Kids’ Almanac: May 18-25

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.”

– Rumi


Midsummer Night’s Dream at Byrdcliffe

“Though she be but little, she is fierce!” Are we talking about your daughter? Mayhaps; but if you’ve got William Shakespeare on your mind, I can help with that! New Genesis Productions Youth Theatre presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream this Friday, May 19 at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 20 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Byrdcliffe Theatre. You could even make two weekends of it, because Love’s Labour’s Lost takes place on Friday and Saturday, May 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 28 at 4 p.m. Tickets for each show cost $12 at the door or $10 in advance.

The Byrdcliffe Theatre is located at 380 Upper Byrdcliffe Road in Woodstock. For tickets or more information, call (845) 657-5867 or visit


Kids’ Karaoke at Zylophone

Are you delighting in the offerings by the Zylophone Performing Arts Center for Special Needs as much as I am? Here’s the latest: Kids’ Karaoke! Bring your bold sound and let’s sing! Kids’ Karaoke takes place this Friday, May 19 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Zylophone, and all are welcome at this family fun night. The event is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. Funk up your Friday night and make some noise!

Zylophone is located at 3020 Route 207, Suite 107 in Campbell Hall. For more information, call (845) 476-8257 or visit or


Spring Open House at Slabsides

Did you know that local renowned naturalist and nature writer John Burroughs actually lived here, right in West Park? Quotes of his include, “To learn something new, take the path that you took yesterday,” and “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” Hiking here is free and open to the public, and since this Saturday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. is Slabsides Day Open House, you can actually go into Burroughs’ renowned Slabsides cabin, too! Come on out and play.

At 12 noon, you can hear author and ultra-runner Ken Posner’s talk during the Open House, “Walking with John Burroughs on the Long Brown Path”; see the dedication of the cool bench donated by the Burroughs Nature Club in Willoughby, Ohio; and hike around the gorgeous grounds! The Open House event is free, but if you are not available to attend this weekend, come to the fall Open House on Saturday, October 7; and Slabsides will also be open the second and fourth Saturdays during the summer months! Or are you tempted by an earlier morning activity? Let Joe Bridges know you want to attend his 8 a.m. nature walk at the Burroughs Sanctuary to discover spring inspirations, from skunk cabbage to spotted salamanders.

Slabsides is located at 261 Floyd Ackert Road in West Park: the same road taken by Sojourner Truth during her walk to freedom from slavery. I sure hope you come explore this amazing place with your family, friends, Scouts, colleagues, teams, clubs et cetera! For more information about Slabsides Day Open House, as well as other great upcoming events, visit

“Enjoying Animals Safely” at Kingston Library

Enjoy the Kingston Library’s children’s programming, but prefer an early-afternoon time? Then this is for you! On Saturday, May 20 at 1 p.m., come to the Kingston Library for Jan Berlin’s “Enjoying Animals Safely.” This free program for school-aged children is facilitated by an animal expert who knows how to connect kids with creatures, and I hope you can make it. She brings live critters, like an opossum or a tenrec (I had to look it up, too). But to see who comes along, you just have to go see; she likes to surprise us! Speaking of surprises, bring a few dollars for the book sale that day, too, running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Kingston Library is located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 331-0507 or visit To learn more about the organization, visit

Millbrook Literary Festival returns

It’s here: the annual Millbrook Literary Festival, this Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.! That means I make a beeline for one of my favorite children’s author/illustrators, Iza Trapani, to catch up on her newest works, like Gabe and Goon, before I walk around and take in the rest of the wonderful people and stories. Have you seen the list of workshops yet? “Teen Readers and Teen Writers” takes place at 2:30 p.m.; “Talking Tough Subjects” with Suzanne LaFleur and Caron Levis at 3:30 p.m.; there’s the 2017 Young Writers’ Showcase publication and so much more! This event is free and open to the public of all ages, and it sounds like they might be interested in a few more volunteers, if you want to inquire.

The Millbrook Literary Festival takes place in Millbrook: Merritt Bookstore, 57 Front Street, (845) 677-5857; Millbrook Library, 3 Friendly Lane, (845) 677-3611; and Rose Randolph Cookies, 3306 Franklin Avenue, (845) 677-3064. For more information, a complete schedule, to register to volunteer or to make a donation, visit To learn more about the life force behind books like Gabe and Goon, visit

Lace Mill hosts MyKingstonKids Fest

Have you ever needed some Saturday plans with the kids, but you don’t know where to begin? Well, good thing you’re reading Kids’ Almanac, because here’s what you can do today!

On Saturday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., bring your crew of all ages over to the MyKingstonKids Fest 2017, located at the Lace Mill. Not only is the entire afternoon filled with indoor and outdoor activities, but the event also has free admission! Kid yoga kicks off the morning at 10:30 a.m., with a separate adult beginner yoga class at the same time; Diane Reeder of the Kingston Candy Bar leads a candymaking workshop; INSPIRE Awards will be handed out to inspirational local kids (got one to nominate? go!); there’s live entertainment, a youth art show and hands-on arts and crafts. Just go!

Live performances take place outside, and you are encouraged to bring a chair. Kids are invited to wear any costumes they like for the day! The Lace Mill is located at 165 Cornell Street in Kingston. For a complete schedule, to nominate an inspiring kid or for more information, call (845) 282-0182 or visit

Hudson Valley KidVenture weekend in Poughkeepsie

So, what are your kids interested in? Live animal displays? Interactive technology exhibits? Touch-a-truck? Kids’ cooking demonstrations? Model train setups? A 25-foot climbing wall? Live music and entertainment, like balloon-twisting and celebrity mascots? And more? Because that is just a short list of examples of what you’ll encounter at the inaugural Hudson Valley KidVenture weekend at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center and Changepoint Theater this Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets cost $8 in advance, online, $10 at the door or $12 for a two-day pass in advance, online; children 3 and under get in free. KidVenture could use some experienced volunteers this weekend: Five-hour shifts start each day at 7 a.m. until the last rotation at 6 p.m. for info booths, guest and registration tables and other key locations.

The Mid-Hudson Civic Center is located at 14 Civic Center Plaza in Poughkeepsie; the Changepoint Theater is located at 260 Mill Street in Poughkeepsie. For tickets, to register to volunteer or for more information, visit

“Sensory Art for Children with Special Needs” at Beacon’s Eat Paint Love

If you have a child with a disability or special needs, and you would like to create some art together, let’s block out some time this weekend! On Saturday, May 20 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., the Eat Paint Love Studio presents “Sensory Art for Children with Special Needs.” It’s not just the parent or other caregiver pairing with the child; it’s low lighting, soft music, moving around and “creating a sensory masterpiece.” The cost is $25 per duo, and registration is required due to limited space.

Eat Paint Love is located at 331 Main Street in Beacon. To register or for more information, call (845) 765-2255 or visit

Kingston’s Old Dutch Church hosts Free Farm-to-Table Dinner

Farm-to-table is Hudson Valley culture, right? We celebrate our farms, and we are so fortunate to access local, fresh food every day through the growers themselves, outdoor markets, charitable organizations and the Free Farm-to-Table Dinner taking place this Saturday, May 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Bethany Hall of Old Dutch Church, part of the Community Dinner & Conversation by O+ Festival’s Educate and Activate series. Entertainment includes the Percussion Orchestra of Kingston (POOK) and the Energy dance troupe; and the evening’s conversation is about access to healthful food choices, how to incorporate cooking into a hectic life and ways to support and improve school lunch programs. The meal is prepared by Phoenicia Diner chef/partner Chris Bradley, consisting of winter squash soup and bread, salad and polenta cake stew, all sourced locally.

The Old Dutch Church is located at 272 Wall Street in Kingston. For more information, visit and

New Paltz Reflect and Resist Book Discussion

What a thoughtful combination: activism and renewal. That’s what the New Paltz Reflect and Resist Book Discussion with Interactive Performance by Hudson River Playback Theatre is doing this Saturday, May 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Elting Memorial Library’s Steinberg Room. The evening begins with a discussion about Bell Hooks’ Feminism Is for Everybody, including your relatable experiences. Five dollars per book sold are donated to Planned Parenthood.


Then, following the discussion is one of my absolute favorite activities: attending a Hudson River Playback Theatre experience. It’s total therapy for me, whether I participate in the idea-sharing for the scenes or I don’t say a word. The performances are co-created with the audience, and what comes out of these visuals, words and ideas is so liberating, clarifying; I feel lighter every single time I go. This is a home-run event, and I encourage teens and up to come check it out.

The Elting Memorial Library is located at 93 Main Street in New Paltz. Thanks for sponsoring, Inquiring Minds Bookstore! For more information, call (845) 255-5030 or visit Learn more about the performance at


Community Day at Hudson Opera House

I know it’s not technically summer yet; sometimes it doesn’t even feel like spring temperatures right now. But Hudson Hall Community Day will be such a fun afternoon, it’s like you’re on vacation! Just stop into the historic Hudson Opera House this Sunday, May 21 between 12 noon and 5 p.m. and enjoy exploring newly restored rooms and workshops spaces – and did I mention the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus? Children ages 4 and up can have an interactive Bindlestiff Family Cirkus experience with their teen instructors between 1:30 and 3 p.m. to learn feather-balancing, scarf-juggling, diabolo-spinning and stiltwalking. And did I mention free? But you have to register, because space is limited. And you definitely want to time your visit to see the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus performance from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

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

Woodstock Day School hosts Ana Lauren Dooley Memorial Celebration

This past March, Amazing Ana died of cancer two months shy of her 16th birthday. Ana loved life, singing, the sky and so much more, and she and her family are beloved in the Hudson Valley and beyond. I invite you to join the Ana Lauren Dooley Memorial Celebration taking place this Sunday, May 21 at the Woodstock Day School Bridge Building from 1 to 3 p.m. Please feel free to bring a photo of Ana to show or give to her family. I wish we could soften some of these edges of grief, but if you feel led to donate to the family to help ease some of the economics along the way, here’s a direct payment link to the Dooley family:

The Woodstock Day School is located at 1430 Glasco Turnpike in Saugerties. For more information, visit and


Rosendale Theatre previews Doug Motel’s We the People

Could you and your teens use some humor right about now? Want to be among the first to see the new Doug Motel play production? Here you go! This Tuesday, May 23, come see a reading of We the People at 7:15 p.m. at the Rosendale Theatre, part of the Artists’ New Work Forum.

Why did Motel create this work? “I found myself getting distressed over how divided my fellow Americans were becoming as a result of being targets of political ideology, and I knew that my only way through it was to try to make something funny out of it.” Characters include Obi-Wan, the 29-year-old cannabis sommelier and the host of the Herbal Alert podcast from Santa Cruz, California; Angelo, the 48-year-old Brooklyn recovering sex addict crazy for political activist chicks; and Coralee, the 60-year-old president of the 31st Division of the Daughters of the Confederacy in Blue Hill, South Carolina. Afterwards, you are invited to share feedback with the author about the play. This show is appropriate for ages 13 and up, and the suggested donation is $5.

The Rosendale Theatre is located at 408 Main Street in Rosendale. For more information about We the People, visit To learn more about the writer/performer, visit To find out about the Artists’ New Work Forum, click

Register for Family Fun Day

“…These are a few of my favorite things…” Here’s a list of reasons why I suggest you take a moment right now to register for Family Fun Day at Hand Hollow, taking place on Sunday, May 28 from 4 to 7 p.m.: a beaver presentation from the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary; a sheep-herding demonstration from Wild Goose Chase; live music from the Mountain Laurel Band; free ice cream from Stewart’s; and special activities for the kids! This event is free and open to the public of all ages, and registration is required. Bring a picnic, or purchase on-site barbecue from Capital Q Smokehouse.

The Hand Hollow Conservation Area is located at 4079 County Route 9 in New Lebanon. For more information or to register, call (518) 392-5252 or visit

Erica Chase-Salerno is obsessed with mint chip milkshakes. She can be reached at