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Cheektowaga Youth and Recreation Department offers family holiday

Danielle DiBenedetto and Riley Berg share a moment with Santa during last year’s Breakfast with Santa.

BY: Metro Source Staff | November 21, 2011

The Cheektowaga Department of Youth and Recreational Services will once again provide a myriad of activities throughout the holiday season for families.

Kicking off the events is the Old Fashioned Family Christmas from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 at the Alexander Community Center. Families are invited to participate in crafts, sleigh rides, listen to stories, have a snack, sing Christmas carols and get to visit with Santa Claus. The event is limited to 125 people and pre-registration is a must.

There is an $8 per person fee and $7 per person with a resident discount card. Children under 2 years old are free. The event is great for individuals of all ages. For more information, contact Jill King at 897-7207 ext. 6648.

Following the Old Fashioned Family Christmas, is a public skate from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Town Park Recreation Center ice rink. Skaters will get in free if they make a donation of a new hat, scarf or gloves to the Gift of Warmth collection.

Breakfast with Santa is from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Alexander Community Center. Cheektowaga Youth Engaged in Service volunteers conduct the event. Parents and children will dine on a smorgasbord of pancakes, fruit, eggs, juice, etc., create holiday crafts and visit with Santa. Pre-registration is necessary. It is $8.50 per person and $7.50 with a resident discount card. Pre-payment is necessary. For more information, contact the Cheektowaga Y.E.S. at 897-7207 ext. 6651.

That same day, there will be a special skate from 8 to 9:50 p.m. at the ice rink located in Town Park and a teen skate from 10 p.m. to midnight that is either $3 admission, or free with a canned good donation.

“We try to provide these activities around the holiday season because people are in the mood for holiday-type activities,” said Ellen Fischer, executive director of Cheektowaga Youth and Recreational Services. “The good thing about most of these activities is that they aren’t weather dependent.”

Santa’s Workshop for kids between 5 and 12 years old will be held at 2 p.m. at the Dartwood Community Center, 222 Autumnwood Drive, Sunday, Dec. 4. Participants will complete four craft projects, which can be used for presents or decorating the house. A snack will be provided. Pre-registration is necessary. The event is $7 per person, or $6 with the resident discount card. Pre-payment is necessary.

Music by Glen Colton will take place at Stiglmeier Park from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. Fireworks will be at 7:15 p.m. This is a free event.

The town will hold the Recreation Celebration Sunday, Dec. 11 at the Town Park Ice Rink.

Erie Community College will play Mohawk Valley Community College from 11:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. at the ice rink. This is a free event and kicks off the celebration event.

There will be a cookie bake-off, chili cook-off, face painting, crafts, games, a petting zoo and a basket auction to benefit the town’s youth foundation from 1 to 3 p.m.

Cookie bake-off participants are asked to bring roughly five-dozen cookies for the event. Registration, which is a must, will be accepted until Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Judging for the bake-off is from 1 until 2 p.m. Winners will be announced at 3 p.m. The first place winner will be given a gift basket worth $100 and four other prizes will be awarded. Basic lists of ingredients, which will not be shared with anyone, are needed when registering. For more information on the bake-off email jgorman@tocny.org.

The chili cook-off contestants will be judged based on taste and the quality of the chili. Pre-registration is required and will be taken up until Dec. 7.

Judging will occur between 1 and 2 p.m. with the winner announced at 3 p.m. Basic lists of ingredients are needed and can be emailed to jgorman@tocny.org. Winners will receive either a $75, $50 or $25 Wegmans’ gift card.

There will be a public skate from 2:45 to 5:30 p.m., which will be free with a canned food donation. The mascot skate will occur at 4 p.m.

“We try to make the events low-cost, or free of charge,” said Fischer. “We know it’s the holiday season and families are strapped for cash with trying to get ready for the holidays so we’ve been able to provide a lot of quality entertainment at a reasonable price.”

The town will also be hosting a New Year’s Eve Bash from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31 at the Cheektowaga Ice Rink. Families are invited to skate and watch the town’s own ball drop, ringing in the New Year.

Admission for the New Year’s Eve Bash is the same as public skate, $5 general admission, and for residents that have a discount card: $3 for adults (16 to 59 years old), $2 for children (4 to 15 years old), $2 for seniors (at least 60 years old), and children under 4 years old are free. Admission includes free hats and noisemakers. Participants will get three hours of fun, music and surprises.

“We host it early enough so that families can still get ready for their New Year’s activities at night,” said Fischer.

For more information on any of the above activities, or to pre-register, call 897-7207.

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