Kids’ Almanac (December 13-20)

Happy Holidays Interactive Concert in Pleasant Valley

A holiday concert given by, and for, people with developmental disabilities! Yes! Let’s spread the word about this delightful, inclusive event. And its organizers, New Horizons Resources, even list the songs so that you can practice the words, “so you can sing along all the louder with us!” Yes! Concert songs include Irving Berlin’s “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” Jerry Herman’s “Hello, Dolly” and familiar holiday tunes such as “Jingle Bells,” “Let It Snow,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “White Christmas.”

The second annual Happy Holidays Interactive Concert takes place on Monday, December 17 from 7 to 8 p.m.; the doors open at 6:15 p.m. Tickets cost $5 per person.

New Horizons Resources is located at 123 West Road in Pleasant Valley. For more information, call (845) 677-5871 or visit To learn more about the work of New Horizons, visit



Candlelight tour and storytelling this Sunday at Mount Gulian

Finish out your year with some family time at historic Mount Gulian, which holds ties to fascinating history, including the runaway slave-then-free man John Brown, who offers detailed insights into daily life from the journals that he kept from 1829 to 1866.

On December 16, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., enjoy a holiday candlelight tour of the decorated home, with storytelling for all ages by Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi at 5:30 p.m. Admission costs $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for children.

And remember to make your prepaid reservations by December 20 for the upcoming Children’s Holiday Tea on December 27 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Tickets for the Tea cost $15 for adults, $12 for children, which include traditional tea fare such as scones, crustless sandwiches (sign my kids up just for that!) and a craft activity for the kids.

The Mount Gulian Historic Site is located at 145 Sterling Street in Beacon. For more information, or to register for the Children’s Tea, call (845) 831-8172 or visit


Poughkeepsie hosts Able Together

When I came across this group, I wanted to help raise awareness about it in the community. Able Together is a monthly disability support group for mothers with disabilities and families who have children with disabilities: “Together, regardless of challenges, we can better help each other overcome those challenges than if faced alone.”

The group supports families with any type of disability, from ADHD to physical or mental differences, and helps families find support and assistance. Able Together is run by a mother with a physical disability who is not a social worker, therapist or professional and who has children with disabilities.

Able Together takes place on the third Wednesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The next one will be held on Wednesday, December 19 at Waddle n Swaddle, located at 32 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 549-3700 or e-mail To learn more about this fantastic retail store that hosts the meeting, as well as its other offerings, visit or find it on Facebook.


Hudson Valley Young Artist Talent Search winners to be announced this Sunday

Congratulations to the finalists of the second annual Hudson Valley Young Artist Talent Search! These amazing young people are some of the best new musical talent around and deserve a huge round of applause: Sawyer Fredericks, Sammy Hurwitz, Madi Guski, Nicholas Olmoz, Lexi Rodriguez, Marmalade Sky, Kayla Barone, Maryrose Canvari, Daron McShane, A-J Twinz and Alexis Newman! The winners will be announced on Sunday, December 16, and I’ll include their names in the next Kids’ Almanac. For more information, visit


Polar Express Night at Hyde Park train station

“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”

All right, is it just me, or do you tear up like I do every time you read that last line of The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburgh? [wipes eyes] Enjoy hearing someone else read this popular story for a change, and thrill your kids with the chance to hang out in a real train station by stopping in for Polar Express Night at the Hyde Park Station. Crafts and refreshments will also be available.

Polar Express Night takes place on Monday, December 17 at 5 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. The Hyde Park Station is located at 34 River Road in Hyde Park. For more information, call (845) 229-2338 or visit To learn more about the story, visit


Erica Chase-Salerno invites you to “Think clearly, create freely and love deeply.” She lives in New Paltz with her husband Mike and their two children: the inspirations behind She can be reached at