Kids’ Almanac (August 1-9)


Big Time Rush will play Bethel Woods on August 7.

Free kids’ haircuts at J. C. Penney on August 1 to break world record


Kids have around 100,000 hairs on their heads. If the ones on your kids are whipping back and forth a little too much and need a trim, you should know that J. C. Penney is offering free haircuts for kids during the entire month of August. How would your kids like to help set a new haircut world record? Don’t worry – not the record for the most expensive haircut, which is set at $16,420. On Wednesday, August 1, J. C. Penney is attempting to set a new record for the most haircuts in a day. In addition to offering free children’s haircuts, J. C. Penney is donating to the Boys & Girls Clubs and to 4H. Whether your kids want to be part of record-making history, or their unruly locks need to get in shape for back-to-school preparation, head over to J. C. Penney.


This offer is open to children from kindergarten through sixth grade, and appointments are recommended. For more information or to make an appointment, call the free haircut dedicated line (855) JCP-KIDS or call the local store directly. Here in the Hudson Valley, we have a J. C. Penney on both sides of the river: at the Hudson Valley Mall at 1300 Ulster Avenue in Kingston, (845) 336-4300; and at the Poughkeepsie Galleria at 2001 South Road in Poughkeepsie, (845) 298-0572.


Monarch butterfly workshop this Thursday at Kingston Library


There are approximately 28,000 types of butterflies in the world, and I know the name of exactly one: the monarch butterfly. This past spring, our daughter and I chose flowers at Wallkill View Farm [on “The Flats” in New Paltz] reputed to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to our windowboxes. We’ve had a few flying visitors, but no monarchs yet. Next year, we’ll see if we can grow their favorite food: milkweed.

In the meantime, we’ll appreciate programs such as “Monarch Butterflies,” presented by environmentalist, teacher and musician Betty Boomer at the Kingston Library. This Thursday, August 2 from 1 to 2 p.m., participants can experience a hands-on workshop about the wonders of the monarch butterfly. This program is free, but registration is required. The Kingston Library is located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston. For more information or to register, call (845) 331-0507, extension 7, or visit



Beaut and the Beasty at Rhinebeck’s Cocoon Theatre this weekend


If you haven’t been yet to the Cocoon Theatre in Rhinebeck, you should check it out. Our family loves the tiny size of it, the big ideas that happen inside of it and the up-close-and-personal seating that we enjoy as audience members (the front row gets to sit on floor cushions right in front of the action!). This weekend, the Theatre’s 19th annual Young Actors’ Summer Workshop presents Beaut and the Beasty, a twist on the original 18th-century fairy-tale classic Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie le Prince de Beaumont. Incidentally, Beaumont was one of the first people ever to write fairy tales for children.

The Cocoon Theatre’s director, Marguerite San Millan, produces an original adaptation of the familiar story by placing it in upstate New York, where privileged private schoolchildren go on a frightening adventure of self-discovery. The actors in this production range from ages 6 through 13, and this performance is suitable for all ages.

Beaut and the Beasty takes place on Friday and Saturday, August 3 and 4 at 7 p.m., and on Sunday, August 5 at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $15 each. The Cocoon Theatre is located at 6384 Mill Street (Route 9) in Rhinebeck, across from the Beekman Arms. Reservations are strongly advised. For tickets or more information, call (845) 876-6470 or visit



A very full family-friendly Saturday, from the Maverick to Uptown Kingston to Bard


Here’s a great family plan to consider for Saturday: Browse through the Kingston Farmers’ Market; go to the Elizabeth Mitchell concert at Maverick; take a ride on the Kingston Shuttle Train; cross the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge and go to the Spiegeltent in Rhinebeck for The Little Farm Show.

Our daughter loves singing folksongs during her classes with musician, composer, conductor and teacher Nancy Chusid in West Hurley. She’s always surprised that other people seem to know these songs, so she will be very excited when we soon purchase a copy of Elizabeth Mitchell’s newest release, Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie.

Elizabeth Mitchell and Family are performing as part of Maverick Concerts’ Young People’s Concerts series this Saturday, August 4 at 11 a.m. Admission is free for children, $5 for adults. These family-focused performances are a terrific way for children to experience live music. Youngsters can sit on cushions right in front of the stage, the concert lasts between 45 and 60 minutes, and the musicians interact with the audience during the show. Outdoor seating is also available for little legs that require a break from sitting still.

Mitchell has a quite a following, so try to get there early. Plus, you can explore the grounds while you’re there. The rustic, historic Maverick Concert Hall is one of our area’s greatest treasures. Go see for yourself! Maverick Concerts are located at 120 Maverick Road in Woodstock. For more information, call (845) 679-8217 or visit To learn more about Elizabeth Mitchell, visit


Either before or after the concert, stop by the Kingston Farmers’ Market, where August 4 happens to be Kids’ Day. In addition to the terrific food and wares of the regular weekly market, children can enjoy free activities, fun and games, including a kids’ cooking class. The Kingston Farmers’ Market is located on Wall Street in uptown Kingston and is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. For more information, call (347) 276-2606 or visit


Catskill Mountain Railroad’s Kingston Shuttle Train is a sweet historic jaunt right in Kingston and is walking distance from the Farmers’ Market. During its summer schedule, the train leaves hourly from its station at Kingston Plaza on Saturdays between 1 and 4 p.m. The ride is a 45-minute round-trip pulled by a vintage Diesel locomotive. On Saturday, August 4, it’s Parents’ Day, where Moms, Dads and grandparents receive $2 off of their fare when accompanied by their children. Regular pricing is $6 for adults, $4 for children ages 2 through 11 years; children under age 2 ride free with a paid adult fare. Parking is free and the trains are handicapped-accessible, but please note that there are no rest rooms on the train. Looking for more vintage train ride excursions? Check out Kingston’s sister line, the Esopus Scenic Train. For more information, call (845) 688-7400 or visit


After spending time at the Kingston Farmers’ Market, you’ll be primed for The Little Farm Show at the Bard College SummerScape Spiegel Tent. The production takes an entertaining approach to educating the public about farming, food and the environment and asking people to think about the impact of their food choices. Performances take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 4 and 5 at 3:30 p.m. Tickets cost $5 for children ages 3 and over and $15 for adults. Bard College is located at 60 Manor Avenue in Annandale-on-Hudson, at the intersection of Route 9G and Annandale Road. For tickets or more information, call (845) 758-7900 or visit To learn more about The Little Farm Show, visit



African-American Family Day at Albany’s Empire State Plaza this Saturday


The Empire State Plaza in Albany hosts a variety of events throughout the year. It also helps define the skyline of our state capital; in fact, the Corning Tower is the highest building in the state outside of New York City. This Saturday, August 4 is McDonald’s African-American Family Day, “A Family Reunion: Family, Love, Peace, Respect, Unity.” The festivities take place at the Empire State Plaza from 12 noon to 7 p.m. Families are invited to celebrate the traditions and contributions of the African-American community through music, art and dance featuring lots of family activities.

This free event includes sets by the Ohio Players and Grammy-winner Evelyn “Champagne” King, as well as local vocal, dance and theater groups. Nanny’s Double Dutch League will also perform. There will be face-painting, clowns, arts and crafts and exhibits throughout the day. For more information, call (908) 676-2323 or visit



Kids’ artmaking workshop with Chakaia Booker and Browning Kay this Sunday at Storm King


American political activist, scholar and author Angela Davis said, “Progressive art can assist people to learn not only about the objective forces at work in the society in which they live, but also about the intensity and social character of their interior lives. Ultimately, it can propel people toward social emancipation.”

Not only does the Storm King Art Center display more than 100 mostly large-scale abstract sculptures for us to connect with, but it also helps to engage visitors of all ages through its family programs, which are free with paid admission. This Sunday, August 5, Storm King presents a hands-on workshop with artists Chakaia Booker and Browning Kay, where they inspire families to create art using a variety of materials, including making cardboard silhouettes. Take this opportunity to help your children share story through art and to witness how other artists have created visual messages throughout the decades.


The family program takes place at 1 p.m. Entrance fees to Storm King are: adults $12; senior citizens (65 and older) $10; students $8; members and children under 5 get in free. Storm King is located at 1 Museum Road in New Windsor (Mountainville). For more information, call (845) 534-3115 or visit



Kingston’s Senate House hosts Children’s History Week


Children’s History Week at the Senate House State Historic Site is a terrific way for our kids to feel grounded in our heritage. Kingston was the first capital of New York State because of the incredible bravery and honor of its citizens over 200 years ago. The first meetings to form a new state government – our first Senate – happened there. Now children ages 8 to 12 years can learn some of the traditions and aspects of daily life of 18th-century Kingston, including hand-spinning wool, churning butter, games and more. Children’s Week takes place from August 6 through 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost for the week is $90 and preregistration is required.

The Senate House is located at 296 Fair Street in Kingston. The Senate House is also open for day visits from Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 to 4:30 p.m. through October 31. For more information or to register, call (845) 338-2786 or visit



Big Time Rush to play Bethel Woods on August 7


I mentioned something recently about the popular band Big Time Rush to my father, and he noted the similarity to the Monkees’ start in 1966: Boy band gets created for a humorous television show and finds success with its music outside the show as well. I found out later that Big Time Rush creator Scott Fellows’ inspiration for the show actually was the Monkees.

If your crew sings along with “Elevate” from Big Time Rush’s album of the same name, the band’s new single “Windows Down” or its older hits like “Nothing Even Matters,” Bethel Woods might be in your plans this week. On Tuesday, August 7, Kendall, James, Carlos and Logan perform live as part of their Big Time Summer Tour. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. and showtime is at 7 p.m. Ticket prices range from $26.50 for lawn seats to $81.50 for reserved seating.

Bethel Woods is located at 200 Hurd Road in Bethel. For tickets or more information, visit To learn more about Big Time Rush, visit



“Go for the Stars” program at Marlboro Library this Wednesday


You know that expression, “Reach for the Moon – even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”? Well, I can make it even easier for you: If you reach for the Marlboro Library on Wednesday, August 8, presenter Gary Pozzato will help your family “Go for the Stars.” Pozzato and Robo the friendly robot will share information about robotics in space, living in space and much more.

This free program begins at 7 p.m., lasts for one hour and is suitable for ages 5 and up. Registration is recommended. The Marlboro Library is located at 1251 Route 9W in Marlboro. To register or for more information, call (845) 236-7272, extension 14, or visit To learn more about the program, visit




This week’s column is dedicated to our son, who would like to say: “It’s a scientific fact that catnip mice are for science, and it’s true.” I love you, honey. Erica Chase-Salerno can be reached at

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  1. Kids' Almanac (August 1-9) | Build a Robot

    […] Kids' Almanac (August 1-9) This Sunday, August 5, Storm King presents a hands-on workshop with artists Chakaia Booker and Browning Kay, where they inspire families to create art using a variety of materials, including making cardboard silhouettes. Take this opportunity to help … Read more on Almanac Weekly […]

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