Family Fun Weekend Events: 3/22/13–3/24/13

I was hoping for Spring to be in the air this weekend but don’t let the Winter weather stop you from attending the The Great Outdoor Family Expo at the YMCA Fairgrounds Fitness Center in Watertown, NY 3/22/13-3/24/13.  The three-day Great Outdoor Family Expo includes exciting exhibits and fun activities for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Activity highlights include the opportunity to SCUBA dive in the National Aquatic Service’s 11,000 gallon pool. You can also have your trophy buck scored by the Northeast Big Buck Exhibit, attend seminars on Turkey and Game Calls, try Laser Duck Hunting and Learn all about raising Alpaca. Your children will enjoy the wildlife show from the NYS Zoo at Thompson Park, including their New York’s Wild Wonders and Birds of Prey programs. Also, new this year will be an interactive display from the U.S. Army. $ 4.00 General Admission or $ 3.00 with Military ID.  Click here for more details or event hours. 

This is the second and final weekend for the NYS Maple Weekend Open House!  For more details or for participating locations for this FREE event click here

Maple Weekend

South Jefferson High School Music Department will be performing the musical Annie on 3/22/13 and 3/23/13 at 7pm at the Clarke High School Auditorium in Adams, NY.  Admission is $ 6.00, children under 5 admission is FREE!  Click here for more details!

Fun at Home Idea: Have your children help make their own play dough (click here) or their own finger paints (click here) and then let their creativity flow! 




Happy March!  Looking for plans for the weekend?  Check out the Penny Pinching Parents’ Family Fun Weekend Events for 3/1/13- 3/3/13:

  • Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!  Celebrate the birthday of this brilliant author of classic beloved childrens’ books such as Cat in the Hat and Hop on Pop by joining the Adams Free Library on Saturday March 2nd, 2013 from 10:00 until 11:00 am for activities and a snack!  Pre-register (so they have enough supplies on hand) by calling (315) 232-2265.

  • Harlem Superstars versus the Watertown “Dream Team” Basketball Game!  Saturday March 2nd at 7pm at the Watertown Case Middle School to benefit the WHS Girls Lacrosse Team.  Tickets are $8.00 at the door. 

  • Ceramic Egg Painting Classes Hosted by North Country Arts Council, taught by Ursula Mickel, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2, for ages 5 to 12, and 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, for teens to adult, both at Arts on the Square, Franklin Building, 52 Public Square. Class fee, includes ceramic egg, materials, kiln firing: $25; members, $20. Registration deadline: Saturday, Feb. 23, 661-6361 or

  • Fun at Home Idea:  Make a new recipe together as a family!  Whether it be baked goods or dinner, pick something that everyone thinks looks great and put emphasis on teamwork to make the recipe come together!  There are so many yummy ideas on Pinterest!  Post a picture of what you make if you decide to do this!

Family Fun Events: 2/22/13 thru 2/24/13

Last weekend of February!  Spring here we come!  Soon we will be planning trips to the park and splashing in Lake Ontario!  Some people just can’t wait to splash in the water- the contestants for the 23rd Annual Polar Bear Dip to benefit the River Hospital!  Saturday February 23rd, 2013, dipping starts at 1:00pm at Bonnie Castle Resort in Alex Bay!  Click here for more details!


I also want to highlight several area benefits this weekend:

  • First Annual Maddie’s Mark Carnival, Sunday 2/24/13 11am-4pm at the Northside Improvement League in Watertown.  Face painting, a clown, a magician, games, food, raffles- oh my!  $ 2.00 per person or $10.00 per family admission.  If you are going to do anything this weekend, I strongly suggest this carnival.  To learn more about the event and Maddie’s story, click here
  • Nicholas Larmie Fundraiser, Saturday 2/23/13 4pm-8pm at the American Legion in Adams.  Food, raffles, DJ, bake sale, auction and much more!  To learn more about the event and Nicholas’ story, click here
  • Zumba for Robert Piper, Saturday 2/23/13 1pm-3pm at the South Jefferson High School in Adams.  $ 8.00 per person to Zumba, $ 5.00 per middle/high school student.  Raffles and bake sale as well!  To learn more about the event and Robert’s story click here

**New this week:  Fun idea at home!  Starting this week I will also feature a fun idea or craft to do at home!  Nothing says thrifty like staying at home and having fun!  Like I said, spring is coming!  Bundle up and get outside and enjoy the snow before it’s gone!  Build a snowman, have a snowball fight, make snow angels! 

Snow Storm, Go Away…Lots of Fun Family Weekend Events Are Headed This Way!! 2/8/13- 2/10/13

I hope that this storm isn’t half as bad as they are predicting because there are A LOT of great family friendly events happening in Upstate New York this weekend! 

  • 2/9/13 Mac & Cheese Festival to Benefit the SJ Backpack Program 9am-2pm at the South Jefferson High School on Route 11 in Adams, NY- Family fun with a best mac & cheese competition, music, crafts for the kids, etc.
  • 2/9/13 Super Science Saturday at Jefferson Community College Coffeen Street in Watertown, NY

Admission is FREE!!  Fun for the entire family although activities are geared towards grades 5-8, last year my friend and I took our 4 year olds and they loved it!  Open 10am-3pm!

  • Sweet Treats at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park in Syracuse, NY 2/10/13 10:00 am – 3:45 pm

Free for members and with zoo admission.
Note, half price admission is in effect for this event!

More than 15 species of animals will receive Valentine’s Day treats, including the bears, lions and elephants. The animals will be presented with heart shaped treats including popsicles made with juice and fruits, hamburger patties and jelly beans.
Presenting the animals with unusual items is part of the zoo’s enrichment program, designed to encourage the animals to use their natural behaviors found in the wild and enhance their overall well-being.
10:15 a.m. African Lions
10:30 a.m. Fossa
11:00 a.m. Amur Tigers
11:30 a.m. Fisher
11:45 a.m. Red Wolves
12:00 p.m. Snow Leopards
12:30 p.m. Spectacled Bears
1:00 p.m. Barn Animals
1:30 p.m. Grey Wolves
2:00 p.m. Siamang
2:30 p.m. Ring-tailed Lemurs
3:00 p.m. Patas Monkeys
3:30 p.m. Diversity of Birds

South Jefferson Public Forum on School Safety Meeting Info

Tonight at 6:30pm South Jefferson Board of Education held a public forum on school safety.  This is to brief any parents who were interested in attending but unable to be there on what happened.

I’d say 75-100 people were in attendance.  I was quite pleased to see quite a few attendees were staff members from all buildings in the district.  Every principal was there, school greeters were there, building & grounds and teachers.  The former School Resource Officer, Jeff Stevenson, was also present.  Several of them spoke up about their concerns as well.  The rest of the attendees were parents, grandparents and yes even students. 

Within the past 18 months the schools have installed 27 security cameras, including a camera pointed at every main entrance.  The monitors are currently in the principals office but they are discussing possibility of moving monitors out to the greeters desk.  With the recent Sandy Hook tragedy, there has been talk at both federal and state levels of bringing back funding for School Resource Officers but the school is still looking into it. 

Concerns voiced from the audience:

  • Much concern was expressed about the front entrance doors being unlocked.  Currently, Mannsville is the only school in the district that locks all doors during the school day.  The feedback from locking the front door has been only positive.  It is reported by staff that locking all doors, including the front door increases the feeling of security and safety in the school. 
  • Concern was also expressed about where the front entry is located in the Mannsville building.  The point of entry is located in rather close proximity to the cafeteria, which concerns parents that it leaves the children too vulnerable in face of an intrusion.  Suggestions were made to move the main entrance to another location in the school, such as closer to administrative offices. 
  • Suggestions were made for main entrances such as placing reflective window protection over the doors so that people within the school can see out but people outside the school can not see in. 
  • Another suggestion was to invest in panic buttons for the greeters.  These buttons would only be used in emergency and would alert police that they are needed at the location. 
  • Jamie Moesel explained the difference between a lock out and a lock down.  During a lock out, there is concern for danger outside of the school.  During a lock down, there is concern for danger within the school.  An attendee voiced concern that during a lock out staff is allowed to still come in and out of school.  It was suggested that during a lock down or lock out, once you exit building you can not get back in.
  • The school has been running lockout/lockdown practices.  They try to not practice too much of this to keep the children’s anxiety at a minimum.  One mother was moved to tears as she explained how her pre-k child showed her how she was to lay if a gun man were to come in.  Another mother voiced concerned that neither of her kids were able to tell her where they were to go during a lockdown.  Mrs.  Moesel explained to the audience that Trooper Stevenson has advised her that the school can only prepare/practice for about 70% of scenarios.  It is difficult to predict emergencies or how individuals will react in these types of situations.
  • There was concern over the easy access to the schools after hours, when no greeter is available.  It would be quite easy for someone to enter the school and simply not leave to gain access.  It was suggested that during public events gates be used to close off all but main hallways.  Building and grounds pointed out that there is a concern with fire safety when you use gates.  A gentleman suggested a committee of volunteer hall monitors. 
  • Mrs. Moesel also said that there has a great increase in concern over the safety of children on the bus and the possibility of harm when the bus comes to a stop. 
  • In general, the major push was for a School Resource Officer to be assigned to every school in the district.  One parent suggested that we as a community self-fund resource officers if the state/federal won’t.  A student suggested talking to the town about hiring a school safety officer.  Even if we can’t be assigned state troopers, it is a general consensus that even a security officer would increase confidence in school safety measures.  One attendee pointed out that we can lock doors, place greeters with panic buttons at the door and install cameras but once an attack starts the only thing that will stop it is an armed officer. 
  • The meeting was wrapped up with Mrs. Moesel saying that all suggestions and concerns were right in line with what the board has already been discussing. 
  • On my behalf, I will be writing to Mrs. Moesel and requesting that Wilson, Middle and High School follow Mannsville’s examples and lock all doors during the school day.  It may not deter an attack, but it will give the greeter increased time to call for help or order a lockdown. 
  • What can you do?  Write Mrs. Moesel about your concerns.  Write your local politicians and demand funding for school resource officers be restored in the face of Sandy Hook.  Demand funds to be designated to increased school safety measures.  It sounds as if several Jefferson County schools have been assigned officers, but South Jefferson has not been. We can not let this issue drop or fade away. 
  • Jamie Moesel email:
  • Patty Ritchie email:
  • Bill Owens email: Click here
  • Andrew Cuomo email: Click here
  • Barack Obama email: Click here

Family Fun Weekend Events! 1/26 & 1/27/13

Take a mid-winter dip when you dive into Open Swim at South Jefferson Central School’s heated indoor pool every Saturday 12:30-2:30 pm!  Cost is only $ 2.00!! 

For a more outdoorsy event, check out the New York State Sportsman Expo at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY starting today thru Sunday 1/27/13! 

Entrance Fees:

  • Adults (13 and 64)………….$10.00
    Young Adults (6-12)………….$5.00
    Children (5 and under)………. FREE
  • Seniors (65 and Up)………….$7.00*
    Police, Firemen, Military…….$7.00*

*Valid ID required*