Kids’ Almanac (June 16-23)


Build a birdhouse with your dad or camp overnight at a nature center

“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing and the lawnmower is broken.”
– James Dent


Path through History Weekend

New York State’s Path through History takes place this Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19, which means that wherever you go in the Empire State, you can experience the best of what our historic sites have to offer, such as special tours or organized activities. Some of the events that I highlight this week are a part of Path through History, but for a complete list by region and for additional information, visit



SUNY-Ulster hosts Public Speaking Competition for high-schoolers

When is the last time you heard a terrific public speaker? Well, this Thursday, June 16 at 7 p.m., you have the opportunity to listen to Kingston High School students present their most compelling five-minute speeches on a current event topic of their choice at the Anita Williams Peck Public Speaking Competition at SUNY-Ulster. Two scholarship awards will be made to the winners of the competition, judged by John Moriarty, a retired Public Speaking and Broadcast Journalism teacher at Kingston High School; Jennifer Patterson, SUNY-Ulster adjunct faculty, Communications; and Ward Todd, president of the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce. The competition takes place in the College Lounge IN Vanderlyn Hall and is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

SUNY-Ulster is located at 491 Cottekill Road in Stone Ridge. For more information or to reserve your spot, call (845) 687-5283.



Hudson Valley Renegades season opens at Dutchess Stadium

The kids in the stands at my son’s Little League field laughed at me all season when I shouted out cheers like “Be safe!” or “Run swiftly!” Now the playoffs are over, and I can direct my encouragement to the Hudson Valley Renegades! This Friday, June 17 at 7:05 p.m. is the start time for the home opener, when the ‘Gades take on the Aberdeen IronBirds at Dutchess Stadium. The first 4,000 attendees receive a 2016 magnet schedule, and a fireworks display will close out the night. Tickets start at $6, making it an affordable family evening! The kids will also enjoy jumping on the inflatables, playing the games between innings and watching some great baseball.

Want to do something special for Fathers’ Day? Give Dad a Family Pack for $20, which includes four tickets to a game on June 23 or 30, or July 3; a Renegades hat for Dad; $1 beers or sodas all game long, with wristband; and a photo with Dad on the field after the game. Use promo code FATHERSPACK.

Dutchess Stadium is located at 1500 Route 9D in Wappingers Falls. For tickets or more information, call (845) 838-0094 or visit


Hudson Highlands Nature Museum hosts Family Camp Out

Camping can be daunting for beginners, especially with young children. So how does one get started? Here’s an idea to consider: Family Camp Out this Friday, June 17 at the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum’s Outdoor Discovery Center. Families bring a tent and sleeping bags to sleep outside overnight – after making s’mores, of course! And breakfast will be provided on Saturday morning as you break camp. The cost is $20 for adults and $12 for children ages 5 and above. Prepaid registration is required.

The Outdoor Discovery Center is located at Muser Drive in Cornwall, across from 174 Angola Road. For more information or to reserve your spot, call (845) 534-5506, extension 204, or visit



Juneteenth festivities at Kingston’s New Progressive Baptist Church

Does the recent remake of Alex Haley’s Roots, current events or simply being a US citizen inspire you to delve deeper into social justice issues, to honor some of our country’s most important milestones? Then how about celebrating Juneteenth this Saturday, June 18 at 5 p.m. at the New Progressive Baptist Church?

Juneteenth, a word that combines June and 19th, is the date in 1865 recognized as the actual end of slavery, since many areas were not aware of (or chose not to acknowledge) the Emancipation Proclamation passed two years earlier. June 19 is the date that Major General Gordon Granger rode into Texas with the document called General Order Number 3, thus freeing the slaves there.

This Juneteenth program features the introduction of the library at the A. J. Williams-Myers African Roots Community Center, along with a keynote speech about slavery, freedom and Juneteenth from Dr. A. J. Williams-Myers himself, as well as performances by the Redwing Blackbird Theater of Rosendale and the New Progressive Baptist Church’s Praise Dancers, followed by a free Southern-style dinner.

The New Progressive Baptist Church is located at 8 Hone Street in Kingston. For more information, call (914) 388-3092. To learn more about the A. J. Williams- Myers African Roots Community Center Library, located at 43 Gill Street in Kingston, visit


Fathers’ Day card workshop at Boardman Road Library in Poughkeepsie

Skip the soap-on-a-rope this year and give Dad a gift from the heart: a homemade Fathers’ Day card! This Saturday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Friends of the Poughkeepsie Library Book Store, children can create a Fathers’ Day card to take home, and children will also receive a special discount on any books purchased that day.

The Friends’ Book Store is located behind the Boardman Road Branch Library, located at 141 Boardman Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 485-3445, extension 3423, or visit


Midtown Make a Difference Day in Kingston

Do you like free community parties? Start here at Midtown Make a Difference Day this Saturday, June 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Franklin Street in Kingston. Festivities include children’s activities, food, music, dancing, community information and more, all intended to connect local residents and visitors with local human services providers. And did I mention that it’s all free?

For more information, visit, and for a video of last year’s event, visit


Construct a Bluebird House with Dad workshop at Stony Kill Farm

How about working on a project with Dad this weekend? No, not one of those interminable home renovation DIYs; I’m talking about something that you can start and finish in no time at all! Construct a Bluebird House with Dad takes place this Saturday, June 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Stony Kill Farm. Designed for ages 5 and up, the workshop will enable participants to build a birdhouse to take home along with instructions, at a cost of $20 per house, all materials included. Bring a hammer and Phillips screwdriver if you have them; otherwise, some will be provided.

Stony Kill Farm is located at 79 Farmstead Lane in Wappingers Falls. To reserve your spot or for more information, call (845) 831-3800 or visit


Newburgh Illuminated Festival

Do you like light? Did you know that Newburgh is the second city in the US to have streetlights with electricity, and that it also housed the second Edison power plant? The Newburgh Illuminated Festival celebrates these bright ideas from history with the vibrancy of today this Saturday, June 18 from 12 noon to 10 p.m. all along Broadway and Liberty Street in Newburgh. This event features more than 40 bands on five stages, children’s activities, pop-up art, performance art, a trolley tour, color celebration and more. Admission is free and the event is entirely run by volunteers, so if you’d like to help out or just learn more, visit


Promenade Hill Park in Hudson hosts Etsy’s Craft Party

Fed up with being a DIY “fail”? Etsy’s Craft Party comes to the rescue this Saturday, June 18 from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Promenade Hill Park, after the OUT parade. Stop by and make as many no-sew totebags as you like, created from recycled tee-shirts!

Promenade Hill Park is located at North Front and Warren Streets in Hudson. For more information, call (347) 414-2594 or visit



Bevier House Museum hosts history talk on John Jay

“John Jay got sick after writing 5. James Madison wrote 29. Hamilton wrote the other 51.” This quote from Hamilton: An American Musical refers to Jay’s authorship of the Federalist Papers, and it’s also an easy excuse to include a Hamilton lyric in this week’s Kids’ Almanac column. You can learn more about the writer of our state’s first constitution, signed in Kingston(!), at “John Jay: The Education of an Enlightened Constitutional Thinker” by Dr. Ray Raymond this Sunday, June 19 at 3 p.m. at the Bevier House Museum. Admission costs $7, $5 for students and is free for Ulster County Historical Society members.

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


Kingston hosts Diversity Parade and Let’s Move! Ulster!

Who are we as a community? How do we honor and celebrate our differences as well as our commonalities? The sixth annual Diversity Parade provides an outlet to answer questions like these by dressing up and joining in, under the theme “Diversity is Our Superpower.” The parade takes place this Sunday, June 19 at 3 p.m., with lineup starting at 2 p.m. at Academy Green Park in Kingston, and finishes at the municipal parking lot on Cornell Street.

After the parade, stay and check out the sixth annual Let’s Move! Ulster! Event featuring demos of Dance Xross Fitness, yoga, Zumba, African dance and Tai Chi, as well as performances by the POOK percussion ensemble, Energy Dance Company and more. For more information, call (845) 338-7664 or visit


18th-Century Dance workshop for kids at Clermont

What does it take to engage young people in local history? One idea is to incorporate historic places into family outings, such as the Clermont State Historic Site, and let them do the rest! This Sunday, June 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., come by for “Child’s Play for Fathers’ Day: 18th-Century Dancing.” Girls and boys can don costumes reflective of the era while taking dance lessons, and enjoy Liberty Punch and other refreshments. This event is free and open to the public, and reservations are strongly recommended.

The Clermont State Historic Site is located at 1 Clermont Avenue in Germantown. For more information or to place a reservation, call (518) 537-4240 or visit!events/latge.


Fathers’ Day freebies

What was it like before the hip hop musical Hamilton came on the scene? No, I don’t mean before it hit Broadway; I’m talking daily life in the 17th and early 18th centuries, before our country won its independence. Here are some local history spots that would make a great outing with Dad, and he gets in free!

Family Day at Historic Huguenot Street takes place this Sunday, June 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; all admissions are free. Huguenot Street, New Paltz; (845) 255-1660,

Fathers with children are admitted free at the Gomez Mill House this Sunday, June 19. Tours are offered at 10:30 a.m., 1:15 and 2:45 p.m. Regular admission costs $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $4 for youth and is free for children under age 7. 11 Mill House Road, Marlboro; (845) 236-3126,

Free admission for Dads at the Hudson River Maritime Museum this Sunday, June 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular admission costs $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $5 for youth and is free for children aged 4 and younger, as well as members and active military; there is also a $20 family rate for two adults and children under 18. 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston; (845) 338-0071,

Free admission for fathers at the Mount Gulian Historic Site this Sunday, June 19 from 1 to 3 p.m. for a house tour and lecture about Hudson Valley pirates. Regular admission costs $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for young people and is free for children aged 5 and under. 145 Sterling Street, Beacon; (845) 831-8172,


Children’s Day at New Windsor Cantonment

This Sunday, June 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. is Children’s Day at the New Windsor Cantonment. Have you been there yet? Take your kids and experience hands-on history at this site of actual Revolutionary War involvement, housing 7,500 soldiers and their families, including the 219 children who lived here, too! Children’s Day means 18th-century games, a petting zoo, period demonstrations and magician Mr. Bayly.

While you’re there, I strongly encourage you to visit the National Purple Heart Hall of Fame, co-located with the Cantonment. The Hall of Fame is so moving, interesting and well-done, especially for older youth and adults. It’s small, so while you have a lot to see, it’s not going to be overwhelming in size to kids; but obviously the material might be tough for some, since receiving a Purple Heart means being injured or killed in battle. The basic premise is to tell the stories of those who were awarded the Purple Heart through written words, photos and videos, including a must-see ten-minute film.

The New Windsor Cantonment and the National Purple Heart Hall of Fame are located at 374 Temple Hill Road in New Windsor. For more information, call (845) 561-1765 or visit



Red Hook Library presents Korean Culture Night

Are kimchi and Gangnam Style your primary exposure to Korean culture? Expand your horizons and treat yourself and your family to a special evening at Korean Culture Night at the Red Hook Public Library this Tuesday, June 21 at 6 p.m. Topics include Korean media and K-Pop, a brief introduction to the language, history, karaoke rooms, hologram concerts and more, as well as fun activities and authentic Korean snacks.

The Red Hook Public Library is located at 7444 South Broadway in Red Hook. For more information or to make your reservation, call (845) 758-3241 or visit



Merritt Bookstore hosts talk on The Whole Brain Child

Interested in connecting with other parents, but tired of conversations being limited to cloth-vs.-disposable-diaper debates? Then come to The Whole Brain Child book discussion, with art activities offered at the same time for the kids, this Wednesday, June 22 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and again on Wednesday, July 20 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Merritt Bookstore. The children will be in the same room and partially supervised by a tween. You can do this!

The book is The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles and Help Your Family Thrive by Dr. Dan Siegel. The Merritt Bookstore is located at 57 Front Street in Millbrook. For more information, call (845) 758-2665 or visit To learn more about the book selection, visit


Erica Chase-Salerno dedicates this week’s KA to her husband, father, father-in-law and the father figures in her life. She can be reached at [email protected]


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