Kids’ Almanac (January 23-30)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

Be sincere; be brief; and be seated.
– Franklin D. Roosevelt’s advice to his son on giving speeches


Pet First Aid class at Vassar Brothers in Poughkeepsie

If Diego’s signature call “¡Al rescate!” or the WonderPets’ weekly animal rescue adventures are only distant memories now, your youths are probably old enough for some actual hands-on, real-life animal-care skills. Health Quest invites all pet-owners and pet-caregivers to “Pet First Aid, CPR and Disaster Preparedness”: “This unique course covers common health and safety-related issues for dogs and cats, first aid basics, CPR, choking maneuvers for pets, when to seek professional care and disaster planning steps for your pet. You practice your skills on furry, lifelike pet mannequins. Course completion results in a certification card valid for three years from the Emergency Care and Safety Institute.”

“Pet First Aid” is offered on Sunday, January 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. The cost is $45 per person, which includes textbooks. Preregistration and payment are required. Vassar Brothers is located at 45 Reade Place in Poughkeepsie. For more information or to register, call (845) 475-9742 or visit



Wild Earth Wilderness Club offers Sunday outings

For the grown-ups who love nature, here’s a new group to check out: Wild Earth’s Wilderness Club. “The Wilderness Club is a place for adults to learn about tracking, wild edibles, bird language and more. Take a break from busy life, grab a fresh breath of nature, get inspired about connecting with the beautiful natural world that surrounds us.”

The Club does two Sunday outings per month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The suggested donation is $15 per person, but no one is turned away due to lack of funds. Upcoming events include: February 2, “Hike up to Duck Pond”; February 16, “Leafless Tree ID”; March 2, “Friction Fire & Wild Teas”; and March 16, “Early Spring Edibles.” For more information, e-mail or visit To learn more about Wild Earth’s other programs, visit


Kit’s Interactive Theatre performs pirate show at DCCC

Grace the Pirate wants your help to find Blackbeard’s treasure! On Saturday, January 25, come on out for this fun performance by Kit’s Interactive Theatre as part of the Dutchess County Community College Family Festivals series designed for parents and their children ages 4 through 12 years. The show is free and begins at 11 a.m.

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


Chinese New Year program at Poughkeepsie’s Adriance Library

This week marks the Chinese New Year, and 2014 is the Year of the Horse. On Tuesday, January 28 from 4 to 4:45 p.m., children from kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to celebrate with a craft and some traditional food. The event is free and takes place in the Adriance Library’s Cavallaro Children’s Program Room. I strongly suggested registering, since sometimes these programs fill up.

The Adriance Library is located at 93 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. To register or for more information, call (845) 485-3445 or visit


FDR birthday celebration in Hyde Park

Be a part of 32nd president Franklin Roosevelt’s birthday celebration right at his own homestead this week, on Thursday, January 30 at 3 p.m. The National Park Service will hold a Rose Garden Ceremony with guest speaker New York State senator Terry Gipson, followed by refreshments and birthday cake in the Wallace Center. This event is free and open to the public.

The FDR site is located at 4097 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park. For more information, call (845) 229-6214 or visit or


It’s National Learn to Ski/Board Month

This week marks the last few days of National Learn to Ski/Board Month. Have you taken your kids out to the slopes yet? Local mama Jen Roe, North American sales manager at and blogger for Potter Brothers Ski & Snowboard Shops, has some tips:

“So now you’re a parent and naturally want your children to experience the same fun you had on the slopes. I mean, how difficult could it be to stick a small kid on skis and show him how it’s done? Super difficult – first impression with this sport is everything. This can mold your child’s ideal on the sport going forward – make or break it as they say (they in this case are PSIA-trained ski and snowboard instructors). These well-trained instructors are the key to transforming that newbie into future expert, all-mountain riders. They are equipped with patience, a bag of tricks, mad teaching skills and a never-ending supply of hot chocolate. Every ski area has some kind of ski/snowboard school – some mountains even offer free intro lessons – and January is National Learn to Ski Snowboard Month with great deals that include rentals, lift tickets and lessons!” You can read more of Jen’s fun tips and ideas at

Four years ago, our family tried skiing for the first time, and we got hooked! And now our son has added snowboarding to the mix. We love being outside, exploring new trails and learning more skills in our lessons. So far, we’ve been to Belleayre, Catamount, Holiday, Sawkill, Thunder Ridge, Tuxedo Ridge and Windham. Initially, we rented equipment at the mountain, which got a bit pricey. Then we got great deals on seasonal rentals at Potter Brothers. Finally, we saved even more by buying used gear at their annual swap. The folks at Potter Brothers are so helpful with fit and sizing and my many(!) newbie questions.

Another skiing and boarding bargain is to purchase flex tickets, which are discounted lift tickets for use on specified days or times. Got any third- or fourth-graders? I Ski NY has a free skiing and riding program just for them! Learn more at Got fifth-graders? Check out Catamount’s Fourth- and Fifth-Graders Club, where registered youth can receive a free junior lift ticket with an adult weekend ticket. Find out more at

Next week, we’ll be checking out Plattekill Mountain for the first time, with its $20 lift tickets during Skier and Rider Appreciation Days from Wednesday, January 29 through Friday, January 31. Come out and join us! Plattekill Mountain is located at 469 Plattekill Mountain Road in Roxbury. For more information, call (607) 326-3500 or visit

See you on the slopes!