This season, turn off technology and turn on tradition. The entire valley glistens with twinkly lights and old fashioned celebrations, and beautifully decorated destinations to dazzle every eye, young and old. The Hudson Valley is decked out with all the trimmings to dazzle the eye and lift the spirit. Make some new holiday memories in our charming small towns up and down the river. No humbug here!
Dazzling Holiday Displays
Jingle bells herald your arrival to the utterly unique Hickory Dickory Dock gift shop in Nyack where hundreds of smiling faces greet you. Elves, Santas, angels, gnomes and a host of others draw you into the gaily decorated shop. The owners travel to Germany every year for hand-carved cuckoo clocks, nutcrackers, delicate music boxes, and unique ornaments that adorn the cozy and inviting store. (845) 358-7474
Holiday cheer also sparkles at Gillinder Glass in Port Jervis. One of America’s oldest glass companies, the gift shop is resplendent in the jewel tones of ornaments, vases, paperweights, jewelry, sun catchers, lamps, and numerous pieces of home décor. If you didn’t know better, you’d think these collectibles were crafted by elves, but take the special factory tour to see how Gillinder’s beautiful pieces are made. (845) 856-5375
Thanksgiving brings up the curtain to wondrous weekends here. Hudson Valley villages look like magical stage sets twinkling up and down the river. Full of the Dickens, the Christ Episcopal Church in Tarrytown hosts musical storytelling performances of the seasonal favorite A CHRISTMAS CAROL on the weekends through December 20th. (914) 631-8200
The day after Thanksgiving may be “Black Friday,” but not in Albany’s Washington Park. Tree branches, gardens, and open spaces are illuminated with fantastical displays at the annual Capital Holiday Lights in the Park through January 2th. Seasonal music plays as you drive past dozens of brightly lit displays bringing you to the Lake House for refreshments, craft vendors, costumed characters, children's entertainment, and a meet and greet with the big guy himself, Santa Claus! (518) 434-1217
Hudson River houses built over 100 years ago are one of the most charming aspects of the region. Wish architecture perfectly suited for ornamentation, homes like Wilderstein in Rhinebeck carry decoration like a finely dressed woman. Well known florists and designers have transformed the 1888 Queen Anne riverfront mansion room by room into a magical holiday spectacular to tour at your leisure on weekends through December. (845) 876-7439
The 1827 Federal-style Hart-Cluett House in Troy is also a splendid floral showcase. Inspired by beloved holiday songs, twelve rooms of the mansion have been transformed with this year’s theme, “Christmas Melodies” by the Van Rensselaer Garden Club. For a special treat, take one of the alluring candlelight tours to see the décor in all its glowing beauty. (518) 272-7232
Spectacular holiday lights. Frosty's Enchanted Forest (drive-through or hayride), Candy Cane Lane, Magical Mansion, Frosty's Magical Adventure (3D walk-through) and Santa's North Pole (visits with Santa). Stage shows, food, cafes, gift shops and more. Fun for kids of all ages. You can find all this family fun at the Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses, 778 Broadway (Route 9W) Ulster Park. Friday 6-8pm, Saturday 4:30 - 8pm, Sunday 4:30 - 7pm through December 27. (845) 339-2666
Across the river, the village of Hudson celebrates the beginning of the season with its Winter Walk on Warren Street, December 5th. A trumpet fanfare announces the arrival of the Santa Parade and the street becomes a festive thoroughfare with twinkling lights, brightly decorated shops, horse-drawn wagons offering rides, stilt walkers and marionettes, bagpipers and live reindeer. Look for Frosty the Snowman on the street, as well as Scrooge and Marley’s Ghost, the walking Grandfather Clock, Tin Soldier, and a host of angels, snowflakes and elves of all sizes. (518) 822-1438
December 4 is the official start of Holiday Magic on Main Street which will bring a completely new way to celebrate the holiday season in Putnam. Shop local and experience the events that this season’s merchants have lined up along with featured items for your holiday shopping pleasure. On December 5 and 6, don’t miss the opportunity to participate in the Holiday Shop Hop and visit one of the 29 participating stores to get your card stamped and be entered to win prizes. Merchants will offer exclusive spa packages, gift baskets, ornament gifting, taste testings and more. On December 12 and 13, shoppers can find unique treasures among the two jewelry trunk shows, enter raffles for gift certificates, and take a picture on Santa’s sleigh. Make sure to take a break to enjoy a peppermint latte and take in all the magic that comes with spending the holiday season in Cold Spring.
Beautiful Main St in the heart of the Village of Catskill comes to life with seasonal cheer as businesses stay open late for the more adult oriented evening of the Second Annual Winter Wonderland festivities on December 11 with Caroling, a violinist, tarot readings, live acoustic music, a reading of Dickens and more. On December 12, the Winter Wonderland festivities are for the the family with a likely visit from Santa, there will be craft workshops at the Catskill Community Center, a traveling puppet show, indoor vendors market at Kirwans Game Store, art reception at the Frisbee Insurance Agency and Gallery, music creations by Brian Dewan , face painting, and a discount matinee and magician at The Community Theater. Friday evening 5-9pm and Saturday 12-5pm