We don’t like to go out on dates anymore. For many of us, there’s no time, nobody worth the time, and there’s just too much pressure! Why should we go out on a proper date, when texting, memes, sending nudes, and Netflix covers all the pre-relationship criteria? Still, there is something to be said for the butterflies in your tummy while waiting for that special crush to show up (because you were the gentleperson and showed up a couple of minutes early just to be sure you weren’t late…in fact, you were 25 minutes early and didn’t want to feel like a weirdo so you scoped out the nearby bookstore before meeting at the agreed-upon public spot).
Let’s face it. You have too much going on being a boss-ass betch to get all in your feels about someone who might not even make it passed the first date. So spin the wheel of date night supreme with Hudson Valley Happenings, where we break it down easily for you and take the guess-work out of where to go on your first date or your 1st anniversary!
A great date will usually have an element of spontaneity. That’s why we love the college town of New Paltz. Weekends and weeknights, anyone can find something to enjoy here. The best part is that each stop on your date is walking distance, so if ya’ll are vibing, move on to the next location. If it doesn’t go well, then you can easily ditch and still find something fun to do.
Bacchus - We like Bacchus because while they have great food, a laid-back atmosphere, and a massive variety of beer, it is also a billiards hall. Bacchus is nearby an assortment of other hip college town locales so if it does go well, remember that spontaneity makes the BEST dates. So pay attention and walk the main street or maybe make your next stop one of these spots after your appetizer and a game or two of pool.
Barner Books – Perhaps your pre-game conversation led to a discussion on Magical Realism or Dr. Seuss. Continue the conversation here and read to each other if you’re into that kind of thing. Your date is still with you, so the sound of your voice can’t be that bad. Maybe it’s the creaking wood floors or the old-book smell, but Barner Books gives off the coziest vibe.
Lagustas Luscious – When you’re done flirting like a sexy librarian through the bookshelves, satisfy your sweet tooth at the most incredible Chocolate Shop ever. Seriously, people get Lagustas Luscious delicious treats shipped cross-country, and they’re right here in the Hudson Valley! Deciding what to get is the hardest decision you’ll make today, but anything you choose will be a delight. Besides, what can be more romantic than beautifully crafted chocolate?
Hudson Valley Hikes
If you live in the Hudson Valley and don’t regularly enjoy the bountiful scenic vistas in your backyard that tourists travel here specifically for, then what are you waiting for? All hikes are not created equal, however, so if you’re planning on taking a special person on one of your favorites, it’s probably a good idea to make sure they can handle it first and are prepped with the right footwear. Don’t make it too easy though, we want to see what they’re made of, don’t we? Breathe in that fresh air and get the blood flowing on your epic date hike. Check out HVHappenings/great-outdoors for our growing list. Here are three popular favorites in order of easiest to pretty difficult. Make sure you show a little forethought and backpack a picnic. Your date will adore you for it!
Minnewaska State Park – Take a left through the gate, drive up the meandering path to the top. Enjoy the epic views of Lake Minnewaska while on your careful walk around the main carriage trail. Afterward stop at the nearby Rough Cut Brewery for a microbrew and dessert.
Sam’s Point & Ice Caves – Take the plunge. On a sultry summer day, and after a hot and heavy hike up this hill, descending into the ice caves just feels so good. You’ll want to hang out and get that natural a/c for a few minutes. You’re probably going to pass through Ellenville on your way. Locals travel for miles to eat on Canal Street. Check out Aroma Thyme Bistro or Gabby’s.
The Labyrinth & Lemon Squeeze – Due to hazardous conditions, this portion of Mohonk Preserve is closed through the winter. This hike is not for the faint of heart, but you’re here because it’s time to test their mettle. Go for it, and definitely don’t forget to pack some snacks. Skip New Paltz and grab an artisanal drink at Gardiner’s Liquid Mercantile.
The Hudson Valley is not merely the home of great music, it’s the birthplace of some of the best music the world has ever seen. What follows is a very brief introduction to our historic and 100% active venues. Date night just got taken to the next level.
Levon Helm Studios aka The Barn – Normally taking your date to a barn won’t go over well. However, The Barn was carefully constructed by Levon Helm in 1975 for the sole (and soul) purpose of making music and he has created the most intimate musical experience imaginable. Musicians love performing here because of the connection they make with their audience: that’s you! We hope that you’ll make a connection of your own with a special person here. Tickets sell out fast, so make sure to check out their upcoming shows soon. Woodstock overflows with pre-date night bars and restaurants. After dinner, make sure to stop at Hops and Barley before heading to The Barn because it’s BYOB!
Bethel Woods – Any list of music venues in the Hudson Valley has to include the historic Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts. Whether it’s your first time, or you get season passes every summer, a night out at the place where Woodstock ’69 happened is always memorable. Continue to make your own history with that total babe you brought with you laying out on the field. Don’t forget a blanket and that 70’s vibe.
The Falcon Underground – Live at the Falcon, a huge variety of acts almost every day of the week and a legendary history supporting them. The New York Times once wrote, “Away from Manhattan's urban frenzy, one man's hospitality has created an intimate stage for top tier musicians." For food, you and your date can enjoy a locally sourced meal and drinks on the outdoor patio above the Marlboro Falls. Then head down to the underground and show your support with a donation in the well-loved donation box. There is no cover here, and no minimum purchase requirement. The Falcon remains quintessentially Hudson Valley by encouraging us to engage with and support our artists democratically. Show some love!
You’ve seen everything you needed to on Netflix already, so chill. Spending time with each other out in the world is healthy. Yes, it is scary out there sometimes. Nobody likes rejection or feeling the impending doom of possibly making a grave social mistake. But like that beautiful scar, mistakes add character or if anything, make for a great story later. Own it, baby! Get out there and never stop exploring.