Kids’ Almanac (August 7-14)


Family rocket launch at Pleasant Valley Free Library

Don’t let summer end without a rocket launch! Register your family for the Pleasant Valley Free Library’s family rocket launch on Friday, August 8 at 1:30 p.m. This program is for ages 7 and up.

The Pleasant Valley Free Library is located at 1584 Main Street in Pleasant Valley. For more information or to register, call (845) 635-8460 or visit



Dog on Fleas at Rosendale Theatre

The weather’s always sunny inside when Dog on Fleas plays a concert at the Rosendale Theatre. Book your tickets now for a total family win, especially if you have company visiting from out of town, because you’ll all have a great time. On Saturday, August 9 at 11 a.m., you and your crew can see a live performance of Dog on Fleas. And not only is there active audience participation, but each family will also receive one free CD of the band’s latest release, Buy One Get One Flea!


Tickets cost $10 for children age 12 and under, everybody else gets in for $12. For tickets, visit or call (800) 838-3006 and press “1” to speak to a representative. Also, tickets can be purchased at the Rosendale Theatre on the day of the show: The box office opens at 10 a.m.

The Rosendale Theatre is located at 408 Main Street in Rosendale. For more information about the summer family series, call (845) 658-8989 or visit


Amernet String Quartet plays Peter and the Wolf at the Maverick

To hear a live musical performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf is to create a lifelong memory of this classic story. Give your family the gift of live music in the historic, rustic hall at Maverick Concerts at a show created just for them. And did I mention that children get in free? Adults pay $5, and you can even use the coupon on the program to take $5 off any regular Maverick concert this season.

On Saturday, August 9 at 11 a.m., hear the Amernet String Quartet play the iconic sounds of the little boy Peter, his cat, his duck, a bird, some hunters, his grandfather and of course the wolf, with narration by Maverick’s music director, Alexander Platt.

The Maverick is located at 120 Maverick Road in Woodstock. For more information, call (845) 679-8217 or visit


Bard Preparatory Division String Ensemble offers open rehearsals

Calling all youth interested in fun and informal music-making this summer: The Bard Preparatory Division String Ensemble invites students ages 8 to 14 with at least two years of private instruction on an orchestral string instrument (violin, viola, cello, double bass) to participate in free, open rehearsals from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the following four Saturdays: August 9, 16, 23 and 30.

Rehearsals take place at the Bard College Conservatory of Music’s László Z. Bitó ’60 Conservatory Building at Bard College, located on Campus Road in Annandale-on-Hudson. If you would like your child to join in for one or all of the dates, register with the Preparatory Division director, Ryan Kamm, at or (615) 498-4996.


Family Day at Byrdcliffe features Bari Koral, Paul Green Rock Academy

To help round out your musical day, check out Byrdcliffe’s Family Day with a performance by Bari Koral at 4:30 p.m. and by the Paul Green Rock Academy at 7:30 p.m. Koral’s concert takes place on the lawn of White Pines, located at 454 Upper Byrdcliffe Road in Woodstock. The Paul Green Rock Academy’s Battle of the Bands takes place in the Byrdcliffe Barn, located at 485 Upper Byrdcliffe Road in Woodstock. Band contestants are ages 8 to 18 performing original material.

The day includes a free sandwich buffet between Koral’s and the Academy’s performances, as well as an Aikido demonstration. Tickets cost $12 for Bari Koral, $18 for the Paul Green Rock Academy and $25 for both. Kids under 12 get in free. For tickets or more information, visit


Tales of the Rainbow Forest reading at Olana

For an hour of sweet story and song for children ages 4 to 8 years, come to Olana on Saturday, August 9 at 10 a.m. McKenzie Willis will read Tales of the Rainbow Forest. Admission to this event is free, but vehicles pay an $8 parking fee or use a current Empire Passport.

Olana is located at 5720 State Highway 9G in Hudson. For more information or to complete the required registration, call (518) 828-1872, extension 109, or e-mail


Family Day at Upper Landing Park in Poughkeepsie

I enjoy park festivals, and when it’s a park festival along the Hudson River, I say, “Two thumbs up!” I just love every time that the community reclaims its riverfront!

On Saturday, August 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., head over to Upper Landing Park in Poughkeepsie for a day of free entertainment, including performances by Soñando the salsa band, the Spirit of Unity Band, POOK (Percussion Orchestra of Kingston), Bindlestiff Family Circus and Story Laurie, as well as children’s activities.

Nearby parking is limited, so consider walking down or taking public transportation. Upper Landing Park is located at 83 North Water Street in Poughkeepsie. For more information, visit


Madeleine Albright’s “Read My Pins!” at FDR Library

For all of you British royals fans who followed Duchess Catherine’s daily fashion choices during her recent tour abroad, you know the history and symbolism behind each thoughtfully chosen accessory. But did you know that our country’s own former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, did that for years with her own jewelry? Learn more about the messages or moods conveyed by pieces such as the serpent pin worn in a meeting with Iraqi officials after being called “an unparalleled serpent” by Saddam Hussein’s poet-in-residence, or her favorite heart pin made by her then-5-year-old daughter.

This “Read My Pins!” traveling exhibition is on display in the William J. vanden Heuvel Special Exhibits Gallery at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum from August 9 to November 2. The FDR site is located at 4097 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park. For more information, call (845) 486-7770 or visit



Corn festivals in Zena and Beacon

It’s corn season here in the Hudson Valley, and that means that it’s time for corn celebrations!

The Blessing of the Land at the Zena Cornfield takes place on Saturday, August 9 from 1 to 4:30 p.m., beginning with a Native American blessing. Corn with seasoned butters will be provided, and attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch. Children’s activities include a nature walk, face-painting, storytelling by Gioia Timpanelli and a treasure hunt. Tickets cost $20 per person, $30 per family. The Zena Cornfield is located along Zena Road in Woodstock. For more information, visit

The Beacon Sloop Club Corn Festival takes place on Sunday, August 10 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. at the Beacon Riverfront Park. In addition to the excellent corn-on-the-cob, the children’s stage will be going all day with performances by Jonathan Kruk, Hudson River Lore, Lydia Adams Davis and more. Riverfront Park is located at 1 Flynn Drive in Beacon. For more information, call (845) 527-8671 or visit


Kids’ Almanac Writes

Kids’ Almanac thanks Jennifer Castle for supplying writing prompts during the month of August. Jennifer Castle is the author of the young adult novels The Beginning of After and You Look Different in Real Life, both from HarperCollins. She lives in New Paltz with her husband, two daughters, two cats and about 20 notebook volumes of the ongoing journal that she has kept since 1985.

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


Journaling is where we really figure out the stories inside and around us, and where we are all writers, for ourselves. I believe everyone can and should do it! These prompts are designed to help you start, get back into or freshen up a habit of regular journaling. But first, some tips: Rather than using a fancy blank journal – way too much pressure for the words to be fancy, too – buy a cheap marbled composition or spiral notebook and make it your own with stickers, collage or drawings on the cover. Set rules for yourself, like you will write for ten minutes straight or fill up an entire page, or write on Tuesdays. Keep the pen moving. Resist the urge to cross out. And always: the less you think, the better. Now:

Sit down before bedtime and write your day backwards. What did you do just before you picked up the pen? And then before that, and before that? We usually recount our days chronologically, from morning to night, but going from night to morning might help you see or express something that you didn’t expect.

Erica Chase-Salerno drinks the wild air in New Paltz with her husband Mike and their two children: the inspirations behind She can be reached at