Kids’ Almanac (December 11-18)

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
– Anne Frank


Family Hanukkah event in Poughkeepsie

To attend the Vassar Temple’s upcoming annual potluck Hanukkah dinner, make your reservation by this Tuesday, December 16. The dinner takes place at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 19, followed by a family-friendly Hanukkah menorah-lighting Shabbat service at 7:30 p.m. The cost of the dinner is $18 per family or $6 per individual; bring a dairy dish to share (anything except meat or poultry: latkes, applesauce, challah, salad and beverages will be provided); and attendees are encouraged to bring a menorah and candles to the service.

The Vassar Temple of Dutchess County is located at 140 Hooker Avenue in Poughkeepsie. For reservations or more information, call (845) 223-5804 or visit


Sports stories for teens

Locally produced sports podcast Sports Palooza Radio hails from Dutchess County, and hosts Lisa Iannucci and Ej “the Rainmaker” Garr have youth book suggestions for your favorite teen athletes. Selections include: The Walk On by John Feinstein, a story geared for tweens, where a star triple-threat football, basketball and baseball player tries to find his place on the team in a new town, which gets complicated by a surprise positive drug test; and Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team that Changed a Town by Warren St. John, a young-adult version for teens of the adult bestseller, where refugees from around the world settle in a southern US town and whose soccer team inspires and changes the community. For more youth sports book suggestions or to learn more about Sports Palooza Radio, visit


Antique toys on New Paltz’s Huguenot Street

Walk down Memory Lane and give your kids a chance to see the historic forebears of Minecraft and American Girl Dolls with a stop at Historic Huguenot Street’s DuBois Fort Visitor Center to see the free exhibit “Gifts of the Past.” The pieces are on display through Sunday, December 21 and include the first model Teddy bear, a set of alphabet blocks, handmade wooden dominoes and a handmade bisque doll.

The DuBois Fort Visitor Center is open weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and located on Huguenot Street in New Paltz. For more information or to learn about tours, additional holiday programming and events, call (845) 255-1660 or visit



Gingerbread House workshop at Children’s Museum in Poughkeepsie

How can your kids experience the enjoyment of decorating a gingerbread house, but leave out the messy cleanup afterwards for you? It’s easy if you sign up for the Gingerbread House Decorating event at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum! On Friday, December 12 at 10 a.m., 2 and 4 p.m., adorn your own freshly baked and assembled gingerbread house with provided sweets, as well as any that you wish to bring from home.

The cost is $20 for non-members, $15 for members and $20 for take-home kits. One museum admission is included in the cost for each house, $8 for extra guests and free admission on this day for grandparents visiting with their grandchildren. Preregistration for the gingerbread activity is required.

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is located at 75 North Water Street in Poughkeepsie. To register or for more information, call (845) 471-0589 or visit


Storyteller Jonathan Kruk performs A Christmas Carol in Hudson

After seeing the Rondout Repertory Theatre Company’s wonderful performance of A Christmas Carol last weekend, I hope that you all get a chance to update your Christmas yet to Come with a viewing of this powerful story, such as the version presented this weekend by master storyteller Jonathan Kruk. Kruk voices more than characters in A Christmas Carol on Friday, December 12 at 7 p.m. at Olana’s Wagon House Education Center. This family-friendly performance lasts just under one hour, and is accompanied by music and sound effects provided by Jim Keyes.

Regular admission costs $25, $20 for members and $10 for children. Preregistration is required. The Olana State Historic Site is located at 5720 State Route 9G in Hudson. To register or for more information, call (518) 828-1872, extension 109, e-mail [email protected] or visit To learn more about the performer, visit

Be sure to look into Olana’s other upcoming family-friendly events, such as “Jingle Jangle: A Winter Celebration” on Saturday, December 13 from 1 to 5 p.m., including a live demonstration and book-signing with Scherenschnitte designer (paper-cutting) and children’s book illustrator Pamela Dalton from 3 to 5 p.m.


It’s a Wonderful Life in Rosendale, Hyde Park & Rhinebeck

No matter what side of the river you are on, you are close to a live performance of It’s a Wonderful Life: I’ll show you the way!


The Rosendale Theatre, 408 Main Street, Rosendale: Friday and Saturday, December 12 and 13 at 8 p.m.; $15 general admission, $10 for children age 12 and under. For tickets or more information, call (845) 658-8989 or visit


Half Moon Theatre at the Culinary Institute of America, 1946 Campus Drive, Hyde Park: Friday, December 12 and 19 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, December 13 and 20 at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, December 14 at 2 p.m.; and Wednesday, December 17 at 8 p.m.; $35 to $45 general admission, $30 for parties of seven or more. For tickets or more information about the show, as well as dinner options and accompanying special events, call (800) 838-3006 or visit


Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, 661 Route 308, Rhinebeck: Friday, December 12 and 19 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, December 13 at 8 p.m. and 20 at 3 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, December 14 and 21 at 3 p.m.; $24 general admission, $22 for seniors and children age 12 and under. For tickets or more information, call (845) 876-3080 or visit


Candlelight Night in Kinderhook

Bring the charm of storybook old-fashioned country winters to life with Candlelight Night in Kinderhook. On Friday, December 12 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., go on a horsedrawn wagon ride, listen to live music, join in children’s activities, check out Teen Night at Village Hall and see Santa and Mrs. Claus. Most Candlelight Night activities take place in Village Square on Route 9 in Kinderhook. For more information, visit



Gingerbread House Bake-Off at Bevier House in Marbletown

Our family has had our share of gingerbread-house disasters, such as collapsed rooftops or failed icing attempts, so this weekend’s Gingerbread House Bake-Off at the Ulster County Historical Society (UCHS)’s Bevier House Museum could be just the inspiration that we need. On Saturday, December 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, December 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., see gingerbread creations of historic houses, buildings and structures in Ulster County, made by area businesses, organizations and community members. General admission costs $10, $5 for UCHS members and $7 for students and seniors.

The Bevier House Museum is located at 2682 Route 209 in Marbletown. For more information, call (845) 338-5614 or visit




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