Yearly Archives: 2013

Things to Do While the Kids Are Off From School

From the Three Village Patch Online Paper

Fun ideas for how to entertain the kids during the holiday break.

Brought to you by our series “100 Things to Do in Three Village,” here are some activities you can do and local places you can go while the kids are off from school – along with a few ideas for fun outside of Three Village, too.

#99 – Find a Good Book at Emma S. Clark Memorial Library. It’s got a huge children’s section, and beyond the books, the library has tons of movies to rent and programs to take part in.

#98 – Watch an Eagle Flap its Wings in Stony Brook. If you’ve never seen the mechanical eagle in the Stony Brook Village Center, now’s the time to go.

#91 – Walk the Labyrinth at Avalon Park. As long as the mild December weather holds up, check out this outdoor treasure.

#90 – Catch a Movie, Maybe Even for Free. There are plenty of children’s movies playing in the theaters right now, and the library often has free movie showings.

#89 – Visit the Long Island Museum of Art, History and Carriages. You don’t have to travel to New York City to find a cool museum – this one is a Smithsonian affiliate.

#74 – Visit an Historic Lighthouse. Read up on the history of the lighthouse before you go; the Village of Old Field has a good history on its website.

#68 – Learn the History of Hercules. Another fun outdoor activity to do as long as the weather stays mild.

#53 – Learn About the Setauket Spies. “Spies! How a Group of Long Island Patriots Helped George Washington Win the Revolution” at the Three Village Historical Society is all about the Culper Spy Ring of Setauket. Call ahead for hours.

#45 – Cheer on the Seawolves. Don’t even try to resist Wolfie’s charms. Check out the hoops action by visiting for the teams’ schedules.

#32 – A ‘Revolution’ in Video Gaming. The Revolution video game center opened in September in Stony Brook. Great for kids and teens.

Outside of Three Village:

Visit the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead. With seasonal exhibits and both indoor and outdoor fun, it’s a not-to-be-missed Long Island attraction.

Head to Museum Row in Garden City. Three very different museums all in a row – the Long Island Children’s Museum, the Cradle of Aviation Museum, and the Nassau County Firefighter’s Museum and Education Center.

Chuck E. Cheese’s on Jericho Turnpike in Commack is a staple of children’s entertainment.

Check out the Port Jefferson Patch events calendar for children’s events, including maritime-themed fun, in downtown Port Jefferson.

International Holiday Party


DSCN0489Sunday, December 15th was the International Holiday Party for the Suffolk County Cluster of Au Pair in America.  Each au pair brought a dish from their country for the International Feast. DSCN0496

DSCN0501Each au pair brought a wrapped gift for the gift exchange.  The gifts were placed under the tree as the au pairs arrived.  After our wonderful feast, we gathered around the tree for the gift exchange.DSCN0487

Cindy Garruba, Suffolk Community Counselor, handed out her gifts to each au pair.  Colorful socks, a little red white & blue earriings, an ornament to remember their holiday in the USA, and some candy, too!DSCN0508

Pictures around the tree, holiday music and lively conversation was enjoyed by everyone.  Happy Holidays!!DSCN0517DSCN0516DSCN0515

Au Pair in America Holiday Tree

DSCN0407On Sunday, December 8th the Suffolk Cluster of Au Pair in America gathered to decorate a holiday tree for Stony Brook Village’s Promenade of Trees.  Host families, au pairs and Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba decorated a beautiful tree with handmade ornaments. Over several years au pairs have made these ornaments at one of the cluster meetings at Cindy’s house.  This year the au pairs painted peace signs celebrating their home countries.  It is a truly International Holiday Tree!DSCN0416

DSCN0422There was a petting zoo, puppet show, carol singers and lots of fun while the crowd waited for Santa Claus to arrive.

Santa arrived in a horse drawn carriage!  Then the kids lined up and waited to tell Santa their holiday wishes.

Santa in SB


Au Pair Helps Others for Thanksgiving

2013-11-24_11.59.13 - CopyThe 5th annual Thanksgiving Basket Brigade,

By Jessica Klose, au pair with Au Pair in America.

“This basket of love and hope is for people in need.”

On Sunday, November 24, 2013 a group of helpers spent their Sunday evening in Stony Brook to prepare baskets for people in need. They prepared baskets for Thanksgiving.
A friend of me told me about the 5th annual Thanksgiving Basket Brigade and asked me if I want to help and spent some food, like some vegetables or stuffing. Something you need to have a Thanksgiving dinner. So we did. We went to the store with two more friends and bought food. On the Sunday morning we went to Stony Brook to help to prepare 40 baskets for 40 families. It wasn’t just us and her host family, their were a lot of more helpers. Some of them do it every year and it was nice to be a part of it this year. I was surprised to see how much food they got together. So we got to work. We started to fill the baskets with turkey, vegetables, pies, fruits, stuffing, mashed potatoes and more.
2013-11-24_11.55.17We wrapped them up and after 3 hours, I think, we were done with all 40 baskets.
Right after we prepared the baskets some of the helpers brought the basket to the families or to people who knew the families who could need the baskets.
I even had the chance to bring 3 baskets to a woman who knew families that need the support.

The 5th annual Thanksgiving Basket Brigade is entirely self funded and based on the support of friends, families and everyone who wants to help.2013-11-24_11.59.13

Meet Au Pair in America at Stony Brook Holiday Festival!

On Sunday, December 8th at 1:30 meet Cindy Garruba, Suffolk County Au Pair in America Community Counselor in Stony Brook Village at the Holiday Festival.  Visit with au pairs and host families, enjoy the festivities and learn about how Au Pair in America can serve your childcare needs!


Happy Thanksgivukkah!

untitled (5)Hanukkah begins at sundown this evening, which means Thankgiving and Hanukkah are celebrated together this year.  A new term Thanksgivukkah is being used to honor both holidays!
The next time Thanksgivukkah will be celebrated is in 79,043 years from now, according to one estimate. Another suggests Thanksgivukkah will take place in 2070 and 2165.

For fun and educational activities for children go to

Directions to play the Dreidel game.  Play for Hershey kisses, a great way to have fun with the kids when they are home from school!

Happy Hanukkah!

Thanksgiving an American Holiday

untitled (4)Celebrate on: Fourth Thursday in November

Thanksgiving Day is the fourth Thursday in November, but many Americans take a day of vacation on the following Friday to make a four-day weekend, during which they may travel long distances to visit family and friends.

The holiday dates back to 1621, the year after the Puritans arrived in Massachusetts, determined to practice their dissenting religion without interference. After a rough winter, in which about half of them died, they turned for help to neighboring Indians, who taught them how to plant corn and other crops. The next fall’s bountiful harvest inspired the Pilgrims to give thanks by holding a feast.

The Thanksgiving feast became a national tradition — not only because so many other Americans have found prosperity but also because the Pilgrims’ sacrifices for their freedom still captivate the imagination.

To this day, Thanksgiving dinner almost always includes some of the foods served at the first feast: roast turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, pumpkin pie. Before the meal begins, families or friends usually pause to give thanks for their blessings, including the joy of being united for the occasion.


Justine Probst - Au Pair in America

Justine Probst - Au Pair in America

Justine Probst is a 23 year old young woman from Germany living in the USA as an au pair with Au Pair in America. I met Justine when she arrived to her host family in Center Moriches in August 2013. As the Suffolk County Community Counselor for Au Pair in America, part of my job is to visit with new au pairs and help them through their year in America. Her long brown hair, ready smile and slim build were memorable. An intelligent young woman, she was excited about starting her year in America with her host family, caring for their children, learning about America and taking classes at Suffolk Community College.

Each month the Suffolk County au pairs get together for an activity and Justine always attends the activities. On Sunday, November 17th, over 200 au pairs from Au Pair in America who live with Long Island and Westchester host families, enjoyed the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in NYC. I immediately noticed Justine’s cute short new hair style and asked what made her take such a big step to cut off her hair. She said she did it for Locks of Love. We made a date to chat this week about why and how this was done.

Au Pair in America is a wonderful experience for young women from 60 countries around the world who spend a year or two with a host family caring for their children up to 45 hours a week, taking some classes at local colleges, and learning about American culture. But part of this experience is being away from loved ones back home. Justine learned a family member in German has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. She wanted to do something, but knew traveling home would not change her relative’s outcome, that she would lose her time in the USA; but she knew she had to do something meaningful. She found Locks of Love online and decided she could donate her long brown hair.

Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. You just need 10 inches of hair that has not been bleached or highlighted tied back in a ponytail or braid to donate.

Justine followed the directions on the Locks of Love website, went to a salon, cut off her ponytail and mailed it off to Locks of Love. I am very proud that Justine found this wonderful way to do something to honor her relative with breast cancer. Justine said her family member caught the cancer early through self-examination and her outcome is expected to be good. A lucky young child will one day be wearing Justine’s Locks of Love and hopefully will have a good outcome, too. Thank you Justine Probst!

Interested in Au Pair in America?  Check out

Holiday Boat Parade in Patchogue


Sunday, November 24th at 6 PM

The 20th annual boat parade will be taking place this weekend along Patchogue Village’s riverfront. A preview night Saturday from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. will allow residents to view the boats and vote for awards. Boats can be viewed from The Oar, 264 West Avenue in Patchogue, Harbor Crab, 116 Division St. in Patchogue, and Off Key Tikki, 31 Baker Place in Patchogue. The parade itself will take place Sunday around 6 p.m. and can be viewed from Sandspit Park: Davis Park Ferry Terminal on Brightwood St. or Fire Island National Seashore: Watch Hill Ferry Terminal on West Ave. More information is available at

Au Pair Enjoy Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

The Suffolk County Cluster of Au Pair in America!

The Suffolk County Cluster of Au Pair in America!

DSCN0270On Sunday, November 17th, 200 au pairs from Au Pair in America enjoyed a truly NY holiday tradition at Radio City Musical Hall.  The au pairs loved the Rockettes and the whole Christmas Spectacular!  The show was truly spectacular!DSCN0272DSCF2655