Kids’ Almanac (July 3-10)

Return of the Dutchess County Balloon Festival

The Dutchess County Balloon Festival is a gift to the eyes. I love watching the colorful aerostats drift over the Hudson River. From Friday to Sunday, July 4 to 6, locals have four opportunities to watch the launch of these beautiful crafts, as well as join in on community activities at some of the launch sites throughout Dutchess County. Launches take place on Friday, July 4 at 6 p.m., Saturday, July 5 at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Sunday, July 6 at 6 a.m.

For more information about the Festival, including locations and details about the accompanying festivities, read Sharyn Flanagan’s piece in this edition of Almanac Weekly, call (845) 454-1700 or visit



Woodstock Animal Sanctuary’s July Jamboree

No more excuses: This is the weekend to head over to the Woodstock Animal Sanctuary, because it’s the eighth July Jamboree! On Saturday, July 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors can see lots of animals and hear their stories of how they came to dwell at the Sanctuary; participate in a variety of children’s activities; eat lots of different kinds of vegetarian and vegan fare; check out a cooking demo; listen to live music such as Elizabeth Mitchell with her family band, You Are My Flower (whom you know I adore); bring nutrition questions to the Ask-a-Doctor booth and more.


Admission costs $10 for adults, $5 for kids and seniors and is free for members and toddlers, and all proceeds benefit the work for the Sanctuary. The Woodstock Animal Sanctuary is located at 35 Van Wagner Road in Willow, but get your directions set before you leave because cellphone-based GPS (like iPhone) fades once you get past downtown Woodstock. For more information, call (845) 679-5955 or visit


Dutchess Dragon Boat Race & Festival in Poughkeepsie

Whether you hit the water or you choose to watch from the shore, this weekend’s first Dutchess Dragon Boat Race and Festival sounds like a great event. On Saturday, July 5 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. after the balloon launches, watch the exciting boat races and check out the Asian Cultural Festival with live music, activities such as ping pong demonstrations, a Lion Dance, Chinese Tea Ceremony, storytelling by Jonathan Kruk and free workshops, plus food vendors featuring local eateries.

The Festival takes place at the Boathouse of the Hudson River Rowing Association, located at 270 North Water Street. For more information, call (845) 264-2005 or visit



Family Canoe Paddle in Tivoli Bays

Sign up early for this week’s special Family Canoe Paddle in Tivoli Bays through the Tivoli Free Library. On Monday, July 7 at 5:30 p.m., enjoy an evening excursion on the river, gliding so quietly through the water that you get to notice all kinds of natural features and wildlife that you might otherwise miss. The trip is guided by Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Educators from the Norrie Point Environmental Center and staff from the Tivoli Free Library.

This activity is for ages 6 and up accompanied by an adult. Space is limited and preregistration is required. For more information or to register, call (845) 757-3771 or visit



Storytime at Gardiner Library

Summertime used to mean a break from local library storytimes, but not at the Gardiner Library. Gardiner offers Bouncing Baby Storytime on Tuesdays beginning July 8 from 9:30 to 9:50 a.m. including laptime stories, songs and fingerplays, followed by Playspace for Tots from 10 to 10:50 a.m. for socializing together in the indoor, air-conditioned community room.

Terrific Twos and Threes Storytime takes place on Tuesdays beginning July 8 from 10 to 10:45 a.m. with books, action rhymes and crafts. Fantastic Fours and Fives Storytime takes place on Thursdays beginning July 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with stories and crafts.

These programs are free and registration is not required. The Gardiner Library is located at 133 Farmers’ Turnpike in Gardiner. For more information, call (845) 255-1255 or visit



“Zombies” program for teens at Saugerties Library

Calling all teens ages 13 and up: Are you a Walker? Or perhaps you just want to give yourself a zombie makeover? On Wednesday, July 9 at 3 p.m., head over to Saugerties Public Library for the teen event “Zombies,” and learn how to survive the Apocalypse!

The Saugerties Public Library is located at 91 Washington Avenue in Saugerties. For more information, call (845) 246-4317 or visit


Duct tape crafts workshop for teens at Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie

Across the river, on Wednesday, July 9 from 5 to 7 p.m., tweens and teens are invited to gather in the Adriance Library Teen Room to make duct tape creations: a wallet, and iPod or cell phone holder or a flower.

The Adriance Library is located at 93 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. For information, call (845) 485-3445, extension 3309, or visit



Community Day at Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie

On Thursday, July 10 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the day after the Adriance Library’s duct tape event, come back to the library for Community Day, which is free and open to the public. Activities include a hula-hoop contest, face-painting, balloon art, crafts and more, as well as free snow cones! Local author, mathematician and calligrapher Jim Bennett will be on hand to meet and greet children, along with area police, fire and ambulance staff.

The Adriance Library is located at 93 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 485-3445, extension 3309, or visit


Nature Nick’s Animal Adventures at West Hurley Firehouse

Not in the family budget to visit any jungles or savannahs this summer? No problem: Nature Nick is here! On Thursday, July 10 at 6 p.m., Nature Nick’s Animal Adventures comes to the West Hurley Firehouse. Registration is required. This free 45-to-50-minute show includes ten to 12 trained rescued animals, along with a dash of magic.

The West Hurley Firehouse is located at 24 Wall Street in West Hurley. For more information or to register, call (845) 679-6405 or visit To learn more about the presenter, visit


Kids’ Almanac Writes!

Kids’ Almanac thanks Nancy Graham for supplying writing prompts during the month of July. Nancy scribbles, doodles, playacts and lollygags with her teenage kids in and around Kingston.

Here is her prompt for the week. Remember to post your piece on the Almanac Weekly Facebook page:

Prompt: Follow your nose. Without using the words “fragrance,” “aroma,” “smell,” “odor,” “scent” or “stink” (et cetera: you get the idea), describe a powerful olfactory experience of any kind.


Erica Chase-Salerno wears red, white and blue in New Paltz, along with her husband Mike and their two children: the inspirations behind She can be reached at

The overall theme is imagination – no electronics or toys that “do” things – and the kids I saw playing were having such a good time!

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