I have lived in the Hudson Valley my entire life, and throughout that time I have always been surprised at the wondrous activities and events that this area has to offer. Every year I discover something new that interests me, and almost every year the Hudson Valley offers something new. With that being said, not everything I find out about is actually new. Just last autumn I learned about the “Jack O Lantern Blaze” at Croton, and it turned out to be their 11th annual Blaze. I thought to myself “How have I missed out on this, all these years?” This happens to me often (too often). But it just goes to show how many awesome events the Hudson Valley has, and if you don’t look around every once in a while, you could miss them.
Think of this article as a catalog of the abundance of events and activities in the Hudson Valley that you might not otherwise hear about. This is my attempt to spare you in the years to come from ever having to think to yourself “how have I missed out on this all these years?” Except for this year of course, after reading my list of events here.
The weather is warming, flowers are blooming, and everyone is anxious to get outdoors. Well here is an abundance of outdoor activities to give you that warm spring feeling:
● Take a jog or a bike ride on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail
● Connected to that trail is the Walkway Over the Hudson, connecting Dutchess and Ulster County
● Take the Shawangunk Wine Trail
● Hike, bike or climb the Shawangunk Mountains
● Camp, kayak, and hike at Norrie Point
● Omega holistic retreat in Rhinebeck.
● Tibetan Buddhist monastery retreat in Woodstock
Note: These activities are not necessarily “Spring specific”, but all the other seasons have so many events/activities that it makes more sense to enjoy these in the spring. i.e. You can’t fit all this in the Summer time.
Vacation season. Time to sit out in the sun and get some color. Fairs and festival events are plenty. Perhaps enjoy some swim time, or other water related activities:
● The concert event of the year, Mountain Jam on Hunter Mountain. A four day, multi-stage event with rock & roll and sunshine.
● Splashdown Beach Water Park in Fishkill
● Esopus Creek tubing in Phoenicia
● Dutchess County Fair, the second largest fair in NY with agriculture, animals, food, and entertainment
● NY Renaissance Fair in Tuxedo. A medieval fantasy fair
● Rosendale Street Festival, live rock & roll bands on multiple stages with wine, beer, and food
● Food, wine, and beer festivals are everywhere, just look for them
Ahhh the colors. Still warm, but with a nice cool crisp breeze coming in carrying the smell of burning leaves. Let us not forget that it’s time for the harvest. Even more important than all that …… it’s Halloween time. If you have to pick only one season to enjoy the fruits that the HV has to offer (both literally and figuratively), this is the one.
● Harvest events at ALL our local farms. Apple, pumpkin, peach, plum, nectarine, and berry picking. Fresh organic food to be enjoyed and fresh baked goods as well. Most of these festivals have entertainment for kids and live bands playing. Also, APPLE CIDER DONUTS. Two of my favorites are Fishkill Farms and Barton Orchards.
● Headless Horseman Hayride and Haunted House in Ulster Park, considered by many authorities as the top haunted house in the US and named in Fangoria’s top 10 US haunted houses.
● Forest of Fear in Tuxedo Park
● The Great Jack O Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson
● Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion in Wappingers Falls
The holiday season. Here in the Hudson Valley we take our holidays very seriously. Just drive through any neighborhood and see all the lighted houses. You’ll see what I am talking about. Here are just some of the activities and events to enjoy (I’m sure I don’t know them all):
● Frosty Fest in Ulster Park
● ERDAJT in Lagrangeville, the Guinness World Record for the most lights on a residential property
● Kevin McCurdy’s Holiday Spirit Festival in Wappingers Falls
These are just the events that I am aware of. Every year I find more. Do your own research, and I am sure you will find many more exciting activities and events in the Hudson Valley.
Read more of my works at www.livingbettersmall.com where I discuss the freedom and focus of living a lifestyle I have enjoyed for many years now. A lifestyle based in minimalism. I also have a book available for purchase on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com. My book is “Living Better Small (A Better Life Through Minimalism)”. Available on paperback, Kindle, and nook.