Kids’ Almanac (September 11-18)

Locust Lawn in New Paltz

Locust Lawn in New Paltz

“Make use of every moment and nurture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity and laughter.”
– Deepak Chopra


Kid-friendly events remembering 9/11

September 11: The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum unveils a new sculpture on Thursday, September 11 at 2 p.m. honoring firefighters, police officers, first responders and military servicemen and -women. The R. Hero sculpture is a six-foot-tall, brightly colored Dalmatian puppy that serves as a teaching aid, as well as a reminder of the sacrifices of these heroic individuals. And spread the word: First responders and their families are admitted free to the Children’s Museum from September 11 through the 14th, with proper identification.

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is located at 75 North Water Street in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 471-0589 or visit



September 11: The Orange County Arboretum is home to the Remembrance Walkway and Garden, featuring a large rotating granite globe surrounded by the 44 names of Orange County residents who died in the 9/11 attacks. The Arboretum hosts a 9/11 remembrance event on Thursday, September 11 at 5 p.m., including original tribute songs with Rich Pell.

The Orange County Arboretum is located at 211 Route 416 in Montgomery. For more information, call (845) 615-3830 or visit


September 13: Ulster Hose Company No. 5 presents its annual 9/11 memorial ceremony on Saturday, September 13 at 10 a.m. This exhibit is available for viewing or guided tours year-round.

Ulster Hose is located at 830 Ulster Avenue in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 339-1280 or visit


Ramble: Gomez Mill House & Staatsburgh

The annual Hudson River Valley Ramble continues this weekend, which means extra-special events and activities planned around my favorite 315-mile-long estuary. Two spots that I highly recommend are the Gomez Mill House and the Staatsburgh State Historic Site (Mills Mansion).

What makes the Gomez Mill House so special is that it’s the earliest extant Jewish residence in North America, and its renovations and residents over the years could be considered guideposts of US history. Tours are offered at 10:30 a.m., 1:15 and 2:45 p.m. Then take a picture of the kids on the pretty bridge that crosses over the stream to the mill.

Admission is half-price for anyone who mentions the Hudson Valley River Ramble. The Gomez Mill House is located at 11 Mill House Road in Marlboro. For more information, call (845) 236-3126 or visit

The Staatsburgh State Historic Site (Mills Mansion) offers an inside glimpse into the technical inner workings of the property with an outdoor tour of the grounds called “What You See and What You Don’t See,” offered at 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 14. While you’re there, get an indoor tour of this magnificent house at $8 for adults, $6 for seniors; children under 12 get in free.

The Staatsburgh State Historic Site is located on Old Post Road in Staatsburgh. For more information, call (845) 889-8851, extension 338, or visit

To learn more about the Hudson River Valley Ramble or to find additional events, visit


Franny Reese State Park

Franny Reese State Park is named for one of the Hudson Valley’s longtime nature stewards, Frances (“Franny”) Reese. The park has three trails: white, a 1.76-mile loop; yellow, .87 miles long; and blue, a quarter-mile offshoot of the yellow trail.

The Yellow Trail goes from the Macks Lane parking area to the river, where one can climb up the steep steps and walk along the Mid-Hudson Bridge pedestrian walkway, or just sit and relax at a picnic table in Johnson-Iorio Park. This is the park that you see every time you get on or off of the bridge on the Highland side. Cross the bridge, and you can walk to the Poughkeepsie train station or even to the Walkway over the Hudson.

The trails are relatively short, with wider roadlike passages mixed with narrower, more rugged spots, and the views of the bridge are lovely. I think that Franny Reese is a good option for a casual family jaunt or dog walk, and there are no fees to hike here.

Franny Reese State Park is located on Macks Lane in Highland. For more information, visit




Lego Club at Red Hook Library

Lego fans will be interested to know that the Red Hook Public Library offers a Lego Club at 5:30 p.m. on alternate Fridays, beginning on Friday, September 12. Elementary through middle school children are encouraged to come create. This program is free and open to the public, and all children must remain accompanied by an adult during each session.

The Red Hook Public Library is located at 7444 South Broadway in Red Hook. For more information, call (845) 758-3241 or visit


Stargazing at Spring Farm on the Mohonk Preserve

Make your reservations now to join in on the stargazing this Friday, September 12 at 8:30 p.m. at the Mohonk Preserve’s Spring Farm. Led by Raj Pandya, director of the John R. Kirk Planetarium at SUNY-New Paltz, participants will hunt constellations from the Pavilion. This program is free and open to the public ages 5 and up, and reservations are required.

Spring Farm is located at Upper 27 Knolls Road, off Mountain Rest Road in High Falls. For more information or reservations, call (845) 255-0919 or visit