Spirit and Celebration: Where to Find the Fun in Dutchess County this Holiday Season

An entire month of holiday celebrations sounds like a lot, but since January will be here before you know it, we’ve rounded up all sorts of ways to deck out the rest of your 2018 calendar with the holiday spirit.

Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree

There are several cut-your-own Christmas tree farms in the area, but a few of them have something extra special. At BJ’s Christmas Tree Farm in Pleasant Valley, you can warm up with free cider or hot cocoa. Battenfeld’s in Red Hook has horse drawn wagon rides, and Solvang Tree Farm in Poughkeepsie has farm animals and a gift shop.

Holiday Decorations at Historic Sites

Like many grand historic homes in the Hudson Valley, Mills Mansion at the Staatsburgh State Historic Site gets all decked out for the holidays. On December 7, they’ll host “An Upstairs/Downstairs Gilded Christmas, where you can view the lavish decorations and experience what Christmas was like in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Holiday season at Staatsburg State Historic Site.

Through December, you can see how Franklin D. Roosevelt’s home, Springwood, was decorated for the holidays during his presidency – but admission is free on December 8. The nearby Vanderbilt Mansion will be bedecked as well, with self-guided “Music in the Mansion” tours on December 15. On the evening of December 16, guests can drive through the estate to see the exterior beautifully illuminated.

Guided Holiday Mansion Tours of Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie will take place December 1, 8, 15 and 22. The Holiday House Hunts for children on December 2, 9 & 16 feature a storyteller, treats and a scavenger hunt through the mansion.

Spirit and Celebration: Where to Find the Fun in Dutchess County this Season

Christmas at Locust Grove

More Holiday Celebrations and Events

Many communities welcome the holidays with tree lighting events. Pawling’s annual Decemberfest and Tree Lighting on December 7 at 6pm. at the Chamber of Commerce Building has a new experience: horse-drawn wagon rides for kids. The Holiday Party and Tree Lighting at Village Hall in Fishkill on December 9 at 2:30pm. will have a petting zoo, crafts and pictures with Santa, followed by the tree lighting at 4:30pm. Storytelling, music, crafts and refreshments round out Polar Express night at the Hyde Park Train Station Museum on December 17 at 6pm.

holiday events dutchess county

Decemberfest in Pawling

You can also enjoy the holidays through the performing arts. The Puppet People’s “A Christmas Carol” with marionettes will be at The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck on December 15 at 11 a.m. The Bolshoi Ballet’s performance of “The Nutcracker” can be seen live from Moscow at The Moviehouse in Millerton on December 23 at 12:55pm.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Looking for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve alternative? The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum in Poughkeepsie has a New Year’s at Noon party on December 31 from 9:30am to 12:30pm, with live bagpipes and countdowns at 10am, 11am and 12pm.

The holiday season goes by in a blink. If you want to lose yourself in the merriment a little longer, make an overnight getaway out of it. Find local accommodations here.

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