Your Complete Calendar of December Holiday Events

Plus other things to do this month.


Nov 16–Dec 28: Polar Express

Taking its cues from the classic children’s book, this family staple allows kids to relive the story’s many highlights, from the punching of their golden ticket, to storytime and hot chocolate, and finally the gift of a silver sleigh-bell courtesy of Father Christmas himself. 

The Catskill Mountain Railroad, Kingston, 845.332.4854,

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Nov 30–Dec 2: A Christmas Carol by Ulster Ballet Company

Now in its 24th year, this large-scale ballet — more than 65 dancers! — is choreographed by former New York City Ballet dancer Sara Miot. 

Ulster Performing Arts Center, Kingston, 845.339.6088,


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Dec 1: Nyack Lights

A tree-lighting, parade, refreshments, and a visit from Santa via the Highland Hose Company. There will also be a coat drive from a local charity. 

Veterans Memorial Park, Nyack, 845.353.2221,


PHoto by deborah degraffenreid

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Dec 1, 2, 8, 9: Twilight Tours

Candle-lit tours of the historic mansion and grounds, decorated and lit for a 19th-century Christmas and accompanied by live string music. 

Boscobel House & Gardens, Garrison, 845.265.3638,


Dec 1, 2: Holiday Market

This indoor crafts bazaar features local artists, specialty food vendors, and crafters. There will be special activities for children, and special showings of kid-friendly movies at the end of each day.

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, 866.781.2922,


Photo courtesy of Rockland Community College Cultural Arts Theatre

Dec 1, 2, 7, 8: The Nutcracker by The Rockland Youth Dance Ensemble

More than 220 ballet students ages 7 to 18 will perform in The Nutcracker this year. Seventeen of those dancers are seniors and many have performed in the Nutcracker every year for the past 11 years. Junior performances Dec 1 and 2; senior performances Dec 7 and 8. 

Rockland Community College Cultural Arts Theatre, Suffern, 866.967.8167,


Dec 2: Albany Symphony — The Magic of Christmas

An annual tradition, with full-orchestra renditions of Christmas carols and symphonic classics. 

Palace Theatre, Albany, 518.465.4663,


Dec 7: Westchester All Stars and Friends Christmas for Veterans

An annual concert with all proceeds going to veteran-focused charities like Veterans Adaptive Sports, Friends of Fallen Heroes NY, and the local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans.Headlined by John Sebastian of the Lovin’ Spoonful. 

Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, Peekskill, 914.739.0039,


Dec 7: Tree Lighting Ceremony

Brotherhood Winery’s towering pine tree will be lit in a special ceremony involving treats, a visit from Santa Claus, and, for those of age, flights of special Mulled Holiday Spice Wine.

Brotherhood Winery, Washingtonville, 845.496.3661, 


Photo courtesy of Bardavon

Dec 7: The Nutcracker

For the 21st year, New Paltz Ballet Theatre performs Tchaikovsky’s classic with principal dancers from the New York City Ballet. 

Bardavon, Poughkeepsie, 845.473.2072,


Dec 8: Holiday Gala and Art Show

Enjoy a night of food and drink, as well as a silent auction for small pieces of local art. From 6–9 p.m. with a $10 suggested donation. 

Roost Studios & Art Gallery, New Paltz, 845.419.2208,


Dec 8: The Colonial Nutcracker

Performed by Dance Theatre in Westchester, this annual performance updates the ballet classic to colonial Yorktown. Includes simultaneous narration to help children enjoy the performance. 

Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, Peekskill, 914.739.0039,


Dec 8: Lea Delaria — Oh F*ck It’s Christmas

The jazz vocalist and Orange is the New Black actress brings her ensemble to the Fisher Center for an irreverent set of holiday favorites, stand-up comedy, and banter.

The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, 845.758.7900,


Dec 8: Chatham Winterfest

An annual favorite, local businesses open their doors for a variety of treats, deals, and activities ranging from hayrides and craft-making to writing holiday cards for troops serving overseas. 

Main Street, Park Row, and Hudson Ave, Chatham,


Dec 8, 9: ‘Into the Light’ Holiday Spectacular

A mix of contemporary dance and puppetry, this “multi-cultural pageant” tells a wintry story of hope and redemption, fit for all ages. Presented by The Vanaver Caravan and Arm-of-the-Sea Theater.

Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Tivoli, 845.757.5106 ext 112,


Dec 9: Miss Sherry Vine — Holiday Edition

Irreverent takes on holiday standards dominate this veteran drag queen’s seasonal stage show. As seen off-Broadway and on her Hulu show, She’s Living for This.

Club Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, 518.828.4800,


Dec 9: 19th Annual Sloan Wainwright and Friends Holiday Whiz-Bang Shin-Dig

Mixing jazz, pop, blues, and more, Wainwright — of the Loudon and Rufus family tree — brings her band The Sloan Flakes to the Towne Crier for a seasonal barnburner. With Brooks Williams as well as other, secret friends and guests. 

Towne Crier Café, Beacon, 845.855.1300,


Photo by Jennie Chein

Dec 9–23: Affordable Art & Pottery Bazaar

An offshoot of the famous New York City bazaar, but closer to home. Shop for artwork, jewelry, ceramics, and even ornaments for the tree.

Rockland Center for the Arts, West Nyack, 845.358.0877,


Dec 14: Judy Collins: Holiday and Hits

The “Both Sides Now” and “Send in the Clowns” singer provides her own spin on seasonal classics, pulling from her own deep catalog for this intimate seated show.

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, 866.781.2922,


Dec 14: It’s a Wonderful Life

Even George Bailey, the most-beloved man in Bedford Falls, can’t escape the tribulations of this world in Frank Capra’s 1946 film. But with a little help from an angel, and more than a little from his friends and neighbors, Bailey comes to realize the beauty of the life he has lived. A favorite of all ages. 

Ulster Performing Arts Center, Kingston, 845.339.6088,


Dec 14–23: A Christmas Carol

An annual performance of Dickens’ classic story, directed by Diana di Grandi. 

Center for the Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, Rhinebeck, 845.876.3080,


Dec 14: Mountain Snow Orchestra

An evening of folk and bluegrass takes on holiday standards from Kevin McCrell, Brian Melick, Trish Miller, and John Kirk. Presented as part of the American Roots & Branches series. 

The Egg Center for the Performing Arts, Albany, 518.473.1845,


Dec 15: Christmas with the Putnam Chorale

Period-accurate holiday music from the early 19th century, performed vocally. Performances in the main hall at both 4:30 and 6 p.m. 

Boscobel House & Gardens, Garrison, 845.265.3638,


Dec 15: Winter Songfest

The holiday classics you loved performed by some of the region’s best young musicians. Excerpts from The Nutcracker and pieces by Ralph Vaughn Williams will be played by members of the Bard Conservatory Orchestra, Symphonic Chorus, Chamber Singers, and The Orchestra Now. 

The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, 845.758.7900,


Dec 15: Jessica Lynn — A Very Merry Country Christmas

The “Crazy Idea” singer performs a set of holiday standards, as well her own compositions, in her distinctive country-rock style. Toys for Tots will be running a toy drive before the performance. 

Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, Peekskill, 914.739.0039,


Photo courtesy of Center for the Performing Arts at Rhinebeck

Dec 15: Puppet People — A Christmas Carol

The famous Dickens story, performed by marionettes and with a special holiday soundtrack. Part of the Center’s Saturday Morning Family Series.

Center for the Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, Rhinebeck, 845.876.3080,


Dec 15, 16: Everett Bradley’s Holidelic

The veteran back-up musician performs holiday originals as well as upbeat and funky takes on family classics. For those sick of caroling but in love with P-Funk.           

Club Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, 518.828.4800,


Dec 16: Blithewood Ensemble

Members of the Bard College Conservatory perform a selection of holiday tunes on Hudson Hall’s historic stage. Featuring selections Brahms, Loeffler, and Everwine for viola, piano, and mezzo-soprano.

Hudson Hall at the Historic Hudson Opera House, Hudson, 518.822.1438,


Dec 16: Of a Winter’s Night: A Holiday Celebration

Five-string banjo player Tony Trischka reworks traditional bluegrass and holiday tunes, drawn from the 1844 Sacred Harp hymnbook, with help from singer and multi-instrumentalist Tim Eriksen.              

Ashokan Center, Olivebridge, 845.657.8333,


Dec 21: The Orchestra Now

Bard College’s resident orchestra performs selections from Corellis and Mozart as well as the entirety of Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 2.”

Hudson Hall at the Historic Hudson Opera House, Hudson, 518.822.1438,


Dec 27: Children’s Holiday Tea

Held in the historic home’s museum rooms, this annual event teaches children and adults alike about the Victorian tradition of afternoon tea, with tips on manners, decorum, and dress. The menu includes finger sandwiches, scones, homemade desserts and, of course, Harney & Sons’s tea. 

Mount Gulian Historic Site, Beacon, 845.831.8172,


Dec 31: New Year’s Eve Dance & Dinner Party

Family-style dinner, an open bar, and assorted treats are the precursor to a night of wild dancing, with three dance floors and four bands playing swing, Cajun, zydeco, waltzes, contras, and squares. For those looking to live it up, sensibly. 

Ashokan Center, Olivebridge, 845.657.8333,



Dec 1: David Crosby and Friends

Legendary singer-songwriter and even more legendary grump David Crosby, of CSN (and sometimes Y), will perform his countless indelible classics backed by his Lighthouse band.

The Egg Center for the Performing Arts, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 518.473.1845,


Dec 9: Reverend Horton Heat

Returning for a second barnstorming year, the Reverend and Band perform a brand of old-time rock and roll mixed with very modern energy and attitude. Expect slide-guitar solos, hijinks, and plenty of howling.                             

Colony Woodstock, Woodstock, 845.679.7625,


Dec 14: Jewel

The singer-songwriter, poet, and unofficial queen of the 1990s brings a set of wilderness-inspired tunes and guests from the TV show Alaska: The Last Frontier.

Palace Theatre, Albany, 518.465.4663,               


Our Pick

Photo by Grandstand Media

Legendary Fleetwood Mac songwriter Lindsey Buckingham, newly exiled from the group, brings his innumerable hits to undoubtedly adoring audiences. Rock out to “Tusk,” shout along to “The Chain,” prepare to flip open your lighters when the deep cuts roll in, and celebrate with one of the greatest pop songsmiths of all time.

Dec 6, Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, Peekskill, 914.739.0039,


Theater, Dance, and Comedy

Dec 1: Buglisi Dance Theater

Groundbreaking and award-winning New York City dance troupe will perform a special, intimate show at Kaatsbaan. Classically leaning, but creatively contemporary.

Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Tivoli, 845.757.5106 ext 112,


Through Dec 9: Mary Poppins

The best-selling and award-winning Broadway adaptation of the Disney classic brings Poppins and all her high-flying, cockney-slanging, and spitfire-rhyming escapades to the small stage.

Center for the Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, 661 Route 308, Rhinebeck, 845.876.3080,


Dec 28: Sinbad

The comedian and Jingle All the Way actor brings his observational style to Peekskill. 

Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, Peekskill, 914.739.0039,


Art and Film

From Nov 23: Joan Steiner’s Look-Alikes

Artist and Look-Alikes author Joan Steiner specialized in minute and exacting recreations using size-appropriate objects, such as salad tongs, combs, and pretzels in place of woodwork. Ten of the Hudson-area artist’s dioramas will be on display through February. 

Albany Institute, Albany, 518.463.4478,


Through Dec 14: The Conditions of Being Art

This exhibition charts the history of the groundbreaking Pat Hearn Gallery and its relationship with the American Fine Arts Co., whose archives are held at Bard. The fruit of several semesters of study in the Center for Curatorial Studies.

Bard College Hessel Museum, Annandale-on-Hudson, 845.758.7598,


From Dec 15: Heavy Metal — Cast Iron Stoves of the Capital Region

The Albany and Troy area was once home to many of the world’s leading cast iron craftsmen, forging thousands of cast iron stoves of exquisite artistry for many decades. This exhibition showcases pieces in a variety of styles, from Greek and Egyptian revival designs to rococo and patriotic flourishes, serving as a de facto history of Capital Region industry. 

Albany Institute, Albany, 518.463.4478,

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