Revel in end-of-summer fun that features everything from butterflies to boomerangs
GREENBURGH NATURE CENTER Boomerang and Back, Many Happy Returns! Aug. 9
The boomerang: Much admired, seemingly impossible to throw correctly (for us non-Aussies, anyway). Here’s your chance to finally learn how to handle the throwing stick. Expert “Flyin’ Brian” shows off a few physics-defying tricks, then teaches participants the basics of boomerang tossing. After the lesson, guests can purchase a boomerang in the gift shop. As they say down under: Too easy, mate! Demonstration portion appropriate for all ages; actual throwing recommended for those 6 and up. 2 p.m. $7, $3 members. 99 Dromore Rd., Scarsdale. 914-723-3470.
FREEDOM PARK Dutchess County Summer Reading Festival Aug. 7
Reward the little bookworm in your life for his or her summer’s worth of non-required reading with this celebration, hosted by the LaGrange Association Library. (Despite the event’s name, there won’t be much in the way of reading here — it’s designed to provide a colorful break from all that black-and-white type.) Pack a picnic dinner and lounge in the park as local entertainer Jester Jim dazzles the crowd with his juggling skills. At the end of the evening, youngsters take home a book donated by a Dutchess County library. 6-8 p.m. Skidmore Rd., LaGrange. 845-452-3141.
NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM Dutch Delight: Papier-mâché Delft Plate Aug. 18 & 20, 25 & 27
By this point in the year, kids have likely seen their fair share of Quad-themed artwork. Why not allow them to put paint to paper themselves? In this two-day program, participants create a delft plate — a style of pottery popular in the Netherlands from the 16th through the 18th century — using papier-mâché. In the first class, guests visit the museum’s 1609 exhibit in search of inspiration, then sketch a design and begin forming a plate by soaking paper strips in a glue mixture. In the second class, they add the base coat and paint the plates. Two sessions will be held; register by Aug. 12 for the first session or Aug. 19 for the second. Ages 8 and up. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Madison Ave., Albany. 518-474-5877.
STONY KILL FARM Butterfly Festival Aug. 15
Nathaniel Hawthorne once compared happiness to a butterfly: Chase after it, and you’ll never reach it; stay still, and it may come to you of its own accord. If happiness is indeed a butterfly, one’s contentment is all but guaranteed at Stony Kill’s Butterfly Festival. The staff at the 1,000-acre-plus property catch and deposit the farm’s butterflies in an enclosed tent, then invite you to dip a finger in sugar water, enter the tent, and watch as the delicate creatures flock to your fingertips. (The insects are released back into the wild at an end-of-the-day ceremony.) Other activities include butterfly-related games and an exhibit explaining how a humble caterpillar transforms into a winged beauty. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 79 Farmstead Lane, Wappingers Falls. 845-831-8780.
STORM KING ART CENTER Children’s Day at Storm King Aug. 22
On this date, families of two adults and up to four children can go anywhere on the outdoor sculpture museum’s 500-acre grounds, all day long, completely free of charge. The highlight of the day occurs at 2 p.m., when storyteller Jill Olesker, artists Joan and Browning Kay, and singer/songwriter Bill Fiore lead a reimagining of Henry Hudson’s Half Moon voyage. Participating children make puppets, props, and instruments, and march on a parade through the di Suvero fields. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Old Pleasant Hill Rd., Mountainville. 845-534-3115.
Caption: Butterfly kisses: Visitors to Stony Kill’s Butterfly Festival can get up close and personal with the insects