Kids’ Almanac (12/13-12/20)

UPAC to screen It’s a Wonderful Life

“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.” The Bardavon presents the seasonal favorite It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen at UPAC in Kingston on Friday, December 14. Starring Jimmy Stewart in one of his most memorable and beloved performances, It’s a Wonderful Life earned six Oscars in its own time. It has emerged over the years as a kind of cultural icon and ritual that can’t be measured in awards. Tickets for this showing cost $6.

It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen,  Friday, Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m., UPAC, 601 Broadway, Kingston, (845) 339-6088,

Wood ’N’ Wheel offers year-round fun

Do you suppose that, back in the 1860s, when a Massachusetts businessman patented a four-wheeled roller skate and opened the first roller-skating rink, he could have envisioned what “family fun” might look like in a hundred years? To see how much we’ve changed, check out the ever-expanding complex in Ulster Park, known as Wood ’N’ Wheel. It’s now a beehive of active entertainment, built around the original roller rink.


The Sorbello family jumped into the roller-skating business in 1974. Then they added laser tag, bumper cars, an arcade, paintball, an outdoor rock-climbing wall and bungee trampolines. And now they have a new hillside park with year-round tubing. Wood ‘N Wheel is an oasis of family fun, centered on the tradition of roller-skating on a perfectly smooth maple floor, enhanced by state-of-the-art lighting effects and a fog machine. 

Food and drinks are available for all events, along with a VIP black-light glow table for parties. Tyke Time for guests six years old and under includes access to the bounce house and inflatable obstacle course, a walk-on piano, skate mates, roller racer ride-on toys, age-appropriate music and a designated area where parent can accompany their kids on the skating floor.

The Sorbellos are reportedly hoping to add a zipline and ropes course with a small water attraction.  See the website below for activity rates and hours of operation.

– Ann Hutton

Wood ‘N Wheel, 365 Broadway (Route 9W), Ulster Park; (845) 331-9680, 

Kwanzaa celebration in Hudson on Saturday

Hudson Hall in Hudson presents Kwanzaa: an Umoja Community Celebration on Saturday, December 15. Presented in partnership with Operation Unite NY, this event celebrates African-American culture and unity. Everyone is invited to join in an afternoon of arts and crafts for children, dancing, drumming, a candle-lighting ceremony and the sharing of Nguzo Saba, the seven principles of Kwanzaa. This event is free, but advance registration is strongly recommended, as seating is limiting.


Saturday, Dec. 15, 3:30 p.m.

Hudson Hall, 327 Warren Street

Hudson, (518) 822-1438

Hyde Park Train Station Museum hosts Polar Express readings on Sunday

The Hyde Park Train Station Museum presents two readings of Chris Van Allsburg’s classic The Polar Express on Monday, December 17 at the historic Hyde Park train station. The restored station museum will make a perfect setting in which to enjoy Van Allsburg’s magical and rail-themed seasonal favorite, read by Karin Armstrong at 6 and 7 p.m. There will be crafts, hot chocolate and a visit from Santa. This event is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. (Note that this is not a train ride.)

Polar Express readings

Monday, Dec. 17, 6, 7 p.m.

Hyde Park Train Station Museum

34 River Rd., Hyde Park

(845) 229-2338

Clara’s Dream: A Jazz Nutcracker with Brenda Bufalino in Rosendale

The Rosendale Theatre Collective presents the enduring local tap-dance legend Brenda Bufalino in Clara’s Dream: A Jazz Nutcracker on Sunday, December 16. Best Things NY described Bufalino’s adaptation as “a refreshing rendering of the classic Christmastime story inspired by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s swing version of Tchaikovsky’s immortal score.” Clara’s Dream is a video capture of an original retelling of the beloved holiday tale, with Bufalino in a starring role as Auntie Groove, and was recorded before a live audience in 2004 at the Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire by Robert Pierce. Admission to this showing costs $12, $10 for members and $6 for children under 12. 

A Jazz Nutcracker

Sunday, Dec. 16, 2 p.m.

Rosendale Theatre

408 Main St. (Route 213)


Mr. Dickens Tells a Christmas Carol in Cragsmoor

Cragsmoor’s Stone Church presents Mr. Dickens Tells a Christmas Carol, the timeless tale of loss and redemption, on Saturday, December 22. Between 1843 and 1857, Dickens himself toured throughout England and the US performing public readings from his books – particularly this holiday classic, which was his favorite piece. A newspaper wrote at the time, “He gave to every character a different voice, a different style, a different face.” Actor Gregg Shults brings the same spirit to this work, personifying Dickens as he reads from the book, portraying each of the story’s 23 characters. Admission is by donation.

A Christmas Carol 

Saturday, Dec. 22, 7 p.m.

Stone Church

280 Henry Rd., Cragsmoor

(845) 647-6487