Kids’ Almanac (Dec. 5-12)

Reindeer games (photo by Dion Ogust)

Reindeer games (photo by Dion Ogust)

“However you and your loved ones celebrate the last month of the year, I hope it is filled with the sounds of joy”
– Elizabeth Mitchell, musician


Rondout Rep performs The Nutcracker and the Mouse King in New Paltz

If you saw the Rondout Repertory Theatre Company’s excellent Romeo and Juliet production at the Water Street Market in New Paltz this summer, you have probably already marked your calendar to attend this weekend’s production of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, because you know that it’s going to be good. This is a terrific opportunity to see local youth perform in a wonderfully engaging way, because of their talent combined with the strong teaching, coaching and directing by Liz Burdick and Stephanie Marrinan.


On Friday, December 6 at 6 p.m. and on Saturday, December 7 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., The Nutcracker and the Mouse King will be performed at the Unison Arts Center. Tickets are available at the door for $15 general admission and $10 for ages 12 and under. Unison is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz. For more information, visit


Celebration of Lights Festival in Poughkeepsie

Here are some festive Bardavon events to check out! The Celebration of Lights Festival begins in Poughkeepsie with a parade at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, December 6 at Main Street and Garden Street, with the first tree-lighting on Main Street, near Market Street. The parade progresses down Main Street to Clover Street, with a second tree-lighting at Dongan Square Park. Fireworks follow at 7:15 p.m. along the Poughkeepsie waterfront.

Walkway over the Hudson’s December Member Moonwalk sets out from 6 to 8:30 p.m. from the Poughkeepsie side only, with the entrance located at 61 Parker Avenue. General admission is $5 per person, free for Walkway members and children under 16 accompanied by an adult.

The movie A Christmas Carol will be screened at 8 p.m. at the Bardavon, located at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. There will be a pre-movie concert on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ at 7:30 p.m. All seats cost $6.

There will also be a Family Day & Holiday Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, December 7 at 12 noon. Family Day entertainment includes Uncle Rock, Story Laurie, Santa Claus, the Two by Two Petting Zoo and more. Scavenger hunt registration is free and begins at 11 a.m. at Caffe Aurora, located at 145 Mill Street in Poughkeepsie.

For more information about the Celebration of Lights Festival, call (845) 473-5288 or visit Please make sure to call ahead since the Bardavon’s Chris Silva just told us there might have to be raindate for the parade and fireworks!


Ulster Ballet’s A Christmas Carol at UPAC in Kingston
Across the river, the Ulster Ballet performs A Christmas Carol at the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) on Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, December 8 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, and discounted tickets for members and groups of ten or more. On Thursday, December 5th at 10 a.m., a special full-length performance for area students will be presented at reduced ticket prices. (Snow date: Friday, December 6th, at 10:00 a.m.) UPAC is located at 601 Broadway in Kingston. For tickets or more information, call (845) 339-6088 or visit For information or tickets for the school performance, contact Michele Szynal at or call (845) 283-3809. To learn more about the dance company, visit


Frozendale Daze in Rosendale includes free Muppets movie

One family-friendly highlight of Rosendale’s Main Street winter and shopping festival Frozendale Daze is A Muppet Christmas Carol, which will be screened for free at the Rosendale Theatre on Saturday, December 7 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Don’t you think the new generation needs more Muppets? The Rosendale Theatre is located at 408 Main Street in Rosendale. For more information, call (845) 658-8989 or visit

Other activities along Main Street include cookie-decorating at the Rosendale Café, with live music by Shabbat and others; storytelling at the Rosendale Library; Santa and his elves; a hayride; a mac-and-cheese bakeoff at the Big Cheese and more. For more information about Frozendale, visit


Karen Pillsworth tells Stories of the Season at Kingston Library

For some sweet Stories of the Season, stop by the Kingston Library on Saturday, December 7 at 10:30 a.m. Karen Pillsworth has been performing in the Hudson Valley as a professional storyteller for many years, in theaters, schools, libraries and storytelling festivals, and has performed stories on National Public Radio as part of WAMC’s Storytelling Festival. Chosen as Kingston’s storyteller laureate in 2002, Pillsworth is regularly featured at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz. She is also a full-time teacher at George Washington Elementary School in Kingston.

This event is free and open to the public of all ages. The Kingston Library is located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 331-0507 or visit


Crabgrass Puppet Theatre performs Mr. Punch’s Christmas Carol at DCCC

For a children’s version of A Christmas Carol that’s also free of charge, check out the Crabgrass Puppet Theatre’s performance of Mr. Punch’s Christmas Carol on Saturday, December 7 at 11 a.m. in the James & Betty Hall Theatre at Dutchess County Community College, as part of its Family Festival Series.

Dutchess County Community College is located at 53 Pendell Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 431-8000 or visit To learn more about the performers, visit


Warm Up at the Washingtons’ in Newburgh

I strongly recommend visiting Washington’s Headquarters. The interpreters are excellent, and there’s so much to see and learn about. And this Sunday, from 12 noon to 4 p.m., it’s free during the historic site’s Warm Up at the Washingtons’ event. In each room, a historic interpreter will share what life was like during that era and answer your questions, while the Salmagundi Consort plays period music. Finish your visit with cookies and cider by an outdoor fire. This site is where I learned about the origin of the expression “red tape.”

Washington’s Headquarters is located at 84 Liberty Street in Newburgh. For more information, call (845) 562-1195 or visit