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“Doing is a quantum leap from imagining.”

– Barbara Sher

I delight in the idea of the 29th of February. It feels so playful to me, just adding a day to the year like that. This quadrennial correction of time to our imperfect calendars that causes the rest of the year to “leap” forward by an additional day – it offers up so much possibility. What kinds of special things can happen on a day that only comes around every four years? The 29th invites us to honor and celebrate doing something new for ourselves, doing something different – something that we may have been thinking about but have been putting off, or perhaps something that we just discovered recently. In the same way that February 29 balances our calendars, how could this day nudge us into finding a new way to balance ourselves?

I love that living here means that topnotch skiing is an easy day trip away. But what if I don’t want to make a day of it? For about 28 years, Sawkill Family Ski Center, the “Smallest Ski Resort in the World,” has been operating right here in the Town of Kingston. It is a terrific alternative for families looking for a kid-sized ski experience, with its hill measuring 70 vertical feet. General manager Allen Lund says that this venture began as something “from the heart, not the head,” and I feel that personable approach from the snack bar to the slope, all within a child-sized comfortable walking distance.

Open weekends and holidays, there are two small hills for skiing and snowboarding, as well as a separate tubing run. The magic carpet makes it easy and comfortable for kids to get back to the top of the hill. Sawkill makes its own snow, keeping the fun going well into March if the temperatures cooperate. Private and group lessons are available by appointment. The ski shop handles rentals, as well as selling new and used equipment.

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If you, your kids or your grandkids have never skied or snowboarded before, Sawkill is an accessible way to get started. Sawkill Family Ski Center is located at 167 Hill Road in Kingston. Visit them on the web at www.sawkillski.com or call them at (845) 336-6977.

 

 

“I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.”

– Harriet Ross Tubman

Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad are not detached historical references that happened “somewhere else.” Harriet Tubman led slaves right through the Hudson Valley, and at least two homes in Hurley are said to have been secret stops along the way. Come hear dramatic storyteller Carolyn Evans bring some of this incredible woman’s history to life through storytelling, poetry and dance, accompanied by live drumming. Quilts with patterns traditionally used on the Underground Railroad will also be displayed and their hidden messages explained.

This performance will take place on Saturday, February 25 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Mid-Hudson Library System Auditorium located at 105 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. This event is free and intended for all ages. Questions may be directed to (845) 485-3445, extension 3320, or youthevents@poklib.org.

 

 

Saugerties Public Library is hosting a Teen Videomaking Club for youth interested in creating a short video for submission to the “Summer Reading at New York Libraries” contest. This contest is open to any New York State teen via any New York State library. Videos should encourage teens to read and use libraries this summer and include an interpretation of the slogan “Own the Night.” Entries must be submitted by March 5.

The Saugerties club meets on Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.saugertiespubliclibrary.org or www.summerreadingnys.org.

 

 

 

“I may be small/But I’ve got giant plans/To shine as greatly as the Sun”

– from “Astonishing,” in Little Women: The Broadway Musical

The New York Conservatory for the Arts (NYCA) Student Theatre Company presents Little Women: The Broadway Musical at NYCA. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s timeless story, performances will take place on Friday and Saturday, February 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, February 26 at 2 p.m. Some of the events in the play may be too intense for young children.

NYCA is located at 120 Schildknecht Road in Hurley. Tickets cost $15 general admission, $12 for seniors and students, and may be reserved by phone at (845) 339-4340 or in person during box office hours. Additional information can be found at www.nyca.org.

 

 

Last year, an Egyptian cobra disappeared from the reptile house at the Bronx Zoo. During its absence, its fictional antics were shared on Twitter as @BronxZoosCobra. For some real reptile antics, check out “Reptile Encounters” with expert Mark Perpetua at Mohonk Preserve this Friday, February 24 from 7 to 8 p.m. This program is free and takes place at the Mohonk Preserve Visitors’ Center, located at 3197 Route 44/55 in Gardiner. You can learn more about the program and Perpetua’s animals at www.mohonkpreserve.org or www.reptileprograms.com.

 

 

“A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and onstage. It’s my favorite part of the business: live concerts.”

– Elvis Presley

This weekend offers three different opportunities to hear some terrific live music geared especially toward children. If you plan it right, you could attend all three of them.

On Saturday morning, February 25 at 11 a.m., Uncle Rock will be playing at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck as part of its Family Series. Winner of Hudson Valley Magazine’s “Best Kids’ Performer of 2011,” he will rock the house for children and adults alike. Tickets go for $7 for children and $9 for adults. For more information, visit www.unclerock.com or www.centerforperformingarts.org.

Then, Saturday afternoon, Dog on Fleas will be playing at the Women’s Studio Workshop’s 15th annual Chili Bowl Fiesta. “What’s the Dog on Fleas recipe? In a very large saucepan mix equal parts Cab Calloway and Woody Guthrie. Stir in a pinch of Spike Jones, Ray Charles, NRBQ and Sun Ra. Top with a sauce of calypso, Cajun, highlife, soul and reggae. Stir with Ringo’s drumstick and simmer. Brigitte Bardot will serve you from John Cage’s hat.”

This event takes place at the Rosendale Recreation Center at 1055 Route 32. Admission is $5 from 2 to 4 p.m., with free entry from 4 to 7 p.m. To learn more, go to www.wsworkshop.org or www.dogonfleas.com.

Finally on Sunday morning, February 26, Gustafer Yellowgold takes the stage at the Falcon. Gustafer, created by Morgan Taylor, is a friendly explorer from the Sun visiting Earth. “Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show is a multimedia performance of live music, animated illustrations and storytelling.”

Doors open at 10 a.m.; music begins at 11 a.m. Admission is by donation. The Falcon is located at 1348 Route 9W in Marlboro. For details, visit www.liveatthefalcon.com or www.gustaferyellowgold.com.

 

 

Erica Chase-Salerno lives, loves and laughs in New Paltz with her husband Mike and their two children: the inspirations behind hudsonvalleyparents.com. She can be reached at kidsalmanac@ulsterpublishing.com.

 

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