Kids’ Almanac: Hear an armonica, battle with foam swords, decorate a cupcake or paddle by moonlight

(Courtesy of Wayfinders)

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.”
– Henry Ward Beecher


Wayfinder day camp at Unison

“Everything is awesome” at the Wayfinder Experience camp, according to Sasha, age 10, and plenty of other kids agree! Luca, age 11, says, “It’s a creative way to express improv [theater] skills and learn to swordfight.” Oscar Vandermer, age 9, explains, “Wayfinder is cool because you get to interact with other people, and there are usually really fun storylines. Acting out characters is fun. You’re given a storyline, and you get to carry it on yourself, and you get to use your imagination.”

For families disappointed that they were waitlisted for other Wayfinder programs this summer, you can register your kids ages 8 and up for the new day camp session taking place at the Unison Arts Center from Monday through Friday, August 17 to 21. Each days lasts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with an extension on Thursday, August 20 until 9 p.m. The cost is $350 by check, $360 by credit card, with a $15 sibling discount. Take it from Oscar, who raves, “It improves your way of thinking about stories and how you play with other people. And because it’s fun! That’s why I do it!”

The Unison Arts & Learning Center is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz. For more information or to register, call (845) 481-0776 or visit


Gardiner day camp passes

Have you ever wished that you could enjoy the perqs of camping with your family without actually camping? You can make it happen at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp/Resort at Lazy River! Lazy River offers day-camp passes that include access to the fantastic new water park area and pool, mini-golf, jumping pillow, hourly camp activities, horseshoes, volleyball court, basketball, shuffleboard and playgrounds. The cost is $20 per person and available Mondays through Thursdays, but space is limited and you must call ahead.

Lazy River is located at 50 Bevier Road in Gardiner. For more information, call (845) 255-5193 or visit



Armonica demo, ventriloquism at Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice

Ben Franklin quipped, “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.” So don’t squander another moment and make your way to the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice. On Friday, July 31 from 11 a.m. to 12 noon at the Wesleyan Church, kids and families can hear a performance with one of Ben Franklin’s inventions, the armonica. This unique sound, produced by bowls rotating on a spindle and controlled by a footpedal, is a real treat to ears of all ages. Tickets cost $5 per person.

Looking for more? Go early, because from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Empire State Railway Museum, you can see ventriloquist Steve Charney and Harry entertain you with free magic and music and fun! The Wesleyan Church is located at 19 DuBois Road in Shokan. The Empire State Railway Museum is located at 70 High Street in Phoenicia. For more information and a complete schedule of events, call (845) 586-3588 or visit


Cupcake-making at Frida’s Bakery in Milton

Not only is a great bakery with a dedicated children’s play area a reality, but this sweet Mecca offers workshops for kids! On Friday, July 31 at 10:30 a.m. at Frida’s Bakery and Café, kids can participate in a cupcake workshop that includes decorating four cupcakes, touring the bakery and kitchen and enjoying some treats. The cost is $20 per child and $15 for siblings.

Frida’s is located at 26 Main Street in Milton. And keep in mind next Thursday’s dessert-making and wine-tasting on Thursday, August 6 for adults! For more information or to register, call (845) 795-5550 or visit



Summer Fun under the Full Moon in Chatham

Yearning for a simple summer evening for making memories with your family? Then set your sights on “Summer Fun under the Full Moon,” which takes place on Saturday, August 1 at 5 p.m. Activities include a snapping turtle program, paddling in the pond, a Full Moon hike around the pond, old-fashioned field games and more. Feel free to bring a picnic, as well as your own canoe or kayak, or use one of the few on hand. Local ice cream will be served to all participants.

Summer Fun takes place at the Ooms Conservation Area at Sutherland Pond, with the main parking area located at 480 Rock City Road in Chatham. For more information or to register, call (518) 392-5252 or visit




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