Kids’ Almanac (December 4-11)

“The government should not be guided by Temporary Excitement, but by Sober Second Thought.”
– Martin Van Buren, eighth president of the United States


Happy birthday, President Van Buren!

Join the gathering wishing a happy 232nd birthday to eighth US president Martin Van Buren this Friday, December 5 at 10 a.m. with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Reformed Church Cemetery, located at Albany Avenue and Kindertree Drive in Kinderhook. History buffs will recall that the Little Magician was the first American-born president, born in Kinderhook in 1782, but debate whether he is responsible for the origins of the now-ubiquitous expression OK (Old Kinderhook?). For more information, call (518) 758-6401, e-mail [email protected] or visit Photos of the gravesite can be found at

Then on Saturday, December 6, take a free tour of his mansion Lindenwald, decorated for his birthday and the holidays. This year’s theme is President Van Buren’s grandchildren – all 11 of them, ranging in age from 2 to 21 and living with him. The free tours are scheduled every half-hour from 12 noon to 4 p.m., but reservations are required. Lindenwald is located at 1013 Old Post Road in Kinderhook. For reservations or more information, call (518) 758-9689, extension 2011, or visit



Laurie Boyle Crompton at Inquiring Minds in New Paltz

It’s so meta: Come to New Paltz and meet author Laurie Boyle Crompton for a reading of Adrenaline Crush, her newest Young Adult novel – which takes place in New Paltz! The Adrenaline Crush launch gathering takes place on Friday, December 5 at 7 p.m. at Inquiring Minds and is the perfect time to get your other two Crompton books signed as well: Blaze and Real Prom Queens.

Inquiring Minds is located at 6 Church Street in New Paltz. For more information about the event, call (845) 255-8300 or visit To learn more about the author, visit


Poughkeepsie’s Celebration of Lights features Angels on My Tree author

Local author Lu Ann Schnable Kaldor plans “on changing the world one little story at a time,” and from the glimpses that I’ve gotten of her new children’s book, The Angels on My Tree, I believe her! Reserve your tickets now for her reading at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum on Friday, December 5 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets cost $12 for non-members, $8 for members.

Attendees at this event are well-positioned for other nearby events related to the 21st annual Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks taking place that evening, with holiday crafting, easy parking, the 6:30 p.m. tree-lighting parade, the 7:15 p.m. fireworks show over the Hudson River and the 8 p.m. Muppet Movie screening at the Bardavon, $6 all seats.

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is located at 75 North Water Street in Poughkeepsie. For tickets or more information, call (845) 471-0589 or visit The Bardavon is located at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie and online at For complete Celebration of Lights schedule information, visit


Sesame Street Live returns to the Civic Center

Forty-five years ago, the world was introduced to an orange monster who lived in a garbage can and an eight-foot-two-inch yellow bird as part of a landmark educational television series for young children called Sesame Street. Since the show’s debut, some things have changed: The famous trash monster, Oscar the Grouch, is now green; and some things remain constant: The same actor continues to play Big Bird.

This weekend, you can add more special memories of this legacy with your family by attending Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. From Friday, to Sunday, December 5 to 7, your toddlers and preschoolers will dance and sing along to this high-energy show. Tickets range up to $70 for the VIP Sunny Seats package. I heard that the cheaper bleacher seating actually gives better visibility than the closer floor seats, since so many toddlers are standing on laps.

The Mid-Hudson Civic Center is located at 14 Civic Center Plaza in Poughkeepsie. For tickets or more information, visit To learn more about the show, visit


Holiday shopping with free childcare at Poughkidsie

It is said that thoughts become reality. Well, I’d like to thank everyone everywhere who has ever thought up the idea to be able to do some holiday shopping while the kidlets are having a good time playing somewhere safely nearby for free, because it is happening this weekend! On Friday, December 5 from 4 to 7 p.m., Poughkidsie invites you for some shopping with local artisans while your kids play for free – and did I mention the live music and tea-tastings? Poughkidsie is located at 25 Van Wagner Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information about this and other excellent events, as well as classes and workshops, call (845) 243-3750 or visit


Ulster Ballet Company dances A Christmas Carol at UPAC

Only a Scrooge would miss this year’s annual performance of A Christmas Carol by the Ulster Ballet Company! Performances include story narration and take place at the Ulster Performing Arts Center on Friday and Saturday, December 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 7 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $18 for seniors and Bardavon/UPAC members and $15 with employee/student ID or membership card for employees of HealthQuest, Health Alliance, the Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Medical Center, Marist, Bard and Vassar Colleges, the City of Kingston and County of Ulster and members of the YMCA.

UPAC is located at 601 Broadway in Kingston. For tickets or more information, call (845) 339-6088 or visit


Full Moon Walk & Bonfire at Sigel Kline Kill in Ghent

I highly recommend night hikes. Evening outings are a peaceful, easy way to focus your senses on the world around you, as well as to try to elicit a response to your owl calls. The brisk air adds an element of clarity to some senses, while others are muted by the darkness.

On Friday, December 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sigel Kline Kill Conservation Area, join the Full Moon Walk and Bonfire, complete with s’mores. Sigel Kline Kill is located at 1452 County Route 21 in Ghent. For more information or to register for this free event, call (518) 392-5252 or visit


Snowflake Festival in Uptown Kingston

When Santa, elves, horses, buggies and Victorian carolers come together in Uptown Kingston, it means that it’s Snowflake Festival time. On Friday, December 5 from 5 to 8 p.m., follow the community parade from Dietz Stadium to the Senate House tree-lighting, with lots of festivities before, during and afterwards. Congratulations to the 2014 Light of Kingston Grand Marshal Anna Brett and Snowflake Princess Jordan Perry!

For more information, visit


Lantern-making workshop at Woodstock Library

Sure, it’s dark outside at 5 p.m., but those are exactly the conditions that you want for enjoying lanterns. On Friday, December 5 from 5 to 7 p.m., join Wendy Weinrich at the Woodstock Library for a free glass lantern-making workshop, including songs and the story behind the lantern walk, followed by a traditional Waldorf lantern walk on the front lawn. The Woodstock Library is located at 5 Library Lane in Woodstock. To register or for more information, call (845) 679-2213 or visit



Winter Walk in Hudson

A parade kicked off by church bells as Santa and Mrs. Claus make their way to City Hall distributing free books to children while live music plays and fireworks close out the evening: It must be the 18th annual Winter Walk along Warren Street in Hudson. On Saturday, December 6 from 5 to 8 p.m., it’s a night of free fun for the whole family. For more information, visit


“Tales of Winter and Wonder” at Kingston Library

Give your family the treat of a special storyteller this weekend and infuse your day with imagination and inspiration. On Saturday, December 6 at 10:30 a.m. at the Kingston Library, master storyteller Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi will regale your school-aged children with “Tales of Winter and Wonder.” This event is free and open to the public.

The Kingston Library is located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 331-0507, extension 7, or visit To learn more about the storyteller, visit




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