June 02, 2015 Healthy Living

Outdoor Arts and Culture Provide Healthy Family Fun

The arts and music can benefit both our physical and mental health. This has been shown in studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Researchers are also investigating how the arts can help us recover from disease, injury, and psychological trauma. Many scientists agree that exposure to the performing arts can reduce stress and anxiety, improve our well-being, and help fight infection.

CDPHP® Family Nights at SPAC

CDPHP focuses on our members’ wellness and the overall health of the community, which is why supporting the arts is very important to us. This summer is no exception as we kick off another year as title sponsor of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) CDPHP Family Night Series. The series consists of five Friday evening performances of the New York City Ballet on July 10 and 17 and the Philadelphia Orchestra on August 7, 14, and 21. SPAC provides a beautiful outdoor venue with seating inside the amphitheater and on the expansive, sloping lawn. The family fun begins at 6 p.m., with musical performances starting at 8 p.m.

Besides exposing children to world-class music and some of the best ballet dancers on the planet, the CDPHP Family Nights offer a ton of fun, too! Each evening starts off with a mix of strolling musicians, balloon animal art, chalk contests, family games, and even free ice cream courtesy of Stewart’s Shops. Children and their families also have an opportunity to sample and play a variety of instruments, with guidance from professional musicians, at the hands-on Instrument Petting Zoo. One popular feature is the interactive workshops that take place on the lawn at 7 p.m., conducted by principal dancers from the New York City Ballet and Momix, along with Philadelphia Orchestra musicians. The sessions are sponsored by Albany Medical Center.

Other companies help make the CDPHP Family Nights possible, too. Pediatric Dentistry of Glens Falls lends its support by sponsoring the Smile Zone, which features photos by Saratoga Photobooth Company.

Tickets for the CDPHP Family Nights can be purchased online or by calling the box office at (518) 584-9330.

Park Playhouse

Another family-friendly option you might consider this summer is a musical at Park Playhouse at the historic Lakehouse in Albany’s Washington Park. CDPHP has supported Park Playhouse through its corporate sponsorship program for many years.

This year, its 27th summer season, Park Playhouse will present “Singin’ in the Rain” from July 1-26 and “The Pajama Game” from August 1-22. Shows are Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m. Traditionally, the first Park Playhouse production involves primarily professional actors, many coming from Broadway in New York City. The second show in August offers talented students from this area and beyond the chance to act in a full-scale, professional production. Both performances are top-notch, with extensive sets, music, and lighting.

Based on the classic movie, Singin’ in the Rain is set in Hollywood in the 1920s when talking pictures were just coming to life. The Pajama Game is based on the novel “7½ Cents” and tells the story of the employees at the Sleep Tite Pajama Factory who are fighting for a raise while looking for love.

Although amphitheater seating is free, Park Playhouse does offer reserved seating for $18 (center section) and $16 (side sections) per ticket. Reserved tickets for “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Pajama Game” can be purchased online. If you’d like to get more involved, volunteer and intern opportunities with Park Playhouse are available.

Healthy outdoor activities don’t always require breaking a sweat, so be sure to add arts and culture to your wellness “diet” this summer. CDPHP is proud to support many of the wonderful music and theater venues our area has to offer.

Lisa Stratton
About the Author

Lisa joined CDPHP in 2005 as director of community relations and corporate events and is responsible for helping the organization remain active within the community through charity events and community sponsorship programs. Before CDPHP, Lisa was the director of media and public relations at Union College and the public relations coordinator at several Capital District school districts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from SUNY New Paltz.

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