Kids’ Almanac (Sept. 5-12)

Hurds Farm in Modena will host a special grandparents weekend on September 7-8

You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.
– Proverb


Respect your elders

“Grandparents are our continuing tie to the near-past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether they are our own or surrogate grandparents who fill some of the gaps in our mobile society, our senior generation also provides our society a link to our national heritage and traditions,” cites the 1979 Proclamation about National Grandparents’ Day. Round up the grandparents for two special events this weekend.


Grandparents’ Weekend at Hurd’s Farm in Modena

On Saturday and Sunday, September 7 and 8, Hurd’s Family Farm presents its “Planting Smiles: Grandparents’ Weekend.” Hurd’s offers free admission to grandparents when accompanied by their grandkids. In addition to apple-picking and other you-pick produce, this season brings new offerings such as the rubber duck race, a kids’ craft table and a new corn maze design, as well as my family’s beloved bumpy slide, cow train and apple-chucking features. On Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m., Tom Foley performs Celtic music. Hurd’s has also introduced a new farm-to-table menu at the food stand, with treats such as the pulled pork sandwich and the mozzarella-and-heirloom-tomato pesto sandwich alongside the classics like cider slushies and those insanely addictive fresh cider donuts.

Admission costs $12 per person, and children under age 2 get in free. Hurd’s Family Farm is located at 2187 Route 32 in Modena. For more information, call (8450 883-7825 or visit


Grandparents’ Day Dinner Celebration at Woodcrest in Rifton

You’ve driven by the Bruderhof community’s sign for years, and perhaps you’ve purchased a toy truck at one of their holiday wooden-toy sales. Well, now you’re invited for dinner. On Saturday, September 7, be a part of the Woodcrest Community’s Grandparents’ Day Dinner Celebration. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. and features pastor Johann Christoph Arnold as the keynote speaker. All attendees will receive a free copy of the book Rich in Years: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Long Life.

The Woodcrest Community is located at 2032 Route 213 in Rifton. To RSVP or for more information, call (845) 658-7754 or e-mail [email protected] To learn more about the Bruderhof, visit


Drum Boogie Festival in Woodstock

My head is spinning from Garry Kvistad’s epic lineup at this year’s Drum Boogie Festival: jazz legend Jack DeJohnette; Kvistad’s own group of master percussionists, Nexus; the popular Midnight Ramble Band from Levon Helm Studios; oud and violin virtuoso Simon Shaheen; renowned percussionist duo Mandara; and many more, including a youth component: the musicians in Evry Mann’s Percussion Orchestra of Kingston, POOK.

This free and family-friendly Festival is intended to celebrate and promote the many styles of high-quality percussion music found throughout the world. I also appreciate the charitable quality of the event: The Drum Boogie Festival helps support Family of Woodstock’s music therapy program in the shelters and the teen painting program in the Hodge Midtown Neighborhood Center.

This series of performances all in one day means that no matter what time you arrive, you know you’ll hear great music. I love that kind of flexibility with the unpredictable needs of young children. Food vendors will be on-site, so you don’t even have to pack snacks for your crew. Bottom line: Just go! As DeJohnette has said himself, “That’s the beauty of music …You can talk and talk and talk about it. But when you sit down and play it, it’s beyond description.”

The Drum Boogie Festival takes place on Saturday, September 7 (rain date September 8) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Andy Lee Field on Rock City Road in Woodstock. For more information and a complete lineup and schedule of musicians, visit


Botanical art workshop with Wendy Hollender at Mohonk Preserve

Regular readers already know how smitten I am with botanical artist Wendy Hollender’s work. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around her ability to create such gorgeous designs with all of that detail. Or perhaps you are new to her amazing illustrations. Either way, I invite you to take a look at her website, and for those of you age 12 and older, to sign up for her workshop at the Mohonk Preserve this Saturday, September 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Beginners are welcome, registration is required and participants must bring a lunch, but all materials are provided. The fee for this indoor program is $20 for members of the Mohonk Preserve, $30 for non-members. The Mohonk Preserve is located at 3197 Route 55 in Gardiner. To register or for more information, call (845) 255-0919 or visit To learn more about the artist, visit


Sunset Seine and Sing at Esopus Meadows

Picture this: It’s a mellow Saturday evening along the shores of the Hudson River. After an enjoyable picnic dinner on the grass, your kids or grandkids are excitedly showing you everything that they see, from a piece of driftwood to an eagle soaring overhead. They put on waders and make their way into the river to explore the contents of a seine net. They learn about an entire world that exists beneath the surface of this beautiful river from these many varied creatures in the net. After the critters are gently returned to the water and the children come back to land, they play the instruments they brought to share in the socially conscious music performed by the Power of Song. “Ahhhh,” you say to yourself, “This is exactly why we live here: for unique opportunities like these.”

Well, now experience it for yourself! On Saturday, September 7 from 5 to 7 p.m., rally your family together for this free rain-or-shine Clearwater Tideline program, “Sunset Seine and Sing” at Esopus Meadows Preserve. Esopus Meadows Preserve is located at 257 River Road in Ulster Park. For more information, call (845) 797-2847 or visit


September 11 memorial service & peace concert at Orange County Arboretum

One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Fred Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

Perhaps this quote will support your family as it does mine – particularly this week, as our nation comes together for Patriot Day and the National Day of Service and Remembrance on Wednesday, September 11. With flags flown at half-staff, footage replayed of the tragic attacks in 2001, a moment of silence observed at 8:46 a.m. and a recommitment to strengthen our nation through volunteer service, looking for the helpers is one way to help our kids cope with this painful part of our recent history.

I am so moved by the memorial at the Orange County Arboretum: a ten-foot granite globe that slowly spins in a pool of water, encircled by the names of 44 Orange County residents who lost their lives in the attacks. Visitors can view the memorial any time when the Arboretum is open; but on Wednesday, September 11 at 5 p.m., a special service will be held to honor the memory of those who died and to pay tribute to the military personnel who have served our country. Following the ceremony, a Peace through Music concert will be held in the garden, performed by the Otisville Brass.

The Orange County Arboretum is located at 41 Grove Street in Campbell Hall, within the Thomas Bull Memorial Park, located on State Route 416. For more information, call (845) 615-3824 or visit or




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  1. To the Kid’s Almanac author Erice Chase-Salerno who attributes a quote about crazy mothers to Hugh Sampson, I believe the person who actually said it (and said it differently) is Dr. Paul Ehrlich, my cousin and co-author, who has been named top pediatric allergist in NYC for as long as New York Magazine has published the ratings. This is what appears in our book, Asthma Allergies Children: a parent’s guide, p. 79: “On June 10, 2001, I was quoted in the New York Times Magazine as saying: I tell my patients, if people point at you when you walk down the street and say, ‘Look at that neurotic parent,’ then and only then are you being careful enough.” Dr. Sampson is a great doctor but I’m sure he didn’t say what is quoted in the article.

  2. Mr. Ehrlich, thank you for the clarification, as well as your great work on the subject. ~ Erica Chase-Salerno

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