February 1, 2013

Snowball events target the winter blues


---- — PLATTSBURGH — Cabin fever can take its toll on North Country residents as the winter drags on.

But a series of special activities in and around Plattsburgh has been scheduled for folks to enjoy throughout February.

The Snowball Collaboration, a group of area businesses and nonprofit organizations, has developed a monthlong series of free and low-cost events that combine science, art, health, recreation and fun for children and their families.


“We’ve been meeting on a regular basis to talk about how to coordinate our efforts and support one another,” said Amy Bonn of the Champlain Valley Transportation, referring to a gathering of museum leaders and other nonprofit groups.

“One of the things we talked about was what could we do during the month of February to make things more interesting.

“We pulled out a calendar and identified the events that are already happening (throughout February). Knowing where we were at, we wanted to come up with some more ideas to get kids out an energized.”

Most of the Snowball Collaboration events are geared toward children up to age 15, but they can also give families an opportunity to share some fun times together, Bonn noted.


Festivities get under way Saturday at the Transportation Museum with the Snowball Kickoff Event at 2 p.m., featuring a variety of activities, including a 21 “snow-a-pult” salute, in which kids will toss snowballs into the air with a catapult-type contraption.

Clinton County and Town of Plattsburgh youth programs have created an obstacle course at the Transportation Museum where kids can try their skills during the opening ceremony.

Although the course was experiencing some flooding problems with Wednesday’s warm weather, volunteers are working hard to ensure it will be available for the event, Bonn said.

“When you live in the North Country, the weather is always a wild card,” she said. “I’m sure it will be fixed (for Saturday).”

The museum will also host science fairs each Saturday at 1 p.m. throughout February. Besides snow-a-pults, kids can work with robots, the science of snow and snow rockets on successive Saturdays.


Elaine Ostry will offer a Bookwoman’s Story Hour from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, at Cornerstone Bookstore, 110 Margaret St., Plattsburgh. The event will feature stories for children of all ages, Bonn said.

On Sunday, Feb. 17, a Kids Snowshoe Race on the Saranac River Trail will highlight access to the new trail system, which follows the Saranac River from Plattsburgh High School to the Saranac Street Bridge. A limited number of snowshoes will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The time for the race is yet to be determined.

Other standard events include:

▶ Journey into Reading, at Champlain Centre Mall from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays.

▶ Family Swim Nights at the Wellness Center at PARC from 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays.

▶ Family Ice Skating at Plattsburgh State Field House from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 19, 21 and 22.


Many of the events are free of charge, while others have a small fee. Families who may not be able to afford the fee should contact the organization holding the event to ask for any available scholarships, Bonn noted.

“We want to make this accessible to all,” she said.

The series is funded, in part, by the Foundation of CVPH Medical Center.

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