Kids’ Almanac (April 10-17)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

“May my mind stroll about hungry and fearless and thirsty and supple”
– e. e. cummings


Fun family events

The 11th annual Empty Bowls Benefit Dinner takes place on Friday, April 11 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rondout Valley High School cafeteria, located on Kyserike Road in Accord. Buy a bowl, fill it with yummy choices and help four area food pantries while you’re at it. For more information, visit

Head over to Ulster County 4-H’s 11th annual Spring Fun Festival for the cutest event around. On Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., pet bunnies and chicks, dye eggs, play games and more. Donations of pet food and cleaning supplies will be collected for area animal shelters. Admission costs $2 for children, $3 for adults and $6 per family. The Spring Fun Festival takes place rain or shine at the High Falls Firehouse in High Falls, one block south of Route 213. For more information, call Jenny at (845) 340-3990.

What’s better than a screening of The Secret of Roan Inish? A screening of Roan Inish followed by a question-and-answer session with producer Maggie Renzi! Head to the Rosendale Theatre this Saturday, April 12 at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $7 for adults, $5 for members and kids. The Rosendale Theatre is located at 408 Main Street in Rosendale. For more information, call (845) 658-8989 or visit

The Read Local! Red Hook Lit Fest takes place this weekend, including a Children’s Picture Book event with Iza Trapani and others on Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Red Hook Library; and a Hudson Valley YA Society event featuring three Young Adult book authors from 2 to 4 p.m. The Red Hook Library is located at 7444 South Broadway in Red Hook. For more information, call (845) 758-3241 or visit

Don’t just marvel at Lucas Handwerker’s mentalist performances; learn to harness the power of your mind to access these abilities for yourself. On Saturday, April 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Living Seed, Lucas will use hypnosis, neurolinguistic programming and psychological suggestion to help participants open their minds to infinite possibility. Admission costs $20. The Living Seed is located at 521 Main Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 255-8212.

Lots happening right now at historic sites in our area: At the FDR Presidential Library on April 12, it’s time for the second annual Hudson Valley History Reading Festival, which features authors and books from 10 a.m. on. The FDR Presidential Library is located at 4079 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park. For more information, call (845) 486-7745 or visit The Vanderbilt Mansion, located at 119 Vanderbilt Park Road in Hyde Park, offers Downstairs/Upstairs tours throughout the day with costumed interpreters sharing about the inner workings of the household. And here’s a great collaboration: Vanderbilt and Mills Mansions are planning some spring break fun together for your kids. Mills Mansion is located at 75 Mills Mansion Road in Staatsburg and online at For more information, including free admission to these sites during National Park Week, April 19 through 26, visit

Two family days take place this weekend, both in Woodstock. Family Day at Byrdcliffe takes place on Sunday, April 13 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at 36 Tinker Street and includes a surprise Easter activity. On the same date and time, and a few doors down, it’s Family Day at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, where participants will make mixed-media watercolor paintings of faces. Admission is free to both events, and families are encouraged to create art together. For more information, visit and

My daughter chose a pair of toy binoculars out of a prize box recently, and the first thing that she said was, “Now I can use these to go birdwatching!” Round up your kids and binoculars for the free No Child Left Inside Birding Event taking place on Thursday, April 17 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. All children are welcome, but the program is geared for children ages 5 and up. The activities take place at the Thompson-Mazzarella Community Park and Starr Library, located at 68 West Market Street in Rhinebeck. Call to reserve your spot at: (845) 876-4213. Or for more information, e-mail

Toddlers on the Trail is a terrific hiking meet-up for families with toddlers, or anywhere in the age-2-to-6-years range. On Friday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, join in on this meandering 1.5-mile hike for the theme Signs of Spring. Bring water and snacks, but no pets. The program is free to members; non-members pay a $12 day use fee. Meet at the Mohonk Preserve West Trapps Trailhead, 1.3 miles west of the Visitors’ Center on Route 44/55. Call in your reservation to (845) 255-0919 or visit


Kids’ Almanac Writes!

Last week, I introduced a new element to my Kids’ Almanac column: Kids’ Almanac Writes, which was inspired by last month’s “Celebration of Women’s Voices Conference: Women Writers Past and Present” at Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz. Each week, a guest contributor will provide a writing prompt in the column and on the Almanac Weekly’s Facebook page. You are invited to write a short piece based on the prompt, and to post your work as a reply to the Facebook posting. My desire is to provide an opportunity for more people of all ages and at all levels of experience to connect with their own voice through writing, to be heard and to feel some of that same joy and inspiration that I received over the course of that wonderful conference weekend.

Grady Kane-Horrigan is back this week with his second round of Kids’ Almanac prompts for the month of April. Thank you, Grady! And happy writing, everyone!

Bio: Grady Kane-Horrigan is well known for his evil schemes and his extra-spicy deviled egg recipe.

Prompt: In honor of the great inventor Heinz Doofenshmirtz, creator of such brilliantly useless inventions as the PickleSlice-Inator, the SloMotion-Inator and the Whale Translate-Inator, create the most fantastically useless invention you can. It should fulfill a specific purpose, but be otherwise completely and utterly useless – like, say, a Giant Robotic Penguin Freeze Your Socks Off Icy Breath-Inator. Remember to post your piece on our Facebook page:




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