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An Insider’s Guide to August Events in the Hudson Valley

Shaker Heritage Society / Photo courtesy of Discover Albany

Hudson River tourism directors share their top picks for things to do throughout the month.

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. Even in the face of the coronavirus, there exist dozens upon dozens of ways to experience the best of what the region has to offer. While they might not be traditional per se (drive-in operas, anyone?), they are engaging, entertaining, and 100-percent #flattenthecurve-approved.

To help scout out the best events in the Valley, we reached out to local tourism directors from Albany to Westchester for their top picks for things to do. Check out their selections, then get planning!

Albany County

Discover Albany President and CEO Jill Delaney shares her top recommendations for the month.

Dutch Apple Cruises / Photo courtesy of Discover Albany

Dutch Apple Cruises

Throughout August

There’s nothing like a summertime cruise to experience the beauty of the Hudson Valley. Hop aboard a Dutch Apple Cruise to sightsee along the Hudson River while learning the ins and outs of Albany’s history from a historian. Along the way, attendees can spot local landmarks while relaxing under the sun. Due to COVID-19, Dutch Apple assigns designated seating, with admission sold on a per table basis.

Historic Cherry Hill Self-Guided Restoration Tours

Wednesdays and Saturdays in August
Historic Cherry Hill, Albany

Now in its final phase of restoration, Cherry Hill is open for self-guided tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the week. Stop by the property, which dates back to 1787, to learn more about the restoration process that’s been ongoing since 2009. Tour attendants can read up on the landmark’s architecture as they watch walls being repaired and art unpacked. Reservations are encouraged, and masks are required at all times.

Shaker Heritage Society / Photo courtesy of Discover Albany

Shaker Site Outdoor Tours

Throughout August
Shaker Heritage Society, Colonie

Did you know that the site of America’s first Shaker settlement is right here in the Hudson Valley? This summer, Albany’s Shaker Heritage Society opens for outdoor tours filled with facts and trivia about the early days of the Capital Region’s Shaker community. Visitors can explore the Meeting House, 1915 barn, and herb garden while learning the history from educators and volunteers. To ensure safety, tours are limited to 10 people, with preregistration recommended.

Columbia County

Read up on Columbia County Tourism’s highlights for things to do in the Hudson Valley this month.

Photo courtesy of Columbia County Tourism

Waterfront Wednesdays

Wednesdays in August, 4-8 p.m.
Riverfront Park, Hudson

Head to Hudson’s Riverfront Park for Wednesday community fun all throughout August. The open space is ideal for socially distant activities like kayak rentals and lighthouse tours, not to mention a drum circle and tabling from local vendors. Visit the website for the full list of participating organizations and artisans.

Photo courtesy of Columbia County Tourism

Summer Music Series

Thursdays in August

The Greens at Copake Country Club, Craryville

Live music is back in the Hudson Valley this August thanks to The Greens at Copake Country Club. On Thursday evenings throughout the month, the Craryville venue hosts groups like The Bianca Carrano Band (8/6) and Two for the Show (8/13). Pack a blanket or lawn chairs, then order a bite to eat and drink while you’re there.

Dutchess County

Take a peek at Dutchess Tourism, Inc.’s top picks for things to do in Dutchess County this month.

Photo courtesy of Dutchess Tourism, Inc.

Kaatsbaan Summer Festival 2020

Weekends beginning August 1
Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, Tivoli

To reignite the spirit of arts and culture in the Hudson Valley, Kaatsbaan Cultural Park hosts its first-ever summer festival of art and dance. Visitors can look forward to over 20 acclaimed dance artists performing both solo shows and socially distant duets and trios on the 153-acre property. In addition to its in-person experience, for which registration is required, the organization will also broadcast shows on its social media platforms and YouTube channel. A portion of all funds raised will be donated to the NAACP and other organizations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Programs on the Portico: Staatsburgh’s Servants

August 9 and 30, 3 p.m.
Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Staatsburg

Staatsburgh’s mansion might still be closed to the public, but the portico is open for socially distant history presentations two times during August. Swing by for a free 30-minute talk on the servants that kept the mansion up and running during the Gilded Age. Covering the ins and outs of servants’ lives to the advantages and disadvantages of working at the estate, the program is a fascinating look into the behind-the-scenes operations of one of the Hudson Valley’s most distinguished historic sites. Book tickets online to secure a spot.

Photo courtesy of Dutchess Tourism, Inc.

Summer Saturdays at Millbrook Vineyards & Winery

Saturdays in August, 12-7:30 p.m.
Millbrook Vineyards & Winery, Millbrook

Millbrook Vineyards & Winery knows that wine and food trucks are a perfect pairing, which is why it hosts a local truck for wining and dining every Saturday. Visitors can bring their own lawn chairs or lounge at one of the picnic tables or on the taproom terrace to enjoy one of the vineyard’s top vinos and live jazz music. Check ahead to see which food trucks are scheduled for the upcoming weekends, then purchase tickets online.

Greene County

Look no further for the coolest attractions and activities in Greene County during the month.

Drive-In Jam Summer Music Series

August 7, 14, 21, 28; 6-9 p.m.

Windham Mountain, Windham

Oh, Windham, how we missed you! The Hudson Valley mountain invites locals back for an outdoor drive-in music series featuring local and regional bands. Held every Friday during the month, the sessions are open to picnic blankets and camping chairs. Ticketed vehicle reservations are required, so book ahead in order to confirm a spot.

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Tours

August 8
Athens Riverfront Park, Athens

Anyone who can’t get enough of the Hudson Valley’s lighthouses will want to jump on this tour. Offered by the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society, the tour is one of four that the organization hosts in 2020. Attendees can delve into the history of the lighthouse and learn more about those individuals who operated it. Masks are required to enter, with social distancing precautions in place both on the boat and at the lighthouse.

Coxsackie Music in the Park

August 9, 16, 23, 30; 6-8 p.m.
Coxsackie Riverside Park, Coxsackie

Live music + a spot on the grass = a perfect summer in the Hudson Valley, right? That’s why Coxsackie continues its Music in the Park series through August. Swing by the park for tunes from bands like Playing With Fire, 4 the Blues, Night Moves, and Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers, to name a few. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome at the socially distant shows.

Orange County

Check out Orange County Tourism Director Amanda Dana’s selections for the best things to do this month.

Drive Thru Animal Sanctuary

Saturdays and Sundays, 12 p.m.
Blue Arrow Farm, Pine Island

Blue Arrow Farm gets creative with a drivable tour this summer. Families can cruise through to say hello to the horses, llamas, and pigs onsite and even bring baby carrots to throw to the animals. Before heading home, a stop to pick up some of the farm’s signature honey and coffee is a must.

Live at Brotherhood Winery

Weekends in August, 1-5 p.m.
Brotherhood Winery, Washingtonville

Hudson Valley favorite Brotherhood Winery welcomes locals for live music and a glass of wine during weekends in August. This month’s lineup includes performers like Cristina Franciosa, Marc Von Em, and Steven Wells, so there’s a little something for everyone.

Yoga at the Arboretum

Saturdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m., and Sundays, 5-6 p.m.
Thomas Bull Memorial Park, Montgomery

Get your downward dog on while breathing in all the fresh air at Sol Full Yoga’s outdoor yoga sessions. With a limit of 10 participants, the classes practice social distancing, with masks required upon arrival. All participants should bring a mat, towel, and water. Classes cost $18 per person, and preregistration is required.

Town of Cornwall 2020 Music in the Park

Sunday evenings in August, 6:30 p.m.
Town Hall, Cornwall

After a short delay due to COVID-19, Cornwall’s summer concert series is back on all throughout August. Carve out Sunday evenings for music from bands like MH2, Jon Bates Band, CloudNyne, and Sommerville, to name a few.

New York International Air Show

August 29-30, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
New York Stewart International Airport

Aspiring pilots won’t want to pass up a ticket to the New York International Air Show. The awe-inspiring event takes place over two days and includes gravity-defying flights by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds in their F-16 Fighting Falcon. To keep attendees safe during the COVID-19 crisis, all spectator seating will be reserved by group to ensure spacing between sections. Tickets must be purchased online or by phone.

Putnam County

Read up on Putnam County Tourism Director Tracey L. Walsh’s picks for things to do this month.

Photo courtesy of Putnam County Tourism

Birding and Hiking at Constitution Marsh

Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary, Garrison

A bucket list destination for all Hudson Valleyites, Constitution Marsh is a top spot for birding, thanks to its designation as an Audubon New York Important Bird Area and a New York State Bird Conservation Area. Keep an eye out for feathered friends while hiking along the tidal marsh’s scenic trails.

Photo courtesy of Putnam County Tourism

Dinner and a Sunset at Iron & Wine

Iron & Wine, Patterson

Now that restaurants across the Hudson Valley are back up and running, make an excuse to dine out and eat local at Iron & Wine. Outdoor dining is the way to go, since it grants visitors access to breathtaking sunset views alongside Mediterranean-inspired tapas and, for dessert, cinnamony churros with dulce de leche.

Fishing at White Pond

White Pond Multiple Use Area, Kent

With 263 acres to its name, including the 129-acre White Pond, Putnam County’s multiple use area is a dream for bass and sunfish fishing or kayaking. There’s a 1.5-mile hiking trail onsite, too, for anyone who wants to trek a little before a lazy afternoon.

P.S. Canopus Lake off Route 301 is also ideal for fishing and launching boats.

Shopping at Paulette Cold Spring

Paulette Cold Spring, Cold Spring

A new concept store in Cold Spring, Paulette offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Stop by to shop accessories, clothing, and home décor, then stick around for a cup of coffee and pastry to refuel.

Photo courtesy of Putnam County Tourism

Summer Fun at the Red Rooster Drive-In

Red Rooster Drive-In, Brewster

The wonderfully retro Red Rooster brings old-school Americana vibes to the Hudson Valley in the form of a candy cane-striped exterior and classic eats. Plan to visit at least once during the month for a melty cheeseburger and ice cream, and don’t forget to stay for a round of mini-golf.

Rockland County

Take a browse through Director of Economic Development and Tourism Jeremy Schulman’s picks the hottest things to do in Rockland County throughout the month.

Photo courtesy of Rockland County Tourism

Suffern Art & Dine Walk

August 1, 3 p.m.
Downtown Suffern

The Village of Suffern and Rockland County Tourism invite Hudson Valleyites to participate in a community event that’s part of the Start-Up Suffern Plan to reopen the downtown. Support local store owners and restaurateurs as they open their doors from Washington Avenue to Orange Avenue to showcase all they have to offer.

Photo courtesy of Rockland County Tourism

Outdoor Shorts Film Festival

August 14-15, 8 p.m.
Garner Arts Center, Garnerville

Garner Arts Center is back with in-person offerings in the form of its Outdoor Shorts Film Festival in the middle of the month. Showcasing short, independent films from up-and-coming voices, the fest features the same flicks on both nights.

Photo courtesy of Rockland County Tourism

Plein Air Art Event

August 16, 12 p.m.
Downtown Sloatsburg

Local artists figure front and center at Sloatsburg’s summertime art to-do. Visitors can stroll through the downtown for socially distant art, dining and shopping.

Photo courtesy of Rockland County Tourism

Rockland Cider Works at Van Houten Farms

Mon 3-8 p.m., Tues-Sat 12-8 p.m., Sun 12-7 p.m.
Van Houten Farms, Orangeburg

Experience Rockland Cider Works’ outdoor oasis during an afternoon or evening tasting at Van Houten Farms. As the first and only cidery in Rockland County, Rockland Cider Works delivers with ciders that run the flavor gamut from lemon and watermelon to – we kid you not – peanut butter.

Ulster County

Read up on Ulster County Tourism’s event highlights for the month.

4-H Drive-Thru Safari

August 1, 12-4 p.m.
Ulster County Fairgrounds, New Paltz

Still reeling from the cancelation of Hudson Valley fairs (and the serious lack of 4-H milkshakes)? Never fear! The Cornell Cooperative Extension and Ulster County Fairgrounds team up for a fun drive-through safari featuring local animals, easy driving, and, of course, everyone’s favorite 4-H milkshakes.

Virtual HITS-on-the-Hudson VI

Through August 2

The Hudson Valley’s premier horse and pony show goes virtual this year, since no spectators are allowed onsite. Head online to watch the Saugerties competition at its finest, with everything from jumps to the Grand Prix screened on Showhorse TV’s website.

Photo courtesy of Ulster County Tourism

William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged)

August 7 – September 6

Woodstock Shakespeare Festival Stage, Woodstock

Fans of the Bard will be overjoyed to hear that the show goes on for Woodstock Shakespeare Festival this summer. For its rendition of Long Lost First Play (Abridged), the company takes to its outdoor stage for a 90-minute work that brings to life 47 of the playwright’s kings, heroes, and villains.

11th Annual Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice

August 29
Tech City, Kingston

Phoenicia’s International Festival of the Voice embraces a drive-in format at Tech City in Kingston this year. Audiences can claim a spot to watch the talented cast of Tosca by G. Puccini perform the three-act drama of love, loss, and plot twists galore.

Westchester County

Discover the hottest happenings according to Westchester County Tourism this month.

Beach Trips

Is there anything more perfect than a long afternoon spent at one of the Hudson Valley’s beaches? In Westchester, both Playland Beach in Rye and Croton Point Beach in Croton-on-Hudson are open to county residents with ID on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Don’t live in Westchester? Take a look at this list for a watering hole near you.

Drive-In Movies

While the Hudson Valley certainly has a fair few drive-in theaters in its midst, there are no official ones in Westchester. Fortunately, Bedford Playhouse is here to change that (at least for this summer). The lower-Valley organization partners with Ridge Hill and Cross County Center in Yonkers and John Jay Homestead in Katonah for a fun series of outdoor flicks designed with families in mind.

Museum Visits

They’re back! Approved to reopen during Phase 4, the museums of the Hudson Valley are back in action, albeit with social distancing procedures in place. In Westchester, the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers is up and running since July 25, while the Katonah Museum of Art welcomes the public for visits starting July 26.

Outdoor Dining

Westchester’s leading roster of restaurants embrace an outdoor format this summer, with everything from patio tables to street-wide setups available. Take a peek at this list to find an eatery near you, then book a reservation for a socially distant table to dine out and support local.