Kids’ Almanac (4/29-5/3)

“Despite the forecast,
live like it’s spring.”
– Lilly Pulitzer


KidVenture comes to downtown Poughkeepsie

Touch-a-Truck, Mad Science, the Bossy Frog Band, Two by Two Zoo…which one is your family’s favorite? Well, no need to choose! If you have ever wished that cool kid activities could happen in the same place at the same time, then spend the day (or the entire weekend!) at KidVenture! KidVenture includes all of the activities listed above, as well as hands-on crafts, demos, community performances, food trucks and more; [whispers] Gaga ball (your kids love it and will explain it to you).

KidVenture takes place all weekend, Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in and around Market Street in Poughkeepsie. Tickets cost $12 for a two-day pass or $8 for one day through advance online purchase, or $10 for one day purchased on-site. Admission is free for children under 3 years of age. For a complete schedule, directions to each venue, to volunteer or for more information, call (845) 454-1700 or visit


Beltane Festival at Center for Symbolic Studies in Tillson

Just in time to acknowledge that spring has (finally?) come to stay, the Beltane Festival is a great way to celebrate. On Saturday, April 28 from 12 noon to 7 p.m., get your Maypole on at this Renaissance and crafts fair at the Center for Symbolic Studies. You’ll step lively to music, dancing, costumes, puppets, food and the traditional pageant at 4 p.m. Think Renaissance Faire without the long walkabouts, alcohol or exhausting summer heat.

Tickets cost $15 for adults, $5 for seniors over 65 and youth under 17, plus $15 for on-site parking or free parking and free shuttle for off-site parking. Consider being a volunteer! Two hours of time get you in, plus free parking; four hours include food; six hours get you a spot around the member fire gathering afterwards.

The Center for Symbolic Studies is located at 310 River Road Extension in Tillson. For tickets or more information, visit To volunteer, register at

Pinkster Festival at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz

This weekend, how would you and your family like to immerse yourselves in a festival that crosses continents and centuries? Historic Huguenot Street invites you to its Spring Celebration: Pinkster Festival this Saturday, April 28 from 4 to 7 p.m. on the DuBois Fort lawn. Blending cultural elements from West African and Dutch customs, you will experience West African cuisine; traditional African drumming, dance and games; and house tours. To reach the festival, put 81 Huguenot Street into your GPS.

For more information, call (845) 255-1660 or visit or


High Meadow School hosts Bright Ideas Festival in New Paltz

Solar telescopes, robotics, no-sew totes, Mad Science and more? For youth? Yes! And yes! It’s all at this year’s Bright Ideas Festival, hosted by the High Meadow School this Sunday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pack up your curiosity, collect your tee-shirts that you would like to convert to a totebag (or use one at the activity) and load up the car with kids of all ages for a day of exploration, experimentation and exhilaration at this free festival.

The High Meadow School is located at 3643 Main Street in Stone Ridge. For more information, call (845) 687-4855 or visit

AFS Intercultural Festival at Vassar

Wish you could go abroad to Ireland, Scotland or Iceland like everyone else in my life seems to be doing with the sweet flight deals at Stewart Airport? Why stay in only one country when you could spend an international afternoon right here? On Sunday, April 29 from 1 to 4 p.m., the AFS Intercultural Festival takes place at the Vassar Environmental Cooperative. Meet students from around the world, take in their displays, sample ethnic foods, learn traditional dances and more. Perhaps your own crew will be inspired to host an AFS student in the future, or even study abroad themselves! Admission is free; no passport or plane tickets are required.

The Vassar Environmental Cooperative is located at 50 Vassar Farm Lane in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (646) 381-3294 or e-mail To learn more about the exchange student programs, visit

Harlem Quartet plays Howland Cultural Center in Beacon

When was the last time you and your family attended a classical music concert? Whether your response is “never,” “a while ago” or “recently,” families are in for a treat this weekend! On Sunday, April 29 at 12 noon, the Howland Cultural Center presents the Harlem Quartet. The Harlem Quartet’s mission is “to advance diversity in classical music, engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire that includes works by minority composers.” What a terrific opportunity to give our families, and ourselves, the gift of live classical music beyond Bach and Beethoven! Tickets cost $10 for adults; admission is free for children.

The Howland Cultural Center is located at 477 Main Street in Beacon. For tickets or more information, call (845) 765-3012 or visit To learn more about the musicians, visit


Rosendale Theatre screens A Family Undertaking

From the discussion guide: “In the film A Family Undertaking, Beth Knox describes what she gained from home death care, saying it gave her ‘a sense of being able to experience those we love outside their physical body, transforming tragedy into something even beautiful, transforming grief into something higher and of comfort.’ How do you think getting to spend time with a loved one who has died might help people in their grief process?” Until my diagnosis of terminal breast cancer, I had no idea of the many choices that are available to me in end-of-life and post-death decisions, including care of the deceased’s body at home.

On Wednesday, May 2 at 7:15 p.m., the Rosendale Theatre screens A Family Undertaking (56 minutes long), followed by a question-and-answer session with a local experienced home funeral guide. Tickets cost $8 general admission, $6 for members. I am looking forward to seeing this film, and hope many of you will join me, since none of us are getting out of this alive!

The Rosendale Theatre is located at 408 Main Street in Rosendale. For more information including the discussion guide, visit


Autism Day at Six Flags Great Adventure

Tired of dreaming about offering your child on the autism spectrum a day of fun at a major amusement park while envisioning overstimulation meltdowns? Wish there were a common, safe, supportive park experience that the entire family and friends could enjoy? You are not alone. On Thursday, May 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Six Flags Great Adventure hosts Autism Day. The park is closed to the general public to preserve the sensory-friendly environment, including decompression areas throughout the park, adjusted lights and music and Gersh Academy-trained staff, as well as special spectrum presentations, autism resources and job opportunities for young people with autism. Only tickets specially purchased for this event will be honored: Tickets cost $32.99 per person, and children ages 2 and under get in free.

Six Flags Great Adventure is located at 1 Six Flags Boulevard in Jackson, New Jersey. For tickets or more information, e-mail or visit or

Erica Chase-Salerno is amazed that Tic Tac gum pieces can pack such big flavor in such tiny pieces. She can be reached at