Kids Almanac: Minnewaska’s Babes in the Woods, raptors, teen screenwriting & Red Hook reading fest

Celebrate Charlie Chaplin’s birthday this Saturday at Kingston’s Little Shop of Horses

Fun fact: Charlie Chaplin’s birthday is April 16. If you, your child or your grandchild already knew that, you’re probably a big fan. If so, get your moustache on and join other Chaplin enthusiasts at the second annual Charlie Chaplin Tribute Exhibit at the Little Shop of Horses in Kingston. Dressing as the Little Tramp or in period costumes is encouraged for this free event which includes food, films and, of course, birthday cake. Keep in mind that this gallery is small – 25 to 30 people maximum – and you might want to bring your own folding chair. Donations of food or drink are welcomed but not necessary. This Chaplin Tribute takes place on Saturday, April 14 from 5 to 9 p.m. The Little Shop of Horses is located at 37 North Front Street, second floor, in Kingston (over JJ’s Hobbies). For more information, call (845) 340-0501.


Meet kid-lit authors this Saturday at “Read Local Red Hook”

In the same way that our family loves attending performances by our favorite musicians, we enjoy attending readings by our favorite authors. The “Read Local Red Hook” Literary Festival gives us a chance to do just that. When my kids bound through the house exclaiming that they “can do anything, like Ladybug Girl!” I value how their imaginary play brings to life the theme of empowerment from this wonderful story. When I witness the emotional Facebook sharings of my teenaged relatives and friends searching for their personal truths, like Laurel explores in The Beginning of After, I appreciate how much contemporary literature can help us discover aspects of ourselves, whatever our age.

I asked my friend Jennifer Castle, author of award-winning Young Adult book The Beginning of After, for her perspective. Jen says, “It’s an exhilarating time to be writing for preteens and teens, because of the range and quality of work out there, and because the readers are so passionate – even the grownups who devour these books aren’t afraid to admit it! Events like these are great opportunities for authors and readers to share their love of young people’s literature.”

“Read Local Red Hook” takes place on Saturday, April 14 at the Red Hook Village Building, located at 7467 South Broadway in Red Hook. The event is free and runs from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Picture-book storytime begins at 10 a.m. with readings by David Soman and Jacky Davis (Ladybug Girl) and Peter McCarty (The Monster Returns). Jen Castle will participate in the panel for the Young Adult reading and book discussion at 12 noon. For more information about “Read Local Red Hook,” visit its page on Facebook or e-mail [email protected] To learn more about the books and writers mentioned here, visit, and


Iza Trapani reads from her latest this Saturday at Barnes & Noble in Poughkeepsie & Kingston

You and your crew can catch up with another well-known local author, Iza Trapani, who is doing readings and signings on Saturday, April 14 for her new children’s book, The Bear Went over the Mountain. This book connects easily with the reader through sweet illustrations, storylines of each verse and a songsheet in the back. You could make this an adventure, just like our furry protagonist: Take your family for a hike (sing the song with your kids in the car on the way); experience nature with all of your senses; and return home feeling the same sentiments as the bear: “His spirits were just soaring/From all of his exploring…”

Iza Trapani will be at Barnes & Noble at 2518 South Road in Poughkeepsie at 11 a.m. and at Barnes & Noble at 1177 Ulster Avenue in Kingston at 2:30 p.m. The readings are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Poughkeepsie store at (845) 485-2224, the Kingston store at (845) 336-0590 or visit


Meet Brian Bradley’s live raptors this Saturday at Unison in New Paltz

I think that hawks and falcons are such fierce, fascinating creatures. Unfortunately, the only close-up glimpses that the kids and I get are when they’re on the roof of our chicken coop, poised to go after one of our hens. More often they’re far away, coasting on wind currents high above, or perched regally at the top of a tree scouting out a prospective meal scurrying below.

We’ll have the opportunity to see and learn about these amazing birds at the “Skyhunters in Flight” presentation at Unison Arts & Learning Center on Saturday, April 14 at 1 p.m. Raptor expert Brian Bradley will display different live raptors and give some background about each one. He will also teach about the sport of falconry, “the art of catching game with wild raptors.”

Tickets for this show cost $10 general admission, $7 for Unison members. Space is limited, so reserve early. Unison is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz. For reservations or for more information, call (845) 255-1559 or visit


Wilderstein in Rhinebeck hosts Daffodil Tea this Saturday


If you have lovingly shared countless cups of imaginary tea with your little one over the years, squeezed into a tiny chair while conversing with lopsided dolls and stuffed animals, then it might be time to treat yourselves to the real deal and attend the springtime Daffodil Tea at the Wilderstein Mansion. In addition to enjoying tasty homemade treats, the festivities include tours of this mansion previously inhabited by Franklin Roosevelt’s cousin and confidante, Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, and you can walk the trails around the grounds.

The Daffodil Tea takes place on Saturday, April 14 at 1 p.m. Tickets for this event cost $30 for adults, $20 for children. Space is limited. The Wilderstein Mansion is located at 330 Morton Road in Rhinebeck. For reservations or for more information, call (845) 876-4818 or visit


“Nest Watch” program this Saturday at Hudson Highlands Nature Museum in Cornwall


Every so often, we discover a bird’s nest around our house: in our eaves, in nearby trees or even in a hanging plant. Sometimes we get lucky and get to watch the family cycle from eggs to hatchlings to leaving the nest. With nest-building season upon us, perhaps your family would like to join in. The Hudson Highlands Nature Museum is hosting “Nest Watch,” a program that explains how to identify bird nests found in our area. You can also make a bluebird box to take home. Learn how you and your kids can participate in Citizen Science by reporting your nest activity to Cornell University.

“Nest Watch” takes place on Saturday, April 14 at 10 a.m. at the Outdoor Discovery Center. This program is suggested for adults and for children over age 5. This cost for this session is $5 per person, $3 for members. Bluebird-box kit quantities are limited and the cost per kit is $15, limit one per family. The Outdoor Discovery Center is located at 120 Muser Drive in Cornwall. For more information or to make a reservation, call (845) 534-5506, extension 204, or visit

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  1. Best screenplay writing workshop is at ; online videos and everything.

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