BY HEIDI WOODARD, RESOURCE & REFERRAL COUNSELOR, CHAUTAUQUA OPPORTUNITIES
During the current school break both children and parents may wonder what there is to do throughout the summer months. Playing with toys, games, educational materials, books, and dolls can lose their appeal over time. There are fun and educational videos, movies and television shows as well. However, now is the perfect time to take full advantage of what our community has to offer. There are numerous fairs, events, and farmer’s markets, right here in Chautauqua County. Almost all of these events are free to the public.
Taking your children to these events can be a perfect time to expand their knowledge of a variety of topics.
Going to a craft show with your child will be a great learning experience. You can teach your child, a new love for the arts. Ask your child what booths they have a real interest in. Ask the children what they like about the craft show and why. Your child can meet talented crafters, artists, and other vendors. Tell your child to feel free to ask these vendors questions to understand a certain craft or painting technique, or ask the vendor how they got started in their craft/business. This is a wonderful opportunity for your child to engage with others in a meaningful and positive way.
During your walk through a craft show or farmer’s market, be sure to talk about the different activities available, and the different crafts. Explain to your child about the steps some of the vendors undertake to come up with a final product. If you are at a Farmer’s Market, tell your child how the farmer plants the seeds, waters the soil, and tends to the vegetables. Explaining the process may peak your child’s interest and they may want to do something similar at home, whether it be plant a small garden, or making a paper or felt craft.
Allowing your child to explore the different events in our community can lead to your child developing new interests and understanding of the arts. There are
opportunities throughout the county this summer for new experiences and entertainment.
Some of the events in the county are (but are not limited to): Event listings and more information is available at www.tourchautauqua.com
Downtown Jamestown Farmer’s Market, 3rd St. on Fridays from 10-2
Fredonia’s Farmer’s Market, 10 Church St. on Fridays 10-4
Westfield Farmer’s Market, NYS Routes 20 and 394 on Saturdays 9-2
Craft Shows and Events
2010 Craft Alliance 7/9-7/11/2010 Chautauqua Institution
Scandinavian Folk Festival 7/16-7/18/2010 Route 60 Gerry, NY
Art in the Woods Art Show & Sale 7/17-7/18/10 Audubon Nature Center, Jamestown NY
Fine Artist’s Show 7/17-7/18/2010 Village Park Bemus Point, NY
Classic Car Cruise-In 7/18/2010 Main St. Findley Lake, NY
YWCA Arts & Crafts Festival 7/30-7/31/2010 Moore Park Westfield, NY
Lucille Ball’s Birthday Celebration 8/6-8/8/2010 Downtown Jamestown
9th Annual Intl. Lighthouse & Craft Festival 8/21-8/22/2010 Lighthouse Dr. Dunkirk, NY
Cassadaga Valley Labor Day Weekend Festival 9/4-9/5/2010 Village-wide Cassadaga NY
Busti Apple Festival 9/26/2010 Busti Grist Mill & Museum, Busti NY
Be sure to take your children to these and other events during the summer months. These opportunities can be special family outings that create togetherness and bonding.
Heidi Woodard is a resident of Jamestown, NY. She graduated from Jamestown Community College with honors, and earned an Associates degree in Social Sciences. She also graduated from SUNY Fredonia with highest honors earning a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She is currently employed with the Chautauqua Child Care Council a service of Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc.