Kids’ Almanac (October 3-10)

Redcoats return for the Burning of Kingston this weekend (photo by Phyllis McCabe)

My creative life is my deepest prayer.
– Sue Monk Kidd


Tibetan Art exhibit at Dorsky Museum in New Paltz

Something shifted as I walked through the Dorsky last week. With just 20 minutes until my next kidlet pickup, I decided to check out “Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art” at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY-New Paltz. This beautiful and thought-provoking collection unexpectedly propelled me to a visceral understanding of the struggle, defiance and integrity of this chapter of Tibetan culture.

I was struck by the fierce connection to place conveyed in many of the pieces, and I suddenly felt a piercing clarity about Kids’ Almanac: It’s about place. I write to capture the essence of this place and time to help us inhabit more fully our Hudson Valley lives, and therefore ourselves: to enable each member of every family to connect with local and unique places, events and activities, and to strengthen those ties to place, self and each other. Go check out this exhibition for yourself, and I invite you to share your own impressions with me.

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art is located at SUNY-New Paltz, at 1 Hawk Drive in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 257-3844 or visit


New Paltz United Methodist Church hosts Where Moms Connect

People ask me periodically for faith-based resources to support their parenting journey. I’d like to expand this pool of information, so please let me know about your own spiritual resources for families so I can share them here in Kids’ Almanac. Here’s a new one that I just heard about: Where Moms Connect: A Year of Encouragement. This is an ongoing fellowship with other women who “get it” about mothering, and interested participants may join in at any time. Topics such as “De-Stressing,” “Courage to Encourage,” “Praying for and with Children” and “Creating Balance” are grounded in a “fun and encouraging environment that’s centered around the Bible.” Moms of all ages are welcome, including grandmothers.

Where Moms Connect takes place every other Wednesday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the New Paltz United Methodist Church. Pastor Bette Sohm will facilitate these gatherings, and the next one takes place on Wednesday, October 9. The New Paltz United Methodist Church is located at 1 Grove Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 255-5210 or e-mail [email protected]


Burning of Kingston reenactment

Before my recent tour of the Senate House, I thought that the annual commemoration of the Burning of Kingston was simply a nod to remember a 1777 battle that happened to end badly for the townspeople. Now I proudly see it as a charged and angry reaction of a sore loser. I get it: When you make it all this way up the Hudson River to shut down any hint of a new, independent government, you expect actually to have some semblance of a population to battle against. But most of the locals left in anticipation of the British arrival, and the British were so mad that they didn’t even loot: They just burned it all down, in the style of Rock Master Scott and the Dynamic Three (“The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire…”).

To me, the recovery was a defiant act as well, since many of the Kingston homes had stone walls, so the residents just rebuilt the rest. The town simply could not be leveled. It is with awe and pride that I now view the Burning of Kingston. Here are a few family-friendly highlights, all located in Kingston, mostly in the uptown area.

On Friday, October 4 at 7:30 p.m., enjoy a lantern tour of the Old Dutch Church cemetery and notables buried there. At 7:45 p.m., listen to a pre-concert opener of chamber music common during the Revolution, provided by the Old Dutch Church.

On Saturday, October 5, there is a lot going on! The British and American camps are open to the public at Forsyth Park. Definitely stop at the Senate House between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., which is running period demonstrations of cider-pressing, candle-dipping, meat-smoking, music, militia reenactments and hands-on activities, such as making cornhusk dolls and dried-apple wreaths. The Volunteer Firemen’s Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Landing Battle in Rotary Park takes place on Kingston Point at 11 a.m. Tours of the Stockade area run at 2 p.m.

On Sunday, October 6, there will be site tours of some of these historic spots. Head back to Forsyth Park at 12:30 p.m. for the Battle of Forsyth Park tactical demonstration. For more information, visit The Burning of Kingston 2013 on To learn more about the military actions, visit or e-mail [email protected]


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  1. Wow! Wish we could enjoy even one event with you this weekend! Your area certainly offers many adventures! Great spark in your writings! Bravo!

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