Hudson bike path to Jennings Landing in Albany. (There's also a half marathon that starts in Colonie and finishes in the same spot.)

Registration is open for both the full ($95) and half marathons ($70).

The Albany Patroons return for another season

Albany Patroons dunk photo by Relentless Awareness

The new-again Albany Patroons will be back for a second season and the 2019 schedule is now out. Their home season at the Washington Ave Armory opens January 12. (The full home schedule is below.)

The Patroons play in a basketball league that's now know as... The Basketball League (TBL). Its inaugural season was last year as the North American Premier Basketball. And, as is typical for many minor leagues, the makeup of the league continues to shuffle. This year's league includes 10 teams spread around the country.

Last year the Patroons were runners up for the league championship to the venerable Yakima SunKings (CBA throwback).

The Patroons are coached by Derrick Rowland, who was a player for the team during its CBA heyday. And they're returning Edwin Ubiles, the former Siena star who was the TBL MVP last year.

Tickets for Patroons games this season are $15 for adults / $5 for kids. Season tickets are $95.

The regular season runs through April.

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Hootie & The Blowfish + Barenaked Ladies at SPAC (also there's a season lawn pass)

Hootie and the Blowfish

Hootie & The Blowfish. / photo: Todd and Chris Owyoung

The 90s live: Hootie & The Blowfish are set to play a show at SPAC August 4. And the opener is Barenaked Ladies. Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 7 -- they're $29.50 and up.

The band has a new album coming out -- its first studio album in almost 15 years -- and this will be its first tour in more than a decade. In that time frontman Darius Rucker has been pursuing a popular country music career.

And the Barenaked Ladies continue on. (Though without Steven Page.) They alsa have a new album planned for 2019.

SPAC Season Lawn Pass
Speaking of SPAC: Live Nation is offering a season pass for lawn seats at its pop music shows at SPAC for the upcoming season. The passes will access to shows, including sold-out shows, as well priority entry and complimentary lawn chair rental.

The passes are $299 (plus fees) and will be on sale from December 4-December 18.

Flipping through last season's shows, it looks like lawn tickets at SPAC tend to be about $25-$35. So if you think you might go to 10 (or so) shows next season, it could be worth it.

The week ahead

Aly Raisman Rio Olympics 2016 Agencia Brasil Fotografias CC

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman will be at UAlbany's SEFCU Arena for a talk about her career. / photo: Agência Brasil Fotografias via Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (not bad), to Hanukkah, to the Grinch, to the Nutcracker, to Kirsten Gillibrand, to comedy, to skating, to music...

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The skating rink at the ESP is open for the season

Empire State Plaza ice rink opening day 2018-11-30

It's true: The ice skating rink at the Empire State Plaza is now open for the season.

The rink -- located near The Egg on the Capitol end of the plaza -- opened late Friday afternoon, and there were a bunch of people taking a few spins. There's free skate rental through this whole opening weekend.

The operating schedule is seven days a week (weather permitting) from noon-8 pm, closed daily from 3:30-4:30 pm for maintenance.

Skate rental is $4 for adults / $3 for kids 12 and under. A photo ID is required to rent skates. And this season free skate rental day is Saturday (it's been Friday in the past).

There's no fee to skate.

The rink also hosts a series of free learn-to-skate clinics. They usually fill up fast, so register for a spot early if you're interested.

One of favorite times to skate is mid week in the evenings, when the crowds tend to be smaller. Heading over to skate for a half hour or so and then going for dinner someplace downtown makes for a better-than-average Tuesday or Wednesday.

AOA is a sponsor of the ESP ice skating rink.

Youth FX has an event coming up to celebrate its 10th anniversary

The award-winning Youth FX program in Albany has a 10th anniversary party/fundraiser December 14 at the Opalka Gallery on the Sage Albany campus. Blurbage:

As we chart a course for the next decade, we need YOUR support. Please join us on Friday December 14th at Opalka Gallery** for a festive evening as we celebrate the young people in our community who have found or amplified their voices through Youth FX programs. This celebration will feature food and drinks from local restaurants, special exclusive screenings of new work by Youth FX filmmakers, speakers and music by DJ Trumaster and DJ Intell Hayesfield.
All proceeds from this fundraiser will go directly to supporting our FREE programming that reaches over 500 young people each year in the City of Albany.

YouthFX helps young people in Albany learn digital media skills and tell stories. And they've produced some impressive work which has screened at film festivals and won awards. And 10 years on, some of the alumni of the program have become media professionals and are working in the industry.

Earlier this year Youth FX got a space of its own on Warren Street, with room for production, equipment, instruction, and events.

The Youth FX fundraiser is Friday, December 14 from 7-10 pm at the Opalka Gallery. Tickets are $75 / $35 for people 35 years old and younger -- and available online (see the link at the top).

Earlier: Hey there, Bhawin Suchak, YouthFX program director (2014)

Capital Hills in the winter

Capital Hills tree late day sun

We stopped by Capital Hills in Albany to walk for a few minutes today.

The city's municipal golf course is closed for golf for the season -- which means it's now open for walking, dogs, sledding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and other winter outdoor fun.

The course is a beautiful tract of hilly acres alongside the Normans Kill on the city's southwest edge. And it's fun to explore the various trails during the winter months. Be sure sometime to check out the old course that sits in the center of the front nine -- it's so serene after a blanket of snow.

Capital Hills is a dog wonderland during the winter, where they can trot around off leash and play with other dogs. It's a wonderful amenity, but please be responsible about it. That means making sure your pup will be polite with other dogs and people. And, yep, you've gotta pick the up the poop.

See also: It's winter. Your dog has pooped. What now?

Winter cornhole league at Fort Orange Brewing

Fort Orange Brewing cornhole

Fort Orange Brewing in Albany is continuing its popular cornhole league this winter, and registration is now open.

It's $25 per team for the 10-week season. The league plays Wednesday nights starting December 5. And there's a tournament to end the season. The top teams get a cash prize.

January and February can be rough because of the weather here. So having a good excuse to get out of the house, meet up with friends, and do something can be a big help.

Fort Orange Brewing advertises on AOA.

Stuff to do this weekend

snowman costume Troy Victorian stroll

'Tis the season to go strolling -- there are holiday strolls in Saratoga Springs, Troy, and Hudson the next few days.

And just like that, we're in the midst of the holiday season -- when people start to use words like 'tis and mirth and deck is something you do to halls.

On this weekend's list of stuff to do: tree lightings, Victorian strolls, enchanted nutcrackers, and more.

We've pulled together a few holiday and non-holiday type happenings we thought you might enjoy. Doing something you don't see here? It's the season of sharing, so tell us about your plans in the comment section of this post.

And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend!

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Dead & Company is back at SPAC next summer

Dead and Company 2018 by Danny Clinch

They're already decorating for summer concert season and it's not even Christmas, yet...

Dead & Company is returning for another show at SPAC June 18. Tickets go on sale December 8 -- they're $49.50 and up.

There's also some sort of fan pre-registration that's supposed to make it easier for real people -- instead of ticket-buying bots -- to score tickets. (Because the modern world.) Registration for that closes this Saturday, December 1.

Dead & Company is the Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and Bob Weir, joined by John Mayer, and with Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti. They've made stops in this area each year since getting together in 2015, including the last three summers at SPAC.

Also already announced for next summer at SPAC
+ July 26: Train / The Goo Goo Dolls (on sale now)

+ August 24: KISS (on sale December 3)

photo: Danny Clinch

DIY photography, and documenting Troy

Talented local photographer Patrick Dodson has two different classes coming up at the Arts Center of the Capital Region that could be interesting and fun -- and registration is now open:

March 3: DIY Photography
"Have you ever wanted to take on photography but don't have the budget for the latest and greatest gear? Learn some easy do-it-yourself tips and tricks to give your images a more professional look. This class will use supplies easily purchased from your local crafts store to modify light and add artistic elements to your photos. A DSLR camera is encouraged but this class can be taken using only a smartphone camera."

March 16-30: Explore Troy: Documentary Photography
"Explore and enjoy Troy! You will learn the basics of documentary photography and building a story. You will learn from award winning examples of visual storytelling and then work together to create a 'zine' of downtown Troy, telling the story of the people and shops that make the city unique." (It's three sessions on Saturdays.)

See the links for registration info.

More classes
As you probably know, the Arts Center offers all sorts of classes -- from dance to digital art to jewelry making to painting to pottery to writing (and many things in between).

The Scoop

For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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