Kids’ Almanac: Japanese sash-wrapping, Mexican face-painting, drumming, hiking & youth-made movies


“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
– Rabindranath Tagore



Families with fourth-graders can get in free to national parks this year

Calling all families with fourth-graders: You can visit national parks for free this year! Passes for the free Every Kid in a Park program are available at and are good through the end of August 2016. For parks that charge admission per vehicle, everyone is covered under the pass. For parks that charge per individual, the pass covers the fourth-grader and three accompanying adults.

Don’t have a resident fourth-grader? No problem; the National Park Service includes fee-free days throughout the year. National parks in our area include the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site and Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, all located in Hyde Park. For more information about the fourth-grade program or a list of national parks, visit


Dutchess Outreach’s Hunger Action Month

Are you interested in easy ways to help make a difference in our community with your kids? Dutchess Outreach has a great September calendar of activities for Hunger Action Month, such as “Live a day on a food stamp budget of $5.20 and share your experience on Facebook,” and “Host a football party and ask your guests to donate funds or bring canned goods to donate to Dutchess Outreach.”

Dutchess Outreach is located at 29 North Hamilton Street in Poughkeepsie. For more information about their programs or donations, call (845) 454-3792 or visit To see the Hunger Action Month calendar, visit


Reel Expressions

I hope that everyone reading this attends the 2016 Reel Expressions Film Festival, a roundup of 16 short films under ten minutes in length created by young people. My daughter and I had a great time there last year!

This year’s Festival takes place on Saturday, September 26 at 5 p.m. at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie. Youth under age 19 can reserve free tickets before September 13, while supplies last. For more information about the Festival, to purchase tickets or to reserve a free youth ticket, visit, call (845) 485-4480 or e-mail [email protected].


Hudson River Valley Ramble

If you’re looking for an inroad into the many interesting sites and programs around the Hudson Valley, participating in a Hudson River Valley Ramble event is a great start. Every weekend in September has something happening all along the Hudson, including these family-friendly activities: Dover Stone Church Hike in Dutchess County this Saturday, September 12; the Sunset Seine and Sing at Esopus Meadows in Ulster County on Saturday, September 12; or Busy with Bees in Greene County this Sunday, September 13.

For more information about these and other Hudson River Valley Ramble events, visit



9/11 Memorial dedication in Poughkeepsie

If you are interested in a special way to remember and honor the events of September 11, 2001, the City of Poughkeepsie is holding a 9/11 Memorial Dedication on Friday, September 11 at 11 a.m. at City Hall. The memorial features two steel beams from the World Trade Center and is located on Civic Center Plaza, outside of city offices.

City Hall is located at 62 Civic Center Plaza in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 451-4200 or visit



Drum Boogie Festival in Woodstock

Wish you could find one event that your entire family would enjoy? Then check out the Drum Boogie Festival this Saturday, September 12 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Andy Lee Park. Performances at this free festival include POOK and the Energy Dance Company, the Great American Fife and Drum Band, Jack DeJohnette, NEXUS and much more! Kids will also enjoy the FiberFlame craft booth, a henna artist, the variety of food trucks and open space to play and run around. Bring chairs and blankets.

Andy Lee Park is located on Rock City Road in Woodstock. For more information, visit


Iza Trapani reads from Old King Cole at Inquiring Mind in Saugerties

How many Iza Trapani children’s books have you read to your kids over the years? I love her rhymes and illustrations, and her latest release, Old King Cole, is definitely one to add to the collection! She makes the text flow so easily, but look at this first draft compared to the final copy:

“Welcome all to the Cole Castle Ball!/Hear my fiddlers play us a tune./We’ll frolic and dance in the grand royal hall/On this fine and festive afternoon.”
after many drafts, became this:
“Welcome all to the King Cole Ball,”/Said the king to the guests within./”We’ll romp and we’ll dance in the royal hall./Let the tunes and the fun begin.”

Iza Trapani will read and share about the making of Old King Cole at the Inquiring Mind Bookstore at 65 Partition Street in Saugerties on Saturday, September 12 at 3 p.m.; and on Sunday, September 20 at 4 p.m. at Inquiring Minds at 6 Church Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 255-8300 or visit To learn more about the author, visit


SUNY-Dutchess presents Story Faces

Does your family enjoy storytelling? How about face-painting? Well, put them together and you’ve got Story Faces, a show that brings audience members onstage and paints their faces to help illustrate these tales from Mexico and South America. Story Faces takes place at SUNY-Dutchess on Saturday, September 12 at 11 a.m. The performance is free and open to the public of all ages.

SUNY-Dutchess is located at 53 Pendell Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 431-8050 or visit To learn more about the performance, visit


Kimono-wrapping at Arts Mid-Hudson

If your children love Japanese culture, you will want to get over to “Kimono Kitsuke: The Art of Wearing Kimono.” On Saturday, September 12 from 1:30 to 3 p.m., families can learn the proper ways to wrap and tie a kimono, and they can even try one on (or bring your own!). This program is free and open to the public of all ages.

Kimono Kitsuke takes place at Arts Mid-Hudson, located at 696 Dutchess Turnpike in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 454-3222 or visit



Love Hair Salon offers free back-to-school grooming for low-income girls

I love absolutely everything about this Love Hair Salon event: “Look Your Best for Academic Success.” This is a daylong opportunity for elementary school-age girls in low-income households to help them feel their best, by helping them to look their best. And it’s free! The day runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes free manicures, haircuts, braided styles, children’s activities, food, music and more.

Love Hair Salon is located at 460 Broadway in Kingston. For more information or to set up an appointment, call (845) 340-4544 or e-mail [email protected].


Erica Chase-Salerno shaved her head as part of her cancer dance! And she loves it! She lives in New Paltz with her husband, Mike, along with their two children: the inspirations behind She can be reached at [email protected].




Share this article
Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Your name is required

Please enter a valid email address

An email address is required

Please enter your message

Hudson Valley Almanac Weekly © 2015 All Rights Reserved

An Ulster Publishing publication