Kids’ Almanac (October 24-31)

Say Boo in Woodstock!

Say Boo is a chance to capture this year’s Halloween memories. Portraits are taken on the porch of the Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) by Almanac Weekly’s awesome staff photographer Dion Ogust from 3 to 6 p.m. during the Woodstock Halloween Parade, no reservations needed. For a tax-deductible $20 donation, you receive a color archival pigment print, and the proceeds support CPW’s youth programs including workshops, school visits, afterschool programs and more. For more information, call (845) 679-9957 or visit


Want to donate some candy?

The Great Halloween Candy Exchange is such a wonderful, brilliant idea; let’s do more of it! The day after Halloween – Friday, November 1 – interested families can donate their candy to the troops overseas. For every pound of candy donated, the family will receive a new book or fun activity passes. Bring in a friendly letter for the troops and you could win more free prizes! The exchange takes place from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. at four different sites in the Hudson Valley:

All Access Dental at 11 Crum Elbow Road in Hyde Park


All Sport Health & Fitness at 17 Old Main Street in Fishkill

The Children’s Medical Group at 104 Fulton Avenue in Poughkeepsie

Learning Insights at 20 Milton Avenue in Highland

Halloween Talent Show in New Paltz

There’s a nice array of opportunities for youth to let their light shine in a performance setting. On Wednesday, October 30 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., it’s the “Shooting for the Starzz” Talent Show Halloween Bash, hosted by 10-year-old Jamishay Cammann. This event is open to all ages and takes place at La Bella Pizza Bistro, located at 194 Main Street in New Paltz. To register, contact and include your child’s name, age and performance piece. For more information, call (914) 646-5748.


Historic Graveyard Tour in Hyde Park

During this season full of opportunities to spook and scare, how about something off the beaten path? The St. James Historic Graveyard Tour is an hourlong lantern-lighted tour of the Episcopal church’s 200-year-old cemetery, with six narrated stops by graveyard residents in period dress describing their lives and times before they died. The tour groups are kept small so everyone can see and hear, and the speakers cover a wide range of topics, with a focus on local history as well as that person’s particular connection to St. James’s Church.

These reenactments are based on real people right in the cemetery. I especially enjoyed the couple of humorous interactions among a few of the characters. Before this tour, most of these individuals were nothing more than a park name or familiar reference to me, if I’d even heard of them before. During the tour, their stories captured my interest and helped me understand our local history in an entirely new way.

I asked Scarlet Rush, 15, of Staatsburg her impressions of the evening: “I had such a great time. It gave me such a neat perspective of life: how every grave in a graveyard has its own story; and how the story lives on, even when the person doesn’t. It was also a great way to learn local history; the way it was set up and performed really stuck with you.”

I agree with Scarlet: This is a high-quality event, so well-organized and presented. I highly recommend it as a new annual fall tradition, since they change the characters every year. The hourlong tours run every Saturday through November 2 at 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m., and dates are already selling out. Tickets cost $15 general admission; ages 12 and under get in free. The tour is suitable for children age 10 and up. Strollers, wheelchairs and walkers are unable to be accommodated due to the uneven ground.

St. James is located at 4526 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park. For tickets or more information, call (845) 845-229-2820 or visit


Shokan Square Scout Scare

The Shokan Square Scout Scare operates every weekend in October. It’s getting great feedback, like this Mom who shared, “it was soooo good, people need to know about it.” Boy Scout Troop 163 will host this haunted house and gift shop evening on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m.; Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.; and on Halloween from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission costs $13, or save by buying advance online tickets for $9.

Shokan Square is located at 3110 State Route 28 in Shokan. For tickets or more information, call (845) 657-8775 or e-mail or online at


Kids’ scavenger hunt in New Paltz

On Saturday, October 26 from 2 to 4 p.m., Historic Huguenot Street hosts a children’s scavenger hunt. Registration takes place on the day of the event at the DuBois Fort Visitor Center, where children will receive their first clue. Admission costs $8 per child and includes a paper Halloween craft, refreshments and prizes for participants who complete the scavenger hunt. The activity is open to children of preschool age and up; costumes are not required, but encouraged.

For more information about this Historic Huguenot Street event, call (845) 255-1889 or visit