Kids’ Almanac: Raise your lantern for St. Maarten’s Day or Diwali, practice your penmanship, play a board game or study snakes



“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”
– Emily Dickinson


Edible books in Poughkeepsie

I find this hilarious: Picture a plate of grapes with word balloons attached with toothpicks that say angry things like, “Did you just call me a raisin?” and “Get out…You don’t belong in this bunch!” Now, guess the title that this “edible book” represents. Ready? It’s The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck!

Want to have some fun creating some edible books of your own? The Poughkeepsie Read hosts its second annual Edible Book Contest on Sunday, November 22. You choose the book and build your entry out of any type of food item. Register online at or call (845) 485-3445, extension 3372. Submissions are due on Sunday, November 22 between 12 noon and 1 p.m. at the Boardman Road Branch Library. The contest is open to any age, book group, school club, family, individual, college group et cetera.

The Boardman Road Branch Library is located at 141 Boardman Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information, visit or call (845) 485-3445, extension 3372.



Locust Lawn in New Paltz celebrates St. Maarten’s Day

Looking for a family-friendly celebration of the autumn harvest? Head over to historic Locust Lawn Farm this Saturday, November 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for St. Maarten’s Day. This all-ages event includes demonstrations and interactive activities, including lanternmaking, candle-dipping, cooking and 17th-century games. Tours of the mansion will also be available at 2 and 4 p.m. The cost is $8 per person, and children under 4 get in free.

Locust Lawn Farm is located at 436 Route 32 in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 454-4500 or visit


India Children’s Day at Hendrick Hudson Masonic Lodge in Red Hook

Travel to India is long and expensive, so why not bring India to you? On Saturday, November 14 from 4 to 5:30 p.m., India Children’s Day takes place at the Hendrick Hudson Masonic Lodge. Presented by Arts Mid-Hudson, the Red Hook Public Library and Bard College, this afternoon of activities includes learning about celebrating Diwali, a festival of lights; making a clay lamp; crafting with colorful powders; receiving mehndi body art; trying on a sari; playing the Indian board game Pachisi, which is the basis of American Parcheesi; and tasting Indian sweet and savory snacks. A brief program of Indian dance will be performed as well.

India Children’s Day is free and open to the public. The Hendrick Hudson Masonic Lodge is located at 9 Graves Street in Red Hook. For more information, call (845) 454-3222 or visit


Cursive writing workshop at Olana

Is your school district debating the merits of continuing to teach cursive writing? At the Olana State Historic Site, this topic is personal because so much history is gleaned from personal correspondence, and before computers, these letters were all hand-written in cursive! On Saturday, November 14 from 3 to 5 p.m., children 8 years and older and older family members and friends are invited to participate in “Fancy Writing: Reviving the Art of Cursive.” Take a look at Frederic Church’s personal letters, try some calligraphy-pen writing exercises and demonstrations and enjoy some 19th-century-style tea and cake at break time.

The cost is $30 per person. The Olana State Historic Site is located at 5720 Route 9G in Hudson. To register or for more information, call (518) 828-1872 or visit


Amazing Reptiles show at Kingston Library

Turtles, lizards, snakes, an alligator and a Burmese python, oh my! This roundup of critters can mean only one thing: Bruce Lowder’s Amazing Reptiles show is in town! On Saturday, November 14 at the Kingston Library, families can choose between the 10:30-to-11:15 a.m. show or the 11:30 a.m.-to-12:15 p.m. presentation. This event is free and open to the public.

The Kingston Library is located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 331-0507 or visit To learn more about the presenter, visit


Poughkeepsie Day School hosts Mini Maker Faire

Do you and your kids need a dose of possibility in your lives? Perhaps with a dash of innovation? Then get your tickets now for the Poughkeepsie Mini Maker Faire at the Poughkeepsie Day School this Saturday, November 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This family-friendly festival features hands-on demonstrations and displays of Makers, Crafters, Farmers, Inventors, Hackers, Scientists and Artists of all ages.

Online, advance ticket options include a five-person family pass for $30; single tickets for adults age 19 and up for $8 ($12 at the door) or youth from 3 to 18 years of age for $6 ($8 at the door); a Maker Faire Supporter level for $50, which includes two admission passes; and children age 2 and under get in free. The Poughkeepsie Day School is located at 260 Boardman Road in Poughkeepsie. For tickets to volunteer, or more information, call (845) 462-7600, extension 110, or visit


Snake lore at Beacon Institute Gallery

Whether your kids are big on Parseltongue from the Harry Potter stories or Master Viper from Kung Fu Panda, how about giving them a chance to learn about the real thing? This Saturday, November 14 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Gallery at 199 Main Street of the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, Clarkson University, Hudson Highlands Nature Museum educator Megan Hoffman will share about local snakes, so bring your snake questions and see if you can stump her!

This program is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. The Gallery at 199 Main Street is located at 199 Main Street in Beacon. For more information or to register, call (845) 838-1600 or visit


Saturday Writing Workshops at SUNY-New Paltz

Do you live with any avid young writers? How can you help support their efforts? As author Toni Morrison says, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” One activity to consider is this weekend’s Saturday Writing Workshops for Student Writers and Their Families.

On Saturday, November 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon in Room 1907 of the Old Main Building at SUNY-New Paltz, writers ages 7 to 17 and their caregivers are invited to attend inspiring and skill-building age-based workshops to create and then share their work. Adults can attend their own workshop, This I Believe, while the students participate in their own two-workshop sessions.

The cost is $25 for the student workshop, $15 for the adult workshop. Registration is required. SUNY-New Paltz is located at 1 Hawk Drive in New Paltz. For workshop descriptions or to register, call (845) 257-2836 or visit


International Games Day at Poughkeepsie’s Adriance Library

Treat your kids to a change in routine and get a jump on International Games Day @ Your Library! Join the festivities at the Adriance Memorial Library this Saturday, November 14 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, and try your hand at a new board game or compete playing a more familiar one. You’re welcome to bring your own board games from home, too.

The Adriance Memorial Library is located at 93 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 485-3445, extension 3320, e-mail [email protected] or visit To learn more about International Games Day @ Your Library, visit



Education, Inc. screening & talk at SUNY-New Paltz

I feel like as far as schools are concerned, many of us feel overwhelmed just focused on the day-to-day, like making sure that homework gets completed and that the kids get out the door on time in the morning. But what about the bigger picture? What’s happening with education in our United States? Within our own districts? And that’s exactly what this Monday’s event is designed to shed light on.

On Monday, November 16 at 6 p.m. in Lecture Center 100 at SUNY-New Paltz, the community is invited to attend a presentation by Carol Burris, an award-winning New York principal and executive director of the Network for Public Education; a screening of the documentary Education, Inc., a film created by a parent and filmmaker exploring the privatization of American public education; and remarks by New York State assemblyman Kevin Cahill and parent activist Suzanne D’Angelo Coyle.

This event is free and open to the public. SUNY-New Paltz is located at 1 Hawk Drive in New Paltz. For more information, visit



Wellness course for pubescent girls & their Moms at Rosendale’s Creative Co-Op

You are a mother who wants to connect with your 12-to-14-year-old daughter. In This Circle can help. It’s an empowering, holistic and fun wellness course for daughters and their mothers, and you can learn more at this week’s free Open House and orientation for just the Moms on Thursday, November 19 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. A second free orientation will be held both for mothers who attended the November session, along with their daughters this time, on Thursday, December 3 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The course itself takes place from January 7 to May 5, two Thursdays per month, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Both orientations and the complete In This Circle series take place at the Creative Co-Op, which is located at 402 Main Street in Rosendale, behind the Cheese Shop. To register or for more information, call (518) 821-9676, e-mail [email protected] or visit to learn more about the instructors. The event link for this series is


Erica Chase-Salerno loves writing about family events in the Hudson Valley. She and her husband, Mike, live in New Paltz with their two children: the inspiration behind She can be reached at [email protected]m.



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