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, with dozens of ways to experience the best of what the region has to offer. Whether your idea of a good time is getting active outdoors, jamming out to live music, or chilling out with a glass of local vino, the Hudson Valley is the place to spend the warm months. Celebrate the arrival of summer with outdoor events and visits to scenic, open-air destinations.
To help scout out the hottest 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!
Park Playhouse, Albany
Through July 22
A musical farce that harkens back to Renaissance-era spectacles, Something Rotten is a delightful show by Grammy Award-winning songwriter Wayne Kirkpatrick and screenwriters Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell. Get there early to score free lawn seating, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy Preserves and Helderberg-Hudson Trail
July 1-31, dawn to dusk
Aspiring adventurers won’t want to miss this month-long scavenger hunt in the Capital Region. Participants can keep an eye out for the “fantastical creatures,” a.k.a. painted woodland animal cutouts, hidden across the 22 preserves. Clues will be sent to registered participants by July 1 and posted on the program’s event page. To participate, send selfies with the woodland animals to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 5 to win a free Stewart’s ice cream card and a chance to score additional prizes.
Empire State Plaza, Albany
July 4, 5-10 p.m.
Undoubtedly the biggest Fourth of July festival in the Hudson Valley, Albany’s annual celebration is a delight. The program for Independence Day features live music from the “Queen of Percussion” Sheila E., a performance by Jocelyn & Chris, food and drink, pony rides, a bounce house, and, of course, that unforgettable fireworks display at the end of the evening.
Mac-Hayden Theatre, Chatham
Put on your dancing shoes! Footloose, the powerhouse musical and film of the same name, comes to Chatham for a toe-tapping performance. Follow along with a plot that celebrates independence, creativity, and love. If you find yourself twisting and grooving to the musical score along the way, don’t be surprised – it’s just that catchy.
Village of Chatham
July 8, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Chatham’s annual summertime celebration is all about small-town fun. Park at Chatham Elementary, then take the shuttle over to the main festivities. During the day, programming includes theater games, a scavenger hunt, fire truck, prize wheel, corn hole competition, and garden walk. Amateur bakers can participate in the Great Chatham Bake-Off, while eaters of all sorts can enter the pie-eating contest. A variety of performances are on the schedule throughout the day, with vendors and food purveyors adding to the occasion as well.
Catamount Mountain Resort, Hillsdale
July 22, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; July 23, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Like the name suggests, Thirsty Cat invites locals to sample a variety of craft beer, cider, and wine from purveyors across the region. Attendees can look forward to more than 50 types of libations, not to mention five bands over the course of the two days. There will also be craft vendors and food, so pack up the law chairs and blankets for a fun-filled to-do in Hillsdale. Admission is free, with tasting packages available for purchase.
Old Austerlitz, Austerlitz
July 30, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Few seasons are quite as sweet as blueberry season in the Hudson Valley. Head to this Austerlitz fest for a blueberry pancake breakfast, home-baked blueberry pies and pastries, and blueberry bushes for sale. Craft lovers can browse the wares, which include pottery, weavings, tinsmith art, and paper cuttings. All proceeds from the fest go toward the Austerlitz Historical Society.
Walkway Over the Hudson, Poughkeepsie
July 4, 6:30-10 p.m.
Planning to watch the fireworks for Fourth of July? Take your experience to new heights – literally – by catching the festivities from atop the Walkway. General admission tickets cost $25 (or $20 for Walkway members, veterans, and seniors), so get yours while you can, since this event has limited space and sells out every year.
Love checking out the historic estates of the Hudson Valley? If so, this three-day tour is for you. With limited space for 30 attendees, the to-do includes four nights at The Hyatt Place in Poughkeepsie, dinner at the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck, an exclusive garden lunch at Edgewater in Barrytown, bus transportation between sites, and admission to all sites. As for stops, the tour will visit Locust Grove, the FDR National Historic Site, Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Edgewater, Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Oliver Bronson House, Olana State Historic Site, Wilderstein Historic Site, and Montgomery Place.
Marist College, Poughkeepsie
July 14 – August 6
Kicking off its summer season at Marist College, New York Stage and Film collaborates with both emerging and established artists on a sensational lineup of shows. Visit the website to browse the upcoming plays and musicals, then score tickets to all the ones you fancy.
Frederick Douglass Day
College Hill Park, Poughkeepsie
Honor the legacy of abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass in Poughkeepsie. The event takes place at College Hill, where Douglass gave an inspirational speech to 4,000 attendees on August 2, 1858. In remembrance of the occasion, the City of Poughkeepsie and nonprofit organization Celebrating the African Spirit partner for a day filled with music, food, and performances.
Riga Meadow Equestrian Center, Coole Park Farm, Amenia
Venture over to scenic Amenia for a tradition that celebrates all things equestrian in the Hudson Valley. Attendees can look forward to dressage, cross-country, and show jumping, along with a fair that features vendors, food trucks, a petting zoo, and activities for the whole family.
LEGOLAND New York, Goshen
Through July 4
Trust LEGOLAND to do Fourth of July fun in a big way. Families can head to the Orange County amusement park for special events, all of which are included in regular day admission. Of course, a fireworks spectacle brings the celebrations to a sparkling close.
Goshen Historic Track, Goshen
July 1-3, 1-5 p.m.
Celebrating more than 182 years of sporting history, the track invites visitors to witness the races in Orange County. Tickets cost $5 per person, and food can be purchased at the grandstand. Admission is free for children 12 and under.
100 St. Stephens Place, Warwick
July 6, 4-9 p.m.
Calling all foodies! Warwick’s signature food truck festival is back and better than ever this month. Stop on by to sample the bites from regional food trucks, then stick around for live music from Jeremy Langdale and Nicole DeLoi and The Barrelhouse Blues Band. General admission costs $5 and is cash only. Parking is free.
Orange County Fairgrounds, Middletown
Fair season is back in the Hudson Valley, and the Orange County Fair is the place to be this July. The Middletown shindig is a must for family entertainment like monster trucks, amusement rides, and tribute bands galore. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and children ages seven to 12, and free for children six and younger.
Thomas Bull Memorial Park, Montgomery
July 21, 4:30-10 p.m.
Didn’t get enough fireworks on the Fourth of July? Check out Freedom Fest for even more seasonal fun. The hoopla includes a special salute to veterans, as well as live music, food trucks, and vendors. The fireworks begin at dusk.
2015 Route 9, Garrison
The Bard makes his mark on the Hudson Valley at this much-beloved fest. This year, performances include two Shakespeare favorites, Henry V and Love’s Labor’s Lost, as well as Penelope, a world premiere. Snag tickets early since many dates often sell out. P.S. Plan to get to the Garrison venue early for picnicking on the lawn before the show.
For art lovers in the Hudson Valley, Upstate Art Weekend is a real treat. The fourth edition of the event takes place in the latter half of the month and features more than 130 participants. In Putnam County, make sure to check out Magazzino Italian Art, Garrison Art Center, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center, and Studio Tashtego.
988 Route 22, Brewster
Wed-Sat, 6:30-11 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
All about live music? If so, you’ll want to check out Uncle Cheef, the Hudson Valley’s new live music lounge in Brewster. The venue is open every Wednesday through Sunday and features live music curated by Tonight Show musician and five-time Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith (a.k.a. Uncle Cheef). While listening to the tunes, visitors can munch on shareable plates and sip handcrafted cocktails.
Summer in the Hudson Valley is all about spending time outside, and Hudson River Expeditions makes it easier than ever to do just that. Book a rental for single or tandem kayaks from Cold Spring or, if you’re feeling up to it, try out stand up paddleboarding. Online bookings close one day before tour, rental, and class dates.
Schaghticoke Fairgrounds, Schaghticoke
Don’t let the name deceive you – this music festival is all about top tunes in the Hudson Valley. Oteil and Friends headline with a two-set performance, with the North Mississippi Allstars, Cool Cool Cool, Lespecial, Dogs in a Pile, Couch, and many more artists taking the stage as well. Along with the music, attendees can look forward to food and craft vendors to keep the good times going.
Powers Park, Troy
July 8 – August 26
Troy celebrates 20 years of entertainment with this special concert series. Held at the Neil Kelleher Stage, the programming kicks off with a giant muscle car show, with a variety of musical acts to follow throughout July and August.
July 16, 12-5 p.m.
If the name doesn’t tip you off, Troy Pig Out is a day for food lovers in Troy. The upper Hudson Valley happening invites competitors to battle for the best barbecue while attendees sample scrumptious food options for $4. For anyone feeling extra hungry, there’s also a hot dog eating contest sponsored by Famous Lunch in Monument Square.
Independence Day Fireworks
Memorial Park, Nyack
July 4, 9 p.m.
For fireworks by the water, cruise into Nyack. The riverfront hotspot hosts its annual Fourth of July fest with a free firework show that’s fun for the whole family. Pack chairs and blankets to watch the sky light up after dark.
Bastille Day Celebration
July 15, 12-10 p.m.
The Village of Piermont goes big for Bastille Day with a festival that celebrates the region’s historic ties to France. Expect an abundance of French cuisine and cultural festivities throughout the day. The event is hosted by the Piermont Chamber of Commerce.
North Broadway, Nyack
July 23, 12-7 p.m.
Maureen’s Jazz Cellar and the Rockland County Jazz & Blues Society co-host this fest, which leans into all things jazz. The outdoor concert features music from talents like David Budway, Particle Theory, Mr. Gone, and the Conal Fowkes Trio and is free to attend.
Bearsville Park, Woodstock
July 2, 1-6 p.m.
Trust Woodstock to do a folk festival right! Add music to your long weekend plans with this folk and roots fest that caters to the whole family. Along with the live melodies, visitors can chow down on artisanal barbecue and sip on handcrafted drinks and cocktails.
Main and Partition Streets, Saugerties
July 9, 1-6 p.m.
A standout lineup of more than 500 vintage cars makes this Saugerties show one for the books. Dubbed “the best little car show in the Northeast,” this to-do is fun for attendees of all ages and features live music on every corner. After, stick around town to grab a bite at one of the top-notch restaurants in the region.
Ashokan Center, Olivebridge
Designed to celebrate the music and dance of the northern region, from New England to Quebecois to Scandinavia, France, and the British Isles, this fest is a unique celebration in the Hudson Valley. Plan to spend the week here, or stop by on July 15 for a barbecue and dance at 6 p.m.
In its inaugural year, the Borscht Belt Fest celebrates the history and tradition of the Borscht Belt in the Hudson Valley. The Catskills Borscht Belt Museum hosts the event, which features standup comedy, art, live music, film, educational programming, and food. While the street fair, exhibits, musical performances, and move screenings are free to attend, the comedy shows and talks require a ticket. All proceeds support the nonprofit museum.
New Paltz Golf Course, New Paltz
July 31, 8 a.m.
For golf aficionados in the Hudson Valley, this tournament is an excellent opportunity to test your skills and enjoy a fun day on the greens. The competition includes 18 holes with a cart, event t-shirt, and other goodies. Afterward, participants can stick around for prizes and lunch, which will be catered by Garvan’s and Maggie Mae’s.
Parkway Field, Pleasantville
The Pleasantville Music Festival is a favorite in the Hudson Valley, and for good reason. Now in its 17th year, the event, which is hosted by Northwell Health, features top-billing artists like They Might Be Giants and The Allman Betts Band, to name only a few. Expect nine hours of music, 18 bands, and three stages to enjoy it all.
Hudson River Museum, Yonkers
July 16 – September 24
This inaugural exhibition in the museum’s new West Wing galleries features nearly 2,500 hula hoops artfully arranged against a backdrop of the Hudson River. Stop by to witness the eye-catching display that sparks conversation surrounding everyday objects and Japanese philosophy and art.
Few things are more wonderfully nostalgic than a visit to Playland during the summer months. Plan a visit with friends or family to enjoy the historic rides, picturesque beachfront location, and Art Deco architecture. With fireworks planned for July 3 and 4, not to mention a new waterfront slide, paddleboats, and a Fountain Plaza music and light show, there’s so much to see and do at this Rye destination.