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Tips for Back to School Season

Parenting Tips for Back to School Season

Parenting Tips for Back to School Season

Back to school season can be stressful and busy for parents and kids alike. So, the question becomes, how do you stay connected during this busy time?

Make a game out of asking about their day

Lots of kids will groan if you ask them the generic, “What happened at school today?” question. Instead, make a game out of it by matching different questions to different numbers, and then having kids pull playing cards. Whatever number is on the card is the question they have to answer.

Ask questions at bedtime

If you don’t want to ask questions as a game, here’s four simple questions to ask as you tuck the little ones into bed.

  • What was your favorite part of today?
  • What was your least favorite?
  • Do you have any questions about today?
  • How did you show kindness today?

Introduce kids to cell phones by negotiating rules

Giving young children their first phone doesn’t have to be stressful. Involve them in the decision to set boundaries and rules for cell phone use.

Make a tech curfew

Letting kids stare at bright screens until bedtime can interfere with their sleep. Make sure to set a time when tech use has to stop.

Give kids morning cue cards

Are your kids struggling with their routine? Make little cards for them, instructing them what order they should complete tasks in and at which time.


With these tips from us at Steet Ponte Mazda, back to school season doesn’t have to be so hectic.

Things to do in Utica, New York


bowlingLooking for something to do this weekend? We’ve got a list of all of the great things to see and do in Utica.

  1. Check out the area museums. Utica has been home to the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute since 1919. Another museum that you could visit is the Children’s Museum of History, Science & Technology. This one is great for the whole family and puts extra emphasis on STEM subjects.
  2. Grab a cold one at a local brewery. Check out the Saranac Brewery which was founded in 1888. When you take the tour, you receive two free drink tickets. You can also check out the F.X. Matt Brewing Company which was also founded in 1888. It’s grown over the years to become one of the largest craft breweries in the United States.
  3. Go bowling. AMF Pin-O-Rama Lanes offers open and league bowling. You can also check out their pool tables and aracade!

There are all kinds of entertainment venues in Utica, these are just a few of our favorites. Let us know which one you like best in the comment section below!

How to Spread holiday Cheer in Your Neighborhood

Holiday Cheer in Your NeighborhoodThis time of year is undeniably the most joyous, but for some people, their joy may be dampened for one reason or another. If you know of people who are feeling more downhearted this Christmas season, here are a few simple ways to spread holiday cheer in your neighborhood.

  • Order a pizza. Sometimes, a little bit of food is all it takes to make someone’s day brighter. Send an unannounced pizza delivery to a friend. There is no other comfort food quite like a hot pizza.
  • Buy the gas. The next time you stop to fill up your car, offer to buy someone else’s gas. Perhaps you see a mom with a minivan full of kids or an older gentleman who is struggling to get in and out of his car. Just imagine how great you would feel if someone paid for your gas.
  • Give a gift card. Head to your local grocery store and purchase a few gift cards for the store in whatever amount works for you. Then, walk around and look for people who seem like they could use a smile. Hand them the gift card, wish them a Merry Christmas, and walk away.
  • 12 Days of Christmas. Pick out a neighbor who lives nearby who could use a little cheer this holiday season. Then, as a family, come up with 12 gifts you could share with them—cookies, cards, decorations, dinner, etc. Each of the 12 nights leading up to Christmas, sneak over to their house, leave the gift on the porch, ring the doorbell, and hide. On the last night, you can announce your presence, if you want, or just leave all the gifts as a mystery.

What is your favorite way to spread Christmas cheer?

Steet Ponte Auto Group Sponsors “It’s a Three Dog Night”

Freedom Guide Dogs for the Blind will be hosting their annual fundraiser, “It’s a Three Dog Night”. The event will be held at the Roselawn Banquet Facility in New York Mills, NY this Saturday April 18 starting at 6:00 PM.

Guide Dogs

Picture courtesy of Smerikal

The event is to help offset the cost of training guide dogs for the blind and benefits Freedom Guide Dogs for the Blind which is a local training school located in Cassville, NY.  This non-profit organization does it all from breeding, raising and training the guide dogs and places them with the blind and visually impaired through their program. The program they use to place the dogs with those in need is called Hometown Training and is very distinctive. The Freedom Guide Dogs’ services are available to people in the Easter United States at no cost!

To help support this wonderful cause you can purchase tickets that are $40 each or a table of eight for $280. Tickets to this event include a buffet dinner, silent auction and basket raffle. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Sponsorships run from a Naming sponsor to a quarter page ad in the program. Gold and Silver sponsors and Naming sponsors will receive a mention on TV, radio and in newspaper ads as well as a full page ad in the program book and they will receive tickets to the event. This year’s media partners for the event include WKTV, WIBX and the Observer Dispatch.

We hope to see you out at the event this Saturday April, 18 starting at 6 PM! To purchase tickets to the event click here. If you’re not able to attend but would still like to support the cause, please become a sponsor by clicking here or purchase an ad in the book by clicking here.

The Steet Ponte Auto group is proud to sponsor a wonderful cause that will help others not only in our community but in the entire Eastern United States!

Best Valentine’s Date Spots in Utica, NY

Utica may be a small city, but there is no shortage of romantic spots that can help make this Valentine’s Day a memorable one. Clean out your Mazda, give it a good scrub, pick up your date, and head out to one of the following Valentine’s Day spots in Utica, NY.

Best Valentine's Date Spots in UticaPellettieri Joe’s. Located in East Utica, Pellettieri Joe’s is the can’t-miss Italian restaurant, perfect for a traditional romantic dinner. Order some of the infamous riggies and greens, settle in, and enjoy the company.

Gerbers 1933 Tavern. If something less pricey and more laid back is your style, you really can’t go wrong at Gerber’s 1933 Tavern. This historic speakeasy has been beautifully restored to its original glory, and offers a simple, but delicious menu with unique specials daily.

Drive to Old Forge. Don’t be intimidated by winter weather. Hop in your all-wheel-drive Mazda CX-5 and enjoy a romantic and scenic drive of the Adirondacks. If you love birds are up for some winter fun, rent a snowmobile. Even better? Make a weekend of it and discover the variety of winter activities this mountain town has to offer.

Nola’s Restaurant and Wine Bar. Nola’s Restaurant is nestled in the small and festive town of Clinton, where you’ll find a delectable menu, cozy atmosphere, and modern decor. Next door is their wine bar, which offers a wide variety of wines and appetizers. After dinner and drinks, bundle up for a romantic walk around the town square.

If you’re looking for a hot new ride this Valentine’s Day, look no further than Steet Ponte Mazda!

Steet Ponte Mazda Has Special Edition Newspapers for Breast Cancer Awareness

Steet Ponte Mazda - Breast Cancer Awareness

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, we at Steet Ponte Mazda want to help find a cure! We’ve received a special edition of the Rome Daily Sentinel newspaper with a canister next to it where you can donate money towards the cause.

The Rome Daily is based out of Rome, NY. Their special edition Breast Cancer Awareness newspapers are available for a limited time at our dealership!


Next to the newspapers are candy bars that we’re selling. All proceeds from the Steet Ponte Mazda - Breast Cancer Awarenesscandy bar sales will be going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York. Stop in and see us and donate to one of these great causes! We’ve got a limited amount of newspapers but the canister will be there!

Celebrate National Zoo and Aquarium Month

June is National Zoo and Aquarium Month, and what better way to kick off the summer than with a trip to your local zoo. Just 15 minutes away from Steet Ponte Mazda is the beautiful Utica Zoo.

Located in Roscoe-Conkling Park, the Utica Zoo has been serving the region for 100 years. Its original walkways and landscape architecture was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the same man who designed New York City’s Central Park.

This year, the zoo is celebrating its 100th anniversary, which means lots of special events throughout the summer, including a 100th Birthday Celebration on July 20. That day, the zoo will be offering free admission for everyone, live entertainment, special presentations, and food.

Normal operating hours are 10:00 am to 4:45 pm. Admission for an adult is $7.75 and is $4.75 for children. There are hundreds of animals from around the world at the zoo including African lions, ostriches, multiple varieties of birds, wolves, and more.

Will you be visiting your local zoo or aquarium this month?

Memorial Day Events in Your Area

Memorial DayMemorial Day is a time to celebrate those who have given their lives for our country. If you’re looking for a great way to honor our heroic veterans, make sure you check out these Memorial Day events throughout Utica.

For those of you looking for a memorial ceremony, there are plenty throughout the community. A special service will be held at 1:30 on Sunday, May 27 in Whitesboro at St. Stanislaus Cemetery on Woods Road, including a wreath-laying ceremony at the Veterans’ Monument. There is also another wreath-laying ceremony on Monday, May 26 that starts at the Soldiers and Sailor Monument on Oneida Square, which then moves to the Vietnam Veterans memorial on Memorial Parkway, the POW-MIA Monument on the Parkeway, the WWI/WWII/Korean War Monument, the Purple Heart Park in West Utica, and the All Veterans Memoria at Utica’s Main Post Office on Pitcher Street.

If you enjoy celebrating our heroes with a parade, you have multiple options to choose from, including the Vernon Center’s parade, which begins at 9 AM on Monday, May 26 in front of the Vernon Center Volunteer Fire Department. There is also a Memorial Day parade in Whitesboro that includes a brick-laying ceremony and memorial service at the Village Green.  We’ll be at the New Hartford Memorial Day Parade at 7:00 PM on Monday May 26. You can come see our lineup and join us at the NH Fire Department afterwards for refreshments and a chance to look at the fire trucks!

For more information on the different Memorial Day events Utica has to offer, check out this list of events.