Kids’ Almanac (Sept. 25-Oct. 2)

Haunted houses offer discount days for kids

Some of you wait all year for this: It’s haunted house time! Headless Horseman opened for the season last weekend, but you can score a discount coupon at Stewart’s Shops or Stop & Shop to use this Saturday, September 27 and an assortment of other dates. Headless Horseman runs until November 2, including two Children’s Days on October 11 and 25 from 12 noon to 3:30 p.m. Regular admission costs $45.95, or save a few dollars and prepurchase online. Children’s Day admission is $13, or $11 if purchased online. Headless Horseman is located at 778 Broadway/Route 9W in Ulster Park. For tickets or more information, call (845) 339-2666 or visit

Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion opens this weekend and runs until Saturday, November 1, including two Kids’ Days on October 12 and 13 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. Regular admission costs $25, or get a Fright Fast Pass for $35, which grants priority entry. Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion is located at 38 Sheafe Road in Poughkeepsie. For tickets or more information, call (845) 297-BATT (2288) or visit



Reel Expressions youth film festival at the Bardavon

Traditional 20th anniversary gifts include china or platinum, but at this weekend’s Reel Expressions youth film festival, the Children’s Media Project honors its milestone by giving money: $500 will be awarded to the festival winner. On Saturday, September 27 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bardavon, see four genres of films created by both local youth and young people from around the country: documentary, narrative, animation and experimental. You’ll also use an interactive media exhibit, hear a filmmaker question-and-answer session and see an energizing performance by the local dance group, M*POWER. Admission costs $10.


The Bardavon 1869 Opera House is located at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. For tickets, sponsorships or more information, call (845) 485-4480 or visit To learn more about M*POWER, visit


Wildlife show with Michelle Costa in New Paltz

What do a chinchilla, tortoise, hedgehog and fox have in common? You! On Saturday, September 27 at 2 p.m. at Unison, you and your family can meet these animals with wildlife expert Michelle Costa. Did you know that a chinchilla’s fur is so soft because it has approximately 70 hairs per follicle, as opposed to humans who have only two or three hairs per follicle?

This animal event is educational, entertaining and open to all ages. Tickets cost $14 general admission, $10 for Unison members and $7 for children under age 12, or save $2 per ticket by purchasing them in advance. The Unison Arts Center is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz. Arrive 30 minutes early to stroll the grounds and enjoy the sculpture garden. For tickets or more information, call (845) 255-1559 or visit


Farm and Art Tour in Chatham

You love ambling around the countryside, delighting in the joy of exploration, like you did in France years ago, before you had kids. Well here’s a tip for you: This Saturday, September 27, download some kindie tunes for the drive (like the band Dog on Fleas), pack your bikes and make your way to the Chatham Farm and Art Tour. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., you have the opportunity to visit nine farms, see local artists and their work that was created at these farms, as well as farm animals, demos, children’s activities, vendors and more.

For a map of the tour, stop by the offices at the Columbia Land Conservancy, located at 49 Main Street in Chatham, or visit The Chatham Farm and Art Tour is self-guided, free and encouraged for all ages. For more information, call (518) 221-2911, e-mail or visit


Fairy house craft workshop at Red Hook Library

Tap into your magical side and make fairy houses at the Red Hook Library this weekend! On Saturday, September 27 at 1 p.m., use provided natural and found objects to create a special abode for a very lucky fairy. This hands-on program is free and open to the public, and all children must be accompanied by a caregiver.

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


Hudson River Valley Ramble winds up with Museum Day Live

This is the final weekend of the Hudson River Valley Ramble, and it’s chock full of events. How about an Apple Cider Ramble in Poughkeepsie, concluding with a pressing of the very apples that you collected along the way? Or a lantern-lit journey of the home of our eighth president, Martin Van Buren, known as Lindenwald, in Kinderhook? Or a Continental Army Military Demonstration at the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site? Or a free visit to the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston, in honor of Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live?

Find out more about these and dozens of other Ramble adventures on And to learn more about Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live, which grants free admission for two people on one ticket at participating museums on Saturday, September 27, visit



“Exploring Setting through Legos” at Poughkidsie

What if your child could create a world out of Legos, and then write a story with scenes that are set in that world? Sounds like fun, right? Well, that’s exactly what Poughkidsie’s new workshop is all about! “Exploring Setting through Legos” is a two-hour workshop where children will read stories and discuss the importance of setting, create their own world with Legos and write scenes that take place there, culminating in a spiral-bound book to take home. Choose your session: this Sunday, September 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. or Tuesday, September 30 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. The cost is $18 in advance, $22 walk-in.

Poughkidsie is located at 25 Van Wagner Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information or to register, call (845) 243-3750 or e-mail To learn more about Poughkidsie, including events like Mom’s Night Out taking place this Friday, September 26, visit


Touch-a-Truck at Forsyth Park in Kingston

Touch-a-Truck is back at Forsyth Park this Sunday, September 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a horn- and siren-free zone from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Not only do the kids get to explore all types of vehicles at this event, but they also get to learn about some of the work that they do by the people who use them. While you’re there, take a ride on the Roaming Railroad, a trackless train, for $3 per person.

Admission to Touch-a-Truck costs $5 per person, and is free for children age 2 and under accompanied by a paying adult. There will also be food vendors, raffles, a bouncy house and more, and all proceeds benefit the playground’s renovation into Kinderland II.

Forsyth Park is located at 157 Lucas Avenue in Kingston. For more information, visit


Kids’ Almanac Writes

Kids’ Almanac thanks Sari Botton for supplying writing prompts during the month of September. Sari is a writer who teaches workshops with the TMI Project and has edited anthologies including Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving & Leaving New York and the forthcoming Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love for New York. Remember to post your piece on the Almanac Weekly Facebook page:

Writing prompt: Sometimes we assume that we don’t like people without knowing much about them, just because they are different from us. Have you ever gotten to know someone better, and discovered that you were wrong about them? Tell the story of how you discovered that.

Erica Chase-Salerno is eating apples and picking pumpkins in New Paltz with her husband Mike and their two children: the inspirations behind She can be reached at