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

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Hudson River tourism directors share their top picks for places to go, sights to see, and things to do throughout the month of January.

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 (ice climbing festivals, 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.

 

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Cider by the Campfire

Nine Pin Cider Works, Albany
Thursdays through Sundays all month long

For unique winter gatherings in the Hudson Valley, Nine Pin Cider hosts private campfire hangouts for small groups of friends and family. Private campfires reservations cost $375 per group of up to eight people. Every booking includes 16 amazing local ciders, four delicious sourdough pizzas, and a pre-built campfire to enjoy for two hours. Plus, for an additional fee, roast s’mores filled with Primo Botanica chocolate.

 

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Empire State Plaza Ice Rink

Empire State Plaza, Albany
Tuesdays through Sundays all month long

The Hudson Valley has its own unforgettable ice skating destination to visit over the holidays—several, in fact. In the Capital Region, few rinks offer the experience that the Empire State Plaza does. Open every day but Monday, this rink permits adult skaters to rent a pair for $4 (with free rentals available on Saturdays). Fly across the ice with a magnificent backdrop.

 

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Lark Hall Winter Market

Lark Hall, Albany
January 9

Searching for a fun shopping experience? This Albany performing arts venue brings together more than 20 vendors for a monthly winter market. Lark Hall hosts farmers, chefs, makers, and other Hudson Valley businesses. Plus, several local acts will take the stage and perform. Don’t forget to grab a brunchtime beverage while you peruse.

Bright Star

Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes
Starting January 27

Live theater always makes for a fantastic evening out in the Hudson Valley. Playhouse Stage Company performs Bright Star, a musical written by comic legend Steve Martin and singer-songwriter Edie Brickell. Based on their 2013 bluegrass album, this play recreates the American South of the 1920s and ’40s. Follow a touching love story and inspiring redemption tale by getting your tickets online, with performances running through early February.


Columbia County

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

Pascal Rambert: The Art of Theater and With My Own Hands

PS21 – Performances Spaces for the 21st Century, Chatham
January 14, 15, 22, and 23 

PS21’s black box theater presents four public performances of two masterworks. French playwright and director Pascal Rambert, actors Jim Fletchers and Ismail ibn Conner, and translator Nicholas Elliott head to Columbia County. The Art of Theater uses a single actor to examine the entire art form. This character delivers their entire manifesto on dramatic acting to their dog while the audience listens. With My Own Hands tackles the human condition with brutal honesty and dark humor. The first performance on January 14 kicks off at 7 p.m., while the remaining three start at 3 p.m. Get tickets online at $25 per person for PS21 members.

The Curious Savage

The Ghent Playhouse, Ghent
January 28-30 (with additional dates in February)

Hungry for more live performances? Get tickets for The Ghent Playhouse’s rendition of The Curious Savage. This heartwarming comedy inspires hope that kindness and generosity will always triumph over greed and selfishness. While dealing with the sudden loss of her husband and inheritance of extravagant wealth, titular character Ethel Savage meets a rogues gallery of social misfits who need help that she can offer. Tickets start at $12 per person.


Dutchess County

Dutchess Tourism President and CEO Melaine Rottkamp shares her top recommendations for the month.

First Day Hike

Walkway Over the Hudson, Poughkeepsie
January 1, 2 p.m.

Join in on the annual Hudson Valley tradition of taking a first day hike on January 1. Ring in the new year with fresh air at the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park. Friends, family, and pets are all invited to this easy-going stroll. Step on at either entrance, and congregate with fellow hikers at the center overlook at 2 p.m.

 

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Dinosaur World Live

Majed J. Nesheiwat Convention Center, Poughkeepsie
January 21, 6:30 p.m.

There also happens to be plenty of family fun to kick off the new year. Dinosaurs roam the earth once again at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. Dinosaur World Live introduces a stegosaurus, triceratops, T-rex, and other prehistoric creatures. Miranda, the daughter of paleontologists who grew up on a dinosaur-filled island, serves as the evening’s host. Be warned, some of these animals aren’t docile….

 

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Wassaic Project’s Third Friday/Open Studio

Maxon Mills, Wassaic
January 21, 4-9 p.m.

Wassaic Project’s winter exhibition includes three Friday events. Take a guided tour of the show at Maxon Mills, and explore everything from video installations to giant clay monuments to vivid neon imagery. With a glass of wine in hand, check out What Comes After, presenting 10 artists throughout the property’s seven floors. Plus, interact with the creators themselves.


Orange County

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

 

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First Day Hike at Sterling State Park

Sterling State Park, Tuxedo
January 1, 10 a.m.

Start 2022 on the right note with a morning hike around Sterling Lake. The scenic shimmering body of water is a perfect setting for a first day hike. Pre-register for this guided walk that highlights historic structures and beautiful Hudson Valley views.

Winter Market Saturdays

Ritz Theater, Newburgh
Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

In need of fresh produce this winter? Every Saturday, head to the Ritz Theater in Newburgh to shop the wares of local farmers. Hudson Valley farms in attendance include Obercreek Farm, Common Ground Farm, Glorie Farms, Eggbert’s Free Range Farm, and more.

 

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Jazz All Weekend @ Cove Castle

Cove Castle, Greenwood Lake
January 21-23 

Could it get much better than brunch, live music, and creative cocktails at a castle? Greenwood Lake’s Cove Castle hosts jazz all weekend. Festivities begin at 7 p.m. on January 21 for the first of two dinners, and the weekend of performances concludes with brunch from 1-4 p.m. on January 23. Reservations recommended.

 

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Scotty McCreery Live

Orange County Fair Speedway Events Center, Middletown
January 28, 7 p.m.

Of course, if country music is more your thing, you’ll want tickets for this exciting event. American Idol winner Scotty McCreery takes the stage at Middletown’s Orange County Fair Speedway Events Center. Catch his performance in the Hudson Valley as he tours his 2021 album Same Truck. Tickets start at $20 per person and are available online.


Putnam County

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

Thunder Ridge Skiing

Thunder Ridge, Patterson
Throughout January 

Have you thought about taking up skiing? Thunder Ridge Ski Area in Patterson has 22 trails, three chairlifts, and some of the best instructors in the Hudson Valley to get you started. Trails range in difficulty from kid-friendly to advanced slopes reserved only for the most daring skiers and snowboarders. The Thunder Ridge ski school is full of teachers with passion for sharing the fundamentals of the sport, and has the highest percentage of Professional Ski Instructors of America certified instructors in the northeast.

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Magazzino Italian Art

Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring
Throughout January 

If you’d rather stay toasty inside during your January jaunts, give Cold Spring’s Italian art museum a try. Magazzino is one of the most important curators of modern Italian art in America and continues to work with local scholars to study the impact of Italian culture on our nation. During your next visit, check out the Arte Povera exhibit and gaze upon sculptures, paintings, installations, and more.

Ice Skating in Brewster

Brewster Ice Arena, Brewster
Throughout January 

For a premier ice skating experience, Brewster is your destination. Three indoor rinks and a fourth seasonal outdoor rink for old-school skating round out the facilities at the Brewster Ice Arena. Public skating opens nearly every day, and classes for beginner skaters and hockey players begin at the start of the month. The BIA Skating School has been getting people on the ice for more than 20 years. A perfect outing for families, this skate rink needs to be visited during the winter months.

 

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Fahnestock Winter Park

Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, Carmel
All month long

Part of the 16,000-acre Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, the Winter Park provides groomed, mapped trails for skiers and snowshoers of all abilities. Visitors will also find a nifty sledding hill plus food and beverages at this all-in-one Hudson Valley parkAfter a hiatus from offering rentals last year, Fahnestock now offers sledding tubes, skis, and snowshoes.


Rockland County

Take a browse through the hottest things to do in Rockland County throughout the month.

Skate at the Bear Mountain Rink

Bear Mountain State Park, Tomkins Cove
All month long

Go ice skating at the Hudson Valley’s largest open-air rink from November to March, weather permitting, on the weekends. Be sure to check the website for additional skating hours during the holidays. Pricing is affordable: adults pay $5 to skate, parking is $10 on weekends and holidays, and skate rental is $10 per pair. Enjoy brisk winter breezes and gorgeous views of the mountains.

On Pins and Needles: Accessible Burlesque & the Art of Adornment

Garner Arts Center, Garnerville
Saturdays starting January 8, 3-7 p.m.

Garner Arts Center unveils an incredible new exhibit. “On Pins and Needles” takes a burlesque approach to accessibility. The gallery exhibit is an exploration of disability and a critique of societal beauty standards. A friendship between two artists living in the Hudson Valley, Delilah Blue Flynn and Magdalena Truchan, fuels the collection of illustrations and other pieces inspired by the pin-up movement of the mid-20th century.

Suffern Restaurant Week

Throughout Suffern
January 16 – 20, & 23 – 27

Who’s hungry for top-tier Hudson Valley eats? Head to Suffern in the middle of the month for terrific prix-fixe multi-course dinners and a chance to try some of the hottest restaurants in town. Each chef-led menu costs $28.99 per person. Between classic BBQ joints, southern-style soul food, and authentic Indian cuisine, there’s something for everyone to discover at Suffern Restaurant Week.

The New Brick

Haverstraw Brick Museum, Haverstraw
All month long

Do you love learning about the history of the Hudson Valley? At The Haverstraw Brick Museum, explore how the region was built on a thriving brick manufacturing industry along the Hudson River. Its exhibit “The New Brick” examines the robotic future of production.


Ulster County

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

January events

Photo courtesy of Ulster County Tourism

First Day Hikes in Minnewaska

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, New Paltz
January 1, 9:30 a.m.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve transcends to a higher level of Hudson Valley beauty during the winter months. First day hikes are a bonafide tradition in the region, and one of Minnewaska’s classic hikes will be enhanced on January 1. On the Peter’s Kill Area hike, locals can don a pair of snowshoes to trek over to Awosting Falls. This two-mile trek will be offered as a hike if there is not enough snow.

All-Day Winter Bird Watching

Esopus Bend Nature Preserve, Saugerties
Throughout January

Sign up to participate in the 2022 winter bird count. Participants will census wintering birds throughout the 160-acre Esopus Bend Nature Preserve, recording numbers of individuals and species diversity. Results will become part of the preserve’s biodiversity database and will help provide future guidance for land management and stewardship decisions.

Frost Valley Family YMCA Weekend

Photo by Frost Valley YMCA

MLK Weekend at Frost Valley

Frost Valley YMCA, Claryville
January 14-17

Getting away for a long weekend can feel great. Frost Valley YMCA hosts all types of winter activities, including cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, an ice skating rink on Lake Cole, ice fishing, and a snow tube run. Frost Valley’s 5,500-acre property is a landscape beautiful enough to excite visitors to learn more about the environment.

Catskill-Ice-Climbing-Festival January events

Photo courtesy of Ulster County Tourism

Catskill Ice Climbing Festival 2022

Alpine Endeavors, Rosendale
January 22-24

Brave enough to scale frozen cliff faces? Join the Catskill Ice Climbing festival in Rosendale. Backcountry day trips, group climbs, and other activities challenge even the most experienced climbers. Registration for all group events costs $175 per person.

Westchester County

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

Ice Skating Across Westchester

Playland Ice Casino, Rye; Westchester Skating Academy, Elmsford; Wampus Pond Park, Armonk; Ebersole Ice Rink, White Plains
Throughout January

For winter weekends in Westchester, lacing up the skates is an essential activity. The iconic Playland Ice offers open freestyle skating, personalized lessons, and even pickup hockey. Westchester Skating Academy has some of the most prolific skate programs in the Hudson Valley. Hockey lovers will delight in its NHL twin rink facility. If anyone is looking for an old-school, frozen pond ice skating experience, Armonk’s Wampus Pond is gorgeous to look at and extremely fun for skating. Ebersole Ice Rink in White Plains hosts youth travel hockey teams and a variety of skating lessons, in addition to can’t-miss events all season long.

White Plains Restaurant Month

Throughout White Plains
January 3-31

Seeking more opportunities to try new Hudson Valley cuisine? White Plains Restaurant Month organizes nearly two dozen local eateries. Participating hotspots showcase diverse farm-to-table fare, with plenty of pre-fixe menu options. Make a reservation for dinner downtown, or pop in for lunch to try the takeout specials.

Kensico Dam Exploration

Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla
Throughout January

No winter season would be complete in the Hudson Valley without plenty of hikes. The Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla boasts a 300-foot-high and 1,830-foot-long dam. The structure forms the Kensico Reservoir, a stunning body of water. With a light dusting of snow, this entire place is transformed into something truly magical.

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