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

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8 Great Things to Do in Dutchess County this Summer

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!

June 2021
Are you making your bucket list of summer activities in Dutchess County? Most COVID restrictions have been lifted, so what’s happening this year? We put together our own picks for making the most of what our corner of the Hudson Valley has to offer between now and Labor Day:
Dutchess Fair
August 24 – 29, 2021
The Dutchess Fair is back for 2021 – and along with it, just about everything that makes this classic county fair a summer must-do. Enjoy food, rides, livestock, entertainment, games, artisans, and more at Rhinebeck’s county fairgrounds. This year, tickets will be sold online only.
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 17 – August 1, 2021
Normally, Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theatre is on our summer bucket list – yes, that’s where Lin-Manuel Miranda first workshopped Hamilton — but this year, its traditional program is on hold. Instead, the Powerhouse will be one of three partners with the NY Stage and Film Summer Season. NYSAF is also partnering with Marist College and Revel 32 to provide innovative theatre experiences in the Hudson Valley. They’ll be presenting four new musicals-in-progress, along with a “Community Monologue and Song Jam.” Tickets for the outdoor venues at Vassar and Marist are pay-what-you-can and must be reserved in advance; the box office opens on July 1st. Will one of these musicals become Broadway’s next big thing?
Hudson Valley Renegades
Games run through September 19, 2021
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.” Regardless of the score, everyone wins a great time.
Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival
The details are still being ironed out with county and state officials, but you’ll want to save the dates September 3-5, 2021 for the 30th Annual Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival. This glorious annual event typically features dozens of hot-air balloon launches, moon glows, hayrides, family activities, entertainment, food, and more.
Splashdown Beach Water Park
Open June 26 – September 6, 2021
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 has lifted COVID-19 safety protocols and is ready to offer up summer fun the way we’re used to experiencing it.
Bard College SummerScape
July 8 – August 15, 2021
Located on the idyllic campus of Annandale-on-Hudson’s Bard College, SummerScape is back in 2021 with its signature slate of live music, dance, opera, and performance. The season wraps up with the 31st annual Bard Music Festival, Nadia Boulanger and Her World. Events are planned to accommodate limited in-person audiences at indoor venues as well as outdoor spaces. SummerScape always combines the best of arts and the Hudson Valley’s 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 a Car Show (July 31), Sunflower Festival (August 7-8 and 14-15), Cider Festival (August 21), and Barbecue and Brews (September 4-6).
Here are some other items to help complete your Summer 2021 Dutchess County bucket list:
Here’s to summer! We hope yours is full of adventure…


Poughkeepsie and the Hudson River at night

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