Kids’ Almanac (Dec. 1-8)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

“Let the children lose it / Let the children use it / Let all the children boogie.”

– David Bowie, “Starman”

Let All the Children Boogie CD

Where can one find 20 terrific David Bowie tunes with a twist, by great musicians we know and love, for a cause that we believe in? I’m talking about the new Let All the Children Boogie: A Tribute to David Bowie album, with proceeds benefiting the It Gets Better Project, a worldwide movement to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth feel safe in the world, and to help make the world safe for them and for everyone.

The entire album is like a Who’s Who of kindie rock, including talent who call the Hudson Valley home like David Bowie did. Dean Jones and Robert Burke Warren both produce and perform on the album, along with Rhett Miller (“Ziggy Stardust”), Tracy Bonham (“Lady Stardust”), Elizabeth Mitchell and Simi Stone (“Changes”), Gustafer Yellowgold (“Space Oddity”), Rachel Loshak (“Starman”) and many others, including teen Storey Littleton doing “Life on Mars?” with Marco Benevento. Twenty tracks of excellent, cool music, it’s the perfect gift for all ages, because they’re all familiar Bowie tunes, but each song is its own creative treat to discover; with the clever instrumentation and fresh vocals, you and your family will find yourselves singing along!


Let All the Children Boogie: A Tribute to David Bowie is available as a CD or download and costs $9 to $13. For more information, or to purchase multiple copies of the album like I did, visit To learn more about the charitable beneficiary, visit


Christ Church Episcopal in Hudson stages Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel

I eat so many sweets this time of year that it seems somehow normal to me that Hansel and Gretel nibble on that witch’s candy house. You can give your kids a chance to see this classic story come to life this Friday, December 2 at 6 p.m. at Christ Church Episcopal. This family performance is an abbreviated, semi-staged production of the Engelbert Humperdinck opera. Tickets cost a $10 suggested donation for adults and are free for youth under age 18. Christ Church Episcopal is located at 431 Union Street in Hudson. For more information, call (518) 822-1438 or visit

Celebration of Lights Parade & Fireworks in Poughkeepsie

Who has two thumbs and is part of a three-tree-lighting event this weekend? Why, it’s Santa! You and your family will be filled with holiday cheer at the Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks this Friday, December 2 in downtown Poughkeepsie. The parade begins 6:30 p.m. at Main and Garden Streets, with the first tree-lighting on Main Street, near Market Street. Next, Santa arrives on a firetruck for the tree-lighting at Dongan Square Park and 7:15 p.m. fireworks along the Poughkeepsie waterfront. Finally, the third tree-lighting takes place at the center of the Walkway over the Hudson.

After the parade, head to the Bardavon Opera House for a screening of It’s a Wonderful Life at 8 p.m.; tickets cost $6 each. The Bardavon is located at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 473-2072 or visit

A Christmas Story Musical at Woodstock Playhouse

Who better understands the fullness of desire and want than Ralphie Parker for the official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model air rifle? Do you watch A Christmas Story each year with your family? Or perhaps you relate more to the father’s ongoing struggle with the basement furnace? How about changing things up and seeing it performed live, with music? A Christmas Story Musical runs from Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 11 at the Woodstock Playhouse with all of your favorite scenes: the bunny suit, licking the flagpole, the leg lamp and more! Performances take place Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $36 to $44.

The Woodstock Playhouse is located at 103 Mill Hill Road in Woodstock. For tickets or more information, call (845) 679-6900 or visit

Ulster Ballet dances A Christmas Carol at UPAC

Don’t you just love exposing your kids to culture in a variety of ways? For example, if they say “Bah, humbug!” to A Christmas Carol in book or movie form, how about taking them to the ballet version instead? A Christmas Carol takes place at the Ulster Performing Arts Center this Friday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 3 at 4 p.m. and Sunday, December 4 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and UPAC members and $15 for children aged 12 and under or for groups of 10 or more.

UPAC is located at 601 Broadway in Kingston. For tickets or more information, call (845) 339-6088 or visit To learn more about the production, visit


Winter Walk in Hudson

For 20 years, Hudson has created a wonderland to kick off the winter holiday season, so you can imagine that the city is pretty good at it. We’re talking music with Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night, singers from the Canaan Chorale and the Orcapelicans, entertainment from St. Julian’s Juggling Troupe, a free performance of the Hansel and Gretel opera and much more! Come see what the Winter Walk is all about this Saturday, December 3!

The Winter Walk takes place along Main Street in Hudson, as well as activities in nearby locations. For more information and a complete schedule, call (518) 822-1438 or visit

Kingston Library presents Sounds like Science!

If you have ever been concerned about shushing your child at the library, you will both have a blast at Sounds like Science! this Saturday, December 3 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Kingston Library. Kids will learn about how sound is made; then, using simple materials, you will learn how to create a dinosaur roar, the Mad Scientist way! Enjoy experiments with speakers, magnets, a swinging sound tube and more!

This program is geared for school-aged children and is free and open to the public. The Kingston Library is located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 331-0507, extension 7, or visit

Victoria St. George reads from The Rainbow Book in New Paltz

Local author Victoria St. George wrote The Rainbow Book, which has rhymes with colors like green; but where can you find it? Where can it be seen? I’ll give you a clue, you’ll be happy to count it among your best finds: Just show up this Saturday, December 3 at 3 p.m. at New Paltz’s Inquiring Minds!

Okay, so maybe Victoria does a better job about rhyming than I do, and she’s even doing a rainbow pasta craft, too! The event is free; your kids will have a great time with you. Score a copy for your family, although seasonal gift-giving means more like buying a few!

Inquiring Minds is located at 6 Church Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 255-8300 or visit To learn more about the book, visit

Sinterklaas in Rhinebeck

You have heard about the Crowns & Branches workshops in Kingston and Rhinebeck, and you have heard about the Send-Off Celebration. Well, now it’s time for the highly anticipated big event! Sinterklaas Festival Day takes place this Saturday, December 3, beginning with a Bear Beauty Contest at Samuel’s and a Crowns & Branches workshop at the firehouse, and ends with the 6 p.m. Children’s Starlight Parade, followed by the 8 p.m. afterparty at the Liberty Lounge. Throughout the day, take part in activities such as storytelling, juggling, face-painting, puppets and…wow, so much incredible music from Dean Jones, Music by Maggie and more – and it’s all free!

Sinterklaas takes place throughout the Village of Rhinebeck. For a complete schedule, parking information and a map, visit

Rick Adam’s Shadowtales at SUNY-Dutchess

Remember the era of filmstrips and movie projectors, and how amused we were making shadow puppets? Rediscover this endearing artform at Rick Adam’s Shadowtales at SUNY-Dutchess this Saturday, December 3 at 11 a.m. in the James & Betty Hall Theatre. This program is free and open to the public of all ages. Warning: You may be inspired to start creating your own shadow stories.


SUNY-Dutchess is located at 53 Pendell Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 431-8050 or visit To learn more about the performer, visit

Half Moon Theatre performs A Christmas Carol at the CIA

Charles Dickens wrote, “‘There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor,” which is perfect for describing Half Moon Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, adapted by Geoff Tarson. The production takes place this Saturday, December 3 through Sunday, December 18 at the Culinary Institute of America’s Marriott Pavilion, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Indulge in a dessert reception after the December 3 performance, or a cast talkback after the December 10 matinée, and pre-theater dining is available before the Saturday evening performances. This kind of outing is the perfect “experience” gift for your family or anyone who enjoys holiday fun. Tickets cost $18 to $50.

The Culinary Institute of America is located at 1946 Campus Drive in Hyde Park. For tickets or more information, call (845) 235-9885 or visit

West Point Holiday Show at Eisenhower Hall

We are located so close to West Point, how about taking in a free daytime holiday performance with your crew? The West Point Holiday Show takes place this Saturday and Sunday, December 3 and 4 at 1 p.m. at Eisenhower Hall. The show is free and suitable for all ages, and no tickets are required; just bring identification for entry onto the West Point campus. You’ll hear festive holiday arrangements, and Santa will arrive at the end!

For more information, parking details, directions and more, call (845) 938-2445 or visit

Winter Holiday Express stops at Poughkeepsie Library

Maybe we adults understand that winter holidays are celebrated differently in cultures around the world, but how can we invite our children to explore these ideas? How about starting with Winter Holiday Express: The Magic of Different Cultures, happening this Saturday, December 3 at 11 a.m. at the Poughkeepsie Public Library District? Magic Jim uses books found in libraries, audience participation and fun to learn about Kwanzaa, Diwali, the Solstice, Ramadan, Hanukkah and Christmas. This program is free and open to the public of all ages from kindergarten on. No registration is required.

The Poughkeepsie Public Library District is located at 93 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 485-3445 or visit To learn more about the show, visit