Kids Almanac (October 18-25)

Goowin’s Balloowins

Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters – sometimes very hastily – but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.
– Maurice Sendak


Check out Children’s Museum of Science and Technology in Troy

I had only learned about CMOST, the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology, through Google. It’s only in Troy, but I had never heard anyone talk about visiting it. So in case you’re in the same boat that I was, here are some impressions from my recent visit there with my kids.

First of all, their location cracked me up. It’s in a technology park, like a business park, on the outskirts of town bordering some open space, complete with nature trails. I get it that it’s a Museum of Science and Technology, but I have never been to a children’s museum in a setting like this. But that’s also part of what I loved about it: The ample free parking is also insanely easy to get to – no traffic to contend with just to get in.

The reception desk is right up front by the door, and behind it is a little science store area. It was fun to look through, but as a heads-up, children must have an adult with them in the shop area. The museum space is designed as a circle, with a few classrooms off to the side. Both of my kids participated in a class there, and they found it to be hands-on and informative; our younger daughter found it especially engaging.

The Living Indoor Hudson River and Operation WILD (Working In the Living Domain) exhibits include live animals, which is so cool! Our daughter spent most of her time at the Weather Front exhibit, where she stood in front of a green screen to “report” by reading the teleprompter, acting out a weather report or doing whatever she came up with, then watching the segment play in a prerecorded YNN news program immediately afterwards.

There are also other energy and science exhibits, and a whole theme on nano. I appreciated the clean bathrooms, which include a third family restroom, and there were cute nano signs posted around about how “nano” something was, like nanotechnology to help keep toilets germ-free.

They even have a real planetarium! I watched the Molecularium movie there, which costs $1, and I thought that the film presented a lot of information in a fun, high-energy, accessible way. In the planetarium, you can choose to sit on reclined cushions or chairs.

I recommend this museum to any family with kids ages 10 and under, but some of their classes and nature trails might engage even older youth. Teens can volunteer here, too. I love that CMOST runs a variety of programs every day that they’re open; you can check the schedule on their Facebook page. Wednesday is Toddler Explore & More Time from 1 to 5 p.m.: a day especially intended for kids aged 5 years and younger. CMOST’s regular hours are Thursdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission costs $5 per person ages 2 and up, and free for CMOST members.

CMOST is located at 250 Jordan Road in Troy. For more information, call (518) 235-2120, visit or check it out on Facebook.


Kingston Library hosts magic show with Merdwin the Mediocre this Saturday

I feel a special connection to Merdwin the Mediocre this year, because he describes himself as a mage, which is exactly what our son is planning to be for Halloween, complete with hooded cloak made by his grandmother (thank you, Olga!). Merdwin is a medieval wizard whose slightly scatterbrained style and magical presentations provide fun and silliness for all ages of audiences, whom he includes in his shows.

His performance at the Kingston Library on Saturday, October 20 at 10:30 a.m. is free and open to the public of all ages. The Kingston Library is located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston. For more information, call the Kingston Library (845) 331-0507 or visit To learn more about the performer, visit


Goowin’s Balloowins at DCCC in Poughkeepsie this Saturday

I just learned about Goowin’s Balloowins and am blissing over his innovative take on “sculpted air.” (Can you stand it, sculpted air? I love this guy!). Here’s what he does: Instead of crafting balloons into creatures (wiener dog, anyone?), Allynn Goowen uses the balloons to transform the kids into creatures. He tells a story using children from the audience as actors in a play, and all of the props are made from balloons.

Everything about this sounds like a great experience to me. Go see him at the James & Betty Hall Theatre at Dutchess County Community College on Saturday, October 20 at 11 a.m. This performance is free and open to the public, appropriate for all ages.

Dutchess County Community College is located at 53 Pendell Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 431-8000 or visit To learn more about the performer, visit


Dog on Fleas plays this Saturday at Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck

Quick, name this tune: “You’ve got a cute way of talking/You got the better of me…” Yes, it’s “You Make Me Feel like Dancing,” which Dog on Fleas will be playing – and will make you feel like doing – this weekend at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck.

If you haven’t heard Dog on Fleas before, by all means go. If you are already a huge fan like I am, then you probably have your tickets already. Bring your kids, bring your friends, bring your kids’ friends, bring your friends’ kids and enjoy the fantastic tunes, humor, energy and fun that Dean Jones, John Hughes and Chris Cullo bring to every performance.

And you know how fond I am of the awesome seating at the Center. It’s probably the only area venue where I never worry about seating for my family, because every seat is so good! Dog on Fleas takes the stage on Saturday, October 20 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 tickets or more information, call (845) 876-3080 or visit To learn more about the musicians, visit


MHLS Auditorium in Poughkeepsie hosts Jack Tuesday: Fairy Tale Investigator this Saturday

Everything about this sounds appealing to me. I can hear the squeals of delight already. Familiar fairytale characters caught up in a mystery: Where are Little Bo Peep’s sheep? Jack Tuesday: Fairy Tale Investigator is on the case! This story from Lionheart Puppets comes to the MHLS Auditorium on Saturday, October 20 at 1:30 p.m. The show is free and open to the public of all ages, which is great, because I think that kids love mysteries, but so often they’re overwhelming and too scary. This sounds great.

The MHLS Auditorium is located at 105 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 485-3445 or visit To learn more about the show, visit


Spoken-word performance art for kids this Saturday at Lady Washington Firehouse in Poughkeepsie

One of my favorite aspects of writing Kids’ Alm@nac each week is the chance to discover activities, organizations or events that I wasn’t aware of previously. Here’s one that sounds so amazing, I hope that you get the opportunity to check it out. This Saturday, October 20 is a Queen City Saturday: a monthly celebration of arts and culture named for Poughkeepsie’s moniker, Queen of the Hudson, and it takes place on the third Saturday of each month.

From 3:30 to 9 p.m. at the Lady Washington Firehouse, located at 20 Academy Street in Poughkeepsie, POKLIT (Poughkeepsie Literary Artists) presents Hallow Stories, along with Poet Gold of 26 MICS n’26 Weeks and the Evolving Wordsmiths. You’ll also see pop-up art exhibits; hear music played by deejay Joey Daytona; and Empowering Beautiful Minds is offering kids’ silkscreening activities. To learn more, contact the Dutchess County Arts Council at (845) 454-3222 or visit


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