Kids’ Almanac (3/23-30)

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.”
– Doug Larson

Rhinebeck’s Oblong Books hosts YA author Kelly Jensen

When I leafed through this terrific new Young Adult book and saw chapters such as Kody Keplinger’s playlist, “Feminist Songs to Sing along To,” Amandla Stenberg’s “Don’t Cash Crop on My Cornrows” and Ashley Hope Pérez’s “The ‘Nice Girl’ Feminist,” I was immediately drawn to it. Kelly Jensen’s anthology, Here We Are: 44 Voices Write, Draw and Speak about Feminism for the Real World, features contributions from dozens of different writers, dancers, actors and artists offering engaging essays, lists, poems, comics and illustrations about body positivity, romance, gender identity, intersectionality and the greatest girl friendships in fiction. You and your crew can hear Kelly in conversation with YA author Christine Hepperman this Sunday, March 26 at 4 p.m. at Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck.

But Here We Are is only part of what’s happening at Oblong for young people this weekend! On Friday, March 24 at 7 p.m., bring your family to hear Rhinebeck native Alyssa Mastromonaco dish about her time in the White House, including meeting the Queen of England (in jeans!) from her book Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? and Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House.


Finally, on Saturday, March 25 at 11 a.m., 5-to-9-year-olds will get their own fun at the shifty-shape storytime and book-signing of Triangle, with author Mac Barnett and author and illustrator Jon Klassen. I’ve already decided I like this Triangle book because I Want My Hat Back, also by Klassen, is perfection.

All of these events are free and open to the public, and reservations are appreciated, which can be made online at the Oblong website. Oblong Books and Music is located at 6422 Montgomery Street in Rhinebeck. For more information, call (845) 876-0500 or visit To learn more about each book, visit,, and
Last day for Student Creative Expression Exhibit at Wallace Center

Instead of one more workshop or assembly about bullying, how about seeing directly what our area youth have to say about it, along with respect and kindness? Friday, March 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is the final day to view the Student Creative Expression Exhibit at the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum. Curated by the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center and showcasing work from local youth, from preschoolers through high school seniors, this event is a great way for us to learn about this generation’s perspectives about countering bullying and celebrating our differences. Sounds like an inspiring opportunity that could also launch some new family conversations about connecting with others, exploring beyond stereotypes, celebrating kindness in action and the pain and problems caused by labeling and disassociating from someone else. This exhibit is free and open to the public of all ages.

The FDR Presidential Library and Museum is located at 4079 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park. For more information, call (845) 331-5300 or visit or To learn more about the Student Creative Expression Exhibit, No Name-Calling Week and the upcoming GLSEN Hudson Valley Student Leadership Academy taking place on April 22 at SUNY-Dutchess, visit



Spring Book Fair at Olive Free Library

This Saturday, March 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Olive Free Library’s Spring Book Fair, come for the books, but stay for the American Girl Doll tea party, interactive LEGO city with an electric model train, gardening lecture on native shrubs, food and more! At 10:30 a.m., kids with American Girl Dolls or similarly sized sidekicks will participate in a craft activity, snacks and, of course, tea! The tea party is free, but preregistration is required by calling the library at (845) 657-2482.

The shrub lecture by Hortus Conclusus takes place at noon, and at 12:30 p.m., your budding brick-builders will delight in helping to construct an interactive LEGO city with electric train. The final program of the Fair is the opening of “Seven Year Stitch,” a fiber arts exhibit. The Olive Free Library is located at 4033 Route 28A in West Shokan. For more information, call (845) 657-2482 or visit


Yours, Anne opens at CIA’s Marriott Pavilion

Anne Frank wrote the essay “Give!” in her famous diary, including this quote: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” So, let’s not wait a single moment more to improve our world: Gather your crew, and let’s go see a play about this teen’s thoughts during the Holocaust. Yours, Anne is performed at the Culinary Institute of America’s Marriott Pavilion by Half Moon Theatre and takes place on Saturday, March 25, with a preview performance at 3 p.m. and then at 8 p.m., followed by an Opening Night reception of traditional Jewish foods; Sunday, March 26 at 2 p.m. followed by a talkback with the cast; Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 at 8 p.m.; and April 2 at 2 p.m. Student matinees take place on Friday, March 31 and Tuesday, April 4 at 10 a.m.

Tickets for evening performances cost $35 for adults, $30 for seniors and $20 for children; matinées cost $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $18 for children. 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


Barefoot Dance Company at Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck

Is your family interested in dynamic youth dancing? Compelling choreography? Magnificent music? Then make plans to attend Barefoot Dance Company performance at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck this Saturday, March 25 at 11 a.m. Bring kids of all ages to this energizing hour of modern dance performed by young people from right here in the Hudson Valley! And, yes, they’re usually barefoot. I am a huge fan because director Jessie Levey operates under the premise that any body type, personality, age or ability can dance – which means that everyone counts, whether we are watching or dancing.

Tickets cost $7 for children and $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 company, visit


Ventriloquism live at SUNY-Dutchess

Have your kids caught a live ventriloquist show yet? Because Sylvia Fletcher brings so much entertainment from her puppet-style “vents” along with comedy, your own family may start using the title of her show for themselves: Ventastic: The Show! You can see Ventastic: The Show this Saturday, March 25 at 11 a.m. at the James & Betty Hall Theatre at SUNY-Dutchess. Geared for children of all ages, this performance is free and open to the public.

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


Seed-starting workshop at Orange County Arboretum

With so much white stuff on the ground, are you craving some green? Get your kids to start flexing their green thumbs and head over to the Orange County Arboretum for “Seed-Starting for Kids” this Saturday, March 25 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the Kosuga Education Building. Seed-planting is a terrific promise of warmth, life and green during these chilly stretches, and talk about hands-on: Your budding gardeners will enjoy learning about various growing methods and can even take their seeds home afterwards!

The Orange County Arboretum is located at 211 Route 416 in Montgomery. For more information or to register, call (845) 615-3828 or visit


Clifford Comes to Skate Time 209

Yes, your kids would love to meet a giant costumed canine! As Cleo the purple poodle says, “Have I ever steered you wrong?” Make your littles smile – and maybe bark – with happiness this Saturday, March 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. at “Clifford Comes to Skate Time 209.” A fundraiser for the Little Ones Learning Center across the street, families will enjoy an afternoon of skating, snacking, gaming, fun activities and of course, roller-skating! Admission costs $10 per person, free for children aged 2 and under, and skate rental costs $3.50.

Skate Time 209 is located at 5164 Route 209 in Accord. For more information, call (845) 626-7249 or visit To learn more about the event beneficiary, visit


Ulster Ballet Company’s Festival of Dance returns to UPAC

I am getting such a kick out of that cereal ad campaign featuring kids performing dances with their parents; how about you? You can support the enjoyment and beauty of dance by taking your own kids to the Ulster Ballet Company’s 34th annual Festival of Dance happening this Saturday, March 25 at 8 p.m. at the Ulster Performing Arts Center. The Festival includes a variety of dance genres, costumes and music from a host of dance companies in and around the Hudson Valley.


Tickets cost $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and UPAC/Bardavon members, and $18 for children aged 12 and under, or groups of ten or more. And for those of you who like a deal, employees of HealthQuest, Health Alliance, Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Medical Center, Marist, Bard and Vassar Colleges, the City of Kingston and County of Ulster, members of the YMCA Kingston and New York City Police and Firefighters receive the group rate of $18. Just present your employee ID or membership card to the box office when purchasing your tickets.

UPAC is located at 601 Broadway in Kingston. For tickets or more information, call (845) 246-4316 or (845) 339-6088, or visit


“Signs of Spring” walk at Mohonk Preserve

Signs of spring? More like, signs of something (like stubbornly-sticking-around snow)! But if seeing is believing, then you and your young explorers will get all of the proof you need that this seasonal transition really is happening at “Signs of Spring,” taking place this Saturday, March 25 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Mohonk Preserve’s Spring Farm.

However much I care about nature, hanging out with Ann Guenther around a field or woods – or honestly, anywhere – is a treat any time of year, and I always end up loving nature even more! What will your family discover? Some new green shoots? A bug? Perhaps some sap from a maple tree? Signs of Spring is free and open to the public of all ages, and includes an easy two-mile hike.

Spring Farm is located at Upper 27 Knolls Road in High Falls. Mohonk Preserve day passes cost $12 for ages 13 and up, and may be purchased at the Visitor Center on Route 44/55 or at the Spring Farm trailhead. For more information, call (845) 255-0919 or visit


Cardboard Classic sled race at Belleayre

Back in the day, my pals and I would sled down Devil’s Hill on our way home after school, where we improvised with cardboard pieces to glide down on. We may be approaching the end of skiing and snowboarding season, but before you and your snowsporters put away your gear, there’s one more event that you might want to check out: Join the Belleayre Cardboard Classic this Saturday, March 25 at the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center! Sleds must consist of only duct tape and cardboard, so you can make them at home or construct them on-site at the Longhouse Lodge between 9 a.m. and noon.

Entry to the Belleayre Cardboard Classic is free and open to the public, and categories include: Fastest Sled, Best Crash, Most Creative, Most Ridiculous and Best Overall Sled. The Belleayre Mountain Ski Center is located at 181 Galli Curci Road in Highmount. For more information, call (845) 254-5600 or visit



John Iyoya Children’s Art Show returns to Vassar

Is it time to show your kids some art that’s not hanging on your refrigerator? How about coming to a local exhibit with lots of art created by children? This Sunday, March 26 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. is the opening for “A Celebration of Children’s Art” at Vassar College’s 32nd annual John Iyoya Children’s Art Show, with a free reception at 2 p.m. Come see the more-than-200 works by young people from Overlook Primary School, Noxon Road Elementary School, G. W. Krieger Elementary School, Warring Magnet Academy of Science and Technology, Morse Young Child Magnet School, Hagan Elementary School, Nassau Elementary School, Lagrange Middle School, Todd Middle School and Wimpfheimer Nursery School at Vassar College.

The exhibition is free and open to the public, and will be up all week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday, March 31 in the James W. Palmer III Gallery. Vassar College is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 437-5370 or visit


Moonlights sing family-friendly songs at brunch at Marlboro’s Falcon

“Were you gonna bake a cake?” croons Dean Jones to the other half of the Moonlights, Rachel Loshak. Well, I say, how about some Falcon Cakes? Because if you have been listening to this album, or if you have ever heard Dean or Rachel sing, you know that the Falcon is where you want to be this Sunday, March 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. With no tickets, no cover charge and no minimum at the Falcon, you can pay what you wish to support the musicians and save some bucks for brunch – like potato cheese pancakes, a/k/a Falcon Cakes! The Moonlights’ music is refreshingly innocent, whimsical, gorgeous and relatable to all ages, and they’re bringing some special guests with them on Sunday, too.

The Falcon is located at 1348 Route 9W in Marlboro. For reservations (which I recommend) or more information, call (845) 236-7970 or visit To learn more about the musicians, visit, and


Maple madness

Score some of the sticky, sweet stuff before maple sugaring ceases for the season!

Bowdoin Park: Maple Open House with hands-on demonstrations about tapping trees, traditional firestarting techniques and making syrup. Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., free. 85 Sheafe Road, Poughkeepsie; (845) 298-4602,

Phillies Bridge Farm Project: Maple Festival featuring sap-tasting right from the tree, maple tree-identification, making maple candy and more. Saturday, March 25, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., $20 per family, $7 per individual, $5 per student includes hot pancake brunch. 45 Phillies Bridge Road, New Paltz; (845) 256-9108,,


Erica Chase-Salerno is humming along to the Moonlights’ album right now! She can be reached at