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Schenectady County: Banish the blahs during winter break

School break is always a trying time for parents.

Figuring out what to do with the little ones all afternoon can be a challenge.

Luckily, organizations in Schenectady County have been working to make the time off a little more exciting.

If you are into the outdoors in the wintertime, skiing, sledding and skating are only minutes away.

The Schenectady County Recreational Facility near the Schenectady County Airport off Route 50 has open skating every day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Skating costs $1 for children under 5, $3 to skate, and $2 for people 50 and older. Skate rentals cost $3. The facility held two additional open skate sessions because of the school vacation, one on Monday, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and one on Friday, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Jerry Ernst brought her two children Jacob, 8, and Sarah, 5, to the skating rink on Tuesday. It was their first time skating, and she said the kids enjoyed themselves.

They'll be tired for the rest of the day, she said. "I'm sure they'll sleep all the way home."

Sledding in Central Park is also a popular activity during winter break. Kids of all ages threw on ski pants and snow boots and flew down the park's many hills.

Patrick Dougan, 11, from Rotterdam and his two stepsisters Katelyn and Kristen Singleman were busy playing in the snow Tuesday, Feb. 20. They said their only agenda during winter break was to play.

"All I know is play," said 5-year-old Katelyn.

Employees at Maple Ski Ridge on Mariaville Road have been planning for Winter Break since the start of the season. The Ridge is open for extended hours this week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Saturday.

Lorraine Moyer, director of group sales and marketing, said specific activities were planned for each day of the week.

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