February 19, 2014

Editorial: Free fun awaits area families

Finding something fun to do around here doesn’t always have to cost money, thanks to sponsorships from local institutions, organizations and businesses.

There are, of course, plenty of stimulating free activities provided by the glorious environment that surrounds us: cross-country skiing and sledding in the winter and swimming, fishing and hiking in the summer, among them.

With some minor equipment costs and the knowledge of where to go, you can take part in any of that. But special events are also offered that stimulate minds and exercise bodies.

This week is winter break for local schools, and some families might be bemoaning the fact that they didn’t get to head for Florida or somewhere else warm.

But that would be selling our area short. There is still plenty happening nearby to entertain families. And it can be done without spending much money — actually, without spending any, in many cases.

Check out the long list of family activities that we have been running on page A3 every day this week. Almost all of them are free, thanks to sponsors like SUNY Plattsburgh, Clinton County Youth Bureau, Champlain Valley Transportation Museum, Champlain Centre, Plattsburgh YMCA, the City and Town of Plattsburgh, Visitors Interpretive Centers and others.

And it’s not just during school vacations that you can find free entertainment in the North Country.

A few weeks ago, SUNY Plattsburgh hosted a dazzling Chinese opera and acrobatic performance. The E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium in Hawkins Hall was packed for the aptly named “Amazing China” event. The people who witnessed the vocal and physical gymnastics of the Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera at Binghamton University were likely stunned that they didn’t have to pay a penny to attend this first-class cultural event. That is thanks to Binghamton University and the SUNY Plattsburgh College Auxiliary Services and Office of the President.

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