Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities:
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday

My children show more interest in the newspapers during the holiday season than any other time of year. They are the first two people in our household to get the newspaper and start drawing circles around toys and games that are suddenly on the “must have” list. They are driven by the constant marketing and inundated by advertising with items they truly feel they need. We also have many cousins to buy gifts for.

Though I am asked to get popular named brand clothing for some, I also make a point of giving something handmade or locally made. I don’t pick it out. I give each of my children the name of one cousin to shop for at a time. My kids are given a budget and walk through various stores to see what small item they can pick up that may complement the purchased sweater.

Sometimes my kids have given something as simple as homemade maple candies or have carefully chosen a wire-wrapped ring. They’ve come back with complicated puzzles and enough hand-dipped candles to light up any house. I would be lying to say that I only shop locally. I don’t, though I do try to purchase as much as I can. It isn’t just for sake of buying something local but buying a gift that will last.

So for anyone wishing to forsake the mall, crazy lines and being trampled by a mob there are plenty of other shopping options around the Adirondacks. The Wild Center is hosting a Black & White Friday event with a craft fair, music and indoor crafts for kids. The bonus is $5 adult admission with children under 14 enter for free. Keep in mind that also Indian Lake and Old Forge will be hosting their own craft fairs with various family-friendly activities.

Don’t forget Small Business Saturday is November 24. This initiative focuses on local businesses. Many Adirondack downtowns are offering specials, discounts and raffles.  Try an Indoor Farmers’ Markets on Saturday for special gifts like artisan cheeses, local jams and other baked goods in Plattsburgh at the City Recreation Center from 10 am- 2 pm; Saranac Lake at the Harrietstown Town Hall from 10 am – 2 pm and Glens Falls at the Christ Church Methodist from 9 am – 2pm.

I realize that as my family members grow older, the “need” for more expensive games and clothing will become even more important. I hope it continues to be a nice mixture of handmade and store bought. I hope you find everything you want. Happy Thanksgiving! If you have to travel anywhere, please have a safe journey!

Photo of The Wild Center courtesy Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Time.

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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