Center for Creative Retirement

We offer more educational and fun classes, trips and workshops to keep you actively engaged.

How to Register

  • Register online by selecting "Add to Cart" on the desired course(s) and select "Cart" at the bottom of the page when you are ready to checkout.
    • The “Seats Left” information is updated every half hour and when you checkout.
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Courses

A Tour of the Pruyn House

On this tour, we will visit the Pruyn House, tucked away in Colonie. Built between 1825 and 1830, the historic home was the country estate of Casparus Francis Pruyn, his wife Ann Hewson, and their family. Casparus Francis Pruyn was the land and business agent for Stephen Van Rensselaer III, one of the last patroons of the Van Rensselaer Manor. The scenic grounds feature the historic home, the Buhrmaster Barn, herb and perennial gardens, and the Verdoy Schoolhouse. The Pruyn House serves as the educational, historical and cultural arts center for the Town of Colonie. Course fee includes $10 materials fee.

Course will meet at the Pruyn House, 207 Old Niskayuna Rd, Latham,NY

Paula Johannessen, Coordinator

A Tour of the Pruyn House
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 5/1
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-766 600 0 seats left $22Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

American Mah Jongg

Whether you are a beginner or looking for a refresher, join us in learning American Mahjong. This class includes basic instruction and the opportunity to play with people of varying skill levels. Let’s play, learn to conquer the card, and delve into strategies. If you have a Mahjong set, please bring it with you. Course includes a $15 materials fee.

Course does not meet on 3/12 & 4/2

Course will be held in Day Care Center, Room B06

Criss Macaione, Instructor

American Mah Jongg
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesdays, 2/13 - 4/30
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
ZSPI-276 600 0 seats left $99Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

Attitudes Towards Death Reflected in Gravestone Styles

We approach death in different ways, shaped by history, culture, and human conditions that vary over time and across space. This lecture will take us on a walk-through time to learn how gravestone styles, iconography and epitaphs become indicators of shared attitudes towards death and mourning that changed to reflect the beliefs and values of the societies in which they are embedded. Memorials to the dead are learning tools and key components in the analysis of the past. What can gravestones tell us about the way people responded to death over the centuries in America?

Course will be held at The Living Room Art Gallery, Historic St. Agnes Cemetery, 48 Cemetery Ave, Menands.

Kelly Grimaldi, Instructor

Attitudes Towards Death Reflected in Gravestone Styles
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 4/25
10:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-749 600 0 seats left $12Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

Gourmet Lunch Prepared by Culinary Program

Come enjoy a wonderful spread of food cooked and served by the hardworking SUNY Schenectady students who are preparing to enter hotel, culinary arts or tourism careers. Arrive ahead of time to shop at the meat shop, Boucherie, or the bakery shop, Pane e Dolci. Both are open from 11:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m. We will be dining in the Van Curler Dining Room. Students are not permited to bring bottles that need to be uncorked. Parking is available in the student parking lot. Course fee includes $26 materials fee.

Course will meet at 78 Washington Ave, Schenectady, NY

Lea Darling, Coordinator

Gourmet Lunch Prepared by Culinary Program
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 4/24
11:30 am - 2:30 pm
ZCCR-763 600 0 seats left $38Call for more information

Gravestone Restoration Workshop

Do you like old cemeteries and find gravestones interesting? Have you ever wondered how to properly clean them and make simple repairs? Back by popular demand, this hands-on gravestone restoration workshop will teach you how to clean stones and use appropriate mortars and epoxy to make repairs. You will learn best practices that will do no harm to gravestones that are more than a century old. All cleaning and repair materials and tools will be provided. You will need to bring a rinse bucket or dishpan. Gloves and garden seat are optional. Refreshments and bottled water will be provided. Join us in Historic St. Agnes Cemetery, 48 Cemetery Avenue, Menands for a fun, informative and relaxing workshop!

Course will be held at The Living Room Art Gallery, Historic St. Agnes Cemetery, 48 Cemetery Ave, Menands.

Kelly Grimaldi, Instructor

Gravestone Restoration Workshop
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 5/9
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
ZCCR-488 600 0 seats left $52Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

Knickerbocker Family Mansion: Ghosts, Tour and Lunch

The Knickerbocker Historical Society will be our hosts as they tell us about the history and ghosts of the Knickerbocker Mansion, which dates from about 1770. They will arrange for historical ‘ghosts’ to give moving firsthand accounts of their lives and experiences, and they will explain the renovations – the not-for-profit Society rescued the mansion from certain demolition and has continued to restore it. Our visit concludes with a chance to tour the mansion and to a colonial lunch cooked with authentic recipes, a delicious side to the history of the mansion. Course fee includes $30 materials fee.

Paula Johannessen, Coordinator

Directions: Take Route 40 north to Schaghticoke. At the red light as you approach the village, turn left on Route 67, travel west toward Mechanicville. Drive 3 miles west, turn right onto Knickerbocker Road. The Mansion is the first building on the right.

Knickerbocker Family Mansion: Ghosts, Tour and Lunch
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 5/8
10:30 am - 1:30 pm
ZCCR-137 600 0 seats left $40Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

Let Those Meneely Bells Ring

We all have heard about them, some may have even seen a few, but the background of the Meneely bells is absolutely fascinating in the Troy area. Come get the scoop and hear all about them. What they were made of? How were they were tuned? Where are they now?  Find out the difference between a chime, a carillon and a peel. Gene Burns’ son Kim and daughter-in-law Melinda will share his experiences and knowledge from his recently published book “The Meneely Bells of West Troy: Watervliet.”

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Kim & Melinda Burns, Instructor

Let Those Meneely Bells Ring
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Friday, 4/26
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-626 600 2 seats left $22

The Alarming History of Pharmacy

This presentation explores the more unusual medications and formulations used as treatments for a variety of ailments, from ancient Egypt to present day. The presentation will also include a demonstration on pill rolling and other artifacts used by apothecaries in a 19th century drug store. There will be time for questions and discussions at the end.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Lee Anna Obos, Instructor

The Alarming History of Pharmacy
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 4/24
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-769 600 1 seats left $15

The Current Russian-Ukrainian War

This class provides an overview and military analysis of the current war in Ukraine. We will also discuss the strategies employed and the operational and tactical conduct of the fighting by each side, as well as how newer technologies are impacting the battlefield and how modern warfare is evolving.

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Thad Gaebelein, Instructor

The Current Russian-Ukrainian War
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 4/29
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-772 600 1 seats left $19

The Mansion to Mansion Tour

This Saratoga Springs walking tour starts inside the Batcheller Mansion (first floor only). Hear the story of George, Catharine and Kate Batcheller; learn what their lives were like when they built this beautiful home in 1874 and the details of events of the following years. Hear about their friendship with President Grant and how they spent years in France, Portugal and Egypt, to name just a few places. The tour will then move outside as we walk down Circular Street, learning about the stories of the Batchellers’ neighbors, such as the then-Vice President, who lived across the street, and the acting first lady, who lived a few more houses away. Our last stop on the tour is to go inside the mansion known as “Union Gables,” built in 1901 for a local merchant and manufacturer. Wear comfortable shoes!  Course fee includes $25 materials fee.  

Course will meet at the Batcheller Mansion, 20 Circular St., Saratoga Springs, NY

Dr. Hollis Palmer, Instructor

The Mansion to Mansion Tour
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Monday, 5/6
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
ZCCR-641 600 0 seats left $37Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

The Perimeter of Woodlawn Walking Tour

The site of the current Skidmore campus in Saratoga Springs was, at one time, a park named Woodlawn. Believing the park would be like Central Park in New York City, some of the most successful Albany, Troy and Schenectady families built grand Gilded Age cottages on what was to be the perimeter. This tour consists of two loops. Wear comfortable shoes! Course fee includes $25 materials fee. 

Course will meet at corner of First & Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY

Dr. Hollis Palmer, Instructor

The Perimeter of Woodlawn Walking Tour
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Wednesday, 5/1
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
ZCCR-768 600 1 seats left $37

The Saugerties Lighthouse

Join us at the Saugerties Lighthouse, an 1869 landmark on the Hudson River that now stands proudly as a living museum and a renowned bed and breakfast. The Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy maintains the lighthouse and adjacent lands for the enjoyment of the public. The restored red-brick lighthouse offers overnight bed and breakfast accommodations, public tours and special events. Furnished as it may have looked in the early 20th century, the lighthouse contains a small museum, gift shop, parlor, kitchen, keepers’ quarters, and two guest bedrooms. The operational light tower offers a panoramic view of the Hudson River Valley and Catskill Mountains. Because of its location on the river, tours must be scheduled with tide schedules in mind. The lighthouse can be reached via a half-mile nature trail of dirt and rock paths with wooden bridges and boardwalks and sandy trails. It is at the end of Lighthouse Drive in the village of Saugerties, New York. Suitable, comfortable shoes are recommended. Course fee includes a $8 materials fee.

Michele Doodian, Coordinator

Directions: Southbound on NYS Thruway/I-87 to the RT-32 exit-(Exit 20) - toward Saugerties/Woodstock. Turn left onto NY-32, turn left onto NY-212/NY-32, which becomes Ulster Ave. Continue on Ulster Ave. for 1.0 mile, bear right at Market St., go 1 block turn left at Main St., go 1 block stay straight to US-9W/Main St. Go 0.4 miles where 9W curves to the left, turn right onto Mynderse St., go 0.3 miles turn slight left onto Lighthouse Dr. Go 0.4 miles turn right into the lighthouse parking lot after the US Coast Guard station. Follow the lighthouse trail. Go 0.5 miles.  Please wear comfortable shoes.

The Saugerties Lighthouse
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Thursday, 5/9
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
ZCCR-337 600 0 seats left $22Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

Tour of County Waste Single Stream Recycling Plant

How does Single Stream Recycling (SSR) work, and why do it? Come and find out the answers and see the workings of this busy facility. SSR makes it easier for individuals to recycle, because separating is not necessary. SSR is better for the environment, with less going into the landfill and more to be reused. We will start with a short, informative presentation, and then go on a guided walking tour. You will be asked to wear a hard hat and a safety vest. You will be walking up flights of stairs and experiencing loud noises. Wear closed-toe shoes and long pants and dress for outside temperatures, as the garage doors will be open. If you are sensitive to odors, this may not be the class for you. Parking is at the plant, 865 South Pearl St. Albany. After parking, look for the office sign and walk in.

Course will meet at 865 South Pearl St, Albany, NY (in main office of plant)

Lea Darling, Coordinator

 

Tour of County Waste Single Stream Recycling Plant
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/23
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-568 600 0 seats left $12Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

Using Probate Records in Family History

Wills and probate records are among the most basic documents used by genealogists, yet inexperience with the process and all those legal terms tend to intimidate even seasoned family historians. But probate records can provide information about an ancestor’s family not available elsewhere, especially in New York State. Instructor Lisa Dougherty will be joined at this session by Judith Harper, a professional family historian whose research credits include projects for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, who will help you navigate the process. 

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Lisa Dougherty, Instructor

Using Probate Records in Family History
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/30
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-757 600 7 seats left $15

Walking Tour of Saratoga Spa State Park

Have you ever attended an event at SPAC, explored the Roosevelt Baths and Museum of Dance buildings, strolled through the paths of Gideon Putnam Hotel, played golf, swam in the Peerless Pool, tasted the many mineral springs, watched the water spout spouting, or taken your child/grandchildren to stock the stream with trout? Join us for a ranger-led walking history tour of Saratoga Spa State Park and learn how this gem of a park came to be. Hear the story of the men who realized what a treasure this area was and decided to save it from commercialism and urbanization for eternity for the enjoyment of the common folk. We will see how, over more than 100 years, things have changed in this oasis of peace, and how the initial idea evolved into what we see today. This stroll will cover up to two miles in an hour and a half to two hours on level ground with stone and dirt paths. Dress for the weather, rain or shine. 

Course will meet at the Creekside Classroom on the Picnic Loop Road, Geyser Loop Road. Saratoga Springs, NY

Lea Darling, Coordinator

Walking Tour of Saratoga Spa State Park
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 5/7
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ZCCR-741 600 0 seats left $12Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

Walking Tour of Troy's Historic Washington Park and Surrounding Homes and Tea

Enjoy taking a step back in time to the mid-1800's to see and experience the genteel living of the nouveau rich of Troy’s Washington Park, surrounding neighborhoods and newly added artist enclave. You will be able to see first hand, the loving care taken to rehabilitate and update many of these one of a kind homes of the emerging upper middle class of the 19th century and visit their own private park. You will see many different types of architecture including Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate and Queen Anne. We may even see a restoration in progress at one of the area homes.

New this tour will be visiting St. John’s Episcopal Church where you will discover the many hidden Tiffany treasures from stained glass windows, intricate floor tile mosaics and the painted Baptismal alcove. while awaiting the start of the class, enjoy their Memorial Garden which has been on the Troy Hidden Garden Tour. A moderate lunch will be held in the last home we visit on the tour.

Washington Park is described in an 1840's deed as a “private ornamental park for the use and recreation of the lots fronting said park”. Own-ers would be charged for “fencing, improving, ornamentation, planting, keeping, and maintaining said park and the walks and streets around the same”. Today, surrounding homeowners still are assessed an annual maintenance fee for improvements and the upkeep of the grounds and fence.

There will be lots of walking on mostly uneven surfaces: sidewalks, grass, roads, and some home interiors with multiple flights of stairs, climbing up and down. Be mindful of your capabilities to keep up with the group as we have a tight schedule to adhere to for the 2 hour tour. Wear comfortable walking shoes as you will be on your feet for all of the tour. Dress for the outdoors, rain or shine this time of year.

Course will meet in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Parking Lot directly across from the church, 146 1st Street

Lea Darling, Coordinator

Walking Tour of Troy's Historic Washington Park and Surrounding Homes and Tea
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/30
9:30 am - 12:30 pm
ZCCR-329 600 0 seats left $37Section Full

Call to be added to wait list

War for Albany & Susquehana RR

In 1851, the Albany & Susquehanna Railroad between Albany and Binghamton was formed to bring farm products and coal to Albany markets. After years of financial issues, the railroad was completed in January 1869. Railroad baron James Fisk immediately sought control of the railroad to link with his Erie Railroad. A struggle for control of the board of directors took place in the summer of 1869. This resulted in violence, and eventually, state control of the railroad. This class will explore the scuffle for control, judicial arguments, physical violence, ingenious efforts for control of the board of directors, and final outcome of what became part of the D&H railroad, now a section of the Albany-Helderberg Rail Trail. 

Course will be held in Williams Hall, Room 113

Jill Knapp, Instructor

War for Albany & Susquehana RR
Schedule Section Seats Left Cost Register
Tuesday, 4/23
9:30 am - 11:30 am
ZCCR-754 600 19 seats left $19

Additional Resources

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Cancellation and refund policies vary depending on the type and length of course. Find out about course cancellations, requesting a refund and more.
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The Office of Community, Professional and Workforce Development is interested in new and innovative instructors and course ideas that will be of interest to community members.

Get in Touch

Community, Professional and Workforce Development

Fitzgibbons Health Technologies Center, Room 334

Fax: (518) 629-8103

Regular Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Summer 2023 Hours (May 22 - July 28): Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Friday, Closed
(excluding college holidays and vacations)