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Museums offer holiday programs

Each session starts with a visit to the galleries to focus on specific aspects of painting and sculpture. Then kids will adjourn to the art studio to create their own masterpieces.

The format is tried and true, but the programs are all new, said Kristen Schweigard, public and family programs coordinator. And they are tied to the mission of the institute, "to expose them to a broad range of ideas and art forms," she said.

One session focuses on snowy cityscapes. Schweigard said kids are asked how snow falls and how it would fall onto a building. Their suggestions are supplemented by examining snowy scenes in specific paintings.

Back in the studio, kids will "make a multi-layered snowy cityscape using paper, pastel and paint." The process is broken down into steps, first designing the cityscape, then doing rubbings to add texture to the paper, then adding paint, she says.

The other two sessions are about sculpture.

Sessions are filling up quickly. To register, contact Schweigard at 518.463.4478 Ext. 435 or schweigardk@albanyinstitute.org.

Afternoons in Schenectady

The Schenectady Museum has afternoon activities scheduled for Tuesday through Friday, Dec. 26 to 29.

December Break Wonder of Science sessions run between 1 and 4 p.m.; museum-goers can drop in anytime. Activities are recommended for second graders and up, with one exception-- the chemistry session on Tuesday.

"Making slime is something that any child three to 103 can do," said Ilene Frank, director of public programs and education.

Parents are expected to supervise their children, but Frank said they could participate or stand back as they wish.

"We have educators are in the room to help kids," she said.

On Wednesday, kids will make an electroscope, a simple device that measures static electricity and is related to the museum's Power House exhibit.

A physics activity on Thursday is about "persistence of vision," said Frank. Kids can make a device that tricks the eyes into seeing two images as one. Friday presents alternative energy.

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