Kids’ Almanac: Get inside a soap bubble, a lighthouse or a Lenape longhouse

(Dion Ogust | Almanac Weekly)

“Don’t stumble over something behind you.”
– Seneca


Signup time for free one-month Mohonk Preserve membership

Are you interested in discovering hikes that are perfect for your little ones, ages 2 to 6? Join a Toddlers on the Trail excursion, organized through the Mohonk Preserve! You and your littles can meander along area trails, which is fun for all of you; but it also helps to familiarize you with these pathways, so that you can return again and again!

“Toddlers on the Trail: In Search of Native Americans” takes place this Friday, August 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and includes exploring the fields and a replica of a Lenape longhouse. This program is free for Mohonk Preserve members, and requires a $12 day-hike fee for non-members.

And here’s one more tip: How about a free monthlong membership? From Thursday, August 27 to Sunday, August 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Ulster County residents can score a free Mohonk Preserve membership for one month, good until September 25. For meet-up information and to register for Toddlers on the Trail, or to learn more about acquiring your free Mohonk Preserve membership, call (845) 255-0919 or visit


Crayons come to life at Millbrook’s Merritt Bookstore

If you have kids who love coloring and storytime, you will want to take them to the Merritt Bookstore this Friday, August 21 at 10:30 a.m. for The Day the Crayons Came Home. Hear author Oliver Jeffers read from his book, then bring your favorite coloring implements and enjoy some coloring activities. This event is free and open to the public of all ages.

The Merritt Bookstore is located at 57 Front Street in Millbrook. For more information, call (845) 677-5857 or visit To learn more about the author, visit


Ashokan Center hosts musical Summer Hoot

The Summer Hoot at the Ashokan Center is about as Hudson Valley as you can get. It takes place outdoors from Friday through Sunday, August 21 to 23. If you’re looking for a quintessential Hudson Valley musical experience for the whole family, then you probably already have tickets for this; but if you don’t, you should get on it! If you can only come for one day and you really want to bring your kids, Sunday has got a terrific family band lineup, including a Hoot-style presentation of Peter and the Wolf, the Zucchini Brothers, Elizabeth Mitchell & You Are My Flower and more.

The suggested donation is $75 for the weekend, or $30-to-$40 pay-what-you-wish donation per day. Lodging incurs a separate fee, and event volunteers can get in for free. Buying tickets in advance guarantees you admission and a parking space.

The Ashokan Center is located at 477 Beaverkill Road in Olivebridge. For tickets or more information, visit


Butterfly-stalking at Beacon’s Long Dock Park

I am absolutely not saying that summer is winding down, not at all. And I am not saying that you didn’t get to everything related to nature on your summer bucket list. I’m just saying that if you were looking for a free afternoon of simple, old-fashioned nature fun with your family, you might be interested in Scenic Hudson’s “On the Lookout for Monarchs” free family summer program. On Friday, August 21 from 3 to 5 p.m., children from kindergarten through eighth grade and their parents can pursue a scavenger hunt to learn all about monarch butterflies.

The program takes place at Long Dock Park, located at 8 Long Dock Road in Beacon. “On the Lookout for Monarchs” is free and open to the public, but registration is strongly suggested due to limited supplies. For more information or to register, call (845) 473-4440, extension 265, or visit


Bubble Science at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum

Do your kids love the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum? You can add to their excitement by bringing them to the Captain Bubble Science Show this Friday, August 21 at 10:30 a.m. and again at 2:30 p.m. The cost of the show is $3 per person and includes topics like states of matter, energy and chemical reactions, using helium bubbles, bubble-powered rockets and children being put inside of a bubble.

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is located at 75 North Water Street in Poughkeepsie. Museum admission costs $8 per person for ages 12 months and up. For more information, call (845) 471-0589 or visit



Antique Fire Engine Muster in Kingston

Got history buffs in the family, or kids who just love firetrucks and ask endless questions about them? This weekend, indulge both by attending the 12th annual Antique Fire Engine Muster and Open House at the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall and Museum. On Saturday, August 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., view antique firetrucks while enjoying free hotdogs and other refreshments. At the end of the Open House, a parade will run from the Museum to the Town of Ulster.

The Volunteer Firemen’s Hall and Museum is located at 265 Fair Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 338-1247.


Grand Reopening festivities at Esopus Meadows

Have you ever seen eagles at the Esopus Meadows Preserve? Every time I go, the people I pass on the trail excitedly ask me if I “saw those eagles!” Well, now that the park has reopened, stronger and more resistant to storm surges and sea-level rise and featuring a new pavilion, you can check it out for yourself!

On Saturday, August 22, Esopus Meadows celebrates its grand reopening with a ribbon-cutting and acknowledgment of donors at 11 a.m., followed by live music by the Big Takeover, a family-friendly nature hike (eagle sightings possible but not guaranteed) and kids’ activities until 1 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

The Esopus Meadows Preserve is located at 257 River Road in Ulster Park. For more information, call (845) 473-4440, extension 110, or visit


Concrete poems workshop at Rhinebeck’s Starr Library

Looking to broaden your children’s summer experiences beyond selfies and sleeping in? Head over with your kids aged 8 years and up to the Starr Library this Saturday, August 22 from 2 to 3 p.m. to compose their very own concrete poems. This program is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The Starr Library is located at 68 West Market Street in Rhinebeck. For more information or to register, call (845) 876-4030 or visit



Between the Tides Festival returns to Saugerties Lighthouse

Ever taken a tour of the Saugerties Lighthouse? Hiking to the Lighthouse is a lovely walk, but as some of you know, you have to time it right because the tidal schedule can result in covering the trail with water, meaning a wet return for you.

You can take all of the guesswork out of this planning and just spend some time at this weekend’s 20th annual Between the Tides Festival, held on Sunday, August 23 from 2 to 7 p.m. Tours of the lighthouse will take place all afternoon, as well as live music. Tickets cost $30 for ages 13 and up, free for children 12 and under, and advance purchase saves you a few dollars.            For tickets or more information about the event, including parking, call (845) 247-0656 or visit



Solar s’mores at Highland Library

Does your family like making s’mores, but you wish that you didn’t need a campfire for it? Then make plans to get to the Highland Public Library this Tuesday, August 25 from 3 to 4 p.m. and learn how to make s’mores using the power of the sun, in a solar oven! Ages 10 and up are welcome, and registration is suggested.

The Highland Public Library is located at 30 Church Street in Highland. For more information or to register, call (845) 691-2275 or visit


Physical therapy hike at Olana

Wish you or your family could do more hiking, but have some nagging injuries that make it challenging? Here’s a special event at the Olana State Historic Site that you’ll want to attend. “Pathways to Prevention: Healthy Hike with Physical Therapist Corey Smith” takes place on Wednesday, August 26 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. After a 20-minute talk, Smith will lead a group hike and advise and answer questions about how to use physical therapy to avoid and treat injuries during competition or in everyday life. This event is on rain or shine, free and open to the public of all ages.

The Olana State Historic Site is located at 5720 Route 9G in Hudson. To register or for more information, call (518) 697-5445, e-mail [email protected] or visit


Erica Chase-Salerno is married to Mike, they live in New Paltz with their two children, and she has begun her dance with chemotherapy for her Stage IV breast cancer. She can be reached at [email protected].



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