Kids’ Almanac: Pet a llama, eat FDR’s birthday cake or throw soybeans at the Oni Ogre

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt, President



Germantown Library presents kid-lit star Donald Crews

Some children’s books just stay with me, long after my kids have outgrown them. The works of author Donald Crews are among those titles, such as the Caldecott Honor book Freight Train. Crews comes to the Germantown Library to discuss the inspiration behind his work as well as his creative process this Saturday, January 30 at 3:30 p.m. This talk is geared toward adults and is free and open to the public, and reservations are required.

The Germantown Library is located at 31 Palatine Park Road in Germantown. For more information or to register to attend, call (518) 537-5800 or visit To learn more about the author, visit


“Hooked on Llamas” at NorthEast/Millerton Library

Does your kid love llamas? Then this event is not to be missed! On Saturday, January 30 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., the NorthEast/Millerton Library presents “Hooked on Llamas.” Kids get to hear a reading of Is Your Mama a Llama? they’ll learn about llamas and they can pet Douglas, a real llama! And they could even win a prize if they can guess how old he is! All ages are welcome, and registration is not required.

The NorthEast/Millerton Library is located at 75 Main Street in Millerton. For more information, call (518) 789-3340 or visit


Hyde Park celebrates FDR’s birthday

Looking for a surefire way to engage your kids in the FDR presidency? Try cake! It’s president Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s birthday, and your family can join the celebration this Saturday, January 30 at 3 p.m. at the FDR National Historic Site. The festivities begin with a Rose Garden ceremony, followed by birthday cake and refreshments indoors at the Henry A. Wallace Center.

You might also be interested in the Winter 2016 Documentary Film Series: “Immigration, Migration and the American Dream,” which features four films and discussion taking place next Saturday, February 6 beginning at 3 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.
The FDR National Historic Site is located at 4097 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park. For more information, call (845) 229-6225 or visit


Free Day at MASS MoCA

If you’ve been meaning to get to MASS MoCA, Free Day 2016 is a great place to start! On Saturday, January 30 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., families can participate in a variety of engaging activities for all ages, including live music, hands-on art projects, a photo booth, special family tours, storytime, a Smile-athon and more. And let me say this again: It’s free!

MASS MoCA is located at 1040 MASS MoCA Way in North Adams, Massachusetts. For more information, call (413) 662-2111 or visit



Winterfest at Lippman Park in Wawarsing

You’re heard about Lippman Park’s excellent mountain bike trails; now come out for some winter fun! On Sunday, January 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., it’s the Ellenville/Wawarsing Youth Commission’s annual Winterfest. Hands-on activities include family hikes at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., tug-o-war, ice skating, broomball, hayrides, human dogsled races and more.

Lippman Park is located on Route 209 in Wawarsing. For more information or to register for any of the games, call (845) 647-7800, extension 129, or visit



Japanese New Year at Gomen-Kudasai in New Paltz

What if I were to tell you about an event where your kids could actually throw food, in a restaurant, and they were even encouraged to do so by the restaurant itself? On Tuesday, February 2, the Gomen-Kudasai Noodle Shop hosts Setsubun, an ancient celebration of Japanese New Year’s Eve. And a special ritual of Setsubun is chasing away the Oni Ogre, a character who represents all of the negative energy, evil spirits and disasters of the past year. Families drive away the Oni Ogre by throwing roasted soybeans and shouting, “Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi,” or “Ogre get out, Fortune come in.” Then everyone eats the number of soybeans representing their age plus one, for health and good fortune of the New Year.

This event is open to all ages. It’s free for dinner patrons and $5 for all others. Bean-throwing takes place at 5 and 6 p.m. Gomen-Kudasai is located in the Rite-Aid Plaza at 232 Main Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 255-8811 or visit



Goat farm tours in Cornwall

How would you like to snuggle with some baby goats? Eat a variety of delicious types of goat cheese? Get behind the scenes of a real working goat farm? Edgwick Farm runs its 2016 tours this Wednesday, February 3 through Saturday, April 30, and last year, the dates filled up quickly. The tour lasts about one hour, is limited to 15 people per tour and costs $10 per person. Children under two years old can be admitted free by reserving an Under 2 ticket.

Dress in layers, and I definitely advise bringing a camera for the absolutely adorable goat kid + kid candid shots that you’re going to want to have, a change of clothes, shoes and plastic bags to store soiled footwear et cetera, so you can swap out the gear that you wore inside of the barn.

Edgwick Farm is located at 348 Angola Road in Cornwall. For reservations or more information, e-mail [email protected].


Poughkidsie hosts Valentine-making workshops

Nostalgic for the fun and art of handmade Valentine’s Day cards? This year, why not encourage your children to make their own? On Wednesday, February 3 at 3:30 p.m. or on Sunday, February 7 at 11 a.m. at Poughkidsie, children of all ages can stamp, paint and create 25 cards for $10. Registration is required.

Poughkidsie is located at 50 Springside Avenue in Poughkeepsie. For more information or to register, call (845) 243-3750 or visit



“Lives and Legends of Hudson River Fish” at Beacon’s Long Dock

Q: Which fish can perform operations?

A: A sturgeon!

Are you interested in what lives and swims beneath the surface of our Hudson River? Come on out this Thursday, February 4 from 6 to 7 p.m. to hear Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program naturalist/educator Tom Lake: “The Lives and Legends of Hudson River Fish.” The presentation takes place at Scenic Hudson’s River Center at Long Dock Park, located at 8 Long Dock Road in Beacon. For more information or to register, call (845) 473-4440, extension 273, or visit


Half Moon Theatre Junior Company available to perform

How many times have you seen a senior citizen become infused with a renewed vitality by being in the presence of a child? That’s just one of the benefits of inviting the Half Moon Theatre (HMT) Junior Company to your nursing home, children’s hospital, senior center or anywhere that it can spread some joy. The HMT Junior Company wants to sing, dance and act for the community by performing its 30-minute musical revue.

Got a child who’d be interested in joining the group? Are you connected to a facility that would enjoy one of these performances? For more information, e-mail [email protected] or visit


New Paltz Challenge XC Ski Race coming up at Minnewaska

Looking for a winter sport that you and your children could enjoy together? Try cross-country skiing! And if you already cross-country ski, you’ll be thrilled to know about the New Paltz Challenge 2016 XC Ski Race taking place at Minnewaska State Park on Saturday, February 6 at 11 a.m. The course includes a challenging 5K and 10K at a fee of $35 per person, and a beginner 2K for all ages for $20 per person. Online prepaid registration is due by 12 noon on Friday, February 5. The fees include entrance to the park and a tee-shirt, but same-day registration is available at the event. Sponsorships are also available.

For more information or to register, call (845) 255-0243 or visit


Register now for 4-H Veterinary Science Series

Is your teen a regular Dr. Doolittle: someone who easily connects with animals and wants to help them? Registration is open for the 4-H Veterinary Science Series, which runs weekly every Thursday from February 4 through March 3 for Unit 1, and from March 10 through April 7 for Unit 2. This series is open to youth ages 13 to 19, and the registration fee for enrolled 4-H members is $40 per unit and $50 for non-members or residents outside of Ulster County. The course book and materials are included, and participation is limited to 24 students.

The 4-H Veterinary Science Series takes place at SUNY-Ulster, located at 491 Cottekill Road in Stone Ridge. For more information or to register, call the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County 4-H Program at (845) 340-3990, extension 340, or e-mail [email protected].


Happy 4th Anniversary to Kids’ Almanac! Erica Chase-Salerno thanks amazing Julie O’Connor and wonderful Geddy Sveikauskas for your enthusiasm, guidance and support; and to all of you for reading and sharing your terrific events and activities! Erica can be reached at [email protected]

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