These Are the Best Fun & Leisure Activities the Hudson Valley Has to Offer

Photo by Marty Molitoris

Outdoor Guide Service

Alpine Endeavors LLC

The Shawangunks boast some of the best rock-climbing in the Northeast, which is great — but it’s also daunting. Enter Alpine Endeavors LLC, a nationally accredited guide service based in the Shawangunk and Catskill mountains. The Ulster County company is fully equipped to take you to new heights and operates year-round for rock, ice, and alpine climbing.

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Art Programs for Youth

The Art Effect

Formerly known as Mill Street Loft and Spark Media Project, these organizations merged to create The Art Effect — dedicated to fostering personal and professional development for youth through sequential, impactful arts and media programs that encourage youth to explore, experience, and excel.


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Children’s Theater

Arm-of-the-Sea Theater

This troupe — whose name refers to the Hudson River — mixes fun with social awareness, weaving stories of conservation with original music and extraordinary handmade costumes, puppets, and set designs that are artworks in themselves. The storytellers’ snappy dialogue and humor entertain people of all ages.



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Film Festival

Woodstock Film Festival

Film lovers from near and far flock here to experience five days of fun. Priding itself on “fiercely independent films,” the festival features a packed schedule of screenings, paired with panels and concerts that draw in big names like Paul Rudd and Steve Buscemi. Not only will you get the chance to talk to fellow film junkies, but you’ll also take in gorgeous views as you hop around to various screening sites. 



Photo by Chloe Jane

Art Center, Lower Hudson Valley

Garner Arts Center

Housed in a repurposed 19th-century textile mill complex listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this interdisciplinary arts “neighborhood,” set on 14 acres, offers studios for makers to hone their craft, public art exhibition space, live performances and film screenings, a creekside sculpture trail, and even an on-site craft brewery. Hmm, perhaps this should have been Best Arts & Craft Brewery?



Art Center, Upper Hudson Valley

The Arts Center of the Capital Region

Founded in 1962, the Center welcomes artists of all ages and serves nearly 40,000 people annually. Features include: studios (for digital arts, printmaking, culinary arts, metal and woodworking, painting, drawing, and dance), four art galleries, and a 100-seat black box theatre. With more than 500 classes every year, week-long camps, college credit courses, and available program scholarships, who wouldn’t want to unleash their creativity here?



Intimate Live Music Venue

The Hollow Bar + Kitchen

With a 300 person capacity, this versatile venue is just large enough to draw acts like Matt & Kim, The Hold Steady, and Kongos without losing that house-party atmosphere. Plus, you can hit the restaurant for dinner, catch a show, and then hang at the bar into the night.



Movie House

The Moviehouse

A supporter of cinema arts and culture, The M offers a space where viewers can enjoy independent films, artwork from local artists, and still catch that blockbuster movie they have been dying to see. Attend a screening of an old classic like The Godfather, or enjoy a performance live from Moscow like the Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema.



Photo by Marco Anelli

New Art Space

Magazzino Italian Art

Magazzino (which means warehouse in Italian) houses an extensive library and archive of post-war and contemporary Italian art in a 20,000 sq ft private warehouse gallery. In addition to serving as a resource for scholars and students, it has become a vibrant cultural hub for the community. The gallery is free to the public by appointment.

Cold Spring;


New Outdoor Activity

Rail Explorers USA

This pedal-powered ride on old train tracks has finally come to the Hudson Valley — in Phoenicia — and is a great way to explore the Catskills. Custom Rail Explorers seat two or four riders at a time, with a few hundred feet between Explorers to ensure a comfortably private experience as you go “clickety clack” along the rails.



News for Golfers

Wiltwyck Golf Club

After almost 90 years as a private course, Wiltwyck is now open to the public. With its Robert Trent Jones-designed links, pool, tennis courts, and new restaurant under Chef Kenny Callaghan, the Club is an ideal spot to hit the greens and relax with a great meal and a cocktail — or two.



Outdoor Concert Venue

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Attending an event at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), which is situated within the 2,400-acre Saratoga Spa State Park, is worth the trip up north. The combination of the park’s lush setting — with its lofty pines, mineral springs, geysers, and reflecting pools — and the depth and breadth of the performances (it’s the permanent summer home of the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and features concerts by Live Nation) can’t be beat.

Saratoga Springs;


Photo courtesy of Discover Albany

Way to Spend Mother’s Day

Albany Tulip Festival

Giving your mom flowers is one thing; surrounding her with 150,000 tulips is quite another. The annual Tulip Festival in historic Washington Park honors the city’s Dutch heritage as the oldest Dutch settlement in America. It also features crafts from nearly 100 artisans, a fine arts show, food, and two stages of world-class live entertainment all weekend long.



Waterfront Concert Series

Rockin’ on the River

This Wednesday night outdoor summer concert series along the waterfront will get you through the grind of the work week and offers the perfect reason for live music fans to shop, dine, and explore Downtown Troy. We can’t think of a better way to spend a weeknight out.



Way to Showcase a City

Newburgh Illuminated

Shutting down the ordinarily bustling intersection of Broadway and Grand Street, this three-year-old festival has everything: live music, dance, a historic bus tour, tons of food and vendors, a fashion show, artwork, children’s activities, and more. Most importantly, it gives attendees the chance to absorb the city’s beautiful downtown and appreciate its architecture, residents, and spirit.



Reader’s Picks


Bike/Rail Trail

Hudson Valley Rail Trail

Various locations;

Bowling Alley

Spins Bowl

Poughkeepsie/Wappingers Falls;

Drive-In Theater

Hyde Park Drive-In Theatre

Hyde Park;


Dutchess County Fair



Sheep and Wool Festival


Girls’ Night Out

Second Saturday


Golf Course (Public)

Apple Greens Golf Course


Hudson River Cruise

The River Rose



Mahoney’s Irish Pub & Steakhouse


Kayak or Paddlesport Rental

Jersey Paddle Board

Greenwood Lake;


Benedict Farm Park


Place for a Picnic

Vanderbilt Mansion

Hyde Park,

Pro or Semi-Pro Sports Teams (HV-based only)

Hudson Valley Renegades

Wappingers Falls;

Ski Area

Hunter Mountain


Trivia Night

2 Alices Coffee Lounge





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