Kids’ Almanac (Mar. 3-10)



Follow baby eels, taste maple sap, try your hand at animation or your feet at parkour


“There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.”
– Michel de Montaigne



Opera double bill at Bard

How in the world can you expose your child to the wonderful world of live opera without traveling to New York City and spending a fortune, all at the risk of an evening of disagreeable fidgety seat-kicking and other bored unpleasantries? Simply make plans to see this weekend’s presentation of The Magic Flute, Redux and the New York premiere of Higglety Pigglety Pop! at the Sosnoff Theater of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College. This double bill of fully staged one-act operas is family-friendly and a terrific introduction to opera for children or adults, as well as deeply satisfying for more experienced audiences who love excellent classical music.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute is performed in an abridged version by Nicholas Muni, with many parallel themes to Higglety Pigglety Pop! composed by Oliver Knussen with libretto by Maurice Sendak. Commonalities between the operas include journeys to the brink of death, unconditional love and the importance of animals in telling the stories.

Performances take place this Friday, March 4 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 6 at 2 p.m. Ticket prices range from $15 to $35; $100 tickets include premium seating and a reception with the artists on March 6; and children 12 and under pay $5 at the Sunday, March 6 matinée. All ticket sales benefit the Graduate Vocal Arts Program Scholarship Fund at Bard College.

Bard College is located at 30 Campus Road in Annandale-on-Hudson. For tickets or more information, call the Fisher Center box office at (845) 758-7900 or visit


Sesame Street Live at Civic Center

Before GPS, many of us grew up to the familiar strains, “Can you tell me how to get/How to get to Sesame Street?” Well, point your Garmin in the direction of the Mid-Hudson Civic Center for this weekend’s presentation of Sesame Street Live: Let’s Dance!

Performances take place on Friday, March 4 at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 5 at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Sunday, March 6 at 1 p.m. This interactive show encourages singing, dancing and clapping along. Tickets cost $18 to $62 for reserved seating. The doors open one hour before showtime.

The Mid-Hudson Civic Center is located at 14 Civic Center Plaza in Poughkeepsie. For tickets or more information, call (845) 454-5800 or visit



GCCA’s Youth & Student Arts Exhibition opens in Catskill

The Greene County Council on the Arts (GCCA)’s “Outside the Lines” Youth and Student Arts Exhibition is a perfect example of William Arthur Ward’s inspirational words: “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” Bring your kids to see this art made by peers, and they might even feel like creating something themselves.

“Outside the Lines” takes place at the GCCA Catskill Gallery from March 5 to April 16, open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 12 noon to 5 p.m., beginning with an opening reception on Saturday, March 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. Work was submitted by students of all ages from Greene County schools, including the Coxsackie-Athens High School, Greenville High School, Cairo-Durham High School and Middle School, Windham-Ashland-Jewett Middle/High School, Greenville Middle School, Catskill Elementary School, Scott M. Ellis Elementary School and Art and Soul Preschool. See my mention of the festive gala, “Sprouts Jamboree,” also happening on March 5, and make a stop at both events for a fun-filled family afternoon!

Admission to the Gallery is free and open to the public. The GCCA Catskill Gallery is located at 398 Main Street in Catskill. For more information, call (518) 943-3400, e-mail [email protected] or visit


“Sprouts Jamboree” at Petite Productions in Catskill

Got kids 7 years old and younger? Your little ones will have a great time at the “Sprouts Jamboree,” taking place on Saturday, March 5 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Petite Productions Dance and Art Academy. At $10 per family, your crew will enjoy live music, a puppet show, art activities, group dancing, prizes and refreshments, and it’s all to support the Greene County Council on the Arts’ free summer Sprouts Program. Make an afternoon of it by making a stop at the nearby “Outside the Lines” youth art opening.

The Petite Productions Dance and Art Academy is located at 491 Main Street in Catskill. For more information, call (518) 943-3400, e-mail [email protected] or visit


Millbrook Library offers Digital Animation Intensive

Help your tweens and teens bring creativity to life while learning new technological skills at the Digital Animation Intensive this Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Millbrook Free Library. Participants will use the new, state-of-the art Adobe Character Animator program to create and customize digital puppets along with sound effects. This workshop is for youth ages 10 to 15 years, and is absolutely free.

The Millbrook Free Library is located at 3 Friendly Lane in Millbrook. For more information, to register or to find out about other upcoming local offerings, call (845) 485-4480 or visit


Family Barn Dance & Singalong at Stony Kill Farm in Wappingers

Perhaps you love the upstate vibe, but how can you make some country-life memories with your kids? Sounds like someone needs a Family Barn Dance and Singalong. This Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, enjoy some old-fashioned dance and music with Emily Ellison at Stony Kill Farm. Geared for children up to age 10, the cost is $25 for a family of five and includes a tour of the barn and a farm-friendly craft, or $5 for an individual. Preregistration is required.

Stony Kill Farm is located at 79 Farmstead Lane in Wappingers Falls. To register or for more information, call (845) 831-3800 or visit To learn more about the musician, visit


“Intro to Parkour” workshop in Kingston

If you or your teen aren’t enjoying your exercise regimen, I suggest taking a look at parkour, those cool acrobatic-style jumps and bounces and swings from all kinds of angles and equipment. Ages 16 and up are invited to give parkour a try at Innate Movement Parkour’s “Intro to Parkour” workshop this Saturday, March 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will learn some basics of parkour technique, including vaults, precision jumps, balance and more. By the end of the workshop, you can join a parkour class with confidence. The cost is $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

Innate Movement Parkour is located at 881 State Route 28 in Kingston. For more information or to register, call (845) 802-4717, e-mail [email protected] or visit…/innate-mov…/workshop-pre-registration or


Maple Open House at Bowdoin Park in Poughkeepsie

Maple season at Bowdoin Park means learning all about the sugaring process, and afterwards, you can explore the playground or maybe even catch a glimpse of the resident bald eagles nesting there! This Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., head over to the Maple Open House, including presentations on early maple sugaring techniques, fire-by-friction demonstration and making maple syrup. History and nature exhibits in the Education Building will be open for the day. There is no cost to attend – just come out and enjoy!

Bowdoin Park is located at 85 Sheafe Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 298-4602 or visit


Book Carnival at Zena’s Sudbury School

Do you want to foster your family’s love of reading? How about saving money on books, all while having fun? The Sudbury Book Carnival is geared for children from birth through elementary school ages and takes place this Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hudson Valley Sudbury School. Enjoy $1 carnival games and pick a book as a prize; get bargains at the used children’s book sale; take photos with Clifford the Big Red Dog and more!

The Hudson Valley Sudbury School is located at 84 Zena Road in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 679-1002 or visit And you can check out event sponsor Half Moon Books every day in Uptown Kingston or at


Bluebird box workshop at Schor Conservation Area

Have you been meaning to do some household projects with your kids, but never seem to get to them? Here’s one that you and your crew can do together that will help nature, and you don’t have to supply any of the materials! This Saturday, March 5 from 9 to 11 a.m., join in on making bluebird boxes at the Schor Conservation Area pavilion. This event is free and open to the public, and registration is required.

The Schor Conservation Area is located at 58 Shoreview Drive in Canaan. For more information, call (518) 392-5252 or visit


Girls’ Tech Club begins at Tivoli Free Library

Empower your middle school daughter with an opportunity to learn and practice technological skills at the Tivoli Free Library’s Girls’ Tech Club. This three-week workshop takes place on Saturdays, March 5, 12 and 19 from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. Girls will learn about electronics, circuitry and programming as they customize a bag that they can keep, with a programmable LED light that blinks and changes color. Open to girls from sixth to eighth grades, this program has a $10 materials fee.

The Tivoli Free Library is located at 86 Broadway in Tivoli. For more information or to register, call (845) 757-3771 or visit



Morton Library hosts free family concert from Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society

When classical music is billed for young people, it means an enjoyable outing for kids as well as their parents and even the next generation. This Sunday, March 6 at 3 p.m., come hear “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” presented by the Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society and the Morton Memorial Library, featuring violinist Helena Baillie. This free family concert takes place at the Library and is open to the public of all ages, followed by juice and cookies.

The Morton Memorial Library is located at 82 Kelly Street in Rhinecliff. For more information, call (845) 876-2903 or visit To learn more about the musician, visit


Hudson Valley YA Society’s “Dazzling Debuts” at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck

The Hudson Valley YA Society is in its sixth year, ready to resume its monthly YA literary salon, and it wants youth ages 13 and up (and adults) to come! This Sunday, March 6 at 4 p.m. is “Dazzling Debuts,” featuring Goldy Moldavsky and Kill the Boy Band; Rebecca Podos and The Mystery of Hollow Places; and Gabriel Savit’s Anna and the Swallow Man.

Hudson Valley YA Society gatherings take place at Oblong Books and Music, located at 6422 Montgomery Street in Rhinebeck. For more information about this or upcoming events, or to RSVP, call (845) 876-0500 or visit Facebook at


“Kids’ Day in the Sugarbush” at Mohonk Preserve

Teacher and Mohonk Preserve volunteer Jim Longbotham and family’s annual sugaring event at Mohonk Preserve fills up every year, so be sure to register as early as you can. “Kids’ Day in the Sugarbush” takes place this Sunday, March 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Mohonk Preserve’s Spring Farm. Jim’s approach is casual, like a friend taking you around, and includes a tour of the woods, explanations about the history of making maple syrup, seeing real maple taps and watching the evaporator boil down the sap. This event is for ages 4 and up and costs $5 per person.

Spring Farm is located at Upper 27 Knolls Road in High Falls. For more information, to learn about any food being served at this event or to register, call (845) 255-0919 or visit



Maple sugaring storytime at Gardiner Library

Even little ones can get into sugaring when they get to touch and see the gear involved in harvesting sap. On Thursday, March 10 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Gardiner Library, environmental educator Nick Martin and children’s librarian Amy Laber present a Super-Special Storytime about maple sugaring. Children will hear stories about maple sugaring; learn what a maple tree looks like; be able to see and touch old-style maple sugaring tools such as a bucket, tap and hand-drill; and make a maple tree craft to take home. This event is free and open to the public and geared for children who are 4 and 5 years old.

The Gardiner Library is located at 133 Farmers’ Turnpike in Gardiner. For more information, call (845) 255-1255 or visit


Eel migration program at Beacon’s Long Dock Park

I will say that there is no way I would have ever attended an educational presentation about eels until I was compelled to hear it on a Scenic Hudson Clearwater boat outing. Then, after hearing DEC Hudson River Estuary Program science education specialist Chris Bowser’s absolutely hilarious and informative talk about eel migration, I now strongly encourage everyone to go! This Thursday, March 10 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Scenic Hudson’s River Center at Long Dock Park, you can hear Chris Bowser’s “Tracking the Great Migration.” This program is free and open to the public, and probably best-suited to teens on up.

Long Dock Park is located at 8 Long Dock Road in Beacon, across from the train station. For more information or to RSVP, call (845) 473-4440, extension 273, e-mail [email protected] or visit


Cornell Coop offers Tractor Safety Certification course for teens

Teens on tractors? Take it from Twilight heartthrob Kellan Lutz: “I’d rather do manual labor than sit behind a desk. And as my grandparents got older, I’d fly out there and help out around the farm. We’d tear barns down; we’d build barns. I’d rather be outside rolling hay or driving the tractors.”

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County’s 4-H program announces its Tractor Safety Certification course for ages 13 and up (however, only those 14 and older will be able to drive and become certified). Participants learn important safety skills, and this course gives youth an advantage when seeking employment at a lawn or landscaping business, golf course or farm.

The Tractor Safety Certification course takes place on March 22, 24, 29 and 31 and April 5 at 7 p.m. at the Stone Ridge Firehouse, located at 525 Cottekill Road in Stone Ridge. In addition, there will be driving practice on May 5 and 6, and the driving test takes place on May 7 at 8 a.m. at the Ulster County Fairgrounds at 249 Libertyville Road in New Paltz.

The deadline for registering is Friday, March 11. The registration fee is $40 for enrolled 4-H members and $50 for non-4-H members; the price includes the Student Manual. Space is limited to the first 20 paid registrants, on a first-paid, first-served basis. For more information or to register, call (845) 340-3990, extension 340, e-mail [email protected] or visit


Grady Kane-Horrigan art show at New Paltz’s Elting Library

I wish I could directly transfer the sheer delight that I feel about each of Grady Kane-Horrigan’s fantastic pieces in his most excellent art show at the Elting Memorial Library. This writer and artist’s work is smart, thoughtful, funny, beautiful and stubbornly accessible, despite the filters that I put up for myself about not being capable of understanding art. I left the exhibit with a sense of creative truth and possibility, like I feel after a therapy session. It’s a must-see in the Reading/Meeting Room for all ages through the end of March.

The Elting Memorial Library is located at 93 Main Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 255-5030 or visit


Erica Chase-Salerno dedicates this week’s column to her daughter for her birthday week. I love you so much! Erica can be reached at [email protected]


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