Kids Almanac (June 7-13)

Pictured (L-R): Cyhlee Villano, Emilee Villano, Story Laurie McIntosh, Adriana Pizzarelli and Landon Walton. McIntosh’s recently released rendition of the Hokey Pokey will be broadcast on WEOK to thousands of participants stretched along the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park (Photo by Lauren Thomas)







Young Dog with a new trick: CD launch this Saturday at Rosendale Café this Saturday


I have been a huge fan of Dog on Fleas for years, and I get really excited every time the band comes out with a new album. This new Dog on Fleas album Invisible Friends is just one more terrific example of why I love its music. It has that magical element for the kids: things that they relate to that spark their imaginations. There are little jokes for the adults woven into the terrific kids’ music.

I asked band founder and producer Dean Jones his thoughts about this latest work: “Invisible Friends is by far our best CD. We took so long recording it, and scrapped so many songs in the process, that what is left is like a Rodin sculpture for the ears. There are little creatures and spirits inhabiting these songs that will open up windows in your mind – or at least knock on doors. This is the tightest and most cohesive Fleas record ever.”

In addition to the other two members of Dog on Fleas, John Hughes and Chris Cullo, the new album features special guests such as Recess Monkey, Gustafer Yellowgold, Lunch Money, Uncle Rock and more. The album is described with a rich mix of sounds and styles: “With songs ranging in style from Afro-pop to ‘60s soul, Tin Pan Alley to bossa nova, energetically mixed with a dazzling array of found sounds, this new release proves that Dog on Fleas creates the perfect soundtrack for all-ages dance parties and family road trips.”

In between promoting the album and playing at events like the Clearwater Festival next weekend, Jones is producing other artists, including Recess Monkey, the Okee Dokee Brothers, Grenadilla and Story Laurie, and recording with Elizabeth Mitchell, among an array of other collaborations and accomplishments.

Come celebrate this latest album at the CD release show this Saturday, June 9 at 4 p.m. at the Rosendale Café. You can also pick up CDs at Enchanted Toys or Little Ones in New Paltz and the Parent Teacher Store in Kingston, and online at Remember to “Like” Dog on Fleas on Facebook, and subscribe to its YouTube channel so you can catch all of its wacky videos. The Rosendale Café is located at 434 Main Street in Rosendale. For more information, visit


Kids Run Wild at Kingston’s Forsyth Nature Center this Saturday


On Saturday, June 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Forsyth Nature Center and the Junior League of Kingston are teaming up for Kids Run Wild, a day filled with fun, free family activities to promote health and nutrition. Got kids who are always on the move? There’s a free half-mile fun run. Do your kids love animal shows? Rusty Johnson will be doing an animal presentation, and Sylvia Earle of the National Geographic says, “Rusty’s way with animals, including people, is magical.” Do you have budding artists who love arts and crafts? They’ve got that, too, along with free refreshments from local vendors.

Registration is required for the fun run and takes place from 9:30 a.m. until the race begins at 10 a.m., with free tee-shirts for the first 400 children who sign up. The Junior League of Kingston, “an all-volunteer, non-profit women’s organization, has been making a difference in our area since 1922. The League, through its volunteer efforts and financial support, enhances the well-being of families in our community.” If you’ve been to Forsyth Park, you’ve seen signs of the Junior League’s support over the years.

The Forsyth Nature Center is located at 157 Lucas Avenue in Kingston and online at To learn more about Kids Run Wild or about the Junior League of Kingston, visit or e-mail [email protected]


Library Carnival in Modena, Catskill Animal Sanctuary Shindig in Saugerties, Beacon Sloop Club Strawberry Festival


Wherever you are in Ulster or Dutchess County this weekend, there’s a family-friendly festival near you:


In Modena, the Friends of the Plattekill Public Library are hosting a Family Fun Carnival on Saturday, June 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Thomas Felten Community Park. In addition to food, entertainment, raffles, prizes, games and a bake sale, there’s a playground right there, so you can’t go wrong with all-ages appeal.

“The Carnival is designed to be a fun family event that helps raise awareness of the Plattekill Public Library – which, without question, has some of the most community-oriented and child-friendly programming of any library in the Valley,” shared Glenn Geher, vice president of the Friends of the Plattekill Public Library. “This event, filled with all kinds of carnival fun, will be a major step in raising awareness of all that the Library has to offer.”

Thomas Felten Community Park is located at 11 Patura Road in Modena. For more information, call (845) 728-0633 or visit To learn more about the Plattekill Public Library, visit


Been meaning to get over to the Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS) in Saugerties? Go to its 11th annual Shindig this Saturday, June 9 from noon to 5 p.m. It’s CAS’s biggest celebration of the year, and it’s free! Enjoy hayrides, face-painting, cooking demos, vegetarian food from local restaurants, live music, a silent auction for every budget, tours and more, including the debut of a vegan food cart. CAS is also 100 percent solar-powered.

As Lynn Woods described in [email protected] about last year’s Shindig, “Best of all, you get to pet and nuzzle the horses, pot-belly pigs, goats, ducks, rabbits and sheep and half a dozen other species of farm animal – a total of approximately 200 lovable creatures in all.” Well, minus one: Rambo, the beloved sheep, passed away on May 26. He was 16 years old. Please go read more about this awesome animal and brilliant example of animal advocacy on the website.

The Catskill Animal Sanctuary is located at 316 Old Stage Road in Saugerties. For more information, call (845) 336-8447 or visit


Shel Silverstein wrote, “Anyhow, you’ve been warned and I will not be blamed if your Wild Strawberries cannot be tamed.” This time of year, it’s my strawberry cravings that cannot be tamed. I can’t get enough of these red gems, and clearly I’m not alone. On Sunday, June 10 from noon to 5 p.m., it’s the Beacon Sloop Club (BSC)’s biggest event of the season: the Strawberry Festival.

Joyce Hanson of the BSC claims, “The best strawberry shortcake in the Hudson Valley can be found at the BSC Strawberry Festival.” It’s actually homemade, from scratch, including the whipped cream. But don’t take my word for it; you should come and try some – you know, for “research purposes.”

In addition to this special treat, the kids’ activities include Hoops by Judy, who will teach hooping and make hoops available for kids to use. There will also be face-painting, candlestick-making and a bouncy ride. The featured performer is famous folksinger Pete Seeger, a founding member of the BSC. The children’s stage includes singer Lydia Adams Davis, as well as some puppetry. Come early enough and you can even sign up to take a ride on the Club’s Hudson River ferry sloop the Woody Guthrie.

The Festival takes place at Riverfront Park, located at 123 Red Flynn Drive in Beacon. For information, call (914) 907-4928 or visit



Williams Lake Classic bike races for kids in Rosendale this Sunday


“I thought of it while riding my bicycle,” Albert Einstein said of the Special Theory of Relativity. Just imagine how your own kids could change the world just by getting on their bikes!

One event to get them started is the 2012 Williams Lake Classic on Sunday, June 10. Kids have their own race during this family event: Tyke Bikers (3 to 6 years) and Speed Racers (7 to 14 years). Tricycles are welcome. The youth races begin at noon and 12:30 p.m. respectively, and take place across a grassy field at Williams Lake. Afterwards, each participant is called up individually during a ceremony to receive a certificate for completing the course. There is food available, and families are welcome to picnic.

There is no charge to ride the youth races, but preregistration is required. To preregister, visit For more information call (845) 625-9338 or visit or



This Sunday is Kids’ Day at HITS in Saugerties


I feel like special family-focused events are a great motivation for me to check out new places with my kids. Have you been to HITS-on-the-Hudson (Horse Shows in the Sun) in Saugerties yet? If not, they’re having a Kids’ Day this Sunday, June 10 from noon to 2 p.m. It’ll have pony rides, face-painting, games, arts and crafts; and Whoopsy Daisy the Clown will be doing caricatures and magic tricks.

The event takes place on the same afternoon as the $100,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix, so stick around afterwards to watch a professional horse show. Admission is $5 for adults, which is donated to Family of Woodstock; children and seniors get in free. Picnics are welcomed, and the facility also has a full-service restaurant.

“Next to the Pfizer Million in September, Purina Mills Kids’ Day is one of our favorite community events,” said Danette Kadlic, director of Marketing and Public Relations for HITS. “As someone who has a young child, this event is one of the most family-friendly outings you can experience in Ulster County. And if you or your child loves horses, you can’t go wrong!”

HITS-on-the-Hudson is located at 454 Washington Avenue Extension in Saugerties. For more information, call (845) 246-8833 or visit



Sketching Workshop at Mohonk Preserve this Sunday


The Mohonk Preserve’s tagline is “Visit for a day – be inspired for a lifetime.” If you’re artistic, or just want to be, and yearn to connect with the rich stillness of our magnificent surroundings and preserve your impressions for a lifetime, check out the “Sketching Workshop at Table Rocks.” On Sunday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you and your teen can join artist/mountaineer Gregory Frux to draw the cliffs, crevices, forest and views north.

All skill levels are welcome, from beginners to expert. Participants should bring their favorite portable art supplies, bug repellent, a visored hat, lunch and snacks, water and something to sit on. This free event is for ages 12 and up, and children must always be accompanied by an adult. The program includes an easy 4.5-mile round-trip hike. Space is limited. For more information or to reserve your spot, call (845) 255-0919 or visit


Morgan Taylor touts new Gustafer Yellowgold CD this Sunday at the Falcon in Marlboro


Gustafer Yellowgold is a big deal at our house. In case you don’t know, he is a friendly alien from the Sun who moved to Earth. Musician and artist Morgan Taylor created the Gustafer character and sings all about him. We just can’t get enough of this little sun-drop. For example, inspired by the song “Pancake Smackdown,” our family is actually planning our own pancake smackdown soon: a battle consisting of hurling the soft discs at each other.

Taylor’s cartoon animations accompany the music during the show, and my kids love the visuals as well as the music itself. Taylor is performing this Sunday, June 10 at the Falcon. I asked him about the show: “I’m touring now to support my new DVD/CD set Gustafer Yellowgold’s Year in the Day. One of the songs, ‘Pancake Smackdown,’ is really becoming a crowd favorite. In this video, Gustafer has invented a new sport that combines Frisbee, golf and breakfast.”

Since Taylor performs internationally, I asked how it feels to play here in the Hudson Valley: “I always look forward to bringing the show to the Falcon. It’s becoming a great home base.” Taylor’s wife, singer/bassist Rachel Loshak, will also be performing her own set.

Admission to the show is by donation, and you can order from the brunch menu during the performances. Gustafer sets are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Falcon is located at 1348 Route 9W in Marlboro. For more information, call (845) 236-7970 or visit To learn more about the musicians, visit and



Air show season starts this weekend at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome


Just over 100 years before Southwest Airlines flight attendant David Holmes rapped his way through the safety protocols, the Wright Brothers invented and built the world’s first successful airplane. Interested in learning more about those early years of flight? Then plan a visit to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, a “living history of aviation.” Its 2012 air show season begins on June 9 with air shows every Saturday and Sunday through October 14, weather permitting.

The shows on Saturdays and Sundays are slightly different. On Saturdays, the “History of Flight” shows focus on aviation from 1909 through 1939 and feature performances of early pioneer aircraft, a World War I dogfight demonstration and “Balloon-Bursting-Barnstorming Biplanes” of the 1920s and 1930s. On Sundays, you’ll see World War I aircraft and a sampling of pioneer, 1920s and 1930s biplanes, as well as zany melodrama featuring the daring Sir Percy Goodfellow doing battle with the evil Black Baron for the hand of the lovely Trudy Truelove.

The two-hour air shows start at 2 p.m. The museum is open daily if you want to explore more 1900-to-1935 history. Weekend pricing is $20 for adults; $15 for teens, military and seniors; $5 for youth aged 6 to 12 years and Scouts in uniform; free for children 5 years and under. Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is located at 9 Norton Road in Red Hook. For more information, call (845) 752-3200 or visit



See Storyteller’s Candle this Saturday at Railroad Playhouse in Newburgh


One person can make a difference. Pura Belpré is a perfect example: She was the first Latina librarian in the New York Public Library system, and her ideas helped make the library more accessible to that community. She set up bilingual storytimes, bought Spanish-language books and organized programs based on traditional holidays.

The Railroad Playhouse is celebrating her life with Storyteller’s Candle. In this production, a bilingual storyteller teaches children about Belpré’s legacy, Puerto Rican folklore and the library’s important role in the community. Storyteller’s Candle takes place on Saturday, June 9 at 3 p.m. This 45-minute interactive educational production is told through music, puppetry and storytelling and is open to all ages.

The Railroad Playhouse is located at 27 South Water Street in Newburgh. Ticket prices are $8 each. For more information or reservations, call (845) 565-3791 or visit



Kelder’s Farm in Kerhonkson hosts Outdoor Youth Expo this Saturday


Do your kids know their ABCs? I’m talking about outdoor activity literacy: Archery, BB guns and Casting a fishing line. There’s lots of hands-on fun to be had at the second annual Ulster County Outdoor Youth Expo, which takes place on Saturday, June 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kelder’s Farm. Hosted by the Rondout Rod & Gun Club, the youth events are available to kids up to age 16. There will be free food for all children and lots of prizes.

Kelder’s Farm is located at 5755 Route 209 in Kerhonkson. For more information, call (845) 594-4471 or visit



Hokey Pokey to a world record on Walkway over the Hudson this Saturday


Our region is already graced by a world record-holder: The Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park is the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge. If you weren’t there for the opening in 2009, here’s another chance to make history and supersize our world record. This Saturday, June 9, 3,000 people are needed to gather on the Walkway to dance the Hokey Pokey for five minutes: They will be attempting to break an existing Guinness World Record originally established in June 2008 by 2,354 Estonians performing the Toe Dance, an Estonian folk dance.

The Hokey Pokey was chosen because everyone knows it. Are you in? Don’t you think that your kids would love to look back on this and say, “Yes, I was a part of this!”? I’m not sure that Larry LaPrise, the original copyright holder in 1950 to “The Hokey Pokey,” ever envisioned the song being used this way. Personally, I’m so relieved that it’s not the Electric Slide, since I still can’t get those turns right.

Each registration costs $15, which will go toward continuing to develop the Park, such as constructing permanent bathrooms and a visitors’ center. Preregistration for this world record attempt is required, and check-in takes place between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park is located at 61 Parker Avenue in Poughkeepsie and 87 Haviland Road in Highland. For more information, call (845) 454-9649 or visit



Erica Chase-Salerno lives, loves and laughs in New Paltz with her husband Mike and their two children: the inspirations behind She can be reached at [email protected]

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  1. Love your column! Fabulous guide to family friendly fun while learning A B C’s…Always Be Cheerful!!

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