Kids’ Almanac (Nov. 28-Dec. 5)

Special shopping opportunities this weekend

1. Green Friday: Friday, November 29 is newly minted Green Friday at the Forsyth Nature Center (FNC) in Kingston. Environmental demonstrations and giveaways take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. “Providing opportunities to learn about rain barrels, composters, plug-in vehicles and energy efficiency information is the best way to spend a part of your shopping day or your lunch hour,” notes Steve Noble, an environmental educator for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Activities include composting demonstrations, with five composter giveaways; a stormwater management demonstration, with five rain barrel giveaways; a permeable paving stone walkway installation demonstration by Berardi Fence and Landscaping at 11:30 a.m.; Herzog’s Home Center green products and services; an ink, toner and cell phone collection; a fully electric and a hybrid electric car on display; and much more.

Mark DeDea of Forsyth Nature Center adds, “It is nice to be able to accentuate that more and more green products are available from local merchants. It is also an opportunity for folks to remember the FNC when giving: creative ideas like an engraved paver in a loved one’s memory, or even buying much-needed supplies for the animal residents instead of a gift for someone who already has everything they could ever want.”


The Forsyth Nature Center is located at 157 Lucas Avenue in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 481-7336 or visit

2. Crafted: Handmade in the Hudson Valley 2013: I love this sale so much. It’s not just the goods; it’s the crafters themselves. The cozy setting is the perfect venue for meeting local artists and seeing their wonderful work. Last year, it’s where I got silhouettes of the kids cut by Jenny Lee Fowler to surprise my hard-to-gift husband; where I fell in love with pretty much every single one of Wendy Hollender’s botanical prints; picked up my adorable mushroom ornament from Cindy Hoose; chose precious nightlights from Jasmine Redfern and much more. There are gifts for every price point, every interest, every age, every event, and you will impress others with your impeccable taste.

My children think that this is a great event, too. They liked seeing the artists with their work; it made it all seem more real to them. I especially appreciated the one-stop checkout, where I paid once for the entire purchase, not lots of mini-purchases.

Crafted takes place on Saturday, November 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, December 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is located at the studio space of potter Ayumi Horie in the former church at 167 Cottekill Road in Cottekill. For more information, visit

3. Art Foray at Wired Gallery: With the motto “Art for All, All for Art!” this event is an opportunity to gift your family, friends and colleagues with pieces by local artists; and with price points from $25 to $250, you can splurge on some to furnish your own home and workspaces as well. Art Foray takes place on Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, November 1 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wired Gallery is located at 1415 Route 213 in High Falls. For more information, call (682) 564-5613 or visit For more information on Sevan Melikyan’s efforts on behalf of local artists, read our Almanac Weekly profile at:


Sinterklaas is a bi-coastal extravaganza

Sinterklaas is a special celebration of an old Dutch tradition and has two main components: the arrival of Sinterklaas on Saturday, November 30 in Kingston; and the daylong Sinterklaas Festival in Rhinebeck on Saturday, December 7. In preparation for the fanfare of welcoming Sinterklaas, all ages are welcome to attend the Crowns and Branches workshop on Friday, November 29 and Saturday, November 30 at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, located at 50 Rondout Landing in Kingston. You are also welcome to craft your crown creation at home. On Saturday, November 30, there are some wonderful activities in Kingston such as musical performances, a mitten-and-glove drive, holiday craft fair, puppet-making workshop, ornament-making workshop, storytelling, a Children’s Parade and more. For a complete schedule, visit


Locust Grove’s Holiday Hunt

December 1 marks a new month, the first of the four Sundays in Advent in the Christian tradition; and it is also the first of the four Sundays of Samuel F. B. Morse’s Locust Grove Holiday Hunt, featuring the Twelve Days of Christmas. Search the mansion for three French hens, two turtledoves, and a partridge in a pear tree, then join us for cookies, cider and storytelling in the Visitor Center.

The cost is $8 for children, $10 for adults. The hunts take place from 12 noon to 4 p.m., with a final admittance time of 3 p.m. to complete the hunt; no Morse code required. Locust Grove is located at 2683 South Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 454-4500 or visit


Community Hanukkah Party

Well, here’s an event that sounds like fun: a Community Hanukkah Party! On Monday, December 2 from 5:30 to 8 p.m., join in on an interactive Hanukkah concert with cantors Bob and Sabrina, light the Hanukkah candles, play games, create crafts, win prizes and enjoy a kosher latke dinner!

This event is open to the entire community. Admission is $5 per person or $20 per family. The Hudson Valley Community Center is located at 110 South Grand Avenue in Poughkeepsie. For more information or to RSVP, call (845) 471-0430 or


Santa sightings

A very busy Santa Claus is comin’ to town this weekend across the Hudson Valley. Here is his schedule for some of his upcoming appearances:

Adams Fairacre Farms: Adams hosts Santa at each of its four locations in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh and Wappingers Falls on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. in Kingston and Poughkeepsie and 11 a.m. in Newburgh and Wappingers Falls, until 4 p.m. Not only do we love the groceries and greenhouse, but the free Santa photo is also a real treat, and it’s fine to take your own pictures as well. For locations and more information, visit

Hudson Valley Mall: Santa arrives in style at Center Court with performances by the Ulster Ballet and Energy Dance Company at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 29 at 11 a.m. Then his schedule is Monday through Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 12 noon to 6 p.m. Santa has extended hours beginning December 16. The Mall is located at1300 Ulster Avenue in Kingston. For more information, visit

Hurds Family Farm: Forget the sleigh; Santa skydives here for his big arrival! Be at Hurds Farm on Friday, November 29 at 11 a.m. Enjoy free activities including a bonfire, s’mores, hot cocoa and a gift from Santa. Cow train rides and hayrides cost $3, and while you’re there, you can cut your own Christmas tree, priced as marked. For more information, visit

Newburgh Mall: Santa will be available Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a .m. to 6 p.m. As a side note, Spiderman will be holding court at the Newburgh Mall on Saturday, November 30 at 1 and 3 p.m. He will be available for high-fives, photos and full-color autographed cards. The Mall is located at 1401 Route 300 in Newburgh. For more information, visit


Poughkeepsie Galleria: Santa appears in lower Center Court Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Galleria is located at 2001 South Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information or to check out the interactive online Santa’s Village activity, visit

Walkway over the Hudson: Sit on Santa’s lap on his sleigh on the Walkway with its sky-high views on Friday, November 29 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Parking is available at 87 Haviland Road in Highland or 62 Parker Avenue in Poughkeepsie. For more information, visit


St. Joseph’s Church in New Paltz hosts creative Community Playdate

On Wednesday, December 4 from 1 to 6 p.m., families with children of all ages are invited to attend a Creative Kids’ Cooperative Community Playdate: an opportunity to create indoor and outdoor giant board games, holiday crafts, giftmaking, musical instruments, comedy improv skits and more. A suggested donation of $5 is requested to help cover costs.

The mission of Creative Kids’ Cooperative is “to nurture learning through play, experiential fun, nature-based exploration, the arts and other projects, all of which will be academically infused. This will enrich traditional education, homeschool education and unschooling practices.”

The Community Playdate is the first of a series and will take place in the large multi-purpose room at St. Joseph’s Church, located at 34 South Chestnut Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 527-5672 or visit Creative Kids’ Cooperative on