Kids’ Almanac (Oct. 9-16)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

“There once was a middle-aged woman that lived in a van, who had so many passwords to remember, she thought of sticking her head in some sand. Or SAND? or sand998?”
– Bonni, local Mom


Check out kid-friendly exhibits at SUNY-New Paltz’s Dorsky Museum

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art always seems to show work that’s of interest to young people as well as adults (remember last year’s “Anonymous: Contemporary Tibetan Art”?), and the current exhibitions featuring local Hudson Valley artists are no exception: “Transforming Metal into Art: Dick Polich,” “Race, Love and Labor: New Work from the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s Artist-in-Residency Program” and “Worlds of Wonder: Hudson Valley Artists 2014.” My daughter especially loved Expansion by Judy Thomas and Process Sample (Splashed Metal) by Dick Polich. I was also fascinated by the step-by-step description of creating a metal sculpture.

Dorsky’s manageable size means that it’s not overwhelming for families, and in addition to the works on display, the interesting documentary about the Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry is a chance to sit and take in some important background. In addition to the gallery exhibitions, be sure to find the super-cool 36-foot-long Gulliver metal sculpture by Tom Otterness before the end of the year, outside in the Fine Art Building Plaza, between the museum and the Sojourner Truth Library.

As a heads-up, the Dorsky is closed on Saturday and Sunday, October 11 and 12 for Fall Break, so make plans to visit before the exhibits end in a few weeks – either during the week, or another weekend such as Saturday, October 18 at 2 p.m. for a Gallery Talk with some of the “Worlds of Wonder” artists: Adriana Farmiga, Holly Hughes and Mike McGregor; or on Sunday, November 2 at 2 p.m. for “Conversation: Making Art for Artists” with employees from Polich’s foundry about their experiences working with artists, as well as Polich himself.

While you are on campus, be sure to stop by the Honors Center in College Hall to see third-semester student Roxolyana Shepko’s solo art show, consisting primarily of watercolor and mixed-media pieces, some of which are inspired by Slavic mythology. Come to the opening on Thursday, October 9 at 5 p.m. and enjoy Ukrainian-themed refreshments.

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



Learn about college-level courses for special-needs youth via SUNY-Orange’s Bridges Program

A new option is underway for young people with special needs who are aging out of high school or are ready to graduate but are not able to manage a two- or four-year college program, even with supports. As SUNY-Orange continues to develop the Bridges Program for its Middletown and Newburgh campuses, a unique program is being offered in the Hudson Valley enabling these youth to have exposure to college-level courses in areas that they could successfully complete, with appropriate accommodations. It offers opportunities for socialization and sports, along with concentrated training and internships in the workplace to bring each student to the highest level of independence that can be achieved. The basic framework combines a college-level program, work experience and independent living skills to avoid the need for group-home placement or other institutional-type programs due to lack of options after high school.

To learn more about this program, businesses and families with children, friends or relatives with special needs are invited to attend a meeting this Thursday, October 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Gilman Center in the Library at the Middletown campus, which is located at 115 South Street in Middletown. Reservations are requested. For directions and parking information, visit For more information or to RSVP, contact Glen Heller at



Historic Graveyard Tours at St. James Episcopal Church in Hyde Park

A walk through an old cemetery illuminated by lanterns comes to life, complete with resident “ghosts” telling their stories. It’s St. James Episcopal Church’s Historic Graveyard Tour, and this year you will meet six new characters, all of whom hold their final resting place within the cemetery, sharing first-person experiences with the tour guests. I went last year for the first time with a teen friend, and we found it utterly charming and fascinating, giving a glimpse into a specific period of time in our local history, tied in with national events. This visit is a quintessential Halloween activity, and I hope that you make a tradition of it!

Due to the occasional uneven ground and dark surroundings, I’d say that this is an event best for individuals or families with children or grandchildren over 12 years. Tours are scheduled on October Friday and Saturday evenings, beginning every half-hour from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $17 for ages 13 and over, $7 for ages 5 to 12; and they cost $2 less online. I suggest purchasing online to guarantee your spot, since walk-in numbers are limited per tour. As wheelchairs, walkers and strollers are inappropriate due to the terrain, guests with mobility concerns are invited to take the tour in the Graveyard Golf Cart, available at the 7 and 8:30 p.m. tours, reserved by calling (845) 229-2820 before purchasing tickets.

St. James is located at 4526 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park. For reservations or more information, call (845) 229-2820 or visit


Plenty for kids & families to do at Kingston’s O+ Festival

Kids and families are invited to join in the 2014 O+ Festival parade on Friday, October 10 at 6 p.m. from Academy Green, located at 238 Clinton Avenue in Kingston. From 7 to 9 p.m., head over to the All Ages Game Night at the Anvil Gallery, located at 45 North Front Street. At 7:45 p.m., see youth from the Paul Green Rock Academy perform a night of punk-rock music.



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