From art openings to wine tastings — and plenty of events for the kids — our annual fall roundup offers fun, fascinating things to do every weekend between now and Thanksgiving
By Rita Ross
Explore the neighborhood where New York State was born in 1777 on a two-hour walking tour of Kingston’s Stockade, a National Historic District settled in 1658. Highlights include the notable Old Dutch Church and cemetery, plus beautifully restored 18th-century limestone houses. You can visit the circa 1812 Johnston House, with eight rooms chock-full of period furnishings and decorative art. Sept. 1 & Oct. 6. 2 p.m. $10, $5 under 16. Departs from the Friends of Historic Kingston Museum. Wall & Main St., Kingston. 845-339-0702 or www.fohk.org
The popular Music Under the Stars series at the U.S. Military Academy takes place at the outdoor Trophy Point Amphitheater, with spectacular views of the Hudson. The USMA Concert Band, Jazz Knights and Hellcats wrap up the season tonight with Tchaikovsky’s stirring 1812 Overture, featuring real cannon fire. 7:30 p.m., rain date Sept. 2. USMA campus, West Point. 845-938-2617 or www.usma.edu/band
Today marks the finale of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s 21st summer season. You can’t go wrong with this lauded troupe’s performance of the Bard’s enchanting comedy As You Like It. Performed in a new open-air tent theater at the Boscobel Restoration, the Hudson Highlands serves as a scenic backdrop. Bring a pre-show picnic, or reserve an al fresco meal made especially for HVSF (Order these picnics two days in advance; edibles are also available on-site). 6 p.m. $25-$40. Boscobel Restoration. Rte. 9D, Garrison. 845-265-9575 or www.hvshakespeare.org
It’s the final day to see Parallel Passages, photos by acclaimed photographer and Valley resident Lynn Davis. Davis literally followed in the steps of famed 19th-century Hudson Valley School painter Frederic Edwin Church, visiting many spots where he painted. Her photographic interpretations, juxtaposed with excerpts from Church’s journals, reveal each artist’s distinct — yet related — perspective on nature and art. $8, $6 seniors & students, $4 ages 6-12. Albany Institute of History & Art. 125 Washington Ave., Albany. 518-463-4478 or www.albanyinstitute.org
Catch the exhibit on view at Poughkeepsie’s newest art gallery. The G.A.S. Gallery & Performance Space’s Summer Invitational is a group show of paintings, sculpture, photographs, prints, glass and other works by established artists including Dick Crenson and Nava Atlas. The rear gallery feaures works by Poughkeepsie’s own Franc Palaia and other local artists. Fri.-Sun. 12-6 p.m. through Sept. 9. 196 Main St., Poughkeepsie. 845-486-4592 or www.galleryandstudio.org
The ups and downs of a 50-year marriage is the focus of I Do! I Do! This nostalgic play was written by the authors of the romantic classic The Fantasticks, with lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt (through Sept. 9). Also: Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, How I Learned to Drive (Sept. 14-30). See these shows in a restored 1920s Art Deco vaudeville house that’s now a top-notch, intimate venue. Thurs.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Call for ticket information. Shadowland Theater. 157 Canal St., Ellenville. 845-647-5511 or www.shadowlandtheatre.org
Artwork and sculpture by artists ranging from Gwen Davis to Bruce Akerman depict family, friends and other subjects in Semblance & Spirit: Portraits by Woodstock Artists. Fri.-Sat. 12-6 p.m.; Mon., Thurs., & Sun. 12-5 p.m. through Oct. 7. The Woodstock Artists Association & Museum. 28 Tinker St., Woodstock. 845-679-2940 or www.woodstockart.org
Riders Mill Schoolhouse hosts its annual Fence Show today, featuring works by more than 60 local artists. Visitors can check out the historic schoolhouse — one of the nation’s oldest — while enjoying art, live music, and food. Most works are for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Riders Mills Historical Association and the Columbia County Council for the Arts. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Riders Mill Rd., Malden Bridge. 518-794-7146 or www.ridersmillschoolhouse.org
Paintings, photos, ceramics, furniture and more, created by artists of the Byrdcliffe Arts and Crafts Colony — part of Woodstock’s history since 1902 — are on display in A Designed Life: The Arts and Crafts of Byrdcliffe. Tues.-Fri. 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 1-5 p.m. through Dec. 9. Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz. 1 Hawk Dr., New Paltz. 845-257-3844 or www.newpaltz.edu/museum
Little Shop of Horrors, the hilariously creepy musical about a lovesick flower-shop employee and the carnivorous plant he nurtures, is the current production at this well-known dinner theater (through Sept. 29). Later in the season, plan to see the hauntingly beautiful Phantom of the Opera (opens Oct. 4) and the Dickens favorite A Christmas Carol (opens Nov. 28). Call for exact schedule and ticket information. Westchester Broadway Theater. 75 Clearbrook Rd., Elmsford. 914-592-2222 or www.broadwaytheatre.com
The third annual One World Arts & Culture Fest celebrates ethnic diversity with a series of performances and other events. African, Latino, Hispanic and Caribbean cultures are all showcased. Sept. 12-16. Call for complete schedule. Paramount Center for the Arts. 1008 Brown St., Peekskill. 914-739-2333 or www.paramountcenter.org
Enjoy Friday nights at the movies with Westchester Community College’s Fall Film Series. Tonight’s screening: the 2004 French drama Intimate Strangers, an intriging psychological thriller that’s been compared to works by Hitchcock and writer Henry James. The series includes an introduction to each film, program notes, and discussions. Fridays through Oct. 26. $9, $8 seniors. Westchester Community College. 75 Grasslands Rd., Valhalla. 914-606-6716 or www.sunywc.edu.
Things will be hopping all along the Hudson during the seventh annual Hudson River Valley Ramble. More than 160 outdoor events — for all ages and activity levels — celebrate the beauty of the great outdoors in the Valley. Enjoy hikes, bike rides, paddles, walks, tours, and festivals galore. Sept. 15-16, 23, and 29-30. For a complete listing of Ramble events and information, see our special supplement starting on page RR1, or visit www.hudsonrivervalley.org.
John Ashbery, widely considered the nation’s foremost poet, has been affiliated with Bard College since 1990. To celebrate his 80th birthday, the college is throwing a weekend-long poetry bash. Keynote events include panel discussions, a screening of short films about Ashbery, and a reading by the poet himself from his own works. Sept. 14-16. Call for complete schedule. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. 845-758-6822 or www.bard.edu
Dab on some sunblock, slip into comfy walking shoes, and head out to LARKfest, the biggest street festival in the Capital Region. Now in its 26th year, the eight-block-long party features four music stages, plus plenty of food, vendors galore, and fun for the whole family. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Lark Street, Albany. 518-434-3861 or www.larkstreet.org
Music, dance and crafts take center stage at Rockland Rhythms: 2007 Rockland County Folklife Festival. Groove to salsa and jazz, watch traditional dances from Ireland and India, and browse exhibits by master folk artists displaying crafts from Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Ukraine and other cultures. It’s all part of the Haverstraw International Street Fair. Downtown Haverstraw. 845-634-9629.
Food, glorious food — that’s the focus of A Taste of New Paltz. Now in its 17th year, this popular festival is held under fairground tents. Enjoy mouthwatering tastings from local restaurants and purveyors, browse arts and crafts stalls and vendors, visit a business and wellness expo, and steer the kiddies to activities just for them. 11 a.m–5 p.m. $5, under 12 free. Ulster County Fairgrounds. Libertyville Rd., New Paltz. 845-255-0243 or www.newpaltzchamber.org
Join in a celebration of all things Polish at the sixth annual PolishFest ’07. The weekend features polka bands, a pierogi-eating contest, exquisite Polish arts and crafts, and children’s activities. Fri. 5-10 p.m., Sat. 12-9 p.m., Sun. 12-6 p.m. Fri. $4, Sat. $8, Sun. $6, under 16 free. The Blessed Virgin Mary of Czestochowa Parish. 250 Maxwell Rd., Latham. 518-453-2258 or www.polishfest-ny.org
Eclectic musician Regina Carter has been dubbed the First Lady of the jazz violin. She and her quintet perform everything from pop standards to classical selections, R&B and Latin tunes at the Egg (8 p.m. $28). Also on tap at the Egg this fall: Rite of Strings with Al DiMeola, Jean-Luc Ponty and Stanley Clarke (Sept. 29); Loudon Wainwright III and Leon Redbone (Oct. 13); and the Iceland Dance Company (Nov. 2). Call for times and ticket information. Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-473-1845 or www.theegg.org
A retrospective of the work of Croton-based artist Richard Merkin features his witty illustrations, often on urban themes. (His art graced New Yorker covers.) His work is also in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney and other museums. Another claim to fame: Merkin’s image is among those on the cover of the Beatles’ iconic Sgt. Pepper album. Daily 11 a.m.-5 p.m. from Sept. 20-Oct. 28 (closed Wednesdays). Carrie Haddad Gallery. 622 Warren St., Hudson. 518-828-1915 or www.carriehaddadgallery.com
Music, dance, crafts, culinary arts and other Native American traditions come alive at the Native American Heritage Festival. Sponsored by the nonprofit group Redhawk Native American Arts Council, it’s one of the largest events of its kind in the state, featuring hundreds of performers, artists and educators. Sept. 22-23. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. $10, $6 seniors & children; $6 parking. FDR State Park, Yorktown Heights. 718-686-9297 or www.redhawkcouncil.org
Come all ye lords and ladies (and ye wee ones, too) for ’tis the final day of the New York Renaissance Faire. More than 125 costumed performers and musicians, plus dozens of craftspeople, help recreate the atmosphere of a bustling, sometimes bawdy, medieval village. The public is welcome to attend in costume – or you can even rent outfits at the Faire, now in its 30th year. There’s plenty to entertain the kids — including jousting matches between knights — and lots of food and beverage. (Try medieval favorites like roasted turkey legs and Chaucer’s Mead.) Plan to make a day of it; the Faire takes place on a sprawling, 65-acre site in Sterling Forest. 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 23 (and Labor Day Monday). $20, $13 ages 5-12, under 5 free. Sterling Forest. 600 Rte. 17A, Tuxedo. 845-351-5171 or www.recfair.com/NY
Nearby Sullivan County is home to the Harvest Festival at Bethel Woods — site of the legendary 1969 Woodstock rock concert. The Harvest Festival offers a farmers’ market, music, crafts, corn and hay mazes, pony rides, and more. Each weekend features a different theme, from alpacas to wine. Scheduled for today: a mountain music fest. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 7. Call for fees. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel. 845-781-2922 or www.bethelwoods.us/events
Catch two interesting shows at the Katonah Museum. Children Should Be Seen: The Image of the Child in American Picture Book Art, a first-of-its-kind exhibit in the U.S., showcases more than 85 original children’s-literature illustrations. Created in the past decade, these works will delight kids and adults alike (through Oct. 21). In the sculpture garden, the exhibit Horizons, an installation by Icelandic artist Steinunn Thorarinsdottir, consists of 10 randomly placed, life-size human figures standing in a grove of 100-year-old trees. As visitors move around, their perspective changes, and the figures seem to appear and disappear behind the tree trunks. Through March 2008. Tues.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m. Free admission between 10 a.m.-noon; $5, $3 seniors & students between 1-5 p.m. Katonah Museum of Art. Rte. 22 at Jay St., Katonah. 914-232-9555 or www.katonahmuseum.org
The Columbia County Council on the Arts’ 13th annual ArtsWalk — an 11-day array of visual and performing arts programs held throughout the city of Hudson, primarily in the Warren Street area — kicks off tonight with Eat For Art, a benefit featuring cocktails, dinner and a live art auction ($125). ArtsWalk starts in earnest on Sept. 29, with the opening of its first juried show at the renovated Cannonball Factory. The Members’ Open Show also begins Saturday at the Pocketbook Factory with an artists’ reception at 5:30 p.m. For the next 10 days, Hudson plays host to dance, music, and more than 250 artists’ and sculptors’ work on view in galleries, shops and restaurants. Call for complete schedule and list of venues. 518-671-6214 or www.artscolumbia.org
Mount Kisco is home to the new Evolution Dance Theater, offering recitals, workshops and classes in ballet, jazz, and modern dance for professionals and students of all levels. Housed in the historic United Methodist Church, the theater celebrates its launch with a benefit concert featuring some of Westchester’s top performing artists, among them singer Sloan Wainwright and the Peter Pucci Plus dance company. 8 p.m. Call for ticket information. 300 Main St., Mount Kisco. 914-325-3254.
Brush up on Albany’s lore and legends at the South End History Hunt, a fun-filled scavenger hunt at the historic Schuyler Mansion. You might even win a prize for tracking down some of the nifty, unique items hidden in the neighborhood. Followed by optional lunch on the mansion’s lovely grounds. 10:30-12 a.m. $6 lunch, order in advance. Rain date: Sept. 30. Schuyler Mansion. 32 Catherine St., Albany. 518-434-0834 or www.nysparks.org
Area composer Steve Margoshes, who wrote the music for Fame: The Musical, presents the world premiere of his work, Hungarian Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra. The solo violinist for the piece is another gifted Valley resident, Nicholas Szucs, concert master for the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra. The concert also features pieces by Berlioz and Mahler. A pre-concert talk begins at 7 p.m. $20-$25, $15 seniors, $10 students, under 7 free. Newburgh Free Academy. Fullerton & South St., Newburgh. 845-913-7157 or www.newburghsymphony.org
Savor the autumn weather and enjoy nature’s bounty at the Hungry Hollow Co-op’s Farmers’ Festival, a celebration of locally grown, organic and biodynamic foods. The nonprofit food co-op’s party features farm stands, flowers, live music, food tastings, and more. 841 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Chestnut Ridge. 845-356-3319 or www.hungryhollow.org
Enjoy the best of baroque with the internationally renowned Rebel Ensemble for Baroque Music. The group, named after French composer Jean-Fery Rebel, is currently in residence at the historic Trinity Church in Manhattan. The 11-piece ensemble plays works by Vivaldi, Telemann and others on traditional baroque instruments; a meet-the-artists reception follows. 4 p.m. $25, $20 seniors, $10 students, $5 ages 5-12, under 5 free. Bedford Presbyterian Church. Village Green (at the junction of Rte. 22 & 172), Bedford. 914-734-9537 or www.rebelbaroque.com
Head to Hunter Mountain for its annual Oktoberfest (Sept. 29-30, Oct. 6-7). Dance to Austrian and German-style music; sample old-country food; browse vendors’ stalls; and treat the kids to jugglers, magicians and craft projects. Plus, Hunter’s mile-long chairlift will ferry guests up to the mountain’s 3,200-foot-high summit. The reward at the top: a breathtaking view of the Catskills and Berkshires – you can even spot the Green Mountains of Vermont. Call for hours. Hunter Mountain. Rte. 23A, Hunter. 1-800-486-8376 or www.huntermtn.com
A young man’s Italian-American grandparents try to convince him not to leave New Jersey (and them) for his dream job in Seattle. That sets the stage for Joe DiPietro’s comedy, Over the River and Through the Woods (Oct. 5-21). The production opens the season at the Ghent Playhouse, one of the oldest community theaters in the Valley. Later this fall, the beloved Pantaloons return with Hair Loom: Rapunzel and Rumplestiltskin in Dis-Tress, a wacky take on Grimm’s fairytales in the English Panto tradition (Nov. 23 -Dec. 9). Call for times and ticket information. Town Hall Rd., Ghent. 518-392-6264 or www.ghentplayhouse.org
Woodstock resident Craig J. Barber is one of the best-known photographers working with the platinum print technique. His new show, Bohemia, showcases images from Prague and the surrounding Czech countryside. In the past, Barber has made photographic explorations of Vietnam, Havana and the Catskills, capturing ethereal, timeless mo-ments in what he calls “cultural landscapes.” Sept. 7-Oct. 8. Fri.-Mon. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Galerie BMG. 12 Tannery Brook Rd., Woodstock. 845-679-0027 or www.galeriebmg.com
October means Halloween, and we Valleyites are lucky to live in the vicinity of the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor. Now in its third season, the Blaze is part performance art, part just plain fun. More than 4,000 creatively carved jack o’lanterns are spread out in a marvelous pumpkin path outside the candlelit 18th-century mansion.
There’s a Halloween shop, too, and munchies are available. This year the Blaze will be displayed for 19 nights, including Halloween, to accommodate the crowds. Oct. 5-7; 11-14; 18-21; 24-31. All tickets are sold in advance, call for reservations. S. Riverside Ave., Croton-on-Hudson. 914-631-8200 or www.hudsonvalley.org/vancortlandt
Piano power comes to the Valley when world-famous virtuoso Misha Dichter performs Tchaikovsky’s beloved Piano Concert No. 1. Also on the program: Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, and a delightful piece based on the nursery song “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. $67, $52, $22. Performing Arts Center, Purchase College. 735 Anderson Rd., Purchase. 914-682-3707, ext. 10 or www. westchesterphil.org
Viva Italia! Albany’s 16th annual Columbus Parade & Italian Festival is one of the biggest parties of its kind in the Capital Region. Lots of food and music, as well as wine-making demos, vendors, and pony rides, plus other fun stuff for kids and adults alike. 2-5 p.m. Washington Park, Albany. 518-641-7518 or www.columbusdayalbanyny.com
The Imani Woodwind Quintet brings a new edge to classical music with their performance for the Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society. This Grammy-nominated group infuses traditional pieces with European, African, American and Latin American influences to create their own unique sound (8 p.m.). Later this fall, the Ariel Quartet comes to town (Nov. 18, 4 p.m.). $25, $5 students. The Church of the Messiah. Montgomery St. (Rte. 9), Rhinebeck. 845-876-2870 or www.rhinebeckmusic.org
Any true Beatlemanic knows that Pete Best was the Fab Four’s original drummer. Pete and his band, plus the Michael Packer Blues Band as special guests, are sure to make the crowd at the Towne Crier Café twist and shout. 8 p.m. $35. The busy slate of fall shows at this popular music venue includes Richie Havens (Nov. 23). Towne Crier Café. 130 Rte. 22, Pawling. 845-855-1300 or www.townecrier.com
One of the Valley’s most delightful autumn excursions is a trip to Storm King Art Center, when the air is crisp and the trees are at their loveliest. The world-renowned, 500-acre sculpture park now features two large-scale sculptures by Deborah Masters (through Nov. 15), plus its permanent collection of monumental works by a who’s who of 20th-century sculptors — all integrated into the park’s rolling hills and woodlands. The indoor gallery is now displaying 20 works by noted artist Louise Bourgeois (also through Nov. 15). Call for hours and fees. Old Pleasant Hill Rd., Mountainville. 845-534-3115 or www.stormking.org
Woodstock morphs into Hollywood-near-the-Hudson when the Woodstock Film Festival opens its eighth season. The nationally acclaimed gathering features more than 150 “fiercely independent” films, plus workshops, auctions, celebrity panels and A-list parties. Screenings are held in Rhinebeck, Hunter and Rosendale, too. Oct. 10-14. Woodstock. 845-679-4265 or www.woodstockfilmfestival.org
A weekend-long celebration is in store for the grand opening of the Neuberger Museum’s refurbished African art collection and West Gallery. This extensive showplace is the only one of its kind in the state outside Manhattan. Browse in an African Market, with one-of-a-kind woven baskets, fabulous fabrics, decorative items and jewelry. The gala gallery reopening takes place Saturday. On Sunday a family festival features performances, art workshops and other events (1-4 p.m.). Gallery hours Tues.-Sun. 12-5 p.m. $5, $3 students & seniors, under 12 free. SUNY Purchase. 735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase. 914-251-6100 or www.neuberger.org
Sizzling dance with high-energy music is on tap at Flamenco and Tango, performed by Los del Barrio Dance Company. Alfonso Cid accompanies on vocals and flute; Arturo Martinez is the featured flamenco guitarist. 8 p.m. Call for tickets and further information. Orange Hall Theater, SUNY Orange. 115 South St., Middletown. 845-341-4891 or www.sunyorange.edu
The Hudson Valley Philharmonic has been making beautiful music since 1934. Its 2007 season opens with Metmania, an evening of famous opera arias, with soloists from the Metropolitan Opera, plus the Camerata Chorale and the Vassar College Choir. Selections by Strauss, Puccini, Rossini and Verdi are on the bill. 8 p.m. Call for tickets. Bardavon Opera House. 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie. 845-473-2072 or www.bardavon.org
The Historical Society of Rockland County presents its annual Historic House Tour. This year you can pop into some delightful dwellings along South Mountain Road in New City (10 a.m.-4 p.m.). The society makes its home in the 1832 Jacob Blauvelt House, and offers guided tours of the property every Sunday (1-5 p.m.). Call for prices and information. 20 Zukor Rd., New City. 845-634-9629 or www.