Kids’ Almanac (December 11-18)

Arts Oasis Grand Opening in Red Hook

I have been eagerly waiting to share this announcement with you. Congratulations to the Arts Oasis on its Grand Opening! Come celebrate this unique multi-arts center on Saturday, December 13 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. with free classes all day, including parent/teen yoga, yoga for equestrians, African dance, storytime and movement, modern dance, intro to homeschooling, papermaking, family hula-hooping, family memoir and storytelling, Isagenix, conscious discipline and more – including free chair massages, a book exchange, fresh juice samples at nearby Get Juiced and more activities being scheduled.

The Arts Oasis is located at 31 West Market Street in Red Hook. For more information, to register for a free Grand Opening class or to inquire about offering a class or service, call (845) 901-9101 or visit


Sudbury School Winter Gift Sale

Don’t just shop local this holiday season; shop young! On Saturday, December 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can shop at the Sudbury Winter Gift Sale for unique items by creative crafters, ranging from seasoned professionals to newly minted student vendors with irresistible business names such as duct tape masters Two Guys Wallets and Ties; Bella and Boris sketcher Lucie-strations; jewelry- and bag-making and photography of Acraftnaphobia and more.


The Hudson Valley Sudbury School is located at 84 Zena Road in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 679-1002 or visit


Women’s Health Care Forum at TSL in Hudson

Perhaps you’re looking for a way to normalize health discussions about the body with your daughter, mother, sister or grandmother. One inroad might be this weekend’s free Women’s Health Care Forum at Time & Space Limited, with Nancey Rosensweig, certified nurse/midwife. On Saturday, December 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., women of all ages are invited to attend this open forum to discuss any questions related to gynecological concerns, pregnancy, perimenopause, birth control options, lesbian health care, sexual concerns, nutrition and more.

Time & Space Limited is located at 434 Columbia Street in Hudson. For more information, call (518) 822-8448 or visit


Frozendale returns to Rosendale

I’ll get right to the point: how can you possibly pass up an event that includes a mac-and-cheese competition? But Frozendale is much more than this fun feature, with activities such as an Ugly Sweater contest at Soiled Doves with prizes for every contestant, a free yoga class, cookie-decorating, a free matinée of Oliver! the movie with a singalong, Victorian carolers and more.

Frozendale takes place along Main Street in Rosendale. For more information, call (914) 466-1517 or visit Frozendale in Rosendale, 12/13/14 at


Autism support at Taconic Innovations in Wappingers Falls

If you have a family member of any age with autism, this weekend you have an easy way to learn about another support resource: the Taconic Innovations, Inc. Child Development Center. On Saturday, December 13 from 12 noon to 3 p.m., parents can learn about the work of the center while children enjoy crafts and open play in the indoor playground.

Taconic Innovations is located at 877 Route 376 in Wappingers Falls. For more information, call (845) 849-3447 or visit


Peter and the Wolf at Vassar

Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf is a fantastic way to introduce children to the amazing expression communicated by orchestral instruments, which support the narrator in telling the story of a little boy defying his grandfather to risk adventures with a wolf. Now, in defense of Atka, Ambassador Wolf at the New York Wolf Conservation Center, I want to take a moment to highlight the goodness of wolves and their importance in our ecosystem: Wolves rock! But so do classic children’s symphonies! So bring the family to the Mahagonny Ensemble’s free performance of Peter and the Wolf on Saturday, December 13 at 4 p.m. in Skinner Hall’s Mary Anna Fox Martel Recital Hall at Vassar College.

Vassar College is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 437-5370 or visit


Holiday Party at UCSPA in Kingston

Here’s a fun event to pull together your family’s love of animals, the holiday season and a good cause: the Ulster County SPCA Holiday Party! On Saturday, December 13 from 12 noon to 3 p.m., take pet pictures with Santa and enjoy refreshments, prizes and raffles. Interested in helping out, too? Bring some pet food or another item from the shelter’s Wish List, available online. And while you’re there, maybe you can hand in your completed Youth Volunteer Application form, also available on the website.

The Ulster County SPCA is located at 20 Wiedy Road in Kingston. For more information, including the Wish List and Youth Volunteer Form, visit


Holiday Open House at FDR Site in Hyde Park

This weekend’s Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Franklin D. Roosevelt site has so many great elements to it, from education to entertainment to engaging in volunteer opportunities to support our troops. Get into the FDR Springwood House and Presidential Library for free all day!

From 12 noon on, holiday card supplies are available to write messages to sailors on the USS Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Get a free photo with Santa from 1 to 3 p.m., and from 1:30 to 4 p.m., children’s book authors Iza Trapani, Leslie Kimmelman and Doreen Rappaport will do readings and book-signings. At 4 p.m., sing and laugh with performer Bindlestick Bill, and from 4 to 7 p.m., take a shuttle and visit the Holiday Open House at Val-Kill.

The FDR National Historic Site is located at 4097 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park. For more information about this free event, call (845) 486-7745 or visit



College/Youth Symphony in concert at SUNY-New Paltz

Giving our youth an opportunity to see other youth perform can be so inspiring. This Sunday, December 14 at 7 p.m., your family can see the College/Youth Symphony perform in the Studley Theater at SUNY-New Paltz. Bring friends and make an evening of it!

SUNY-New Paltz is located at 1 Hawk Drive in New Paltz. For directions or more information, call (845) 257-2701 or visit


Warm Up at the Washingtons’ in Newburgh

Gift-giving can stress the budget as well as the schedule as we try to fit in extra errands, so I like to highlight opportunities to do free activities – especially when they take place in special places. “Warm Up at the Washingtons’” is one of those events. On Sunday, December 14 from 12 noon to 4 p.m., you can visit Washington’s Headquarters for free, decorated in simple designs from nature, while enjoying live period music and refreshments.

The Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is located at 84 Liberty Street in Newburgh. For more information, or to learn how to help save the historic Tower of Victory on the property, call (845) 562-1195 or visit


Community singalong to support Chatham Food Pantry

Want to join a community singalong, open to all ages and singing abilities? On Sunday, December 14 at 2 p.m. (snow date Wednesday, December 17, 4 to 5:15 p.m.), let the Good Globe Singing School’s preteen group, teen singers and girls’ a capella group lead you in rounds and teach choruses, from cowboy and lumbering songs to spirituals to rounds from the Renaissance and more at the Spencertown Academy. Song sheets will be provided. A freewill donation will support the Chatham Food Pantry, and after the event, stay for the reception.

The Spencertown Academy is located at 790 New York 203 in Spencertown. For more information, call (518) 392-5809 or visit

Erica Chase-Salerno celebrates another spin around the sun this week, with some of that delicious chocolate mousse from the Village Tea Room. She and her husband Mike live in New Paltz with their two children: the inspirations behind She can be reached at