Kids’ Almanac (August 16-23)

The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.

– Peggy O’Mara


When our family does the things on our summer fun list, such as zipping down the slide at Moriello Pool in New Paltz or eating countless baskets of Bart Colucci’s Sungold tomatoes from Meadow View Farm in Gardiner, I feel alive and connected to the season. Here are some ideas to help Hudson Valley families make the most of these remaining summer days.


Chill out at Zoom Flume & SplashDown Beach

We’re lucky to have two dedicated water parks in our area, Zoom Flume and SplashDown Beach, and our family enjoys both of them. These parks hold appeal for all ages with their variety of slides, wave pools and eateries. Zoom Flume also has some wonderful established foliage, so you can relax in some naturally shady spots when you want a break from the sun. SplashDown Beach is easy to get to, since it’s right off Route 9 and close to all of the main roads.

I was interested in people’s impressions of the parks and asked the Hall/Quinn family their opinion about Zoom Flume. Morgan Quinn, age 9, recommends the twisty, turny slide, saying, “The Black Vortex is awesomely epic.” My own son’s favorite is the steep, speedy Canyon Plunge slide. My daughter agrees wholeheartedly with Ama Quinn, age 7, who says, “I could ride the mini-tube all day.” Their mom Whitney Hall shared, “We love going with a group, hanging in the shade while the kids run around and floating on the Lazy River.” And their dad Michael Quinn summed it up with, “It’s a great day of family fun for all ages.”

I asked Maureen Podolski and Marnie McKnight-Favell about each of their families’ experiences at SplashDown. Maureen said, “Being tired parents of three young children, we were thrilled to discover a ready-made vacation right down the road. There is a section for swimmers of every age, either exciting or relaxing.” Marnie got a season pass for her family this year, explaining, “Violet, age 5, cannot get enough of the young kids’ slide area, and also the wave pool at the front of the park. She could truthfully spend the whole time at the wave pool, which reminds her of the sea. I get to have as much fun as my daughter here!”

Day rates at Zoom Flume are $25.99 per person, $19.99 for children age 7 and under. Children under 2 years of age get in free. Zoom Flume also offers a spectator pass for $19.99 for anyone interested in just sunning and picnicking. SplashDown’s rates are $25.99 for guests under 42 inches tall and seniors, $29.99 for guests 42 inches tall and over. They offer military discounts and half-day pricing as well as cabana rentals.

Both parks offer online ticketing, group rates and lockers. Get there soon: Both parks’ last day of the season is Monday, September 3. Zoom Flume Water Park is located at 20 Shady Glen Road in East Durham. For more information, call (800) 888-3586 or visit; Splashdown Beach is located at 16 Old Route 9 in West Fishkill. For more information, call (845) 897-9600 or visit



Kids bowl free in Kingston & Po’town

Bowling is a sport that could be right up your alley. It’s air-conditioned, enjoyable for all ages and for a little while longer, it’s even free! Take advantage of the final days of the nationwide Kids Bowl Free program, in which registered kids receive two free games of bowling every day all summer long – but it ends on September 5.

It’s easy to register online, and we have participating bowling centers right here in the Hudson Valley. Locally, families can participate at Hoe Bowl on the Hill, which is located at 644 East Chester Street in Kingston, (845) 338-1414; and at Hoe Bowl Mardi Bob, located at 47 Taft Avenue in Poughkeepsie, (845) 471-1820. The free program at these bowling centers is for youth ages 15 and under during regular bowling hours, and standard shoe rental rates apply. For more information, visit or



One Fish, Two Fish at Morgan Lake


Did you know that writer Dr. Seuss’s real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel? He used the name Dr. Seuss for books that he both wrote and illustrated, and Theo LeSieg (Geisel backwards) for books that he wrote but didn’t illustrate.

The classic One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish book by Dr. Seuss will be read along with two other picture books at Morgan Lake’s free “Storytime by the Lake” event on Saturday, August 18 at 11 a.m. It’s open to all ages, and children will also play fun fish-related games and activities such as Hot Potato with a plush fish toy and fish races.

“Storytime by the Lake” is free and open to the public. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket, and squeeze in one more storytime before September. Morgan Lake is located at 17 Creek Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 418-0016 or visit


Uncle Rock plays Starr Library this Saturday


On August 18, 1985, the Suisei (Japanese for comet) space probe was launched to explore Halley’s Comet. On August 18, 2012, Uncle Rock, a/k/a. Robert Burke Warren, will perform at the Starr Library. Will he play his popular hit “Secret Spaceman”? You’ll just have to go hear for yourself.

Uncle Rock’s performance takes place at 4 p.m., and his show is free and open to the public. There’s nothing like live family music in the summertime. The Starr Library is located at 68 West Market Street in Rhinebeck. For more information, call (845) 876-4030 or visit To learn more about the performer, visit



Hurley Corn Festival is this Saturday


Q: How much does a pirate pay for corn?

A: A buccaneer!


In August, between mouthfuls of Sungold tomatoes, I eat corn. The 32nd annual Hurley Heritage Corn Festival is a wonderful gathering, and I wait all year for its corn chowder. We drive by cornfields all the time during the summer; how about giving your family a taste of our area’s bounty?

The Corn Festival takes place this Saturday, August 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. Our kids enjoy munching on corn-on-the-cob, looking through all of the crafts and vendor booths, listening to the live entertainment and checking out the children’s activities while I go for seconds of the corn chowder.

The Corn Festival is sponsored by the Hurley Heritage Society and is located at the Hurley Reformed Church at 11 County Road 29 in Hurley. For more information or to volunteer, call (845) 338-1661 or visit


Mike the Knight to visit Renaissance Faire


Name four influential historical figures from the Renaissance. If you answered with Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo, you might be a history buff, or if you’re like me, you may just be recalling the names of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

But there’s a new Renaissance reference on television for young children now: Mike the Knight. Mike the Knight wants to be a knight like his father, but he’s still a knight in training. From his adventures, he learns important lessons like caring and sharing.

Mike the Knight is taking his adventures from the animated world to our world and making a special appearance at the 35th New York Renaissance Faire on Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Children will have a good time checking out the games, rides, shows and more.

Tickets to the festival cost $22 for adults, $11 for children ages 5 through 12 years; children 4 years and younger get in free. Discounted rates are available on the website. The Renaissance Faire is located at 600 Route 17A in Tuxedo Park. For more information, call (845) 351-5174 or visit To learn more about the guest star himself, visit


“Beautiful Birds” at Minnewaska

“Yes, I was the brilliance floating over the snow/and I was the song in the summer leaves,” says poet Mary Oliver’s Red Bird. Before the fall routines start up again, give your family the gift of time in nature together, and join the “Beautiful Birds” workshop at Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Children will make their own toy binoculars, which they’ll use on a bird scavenger hunt along the carriage road.

“Beautiful Birds” takes place this Saturday, August 18 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. This program is recommended for children ages 6 to 10 years old accompanied by a parent, and it 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



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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