Kids’ Almanac (Dec. 8-15)

“When December comes, can The Nutcracker be far behind? No, it can’t – not in America, anyway.”

– Robert Gottlieb


Printmaking fellowship

Why is the Incredible Hulk’s skin green, you wonder? It was originally gray, but when printed in comic books, each copy resulted in different hues, including green, and Stan Lee decided that green worked better. Do you know any high school or college students interested in printmaking? The Woodstock School of Art, Inc. invites area students to apply for the Walter L. Clark Printmaking Fellowship, a 30-hour scholarship program for printmaking press assistants. Those who complete the program can work and receive a stipend in the Woodstock School of Art Printmaking and Works on Paper Studios. Fellowship topics include the history of printmaking in Woodstock, proper print protocols, working with clients, how to run a printmaking studio, caring for equipment and more.

Applications are due by December 23, and requirements include good academic standing, a portfolio of ten printed images, a letter of recommendation from a guidance counselor or a fine art-based instructor and a letter of intent to: The Walter L. Clark Printmaking Fellowship, PO Box 338, Woodstock, NY 12498. For more information, call (845) 679-2388, e-mail or visit



Youth Open Mic

Got a young singer/songwriter in your family? Then clear your calendar for Thursday, December 22 at 6 p.m., because it’s time for a Youth Open Mic at the Towne Crier! Could your kid be the next Hailey Knox or Sawyer Fredericks (who, incidentally, performs at the Crier on December 16), teens who got their start at a Towne Crier Youth Open Mic? Limited to musicians ages 18 and younger, each participant has a two-song limit, and advance registration is required. There is no cover charge.

The Towne Crier is located at 379 Main Street in Beacon. For free tickets, more information or to register, call (845) 401-4062 or visit


Bird counts

This time of year, how about taking a break from Angry Birds, Big Bird, Woodstock and Scrooge McDuck, and come outside to count some dark-eyed juncos, red-tailed hawks, downy woodpeckers and black-capped chickadees? Be a part of citizen science with the John Burroughs Natural History Society (JBNHS) on Saturday, December 17 for the Christmas Bird Count in the Mohonk Lake/Ashokan Reservoir count circle, or on Wednesday, December 26 for assignment in the Ulster/Dutchess count circle. These all-day counts are open to all, but counts can also be done from your home feeders instead.

Not sure? I suggest connecting with Mark DeDea, caretaker at Kingston’s Forsyth Nature Center, president of JBNHS and birding expert who can even make counting birds truly fun and fascinating. Preregistration is required by Saturday, December 10. For more information or to register, call (845) 246-5900, e-mail or visit


Friday, Dec. 9
Miracle on 34th Street at STS Playhouse

Need some encouragement from holiday classic movies right about now? How about this line from Fred Galley in Miracle on 34th Street? “Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don’t you see? It’s not just Kris that’s on trial, it’s everything he stands for. It’s kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.”

You can take your crew for a live radio version of Miracle on 34th Street at the STS Playhouse this Friday and Saturday, December 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m., or next weekend, December 16, 17 and 18. Tickets cost $20 general admission, $18 for members, seniors and students, and $5 for kids under 12 with an adult.

The STS Playhouse is located at 10 Church Street in Phoenicia. For tickets or more information, call (845) 688-2279 or visit


The Nutcracker in Kingston & Poughkeepsie

Wish you could watch a “Waltz of the Flowers”? Psyched to see the Sugar Plum Fairy? It’s December, and you know what that means: It’s Nutcracker time! Here are two local traditions to choose from.

You can take in a performance of the Catskill Ballet Theatre at the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) this Friday or Saturday, December 9 or 10 at 7:30 p.m., or Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $30 for adults, $25 for students and seniors and $22 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

On the other side of the Hudson River, the New Paltz Ballet Theatre presents The Nutcracker at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House on Saturday, December 10 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 11 at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $32 for adults, $29 for students and seniors and $27 for members. The Bardavon is located at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. For tickets or more information, call (845) 473-2072 or visit


Historic Ulster County in Gingerbread in Stone Ridge

Gingerbread houses have come a long way since their introduction from Europe to the US in the 1800s. Have you heard about the third annual Historic Ulster County in Gingerbread Exhibition? You can view this creative assortment of structures at the Ulster County Historical Society (UCHS) this Friday, December 9 from 6 to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, December 10 and 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. What fun for your crew to see these gingerbread designs, inspired by these historic places right here in Ulster County! General admission costs $10, seniors and children under age 12 cost $7, $5 for UCHS members, families cost $25 and children under 4 get in free.

UCHS is located at 2682 Route 209 in Stone Ridge. For more information, call (845) 338-5614 or visit


Saturday, December 10
Origami Foldfest returns to Kingston Library

One of my favorite parts of 2016 road trips is not folding up the maps afterwards like we used to do years ago. Thank you, GPS! Go next-level with your own folding skills, or learn from scratch, at the Origami Foldfest this Saturday, December 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kingston Library. Led by Anita Barbour, this free activity is open to all ages: children 5 and up, teens and adults. Use origami to make holiday ornaments or animals or other creations to gift or keep.

The Kingston Library is located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 331-0507, extension 7, or visit

Santa’s Workshop with Lego in Kingston, Highland & Fishkill

Holiday cheer extends even into the click-brick realm in Snapology’s “Santa’s Workshop with Lego!” Your Lego lads and lassies will have a blast building a Lego Christmas City, including Santa’s sleigh, elves, toys and more, as well as a holiday ornament to take home. Workshops take place on Saturday, December 10 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at Stockade Muay Thai at 302 Wall Street in Kingston and from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Highland Cultural Arts Studio at 437 New Paltz Road in Highland; and on Saturday, December 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Town of Fishkill Recreation Center at 793 Route 52 in Fishkill. Each three-hour workshop costs $45, and participants should bring a snack. For more information about these or other programs, or to register, visit


Frozendale in Rosendale

Have you been to Frozendale before? This winter festival takes place along Main Street in Rosendale and is so family-friendly and unique. Come to the free screening of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at 11 a.m. at the Rosendale Theatre. Both children and adults can perform in the Redwing Blackbird Puppet Theater’s giant puppet and mask show, The Animals in Winter, with costume fittings at 12:30 p.m., rehearsal at 2 p.m. and performance at 3 p.m. Compete against other kids and adults in the Mac & Cheese Contest, with submissions due by 4:30 p.m. to the Big Cheese shop, and judging at 5 p.m. Enjoy live music, and pick up unique treasures at the Winter Gift Sale.

For more information, visit


Nature activities

Feeling a need to do nature crafts? All ages are invited to join the Columbia Land Conservancy this Saturday, December 10 at 12 noon for crafts connected to the outdoors, along with cookies and hot cocoa. The Columbia Land Conservancy is located at 49 Main Street in Chatham.

Looking for more movement? How about the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program’s Winter Botany Walk II? Explore forests and identify plants from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at the High Falls Conservation Area at 540 Roxbury Road in Philmont. Registration is required for this walk, and both the crafting and the walk are free of charge. For more information or to register, call (518) 392-5252 or visit