Straight from the Source
The classic ballet performed by one of the world’s pre-eminent dance companies, The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker features hand-painted sets, lush costumes, giant puppets, and nesting dolls: everything you remember from childhood, but presented on a grand scale.
Dec 5, Palace Theatre, Albany, 518.465.4663, www.palacealbany.org
Shop for Lots of Local Crafts
The annual Holiday Craft Fair convenes more than a hundred vendors from throughout the Hudson Valley in one room, with many opportunities to shop for gifts from local artists, chocolatiers, craftspeople, and more.
Dec 15, Mid-Hudson Civic Center, 14 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie, 845.454.5800, www.midhudsonciviccenter.org
Photo courtesy of Historic Hudson Opera House
Learn About a Tradition
Come celebrate Kwanzaa with the community of Hudson. Beginning with afternoon crafts, the Umoja Community Celebration includes opportunities for dancing and drumming, as well as an opportunity to learn about the seven principles of Kwanzaa with the recitation of Nguzo Saba.
Dec 15, Hudson Hall at the Historic Hudson Opera House, Hudson, 518.822.1438, www.hudsonhall.org
Photo by Doug Baz
From New Amsterdam to Now
Rhinebeck’s annual Sinterklaas Festival brings an old Dutch tradition into the present. Locals dressed as a variety of holiday figures like the magisterial Sinterklaas and Grumpus, his mischievous assistant, parade through town, giving candy and blessings to well-behaved children. Actors, puppets, music, and general merriment are all part of the program.
Dec 1, Rhinebeck, www.sinterklaashudsonvalley.com
A Community Celebration
The beloved Winter Walk returns to Hudson. Curated by Hudson Hall, dozens of vendors bring thousands of people to Hudson every year, providing food, drink, and live music in addition to local crafts and products for all ages.
Dec 1, Hudson Hall at the Historic Hudson Opera House, Hudson, 518.822.1438, www.hudsonhall.org
Photo by Christine Howlett
A Grand Tradition
The Hudson Valley Philharmonic’s performance of George Frederick Handel’s grandiose Messiah has become an annual tradition at the Bardavon, with more than 150 musicians and vocalists from the Cappella Festiva filling the stage to perform one of the most powerful pieces of music ever written. Try to keep your heart from stirring.
Dec 15, Bardavon, Poughkeepsie, 845.473.2072, www.bardavon.org
A Historic Highlight
Don’t miss the Festive Holiday Tours at Mount Gulian Historic Site. This Dutch Colonial home will decorate its many rooms in historic styles from the simple, rustic study to an opulent Victorian dining room. A Revolutionary-era musical reenactment group will perform at 4 p.m., and holiday wassail and desserts will be served from 3–6 p.m.
Dec 16, Mount Gulian Historic Site, Beacon, 845.831.8172, www.mountgulian.org
Step Up to the Season
Blending Christmas tales with high fantasy, Carol of the King: The Irish Dance Spectacular brings all the jigs and taps you love with a heaping helping of Lord of the Dance-style theatrics. Expect an original symphonic score, state-of-the-art production design, and steps that can’t be beat.
Dec 14, Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, Peekskill, 914.739.0039, www.paramounthudsonvalley.com
photo courtesy of bon secours charity health system
Décor Tour for Charity
Locals go all-out for the annual Winding Through Warwick event, lavishly decorating their homes and lawns and opening them to the general public. For those interested in décor, seasonal and otherwise, buying a pass entitles you to a self-guided tour of any participating property. Your donation benefits St. Anthony Community Hospital, Schervier Pavilion, and Mount Alverno Center.
Dec 1, $40, 845.368.5151, www.bschsf.org/windingthroughwarwick