So you’re trying to stay productive during quarantine, but you also have kids at home. If you’re like the rest of parents out there, coming up with engaging ways to keep your children entertained can be something of a hassle.
Fortunately, a number of Hudson Valley organizations are currently offering alternatives to in-person events with virtual programs that are ideal for young learners.
Concerts at Bethel Woods may be on pause for now, but creativity remains in full force thanks to the center’s dedicated page for arts and crafts. Families in the Hudson Valley can use the hashtag #BWatHome to show off everything from their Growing Hope flower projects to their Bethel Woods coloring book pages and their DIY vision boards.
Tuesdays and Thursdays,1 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Kids will love the interactive educational videos posted by the Catskill Animal Sanctuary. All videos are available on YouTube and feature farm animals like goats, turkeys, pigs, and bunnies. Tune into live streams that start at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for an inside look at a farm animal tour.
Gina Marie’s Academy of Performing Arts takes performing arts classes online to keep kids in shape. This Highland academy has Zoom classes planned for every day of the week. Magical Mondays focus on ballet and creative movements. Get ready to tone it up on Tuesdays for strength conditioning and tap for all ages.
Wednesday is a wild card with jazz, barre, sweet and sassy street hip hop, and TikTok choreography. Relax and rejuvenate on Turn It Out Thursdays. End the week with Funky Fridays to take part in hip hop, flexibility and control, and divalicious musical theater. Ready for the challenge?
Until April 22
Hudson Highlands Nature Museum offers an interesting spin on celebrating Earth Day. The Cornwall museum supports students’ health by encouraging them to join an online hike team. Students can decide how many hikes they’d like to attend, select a donation amount, and step outside.
Monday – Friday, 12 p.m., 20 minutes
Schools in the Hudson Valley may be closed, but recess is still in session. Legends in Training is a gym and physical fitness center in Kingston that motivates kids to stay active and healthy indoors by participating in 20-minute workout videos. Click on the link to join a session and take recess to the next level.
It’s never too late to start something new. UMAC LaGrange offers basic courses for new students who are interested in martial arts. This martial arts center provides two weeks of free virtual training courses for 30 minutes. The best part? Kids can train from home with no commitments.
Wondering what it’s like to play a new-to-you instrument? New Windsor Music Academy offers free online music classes through Zoom for kids, teens, and even adults. Choose from music lessons on guitars, pianos, mandolins, woodwinds, violins, cellos, brass, drums, and ukuleles. Not a fan of music instruments? New Windsor also helps locals improve their vocal skills.
Anyone interested can join over 30 music teachers who have musical training from top universities like The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Yale, and Berklee College of Music. Private lessons with New Windsor’s music teachers are $31 for 30-minute sessions once a week.
Monday – Saturday, 45 minutes to an hour
Basketball does not have to stay on the court, at least not with NY Extreme Hoops’ online videos. NY Extreme Hoops helps kids practice their ball handling and shooting options through online Zoom workouts. Register online for a $10 hourly workout. For anyone looking to stay active the entire week, register for a weekly workout for $25. Check out the program’s Facebook page to score free online classes.
Omega offers online materials designed for parents and school-aged children who are self-isolating at home. With everything from support for parents to a superhero pose for kids, the center’s website is a one-stop shop for mindfulness and wellness during a time of confusion and stress.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m.
Ready Readers welcomes kids to virtual storytelling events. Ready Readers is a program run by trained volunteers to help children in low-income communities improve their reading and writing skills. Early Childhood Literacy and Curriculum Coordinator Sheila Oliveri reads books, sings songs, and tells stories for pre-school and early-elementary kids free of charge.