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 (virtual art galleries, anyone?), they are engaging, entertaining, and 100-percent #flattenthecurve-approved.
To help scout out the hottest 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.
Missing Albany’s annual tulip fest? While the 72nd annual celebration isn’t taking place as planned this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the city is partnering with Discover Albany to keep flower power alive in the region. In addition to uploading videos with city gardeners and blog posts on the history of the region, Albany encourages locals to track the tulips of the region on social media using the hashtag #518TulipTracker.
In its 42nd year, the beloved run takes a virtual format for its 5K competition. To participate, locals can register online by May 5 to receive a shirt and coupons for Freihofer’s products. Entrants can complete their run at any point between May 23 and May 31, with options to run indoors on a treadmill or outdoors on a familiar 5K route. Afterward, everyone can log their times for the chance to win prizes.
Historic Cherry Hill’s school programs might be on pause for now, but the Capital Region museum keeps up with education and fun via an at-home twist on its Hudson River Trading Game. Visit the website to see how the site transformed its 34-foot board game into a printable and viewable document. As for the game itself, it’s suitable for ages eight and up and teaches everyone –adults included – about the early workings of the Hudson Valley.
Read up on Columbia County Tourism’s highlights for things to do in the Hudson Valley this month.
Tuesdays, 7 p.m.
Helsinki Hudson taps the local creative community for its Club Helsinki virtual open mic this month. Every Tuesday at 7 p.m., local musicians, comics, and spoken word poets take the online stage to share their talents and bring a little joy to the week.
All you need is a Zoom link to fall into the suspense and drama of John Kaasik’s virtual staged reading. Set in the country home of a freelance writer and his wife, the tale takes a deadly turn when a mysterious visitor offers an exclusive scoop on a murder that is yet to take place.
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.
During their lifetimes, Franklin and Eleanor traversed corners far and wide across the globe, amassing a collection of knowledge and mementos along the way. Now, their history is available for exploration through an online collection by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum. As a bonus, head to FDR Library’s Facebook page for “At Home With the Roosevelts,” a weekly digest made for Hudson Valley history lovers.
Tuesdays, 6:30-8 p.m.
Click your way to creativity with Barrett Art Center. In response to the coronavirus crisis, the Poughkeepsie venue challenges Hudson Valleyites to tackle exhibition-inspired projects, learn about art and artists, and explore Barrett’s galleries from the comfort of home.
Mourning the temporary closure of the movie theaters of the Hudson Valley? The Moviehouse gets it. That’s why it’s easing everyone’s separation anxiety with The Moviehouse @ Your House. The program is exactly like what it sounds and allows users to catch exclusive screenings of limited release films. See what’s playing now – and what’s coming next – here.
Look no further for the coolest attractions and activities in Greene County during the month.
Thanks to Thomas Cole National Historic Site, the majesty of Hudson River School artists is free and online for everyone. Listen to the talks to learn about exhibitions at the site from the curators themselves or watch the Sunday Salons to hear insights on American art and landscapes from leading scholars in the field.
For anyone who craves a coloring break, the site has downloadable coloring pages depicting views from Cole’s porch, which happens to be available as a video tour, too.
View this post on Instagram
We want to see your best Sunny Hill Bumble Bee picture! 🙌 ☀️🐝 From March 14 – March 20, share a favorite Bumble Bee photo you've taken at Sunny Hill. Just post a photo of the Sunny Hill Bumble Bee on your feed and tag #BestSunnyHillBumbleBee and you'll be entered to win $100 credit towards your next stay (must be used this year before Columbus Day weekend). #BestSunnyHillBumbleBee Winner will be chosen and announced here on March 20. ⛰☀️🐝. #sunnyhill #sunnyhillresort #greatnortherncatskills #familyfun #allinclusiveresort #escapegoat #sunnyhill2020 #sunnyhill100years #centennial
Greenville’s Sunny Hill Resort & Golf Course embraces the spirit of springtime fun with a virtual tour of the property on Facebook Live. Tune in on May 5, weather depending, to hop aboard the Bumble Bee cruiser and amble across the grounds. Keep an eye out for a sunset tour in the upcoming weeks as well.
Fitness moves online thanks to Catskill’s Body Be Well Pilates, which offers online classes of varying lengths and skill levels. Prices start as low as $5 for a 15-minute session, so there’s no better time to roll out the yoga mat and get toned at home.
Check out Orange County Tourism Director Amanda Dana’s selections for the best things to do this month.
Rte 97, Sparrowbush
With social distancing in full effect, a solo cruise in the car is an ideal way to get out of the house and appreciate the wonder of the Hudson Valley. Meander along Hawk’s Nest Drive, New York State’s new scenic byway, to follow the curves of the Delaware River between Port Jervis and Hancock.
Rte 218 Cornwall
Cornwall area residents who crave a breath of fresh air will love the views along Old Storm King Highway. The road connects Cornwall to West Point and circles Storm King Mountain, which means it’s more than a little twisty. The panoramic views toward the top are particularly magnificent come fall.
Tiorati Circle, Rte 6, Bear Mountain
Running through Harriman State Park toward Bear Mountain, this drive delivers it all. Expect twisting curves and scenic mountain and lakeside views along the way.
Rte 52, Pine Bush
For a quieter drive, consider the Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway. It cuts through the countryside and coasts along the mountains as it wanders through both the Rondout and Wallkill Valleys. It’s an ideal cruise for history aficionados, since it features views of farmlands, historic sites, and nature preserves .
Tucked along I-84 in Greenville, the highway pull-off allows locals the chance to see New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania from one spot. The pitstop is a short cruise away from Laurel Grove Cemetery in Port Jervis, which houses the famed Tri-State Rock, the granite marker of the tripoint of the state’s boundaries.
Read up on Putnam County Tourism Director Tracey L. Walsh’s picks for things to do this month.
Need a nature fix during self-isolation? Step into the backyard for a spot of birding in Putnam County. Visit ebird.org to discover which birds have been sighted in the region, or just set up camp outside to watch winged visitors as they chirp their way from one yard to the next.
Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park is still open to the public, although parking and communal spaces may be limited or closed throughout the month to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Call the park ahead of time to confirm opening hours and updates.
Currently open for visits, the sanctuary is a meditative destination for birding and walking. Parking is available behind the Cove Care Center on Route 6, with another trailhead located on Fair Street past the Hamlet of Carmel. Visit the Putnam County website for a map of the trails and be sure to maintain social distancing protocol at all times.
Online order, curbside pickup
The Brewster farm returns with its second annual plant sale to help Hudson Valleyites bring a little green into their homes. Beginning May 4 and running through the end of the month, the farm accepts online and phone orders for herbs, flowers, and vegetables. Pickup is available on select dates and times throughout the month, and the farm is taking extra precautions fulfill orders safely.
May 2 and 9, 9:30-11 a.m.
Hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension Putnam County, the series takes place through Zoom and invites gardeners to work their green thumbs at home. The two-part May workshop is all about pollinators, with explanations on how to plan and create a pollinator garden during self-isolation.
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.
May 9, 1-2 p.m.
Want to give the kids something to do and make the most of 24/7 time with four-legged friends? Sign the little ones up for Rockland Center for the Arts’ free portrait workshop. Designed for ages 6-15, the session instructs children how to sketch their favorite animals using any drawing materials available to them. It’s the perfect way to pass an hour on a Saturday afternoon.
Still open for public visits, Tallman Mountain State Park offers panoramic views of the Hudson River and Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. Call ahead to confirm opening hours and updates.
May 14, 8 p.m.
Garner Arts Center makes good on its mission to promote artistic happenings in the Hudson Valley with this online concert series. Mark the calendar for May 14, when Lauren West logs on to wow viewers with her smooth, sultry melodies.
Read up on Ulster County Tourism’s event highlights for the month.
Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Woodstock’s Bearsville Theater unveils previously unheard performances every Saturday via Facebook Live. To catch the live, unedited audio, “like” one of the links on the theater’s Facebook page to be notified before the show goes live.
While Historic Huguenot Street remains temporarily closed to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, it moves its signature programming online in the form of videos, activities, and special deals. Connect with the New Paltz museum using the hashtag #MuseumsFromHome or download the free Walking Tour App to explore the 10-acre National Historic Landmark district and uncover the history of Huguenot Street.
It’s high tide, ahem, time to explore the maritime history of the Hudson Valley. To do so, look no further than Hudson River Maritime Museum’s information-rich history blog and website for online exhibits, articles, and imagery, all free of charge. Want more? Flip through the museum’s Hudson River Lighthouses book for a look at the iconic fixtures of the Hudson River.
The one-of-a-kind Saugerties art center continues to honor its commitment to education and inspiration with virtual workshops that range from a concert and cocktails to storytelling, wild fermentation, and unorthodox vocals. Find the full lineup of courses here.
An award-winning documentary short, Vicarious Resilience follows three Hudson Valleyites over the course of one of the TMI Project’s 10-week true storytelling workshops. As the individuals discover the power of storytelling, they touch upon themes like imagination, mental health, and perseverance. Watch the debut, in collaboration with Woodstock Film Festival, beginning May 1.
Discover the hottest happenings according to Westchester County Tourism this month.
May 3, 3 p.m.
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts might not be open to the public during quarantine, but it continues to serve as a resource for Hudson Valleyites who crave arts and culture. During this streaming program, composer/conductor Rob Kapilow and pianist Michael Brown delve into Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13, “Pathétique.” Kapilow deconstructs, slows down, and reassembles the work, while Brown performs it in its entirety. Stick around for the Q&A session at the end.
May 7, 7:30 p.m.
Bedford Playhouse knows that a little levity is much needed right now, which is why it launched an entire online series dedicated to those films that make us LOL. On May 7, the kooky, comical flick Clue keeps families laughing at home. It’s followed by a conversation with Theater and Programming Directors Bijhan Clarke and Dan Friedman via Zoom.
Thank Peekskill’s Hudson Valley Museum of Contemporary Art for making local art more accessible than ever. Now online, its “How We Live” exhibition ponders how the production of physical items becomes a product of the lived experience.