By Anthony Gadaleta
As the holiday season fast approaches, you’ll find plenty to do to begin the holiday cheer and memorable experiences of this joyous time of year as the first snowflakes begin to drop and temperatures steadily drop. These are our top recommendations of the best holiday festivals to see and visit around the Hudson Valley!
Annual Troy Victorian Stroll
(Troy on Sunday, December 8th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
The quaint city of Troy celebrates the holiday season with its wondrous cheer of Victorian homes and the magical transformation into holiday decor and joy. You can find over 100 vendors and attractions for everyone to enjoy upon their visit. Begin the holidays in the fairytale time of the Victorian Era!
If you’re looking for shopping in Troy, try these:
T&J Handcrafted Soap (271 River St, Troy, NY 12180)
Have a keen interest in aromatherapy or simply want to add a new fragrance to your collection? This adorable boutique offers locally made fragrances from soaps to satchels and more for the discerning customer or someone who’d like to try a new scent! Choose from a wide variety of scents at this one-of-a-kind store right in the heart of downtown Troy. For business hours be sure to visit tandjsoap.com
Ekologic (1 Fulton St, Troy, NY 12180)
Looking for eco-conscious products? This is definitely your place! All of their products are made from recyclable materials including recycled cashmere, a coveted rare find! You’ll find plenty and more at this quaint boutique. For business hours be sure to visit ekologic.com
If you’re looking for dining in Troy, try these:
Illium Cafe & Bistro (9 Broadway, Troy, NY 12180)
This quaint corner cafe offers a wide selection of coffee and espresso drinks, sandwiches, and breakfast options in a contemporary rustic space. For business hours and more information be sure to visit illiumcafe.com
Unagi Sushi (118 4th St, Troy, NY 12180)
Located in modern quarters, this place offers up classic Japanese cuisine with sushi and specialty dishes for any palate. For business hours and more information be sure to visit unagitroyny.com
Basilica Farm & Flea Market
(Hudson from November 29 Dec 1st)
A vast array of handcrafted items carefully made by local artisans, craft makers, and more at this one of a kind holiday experience! Meander the crafts and get lose in unique finds that you’ll treasure for the holidays and beyond. It’s never too early to get started on your holiday shopping!
If you’re looking for shopping in Hudson, try these:
The Artisan Shop at Camphill Hudson (360 Warren St #2419, Hudson, NY 12534)
This adorable boutique carries locally made products and specialty gifts from around the region in a tasteful modern space. You’ll find mosaics to other arts and crafts to name a few with lots to see and explore. For business hours be sure to visit camphillhudson.org
Good Fight Herb Co. (253 ½ Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534)
For thoughtfully made herbs and the perfect additive to self-care, be sure to visit this unique place. Locally made and with an emphasis on health and wellness, you’ll be sure to find inner peace here. For business hours, be sure to visit goodfightherb.com
If you’re looking for dining in Hudson, try these:
The Cascades (407 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534)
Set in a classic local, this local favorite has it all from coffee and espresso to handcrafted sandwiches and plenty for breakfast. For business hours and more be sure to visit thecascadeshudson.com
Le Perche (230 Warren St, Hudson, NY 12534)
An upscale choice for French cuisine in a contemporary space. Locally known for their bread and pastries, you’ll find all things Frenchie here. For business hours and more information be sure to visit leperchehudson.com
Westchester’s Winter Wonderland
(Valhalla from November 23rd to December 31, hours vary weekday + weekend)
(Check wwinterwonderland.com for details!)
Ideal for families, you’ll find an outdoor ice-skating rink, a bountiful holiday circus, plenty of rides, and the famous FUNderland Village full of little shops and markets for gifts and specialty items for the holiday season! You’ll also find plenty of food trucks serving up different cuisines that will satisfy any palate.
Celebration of Lights Parade & Fireworks
(Poughkeepsie on Friday, Dec 6th at 6:30 p.m.)
The notable city of Poughkeepsie has a spectacular array of lights, a classic Christmas tree lighting, and a breathtaking fireworks display on the Hudson River. Watch as the dazzling lights of the fireworks swing across the sky and the lights turn on the magical tree to symbolize the happiness of holiday cheer! It’s a wonderful community moment to share with friends and loved ones!
If you’re looking for dining in Poughkeepsie, try these:
Alex’s (1 Market St, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601)
This local favorite is the place for all things brunch! Set in casual and retro quarters, serving up classic comfort food and milkshakes. For business hours and more be sure to visit alexsrestaurant.org
(Suffern on Saturday, December 7th, at 6:30 p.m.)
The charming town of Suffern into a sparkling festival of lights to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season and the anticipated arrival of Santa Claus! Every year, the Village of Suffern puts on an annual Christmas Parade with floats, parade marchers, lots of community groups, and local music to mark the official start of the holidays!
Looking for dining in Suffern, try these:
Jay’s Thai Kitchen (57 Lafayette Ave, Suffern, NY10901)
This cozy spot offers up classic Thai dishes in a modern space. For business hours and more be sure to visit jaysthaikitchen.com
Assaggi e Vinco at Marcello’s Ristorante (21 Lafayette Ave, Suffern, NY 10901)
This quaint spot offers traditional Northern Italian cuisine in a sophisticated and elegant local. Known for its hospitality and classic dishes, this restaurant marks all the boxes of a classic authentic Italian restaurant all in one.
(Rhinebeck on Saturday, December 7th, Children’s Starlight Parade begins at 6:30 p.m.)
This vibrant festival of lights is perhaps the pinnacle of the holiday season during your visit to Rhinebeck during Christmastime. You’ll find all-day workshops, dancing & theatre performances from local artists, and plenty of festive characters that will greet you with a smile to ring in the joy and merriment of the holiday season! Ideal for families and those of all ages.
7. Winter Walk
(Hudson on Saturday, December 7th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.)
This spectacular event offers dazzling fireworks, shimmering storefront displays of holiday decor and festive lights, all under starry December skies in this one-of-a-kind walk on a mile-long journey through downtown Hudson celebrating the beginning of the joyous holiday season! The walk begins just after sundown and continues until nightfall. Come and see for yourself!
8. Saratoga Winter Fest
(Saratoga Springs between 31 January & 22 February 2020, event dates and times vary)
This exciting event takes place in the new decade of 2020 where you’ll find a variety of activities that are ideally spread out between the coldest winter months in the Hudson Valley when the snow is falling and temperatures are at their lowest, but the winter fun just begins! Saratoga Winterfest offers Chowderfest where you can taste, sample, and purchase an array of different local chowders which takes place on February 1st, 2020, time to be announced. Check their website at saratoga.com/winter/fest
We hope these recommendations will start off your holiday season memorably as you explore all things magical and festive as winter and the majestic holiday season approaches in the Hudson Valley! Be sure to check events for rain dates/snow dates in the event of inclement weather since it is that time of year! Happy Holidays!
Did we miss anything in our guide? Be sure to comment below!