Updated for 2023
Has the cooling down of the temperature started you thinking about the holidays? It has for us, so we have put together an updated list of holiday happenings in Hudson Valley, NY. The list of traditional and unique events keeps growing every year. Come and return to see your favorites, and try something new, as well.
So what is your favorite way to begin the season? Is it with a drive or stroll through twinkling light displays or a ride on a Christmas-decorated train? Get out your calendar, and plan a holiday getaway with an amazing small-town feel.
Light Up a Smile with Twinkling Lights
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts: Peace, Love, and Lights
We love visiting the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts for concerts and performances, but the drive-through light experience is something special! Check the schedule; they are open on certain days only from November 24 – December 10. Starting December 14, the exhibit is open daily until December 31. Hours are 5 pm – 10 pm.
While at the Center, take the time to visit the Holiday Hub, where you can sip a hot beverage by the fire and get a DIY s’mores kit or comfort food. Their schedule lists some special events, including a Holiday Market, a Gingerbread Build ‘n Sip Night, Ice Carving, and dinner with Santa.
Dutchess County Fairgrounds: The Wonderland of Lights
With millions of lights, the Wonderland of Lights expands and grows more elaborate yearly. The fun begins on November 22 and through December 30. Check their schedule for exclusions (generally Monday – Wednesday until December 14). You can get a discount buying a ticket in advance.
Get in the Spirit with Crafts and Rides
Kingston, NY: Catskill Mountain Railroad
Relive the classic Polar Express Train Ride in a vintage 1950s coach. Take a ride to the North Pole and join the elves in caroling and stories. You will have your golden ticket punched; then, you can sip on hot chocolate and bite into delicious Christmas cookies. It’s an amazing new tradition to celebrate the holiday season. These special rides are available November 17 – December 29.
Hudson Valley Hullaballoo
The holiday season begins with Hudson Valley Hullaballoo, a two-day craft extravaganza on November 18 & 19 in Kingston NY. Come and get your shopping started and finished with local artists, craftspeople, and designers. Don’t worry, there will be food and live music!
Christmas on the Farm with Eggbert
Go back to the farm this holiday season and take a walk on the Christmas trail at DeVitts Nursery. Try your hand at a slot car race, and shop for holiday gifts and plants. Newburgh Brewing and Magnanini Winery will be on hand with a special release of Angry Eggbert IPA and a holiday vintage. This year, Eggbert is also teaming up with Moroney’s Harley Davidson for a spectacular toy delivery on December 2.
Sugar Loaf Art and Craft Village: Holiday Festival
Surrounded by apple orchards, horse farms, and wineries, the village of Sugar Loaf puts on an old-fashioned Holiday Festival on December 9. Enjoy caroling by the huge trimmed tree in the center of town, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, and complete your holiday shopping with visits to the dozens of artisan craft stores and boutiques. Special food will be available.
For three weekends, November 18 & 19, December 2 & 3 and 9 & 10, tour our local wineries for the return of a holiday experience. Start with a grapevine wreath, and add a new ornament at every winery you visit, along with a sample of their best holiday wines.
Holiday Favorites on Stage
West Point Holiday Show
Ring in the holidays at the Eisenhower Hall Theater with the West Point Holiday Show on December 2 & 3 at 2 pm. Sing along with Christmas, Hanukkah, and other holiday favorites you won’t hear anywhere else.
A Christmas Carol told by A Master Storyteller
If you think you have seen every possible version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, you are wrong! Master Storyteller Jonathan Kruk brings ALL of the characters to life, with live musical accompaniment. His version of A Christmas Carol will make you believe you have never before seen this story. There are numerous performances from December 2-17 at the Sleepy Hollow Old Dutch Church, and only one performance December 8 in Warwick.
So, which is your favorite event? There is so much to choose from with our list of holiday happenings in the Hudson Valley. We would be happy to help you plan the perfect getaway, including our favorite dining options, shopping options, and absolute “must-see” options. Call us; we love our corner of New York and want to share it with you!