Kids’ Almanac (May 21-28)

Lucas Handwerker (photo by Franco Vogt)

Lucas Handwerker (photo by Franco Vogt)

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
– President Thomas Jefferson


Call for entries for Saugerties Public Library’s Comic Con

Calling all kids! If you’ve been working on a short graphic novel, manga or comic book, you can enter it into the Saugerties Public Library writing contest for this summer’s Comic Con on August 8. Entries should be a maximum of 15 pages; include the age range that the child is in: from 6 to 12, 13 to 18 or 19 and up. The genre is sci-fi/fantasy. Submissions are due by Friday, July 31 to Saugerties Public Library, Attention: Christine, 91 Washington Avenue, Saugerties, NY 12477. For more information, call (845) 246-4317 or visit


Minecraft Club at Red Hook Library

If you’re acquainted with a world made up of blocks that features Steve and Creepers and Endermen and the Nether, you must know someone who plays Minecraft! The Red Hook Public Library announces a new Minecraft Club that meets every other Friday at 4:30 p.m. The next gathering takes place on Friday, May 29 at 4:30 p.m. The club is free, but registration is required. Minecrafters may share library laptops or bring their own.


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


“River Crossings” exhibition at Olana & Cole House

Artist Thomas Cole founded the Hudson River School, the first major art movement in the US, and his student, Frederic Edwin Church, became the leading practitioner. Both men established homes here in the Hudson Valley, and right across the river from each other: Cole in Catskill and Church in Hudson, called Olana. Their homes are the sites of the current new art exhibition running through November 1, “River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home,” where the work of 28 artists is being displayed in Cole’s and Church’s homes. During the month of June, a shuttle provides transportation to both houses from the Hudson Amtrak station, located at Fifth and Warren Streets in Hudson and Main Street in Catskill. For more information, visit



Time & the Valleys Museum in Grahamsville reopens

The buds are opening, and that means that the seasonal museums are reopening! On Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and 24, the Time and the Valleys Museum opens from 12 noon to 4 p.m., with hourly tours of the museum’s exhibitions: “Water and the Valleys”; “Celebrating Catskill Waters: Past and Present”; and “Tunnels, Toil and Trouble: New York City’s Quest for Water and the Rondout/Neversink Story.” Regular hours of the museum are 12 noon to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, through Labor Day, and weekends until Thanksgiving.

Time and the Valleys is a Blue Star Museum, granting free admission through Labor Day to active-duty military members (with ID) and up to five of their family members. And every Thursday, residents of the Town of Neversink are admitted free! The Town and the Valleys Museum is located at 332 Main Street in Grahamsville. For more information, call (845) 985-7700 or visit


Historical presentations at Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh

History buffs are going to be super-excited about two special presentations taking place at the Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site this weekend. On Saturday, May 23 at 2 p.m., Matthew Colon presents, “To Save the Innocent, I Demand the Guilty: A Tale of Two Revolutionary War Prisoners.” On Sunday, May 24 at 2 p.m., Karen Monti presents, “From the Badge of Military Merit to the Purple Heart.” These programs are free with museum admission. I suggest that you pack a picnic and spend some time on the gorgeous lawn overlooking the Hudson before you leave.

The Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is located at 84 Liberty Street in Newburgh. For more information, call (845) 562-1195 or visit


Edible landscaping workshop in Stone Ridge

Turn your lawn into food! On Saturday, May 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., learn how to plant and cultivate fruiting plants on your own property; then go home and teach your kids what you’ve learned. These classes are for adults and take place monthly from May through October at Hortus Conclusus Gardens on Mill Road in Stone Ridge. Register for one or more at a cost of $50 for a single class, or $300 for the entire series. For more information or to register, call (845) 256-9830 or visit


Lucas Handwerker show at Woodstock Day School

Will you be one of the 15 audience members involved in Lucas Handwerker’s show this weekend? On Saturday, May 23 at 9 p.m. at the Woodstock Day School, this writer, speaker and explorer of the mind wants to go beyond everyday reality with 15 people and show them some of the amazing places their own minds can take them. Advance tickets cost $25; tickets will not be sold at the door.

The Woodstock Day School is located at 1430 Glasco Turnpike in Saugerties. For tickets or more information, look for Lucas Handwerker: The Hidden at or visit



Williams Lake Classic bike races for kids in Rosendale

If your kids race around the neighborhood on their bikes, point them in the direction of Williams Lake! On Sunday, May 24, children are invited to participate in the Williams Lake Classic youth races, and they’re free! Tyke Bikers (ages 3 to 6) start at 12 noon and Speed Racers (ages 7 to 14) begin at 12:30 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony at 1 p.m. Preregistration is strongly encouraged, and it’s free!

Williams Lake is located at 424 Williams Lake Road in Rosendale. For more information or to register, call (845) 658-7832 or visit


Late Spring Wildflower Walk at Mohonk Preserve

If your teen loves Canada mayflower, Solomon’s seal, yellow violets, pink ladyslippers and other late spring flowers, this weekend’s four-mile Mohonk Preserve Late Spring Wildflower Walk is the perfect outing. On Sunday, May 24 from 2 to 5 p.m., teens and adults ages 15 and up are invited to join in on the fun. There is no fee for the program, but double-check about the day-use fee if you are not a Mohonk Preserve member.

To register or for more information, call (845) 255-0919, e-mail or visit



Computer construction workshop at Red Hook Library

I was amazed to learn in my recent Orienteering class at Frost Valley that you can make a compass out of a cork, a needle and a magnet in a cup of water. If you too are fascinated by the way things work, you’ll want to check out the “Casually Constructing Computers” workshop on Thursday, May 28 at 5 p.m. at the Red Hook Public Library. Robert Drake, technology operations manager at the Mid-Hudson Library System, will “demystify, decrypt and decode” computers in this free hands-on workshop for teens and adults. Registration is required.

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


College counseling workshop for homeschoolers in Highland

Home-educating families may be interested in attending “College Counseling for Homeschoolers,” a presentation taking place on Thursday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m. in Highland. Local consultants from Fit for U College Counseling will share about preparing for college applications in senior, junior or even beginning the process during sophomore year; how they work with clients; and information that pertains specifically to homeschoolers. Reservations may be e-mailed to For more information about the presenters, visit



Square dance at Val-Kill in Hyde Park features Jay & Molly, Mike + Ruthy

Clear your calendar for this fantastic, family-friendly and fun way to close out the month of May! On Saturday, May 30 from 1 to 4 p.m., channel your inner Eleanor Roosevelt and head over to Val-Kill, the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, for an afternoon of picnicking, square dancing, Val-Kill Industries demonstrations, face-painting and projects of Val-Kill’s new Junior Ranger program. Square dancers of all ages and abilities are welcome, and the event features musical guests Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, along with Jay’s daughter Ruth Ungar and her husband Mike Merenda, who also perform as Mike + Ruthy. I enjoy all of their music so much that I wanted to give you a heads-up so you can plan and come out for this event.

Tickets must be reserved in advance: Individual tickets cost $10; tickets for children 5 and up cost $7; a family package of four tickets costs $30; and children age 4 and under get in free. Sponsorship packages are available as well.

Val-Kill is located at 56 Valkill Park Road in Hyde Park. For tickets or more information, visit–square-dance—sat-may-30.html.


Erica Chase-Salerno honors Memorial Day in New Paltz, where she lives with her husband, Mike and their two children: the inspirations behind She can be reached at