Kids’ Almanac (June 20-27)

bard rock @Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it.
– The Great Gatsby


Summer Solstice fun

This Friday, June 21 marks the Summer Solstice, the “longest” day of the year. Here is a series of events honoring this passage into summer.


Newburgh Illuminated

Did you know that in 1884, Thomas Edison built one of the world’s first electric power stations right in Newburgh? This weekend, timed perfectly with the longest light of the year, the city hosts Newburgh Illuminated, a three-day arts, music, heritage and cultural festival. Here are some highlights for families: tours of Washington’s Headquarters (free on Saturday!); Gustafer Yellowgold musical performances; Young Thomas Edison, an hourlong musical intended for youth audiences; arts and crafts activities; and more.


“Maps will be available at all event locations to guide visitors around to places where energizing history happened: the house where Edison lived in Newburgh, which will be open for tours, and the first church that he ever wired for electric light, Calvary Presbyterian. In both locations, vintage light fixtures and old 1880s bulbs will be glowing to demonstrate how Americans first experienced electric light.”

Newburgh Illuminated takes place on Friday through Sunday, June 21 to 23 at sites located along Broadway and environs. For more information and a complete schedule of events, call (845) 568-2558 or visit


Celebrate Summer at Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum in Poughkeepsie

On Friday, June 21, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum presents Celebrate Summer, a festival with a lot happening in one place: a puppet show; Two by Two Zoo; arts and crafts; face-painting; the cool Imagination Playground blocks; free ice cream and more! Celebrate Summer takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $12 per person, $4 for members, and the price includes all Museum exhibits as well as the event itself.

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is located at 75 North Water Street in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 471-0589 or visit


A Night on Fire at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow

There are Solstice celebrations, and then there are Solstice celebrations with fire! Check out the lineup for A Night on Fire at Philipsburg Manor: fire-jugglers, swordfighters and fire-eaters. Performances take place on Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22 with shows at 8:15 and 10 p.m. Admission costs $20 for adults, $15 for children age 17 and under. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Philipsburg Manor is located at 381 North Broadway in Sleepy Hollow. For more information, call (914) 631-8200 or visit


Summer Solstice Photography Workshop at Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park

For the sheer number of photos that I take every week, you would think that I’d get better shots. And sunsets? Forget it. How do the Shawangunks look so gorgeous in that glowing light and so not-awesome in my photos?

Whether you point and shoot, or you disappointedly say “Shoot!” after reviewing your work, make a plan to attend Friday’s Summer Solstice Photography Workshop at Vanderbilt Mansion: “Be part of this once-a-year photo opportunity, see the Vanderbilt Estate in a different light, support your National Historic Sites in an artistic manner.”

Hudson Valley landscape photographer Greg Miller will give tips and ideas about landscape photography, and it’s free and open to the public. The Summer Solstice Photography Workshop takes place on Friday, June 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. A tripod and a shutter release are highly recommended.

The Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site is located at 119 Vanderbilt Park Road in Hyde Park. For more information, call (845) 229-7770 or visit


Camera Obscura workshop at Storm King in New Windsor

Speaking of photography, Storm King offers Camera Obscura as this week’s family theme activity. Camera Obscura does not mean “covers part of the lens with finger,” but instead refers to pinhole camera photography. Introduce your crew to this ancient artform this Sunday, June 23 at 1 p.m. The family program is included in the admission fee, which is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 65 and older, $8 for students and children from kindergarten through 12th grade and free for children under 5 years.

Storm King is located at 1 Museum Road in New Windsor. For more information, call (845) 534-3115 or visit