Kids’ Almanac: Nov. 23-30

Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, the home of the famous Hudson Valley painter Frederic Church. (photo by Julie O’Connor)

“Oh my gosh,
your voice is so annoying
to me right now, I just want to record you and have someone make it
into a piano and play it over
and over so you can hear it!”
– Twins overheard in Saugerties, age 6

Hudson Valley annual holiday roundup

I hope you and your family can make it to all of these special local spots throughout this holiday season for tours and special events, all decorated in decadence, a mix of experiences hearkening back through history or modernized and digital for 2017. Call or visit online for complete event schedules and pricing:


ERDAJT Holiday Light Display: Private residence’s epic light show timed with music, donations collected for charity; 8 Patrick Drive, LaGrangeville;

Frosty Fest Light Spectacular, 778 Broadway, Route 9W, Ulster Park; (845) 339-2666, extension 7,

Locust Grove Holiday Tours, 2683 South Road, Poughkeepsie; (845) 454-4500,

Sinterklaas Festival sendoff out of Kingston on November 25, celebration throughout the entire village of Rhinebeck on December 2, with lots happening in between;

Wilderstein Holiday House Tours and Events, 330 Morton Road, Rhinebeck; (845) 876-4818,


Bookplate workshop at Washington’s Headquarters

Here’s something you can’t use with the digital word: bookplates! Here’s your chance to give your kids a taste of tradition – and perhaps they will be inspired to continue creating for their own holiday gifts! Head over to the Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site on Friday and Saturday, November 24 and 25 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to craft bookplates, tour the museum, explore the headquarters that George Washington used and enjoy the expansive views of the Hudson River. Admission costs $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and students; youth aged 12 and under get in free. The craft is free with museum admission.

The Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site is located at 84 Liberty Street in Newburgh. For more information, call (845) 562-1195 or visit or

Marionettes and more at Olana in Hudson

If you are looking for cool activities the weekend of Thanksgiving, you have got to check out what’s happening at the Olana State Historic Site. On Friday, November 24, you and your crew can catch a morning marionette show. In the afternoon, print your own wrapping paper. On Saturday, November 25, take a hike around the grounds and craft paper windows. Need a wreath? Come back on Wednesday, November 29. And we haven’t even talked about taking a house tour, or shopping until you drop at the museum store!

The Olana State Historic Site is located at 5720 State Route 9G in Hudson. For a complete schedule with times and fees and additional activities, call (518) 828-0135 or visit


Magic and Beyond at Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck

Are you looking for a break from the holiday hustle and bustle? Need a little magic infused into your day that doesn’t involve a retail outlet? Then head over to Magic and Beyond this Saturday, November 25 at 11 a.m. at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. Illusionist David Garrity is ready to surprise you, make you laugh and leave you wondering how those sunglasses happened! 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


Bird-feeder workshop at Sam’s Point

Have we all overstuffed ourselves this week? Need some outside time? Now it’s our turn to feed the natural world. This Sunday, November 26 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., the Sam’s Point Area presents “Feed the Birds!” Families will create a pinecone feeder, then do a one-mile hike around the grounds with binoculars looking for birds. You can even take your craft home! Preregistration is required.

The Sam’s Point Area is part of the Minnewaska State Park Preserve, located at 400 Sam’s Point Road in Cragsmoor. For more information or to reserve your spot, call (845) 647-7989 or visit


Special needs dance classes in Highland

Do you have a child with special needs who loves to dance? How about a class designed for these sparkles who want to express with their whole bodies? Head over to Gina Marie’z on Tuesdays from 6 to 6:50 p.m. and let those amazing kids fly! Gina Marie’z is located at 10 Commercial Avenue in Highland.

For more information, call (845) 834-2995, e-mail or visit

TMI Project Storytelling Salon

Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is considered the annual kickoff to year-end charitable giving, through your time, donations, goods or your voice. I want to let you know about a special event dear to my heart, and which also happens to include me! My entire cancer blog sharing is an example of the therapeutic elements of true sharing, for both the storyteller and the listener. TMI has shown me time and time again the healing power of telling it like it is: the more personal, the more universal. “Can you imagine what the world would be like if we couldn’t tell our stories?” asks TMI Project co-founder and executive director Eva Tenuto. “There has never been a more important moment in our culture to break the news cycle and insert compelling personal stories into the popular narrative.”

This Tuesday, November 28 at 7 p.m., please join TMI on Facebook Live for The Gift of a Story: Storytelling Salon & Livestream. Your support through listening, reflecting, reacting and receiving the stories can be amplified by your financial contributions in honor of celebrating, honoring and expressing private, personal truths that you hear that evening. The Gift of a Story’s lineup will include my debut about living with stage four breast cancer; Tameka Ramsey will share her story about her overnight stay in a former slave dwelling on Huguenot Street; and Shai Brown will share her story about how, growing up, her mother used her as a decoy in shoplifting exploits.

The stories will be followed by a question-and-answer session and community dialogue. Livestream audience members can tune in on the TMI Project’s Facebook page at 7 p.m. to experience The Gift of a Story and participate in the conversation by posting your questions and comments to the livestream from home. The funds raised will support TMI initiatives to expand current work with the mental health community, Call to Men, Black Stories Matter and TMI: The Podcast.

To watch on Facebook Live, visit Contributions to the TMI Project can be made at between November 28 and December 31. I can’t wait to hear your questions. “See” you on November 28!

To learn more about Giving Tuesday, visit More information on the TMI Project can be found at

– Erica Chase-Salerno

Erica Chase-Salerno is realizing lots of growth potential in the eye-makeup learning curve (it’s not going very well). She can be reached at