SCHENECTADY COUNTY: Schenectady Museum caters to families

The holidays are a great time to bring families together, but for many, last week's break meant juggling family members and kids in crowded homes, and planning activities to amuse everyone.

The Schenectady Museum and Suits-Bueche Planetarium offered a fun change of pace for families of all ages during the school break last week. The museum featured daily activities and an extended planetarium schedule to keep kids busy and parents from going nuts cooped up inside their homes. A bonus was that the museum wasn't just exciting for kids, but adults were entertained as well.

Judging from their reactions, kids were entranced by the model train exhibit brought to the museum by the Upstate Model Train Association. An elaborate display of model trains chugged around the tracks equipped with real steam in the steam engines, and a small theme park with working Ferris wheel dazzled museumgoers as they entered the building.

Children also seemed to enjoy the Power House exhibit that featured a platform for them to stand on and watch as their hair stood up with electric energy.

Carolyn Yelich from St. Louis, Mo., was in town visiting family in Delmar and decided to make the trip to Schenectady with four children to see a planetarium show.

It's a great thing to do to get out of the house, Yelich said.

At the GE Research and Development area, kids entered a lighted room, stood against the wall, and when the light went off, their shadows stuck to it. This was an exciting concept for children of all ages " and plenty of parents too.

Also on display was an exhibit about SI Group, formerly Schenectady International Inc., a chemical manufacturer that has done work to make tires safer, the paint on road signs reflective and CDs smooth enough so information can be played back.

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