Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ellis Hollow old fashioned country fair, Sept 12, noon-5 - UPDATE: IT'S ON, Rain or shine!

A 10:30am Saturday update from the folks at Ellis Hollow: We are a go today for the fair! Rain or shine! Bring your friends, your kind selves, and your rain coat!!! See you at the fair!!
It's almost time for the Ellis Hollow Fair! This year marks the 63rd annual old-fashion country fair in the heart of the East Ithaca neighborhood of Ellis Hollow. Free and open to the public, the fair is full of kids games, face painting, dunking booth, music, hayrides, SPCA animals and lots of other family friendly entertainment. 
 And did I mention the food? There's hot buttered corn on the cob, chicken barbeque, ice cream, doughnuts, cotton candy, and everyone's favorite: HOMEMADE PIE!

There's also tons of stuff to buy! There's a quilt raffle and a silent auction, plant and book sales, and every child's dream: the white elephant sale, where you can take home an armful of toys for a buck or two! (plus a coffee maker, yarn, skis and a nice chair for the sunroom).

It's super fun and admission is free! 
Saturday, September 12, from 12-5. 
(Rain date Sept 13)
See you at the fair!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Kiddstuff is in full swing at the Hangar Theatre

The Hangar Theatre has opened this season's Kiddstuff productions with the adorably fun "The Emperor's New Clothes." Bookish Marcus the Third is worried he will never be taken seriously as an Emperor, as he is not brave or strong, not to mention that he's a  young teenager. His loyal advisors think maybe dressing the part will help his credibility, while a con artist plans to take advantage of his insecurity. Perhaps Marcus could be a good leader if he could listen to his heart and his friends.

Full of music, fun and lots of imaginative "dress-up," The Emperor's New Clothes was a great kickoff to the Hangar Kiddstuff season. The Kiddstuff productions are always incredibly well acted and directed and make for an excellent introduction to lifelong theatre appreciation. Like Emperor, the productions are all around an hour long (or less!), and engrossing for even squirmy toddlers. On top of that, audience participation is often encouraged, making for an interactive theatre experience kids remember for years to come.

After seeing The Emperor's New Clothes, my kiddos and I are pumped for the rest of the season's offerings. My son is especially excited for Stuart Little, while my daughter is pumped for Bye Bye Birdie.

Hangar Kiddstuff tickets are just $9 each. Tickets can be purchased online at the Hangar Box office, or by calling 607.273.8588.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Parents turn into children in God of Carnage, playing at the Hangar Theatre

Last Friday I had the pleasure to attend opening night of the Hangar Theatre's first play of their 2015 season, God of Carnage, by Yasmina Renza, translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Steve Pacek.

Winner of the 2009 Tony award for best play, God of Carnage, starts out as an uptight, polite conversation between two sets of parents. Their sons had had an altercation on the playground, and the parents felt it necessary to meet. Refined conversation quickly devolves into a hilariously uncivilized situation that had the audience roaring with laughter. All four cast members, Hillary Parker; Amy Tribbey; Brendan Powers and William Langanare are remarkably talented, and I especially enjoyed Tribbey as the benevolent, endlessly tidy Veronica. While God of Carnage is definitely not a show for kids, (it contains strong adult language and mature themes), it is definitely a show parents can relate to. God of Carnage is playing this Sunday afternoon and next Saturday afternoon, as well as and every night through June 20.

Also opening this week, the first show of Hangar's fantastic Kiddstuff series, The Emperor's New Clothes. More info on the Kiddstuff shows can be found in my last blog post here.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hangar Kiddstuff 2015 is coming!

Are you itching for some awesome summer theatre for kids? Hangar's got your back! It's time for Kiddstuff shows at the Hangar Theatre! Every summer, Hangar produces high quality, energetic, super-fun plays for children (and their adults) to enjoy. The shows are all one-act (no intermission) around an hour long, so even squirmiest preschoolers will stay riveted. All shows are Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am and noon.
You can subscribe now to the entire season to get reserved premium seats, exchange privileges, discounts, and more! A subscription is just $34 for all five shows! To learn more, go to

If show-by-show is more your speed, all tickets are just $9 each. Tickets can be purchased online at the Hangar Box office, or by calling 607.273.8588.

On top of the Kiddstuff shows, Hangar will also present two mainstage shows that may be especially interesting for parents. "The Hound of Baskervilles" is a mystery comedy appropriate for older kids as well as adults, and "God of Carnage", a hilarious comedy about parents meeting to discuss a playground altercation between their children.

Details of the 2015 Kiddstuff season:
June 18 - 20  
Marcus the Third has just been crowned the new Emperor, but how can he possibly run an empire when he’s only 14 years old?! Dressing the part might do the trick!  After purchasing the most fashionable (and magical) royal wardrobe money can buy, Marcus finds himself at the center of a terrible prank.  This musical version of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale reminds us to be true to ourselves.
July 2-4   
Stuart Little is an extraordinary mouse born into an ordinary New York City family.  Through a series of adventures - a boat race in Central Park, a drive in a gasoline-powered model car and a chase to find his best friend, Stuart Little expertly navigates the challenges of being a small mouse in a big world. Join Stuart on a journey that won't soon be forgotten!

July 9 - 11    
Unable to fall asleep at grandmother’s house, Bridget and Stephen take to acting out their favorite fairy tale. As their imaginations take over it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is make believe. See what happens when they find themselves in the deep dark woods with the big bad wolf! This musical adaptation of Little Red Riding hood brings a whole new meaning to ‘storytime’.
July 23 - 25   
Follow the adventures of Wilbur, a pig with a problem and Charlotte, a spider with an incredible talent. This unlikely duo work together to help Wilbur avoid becoming pork chops. Charlotte weaves a solution which not only makes Wilbur a prize pig, but ensures his place on the farm forever. This treasured tale, featuring mad-cap and endearing farm animals, explores bravery, selfless love, and the true meaning of friendship.

August 6-8   
The year is 1958, and the much-adored rock-and-roll idol, Conrad Birdie, is about to join the ranks of the US Army. Birdie will perform one last publicity stunt, before he ships out: giving one lucky fan a kiss. This musical theatre classic is tops in imagination and good old-fashioned fun!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

$1 movies at Ithaca's Regal Cinema all summer!

Regal Cinemas has announced they will again be offering $1 movies all summer long!

Beginning June 30, Regal will offer children's movies every Tuesday and Wednesday for 9 weeks this summer, Regal Cinemas will show a PG or G-rated movie at 10 a.m. Both movies play both days. Admission is just $1 for everyone.

Regal Ithaca Mall Stadium 14 Schedule
Week 1
Tue June 30 Nut Job
Wed July 1 Annie

Week 2
Tue July 7 Earth to Echo
Wed July 8 Boxtrolls

Week 3
Tue July 14 Paddington
Wed July 15 Turbo

Week 4
Tue July 21 Rio 2
Wed July 22 How To Train Your Dragon 2

Week 5
Tue July 28 Mr. Peabody
Wed July 29 Book of Life

Week 6
Tue August 4 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Wed August 5 Penguins of Madagascar

Week 7
Tue August 11 Wed August 12 Dolphin Tale 2, Madagascar 3

Week 8
Tue August 18
Wed August 19
Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Muppets, Most Wanted

Week 9
Tue August 25
Wed August 26
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, The Lego Movie

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Craftstitute - a new school of the handcrafts

The following is a guest post by Robin Tilling, one of the minds behind the new school of the handicrafts, the Craftstitute. Robin is a maker, a doer, and a creative spirit passionate about sharing, teaching and appreciating the hand made. I'm incredibly excited about her new school. You read another post of Robin's here.

It began as a conversation on a Friday afternoon in January. Knitting Etc, where I had worked for the last nine months, had announced it was closing and Lisa wanted to discuss the state of the yarn retail market.

From the beginning it was clear that what both of us had loved about the store was the sense of community, of commonality that was shared by all who entered the store. That was the magic. I saw the store closing as a cosmic kick in the rear. It was time for me to pursue the vision that was always lingering in the back of my mind, a school of the handcrafts, where artisans and community members share their skills, where people learn not just a new craft, but of the work and time behind a body of knowledge that creates lovely items.

Lisa immediately got the vision. She spent some time ruminating. A few days later I texted her that I was going to see a space, did she want to tag along? 

And just like that, Craftstitute was born.
There is a lot of hard work and agonizing that happens when starting a new business, particularly one with no clear set of rules and not many examples to follow. We had our guiding principles, that we were acting as partners with the creative community. That the classes had to be both affordable, yet priced to pay instructors fairly for their time - both actual teaching time and the preparatory work that goes into a good class or workshop. That we wanted a space that was welcoming and soothing - uncluttered to free up creative juices - and we wanted classes and workshops that were both traditional and novel. We also wanted to offer all this up to an underserved market - adults and teenagers.  

The name too was almost a cosmic offering.  
"I keep thinking Craft Institute," I texted a friend.
"What about Craftstitute?" She wrote back. "Or does that sound too much like prostitute?"

Initially, I was dubious, but in that strange way that things work out, the dot com was available, as were all the social media handles, which I've been told is a big deal. We jumped in and had Lisa St. John of the St. John Design Group create our logo and website. Working with a professional, especially one so talented, was a fantastic experience and money well spent. Once the website went live, we sighed. Chapter one was complete. We had built our school.
cleaning products class 3.jpg

The first classes have proven us correct in surmising that people are hankering for a place where they can connect, create, and learn. From knitting and Zentangle to bookbinding and making natural home cleaning products, we are seeing that people are excited to learn new skills with others. At the Pysanky Egg Dyeing class, a father shared with his son (and the table at large) that he had done just this kind of egg decoration with his grandparents and those were special memories for him.

zentangle 3.jpg
Parents often forget that they need to carve time out for themselves. The Zentangle class was a wonderful illustration of what happens when we give ourselves the gift of a couple of hours of creative time. No one who attended Julia Gray's class considered drawing part of their skill set, yet we all went home after and sat down with our children to draw and talk and create. There is magic in that.

By far, my favorite part of this has been the unexpected moments of laughter that pop up whenever you get people together doing something that pushes them outside of their comfort zone. Being creative is like that - there is experimentation and mistakes and happy moments of things going really well. Life is like that too. Sometimes we just need a reminder.

Craftstitute has a bunch of classes scheduled for the spring - metalsmithing (make earrings!), knitting, sewing, bookbinding, up cycling t-shirts into yarn, block printing on both paper and fabric, natural dyeing, painted Floorcloths. You can find out more at You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as Craftstitute.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Kindergarten Registration


If your child will be entering Kindergarten in the fall, you need to register at your elementary school. Registration requires paperwork, but is pretty fun for the child.

Belle Sherman (274-2206): May 26 and 29
Beverly J. Martin (274-2209): May 15 and 22
Caroline (539-7155): May 21 and 27
Cayuga Heights (257-8557): June 11, 12, and 15
Enfield (274-2221): May 8 and 15 (11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. only)
Fall Creek (274-2214): May 12
Northeast (257-2121): May 11, 15 and 18
South Hill (274-2129): April 23, 30 and May 7
If you are not sure which school is your home school, call 274-2201.

Parents/guardians who have not already been contacted by the school should call their school to set up an appointment to register their child for kindergarten.
Parents/guardians should have the following information at the time they register their child for kindergarten:
 Proof of residency (lease, utility bill, bank statement)
 Proof of birth (birth certificate or passport)
 Proof of required immunizations including a copy of the most recent routine physical examination
 Relevant health and development history
 Other important information related to previous pre-kindergarten schooling
 Open Enrollment: Since open enrollment decisions are made in August, after kindergarten registration, you must register your child in your home school.
 Pre K: If your child currently attends pre-k in the ICSD, he/she is already registered and you do not have to make an appointment.
 UPK: You will need to register your child for kindergarten.
 If you are unable to attend your school’s registration days, you may register for kindergarten Monday-Friday 8:30-4:00 at the district registrar, 400 Lake Street, 274-2201.