Kids’ Almanac (May 29-June 5)

Mountaintop School in West Saugerties hosts Music & Merriment

When Morgan Taylor and Rachel Loshak perform, and children skip around a maypole, and families square dance, and kids get enthralled at puppet shows, you know that you’re headed for a great time at Music & Merriment at the Mountaintop School. On Saturday, May 31 from 1 to 5 p.m., being part of the fun feels even better, because all proceeds benefit Family of Woodstock.

The Mountaintop School is located at 68 Band Camp Road in West Saugerties. For more information, call (845) 389-7322 or visit


Morse School in Saugerties offers obstacle course challenge

Obstacle courses are nothing new to me, since walking through my front hallway means navigating a floor dominated by baseball cleats, softball helmets and soccer balls. So I might be a real pro at this weekend’s Morse Course. On Saturday, May 31 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Grant D. Morse Elementary School, children and adults can test their own obstacle course prowess, listen to live music, meet animal friends at the petting zoo or buy refreshments from the local food trucks. The cost is $10 per participant or $35 per family, with proceeds going to the Grant D. Morse PTA.


Morse Elementary School is located at 70 Harry Wells Road in Saugerties. For more information, call (917) 673-1038 or find the Morse Course event listing at



Jackson and Auggie authors at Storm King Art Center

Jackson the Siamese cat and Auggie the boxer dog, who star in the children’s book Jackson and Auggie: Adventure in the Hudson Valley, are the real-life pets of sisters Renée Pearce and Kaylin Ruffino, co-authors of the book. The story follows the animal duo as they encounter interesting historical places in their travels, making it the perfect book for area families or touring visitors, as well as teachers who can use the themes and places as a launch into local history and varied art styles in their classrooms.

On Sunday, June 1 at 1 p.m., head over to Storm King Art Center for a reading from the book as well as a signing. This program is included with the cost of admission, which is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $8 for students ages 5 to 18 and free for children 4 and under, as well as members.

Storm King is located at 1 Museum Road in New Windsor. For more information, call (845) 534-3115 or visit To learn more about the story, visit


World’s Longest Handshake Relay attempt on Walkway

Whether you are exploring your life’s options to leave a legacy, or you just like setting world records, head over to the Walkway over the Hudson this Sunday, June 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon for the Walkway’s third annual world record event:  the World’s Longest Handshake Relay. Admission costs $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 years and is free for children 5 and under.

The Walkway entrances are located at 87 Haviland Road in Highland and 61 Parker Avenue in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 834-2867 or visit



Music in the Parks free concert season begins at Mills Mansion in Staatsburgh

This Wednesday, pack up your picnic dinner and head over to Mills Mansion for the kickoff of the 2014 summer season of Music in the Parks. The music will be performed by students from Hyde Park schools, who will play show tunes and popular music. Concerts are free and take place on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at parks around the area.

Mills Mansion is located on Old Post Road in Staatsburgh. For more information, call (845) 229-8086 or visit


Poughkeepsie’s Adriance Library hosts Media Showcase & Film Festival

One end-of-year highlight to check out is the Media Showcase & Film Festival on Wednesday, June 4 from 3:30 to 5 p.m., where attendees can view the work accomplished by youth in the Teen Media Lab at the Adriance Memorial Library. Additional activities and refreshments will be available.

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


Unique area youth camps and activities

Camp Huguenot offers weeklong hands-on summer day camp experiences in New Paltz for youth ages 9 to 12 years drawing from 300 years of history, featuring themes of archaeology, Colonial life and art. (845) 255-1660,

Working with Masters is a five-day intensive summer music program through the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice for children ages 8 to 12 to enhance skills in improvisation, music theory and composition, culminating in a Friday concert for parents. (845) 586-3588,

Pigskin Princess Project gives 4-to-6-year-old girls a chance to throw and catch a football, do agility exercises and learn about field positions and basics of the football game. (845) 803-1749,


Kids’ Almanac writes

Kids’ Almanac thanks Alice Hawkins for supplying writing prompts for the month of May! Alice lives in Gardiner with her husband, son, beagle, two cats, fish and a lizard. She has liked to write since winning a hatbox for her essay in the third grade. Here is her prompt for this week. Remember to post your piece on the Almanac Weekly Facebook page:

Prompt: I had no idea you felt that way…

Erica Chase-Salerno can be reached at She leaves you with this quote by Anne Lamott: “Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”