Kids’ Almanac: Take the Chef Challenge, be a balloonatic & pass the pierogies

Dion Ogust | Almananc Weekly

Dion Ogust | Almananc Weekly

“Do what we can, summer will have its flies.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson



Dutchess County Hot Air Balloon Festival

Whether you go up, up and away in your beautiful balloon, or you just like to watch the colorful crafts from terra firma, you and your crew will want to check out the 26th annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Dutchess County this weekend! The Festival takes place Friday through Sunday, July 8 to 10 at Barton Orchards and Migliorelli Farm and features balloon launches as well as a variety of family activities. The gates open at 5 a.m. to watch the 6 a.m. morning launches on Saturday and Sunday, and admission is free for those. Launches also take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Festival begins at 12 noon each day with activities such as a petting zoo, crafts, hay mazes, hayrides, live music and more. Helicopter, balloon and tether rides are available for a fee. And on Friday night you can catch fireworks. Admission costs $10 for advance tickets or $12 at the gate on Friday and Saturday, $5 on Sunday. Parking is free.

Barton Orchards are located at 63 Apple Tree Lane in Poughquag. Migliorelli Farm is located at 245 Guski Road in Red Hook. For more information, call (845) 454-1701 or visit
Woodstock Playhouse presents Beauty and the Beast

Who needs Broadway when we have live musicals right here that your family will love, and at a fraction of the cost? Come on out to the Woodstock Playhouse to see Beauty and the Beast, with performances taking place from Friday, July 8 through Friday, July 24, on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are reserved seating and prices range from $32 to $40. The show lasts two hours and 30 minutes with intermission.

The Woodstock Playhouse is located at 103 Mill Hill Road in Woodstock. For tickets or more information, call (845) 679-6900 or visit


Ukrainian Cultural Festival at Soyuzivka in Kerhonkson

This weekend, get ready to say a lot of tze SMAchno (“That’s tasty”) and DYA-koo-yoo (“Thank you”) over at the Soyuzivka Ukrainian Heritage Center’s tenth Ukrainian Cultural Festival this Friday through Sunday, July 8, 9 and 10. In addition to live music and dance performances, you’ll enjoy a variety of delicious Ukrainian fare, and don’t miss the varenyky (pierogies) eating contest! Maybe you can even strategically place a Ukrainian proverb into your conversations, such as “A crow will never be a falcon,” or “Drink a glass of wine after your soup and you will be stealing a ruble from the doctor.”

Soyuzivka is located at 216 Foordmore Road in Kerhonkson. For more information, call (845) 626-5641 or visit
Mime Eddie Allen performs at Chatham’s PS21

Is it some sort of universal misunderstanding that so many of us think that we can skillfully mime pushing against an invisible box? Well, I choose to ignore my children’s eyerolls when I pretend to descend a flight of nonexistent stairs behind the kitchen counter, but I’m open to expanding my repertoire.

Want to join in? Come to “Just for Fun: Mime Eddie Allen” this Friday, July 8 at 1 p.m. at PS21. Here’s a chance to see real mime action, and everyone will learn when some audience members get to join him onstage. This event is free and open to the public.

PS21 is located at 2980 Route 66 in Chatham. For more information, call (518) 392-6121 or visit


Storyteller tour at Olana

Your crew won’t mind taking a break from watching Paw Patrol or playing Overwatch when you show them the beauty of the Olana State Historic Site, especially this weekend. On Saturday, July 9 from 10 to 11 a.m., families are invited to join storyteller Tom Lee on a special free story tour of Olana.

Can’t make it? Save the date for the next ones: Saturday, August 27 and Saturday, October 1. Admission is free, but reservations are advised.

Olana is located at 5720 Route 9G in Hudson. For tickets or more information, call (518) 828-0135 or visit


Stone House Day in Hurley

You celebrated the Fourth of July with a bang, so here’s a quieter way to celebrate our region’s, and our country’s, history. It’s Stone House Day this Saturday, July 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. Visitors get to spend time in those cool-looking private homes that you always drive by the other 364 days each year. Plus, there will be a 1777 Ulster Militia encampment, guides in Colonial clothing, crafts and demonstrations and more.

Tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, $2 for children aged 6 through 12; children aged 5 and under get in free. Adult/senior/student tickets receive a $2 coupon for use in the cafeteria. Tickets are available on the day of the event at the Hurley Reformed Church, located at 11 Main Street in Hurley, near the stone houses. For more information, call (845) 331-4121 or visit
Grumpus-making workshops at Kingston’s Old Dutch Church

Winter festivities are two seasons away, but you can “get a head” on the planning and preparations for Sinterklaas at the Grumpus workshops taking place this month. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays July 9, 16, 23 and 30, stop by the Old Dutch Church to help create the cardboard Grumpus heads used in the Sinterklaas parade. Participation in the workshops is free and open to the public.

The Old Dutch Church is located at 272 Wall Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 514-3998 or visit
Mt. Tremper’s giant kaleidoscope turns 20

Stave off the are-we-there-yets by introducing your kids to the eye-popping appeal of kaleidoscopes, a fun and quiet distraction in the back seat. You can even kick off this new or rejuvenated interest by taking them to the local giant kaleidoscope, which is fun to visit any time of year, but happens to be celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend.

Welcome to the Kaleidoscope 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Emerson Resort and Spa this Saturday, July 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can watch the new kaleidoscope film, Star Dust, for free all day in the giant walk-in kaleidoscope, which used to be a farm silo. Other activities include kaleidoscope-making workshops, which cost $25 per person, or $165 per person for the adult-only class; a drum circle; Whoopsy Daisy the clown, known for face-painting and balloon animals; and more.

The Emerson Resort and Spa is located at 5340 Route 28 in Mount Tremper. For more information, call (845) 688-2828 or visit
Museum of Firefighting in Hudson hosts Water Wars

Boost your kids’ firefighting pretend play by giving them a chance to work a real fire hose! It all happens at Water Wars at the FASNY Museum of Firefighting this Saturday, July 9 at 10:30 a.m. Admission costs $7 for adults, $5 for children aged 3 and older and is free for children under age 3.

FASNY is located at 117 Harry Howard Avenue in Hudson. For more information, call (518) 822-1875 or visit


Free tours at Dia:Beacon

Messy house but need to entertain some out-of-towners this weekend? And preferably for free? Easy: Just head over to Dia:Beacon this Saturday, July 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Programs include “Something in My Body Turning Slightly,” a tour for all ages from 12 noon to 12:45 p.m. and 3 to 3:45 p.m., and the “Inside Out” tour at 1 p.m.

Dia:Beacon is located at 3 Beekman Street in Beacon. For more information, call (845) 440-0100 or visit



YA authors in person at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck

Summer reading lists don’t have to be just for kids, right? Do something fun and different with your tween or teen this Sunday, July 10 at 4 p.m. at Oblong Books and Music. The Hudson Valley YA Society’s lineup features Jennifer Castle and What Happens Now; Tara Altebrando and The Leaving; Laura Stampler and Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies; and Sarvanez Tash and The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love. This event is free and open to the public, and reservations are requested.

Oblong Books and Music is located at 6422 Montgomery Street in Rhinebeck. For more information or to reserve your spot, call (214) 676-3248 or visit



Chef Challenge at People’s Place in Kingston

Do you get caught up in those cooking competitions on television? Wouldn’t you and your kids like to watch one live, maybe a little closer to home? All ages are going to have a great time at the Food Bank Farm Market’s “Chef Challenge: Salad Edition!” The Challenge takes place on Tuesday, July 12 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at People’s Place, featuring chefs and faculty from the Culinary Institute of America and local restaurant chefs, along with a team of kids, all competing for the best dish made from food pantry supplies and Hudson Valley produce mystery ingredients.

Other hands-on activities include a bicycle that makes smoothies, a table for young children exploring food questions such as “Does watermelon float?” and a knife and food-prep learning table for older children. This event is free and open to the public, and there are no income eligibility guidelines for the free farmstand. See you there!

People’s Place is located at 17 St. James Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 338-4030 or visit


Plant program at Esopus Meadows in Ulster Park

Do you ever wish you knew the names of common, everyday plants that you find in nature, beyond grass or tree? Then you and your kids will enjoy Scenic Hudson’s “Exploring Plants” on Tuesday, July 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Esopus Meadows. After a hike in the preserve, participants will plant seeds in a decomposable pot to take home. This program is free and geared for children from kindergarten through eighth grade, accompanied by a parent.

Esopus Meadows is located at 269 River Road in Ulster Park. For more information or to reserve your spot, call (845) 473-4440, extension 238, or visit



Magic show at Millbrook Library

Got your own Harry Potter or Hermione Granger in the house? Let them see how professional Muggles do it by coming to “Magic of Marco Frezza” this Wednesday, July 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Millbrook Library. This show is free and open to the public of all ages, and registration is required.

The Millbrook Library is located at 3 Friendly Lane in Millbrook. For more information, call (845) 677-3611, extension 4, or visit To learn more about the performer, visit



Music workshops at libraries in Kingston, New Paltz

Dreaming of an exotic trip, but your budget only gets you as far as the backyard? The Kingston and Elting Libraries have the answer: free musical experiences that will flood your senses with international rhythms and sounds, without the expense or jet lag of global travel.


“Around the World in 30 Instruments: Four Shillings Short” takes place on Wednesday, July 14 from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Kingston Library at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston. Admission is free for all ages. Registration is required. Call (845) 331-0507 or visit


“Introduction to the World of Percussion and Rhythm” with Brian Melick takes place on Wednesday, July 14 at 4 p.m. at the Elting Memorial Library at 93 Main Street in New Paltz. Admission is free for all ages. Registration is required. Call (845) 255-5030 or visit


Erica Chase-Salerno is appreciating every moment of summer! She can be reached at [email protected]


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