An Outside-in Experience at the Empire State Plaza

An outdoor show might not seem like a typical place to take kids, but the Northeast Outdoors Show strives to offer something for all ages.

We get a lot of families, said Kate Masterson, the show's director. "Husbands and wives bring their kids. Dads bring their kids. Moms bring their kids."

Slated this year for Friday to Sunday, March 14 to 16, at the Empire State Plaza, the show will feature plenty of seminars that are popular with children and adults alike, a trout-fishing pond, birds of prey and numerous other animals.

New this year is an exhibition by the Paul Smith's College woodsmen's team. Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the team is a co-ed, intercollegiate, lumberjack squad. Members will showcase their talents in events such as axe-throwing, sawing, chopping and log rolling on stage at 10:30 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. on Saturday, and 10:30 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

"I think the kids, no matter how old they are, will definitely find that entertaining," Masterson said.

Cold River Mining's mobile mining exhibit will also keep kids entertained. For $7 per person, they can step inside the mine trailer wearing a hard hat and holding a bucket and headlight as they search for rocks, shells, fossils and gemstones.

More treasures can be found with the show's gemstone panning. Kids can buy bags that cost between $6 and $12 and use a water stream to sift out the gems and stones in the bag. Rubies, amethyst and emeralds are among the goodies tucked into the bags.

Trout, meanwhile, have been stocked in an indoor pond, where kids can try their hand at fishing.

"It's unbelievable," Masterson said. "Kids do catch fish."

Most of the fish are tossed back into the water, although Masterson noted that if families want to buy the fish, it's an option.

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