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The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Events in the Hudson Valley

The Hudson Valley region of New York is a popular destination for holiday events and activities. From festive light displays and visits with Santa Claus to ice skating and holiday markets, there is no shortage of ways to get into the holiday spirit in the Hudson Valley.

One of the most beloved Christmas events in the Hudson Valley is the Holiday Light Show at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. This annual event features over 100,000 twinkling lights synchronized to holiday music. The light show is open daily from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year's Eve and is a must-see for families and couples alike.

Another popular event is the Hudson Valley Santa Parade. This annual parade features floats, marching bands, and of course, Santa Claus himself. The parade typically takes place on the first Saturday in December and is a great way to kick off the holiday season.

If you're looking for something a little more active, consider visiting one of the many ice skating rinks in the Hudson Valley. The Rockefeller Center ice rink in New York City may be the most famous, but the Hudson Valley has its own share of beautiful outdoor rinks, including the Rink at the Warwick Drive-In and the rink at the Ulster County Fairgrounds.

In addition to these events, the Hudson Valley is also home to several holiday markets and craft fairs. The Artisan's Gift Fair at the Vanderbilt Mansion is a popular choice, featuring unique handmade gifts and holiday decorations. The Holiday Craft Fair at the Culinary Institute of America is another great option, with a wide variety of handmade crafts and delicious food and drink.

The Hudson Valley is also a great destination for holiday movie screenings and theater shows. The Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie, for example, hosts a variety of holiday productions, including the Nutcracker ballet and A Christmas Carol. The Paramount Hudson Valley Theater in Peekskill also has a lineup of holiday shows, including a performance of A Christmas Carol by the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.

In addition to these theater productions, the Hudson Valley also has a number of holiday-themed concerts. The Hudson Valley Philharmonic hosts several holiday concerts throughout the season, featuring classic holiday tunes and festive melodies. The Catskill Symphony Orchestra also has a holiday concert series, with performances of holiday favorites and classical works.

Of course, no holiday season would be complete without a visit to see Santa Claus. The Hudson Valley has several options for meeting the man in red, including visits with Santa at the Galleria at Crystal Run mall in Middletown and the Poughkeepsie Galleria mall.

For a unique experience, consider visiting the Hudson Valley Railroad's "The Polar Express" train ride. This festive event allows guests to ride a real-life train and experience the magic of the classic story. Hot cocoa and cookies are served on board, and Santa even makes an appearance at the end of the ride.

In addition to the events mentioned above, the Hudson Valley has several other holiday activities to enjoy. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Winter Wonderland at the Taconic Outdoor Education Center offers a variety of winter activities, including ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding. The center also has a holiday market and a visit from Santa Claus.

For a more traditional holiday experience, consider visiting the Village of Warwick for its annual Holiday on Main Street event. This event features horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, and a visit from Santa Claus. The village also has a number of festive holiday window displays, making it a great destination for a holiday stroll.

If you're looking for a unique holiday activity, consider visiting the Mohonk Mountain House for its annual Christmas Candlelight Evenings. This event features a beautiful holiday light display, carolers, and a Christmas Eve feast. The resort also offers a variety of holiday-themed activities, including gingerbread house decorating and visits with Santa Claus.

For a holiday event that the whole family can enjoy, consider visiting the Hudson Valley Animal Rescue and Sanctuary for its annual Reindeer Festival. This event features live reindeer, holiday crafts, and a visit from Santa Claus. The sanctuary also has a variety of other animals, including alpacas, goats, and donkeys, making it a fun and educational holiday outing.

Finally, no holiday season in the Hudson Valley would be complete without a visit to the West Point Military Academy for its annual Holiday Concert. This festive event features a performance by the West Point Band and the West Point Gospel Choir and is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. The concert is typically held in early December and is free and open to the public.

Whatever your interests, the Hudson Valley has something for everyone during the holiday season. So why not plan a trip and experience the magic of the holidays in this beautiful region of New York? And with our Hudson Valley car service, you’ll be able to explore everything at your own pace without worrying about driving!

Posted on Dec 14th 2022

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