Kids’ Almanac (Sept. 12-19)

Arts & Crafts designer Dard Hunter’s historic paper mill at Gomez Mill House in Marlboro (photo by Julie O'Connor)

Arts & Crafts designer Dard Hunter’s historic paper mill at Gomez Mill House in Marlboro (photo by Julie O’Connor)

The way you do anything is the way you do everything.
– Patrick Wanis, PhD


Kids’ book author/illustrator Iza Trapani visits both Inquiring Minds

Everyone knows that the Itsy Bitsy Spider climbed up the waterspout. So here’s the “second verse,” an example of why Iza Trapani’s children’s books are awesome: “The itsy bitsy spider/Climbed up the kitchen wall./Swoosh! went the fan/And made the spider fall.”

Trapani’s word choices for her stories and verses are pure delight. But have you seen her illustrations? They’re great, too. You know that cozy feeling you get when you snuggle with someone to read a story together? That’s what Trapani’s illustrations feel like. They enfold you into that warm, comfy world that defies time as you turn each page.

I am happy to report that Trapani has a new book out, Little Miss Muffet, and you and your crew are invited to Inquiring Minds for a reading and refreshments at the free launch party! At 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 15, Trapani appears at Inquiring Minds Bookstore, located at 6 Church Street in New Paltz; on Sunday, September 22, she presents at Inquiring Minds located at 65 Partition Street in Saugerties.

For more information, call (845) 255-8300 or (845) 246-5775. To learn more about the author and illustrator, visit


Minnewaska offers monarch butterfly workshop

During my visit to Robert Moses Beach on Long Island on a warm sunny Sunday last September, I could not believe my eyes as hundreds and hundreds of monarch butterflies flew by. They came up over the sand dune and bobbed and fluttered in a line, like they were dancing in the air. What a treat!

If you and your family are as intrigued as I am about these amazing creatures, check out Monarch Watch, a workshop offered at Minnewaska State Park Preserve this Saturday, September 14 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The program includes a review of the life cycle of a monarch; challenges that monarchs face and ways to help; and exploring outside for evidence of monarchs.

This program is free, but preregistration is required, and there is a parking fee of $8 per vehicle to enter the park if you don’t have an Empire Passport. Minnewaska is located at 5281 Route 44/55 in Gardiner. For reservations or more information, call (845) 255-0752 or visit


Crabgrass Puppet Theatre performs The Day It Snowed Tortillas at SUNY-Dutchess

I’m not exactly sure at what point I smiled first when I came across this event listing: Crabgrass? Puppet? “The Day It Snowed Tortillas”? Come down to SUNY-Dutchess this Saturday, September 14 at 11 a.m., and see a free staging of The Day It Snowed Tortillas, performed by the Crabgrass Puppet Theatre. This rendition of the Mexican folktale includes music and laughs for children and youth ages 4 through 12 years.

The Day It Snowed Tortillas will be presented in the James and Betty Hall Theatre at SUNY-Dutchess, located at 53 Pendell Road in Poughkeepsie. And remember to stop at Morgan Lake across the street if your kids need to run off some energy or go exploring. For more information about the performance, call (845) 431-8000 or visit To learn more about the performers, visit


Meso-American block party in Kingston

Speaking of Mexico, this Sunday, September 15 is the first annual Midtown Mexican and Central American Independence Block Party in Kingston. This festivities run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Broadway, which will be closed from Henry Street to Cedar Street to showcase restaurants, dance organizations, mariachi bands and other singers and performers. For more information, call (845) 242-9772 or visit


Latin American night at Mid-Hudson Heritage Center in Poughkeepsie

Más, you say? Sure, I’ve got another free event connected to Latin America for you! How about the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center’s event, Una Noche con America Latina? This special evening takes place on Friday, September 13 from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Center, located at 317 Main Street in Poughkeepsie. Not only will you hear great music and see outstanding art, but you are able to come and go with your family as you wish, which always appeals to me when I take the kids on these excursions.

For more information, call (845) 214-1113 or visit ¡Hasta luego!


Stone Ridge Orchard hosts Rondout Valley Common Ground Celebration

Nowadays, anyone can click a few buttons searching on Google for how-tos about anything. This weekend’s Rondout Valley Common Ground Celebration is a chance for all of us not just to enjoy local food and live music, but to incorporate reskilling through workshops such as making tote bags out of recycled fabrics, raising backyard chickens, making your own canoe paddle and more. Kids’ activities are ongoing and include nature crafting with Wild Earth, henna art with Amy Barresi and more.

One highlight is the 2013 Apple Dumpling Bakeoff, including a category for kids age 16 and under. A $2 donation is suggested to enter the Bakeoff. I wish I were on the judges’ panel for this one!

Common Ground takes place on Sunday, September 15 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Stone Ridge Orchard on Route 213 in Stone Ridge. (It’s also the same date back in 1997 that Google registered its domain, according to Crazy Days to Celebrate by Bonny.)

Admission to the celebration is $5 per person, cash only, and you’ll need a mess kit for each person to help support the zero-waste philosophy of the festival. For more information, visit


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