As the last major holiday before the fall festivities kick into high gear, Labor Day is a revelrous occasion in the Hudson Valley. Grills fire up, beaches fill up, and the community dresses up in as much white as it can muster. With so much riding on the unofficial end of summer, it seems only right to make the long weekend one to remember.
Choose your own adventure from one of these local activities or hop from one to the next for a festive few days. Want even more ideas? Choose one of our Hudson Valley town guides and hit the road.
August 29 – September 3, 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Schaghticoke Fairgrounds, Schaghticoke
â€‹Anyone who said a sad farewell to the Dutchess County Fair last week will jump on Rensselaer County’s rendition. The upstate fest commences on Wednesday and runs until Labor Day, with different attractions scheduled each day. Country artist Brandon Lay, The Voice 2017 artist Moriah Formica, and Kieth Anderson are set to perform over the course of the long weekend, so plan accordingly to catch your favorite artist. On Saturday, stick around for a fireworks show at night.
Is there anywhere in the #HudsonValley that you see all the time but have never actually visited? We stopped by Bannerman a few weeks ago (it was on our story!) and it was 100% worth the trip. Reposting @fitchface1: … “Grew up looking at this structure from across the river, and today, I finally set foot on the island. . . . . #BannermanCastle #pollepelisland #Newburgh #HudsonValley #NewYork #History #RevolutionaryWar #ILoveNY #Bannerman #HudsonValley #Explore #Travel #GetOutMore #TheGreatOutdoors”
August 31, 7-10 p.m.
Beacon Institute Floating Dock, Red Flynn Rd, Beacon
Start the weekend on a thrilling note with a screening of The Mummy on Bannerman Island. No, it’s not the 1999 version (sorry, Brendan Fraser fans). We’re talking about the 1932 Boris Karloff classic. Boats depart from Beacon, and all attendees are advised to bring a flashlight. If you’ve never seen the flick before or are in the mood for some pre-Halloween chills, there’s no better place to get in the spooky spirit that at Bannerman.
Altamont Fairgrounds, 129 Grand, Altamont
If you’re looking for something a little less traditional to do, the Capital District Scottish Games is the activity for you. Less Hunger Games and more family festival, the weekend hoopla includes live music (read: pipe bands and bagpipes), traditional Highland dancing, a 5K race, and Highland athletic competitions. On top of that, a Scottish breed dog show and events for the kids make the fest an appealing option for the whole family. Admission prices vary by day, with beer-inclusive options available.
September 1-2, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
428 Rte 216, Stormville
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include Stormville Flea Market on our Labor Day to-do list. The iconic shopping fest brings together hundreds of vendors and shoppers over the course of the weekend. Browse for antiques, sift through vintage jewelry, and find all the treasures you never knew you needed among the seemingly infinite stalls at Stormville. When shopping gets the best of you, take a break at one of the nearby food stands. As always, admission and parking are free.
Barton Orchards, 63 Apple Tree Ln, Poughquag
Come Labor Day weekend, Barton is a one-stop shop for all your family fun needs. Start with a few hours of pick-your-own entertainment on the farm, then break for the daytime bands and theme park festivities. At night, dare the kids to wander through the creepy corn maze and haunted house. Bring your own wagon for produce picking during the day and have a flashlight on hand for maze navigation at night. Throughout the weekend, take advantage of the farm bakery and indulge in apple cider donuts, hearty chili, and homemade muffins galore.
September 1, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Unison Arts Center, 68 Mountain Rest Rd, New Paltz
Regardless of whether you’re an antiquing expert or are simply on the hunt for a new living room table, you should consider a trip to Unison Arts Center for its annual Labor Day weekend barn sale. Early birds do get the worm at this shopping event, which kicks off at 8 a.m. New items will be added throughout the day, so consider visiting in the morning and after lunch to make sure you have a chance to scope out all the goods. Admission is $10 in the first hour and free during the rest of the day. Prior to the sale, the Center accept donations of household items, home furnishings, gently-worn clothing, antiques, and more. If you have anything you want to clear out of the house before fall begins, now is the chance to do it.
September 1, 5-9:30 p.m.
The Historic Kiersted Dutch Barn, 119 Main St, Saugerties
Fans of folk should stop by Saugerties for Upstate Cornufolkia, the community music festival that benefits Hope Rocks. Local artists like Mateo & Dougan, Paul Luke Band, Ian Flanigan, Logan Callahan, Susan Cattaneo, and Mead Mount Resonators are set to perform at the family-friendly event. Tickets cost $10 online and $15 at the door, and kids can enter free. Beer, wine, and food truck vendors will be onsite to provide tasty bites between performances.
September 1, 6 p.m.
Dutchess Stadium, 1500 Rte 9D, Wappingers Falls
Join the Hudson Valley’s beloved baseball team on the Saturday before Labor Day to ring in the weekend and cheer on the ‘gades as they square off against the Tampa Bay Rays. Win or lose, the team will celebrate with fireworks after the last pitch. Keep an ear out during the game for contests, giveaways, and activities on the field.
September 1, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Trophy Point Amphitheater, 117 Washington Rd, West Point
If you’ve ever been to West Point’s Fourth of July celebrations, you’ll know that the site takes its fireworks displays very seriously. Swing by at night for an evening of music from the West Point Band, the Concert Band, Hellcats, and the Benny Havens Band. Bring a blanket to kick back and watch the setting sun, then turn your eyes to the sky to catch the breathtaking fireworks show.
September 2, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, 200 Hurd Rd, Bethel
Bethel rings in the arrival of fall in the Hudson Valley all month long with harvest fests scheduled for each Sunday in September. Bring the family to browse the farmers market and craft village stands, then catch the live performances, wander through the hay maze, and hop on a pony ride. On that Saturday, the Rosehavens Alpacas return to the site with live alpacas and alpaca-related exhibits and shopping stalls. A long list of food, craft, and alcohol vendors will also be on the premises, which means you have every excuse to stick around all day.
We are pleased to announce the installation of Alexander Calder’s monumental stabile Tripes at #StormKing. On long-term loan from the @calderfoundation, the sculpture makes its return to the Art Center, where it was on view from 2001–2003 in Grand Intuitions: Calder’s Monumental Sculpture. Spot this stabile on your next visit! • regram @calderfoundation Image: Tripes, 1974; Five Swords, 1976, Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York. Photo: @jiggytravels. © 2018 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York • #Calder #AlexanderCalder #CalderFoundation #StormKingArtCenter #Tripes #ArtinNature
September 3, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Storm King Art Center, 1 Museum Rd, New Windsor
On Labor Day, Storm King will open its doors to the community at large to roam across the 500 acres of rolling grounds and stumble upon the 100-plus sculptures in the center’s collection. Although it’s safe to say you won’t be able to see all the art on display, you can still spot a fair number of awe-inspiring exhibits while you’re there. Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, $8 for children and students, and free for children under 5 years.