Kids’ Almanac (9/20-9/27)

Son, 8 years: “Mommy, can I marry
you when I grow up?”

Mom: “No, baby. It doesn’t work
that way.”

Son: “But where will I find
such a fine woman?”

– overheard in Saugerties

Good food & Films at Amenia’s Four Brothers Drive-In Theatre


What are your thoughts on drive-in movie theaters? In our family, it’s a summer tradition. We went when our kids were tiny (and slept through everything): the only way we could see a current movie at the time. We are so fortunate to have a variety of drive-ins in the Hudson Valley, but this year, I found my favorite: the Four Brothers Drive-In Theatre in Amenia.

The entire operation feels well-thought-out, beginning with staff-escorted parking. How many times has your view been blocked by someone’s vehicle in front of you? Not here! Have you ever wished for movie food beyond the traditional candy, popcorn and soda? Four Brothers is a restaurant, along with an adjacent snack shack. Get carhop service via cellphone, or walk the short distance to order and pick up. We ordered Nutella milkshakes, and I think it’s one of the best choices I have made in my life. The food is tasty, outside décor is delightfully kitschy and the prices are reasonable. You can even order off the Four Brothers restaurant menu – when’s the last time you ate a Greek salad at a movie?

This drive-in is family-friendly, pet-friendly, offers windshield-washing and jumps if your car battery dies, along with weekend extras like live music, a bonfire and lawn games. (It’s also only nine minutes from the Trevor Zoo!) It’s open seven days a week from spring until mid-/end of October, depending on the weather. There’s even Level 2 charging for your electric vehicle during the movie. Current showings begin at 7:40 and 9:10 p.m. Admission costs $11, $8 for veterans and seniors, $6 for kids 5 to 10 years and is free for children under 5.

The Four Brothers Drive-In Theatre is located at 4957 Route 44 in Amenia. For more information or to inquire about accommodations for special needs, call (845) 373-8178, e-mail or visit

Tour the Rondout Lighthouse

Wish you could feel that “get away from it all” vacation feeling without the travel? Are you looking for creative ways to entertain family or friends? Try a Rondout Lighthouse tour! My kids and I had a terrific time on this adventure, starting with the commute: The Rondout Lighthouse is only accessible by boat. The 15-minute ride was an instant immersion into “I have a feeling we’re not in Kingston anymore,” but without Toto or the tornado. And with a limit of six people per tour, our group of family and friends had our own personal docent.

My kids took a ton of photos because the lighthouse is so interesting visually, and we were permitted to enter almost all of the rooms. Being inside these quirky, cozy quarters, we imagined living there, gazing at beautiful river views through every window. My delight was tempered by envisioning the challenges of grocery shopping year-round from this offshore home. The spiral staircase leads all the way to the top, where the actual beacon is. Owned by the City of Kingston and managed by the Hudson River Maritime Museum (HRMM), only funding stands between an eventual furnished, renovated historic space with plumbing and its current state of an empty and ironically waterless watchtower. (So definitely “hit the head” at the museum before you embark on this tour.)

Reserved lighthouse tickets are available for the noon and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday tours at $20 each, no discounts; the rest are first-come, first-served on the actual day of the tour on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and priced at $20 for adults, $12 for ages 5 to 12 and free for children 4 and under, with reduced rates for HRMM members. Tours last for just over one hour, with start times every 45 minutes beginning at noon, with the last departure of the day at 3:45 p.m. Don’t ask how I know this, but arrive early, because they will leave without you if you’re late.

Since admission to the museum is included in your ticket price, we had a good time browsing through the exhibits afterwards, featuring hands-on activities for kids like playing captain at the helm turning a ship’s wheel (fun photo op!), and seeing actual table settings from the luxurious steam paddleboats that used to run up and down the river back in the day. Please note that while the museum is wheelchair-friendly, the boat and lighthouse are not wheelchair-accessible.

The Hudson River Maritime Museum is located at 50 Rondout Landing in Kingston. The final day of the season for Rondout Lighthouse tours is Sunday, October 14. For more information or to purchase reserved tickets, call (845) 338-0071 or visit

Visit the student-staffed Trevor Zoo in Millbrook

Did you know that there’s a zoo with a wide range of animals from around the world right here in the Hudson Valley? I had never heard of the Trevor Zoo until I had kids, and since then, we have paid many visits here. It’s so cool to walk the short distance from the parking lot and have to pass the river otters at the entrance. We spend lots of time watching their playful bobbing and weaving in the water before we even “begin.”

The zoo’s manageable size and mostly flat terrain makes it doable for toddling family members and strollers while maintaining the interest of much older siblings; how many places can claim that? The Trevor Zoo is a must for everyone with or without children, because of the variety of animals, the fact that it’s open every day of the year and its relaxed environment. Bring a picnic and watch the otters and crane while you eat! Despite the zoo’s many visitors, you may find you have the place to yourselves – especially if you go on a weekday. My favorite animal is the red panda, my daughter loves all snakes and my son is thrilled to catch glimpses of the red wolf.

Wherever you are in the zoo, the bathrooms are nearby, and indoors, in the Meigs Education Center. Speaking of which, I encourage teachers, homeschoolers and Scouts to inquire about class offerings for the public.

The Trevor Zoo is owned and operated by the Millbrook School, and all of the animals are cared for by students and staff. The zoo is open every day of the year, including all holidays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with last entry at 4:30 p.m. Admission costs $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and children ages 3 to 13 and is free for children under 3.

The Trevor Zoo is located at the Millbrook School at 131 Millbrook School Road in Millbrook. For more information or to register for group rates, call (845) 677-3704, e-mail or visit (Got more time? Check out the nearby Millbrook Tribute Gardens and Playground at 3219 Franklin Avenue in Millbrook!)

Take the kids

• Free Museum Day means free admission to museums in our area and across the country, including the Gomez Mill House, Family Day at the Albany Institute of History and Art (real mummies!), Iroquois Indian Museum and Children’s Museum of Science and Technology. Two free tickets per e-mail address.
Free Museum Day
Sat., Sept. 22

•Live Birds of Prey Drop-In Program offers families and kids of all ages a chance to meet and learn about local raptors like hawks and owls on September 22. Come back on September 23 to make pinecone feeders! No registration is required for these free drop-in programs, but there is a $10 vehicle entry fee into the park.
Live Birds of Prey
Sat., Sept. 22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 23, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
5281 Rte. 44/55, Kerhonkson
(845) 255-0752

•Immigrant Youth Empowerment Conference offers free admission, morning refreshments and lunch to the first 100 high school students who register and wish to learn about issues confronting the immigration community.
Immigrant Youth Empowerment Conference
Sat., Sept. 22
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Vassar College
124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie

•Hudson Black Arts & Cultural Festival and Parade celebrates Pride and Family Day with a 2 p.m. parade on Seventh Street, followed by activities from 3 to 5 p.m. including dance, live music, a talent show and more at Hudson Waterfront Park.
Black Arts & Cultural Festival
Sat., Sept. 22
2-5 p.m.


Henry Hudson Waterfront Park
1 Water Street Rd., Hudson
(518) 828-3612

• YA Unclaimed Baggage Reading & Interview is a chance to hear excerpts of realistic fiction about three unlikely friends with story threads concerning racism, religion, sexual assault, alcoholism and life choices by author Jen Doll, along with an interview with fellow author Jacinta Bunnell.
Unclaimed Baggage reading
Sat., Sept. 22
2 p.m.
Golden Notebook
29 Tinker Street, Woodstock
(845) 679-8000

•Hudson Royals vs. NY Blasters Cricket Match. Have you ever watched a cricket match? Me neither, but you can check out this three-match series this weekend!
Cricket match
Sun., Sept. 23
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Mill Street Grounds, Hudson

•Disney Junior Dance Party on Tour gives your littles a chance to move and groove with Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Sofia the First, Puppy Dog Pals and more!
Disney Junior Dance Party
Thurs., Sept. 27
6 p.m.
Mid-Hudson Civic Center
14 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie
(845) 454-5800, ext. 1207

•In the MKNG: The Creativity Festival. Celebrate creativity, imagination and inspiration with the whole family over two fun-filled days of workshops, music and memories. Free for age 3 and under; see additional ticket pricing online.
In the MKNG
Sat.-Sun., Sept. 29-30
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
200 Hurd Rd., Bethel
(866) 781-2922

•Hip-Hop Integrative Dance Open House for Special Needs. Give your kids with autism, Down Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder and other individual learning differences and physical challenges a taste of hip-hop happiness. Register at
Hip-Hop for all
Fri., Sept. 21
5-7 p.m.
110 South Grand Avenue, Poughkeepsie