We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. There are a ton of things to do in the Hudson Valley each month. In fact, when it comes to actually choosing between one event or another, there’s potentially too much to do. Food fest on Saturday? Great. But there’s also that play you wanted to see. Oh, and that workshop you RSVP’d for in the afternoon. And the…oh wait, that’s already two things too many!
To help scout out the best events in the Valley, we reached out to local tourism directors from Albany to Ulster for their top picks for things to do. Check out their selections, then get planning!
Discover Albany President and CEO Jill Delaney shares her top recommendations for the month:
Photo by Discover Albany
Empire State Plaza, Albany
July 4, 3-10 p.m.
Held on Independence Day proper, the annual event features live music, family fun, and one of the greatest fireworks shows in the region. Hosted by Price Chopper and Market 32, the festive day includes a naturalization ceremony, along with dozens of food and craft vendors, kids’ activities, and live entertainment. With a spectacular firework display scheduled at night, attendees will want to spend the full day in the Capital Region.
Henry Hudson Planetarium, Discover Albany Visitors Center, Albany
July 5, 7-10 p.m.
An immersive sound experience, this unique event treats listeners to high-end acoustics that show classic melodies in a whole new light. The evening is broken into two parts, with Pärt in Principio at 7 p.m. and Mazzoli Vespers for a New Dark Age at 9 p.m.
Schuyler Sisters / Photo by Discover Albany
Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany
July 20 – December 29
Whether you remember the Schuyler sisters from Hamilton or from school, you’ll love the chance to learn more about the leading ladies of the Schuyler family. The exhibit runs until the end of December and touches not just upon the women’s genteel lives, but extends to their roles as mothers, businesswomen, and revolutionaries as well.
Featuring clothing, art, and manuscripts, it’s a remarkable collection that tells the narrative of the Schuylers during the American Revolution and beyond.
Park Playhouse, Albany
June 28 – July 27
Created by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, In the Heights tells the story of home in America. It’s set in the heart of New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, a place where music harmonizes with the hopes and dreams of a changing generation. A moving narrative, it’s a tale that tugs at the heartstrings and kicks off summer season in Washington Park like nothing else.
Take a peek at President & CEO of Dutchess Tourism, Inc. Mary Kay Vrba’s top picks for things to do in Dutchess County this month:
Photo provided by Dutchess Tourism, Inc.
Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeckâ€‹
Now in its 28th year, the Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival returns to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds for a full weekend of high-flying fun. Beginning on Friday evening, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce event features nearly 100 balloon launches, plus more than 100 vendors and food trucks, hayrides, and tons of family fun.
Southside Johnny / Photo by Kirstine Walton, provided by Dutchess Tourism, Inc.
Bowdoin Park, Wappingers Falls
July 20, 7 p.m.
Pack your picnic, lawn chair, and blanket for a rock & roll concert at Bowdoin Park. Featuring tunes by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, the concert is free, although registration is required. As for what the group will play, hits like Having a Party, I Don’t Want to Go Home, and Talk to Me will most definitely make an appearance.
Boats leave from the Beacon Institute Floating Dock, Beacon
July 25-28, boats depart at 6 and 7 p.m.
At the end of July, Bannerman Castle treats visitors to a show under the stars with a screening of Arsenic and Old Lace. The classic story by Joseph Kesseling is surprisingly comical and more than a little dark, with themes of murder, mystery, and romance stringing viewers along until the very end.
Read on for Tourism Director for Greene County Heather Bagshaw’s picks for things to do in July:
Water St, Athens
Celebrating its 46th anniversary in 2019, the Athens Street Festival is free for all and packs more than 180 craft and food vendors. In addition to the abundance of eating and shopping opportunities, attendees can browse the antique and classic car show, tour the Athens Lighthouse, and end the night with a fireworks spectacular.
Photo provided by www.greatnortherncatskills.com
For one full week in July, East Durham honors its heritage as the “Irish Catskills” by welcoming a medley of Irish artists to town. Visitors can participate in workshops and lectures, then attend performances by Irish dancers and musicians. On July 20, the celebration comes to an end with the East Durham Traditional Fest.
Check out Orange County Tourism Director Amanda Dana’s selections for the best things to do this month.
Throughout Orange County
Celebrate the Fourth of July in Orange County with family fun, fireworks, and an abundance of Hudson Valley history. Kick things off with Dinner Along the Delaware, a dining tour that ends with fireworks at Riverside Park in Port Jervis, on July 3. On Independence Day, Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Site honors the spirit of the American Revolution with two cannon firings and a tour of Ellison House.
Later in the day, Wallkill hosts its annual fireworks extravaganza at the Orange County Fair Speedway with music and a DJ. It all comes to a sweet finish with Goshen’s Great American Weekend, a fun-filled fest on July 6 and 7 with more than 150 artisan vendors, races, and entertainment.
Throughout Orange County
Make the most of breezy summer evenings in the Hudson Valley by heading to Orange County’s community-centric movie nights. In Middletown, Summer Movies on King Street begin with Mary Poppins on July 13 and Wonder on July 27. Of course, no summer is complete without a trip to the drive-in, which is why Fair Oaks Drive-In Theatre in Middletown and Warwick Drive-In Theatre have the silver screens up and running all season long.
Throughout Orange County
Not one, but two summer music shindigs bring top tunes to Orange County this summer. At Christopher Jacobs Winery in Pine Bush, visitors can swing by every Friday for live music that pairs perfectly with a glass of Hudson Valley vino. Over in Montgomery, the Village hosts Friday night concerts, inviting locals to tote the lawn chairs and dancing shoes for catchy tunes from area bands.
Palaia Winery, Highland Mills
In July, Palaia hosts two timely festivals to celebrate the best of summer in the Hudson Valley. First up, on July 13, the Beatles Festival rocks the vineyard with live performers, community vendors, and wine galore. Later in the month, the Grape Jam Music Festival on July 27 is a day dedicated to good tunes and great vino. Bring the kids for wagon rides, a bouncy house, and more.
Throughout the Hudson Valley
Saratoga Springs isn’t the only horse-centric spot in the region! This summer, the Goshen Historic Track in Orange County marks its 109th season with affordable, exciting races that the whole family will love. Visit on July 4 to 7 for Grand Circuit Racing, which features themed competitions like “Landmark Stakes” and “Hall of Fame Day.” Then, on July 5 and 6, the O.C. Stampede Rodeo Festival takes over the Orange County Speedway for a full weekend of barbecue, bull riding, and steer wrestling.
Browse through the top local things to do in Rockland County throughout the month of July:
Penguin Rep Theatre, Stony Point
In this performance by David Arrow, Kennedy explores the “what if?” scenario of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination. Would the brother and adviser to the president have gone to the White House? Would he have united the American people and brought the troops home from Vietnam? It’s impossible to tell, but Kennedy gives viewers a chance to dream.
Main St, Nyackâ€‹
July 11, 5 p.m. – dusk
Cruise into Nyack on July 11 for the annual classic car night, which showcases hundreds of antique, iconic, rare, and vintage vehicles along Main Street. Keep an eye out for a special appearance by the Batmobile, signed by Adam West himself, plus the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine, and more.
Torne Valley Vineyards, Hillburnâ€‹
July 13-14, 12-6 p.m.
Now in its fifth year, the two-day fest includes a rocking lineup of musicians, plus craft vendors, children’s activities, vineyard wine, and tasty bites. Lawn chairs and blankets are accepted, so pack yours before you head to the vineyard.
Main St and Broadway, Nyackâ€‹
July 14, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
If you’ve never been to Nyack’s street fair before, make July the month you finally plan a visit. The community-wide fest brings together dozens of vendors, who showcase collectibles, homegoods, and retail goodies. Contemporary and retro tunes by Ritchie G float through the air throughout the day, while inflatables on Main Street are one-stop entertainment for kids. When it’s time to eat, Nyack’s restaurants add to the celebration with special menus and discounts as well.
Levity Live Comedy Club, Palisades Center, West Nyackâ€‹
Sinbad, the acclaimed funnyman who Comedy Central ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Standups of All Time, takes the stage at West Nyack’s Levity Live for two days of shows in July. Get tickets early, since seats often sell out, then prepare for the laugh fest by watching the actor and comedian’s Comedy Central and HBO specials.
Read up on Ulster County Tourism’s event highlights for July:
Reenactors in New Paltz / Photo provided by Ulster County Tourism
Historic Huguenot St, New Paltzâ€‹
July 6, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Beginning at 10 a.m., reenactors create their camp on the DuBois Fort lawn for a day of demonstrations, education, and history. In addition to the marching and drill squad showings, participants can also catch exhibits on blacksmithing, woodworking, and colonial cooking. Young visitors will have a blast as well and can participate in reenactment drills and learn how to play Trap Ball, a quirky 18th century game that combines baseball, cricket, golf, and horseshoes all in one.
Sawyer Motors Car Show / Photo provided by Ulster County Tourism
Main and Partition St, Saugertiesâ€‹
July 7, 1-6 p.m.
An annual event, the Sawyer Motors Car Show shuts down Saugerties for a full day of classic cars. As visitors check out the more than 500 rides scattered throughout town, they can listen to live entertainment and stop into local businesses for a spot of shopping and eating. The show is free to attend and a great option for families who want to experience a little bit of everything on a day trip to town.
Hurley Stone House Day / Photo provided by Ulster County Tourism
11 Main St, Hurley
July 13, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
In honor of the 69th annual Stone House Day, Hurley opens its private stone homes for a one-day tour of the town’s national historic landmarks. Attendees can learn about the houses from colonial guides, wander through military encampments, and ask all the questions during colonial craft demonstrations.
Main St, Rosendaleâ€‹
Since the 1970s, Rosendale’s Street Festival has rocked the artsy Ulster County town, which shuts down Main Street for two full days to accommodate all the happenings. With seven stages, 80 bands, and over 100 vendors, plus children’s crafts and parades, this donation-driven fest is not to be missed.
Ulster County Fair / Photo provided by Ulster County Tourism
Ulster County Fairgrounds, New Paltzâ€‹
July 30 – August 4
Sneaking in at the very end of July, the Ulster County Fair is a Hudson Valley tradition that’s been up and running since 1886. Over the course of the week, the family-focused event shines the light on local agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, and crafting. As a bonus, admission includes all entertainment, exhibits, parking, and shows.