Kids’ Almanac (July 19-26)


Hudson Valley Renegades’ spectator.

Free Build-a-Bear for first 1,000 kids at this Monday’s Renegades game at Dutchess Stadium

The Hudson Valley Renegades’ baseball games are family-friendly whenever you go, but some of their promotions are especially kid-oriented. On Monday, July 23, the first 1,000 children aged 12 and under will receive a “Rookie of the Year” Jeremy Hellickson Build-a-Bear. When we attended a similar event last year, our kids stood in a separate line, which made me nervous about where they were going; but it was just a system to make sure that each child received only one toy. Kids aged 12 and under can also join the Renegades’ Little Rascal’s Kids’ Club, which gives them free admission to Monday and Tuesday home games with their membership card. And stick around after the game so that kids aged 6 and up can run the bases.

The Renegades play the Staten Island Yankees at 7:05 p.m. on the 23rd at Dutchess Stadium. Admission to Renegades games ranges in price from $6 to $15. Dutchess Stadium is located at 1500 Route 9D in Wappingers Falls. For more information or to get tickets, call (845) 838-0094 or visit


Chalk Art Festival this weekend at Water Street Market in New Paltz

The Water Street Market in New Paltz has some terrific shops and eateries, and it hosts some great family-friendly events, such as charity benefits, free movie nights and free live music concerts. This weekend, from Friday, July 20 to Sunday, July 22, it is hosting the Hudson Valley Chalk Art Festival. There’s just something pure about chalk as an art medium that I really like. At home, we use chalk for simple blackboard pictures or drawing hopscotch squares. To have 12 of the best chalk artists in the US, as well as 11 local artists creating works in real time right in New Paltz, is a unique opportunity to show the kids.

“This is an exciting art event for the whole family,” explains Theresa Fall, community event coordinator at the Water Street Market. “We’ll have an open chalking area for kids, free face-painting done by the Bruderhof, beautiful artwork, live music, an art car to chalk on, popcorn, raffles, tee-shirts and delicious food. Come and see the art evolve over the course of the weekend.”

This free event takes place all weekend from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. The Water Street Market is located at 10 Main Street in New Paltz. For more information or to volunteer, call (845) 401-4499 or visit



Barnes & Noble in Kingston hosts Leap Frog Tag Geography Relay this Friday

Interesting, engaging, educational, fun…and free! It’s a Leap Frog Tag Geography Relay for kids ages 4 to 8 years at Barnes & Noble in Kingston. Quick: Do you know where Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa are located? Do you know their capitals? If not, maybe you could use a refresher on US geography. Here’s a chance to enjoy some review with your family using a Leap Frog map and a Tag reader pen. At the very least, maybe this will give you a better idea of where your friends’ Facebook vacation pictures are coming from in your newsfeed.

Leap Frog Tag Geography Relay takes place on Friday, July 20 at 11 a.m. Registration is suggested. Barnes & Noble is located in Ulster Plaza at 1177 Ulster Avenue in Kingston. For more information or to register, call (845) 336-0590 or visit



Free Families Forward celebrate first anniversary this Saturday at Poughkeepsie’s McCann Ice Arena

Karen Lamb is credited with saying, “A year from now, you will wish you had started today.”

A year ago, Samantha Sloane Cole created Free Families Forward (FFF). Happy Anniversary! FFF was born of her inspired vision to build community through the organization of free, fun and exciting activities for everyone to enjoy. On Saturday, July 21 from 2 to 4 p.m., join in the celebration with free ice-skating, including rentals, at the McCann Ice Arena. There will also be door prizes, special offers, dancing, cupcake-decorating and of course, cake-eating.

“I want everyone to know that this event is free and everybody is welcome to join our FFFfamily,” Cole says. “There’s so much to do – something for everyone. Local businesses have been so generous with door prizes and special offers. I hope to inspire more people to step forward in their communities with FFF’s help!”

The FFFfirst Birthday Party for Everyone event is free and open to the public. Space is limited for rentals and ice-skating, so reservations are strongly suggested. The McCann Ice Arena is located at 14 Civic Center Plaza in Poughkeepsie. For more information or to make a reservation, call (845) 419-3733 or visit



This weekend’s Rosendale Street Festival offers plenty of music for kids

Like children, live music has an energy all its own. Our kids love how the playful interaction between the musicians and the audience makes every performance unique. Have you seen the band lineup for this year’s Rosendale Street Festival? So many stages with a variety of family-friendly musicians in the mix, including Dog on Fleas, Ratboy, Jr., Spiral up Kids, Fuzzy Lollipop and much more. Local karate students will be happy to hear that their Sensei Sean is performing with the Trapps at the Festival. Go and hear your favorites, or listen to some bands with whom you’re not yet familiar. I suggest bringing sunscreen and water – and earplugs, in case your little rockers have sensitive ears, so you can enjoy more time there.

The Rosendale Street Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22 on Main Street in Rosendale. Music begins at 12 noon on both days, and the Festival ends at 9 p.m. on Saturday, 7 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the Festival is free, but a $5 per person donation is suggested. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, call (845) 943-6497 or visit



Zucchini Brothers play Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck this Saturday

The Zucchini Brothers are a terrific, toe-tapping dance-along band from Saratoga Springs, and they’re coming to the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. On Saturday, July 21 at 11 a.m., you can sing along with Jack, Steve and Sam and enjoy their funny antics and great music. Your family is sure to enjoy their humor and fun, with some wisdom woven through.

Tickets cost $7 for children and $9 for adults and seniors. The Center is located at 661 Route 308 in Rhinebeck. For tickets or more information, call (845) 876-3080 or visit To learn more about the musicians, visit



Young Performers’ Concert at Cornwall Presbyterian Church this Saturday spotlights Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach’s music has stood the test of time, as it continues to be performed more than 200 years later. Have your children been introduced to his work? The seventh annual Bach Fest takes place this weekend, July 20 through 22, with a variety of performances. But one to consider especially for the kids is the Young Performers’ Concert on Saturday, July 21 at 2 p.m. at the Cornwall Presbyterian Church with performances by youth. I think that this is a lovely way to cheer on some of our area’s young and talented musicians, and it might inspire your own child to tickle some ivories or explore a violin.

The Young Performers’ Concert is open to the public, and free-will donations are appreciated. The Cornwall Presbyterian Church is located at 222 Hudson Street/Route 218 in Cornwall-on-Hudson. For more information, call (845) 534-8368 or visit



Fuzzy Lollipop performs this Saturday at Rosendale Street Fest, Sunday at Gardiner Library

If you haven’t heard Fuzzy Lollipop, you have two chances to discover the group this weekend. First, it’s performing at the Rosendale Street Festival on Saturday, July 21. And on Sunday, July 22, its members are the stars of their own show at the Gardiner Library.

Get to know this group: Its music is infused with themes of childhood. When I hear “Don’t Touch the Lava,” I suddenly want to leap onto a chair so I don’t step on the kitchen floor. The spirited melodies and upbeat rhythms put a spring in my step, like “Beautiful, Marvelous Day.” Fuzzy Lollipop’s songs can have a light, silly side, but its members are grounded in solid musicianship and they really know kids. Our daughter loves the feather boas and funky hats that they wear at live performances, too.

Band member Callie Hershey (keyboards and vocals) gave me an update on Fuzzy Lollipop: “We’re very excited about the newest song we just recorded: ‘Long Car Rides,’ a silly romp about family dynamics in the back of the minivan. You can download this on our website for free. Also, we were chosen to play at Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in August, so we are thrilled about that, and will be performing some of the songs in Gardiner that we’ll be doing then.”

Fuzzy Lollipop’s performance takes place at 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The Gardiner Library is located at 133 Farmers’ Turnpike in Gardiner.

Speaking of the Gardiner Library, come back the following night on Monday, July 23 for its free family movie night at 7 p.m. to view Eragon. Children over 7 years old may be dropped off, and free popcorn is provided to all. For more information, call (845) 255-1255 or visit To learn more about the musicians, visit



Minnewaska State Park offers pond exploration program this Sunday

Nature programs are so helpful for family together-time, as well as for learning things that we can use on future outings. Visit the Minnewaska State Park Preserve for its “Pond Exploration for Children” program on Sunday, July 22 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Geared for ages 6 through 10 years, this 1.5-mile hike takes the group through the ponds on Minnewaska’s former golf course for some nature discovery with nets. Younger siblings are welcome, but may need to be carried by the parent. I suggest that you bring your bathing suits, so that you can take a dip in the lake after the program.

This program is free and open to the public, but preregistration is required. Minnewaska State Park Preserve is located at 5281 Route 44/55 in Gardiner. For more information or to register, call (845) 255-0752 or visit



Howland Library in Beacon hosts panel on youth with Asperger’s this Tuesday

Famed autism expert and author Temple Grandin says, “Who do you think made the first stone spear? That wasn’t the yakkity-yaks sitting around the campfire. It was some Asperger sitting in the back of a cave figuring out how to chip rocks into spearheads.”

She is referencing some of the gifts of Asperger’s, including tenacity and attention to detail. But people with Asperger’s sometimes experience certain challenges in life, such as social interactions or changes to routines. Ginny Figlia, Youth Services librarian at the Howland Public Library, understands, and has worked with youth on the autism spectrum for years: “I run a Teen Asperger’s Support/Social Group (TAG), along with Ruth Romero-Nivel and Nancy Osborn, behavior specialist at the Anderson Center for Autism, and we have made our library an autism resource center for teachers, parents and kids.”

On Tuesday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m., the library hosts “What’s Next: Life after High School for Young Adults with Asperger’s.” Four young adults with Asperger’s between the ages of 19 and 30 years, including famed local author Jesse Saperstein, will serve as a panel of experts as they speak about life after high school and transitioning into the “adult world.” These admirable young people will discuss what to expect, planning, drawing on talents, successes and challenges.

This program is free and open to the public, but reservations are advised due to the limited space. The Howland Public Library is located at 313 Main Street in Beacon. For more information or to register, call (845) 831-1134, extension 103, or visit



Join Pixie Stix, a/k/a Erica Chase-Salerno, at this Thursday, July 26 at the Water Street Market in New Paltz in Kotton Kandi’s arm-wrestling entourage, proceeds to benefit the Breastfeeding Initiative of Ulster County. Wrists up! She can be reached at


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