Hudson Valley Parent

November 2013

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wards with homemade cookies and cocoa. Make music If you've ever been to the Albert Wisner Library in Warwick or the Greenwood Lake Public Library, then you're probably familiar with music therapist and early childhood music educator Melinda Burgard. Burgard offers a "Do-it-Yourself Birthday Party" package, which includes her CD, entitled "I Can Do Anything," along with specific movement ideas (or plans and goals for each song) to entertain and make your child feel special as you become the entertainer. Also included a variety of pictures and printouts that your child and their friends can color at the party. All of this will cost you only $25. For more information, visit If you're willing to stretch your budget a little, Musical Munchkins has great entertainers that can come into your home or a place of your choice and have a blast with your child and their friends. They have musical games, live guitar music and plenty of instrument and props (such as streamers, scarves, and hoops). Your child will also receive a free music CD of Musical Munchkin songs. This is geared towards children ages 1-5 and costs $195 for up to 15 children. For more information, visit Get wild The Everything Animals Resource and Activity Center is a nonprofit animal welfare and education organization dedicated to building better citizens through programs that focus on respect, compassion, kindness, and personal responsibility. Animal "ambassadors" will visit your home for a 30- to 45-minute presentation. You can select from a variety of themes and each performance will include five live animals, a group puzzle, life-like puppets and a simple game or craft. A home visit for up to 20 children will cost $125.00. Serve some cake or animal-themed refreshments and you're good to go! For more information, visit Pat's Pals is also a great way to get wild with your child's birthday party, and they customize the event to appeal to the birthday child or theme. Your little guests will be both educated and entertained for one hour with Pat and her featured friends. For more information, visit Winter is a wonderful time and I've always felt blessed my children were born in these months where everything seems so magical, just like childhood itself. Parties on a budget during this season can be educational, creative, and fun! Here's to happy celebrations and precious memories — and take lots of pictures! Laura Licata Sullivan At his next party, your child can get up close and personal is a freelance writer who lives in Campbell Hall with live animals. The Everything Animals Resource and with her husband and Activity Center offers 30- to 45-minute presentations in your own home. three sons. Our readers "We hold a larger party with three other families. This way you split the cost! Last year was at Fiberflame in Saugerties, and before that was the back room at New World in Saugerties. Especially around the holidays, it's a time saver as well. Round up the kiddies and throw combined friend birthday parties!" — Sky Tischler, Saugerties "All of my kids have birthdays in colder months. I've done bowling parties, and parties at the Fun-E-Farm in Kingston." — Trish Jolley, Saugerties "Try to be creative. It can take a lot of phone calls, but every year I search for a different and unique venue. It was super easy the year I combined my two sons' birthdays for a party at a local movie theater during a regular movie showing. I also just had a birthday party for my youngest at a gaming store. That was crazy inexpensive, so I could splurge on other stuff, like lunch and a large cake." — Donna Kuklis, Pleasant Valley Hudson Valley Parent 27 n

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