Kids’ Almanac (Mar. 1-8)

Things that are poisonous to children:

1. the bottom end of a banana

2. the last three spoonfuls of cereal and milk, no matter how big the original portion

3. that last corner bit of sandwich crust (or, for the highly sensitive child, all breadcrusts, plus the adjoining half-inch of non-crust bread)

4. chunks of tomato in sauces or soups, even if they like tomatoes


5. the smell of whatever is cooking for dinner that night

6. any of their favorite fresh-picked fruits and vegetables, once those items have completed the journey home and made it through the front door

7.  your version of that thing they love from a restaurant or friend’s house

…What am I forgetting?

– Donna Eis, New Paltz



Is this your first winter in the Hudson Valley? Or are you a lifer? Somewhere in between? Whoever you are, experiencing sugaring is an annual tradition around here. You might be inspired to set up your own system in your back yard before you know it! Here are some sweet sojourns to search out:

• Maple Sugaring at Minnewaska State Park is designed for homeschoolers ages 7 to 10 years and takes place on Thursday, March 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. Activities include tapping trees using traditional tools and tasting sap, maple syrup and maple candy. Meet in the Awosting parking area. Preregistration is required. The Minnewaska State Park Preserve is located at 5281 Route 44/55 in Kerhonkson. Park admission costs $10 per vehicle – or get yourself an Empire Passport, good for entry at New York State Parks. (Have you heard? It’s an actual card now instead of the sticker, so you can bring it with you in any car! Order before March 31 to get the $65 sale price at For more information about the program or to reserve your spot, call (845) 255-0752 or visit

• Maple Sugar Tours at the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Outdoor Discovery Center take place Saturdays and Sundays, March 3/4, 10/11 and 17/18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a choice of Sugar Bush Tours and Maple Lane Tours. Prepaid registration is required, but walk-ins are welcome as space allows. Admission costs $10 for adults, $8 for children aged 3 to 17; $2 less for museum members. The Outdoor Discovery Center is located at 120 Muser Drive in Cornwall. For more information or to make reservations, call (845) 534-5506 or visit

• Kids’ Day in the Sugarbush takes place at Mohonk Preserve’s Spring Farm Trailhead on Sunday, March 11 from 1 to 3 p.m. This program seems to sell out every year, so register early! It’s open to children ages 4 and up. Be prepared for a short hike and a sweet treat at the end! The cost is $5 per person, and payment is due at the required advance registration. The Spring Farm Trailhead is located at Upper 27 Knolls Road in Kerhonkson, off Mountain Rest Road. For more information or to register (and I suggest mentioning any food allergies), call (845) 255-0919 or visit


Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck hosts Celtic Heels

Q: How can you tell if an Irishman is having a good time?

A: He’s Dublin over with laughter!

Interested in getting your Irish on? Come to Celtic Heels this Saturday, March 3 at 11 a.m. at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, where you can enjoy the sounds and sights of Irish dance! Marvel at the skips, hops, backs and side-sevens while taking in the wonderful tunes. Admission costs $7 per person.

The Center for Performing Arts 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

Bridge Street Theatre presents Magic! Magic! 

Catskill lore is filled with mystery and the unexplained, so it’s only natural to get special performances here such as Magic! Magic! at the Bridge Street Theatre. This Saturday, March 3, is your chance to catch not one… [picture a single ping-pong ball emerging from my mouth] but…poof! two events! [second ping pong-ball comes out] What? Yes! Before your very eyes, “Conjunctionist” Chris Wheel and Windham’s own Sean “the Prankster” Doolan perform a family-friendly matinée at 2 p.m., featuring illusion and sleight-of-hand; tickets cost $10 general admission, $5 for ages 12 and under. Their 7:30 p.m. show focuses on sophisticated magic moves and fascinating mentalism; admission costs $15, $10 for students under 21. Tickets are available at the door, and the doors open 30 minutes before showtime.

The Bridge Street Theatre is located at 44 West Bridge Street in Catskill. For more information about the show and other upcoming events at the Bridge, call (518) 943-3894 or visit To learn more about the performers, visit and

Real-life hero tales retold by Hudson River Playback Theatre

“We are the ones we have been waiting for,” wrote poet June Jordan, and it’s how I feel about the theme of the upcoming show by Hudson River Playback Theatre (HRPT). Our Heroes, Ourselves: Tales of Resilience takes place this Saturday, March 3 from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Mountain Laurel Waldorf School. These actors retell our audience stories of “creative courage” and “courageous creativity” along with music, and it’s all improvised, resulting in an incredible shared community experience. I leave every performance feeling more open and more connected in the world.

Admission is by donation. HRPT is also collecting items for the Family Inn Homeless Shelter, particularly new slippers (for women and children), towels (hand or bath)*, twin sheets and comforters*. (*Used items are acceptable if washed and dried hot.) The Mountain Laurel Waldorf School is located at 16 South Chestnut Street in New Paltz. For more information, e-mail or visit or

Generations Shabbat at Woodland Pond

Craving a connection beyond your family during weekly Sabbath, such as including community elders? Generations Shabbat is a family-friendly gathering on the first Saturday of the month, so this month on March 3, from 10 to 11:15 a.m. at Woodland Pond’s Health Center Great Room. Open to all ages and religions, fellowship features singing, socialization, Torah teachings and refreshments. Coming? Just let them know you’ll be attending through the website.

Woodland Pond is located at 100 Woodland Pond Circle, off North Putt Corners Road in New Paltz. For more information or to make a reservation, call (845) 477-5457 or visit


Purim Carnival at Jewish Congregation of New Paltz

Purim: the outside of a cat tire.

– Tim Bruening

Reciting the Book of Esther! Traditional hamantaschen Purim cookies! Costumes! Prizes and games like perennial favorite “Flush Haman Down the Toilet!” And it’s all free! You know what I’m talking about: It’s time for the Jewish Congregation of New Paltz’s annual Purim Carnival!

The event begins at 10 a.m. at the synagogue, located at 8 Church Street in New Paltz, for a recitation of Esther. Bar and Bat Mitzvah students reveal their own special twist on the story every year! Afterwards, at about 11:30 a.m., the party moves to the Jewish Community Center, located at 30 North Chestnut Street. All are welcome, and costume-wearing is encouraged. For more information, call (845) 255-9817. Chag Purim Sameach!

Snow Queen in Russian at Cunneen-Hackett

This weekend, let’s step back from politics and immerse ourselves in Russian culture with the family. On Sunday, March 4 at 3 p.m. at the Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center, enjoy the Mid-Hudson Russian School Drama Club’s rendition of The Snow Queen, performed in Russian! Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for children and are free for ages 3 and under. The Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center is located at 9 Vassar Street in Poughkeepsie. For tickets or more information, call (866) 936-3901, e-mail or visit

 KinderDisco break at Kingston’s Anchor Bar

Before Jimmy Fallon’s routines with Michelle Obama, Will Smith and Justin Timberlake, Judson Laipply performed the original Evolution of Dance in 2000. He posted the video on YouTube in 2006, and it became the most viewed and highly rated video of its time! You can watch it here: – and I suggest that you do, because it’s KinderDisco time! Has it been a while since you’ve shaken your tailfeathers? Use this video for nostalgic inspiration!

On Sunday, March 4 from noon to 3 p.m., DJ Ali spins the tunes at the Anchor; your kids hit the dance floor; you eat/drink/relax; and if or whenever you feel like it, go out there and show your crew what you’ve got! This event is free and open to all ages, but the intent is to give you caregivers a fabulous break to hang out and eat while your kids tear it up.

The Anchor is located at 744/746 Broadway in Kingston. For more information, e-mail or visit

Skate & Paint at Saugerties’ Kiwanis Ice Arena next Saturday

You’ve heard about those Paint & Sip events, where grownups gather at some restaurant or watering hole to take an art lesson whilst sipping a few glasses of wine, heading home with a finished painting. It was only a matter of time before art teachers started coming up with ways to make the approach more kid-friendly. It isn’t all about what kinds of beverages are being sipped, either: The vibe of the venue matters as well. And for a child with too insistent a case of the wiggles to stay focused long on holding a paintbrush, some opportunities on the side to burn off some excess energy might not be a bad idea.


On Saturday evening, March 10 at the Kiwanis Ice Arena, the Skating Club of Saugerties is hosting an innovative family-friendly event called Skate and Paint. For a package price of $30, you can join in a painting session led by local artist Wendi Piper, where you’ll learn enough technique to enable you to create other artworks on your own in addition to creating a painting on the spot to take home. Skating time, skate rentals, art supplies, light snacks and drinks are all included (or you can just take the art lesson for $25).

Skate and Paint will be offered from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on March 10 at the arena, located at 6 Small World Drive in Saugerties. Preregister ASAP at, or e-mail Lynda at for more info.

Help wanted: Renegades mascot

For all of you pining away for pitchers, catchers, walkers and runners, hang in there: March 29 is coming! Want to be more involved at the local level? Consider hosting a player during the 2018 Hudson Valley Renegades baseball season, applying to be an intern, working concessions or being this year’s Renegades mascot at the games! The mascot is a paid part-time position for all 38 games; could it be yours? It’s open to energetic, creative and friendly folks aged 18 and older who can lift 30 pounds, climb up and down stairs and more. Send your résumé and cover letter to

Home games take place at Dutchess Stadium, located at 1500 Route 9D in Wappingers Falls. For more information about the mascot job, e-mail and to learn about other Renegades employment opportunities, visit or

Hold onto those milkshakes: Erica Chase-Salerno is on steroids this week for some cerebral edema (swelling) from the pesky brain tumors and is h u n g r y ! She can be reached at