Kids’ Almanac (Nov. 14-21)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

“When I was small, I thought by now I’d be me.”
– Rachel Loshak


Full Moon Eco-Walk at Millbrook’s Cary Institute

Since having kids, my moonlit walks seem to consist primarily of the distance between my driveway and the mailbox before I head in for the night. I will admit that I was a little jealous when I heard that some Baden-Powell Scouting buddies had taken their own moonlight hike recently. So when I saw this Full Moon Eco-Walk by the Cary Institute, I knew that I had to share it with you!

On Sunday, November 17 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., all ages are welcome to observe the moon while listening for owls and other forest-dwelling animals. Attendees are encouraged to wear long pants and hiking shoes, and to bring binoculars and flashlights. Reservations are required and can be arranged easily online through the Cary Institute website.

The Cary Institute is located at 2801 Sharon Turnpike in Millbrook. For reservations or more information, call (845) 677-5343 or visit


Come Back Moon authors read at Inquiring Minds in Saugerties

This idea of experiencing delight under the Moon is the basis of a new children’s book by Newbery Honor medalist David Kherdian, called Come Back Moon. After the woodland animals discover that Bear hid the Moon away in his pillowcase, Fox and Crow release the Moon while Bear sleeps: “And all the animals cheered and danced under the light of the Moon.” Illustrator, two-time Caldecott medalist and Kherdian’s wife Nonny Hogrogian’s pictures convey a softness and a gentleness that feel nourishing when I look at them.

Bring your kids to Inquiring Minds in Saugerties to hear Kherdian and Hogrogian read their book on Saturday, November 16 at 3 p.m.

Inquiring Minds is located at 200 Main Street in Saugerties. For more information, call (845) 246-5775 or visit To learn more about the author and illustrator, visit and


Amazing Reptiles program at Kingston Library

The thing about encountering reptiles is that most of us can’t not respond to them. For example, how many of you were in the middle of a pleasant chat with Mark DeDea at the Friends of Forsyth Nature Center table at the Kingston Farmers’ Market this fall before you froze and quickly stepped back (wayyyyyy back) when you suddenly realized his “scarf” was really reptile Ruby Two snuggling around his neck?

Round up the family and head over to the Kingston Library this weekend for a dose of indoor reptilian fun. On Saturday, November 16 at 10:30 a.m., Bruce Lowder of Animal Encounters presents “Amazing Reptiles,” an engaging program about reptiles. This event is free and open the public and geared toward school-aged children.

The Kingston Library is located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 331-0507 or visit To learn more about the presenter, visit


Turkey vulture program at Mohonk Preserve

My kids and I saw turkey vultures on our recent hike to New Paltz’s Bonticou Crag – or as I like to call it, Bonticou Brag, because I can’t seem to stop mentioning that awesome rock scramble in my casual conversations. Usually my turkey vulture sightings take place on human turf, eating carrion along the side of the road. I appreciate their role in nature as part of Team Clean-Up, but I’m still sort of repulsed by them. But up there on the Crag, they just perch on a rock, wings outstretched to dry; and seeing them in their own world softened me the way a previously anonymous house becomes a friendly landmark after a visit for tea or a playdate.

You can save yourself a hike up Bonticou and see a live turkey vulture at this weekend’s “Not Your Thanksgiving ‘Turkey’” presentation hosted by the Mohonk Preserve. This Saturday, November 16 from 10 to 11 a.m., B. Robinson of Wildlife Lectures will showcase falcons, owls, hawks and a turkey vulture. This program is open to all ages and costs $8 for ages 5 and up, free for children ages 4 and under. Reservations are required.

For reservations and the location or more information, call (845) 255-0919 or visit To learn more about the presenter, visit


Young Writers’ Workshop at SUNY-New Paltz

Writer and Buddhist meditation teacher Susan Piver likens writing to meditation: “I think they are identical. Both require simultaneous one-pointed focus (meditation: breath…breath…breath; writing: word…word…word) and panoramic awareness, a kind of agendaless attunement to the environment. In writing, this is how you know what to say next. It just sort of comes to you while paying attention to the silence – thus you are able to detect whatever may arise from it.”

For those of you looking for more writing opportunities for your family, this Saturday’s Young Writers’ Workshop is worth checking out: With creative inspiration from several area teachers, students will draft, revise, refine and share their work in a small group setting. Take a look at some of these workshop descriptions:

• Look at This! What Makes Graphic Novels Special? Examine graphic novels to notice how writers use pictures and words to tell stories. Then compose a graphic story of your own.

• Can You Write a 25-Word Story? How can we get the most mileage out of the fewest words? Have fun exploring “hint stories” and then write fuller stories that force readers to think.

• Hanging off the Cliff: With the right cliffhanger, who knows what will happen? Enticing readers involves adding suspense to your writing. Discuss the choices authors make about what ideas to leave in or take out and the impact on the reader.

• This I Believe: Drafting a personal narrative can be enlightening, creative and even enjoyable. Look at “This I Believe” essays and then begin writing them yourselves. This workshop is exclusively for high school students who want to spend the morning generating ideas for their college essays.

The Young Writers’ Workshop takes place on Saturday, November 16 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with walk-in registration at 8:30 a.m., in the Old Main Building at SUNY-New Paltz. The workshop is geared for young people between third and 12th grades, and the cost is $25 per participant. All writing materials are provided, and scholarships are available.

SUNY-New Paltz is located at 1 Hawk Drive in New Paltz. To register or for more information, call (845) 257-2836 or visit


Maze Runner author James Dashner in Rhinebeck

Writers like best-selling author James Dashner are another way to inspire kids to write and read. Dashner’s titles include the best-selling Maze Runner series, which will be released in theaters next September. On Monday, November 18 at 6 p.m., Dashner visits Oblong Books & Music to introduce The Eye of Minds, the first book in his new series The Mortality Doctrine which, according to his publicist, is “a new series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists and gaming beyond your wildest dreams…and your worst nightmares. In it, Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world.”

The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway? But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: He’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet.

Reservations are required for this very popular event. Oblong Books & Music is located at 6422 Montgomery Street in Rhinebeck. For reservations or more information, call (845) 876-0500 or visit To learn more about the author, visit


International Games Day in Ellenville & Hopewell Junction

According to Bonny’s Crazy Celebrations website,, Saturday, November 16 is International Games Day at Your Library, and we have at least two Hudson Valley libraries participating.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Ellenville Public Library and Museum celebrates with video games, board games, card games, puzzles and fun for the entire family. This program is free and open to the public of all ages, and children under age 9 must be with an adult.

The Ellenville Public Library and Museum are located at 40 Center Street in Ellenville. For more information, call (845) 647-5530 or visit

From 12:30 to 4 p.m., the Beekman Library in Hopewell Junction invites gamers ages 10 and up to join in on the fun: “We will be competing against other libraries around the world in Super Smash Brothers Brawl on the Wii. This is the largest simultaneous international video game tournament.” Registration is required, and snacks will be provided. The Beekman Library is located at 11 Town Center Boulevard in Hopewell Junction. For more information or to register, call (845) 724-3414 or visit

To see if your local library is hosting an event for this celebration or to learn more about the day itself, visit or


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