Kids’ Almanac (November 8-15)

Mary Ruvolo as “the Otter” and Greg Sullivan as “the Boy” in Half Moon Theatre’s production of The Magic Fish, running Nov. 9-18 at Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center (photo by Matt Petricone)

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
– Joseph Campbell


Kids’ opera The Magic Fish next two weekends in Poughkeepsie

Franco Zeffirelli said, “I have always believed that opera is a planet where the Muses work together, join hands and celebrate all the arts.” To me, that sounds like the very essence of the world of children. But I don’t generally equate kids with opera. Well, I should say I didn’t connect them until I heard about Half Moon Theatre’s newly commissioned opera for children, The Magic Fish. Based on the Grimms’ fairytale The Fisherman and His Wife, this work has a fun and engaging story with wonderful music and is geared for children between 5 and 13 years old.

The Magic Fish will be performed at the Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center Theatre, located at 12 Vassar Street in Poughkeepsie. Performances take place on Fridays, November 9 and 16 at 7 p.m.; Saturdays, November 10 and 17 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; and Sundays, November 11 and 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $20 for children and seniors. For tickets or more information, call (888) 718-4253 or visit


MAC Fitness in Kingston hosts Family Fun Day this Saturday

I’ve been enthusiastic about regional online parenting networks since our own website took root in 2003. I’m always excited to see local parenting groups emerge, because I believe that each one helps to connect area families, which strengthens our community. Happy first birthday to, a website with listings of events, places, activities and blogs that can be helpful for life with kids. It’s celebrating the one-year mark with a Family Fun Day at MAC Park in Kingston this Saturday, November 10 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

I asked Family Friendly Hudson Valley owner and Hudson Valley native Sarah Coppola about her connection with the area. “I was born and raised in the Hudson Valley – specifically the Kingston area. I now live in Port Ewen, literally one mile away from where I spent my childhood. I met my husband here early on (I was 18) and we never had a reason to leave. I even stayed in the Hudson Valley for college: Newburgh and New Paltz (degree is in Accounting; originally studied Math and Education).”

Running a website while raising a family can be daunting; does Coppola find time for any other activities? Apparently so: “My current ‘hobbies’ consist of homeschooling and crafting with my older daughter, cooking, leading our church’s youth group with my husband and trying to keep my two-year-old from eating things off the floor. If I had time for others, reading and learning how to sew and crochet would be in there, too. I love sushi, reading with my kids (love children’s books!) and spending time with my close friends. Also, I’m a math geek.”

One cool offering from Family Friendly Hudson Valley is its new discount card! Only $5 gets you a holiday shopping discount card, reusable until December 31 at these ten area merchants: fiberflame, Illuminated Baby, Wright Naturals, Over the Moon Boutique and Events, Sugar Sweet Baby, Land of Oz, Angelstarr Farm, Karmabee, Walk with Me Photography and the Rhinebeck Department Store. The discount card is available through Family Friendly Hudson Valley’s Facebook page.

What advice does Coppola have for people looking to start their own organization? “Plan. Have a team. Have a support system. Take your time. Also, plan.” Fun Day at MAC Fitness has something for everyone: swag bags for the first 100 families; bounce houses; games and activities; crafts; a toddler area; and a children’s book exchange. MAC Fitness is located at 743 East Chester Street/Route 9W in Kingston. For more information about Family Friendly Hudson Valley or Family Fun Day at MAC Park, e-mail, visit or find it on Facebook. Congratulations, Family Friendly Hudson Valley! Here’s to many more birthdays to come!


Teaching the Hudson Valley sponsors “favorite places” essay contest for kids

What are some of your children’s favorite places in the Hudson Valley? How would they like to write about those treasured spots and try for a prize? Teaching the Hudson Valley invites youth from kindergarten through 12th grade who live or attend school within the 11 counties of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area to submit their essays about local places that they love. Elementary children can write a poem of any style. Middle-schoolers and high school students should submit an essay or piece of creative nonfiction: middle-schoolers up to 500 words, high school students up to 750 words.

The deadline for submissions has been extended to Monday, November 12. To learn more about the contest, visit For more information, contact Debi Duke at or (845) 229-9116, extension 2035.


Share this article
Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Your name is required

Please enter a valid email address

An email address is required

Please enter your message

Hudson Valley Almanac Weekly © 2012 All Rights Reserved

An Ulster Publishing publication