Kids’ Almanac (October 16-23)

Lake Cole at Frost Valley

Lake Cole at Frost Valley

“Thinking of buying an orange flat sheet, throwing it on top of the laundry peak and going with the Great Pumpkin theme for the remainder of the season, with the option to extend through March.”
– Bonni, local Mom


Frost Valley is not just for summer camp

Before you keep reading, get your phone and call Frost Valley YMCA’s reservation office at (845) 985-2291, extension 450, to secure your family’s spot at the upcoming Halloween Carnival and Haunted Trails Free Community Day on November 1 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Community Day means that locals get to partake in all of the fantastic regular activities at Frost Valley, and it includes free lunch and dinner. The Halloween theme means Halloween crafts, pumpkin-carving, hayrides, special Halloween games and a scary nighttime trail walk. If you’ve never been to Frost Valley, this is such an excellent way to try it out.

How great is Frost Valley? When I spent the weekend there with my daughter recently, it felt exactly like the way that I thought parenting would be, before I had kids – it was that magical. Plus, I didn’t have to cook, since the dining hall provides breakfast, lunch and dinner. I highly recommend the sautéed garlic string beans!


The instructors are phenomenal, with caring attentiveness and patient guidance every step of the way. During the weekend, my daughter got to build her first rocket, identify and observe busy macroinvertebrates that she scooped up from the pond, participate in an interactive Catskill Critters wildlife presentation, hike to the waterfalls and make a candle: a Frost Valley classic.

I am convinced that absolutely anyone of any age can be comfortable at Frost Valley. Got a family reunion across generations? This is the perfect venue! Lodging ranges from bunkbeds in your choice of cabins, dorms and lodges to higher-end hotel accommodations with regular beds in Lakeside Lodge, including private bathrooms. Oh, you were wishing for more of a homelike setting? That means the Friendship House or the historic mansionlike feel of the Castle. Are you a boss, manager or business team leader? Frost Valley is an easy facility for meetings or retreats. Frost Valley’s many gathering spaces range from business-ready WiFi meeting rooms to larger open spaces that can be configured with tables and chairs however you like.

Frost Valley offers summer camps, but I’m highlighting it here because it’s truly the perfect family getaway, either during the week or on a weekend, and holidays – it is open year round. I appreciate the short, easy drive from home, plus I get to stop at Bread Alone on Route 28, since it’s right on the way.

Frost Valley offers a variety of activities all day and into the evening. Some are drop-in, such as archery, and some require preregistration, such as the Flying Squirrel, where participants wear harnesses and get hoisted right into the air. I am definitely registering for the cooking class next time. I didn’t realize that it was so family- and child-friendly until I saw the gorgeous teaching kitchen firsthand, with its ample space to work with your budding chef as you prepare tasty, healthy snacks together. Frost Valley is a nut-free facility, and one of the two salad bars is dairy-free, all adding to family safety.

Go see what all the buzz is about, and get ready to customize your experience to make this place your Frost Valley. Frost Valley is located at 2000 Frost Valley Road in Claryville. For reservations or more information, call (845) 985-2291 or visit


Live Your Dream Seventh-Grade Girls’ Conference at DCCC

Calling all seventh-grade girls! The preregistration deadline for the Live Your Dream Seventh-Grade Girls’ Conference was extended to October 20, so register now! And it’s only $5 for what always sounds like a terrific event, right in Poughkeepsie.

Live Your Dream takes place at SUNY-Dutchess and features workshops and activities to encourage and empower girls by connecting them with role models and resources to help them shape a positive future. Participants attend two workshops including such topics as Fashion Forward; Jewelrymaking that Makes a Difference; Sports Sampler; Full STEAM Ahead science and math session; Story of Self and more.

SUNY-Dutchess is located at 53 Pendell Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information or to register, call (845) 518-2713 or visit



Woodstock Film Festival

The 15th annual Woodstock Film Festival is such a vibrant, happening event, and if you’re looking for creative ways to connect with your teen, this can be a refreshing way to spend time together. Screenings that I feel would be of interest to teens and area families include Why I’m Not on Facebook; Mentor; Teen Shorts; Hudson Valley Documentaries: Shorts; Passing Ellenville; and Sisterhood of Night, which was shot in Kingston.

Most tickets cost $10, and I strongly suggest securing your spot by purchasing online. Venues are located in Woodstock, Bearsville, Saugerties, Rhinebeck, Rosendale and Kingston. For more information about each film, schedule and more, visit See you there!


Community Clay sessions at Art Centro in Poughkeepsie

If you’re looking for a clay class experience but don’t have the time or budget for it, Art Centro’s Community Clay sessions are the next-best thing. Community Clay takes place monthly on the third Friday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and the third Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. Open to children and adults, admission is only $4, which covers one piece to be fired in the kiln, plus $4 per each additional piece.

Children age 9 and under work at the table with clay slabs and tools for hand-building, and each can take a turn at the potter’s wheel with hands-on guided instruction. I suggest signing up for the wheel list as soon as you arrive, to reduce wait time. Children and adults age 10 and over can use a wheel for the entire session. No preregistration is necessary, unless you are part of a group of six or more.

Art Centro is located at 485 Main Street in Poughkeepsie. For more information about Community Clay or Art Centro’s many clay and other art classes, call (845) 454-4525 or visit


Legends by Candlelight Ghost Tours at Clermont

This time of year, why not delve into ghost season full-on by attending one of the Clermont State Historic Site’s Legends by Candlelight Ghost Tours? Appropriate for children and adults, tours take place rain or shine every half-hour from 6 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, October 17, 18, 24 and 25. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and prepaid reservations are strongly encouraged.

Clermont is located at 1 Clermont Avenue in Germantown. For reservations or more information, call (518) 537-4240 or visit

For a local spot to check out before the tour, this Saturday is Hudson Valley Distillers’ first annual Apple Pressing Party at Spirits Grove Farm at 1727 Route 9 in nearby Clermont, from 12 noon to 6 p.m. Kids can make and taste cider while adults sample spirits and tour the distillery. For more information, visit


National Novel Writing Month workshops in Tivoli

Last year you promised yourself that you would do National Novel Writing Month this year. Don’t let yourself down – you can do it! Get yourself started before November 1 and set yourself up for success with the Tivoli Free Library’s NaNoWriMo workshops.


On Friday, October 17 at 6 p.m., NaNoWriMo’s municipal liaison, Tracy Bray, tells you what you need to know about this one-month novel-writing plan. On Saturday, October 18 from 12 noon to 2 p.m., author and educator Thomm Quackenbush kicks off a series of free preparatory writing workshops for sixth-through-eighth-graders interested in participating in NaNoWriMo, including planning plot, creating characters and developing plot.

The Tivoli Free Library is located at 86 Broadway in Tivoli. For more information or to register, call (845) 757-3771 or visit To learn more about this international novel-writing endeavor, visit



Bubble Trouble at DCCC

Bubble Trouble on Saturday, October 18 at 11 a.m. at SUNY-Dutchess is free, fun and indoors, so it makes a great plan no matter what your budget is, what ages you need to accommodate and what the weather is. The performance takes place in the James & Betty Hall Theatre at the college, which is located at 53 Pendell Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 431-8000 or visit To learn more about the show, visit