Out & About

Spring blooms in Albany, wild winter fun in Ulster, and something for everyone at the Bardavon. Plus: Frolicking fun for all ages.

Out & About



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Think spring in Albany, celebrate wild winter in Olivebridge


By Polly Sparling



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Midwinter medley

Variety, as we all know, is the spice of life. And there’s no denying we could all use a little spice come February. Thankfully, the folks at Poughkeepsie’s Bardavon Opera House understand this. This month, you can take the kids to see the Seattle Children’s Theatre production of Addy: An American Girl Story (Feb. 10), a tale of slavery and freedom in the pre-Civil War south. Next up: Trinity Irish Dance (Feb. 15), a high-stepping troupe of young ladies whose perfectly paced spins and leaps have been electrifying audiences around the country. The following evening, yuck it up with the Capitol Steps, the comedy team that puts the “mock” in democracy (Feb. 16). Rounding out the month is a concert by five-time Grammy winner Robert Cray and his band, who bring their cool blues sound into town on Feb. 23. Call for times and ticket information. 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie. 845-473-2072 or www.bardavon.org


Jonquils and jewels

Need a reminder of springtime to brighten up the dreary winter? Then get yourself to Albany’s New York State Museum for a pair of unique events. The annual New York In Bloom show features more than 100 fresh floral arrangements and tabletop displays, all of which help enhance the museum’s plethora of interesting permanent exhibits. The show — which raises funds for various museum programs — also includes floral arrangement demos, a fresh flower market, and a cafe for refreshments (Feb. 22-24 from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.). Also on tap the same weekend: the James Campbell Memorial Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Show and Sale, which includes a dazzling display of gemstones, jewelry, lapidary equipment, and fossils (Feb. 23-24 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.). The $6 admission fee includes entry to both events (kids under 12 are admitted free). Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-474-5877 or www.nysm.nysed.gov

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White snow, Greene galleries

Hitting Greene County’s ski slopes this month? Two art galleries in the area have exhibits worth seeing. Landscape 2008, the annual members’ show at Windham’s Mountaintop Gallery, features paintings, drawings, and photographs ranging in style from the representational to the abstract (Fri.-Mon. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through Feb. 23. 5348 Main St., Windham. 518-734-3104). Drawn to the Edge, at the Catskill Gallery, is a juried group show that explores contemporary drawing both as a foundation for other works, and as a finished work itself (Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 12-5 p.m. through March. 1398 Main St., Catskill. 518-943-3400). For further information on either show, visit www.greenearts.org.


Call of the wild

Here’s another (very different) way to beat those February blues: Sign up for Winter Weekend. Held at the Ashokan Field Campus, an outdoor education center in Ulster County, this three-day camp-in offers fun, hands-on workshops (both indoors and out) for adults looking to learn a variety of new skills. Interpretive hikes, arts and crafts, ice skating, music-filled evenings — as well as saunas beside a frozen mill pond — are all part of the weekend schedule. Feb. 8-10. Packages (which include meals and lodging) range from $35-$120. Call for reservations and more information. 477 Beaverkill Rd., Olivebridge. 845-657-8333 or www.ashokanfieldcampus.org


Behind the white picket fence

The conflicting values of 1950s America are put under the microscope in Picnic, William Inge’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. A single mother, her two teenage daughters, and their spinster boarder live an oh-so-perfect (and repressed) existence in a small midwestern town — until a troubled drifter named Hal attends their Labor Day picnic. Sensuous and uninhibited, Hal forces the other characters to reexamine what they really want out of life. Catch the play at the Ghent Playhouse. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. through Feb. 10. $15. Off Rte. 66, Ghent. 518-392-6264 or www.ghentplayhouse.org




When worlds collide

Ancient Middle Eastern poetry and modern American dance come together in Branches of Words, a new work by the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company. The Capital Region’s premier dance troupe, Sinopoli’s dancers team up with Iranian director Mahmood Karimi-Harak, composers Zoe B. Zak and Munir Beken, and Ghanaian musician Zorkie Nelson to celebrate works written by Hafez, a 14th-century Persian poet. These ancient sonnets deal with the universal themes of love, union, freedom, and tolerance; the performance — choreographed by Sinopoli — is a marriage of Turkish, Jewish, African, and American cultural influences. Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. $15, $12 seniors, $10 children. Union College, Schenectady. 518-408-1341 or www.sinopolidances.org


Lush landscapes grab the eye at Mountaintop Gallery


Kid’s Korner


Snowshoeing, tasty treats, and a visit to Wonkaland


By Elizabeth Stein


TARRYTOWN MUSIC HALL Willy Wonka Feb. 1-10: This Random Farms Kids’ Theater adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features songs from the classic family film Willy Wonka And the Chocolate Factory. Kids and adults alike will delight in Dahl’s timeless story of the world-famous candy man and his search for an heir to his fortune of magical sweets. Call for schedule. $18, $16 seniors & children. Dance Asia Feb. 25: This thrilling performance by Qi Shu Fang and her remarkable troupe of Asian dancers features brilliantly flowing ribbons, amazing acrobatics, a dancing lion, and martial arts. Recommended for children in grades one through six. 10:30 a.m. $9. u 13 Main St., Tarrytown. 888-278-7769 or www.tarrytownmusichall.org



HUDSON HIGHLANDS NATURE MUSEUM It’s Groundhog Day! Feb. 2: Come celebrate this centuries-old tradition by taking part in a fun shadow dance, creating groundhog crafts, and singing a groundhog song. Children even get to meet a hedgehog — the original animal used to announce the arrival of spring. 10 a.m. $5. Maple Sugar Tours Feb. 23-Mar. 22: Enjoy a 45-minute guided walking tour through the forest while learning interesting things about making maple sugaring, such as how to tap a maple tree and how sap boils in an evaporator to become syrup. Tours run every half hour from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. $7. Pathfinders: How Fast Can a Bear Run? Feb. 26-Apr. 1: Does your child know all about the fascinating way bears live? Sign up your little ones for this educational weekly after-school program for kids in kindergarten through second grade. 3:45–5 p.m. $80. Explorers: Snow Skills Feb. 27-Apr. 2: Third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders meet on Wednesdays after school to learn important wintertime skills. Find out how to walk on snow by making snowshoes; create a fire using just wood and string; and construct a shelter from snow. 3:45–5 p.m. $85. 225 Boulevard, Cornwall-on-Hudson. 845-534-5506, ext. 204 or www.hhnaturemuseum.org


MID-HUDSON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM RiverTown Visitors to the museum are invited to embrace our diverse community via this unique permanent exhibit, which showcases five different cultures. Children can imagine being someone else by wearing the costumes, practicing the language, and working in professions of people from various backgrounds. See, touch, and experience a miniature version of Poughkeepsie by stopping by Lotus (the Pakistani grocery store), La Amistad (the Mexican bakery), and Building Blocks (the streetfront construction site of a Haitian contractor). Ice Your Sweet Cookies Feb. 8: Surprise the ones you love with personally decorated desserts. Children ages four and up are invited to dress up delicious sugar cookies with icing and sweet treats. 2-4 p.m., reservations required. $4. Museum hours Tues.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., admission $6.50. 75 N. Water St., Poughkeepsie. 845-471-0589 or www.mhcm.org


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