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Sleight Farm’s blog about building a custom home and living in Dutchess County, NY.
9 Great Holiday Activities in Dutchess County 2021
November 26, 2019
Hmmm…what do we love most about the holiday season here in Dutchess County? Is it the picturesque country setting or the community feel? The sparkle, the fun, the history, or the wide variety of cultural experiences? We simply can’t choose! Instead, we’ll share just a few of our favorite Hudson Valley holiday activities and hope that however you celebrate the season, you find beloved traditions or something-new-to-try on this list.
Travel Back In Time at Local Historic Estates
Each December, history meets holidays at Dutchess County’s fabled mansions. When visiting these local treasures all decked out with period decorations, you truly get a taste of Christmas past. At Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie, the house is updated with festive holiday decor like trees hung with antique ornaments; tours are Saturdays and Sundays from December 4 to December 19. On Sunday, December 5, kids are invited to participate in the annual holiday-themed scavenger hunt. Special holiday tours of the Mount Gulian Historic Site in Beacon run between December 11 – 19. And here’s a secret tip: Mills Mansion in Staatsburgh has one of the county’s best gift shops…and is one of the area’s top sledding spots after a snowfall.
Farm Fresh for the Holidays
Dutchess County’s farm bounty doesn’t end when the weather cools. Limar’s Farm and Nursery in LaGrangeville welcomes visitors to a farmers market and holiday fair every Saturday through December 18. 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.
Poughkeepsie Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks
After a 2 year wait, the 27th annual Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks returns on Friday, December 3 at 6:30pm. This event kicks off the holiday season as the City of Poughkeepsie, along with the Bardavon Opera House and other community partners, puts on a dazzling parade that kicks off on Main Street and ends with a Christmas tree lighting. Illumination then heads skyward as the Poughkeepsie River District Business Association and Legion Fireworks puts on the area’s only winter fireworks display. Following the parade and fireworks, the Bardavon will present a screening of the holiday film classic It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) at 8pm. The film is preceded at 7:30pm with a concert on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. Get details on this year’s event at https://www.bardavon.org/show/celebration-of-lights-parade-fireworks-2.
Holiday Craft and Artisan Fairs
It’s a win-win-win of holiday shopping: you get to avoid the mall while supporting local artists and giving unique handmade gifts. The Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie hosts a Holiday Craft Fair on December 18 with over 100 Hudson Valley artists, crafters, and food vendors. Shop with members of Arts Mid-Hudson at their annual Dutchess Handmade Pop-Up Shop on December 4 and 5. Dutchess Stadium and the Hudson Valley Renegades are hosting Rascal’s Holiday Bazaar on December 4, featuring holiday crafts and a Nerf war for kids.
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 4 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 26; tickets can be purchased online at https://thewonderlandoflights.com/rhinebeck_show.
“A Christmas Carol” at The Center for Performing Arts
A classic production of a classic: Now in its 16th year, Rhinebeck’s fabulous Center for Performing Arts is pleased to present the musical A Christmas Carol, directed by Lou Trapani. Performances run from December 3 – 19 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm and Sundays at 3pm. Purchase tickets in advance on the Center’s website at https://www.centerforperformingarts.org.