Kids’ Almanac: March 2-9

St. Baldrick’s Day on Sunday, March 5 in Saugerties is a family-friendly fundraiser whose signature activity is watching local volunteers “brave the shave” in solidarity with children living with cancer. All proceeds benefit pediatric cancer research. (photo by Alen Fetahi)

“Histories get rewritten and changed. They get buried. But art, for some reason, manages to remain untainted.”
– Marcus Gardley, award-winning screenwriter/television writer/playwright (appearing at Vassar College March 3)



Kidz Expo at Empire State Plaza

Are your kids crazy for Curious George, or pumped about Peppa Pig? Would they like to meet them? The Kidz Expo at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center takes place this Saturday, March 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and yes, this event is open to the public of all ages, and yes, admission is free! Activities include presentations about recycling, Dance Flurry music and movement games, a bounce house, live music and dance performances, hands-on action such as making a comet and more – as well as a chance to meet Curious George and Peppa Pig and her little brother, George. Bring your camera for this one!


The Empire State Plaza Convention Center is located in Albany. For more information, call (518) 474-4759 or visit


Abilities First Showcase at Poughkeepsie Galleria

Have you heard that wonderful line from professor Mohamed Jemni? “The disability is not the problem. The accessibility is the problem.” I absolutely agree. And if you’d like to hear some inspiring stories and the essential work helping people of all ages, and all disabilities, right here in our community, stop by the Poughkeepsie Galleria this Saturday, March 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for “Abilities First: A Showcase of Resources for Enrichment & Inclusion.” This event includes information for a wide variety of challenges, including developmental, intellectual, physical, mental and more, and it’s free and open to the public. And 9 to 10 a.m. is offered as a sensory-friendly environment!

The Poughkeepsie Galleria is located at 2001 South Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 485-9803, extension 215, or visit


Celtic Heels Irish Dance in Rhinebeck

With St. Patrick’s Day only days away, it’s a great time for some hornpipes, jigs and reels. Round up your sweet stór and leanbh (treasure, and dear child) and head over to the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck this Saturday, March 4 at 11 a.m. for Celtic Heels Irish Dance. Enjoy the irresistible, toe-tapping and hand-clapping music accompanying the beats, cuts, overs, lifts and sevens performed before you, and you’ll feel like you were transported to the Emerald Isle! Tickets cost a tiny fraction of what the plane fare would be: $7 for children, $9 for adults and seniors.

The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck is located at 661 Route 308 in Rhinebeck. For tickets or more information, call (845) 876-3080 or visit To learn more about the performers, visit


All-County Choral Music Festival at SUNY-Ulster

Were you part of the All-County back in the day? Could your crew use some peer-based inspiration? Hear a wonderful variety of vocal styles from elementary, junior and senior high school choruses at Ulster’s All-County Choral Music Festival taking place at 4 p.m. this Saturday, March 4 at the Senate Gymnasium at SUNY-Ulster. This annual concert is a real honor for participants, and such a treat for the rest of us to hear them! Tickets cost $6 for adults, $3 for students and seniors.

SUNY-Ulster is located at 491 Cottekill Road in Stone Ridge. For more information, call (845) 687-5261 or visit


Sesame Street Live in Poughkeepsie

Have you ever felt like Cookie Monster does here? “That what wrong with the media today. All they have is questions, questions, questions. They never have cookies.” You and your kids ages 1 to 6 years can see their favorite characters, enjoy a terrific soundtrack, fun choreography and special effects at Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend taking place at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center this weekend! Performances take place Friday, March 3 at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 4 at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Sunday, March 5 at 1 p.m.

As this is the first live show for many children, I suggest talking to them about the experience beforehand, including the fact that the characters will seem larger, human-sized to them, and that the action all takes place in front of them onstage, not on a television or a computer screen.

Tickets cost $18, $25 or $35 (for Gold Circle seats); $65 for the VIP Sunny Seats package, which gives premium seating along with a Meet & Greet before the show with two Sesame Street Live friends, including Elmo; $8 or $13 (for Gold Circle seats) for daycare or school groups of ten or more; and $26.25 per person for a Me + 3 four-pack.

The Mid-Hudson Civic Center is located at 14 Civic Center Plaza in Poughkeepsie. For tickets or more information, call (800) 745-3000 or visit To learn more about the show, visit


Open House at House Rules Café in Hudson

Have you ever told your kids to quit playing with their dinner? How about asking them to put their toys away at the table? Wish this weren’t such a flashpoint of conflict with the family? You may be happy to hear that there is another way that you could get in on early: the House Rules Café. Clear your calendar for this Saturday, March 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. for the House Rules Café Open House, your favorite new spot that everyone will love! Check out the inside, taste some select comfort-food menu items and play some of the 70 board games in the Café’s collection, before it opens up officially in April.

The House Rules Café is located at 757 Columbia Street in Hudson. For more information, call (518) 828-5938 or visit


Bardavon hosts Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre gala

Whether you try to stomp on the right squares in Dance Dance Revolution or you cha cha real smooth, you and your resident dancers want to attend the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre gala weekend! The show takes place at the Bardavon Opera House this Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 5 at 3 p.m. Pieces include nine student-choreographed works, faculty compositions, the second act of Swan Lake and a world premiere by David Dorfman, featuring modern, ballet and jazz genres. Tickets cost $11 for adults and $9 for the Vassar community, students and seniors.

The Bardavon is located at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. For tickets or more information, call (845) 473-2072 or visit To learn more about the dance program, visit


Build a birdhouse or bat box

Do you have a kid who can sleep basically anywhere? So can a young male bat! Come to the “Build a Habitat for Birds or Bats” workshop at the Schor Conservation Area this Saturday, March 4 at 10 a.m., and see who comes to dwell inside. All materials are provided, and participants will learn about these special animals, so you just register and choose which box to build: The bat box costs $15, and the bluebird box costs $5.

The Schor Conservation Area is located at 58 Shoreview Drive in Canaan. To register or for more information, call (518) 392-5252 or visit



St. Baldrick’s Day in Saugerties

People often sympathize with me about my own cancer journey, but honestly, what upsets me more than anything I’m dealing with is the lack of research funding available for pediatric cancer.

Whether or not cancer has yet touched your family directly, we can all be a part of this super-special fundraiser organized by an incredible local woman, Gloria Darmanin. St. Baldrick’s Day Ulster County 2017 takes place this Sunday, March 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Saugerties Senior Center. Gloria is passionate about community service, and she makes a real difference to families near and far. Why does she do it? “Knowing my friends have buried their child (imagine that!), knowing people are hooked up to machines without an idea of what comes next, instead of being at a birthday party, knowing that their little lives are being robbed of childhood and innocence, knowing that these kids are our future, people are hurting, and I am human, and knowing that any of us – let me repeat, any of us – can wake up tomorrow to news that changes our lives forever, is more than enough reason to me!”

The money raised at St. Baldrick’s Day Ulster County 2017 funds pediatric cancer research, so that effective treatments and cures can be developed with fewer side effects. Activities at this family-friendly fundraiser include a very tempting raffle, energized dance performances, face-painting, relaxing chair massages, incredible baked goods and, of course, the signature volunteer head-shavings: I’m talking over 100 kids and adults willingly showing camaraderie with bald kids and losing their ‘dos! So wear your St. Baldrick’s green-and-gold colors, and get ready for a great day that makes an even greater difference! Tell Gloria that Erica sent you.


The Saugerties Senior Center is located at 207 Market Street in Saugerties. For more information, e-mail For the latest updates, visit To learn more about the St. Baldrick’s organization or to make a donation, visit Curious what a St. Baldrick’s event is like? Take a look here:


Ethel string quartet performs Circus at Hudson Opera House

Now here’s a circus we can all enjoy: a musical one! You and your crew will delight in this weekend’s concert by the string quartet Ethel, taking place this Sunday, March 5 at 3 p.m. at the Hudson Opera House. Performing excerpts from their original piece, Circus: The Lives behind the Big Top, composer, educator and bassist Jon Deak takes the stage with musicians from his Very Young Composers program for an afternoon of classical works entirely composed, arranged and orchestrated by children. This family concert is open to the public of all ages. Tickets cost $10 for adults, free for youth aged 13 and under.

The Hudson Opera House is located at 327 Warren Street in Hudson. For tickets or more information, call (518) 822-1438 or visit To learn more about the quartet, visit


On the horizon

Cary Institute sponsors Hudson Data Jam Competition

One thing we’ve learned from Mary Poppins is that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down: Good information doesn’t help anybody if no one can access or understand it, right? Well, that’s where the Cary Institute comes in! The 2017 Hudson Data Jam Competition is underway, and middle- and high-schoolers are invited to create their own stories describing trends in the Hudson River ecological watershed data, or using the data to compare data sites or information from other years.

The contest entries will consist of two parts: creative data interpretation, which means anything from skits to videos to original songs to puppet shows – the sky’s the limit; and a written report, all due by May 12, 2017. Merit prizes are awarded to the top three submissions by middle-schoolers and the top three by high-schoolers, with $500 for each first place, $300 second place and $100 third place, as well as $100 People’s Choice awards, determined at the 2017 Data Jam Expo, date yet to be announced.

Cary Institute is located at 2801 Sharon Turnpike in Millbrook. For more information, as well as a complete list of rules and guidelines, call (845) 677-5343 or visit


Youth Nature Ambassadors

Between admission fees and meal deals, that shift to age 13 means the end of a lot of childhood discounts and programs that only go as far as age 12. But when those doors close, the Mohonk Preserve’s open! Calling all teens ages 13 and up: How would you like to become a Youth Nature Ambassador? This volunteer opportunity gives youth a chance to gain work experience and community service credit and learn about nature! Youth Nature Ambassadors share information about the Preserve with other guests, create and lead hands-on family activities and assist with summer camp.

Applications are due by April 14, and require that you submit a letter of interest about why you would like to become a Youth Nature Ambassador and a letter of recommendation from a non-family member; complete the online registration form; commit to two weekend trainings on April 20 and May 18, from 7 to 9 p.m.; and volunteer for at least two four-hour weekend shifts.

The Mohonk Preserve Visitor Center is located at 3197 State Route 55 in Gardiner. To apply or for more information, call (845) 255-0919 or visit


Marist Kids’ Day Out

Got a hoopster between ages 7 and 17? You can give an assist to your budding Steph Curry or Maya Moore by offering some special court time while supporting a very worthy cause! Registration is open now for Marist College’s Kids’ Day Out basketball clinic, taking place on Sunday, March 26 at the McCann Center on campus. Kids will receive fundamental basketball instruction from Marist athletes: Girls play from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and boys from 2 to 5 p.m. The $10 fee benefits the Marist College Scholarship for Students with Disabilities.

Preregistration is required. Snacks, water, Kids’ Day Out tee-shirts and raffle tickets are available for purchase; or score a free raffle ticket by donating a college textbook or DVD published within the past five years!

Marist College is located at 3399 North Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information or to register, call (845) 575-3274, e-mail or visit


Teen Photo Contest

Do you happen to know any young people who enjoy sharing their lives using personal photos on social media, such as on Instagram? Would cash be an incentive-worthy prize? Because the Elting Memorial Library just announced its Teen Photo Contest, and your eighth-to-12th-grader can be a part of it!

Youth can submit one or two black-and-white or color photos that were taken in New Paltz, and they must be matted. The three contest categories are Portrait, Landscape and Other, and each carries a $50 prize. Submissions are due by Thursday, March 30, and a reception hosting the winners and their photos takes place on Tuesday, April 25. This contest is free and open to the public.

The Elting Memorial Library is located at 93 Main Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 255-5030 or visit


Erica Chase-Salerno is gearing up for Pi Day; more on that next week! She can be reached at