Dutchess County farm decorated for Christmas

Community Meets Luxury

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

9 Great Holiday Activities in Dutchess County

November 25, 2022

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.
Locust Grove holiday events in Dutchess County
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. Experience a “Roosevelt Family Christmas” every day through December 30th at the FDR National Historic Site. 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 26 to December 31. On Sundays in December, 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 10 – 18. 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.
Dutchess County farm decorated for Christmas
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 on Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11. 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
The 28th annual Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks returns on Friday, December 2 at 6:00pm. This event kicks off the holiday season in Dongan Place, also known as Poughkeepsie’s “Little Italy.” The City of Poughkeepsie, along with the Bardavon Opera House and other community partners, will host a dazzling parade that starts on Main Street. There will be food trucks, brass bands, dancers, carolers, a tree lighting, Santa Claus and a Fireworks finale! Get details on this year’s event at Bardavon.org. 
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 Winter Craft Fair on December 3 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 December 1 – 4. Dutchess Stadium and the Hudson Valley Renegades are hosting Rascal’s Holiday Bazaar on December 4, featuring holiday crafts and a puppet show for kids.
Sinterklaas in Rhinebeck
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 3 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.
Christmas Carol production Dutchess County 2021
“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 2 – 18 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Purchase tickets in advance on the Center’s website at https://www.centerforperformingarts.org.


ERDAJT holiday light display
ERDAJT Holiday Light Display
For over a decade, one family of five has established their home as New York state’s largest private residential light display, with over 600,000 lights, 1,200 individually controlled items, and a synchronized musical soundtrack on local radio frequency 95.3FM. It’s also spectacle with a cause: all donations collected from drive-through visitors are donated to local charities. You’ll find ERDAJT at 8 Patrick Drive in LaGrangeville; this year’s dates and hours are listed at www.erdajt.com.
Kevin McCurdy’s Holiday Spirit Festival
This kitschy pop-up winter wonderland never fails to delight, with an “enchanted light forest,” interactive displays, live music and characters, holiday train exhibit, scavenger hunt, and special events. You’ll find it at 38 Sheafe Road in Wappingers Falls; visit www.holidayspiritfestival.com for a calendar and admission information.
Whether you’re local, visiting, or thinking of relocating, learn more about Sleight Farm and why we love our corner of Dutchess County!

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