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THIS WEEKEND'S KIDS & FAMILY ACTIVITIES IN ROCKLAND

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by Directories Editor - Weekly

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No matter what you're looking to do with your kids and family-concerts, festivals, museums, arts & crafts-or even just time spent outdoors-you'll find it in this weekend's list of fun and education activities for families and kids in Rockland. If you want to plan ahead, check out the NY Metro Parents' calendar.

Nanuet Family Resource Center Fundraiser - IMAX Theatre at Palisades Center
December 19, 2012 - West Nyack

IMAX Theatre at Palisades Center will host a family event on Wednesday, December 19th at 6:00pm. Families are encouraged to attend in costume. The event will be a fundraiser for the Nanuet Family Resource Center. A delightful basket of Hobbit themed prizes donated from Barnes & Noble at the Palisades Mall and other Hobbit related merchandise will be raffled to benefit the Family Resource Center. Everyone who attends will receive hot chocolate gift certificates from Barnes & Noble. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased on line at www.imax.com/palisades.

Music Classes for Children - Dennis P. McHugh Piermont Public Library
Through December 19, 2012 - Piermont

Young children are given the chance to develop basic competence in music by providing them with a rich musical experience in a relaxed and playful environment. Presented by Moon River Music Together with Catherine Rubin, the class teaches music through play. Meets the third Wednesday of each month.

Boppin’ with Bonnie - Congregation Sons of Israel
December 19, 2012 - Upper Nyack

Toddlers can join music teacher and ventriloquist Bonnie Halfond for music, movement, and puppets. Class meets every Wednesday through December 19.

Infant Care - Nyack Hospital
December 19, 2012 - Nyack

This class is designed for first-time parents. Topics include the basics of holding, diapering, bathing, swaddling, sleeping patterns and feeding cues, choosing a pediatrician, infant safety, and pet issues. Pre-registration is required; application available online.

Cookie Decorating - Haverstraw King's Daughters Public Library
December 19, 2012 - Garnerville

Children in grades 1-6 can make new friends while decorating cookies with frosting and toppings.

Stories in Spanish & English - Haverstraw King's Daughters Public Library
December 20, 2012 - Garnerville

Children ages 2-7 are invited for stories, songs, fingerplays, and more in Spanish and English.

Mitzvah Play Date with Exceptional Young Adults - JCC Rockland
December 20, 2012 - West Nyack

Local teens are invited to help host a play date for their peers who have special needs. Come shoot pool, play games, bake cookies, or do other activities with young adults from various agencies throughout the community. Host teens can get community service credit for their participation.

Shabbat Club - Congregation Sons of Israel
December 21, 2012 - Upper Nyack

Children up to age five are invited to celebrate Shabbat with stories, and games, and puppets. Hosted by Rabbi Abraham.

Shabbat Club - Congregation Sons of Israel
December 21, 2012 - Upper Nyack

Families with children up to age 5 are invited to celebrate Shabbat with stories, songs, and puppets.

Holiday Workshop - Jill's Ceramics
December 21, 2012 - West Nyack

There's always something special and meaningful about a hand made gift or item for entertaining. Jill invites artists of all ages to enjoy the holiday season by choosing from a large selection of plates, mugs, serving items, or other seasonal items such as Christmas trees, Menorahs, angels, and much more. Pieces can be taken home same day or can be left for glazing. Fee includes instruction. Pre-registration is requested. Workshops held each Friday throughout the month.

LEGO Club - Haverstraw King’s Daughters Public Library, Village Branch
December 21, 2012 - Haverstraw

Build some cool things with the library's LEGO's or bring your own.

Junior Congregation and Tot Shabbat - Orangetown Jewish Center
December 22, 2012 - Orangeburg

Children in grades 3-6 are invited at 10am to learn with the synagogue's Education Director, pray, and have fun with their peers. Tot Shabbat follows at 10:30am.

Beary Merry Holiday - Trailside Museums and Zoo
December 22, 2012 - Bear Mountain

Have a Beary Merry Holiday with the bears of Bear Mountain. Arrive early to make tasty holiday snacks for the black bears. At 11am, keepers will kick off the holiday celebration when they present the bears with their gifts and visitors can watch the animals unwrap their boxes full of delicious holiday treats. Visitors can also discover how the rest of our native animals prepare for winter.

Family Art Project: Glittery Gift Baskets - Wave Hill
December 22, 2012 - Bronx

Make a basket from unusual materials for a lovely, seasonal container or work of art. Learn how to transform and recycle an ordinary carton into something fantastic using sparkles, gems, and more.

Mommy/Daddy and Me - Bounce! Trampoline Sports
Through December 27, 2012 - Valley Cottage

Parents or grandparents with kids ages 2 through 6 can have fun in the Bounce! Jr. Zone, in the Bounce! castle, as well as on the main trampoline court. Head trainer Victor Byrne works with parents and children on a series of trampoline-based exercises and fun activities. Program meets every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.

Tot Shabbat - Congregation Sons of Israel
Through December 29, 2012 - Upper Nyack

Share a family experience of singing, dancing, and praying as well as a weekly story and other activities. Each Saturday through December.

Volunteer Opportunities - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland County
Through December 31, 2012 - New City

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland County is seeking mentors, especially men, to volunteer as role model friends for youth in our community. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid driver's license and transportation, be covered under automobile insurance, and able to commit to volunteer for a minimum of four hours per month for one year. Call or go online for an application.

'The Little Engine That Could' Puppet Show - New York Botanical Garden
Through December 31, 2012 - Bronx

This classic tale is brought to life in a presentation by New York City-based puppet master Ralph Lee. The whole family can join the fun to get the determined train over the mountain.

Nybelwyck Hall: A Mansion in Miniature - Hudson River Museum - Glenview
Through January 08, 2013 - Yonkers

Nybelwyck Hall, a dollhouse representing Lilliputian life at its most luxurious, makes its appearance in Glenview, the Museum's 1897 river home. The 24-room, granite-and-mortar Glenview, and Nybelwyck, the 24-room dollhouse, share architectural features - a Great Hall and a double staircase that curves from the top floor down to the Hall. Nybelwyck's central facade is loosely based on the Hudson River estate, Staatsburg, the Ogden Mills House. The orange-and-green colors on its Victorian addition are reminiscent of Wilderstein, in Rhinebeck, the family home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's personal secretary. Dollhouse enthusiast Mark O'Banks created Nybelwyck Hall over the course of a decade and looked to the wisdom of a ouija board to name his creation. The house is furnished with found objects in its 24 rooms, as well as rugs O'Banks designed. Among its 900 objects are minute musical instruments that play, doors with intricate locks that work, and a tiny dollhouse within the dollhouse's nursery.

Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney - Hudson River Museum
Through January 13, 2013 - Yonkers

In 100 books, Jerry Pinkney has turned his artist's eye and hand to the story - a classic, a folktale, a fable - and readers all over the world saw something new, something they wanted to read and to remember. Pinkney is the master of the American picture book. More than 120 watercolor illustrations by the artist, who lives in Westchester, will be on view in the first major overview of his career as a designer and illustrator in "Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney." The exhibition follows his 2010 award of the Randolph Caldecott Medal for "The Lion and the Mouse." The Hudson River Museum is the only New York showing for this exhibition on national tour, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Pinkney has found it interesting to trace how the chapters of his life have knitted themselves into his art, touching on the cultural themes of the African-American experience. He uncovers, again and again, the energy in a small moment that surprisingly can change a life or turn an event in history. Most recently in his almost wordless adaptation of the Aesop fable, "The Lion and The Mouse," two creatures on a faraway African plain choose not the hard chase and bloody battle but, instead, exchange kindnesses. Fascinated with wildlife, Pinkney, in many books including "The Brer Rabbit" in "The Last Tales of Uncle Remus" shows us the human qualities of an animal as he shows us the animal in its natural setting. Pinkney, Philadelphia born and bred, and now a long-time New Yorker, has illustrated children's books since 1964, but it was not an easy path. Blacks were not expected to be able to forge careers in the art field. Trained as a commercial artist at a vocational school, he persisted and won a scholarship to the Philadelphia College of Art where his work took on the shading and detail for which he is now renowned, and he where he began to use color to convey mood and emotion. He has most often worked on children's books that celebrate multiculturalism and African-American heritage, as he took on the task of reshaping the perceptions of the stereotypes of blacks. He designed the first nine stamps of the US Postal Service's Black Heritage series. Art critics will look at the color of Pinkney's illustrations, the scarlet curve of Little Red Riding Hood's cloak, the golden blade of grass on the Serengeti plane. Sociologists will look at Pinkney the little boy, who without a visit to a museum or an art class, drew at home on the back of wallpaper samples. What the viewer will see though, in "The Art of Jerry Pinkney" is his wish: "It has always been my intent for my work to continue to breathe after publication. My hope is that (museum visitors) will believe that Jerry Pinkney cares deeply for people, making art, and visual storytelling." The exhibition includes a 96-page illustrated catalog that provides new scholarship into Pinkney's work in essays by the exhibition's co-curator Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Dr. Gerald L. Early, and others. On view through January 13, 2013.

Holiday Train Show - New York Botanical Garden
Through January 13, 2013 - Bronx

Marvel at the charming model trains and New York City landmark replicas, stroll the spectacular grounds, and decorate (and eat!) gingersnaps. Within the enchanting setting of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, model trains zip over bridges and past replicas of New York landmarks made of plant parts such as nuts, bark, and leaves. Show favorites include the original Yankee Stadium, Statue of Liberty, and Brooklyn Bridge. The Artist's Studio provides an insider's look at how the replicas are constructed as you get up close to G-gauge trains.

The World of Bees Exhibit - Hudson Highlands Nature Museum's Wildlife Education Center
Through January 31, 2013 - Cornwall

This lively exhibit features a colony of honeybees in a thriving observation hive and many interactive elements including hive cells for children to crawl through and large replicas of bees and their young. Visitors can learn about the fascinating life cycle of the honeybee, its colony structure, social hierarchy, and importance to our own lives.

37th Annual Miniature, Dollhouse & Art Exhibition: Memories - Historical Society of Rockland County
Through March 03, 2013 - New City

The Historical Society once again presents this delightful winter exhibit featuring little creations that can be appreciated by visitors of all ages. The exhibition showcases the work of miniature artists, fine artists, quilters, dollhouse collectors, and creators.

Magnificent Trees of The New York Botanical Garden - New York Botanical Garden
Through April 14, 2013 - Bronx

Larry Lederman, landscape photographer and member of NYBG's Board of Advisors, has spent years walking the garden grounds to observe and photograph trees and vistas in all seasons and at all times of day. Lush images featuring their diversity and visual impact are on view in the gallery space. The New York Botanical Garden is home to more than 30,000 trees, some in woodland, some in groves, and some standing in solitary majesty. Magnificent Trees is lavishly illustrated with photographs by Larry Lederman and accompanied by descriptions by Todd A. Forrest, Arthur Ross vice president for horticulture and living collections at the garden. An authority on the diverse species present across the 250-acre landscape, Forrest details their fascinating histories -- from their vital role in Native American life and culture to their function in neutral territory during the Revolutionary War. Lederman captures their grandeur in hundreds of stunning images and portrays their diversity with photographs that reveal the trees in myriad fascinating perspectives: in landscape views that convey the garden's genius loci; portraits illustrating the architecture and profound visual impact of select trees; remarkable details of flowers, fruit, leaves, and bark; and impressionistic images, abstract in character yet beautiful in composition.

Nyack Winter Farmer's Market - Nyack Center
Through May 02, 2013 - Nyack

Farm market fans have no fear, the Nyack market is moving indoors for the winter. Familiar vendors from the summer market will be on hand each Thursday through May 2 selling locally-produced food, wine, baked goods, and more.

Manolo Valdes Monumental Sculptures - The New York Botanical Garden
Through May 26, 2013 - Bronx

Drawing inspiration from the natural landscape of the Botanical Garden, seven towering sculptures by acclaimed Spanish artist Manolo Valdes showcase the relationship between art and nature.

Home Ecologists - Tenafly Nature Center
Through June 06, 2013 - Tenafly

Home schooled children ages 5-12 will discover ecological and biological principles and gain an appreciation and understanding of the natural world at this monthly program, held the first Thursday of each month. Each two-hour program will consist of indoor and outdoor hands-on learning and close observations on a 380-acre living museum. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Parents can sign up for the series or just a single session. Through June 6.

Junior Congregation - New City Jewish Center
Through June 15, 2013 - New City

Kids review highlights of the synagogue's weekly Shabbat service, discuss the weekly Torah portion, play games, then lead the congregation in prayers. Saturdays through June 15.

Junior Junior Congregation - New City Jewish Center
Through June 15, 2013 - New City

kids pre-school through second grade can sing Shabbat songs, talk about the Torah portion of the week, have a snack, then return to the main sanctuary to lead the congregation in Adon Olam. Saturdays through June 15.

Salsa Sundays - Gagliardi Studio & Gallery
Through October 28, 2013 - Nyack

Children and their parents are invited to enjoy Salsa music while dancing with each other. There will be an informal beginners and Afro Cuban style dance lesson. Pre-registration is requested.

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