Community Meets Luxury
Sleight Farm’s blog about building a custom home and living in Dutchess County, NY.
7 Great Holiday Activities in Dutchess County 2023
November 25, 2023
It’s here! The holiday season has arrived in Dutchess County, and we’re excited about the many different ways to find festive fun in our corner of the world. Between the gorgeous country setting, historical sites, cultural variety, and wonderful communities in the area, you’ll have no trouble filling your December calendar. Here are a few of our favorite Hudson Valley holiday activities. However you celebrate the season, we hope you spend it among the people and places you love.
Travel Back In Time at Local Historic Estates
Each December, history meets holidays at Dutchess County’s world-renowned historic mansions. When visiting these local treasures bedazzled with period decorations, you truly feel the spirit of Christmas past:
- Take a guided Holiday Tour of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s home at the FDR National Historic Site.
- At Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie, the nearly 200-year-old house is filled with 20 decorated Christmas trees and other seasonal trimmings. Holiday tours are Saturdays through December 23rd, then daily from December 26 to 30. On Sundays in December, kids are invited to participate in the annual holiday-themed scavenger hunt for hobbies, toys, and games the Young Family enjoyed at Locust Grove in the years 1895 – 1920.
- If you’re a fan of the HBO series “The Gilded Age,” you may want to put the Mills Mansion in Staatsburgh on your holiday activity list. This New York State Historic Site is offering “A Gilded Age Christmas” experience, daily through December 31. Enjoy the mansion’s stunning interiors and original décor, decorated for the holiday season. Staatsburgh also has one of the county’s best gift shops. No advance ticket purchase required, but reservations are necessary. See https://Bookeo.com/StaatsburghSHS for more information and to book your timed entry.
Farm Fresh for the Holidays
Dutchess County’s farm bounty doesn’t end when the weather cools. Santa will be making his annual visit to Fishkill Farms on Saturday, December 9. You can snap photos of the big guy with your family members or pets, while also enjoying food, drinks, and farm store shopping. If cutting your own Christmas tree is part of your family’s holiday tradition, you’ll find no shortage of local farms and nurseries with wide varieties of evergreens to take home.
Joy, Magic, and Creativity at Sinterklaas in Rhinebeck
What do you get when you combine Christmas, Dutch holiday traditions, and a small-town festival, then throw in a dash of Mardi Gras? Answer: Sinterklaas — one of the most unique holiday events you’ll find anywhere! The Village of Rhinebeck comes together on December 2 this year to put on this day-long party filled with performances of dance, music, theatre, and circus arts, plus craft workshops, food, and drink, all culminating in the spectacular evening Children’s Starlight Parade. It’s free fun for all ages and simply not to be missed. Visit www.sinkterklaashudsonvalley.com for a complete schedule of festivities.
Enter “The Wonderland of Lights”
Dutchess County welcomes a new potential tradition: The Wonderland of Lights, which debuts at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck this year. This drive-through event features dozens of bright light displays with music. The experience runs through December 25; tickets can be purchased online at The Wonderland of Lights website.
“Little Women” at The Center for Performing Arts
Rhinebeck Theatre Society presents “Little Women,” a new play adapted from Louisa May Alcott’s novel with traditional holiday carols. Written and Directed by Dorothy Luongo. This timeless coming of age story follows four sisters growing up during the Civil War as they discover the power of family and friendship, and the strength of their own spirits to give joy, heal hearts, and make their own mark on the world that lies ahead. Performances run from December 8 – 23 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Purchase tickets in advance on the Center’s website at https://www.centerforperformingarts.org.