Kids’ Almanac (Sept. 26-Oct.3)

(Photo by Steve Snodgrass)

(Photo by Steve Snodgrass)

You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.
– Stephen King


Get free museum entry this Saturday at Museum Day Live!

My kids are still talking about our recent trip to the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen, from feeling the marks in the old stable walls to playing the hands-on horse auction game to experiencing the 3-D racing simulator; we all had a great time. If you haven’t had a chance to go there, I recommend it.


The Harness Museum has free general admission, and thanks to Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live! this Saturday, September 28, you can visit the Harness Museum, or any number of other museums, for free. This annual event gives visitors an opportunity to discover new museums or visit old favorites. All you have to do is download and print out your Museum day Live! ticket, which is good for two people and limited to one ticket per household. Over 1,500 museums are participating, including these nearby destinations, some of which have special activities planned:

Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston,;

New Windsor Cantonment and National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor,;

Museum at Bethel Woods in Bethel,; and

Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) Museum in Hudson,

In addition to being free on Museum Day Live! admission to the miSci Museum of Innovation and Science in Schenectady,, and the CNSE Children’s Museum of Science & Technology in Troy,, is free on Saturdays in October, and November/December respectively, to children 12 and under when accompanied by a paying adult. For more information about Museum Day Live! visit


Poughkeepsie Public Library sponsors writing contests for kids

The Poughkeepsie Public Library District invites Dutchess County children in grades K through 5 to participate in the Young Writers’ Story Contest: “All stories must be original and based on a real-life event, but may be presented as fiction.” Submissions are due by October 28.

The Dutchess County Historical Society Big Read Essay Contest offers a writing contest for Dutchess County students in grades 6 through 12: “Young writers should focus on one refugee or refugee family who came to live in Dutchess County. Address questions like: What drove the refugees to leave their homeland, what brought them to Dutchess County and how did they fare once they arrived?” The deadline for submission is November 1.

Each essay must include a contest entry form, available online at


There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?
– Dick Cavett


Comedy classes for kids in New Paltz

Last weekend’s Woodstock Comedy Festival got me thinking: How can we get our kids into the craft of comedy? One answer is Funnybones, a class for ages 5 through 13 for creating skits, learning comedy techniques, improv and theater games: “Come prepared to laugh!” The class takes place on Mondays in New Paltz from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The sliding-scale fee ranges from $90 to $135.

Funnybones is part of the Creative Kids Cooperative Community initiative by Jill Olesker, Michele Riddell, Jessica Koock and Stacy Lipari. Additional classes include Open Art Studio and Wednesdays at Brook Farm. “Using nature walks, storytelling, arts and community service projects, we will weave a tapestry that encompasses a multi-age group of kids where every child is respected and appreciated as a vibrant individual and also can develop new skills,” says Olesker.

For more information, call (845) 679-2904 or e-mail