Great things to do with the kids

Reel Expressions Youth Film Festival

I love the freshness, humor, intensity and grit of youth shorts, and the Children’s Media Project’s Reel Expressions Youth Film Festival has plenty of it: “The films are diverse in style and subject matter, covering poignant teen issues such as relationships, youth violence and gender identity.”

The Festival selected 17 films submitted from around the US, and Poughkeepsie Day School Chinese exchange student Haixu Lui won the Grand Prize for his film The Masks. You can watch The Masks and the rest of the featured shorts at the April screening in Rosendale. The approximately 90-minute showing will be preceded by an eclectic dance performance by the D’amby Project, and followed by a question-and-answer session with some of the youth filmmakers. The content is rated PG, but parental guidance is strongly recommended, as some of the topics are intended for mature teen and adult audiences.

The Reel Expressions Youth Film Festival takes place on Tuesday, April 30 at 7:15 p.m. at the Rosendale Theatre, located at 408 Main Street in Rosendale. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for students, available online through the Children’s Media Project website. For more information, call (845) 485-4480 or visit

Mohonk Preserve 50th anniversary

My kids have practically grown up on the Mohonk Preserve, beginning with my pregnancy power-walks along the Lenape Lane loop off Butterville Road to jogging-stroller group hikes with other new Mamas along the Overcliff/Undercliff carriage roads and countless treks to Duck Pond once the babies could walk on their own. The Mohonk Preserve is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a variety of special events.

On Saturday, April 27, stop over at the Visitor Center for its Grand Reopening. The festivities are free and begin with a 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting, followed by ongoing children’s and family activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., including guided tours, a live raptor-and-reptile demonstration and more.

The Mohonk Preserve Visitor Center is located at 3197 Route 44/55 in Gardiner. For more information, call (845) 255-0919 or visit

Drive-in movie season begins

Drive-in movie theaters are such a fun, nostalgic way to take in cinema, but they are increasingly harder to find. Fortunately, the Hudson Valley has two of them right in Dutchess County. Keep an eye out for this rite of spring: their April season opening announcements!

The Hyde Park Drive-In Theatre is located at 4114 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park, across from the Franklin Roosevelt estate. For more information, call (845) 229-4738 or visit

The Overlook Drive-In Theatre is located at 126 DeGarmo Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 452-3445 or visit

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