Kids’ Almanac: May 12-19

(Don Stahl)

(Don Stahl)

“The Dandelion’s pallid tube Astonishes the Grass.”
– Emily Dickinson


Swap a bike, catch a fish, make a kite or munch a cupcake



Caregivers’ conference in Kingston

Are you a family caregiver for an elder or for another relative with physical or developmental challenges? Then you have a million excuses as to why you cannot attend this Friday’s annual family caregiver conference. But I’m inviting you to set those reasons aside. Take this day for yourself – to learn, but also to have someone else make you lunch for a change! And it’s free! The homewatch caregivers in Atlanta have put together a splendidly informative day of activities and lessons to help the community. Be sure not to miss it!

Putting the Pieces Together takes place this Friday, May 13 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Chateau (formerly Hillside Manor). The keynote is titled “The Caregiver’s 60-Minute Guide to a Healthy Ego,” and workshops include “How to Remain at Home: Nursing Home Diversion and Transition Program”; “Pooled Trust for Medicaid Spenddown”; “NYS Legislation that Supports the Family Caregiver”; and “The Spiritual Aspects of Caregiving”. A continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack are included. There is no cost to attend the conference, but registration is required.


The Chateau is located at 240 Boulevard (Route 32) in Kingston. For more information or to register, call (845) 901-5744 or visit



Gardiner Cupcake Festival at Wright’s Farm

I crack up every time I see the sign in front of Moxie Cup in New Paltz: “Yeah, I’m into fitness – fitness whole cupcake in my mouth!” If you like cupcakes, children’s activities, live music and hanging out in an apple orchard, then I guess that I’ll see you at the Gardiner Cupcake Festival this Saturday, May 14 from 12 noon to 6 p.m., rain or shine, at Wright’s Farm. Walkers, strollers and dogs are welcome at the Festival, as well as in the 5K Classic at 9 a.m. Registration costs $30, and everyone gets a free cupcake at the end!

In addition to the array of cupcake offerings (including gluten-free varieties), amateur bakers are competing in four categories: Best-Tasting Chocolate Cupcake; Best-Tasting Candy Bar-Inspired Cupcake; Best Animal-Decorated Cupcake; and Best Star Wars-Themed Cupcake.                Wright’s Farm is located at 699 Route 208 in Gardiner. For more information, visit


Family Hootenanny at Beacon Music Factory

Are you interested in an occasional family music-and-movement experience without the time, commitment and cost of a series? Check out the Family Hootenanny with Emily Ellison at the Beacon Music Factory this Saturday, May 14 from 10 to 11 a.m. Feel free to bring your own rhythm instruments to use while you smile, sing and have fun together! This event takes place every second Saturday, is geared for ages 0 through 10, and the cost is $5 per person.

The Beacon Music Factory is located at 629 Route 52 in Beacon. For more information, e-mail or visit


Puppets & pandas in Millbrook

Looking for an easy, budget-friendly way to spend the day? How about heading to Millbrook for puppets, a playground and red pandas? This Saturday, May 14 at 11 a.m. at the Millbrook Library, families are invited to see the puppet show Squirrel Stole My Underpants. This presentation includes adventure, humor and positive life lessons, is geared for children ages 3 and up and is free and open to the public.

The Millbrook Library is located at 3 Friendly Lane in Millbrook. For more information, call (845) 677-3611 or visit To learn more about the show, visit

Now, while you’re in Millbrook, you could bring the kids to the Millbrook Tribute Gardens and Playground on Franklin Avenue. And have you been to the Trevor Zoo yet? My favorite animals there are the red pandas. This is such a manageable zoo for all ages, and it has a great variety of interesting animals that you’ll want to return again and again! The zoo is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the year, and admission costs $5 for adults, $3 for children and seniors.

The Trevor Zoo is located at the Millbrook School, located at 131 Millbrook School Road, six miles east of the Village of Millbrook. For more information, call (845) 677-3704 or visit


Community Free Day at Dia:Beacon

Have you been to the modern art museum Dia:Beacon yet? Now’s your chance to check it out for free! This Saturday, May 14 is Community Free Day at Dia:Beacon from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for residents of Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester Counties. The day features a family-friendly “Seeing and Listening in Color” tour at 11:30 a.m., as well as interactive activities for children and live music.

Dia:Beacon is located at 3 Beekman Street in Beacon. For more information, call (845) 440-0100, extension 29, or visit


Community Work and Play Day at Ashokan Center

I happen to be closely acquainted with a type of person who will lend a helping hand anytime, anywhere, but is reticent just to “visit” somewhere. Do you know anyone like that, too? This weekend’s Ashokan Community Work and Play Day is one opportunity to foster community while doing trail maintenance and planting flowers. Plan to have even more fun with time singing and dancing with Jay Ungar and Molly Mason.

The Ashokan Community Work and Play Day takes place on Saturday, May 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ashokan Center. Volunteers are asked to bring work gloves and tools such as shovels, trowels, hoes and rakes. The Ashokan Center is located at 477 Beaverkill Road in Olivebridge. For more information or to register, call (845) 657-8333 or visit


18th-Century Spring & Garden Fair at Kingston’s Senate House

Whether or not you and your family are as obsessed with the Hamilton hit musical as I am, you and your family of all ages could quite possibly experience an increased sense of pride and connection to our local Revolutionary roots while attending this weekend’s Senate House festivities. An 18th-Century Spring and Garden Fair takes place this Saturday, May 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Senate House State Historic Site. Visitors can make a kite, sample the old-timey beverage “switchel” and watch 18th-century magic performed by Levram the Great: Colonial Conjurer. You’ll also see the gardens being planted, as well as demonstrations of sheep-shearing, spinning, weaving and beekeeping.

Free hotdogs and beverages will be given away while supplies last. Entry to the fair is free and open to the public of all ages. Tours of the Senate House will be available for $4 for adults and $3 for seniors, free for children aged 12 and under.

The Senate House State Historic Site is located at 296 Fair Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 338-2786 or visit


Wheel up to New Paltz Bike Swap

Are you feeling frustrated that spring is here and the Ashokan Reservoir, rail trails and Lippman Park bike trails await you – but you need a bike or two for your crew to get everyone in your family out there? No problem: Come to the ninth annual New Paltz Bike Swap this Saturday, May 14 at the New Paltz Middle School. Entry is free for both buyers and sellers.

Registration opens at 9 a.m. for folks selling bikes, and the doors open for buyers at 10 a.m. The swap ends at 2 p.m. I suggest arriving early for the best choices. The New Paltz Middle School is located at 2 South Manheim Boulevard in New Paltz. For more information, call (917) 655-5123 or visit


Margaretville hosts Spring on Main Festival

Who doesn’t love a fast Internet connection? But do you also yearn for some of the slower pace of life, like a small, old-school Catskill festival? The Margaretville Spring on Main Festival takes place along Main Street in Margaretville this Saturday, May 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy live music from Ben Rounds, fly-casting demonstrations, pony rides for the kids, a karate demonstration, handcrafted goods for sale and lots of food.

For more information, call (845) 586-4177 or visit


Bring the Kids! to Boscobel

Have you heard of Boscobel House & Gardens, but never been there? Or perhaps you’ve visited before, but want the kids to see and appreciate it, too? Museum educator Lisa DiMarzo has created a terrific program just for you! Boscobel’s “Bring the Kids! Tours and More” takes place this Saturday, May 14 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., geared for children ages 5 to 11 years with an adult.


I adore Lisa and the ideas that she comes up with to engage kids. Families will explore in and around Boscobel with a short, special tour, followed by a hands-on clay activity to take home. Save the date for the next one, too, held on Saturday, June 14, with the theme “Nature & Landscape.”

Space is limited, and registration is encouraged. The cost is $20 for one adult and child together, $5 for each extra person and a discounted rate for members. Boscobel House & Gardens are located at 1601 Route 9D in Garrison. For more information or to register, call (845) 265-3638 or visit


Youth Fishing Derby at Schor Conservation Area

Want your kids to care about the environment and our waterways? Here’s a fun and tangible way to interest them that will also get all of you outside together. The Canaan Conservation Club invites young anglers to the annual Youth Fishing Derby this Saturday, May 14 at 8 a.m. at the Schor Conservation Area. The Derby is free and open to youth ages 15 and under, accompanied by an adult. Prizes are awarded to all participants, along with a few Grand Prizes for Fishing Derby winners.

Young people need to bring all of their own fishing supplies, but food and beverages will be provided. The Schor Conservation Area is located at 58 Shoreview Drive in Canaan. For more information, call (518) 265-2789 or (518) 392-6037 or visit



Free Armed Forces Day band concert at West Point

“Stars and Stripes Forever” sure gets the patriotic energy moving, so imagine just how great it feels hearing it played by a military band! And at West Point! And for Armed Services Day! And for free!

This Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m., see the West Point Band perform an Armed Forces Day Concert in the Eisenhower Hall Theatre at West Point. This performance is free and open to the public – and remember, as always, to bring ID for everyone aged 16 years and older, and to leave extra time for the security check at the entry gates: Stony Lonesome Gate off Route 9W or Thayer Gate in the village of Highland Falls.

For more information, call (845) 938-2445 or visit


Meet kid-lit author G. Brian Karas at Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market

Wish there was one more way to tie your family’s weekly farmers’ market visits into your daily routine? How about through a storybook? This weekend, author G. Brian Karas is offering just that! On Sunday, May 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., look for Brian and his new book On the Farm, At the Market at the Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market.

Geared for ages 5 to 9 years, this story shows the strong connections between the farmers harvesting vegetables, collecting eggs and making cheese and the café who purchases these goods and prepares a very special meal. On the Farm, At the Market costs $17.99. Pick one up for your crew, and why not get a couple more for unique, meaningful gifts?

The Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market is located at 61 East Market Street in Rhinebeck. For more information, call Oblong Books at (845) 876-0500 or visit To learn more about the author, visit



Hike with a Doctor at Olana

You know how you have a question for your doctor, but it doesn’t feel like enough to justify an appointment? And maybe you’re a little nervous about playing Dr. Internet on your own? Here’s another idea: “Pathways to Prevention: Hike with a Doctor.”

“Hike with a Doctor” takes place at the Olana State Historic Site this Tuesday, May 17 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Free and open to the public of all ages, the evening begins with a 15-minute talk at the Wagon House Education Center; then participants walk a 1.5-mile hike on Olana’s trails. This event is held rain or shine, and folks can reserve their spot by calling (518) 697-5445 or e-mailing

The Olana State Historic Site is located at 5720 Route 9G in Hudson. For more information, visit



Esopus Library screens Vagabond Puppeteers documentary

If recent political or humanitarian issues are inspiring you into action, you and your crew might relate to – and maybe even learn from – this special event at the Town of Esopus Library this Wednesday, May 18 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.: Puppetry and Politics in 1939: The Vagabond Puppeteers. This 19-minute film features Pete Seeger and three other New York City artists who used puppetry to help advance the message of dairy farmers advocating for fair milk prices.

In addition to the movie screening, attendees can ask questions of the film’s director, Winifred Lambrecht. This event is free and open to the public. The Town of Esopus Library is located at 128 Canal Street in Port Ewen. For more information, call (845) 750-4438 or visit


Erica Chase-Salerno is so happy to have her natural eyebrows again. She can be reached at