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Holiday festival of lights

Festive Holiday Happenings in the Hudson Valley

‘Tis the season for family, food and fun, and the Hudson Valley has a ton of fun to explore and enjoy! There are town-wide festivals and parades, winter walks and cookie-making workshops, theater classics and the popular train ride to the North Pole and the dazzling drive through a “Wonderland of Lights” (see the photo above).  These events are the perfect solution to cabin fever and shopping fatigue.

Here’s a round-up of some of the region’s most enticing events for your consideration, including links so you can buy tickets or learn more.  So let the celebration begin –  and continue –  all month long!


The Wonderland of Lights | Rhinebeck |  WEBSITE |  November + December Dates

November 25– December 26: Mon.-Thur. 6 PM-9 PM and Fri.-Sat. 6 PM -10 PM
December 3– 19: Fridays & Saturdays 7:00pm, Sundays 3:00pm

For the first time ever, this family-friendly holiday drive-thru experience is coming to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds! This no-contact drive-through mile-long path of dazzling, festive lights and holiday displays will make lasting memories for the whole family. Location: 661 NY-308, Rhinebeck, NY (Dutchess County Fairgrounds)


Tivoli Holiday Show | Tivoloi | WEBSITE | November + December Dates

November 19 – December 19, Friday: 5:00 PM -8:30 PM; Saturday: 12:00pm-8:00pm; Sunday: 1:00 PM -5:00 PM
Over 30 artists have created works in a range of colors with the holiday season in mind. With greeting cards, prints, paintings, photography, handmade apparel ceramics, mixed media, and jewelry, it’s a feast for your eyes –  and a great place to source unique and beautiful gifts. Location: 60 Broadway, Tivoli


Holiday Open House | Woodstock |  WEBSITE | December 3, 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Join this festive evening of holiday shopping and dining! Come and see the beautiful window displays, support local shops, and enjoy the magic of the holidays in Woodstock.


Winter Walk | Hudson | WEBSITE | December 4, 5:00 PM

Winter Walk lights up the early December night once more with stunning storefront displays, roaming carolers, street performers, food, drinks, and a magical fireworks display from the Hudson River.


Sinterklaas Festival Day | Rhinebeck (events throughout town) | WEBSITE | December 4, 11:00 AM – evening

A full day of festival activities culminating in the gala Children’s Starlight Parade. 250+ musicians, actors, magicians and other magical performers will be coming to town! Be sure to grab a program booklet when you arrive so you know the whole story of Sinterklaas in the Mid-Hudson Valley.


Catskill Christmas Express | Kingston  | WEBSITE |  December 3-19, see website for train schedule

The Catskill Christmas Express will take passengers on a 60-minute trip through the Catskill Forest to Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole – complete with a visit from Santa! The flat cars are open-air, so bundle up and bring a blanket! Location: 55 Kingston Plaza Road, Kingston


A Christmas Carol | Rhinebeck |  WEBSITE |  November 25-26, December 2, 12, 20 & 25, 6:00 PM -10:00 PM

A powerful story of redemption, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, has enchanted audiences the world over with its simple message of Holiday joy. Ebenezer Scrooge, that most unrepentant and miserly of fellows, is made to see the light as he survives a merciless battery of revelations by the ghosts of his own life. Location: 661 NY-308, Rhinebeck, NY (Dutchess County Fairgrounds)


Holiday Wood Sign Workshop | Red Hook | WEBSITE | December 11, 11:00 AM -1:00 PM

Prepare to get festive as you design and paint your own holiday wood sign. You’ll choose from a selection of shapes including Christmas Tree, Sled, Santa, and more. Registration required. Location: 17 East Market Street, Red Hook

Holiday Maker’s Market +  A Luminous Musical, Magical Experience | Rosendale | WEBSITE |  December 11

11:00: Holiday Market Opens | 3:00: Holiday Market Closes
3:30: Lantern Making Begins | 4:44: Lantern & Puppet Procession Begins

Meet many artisans from the Catskills & Hudson Valley, as well as your neighbors behind the public parking of the Big Cheese in Rosendale. Support others’ creative journeys, and begin or deepen your own through crafting kits that are available for purchase as well as community projects on-site. Location: Willow Kiln Park, Rosendale


Paige Turner’s CHRISTMAS is a Drag! | Kingston |  WEBSITE | December 11, 8:30 PM -10:00 PM

This oversized Barbie wants a lot this Christmas and isn’t taking NO for an answer. ‘Tis the season to be greedy, so come be a misfit, get your stocking stuffed, and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas –  Paige Turner style! Location: Old Dutch Church – 272 Wall Street, Kingston


Scroll Saw Ornaments Workshop | Kingston |  WEBSITE |  December 11, 10:00 AM -4:00 PM

Instructor Bob Boisvert will share his love and mastery of woodworking in this introductory class creating holiday ornaments. Topics will include working safely with power tools, personal protection, shop safety, types of saws and blades, and selecting the blade and wood to match the project. Location: Hudson River Maritime Museum – 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston


Adult Holiday Cookie Baking Class | New Paltz | WEBSITE | December 16, 6:00 PM

In the midst of all the holiday festivities, come out and enjoy a fun evening creating 3 unique types of holiday cookies! Learn master decorating techniques. Bring your cookie tins –  and your appetite! Location: 105 Phillies Bridge Road, New Paltz


Victorian Holidays at Mohonk Mountain House | New Paltz |  | WEBSITE | December 24-25

Experience the magic of a Victorian-style Christmas celebration while “retreating” at historic Mohonk! Their castle resort will be decorated for the season with trees, festive wreaths, and plenty of cheer, making it the best destination for your Christmas vacation.

Peace, Love & Joy to all!


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