“Woody Guthrie and Lee Hays were the two geniuses I knew. And Toshi the third.”
– Pete Seeger
In honor of Kids’ Almanac’s second anniversary, here are some behind-the-scenes glimpses of how I choose the content for my column each week:
Anansi, Darwin, Valentine’s Day, American Girl Dolls & Sesame Street
With so many demands on our time, I like to offer information to readers about unique performances that I come across for family outings, especially free ones. Here are five that I’d like to highlight this week:
Anansi, Spiderman of Africa free puppet show will be presented by the Crabgrass Puppet Theatre on Saturday, February 8 at 11 a.m. James & Betty Hall Theatre at SUNY-Dutchess, located at 53 Pendell Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 431-8000 or visit www.sunydutchess.edu.
Celebrate Darwin Day with free science talks and children’s activities on Sunday, February 9 from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at the Gardiner Library at 133 Farmers’ Turnpike in Gardiner. For more information, call (845) 255-1255 or visit https://gardinerlibrary.org. To learn more about this celebration, visit https://darwinday.org.
Also check out the free all-ages children’s puppet show from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 13: “Mountain Laurel Waldorf School Early Childhood staff present Shingebiss. Live musical accompaniment provided by Thomas Workman. Shingebiss is an Ojibwa (Chippewa) Native American story which exemplifies the strength of the underdog and the virtues of perseverance and fortitude. It is traditionally told about a duck who defies the harsh cold winter while others cower.”
A Valentine Craft Workshop with cards, paper flowers, heart crafts, cookie-decorating and more, free for children of all ages, will be offered on Friday, February 7 at 4 p.m. at the Elting Memorial Library at 93 Main Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 255-5030 or visit www.eltinglibrary.org. Also check out the free teen movie night on Saturday, February 8 at 6 p.m. for a viewing of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Join the American Girl Club in Goshen for girls ages 6 to 12: “This program encourages the many attitudes and lifestyle skills from the past in a fun and playful atmosphere. It’s an opportunity for girls to step back in time into their favorite books, learn new skills and make friends.” Activities are drawn from and inspired by the American Girl Doll books and movies. For more information or a current calendar of events, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (845) 427-2592.
Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music will be presented from February 7 through 9 at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center at 14 Civic Center Plaza in Poughkeepsie. Ticket prices range from $14 to $66.50; group discounts are available. For tickets or more information, call (845) 454-5800 or visit www.midhudsonciviccenter.org.
Seeger singalongs in Kingston & Rosendale
Listening to music by area musicians can inspire us to learn a new instrument or dust off an old one. Live music can help us relate to stories in a deep way and awaken our minds. The legendary Pete Seeger helped to change the world with his music. On Sunday, February 9, two different singalongs have been organized in his honor.
The Clearwater Winter Potluck runs from 2 to 8 p.m., with an Open Jam for kids of all ages from 3 to 5 p.m. and a Pete Seeger singalong from 6 to 8 p.m. The Clearwater Winter Potluck takes place at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, located at 50 Rondout Landing in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 265-8080, extension 7105, or visit www.clearwater.org.
A gathering to “Celebrate Pete Seeger’s Legacy” takes place on February 9 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Rosendale Recreation Center, located at 1055 Route 32 in Kingston: “Celebrate his legacy with a community singalong and potluck. Bring songbooks (we’ll have copies of Rise up Singing to loan and for sale), instruments, food to share.” For more information, call or text (845) 399-2473.
Winter Hoot at Ashokan Center in Olivebridge
The second annual Winter Hoot takes place this weekend, from Friday, February 7 to Sunday, February 9, with proceeds directed to Ashokan’s youth education programs. This rustic roots and folk music event takes place at 477 Beaverkill Road in Olivebridge. For tickets or more information, call (845) 657-8333 or visit https://ashokancenter.org.
Dog on Fleas plays at Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck
One of my absolute favorite bands, Dog on Fleas, performs this Saturday, February 8 at 11 a.m. at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. Tickets cost $7 for children, $9 for adults and seniors. The Center is located at 661 Route 308 in Rhinebeck.
Martin/Grenadier benefit for Kingston’s coed Scout troop
On Wednesday, February 12, singer/songwriter Rebecca Martin performs with Larry Grenadier in a fundraiser concert for the coed Baden-Powell Scouting group, 91st Sojourners. The performance will be held at Kingston’s Outdated Café from 6:45 to 8:15 p.m.
Martin and Grenadier’s performance will help raise funds for camp equipment and member scholarships for the 91st Sojourners, a coed, inclusive and traditional Scouting group part of the Baden-Powell Service Association. Tickets cost $25 each or two for $40, and may be reserved by e-mailing email@example.com or calling Carol at (845) 658-8684.