New home in Hudson Valley with brick front entrance, at Sleight Farm in Dutchess County

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Sleight Farm’s blog about building a custom home and living in Dutchess County, NY.

8 Great Things To Do in Dutchess County – Summer 2023

May 29, 2023

Swing ride at Dutchess County Fair, one of the best summer activities in the Hudson Valley

Time to swing into summer fun in Dutchess County!

Summer has arrived! There are so many things to do in the Hudson Valley between now and Labor Day. What deserves a spot on your calendar? Here are our recommendations. 
Dutchess Fair
August 22 – 27, 2023
The Dutchess Fair happens at the end of summer, but we just have to list it first. This classic county fair is a must-do. Enjoy food, rides, livestock, entertainment, games, artisans, and more at Rhinebeck’s county fairgrounds. Hot tip: buy your tickets online to avoid long lines at the ticket booths, and if you or your kids love the rides, invest in a ride-all-day wristband for $30 (online) or $35 (at the fair).
Taconic State Park
Taconic State Park, near the borders of Massachusetts and Connecticut, offers both Copake Falls and Rudd Pond for summer fun. There’s a campground with tent sites, trailer sites, and cabins, as well as great swimming spots like Ore Pit Pond. Hike to Bash Bish Falls or up Brace Mountain, the highest point in Dutchess County, or visit the Copake Iron Works Museum to learn about the iron industry at the former site of Copake Iron Works, established in 1845.
NY Stage and Film Summer Season
July 14 – August 6, 2023
No need to go to Manhattan to catch the hottest up-and-coming stage plays and musicals. This year, the NYSAF comes to Marist College with public performances and readings, including new work by Beth Henley, Laurence Fishburne…and a musical adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time.”
Hudson Valley Renegades
Home games run through September 10, 2023
Now a New York Yankees High-A affiliate, the Renegades bring family fun and local flavor to Minor League baseball action at Fishkill’s Dutchess Stadium (aka “The Dutch”). Several home games feature fireworks or Friday night “light shows,” and the calendar is full of special promotional events such as Marvel Night, Star Wars Night, and Halloween in July. Regardless of the score, everyone wins a great time.
Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival
September 1 – 3, 2023
At this memorable and unique Dutchess County tradition, hot-air balloonists from all over the U.S. participate in 75 scheduled ascensions over the course of three days. Highlights include the evening Majestic Hot-Air Balloon Illumination Moon Glow, fireworks each night, tethered hot-air balloon rides, full hot-air balloon flights, helicopter rides, live music and entertainment, food trucks, family activities and more. Tickets are only sold online in advance.
Splashdown Beach Water Park
Open May 29 – September 4, 2022
Splashdown Beach calls itself “America’s Biggest Little Water Park,” and this bucket list destination located in Fishkill definitely lives up to the name. Featuring thirteen wonderfully wet water slides, rides, and play areas, Splashdown was recently named a “Top 10” U.S. water park by TripAdvisor.
Bard College SummerScape
June 22 – August 13, 2023
Located on the idyllic campus of Annandale-on-Hudson’s Bard College, SummerScape is back in 2023 for its 20th season of live music, dance, opera, and performance. Highlights include the 33rd Bard Music Festival, the French grand opera “Henry VIII,” and a theatrical production based on Sufjan Stevens’s concept album “Illinois.” SummerScape always combines the best of arts and the Hudson Valley’s stunning natural backdrop into cultural experiences to remember.
Barton Orchards
Barton Orchards is known throughout Dutchess County as a go-to spot for fall apple picking, but you can also find homegrown fun there all summer. The farm stand, tap room, ropes course, and daily activities are open seven days a week, and the calendar’s full of special events like the Hudson Valley Food Truck Festival, Pride in July, Car Show, Sunflower Festival, and Barbecue and Brews.
Here are some other items to help complete your Summer 2023 Dutchess County calendar of activities:
Here’s to summer! We hope yours is full of your favorite things.


Poughkeepsie and the Hudson River at night

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