Kids’ Almanac (7/19-7/26)


(Photo by Dion Ogust)

“In summer, the song sings itself.”
– William Carlos Williams


Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall visits Saugerties

Any guesses as to how many US servicemembers sacrificed their lives in the Vietnam War? 58,318.

If you are interested in showing your appreciation to these citizens, or to learn, or just to see a “traveling” five-eighths-scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial, here are four planned days of honor, remembrance, healing and reflection: The Opening Ceremony of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is Thursday, July 19 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Cantine Veterans’ Memorial Complex. The Arrival Honor Convoy takes place on July 18; the Wall is open for viewing 24 hours per day from July 19 through 21; on July 22, the memorial baseball game takes place at 4 p.m. and the closing ceremony happens at 7 p.m. The Departure Convoy sets out on July 23.


The Cantine Veterans’ Memorial Complex is located along Pavilion Street in Saugerties. For more information, call (845) 616-7963 or (845) 340-3190, or visit 


Little Sprouts Informal Playgroup at Clermont

“Here we go round the mulberry bush,” children have chanted across the ages. How about bringing some actual nature experiences into your tot’s summer? The Friends of Clermont State Historic Site present the Little Sprouts Informal Playgroup! This free weekly garden get-together meets on Fridays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Clermont through August 24. Each session is geared for ages 2 to 4 years, and includes harvesting from the garden, songs, finger-plays and more. No registration is required.

The Clermont State Historic Site is located at 1 Clermont Avenue in Germantown. For more information, call (518) 537-6622 or visit

Magician Jim Snack at Chatham’s PS21

Want to give your kids a little extra magic this summer? Head over for a free performance of Just for Fun: Magician Jim Snack this Friday, July 20 at 1 p.m. at PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century. Enjoy a family outing before the weekend officially begins, including plenty of Oohs, Ahhs, and Wows!

PS21 is located at 2980 Route 66 in Chatham. For more information and additional summer programming, call (518) 372-6121, e-mail or visit

Mud Creek Center hosts porcupine presentation

Q: What do you get if you cross a sheep with a porcupine?

A: An animal that knits its own sweaters.

You and your family see squirrels, chipmunks, even fireflies. But when’s the last time you laid eyes on a real live porcupine? Well, here’s your chance to meet this prickly pal. This Friday, July 20 from 7 to 8:15 p.m. at the Mud Creek Environmental Learning Center, you and your porcupets can learn all about these quilled quintessential creatures. Admission is free, but registration is required.

The Mud Creek Environmental Learning Center is located at 1024 Route 66 in Ghent. For reservations or more information, call (518) 828-4386 or visit


Hike to Falling Waters Preserve and the Saugerties Lighthouse

Once home to one of the enormous icehouses that lined the Hudson River in the days before electric-powered refrigeration, the Falling Waters Preserve (FWP) is one of Scenic Hudson’s newest parks. Its attractions include a picturesque waterfall and a mile-long stretch of rocky path following the Hudson shoreline, from which eagles are commonly spotted.

Haven’t checked out this choice outdoor-recreation destination yet? This Saturday morning, July 21, the Mid-Hudson chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) invites you to come along on a family-friendly, moderate-level 3.5-mile hike that will take in both FWP and the Saugerties Lighthouse Trail. The expedition will set out at 9:30 a.m. at FWP and stop for a snack/early lunch on the Lighthouse deck in the middle of the river.

Bring food, water and binoculars if you have them; and make sure to start the trek with an empty bladder, as no toilet facilities will be available along the way. Register for the hike with leader Carla Barrett at or (315) 527-8478. To reach the meeting point, take Route 9W or Route 32 south of Saugerties to Main Street in Glasco to the intersection of Delaware and York; or let your GPS direct you to 45 York Street. For more info about this and other ADK outings, visit

Lincoln Trio performs Young People’s Concert at Maverick

I continue to be astounded by the top-quality musicians who perform in our neck of the woods, and this weekend is no exception. It’s even catered to our youngest concertgoers! This Saturday, July 21 from 11 a.m. to noon, the Lincoln Trio plays for Maverick Concerts as part of its Young People’s Concerts. Kids can sit right up against the stage, and all ages will enjoy the beautiful, rustic setting for the music. The programming is geared for children in grades K through 6, but all are welcome. Ages under 16 get in free; adult tickets cost $5.

Maverick Concerts is located at 120 Maverick Road in Woodstock. For more information, call (845) 679-8217 or visit To learn more about the performers, visit

Liston’s poetry from Through Autistic Eyes in Woodstock

“It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a child with autism to raise the consciousness of the village,” per coach Elaine Hall. This weekend is a great chance to become familiar with local poet Brian Liston, whose gift of words is shared through the lens of autism. Whether you have a child on the spectrum, or are just looking for inspiration, bring your crew out for the Brian Liston Poetry Reading from his new book, Through Autistic Eyes, this Saturday, July 21 at 2 p.m. at the Golden Notebook in Woodstock. The book also makes a terrific birthday or any-day present for others. Proceeds from this work benefit programs for people with autism.

The Golden Notebook is located at 29 Tinker Street in Woodstock. For more information, call (845) 679-8000 or visit For a sample of Liston’s poetry, visit

Dutchess Dragon Boat Race/River Festival in Poughkeepsie

No, not Dungeons and Dragons, silly; it’s time for the Dutchess Dragon Boat Race and River Festival! Watch teams compete paddling 40-foot boats and enjoy the free, land-based hands-on activities and festivities all day long. A tradition from ancient times, give your family a cultural experience that’s “worlds apart” yet right in our own backyard. Proceeds benefit Dutchess Habitat for Humanity.

The Dutchess Dragon Boat event takes place at 272 North Water Street in Poughkeepsie. For more information, schedule, rowing registration as an individual or a team, vendor, volunteer or more, call (845) 475-9335, extension 113, or visit or

Music of James Taylor to benefit Stone Ridge Library children’s room

Folksinger/songwriter Thomas Earl headlines the Stone Ridge Library’s “A Celebration of the Music of James Taylor” on Saturday, July 21 at 7 p.m. The veteran performer and multi-instrumentalist will be performing many of JT’s classics, including “Fire and Rain,” “Shower the People,” “Sweet Baby James” and more, as well as some of Earl’s original songs inspired by James Taylor. The B2s, a nine-woman vocal group led by local songwriter and singer Debbie Lan, will open the show and join Earl for its finale.

This concert benefits the Stone Ridge Library’s children’s room project, upon which construction has already begun. The suggested donation is $15. Coffee and dessert will be served. The show takes place at the Marbletown Community Center, located at 3564 Main Street in Stone Ridge. For more information, visit

Junior Lifeguard Certification class at Vassar

Those of you aspiring to be the next Baywatch beachgoers, here’s a class for all of you 10-to-14-year-olds. This Saturday, July 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Vassar College, young people are invited to train for Junior Lifeguard Certification, including full-lifeguard prerequisites such as in-water rescues, rescue tubes and first aid, CPR and AED. The cost is $250 and never expires.

Vassar College is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie. For more information, registration or alternative training dates, call (845) 849-8700 or visit or


Birds & Berries family hike at Minnewaska

Are you getting your seasonal allowance of “Vitamin B”? I’m talking about “Birds & Berries,” of course! This Saturday, July 21 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve, pick your own blueberries and huckleberries along the Ridge, and enjoy some birding, too! Bring a small bag to keep your finds, and bring binoculars to spot our feathered friends. All ages are welcome and the event is free, but carriers are recommended for young children who might not last the 1.5-mile hike. How about another B: Pack a picnic and stay for a swim at the beach afterwards? Registration is required, and $10 admission per vehicle is applied at the park entrance, unless you have the New York State Empire Passport.

The Minnewaska State Park Preserve is located at 5281 Route 44/55 in Kerhonkson. For more information or registration, call (845) 255-0752 or visit


Starr Library hosts Clermont History Comics Club

Do you happen to know any young people interested in comics or graphic novels? Engaging stories about interesting people from the past? Folks who lived right here in the Hudson Valley? Then the Clermont History Comics Club is for you! This weeklong exploration combining art, words and fun takes place at the Starr Library all week starting this Monday, July 23 through Friday, July 27 from 10 a.m. to noon. Open to middle and high school students, your work will be printed in a professional comic book at the end!

The Starr Library is located at 6417 Montgomery Street in Rhinebeck. For more information or to register, call (845) 876-4030 or visit

Erica Chase-Salerno honors her third year of Stage 4 terminal breast cancer. She can be reached at