- Leslie Granda-Hill
New York Renaissance Faire
Spend your weekends in the 16th century this month at the period fair in Tuxedo Park. Watch knights in shining armor duke it out in a jousting match or see if you can catch a glimpse of the ethereal faeries in the Enchanted Forest. On September 7 and 8 you might run into the Nickel Shakespeare Girls—name any of the bard's plays and they'll do an impromptu 30-second performance from it. Witness aerial acrobatics, storytelling, music, magic, and dance while feasting on Renaissance-themed eats. Before you leave, don't forget to stop by the marketplace to purchase a handmade souvenir, like pottery, jewelry, leather goods, soaps, and costumes from over 125 artisans. (845) 351-5171; Renfair.com.
Saturday Art Labs
Everyone needs a creative outlet, and SUNY New Paltz's art workshops are a great place for children of all ages to plug in. If your kids love to have messy fun—maybe you've found some crayon murals on the wall or magic marker on the carpet of your home—Adventures in Art for grades K-2 might be right for them. At the lab they have the freedom to experiment with media of all kinds to create their own expressive masterpieces. The program offers similar classes for middle school and high school adolescents, with a closer attention to technique and portfolio building under the instruction of the college's staff, local art teachers, and community artists. For young musicians, there's piano for beginners and Movement Ensemble, where students learn to compose and create original scores. (845) 257-3850; Newpaltz.edu/sal
Warwick Children's Book Festival
Albert Wisner Public Library offers a chance to meet over 50 of your favorite children's book authors and illustrators at Park Avenue Elementary School. Browse their works, ask them questions about your favorites, and get their autograph on your own copy or one you can buy at their booths. Stop by local Touching the Surface author Kimberly Sabatini's table and ask about her character Eliot's experience in the afterlife as she unearths memories and secrets in order to make things right. Later, enjoy Flow Circus's amazing stunts and a performance from Uncle Brothers who will play a set of family friendly hits. (845) 986-1047; Albertwisnerlibrary.org.
Bring your young yogi to Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls for a morning of relaxation and fun on September 13. Open to ages four through eight, instructors will teach children to master poses like the downward-facing dog and baby cobra alongside their parents. Using music, stories, and games, kids will learn to quiet their minds while having a good time. Yoga mats provided. (845) 418-3896. Facebook.com/YogaPlaygroundwithDana.
This collection of woodblock prints depicts Japanese Court Lady Murasaki Shikibu's ancient story, The Tales of Genji, a work widely regarded as the first modern novel. Vassar College's Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center will showcase this artwork throughout the fall, marking the first time an exhibit outside of Japan has featured Genji-inspired prints. On September 28, the gallery will host a special family day, which will include special art-making activities, storytelling with tales of Prince Genji's life, and an interactive tour for children ages four to ten. (845) 437-5237; Fllac.vassar.edu.