Kids’ Almanac (October 4-11)

Fall Festival at Forsyth Nature Center in Kingston this Monday

By now, many of you know how much I love the Forsyth Nature Center. It’s hosting its tenth annual Fall Festival, which is a fundraiser to help this great place continue its fantastic work. Entertainment includes a magic show, a reptile demonstration, storytelling and live music. There will also be face-painting, photographs with the animals, hayrides, a corn maze, bounce houses, games, hands-on crafts such as pumpkin-painting and sand spin-art and more. Refreshments will be available.

Admission to the Fall Festival is free and open to the public. The Fall Festival takes place on Monday, October 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Forsyth Nature Center is located at 157 Lucas Avenue in Kingston. To donate baked goods, to volunteer during the event or for more information, call (845) 339-3053, e-mail or visit


“Practice of Parenting” workshop begins in October in Woodstock

I spend a fair amount of time thinking about how to move through something I’m jammed up about in my parenting. Laughter loosens me up a little, like hearing one-liners from Homer Simpson: “I never thought of fatherhood as something that could affect a kid.” I also find that talking with a trusted friend helps me put words to these intense feelings that course through me.

Participating in parenting groups provides me with both of these tools, and here’s a new one starting up that looks great: “The Practice of Parenting: Growing Up as We Raise Our Kids.” I love the pivotal question that they ask right from the get-go: “Do you wish you were more connected with the joys of parenting young children?”

The group is intended for parents of young children and is moderated by Thayer Case, LCSW, co-director of Maverick Family Counseling; Meredith Johnson, MHC-LP, Simplicity Parenting group leader; and Bethany Saltman, writer and author of the Chronogram column “Flowers Fall.” Johnson explained, “Together, we will explore the joys and sorrows of parenting, actively cultivate compassion for ourselves and our children and develop practices that empower and ground us as parents.”

The eight-week series begins in October and takes place in Woodstock on Thursday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $18 for single attendees and $30 for couples. For more information or to register, call (845) 750-0049 or e-mail


Magic show with Leon Etienne this Saturday at Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck

I am very happy to report that the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck’s Saturday-morning family series has begun its fall season. Illusionist Leon Etienne will take the stage this weekend. Etienne got his start at age 12 when he was grounded and sent to his room. Bored, he picked up a book on magic tricks, successfully demonstrated one for his mother, and the Utica native has been performing ever since. His routine features rock-show lighting and music elements.

Etienne’s appearance at the Center takes place on Saturday, October 6 at 11 a.m. Tickets cost $7 for children and $9 for adults and seniors. The Center is located at 661 Route 308 in Rhinebeck. For reservations or for more information, call (845) 876-3080 or visit To learn more about the magical arts performer, visit


Open House at Slabsides in West Park this Saturday

Yippee! It’s Open House time at John Burroughs’ Slabsides cabin this Saturday, October 6! Only open to the public twice a year, this is a special chance actually to go inside of the cabin instead of just peeking through the windows. In addition to the cabin tour, you can explore the newly expanded and restored hiking trails on the 200-acre property, hear a talk about Burroughs and enjoy live music and refreshments. [For more on the unveiling of Slabsides’ new trails, read Lynn Woods’ piece this week in Almanac’s sister publication, Explore Hudson Valley.]

Slabsides and the neighboring Sanctuary Pond are two of my favorite spots in the entire Hudson Valley. In about two seconds I am immersed in gorgeous, silent woods and feel like I’m a million miles from civilization. Go see for yourself.

This event is free and open to the public. Slabsides is open for tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the trail dedication and talk takes place at 12 noon. Parking is limited, so car-pooling is suggested. Slabsides and the John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary are located on Burroughs Drive, off Floyd Ackert Road in West Park. For more information, call (845) 214-2384 or visit


Rosendale Theatre screens Escape to Witch Mountain this Monday

The Rosendale Theatre has creative, thoughtful youth movie programming, and with the October 8 holiday, it’s a great way to spend the afternoon with your family. It’s hosting a 2 p.m. showing that day of Escape to Witch Mountain: the perfect nod to the eerie elements of October and perfect for your budget, at only $3.50 per ticket. Escape to Witch Mountain is rated G.

The Rosendale Theatre is located at 408 Main Street in Rosendale. For more information, call (845) 658-8989 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

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  1. What a great job in describing the “Octoberfest”
    month offerings! You are a superb ambassador for the Hudson Valley

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