I never thought I would really welcome cooler weather. After all, as I write this column, we are only 2 weeks into summer.

If you love basking in the sun then you are in seventh heaven, but I am not one who willingly sits by a pool or a lake. I live in in an old brownstone in the City of Newburgh, so other than the Newburgh waterfront where the water is not the cleanest, I have to travel for a dip in the water. And even if I was willing to travel, one hour of hot sun is about enough for me.

So I ask the question: Where is a good place to hide from the sun that would be fun for the rest of the family?

At this stage my grandkids would willingly play with their game tablets, while lying in bed.  Or choose to plop themselves down in front of their large screen TV. I’m sure you get the picture.

How about duck pin bowling? I am not a great bowler but recently I was introduced duck pin bowling. (I have to disclose right away that the closest duck pin alley is in Danbury, CT, but if you read the rest of my blog I have layed out a plan that includes a full day of family-fun which includes bowling.)

A duckpin bowling alley is similar to the regular bowling alleys we have locally but the pins are smaller and so are the balls, which are slightly larger than a softball and they don’t have finger holes.

What’s so great about this? First of all, I love the lighter balls. They are easier for me to handle. Second, everyone can play regardless of their skill. When I went with my grandson there was a little fella who was about 3 years old was playing next to us and having a grand old time. And third, since we don’t have any local lanes, this is a novelty sport for my family, where we laugh and have have fun.

Here’s my family-friendly day trip: head over to Danbury, CT.

Go early and have a fun day of shopping at the Danbury Fair Mall.  My kids and grandkids enjoy the new Microsoft store and I have to admit so do I. Check out their daily calendar of events to see what’s new that your kids will enjoy. I try all the gadgets I can get my hands on and the staff are really tolerent of my simplistic questions.  The store has plenty of demo machines plus they have kid’s games on a large screen in the back of the store and there are two kiosks outside the store with Xbox games and entertainment. Last time we went, my granddaughter loved learning the dance routines while she earned points.

Ready to eat? Take a short drive, maybe 10 minutes, to Stanziatos Wood Fired Pizza for an dinner. Go early. It’s a popular place that fills up quickly. The first time we went we got there at 6pm and were disappointed when we learned there was over an hour wait. I don’t know about your family, but we are not good at standing around. The next time we got there at 5pm, and the service and food were great. Note: they are not open on Sundays.

With great shopping under your belt and a full stomach, it’s now time to try your skills at the Danbury Duck Pin Alley, which is maybe 15 minutes from your restaurant.  The alley is a family-owned business that has been around for 40 years and they are definitely family-friendly.

Take pictures if you go and post them on Hudson Valley Parent’s facebook page. Love to see them!



Robert takes the small duck pin ball and hurls it down the allye

Robert takes the small duck pin ball and hurls it down the alley

My son Paul show off his creative bowling move.

My son Paul show off his creative bowling move.