10 Elevated Artsy Experiences in the Hudson Valley

Putnam Monastery in Winter. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman

Everyone knows about Hudson Valley’s natural beauty and undeniable charm, but many aren’t aware of its world class cultural scene. Take a peek at this list of high-brow happenings north of New York City—and prepare to be impressed!

1. Union Arts Center | Rockland County

One of Rockland’s most unique artistic venues, the Union Arts Center in Sparkill features art exhibits and musical performances year-round. Only 23 miles north of New York City, Union Arts Center is in a beautifully restored 19th Century firehouse that is also home to Roost Restaurant. Enjoy outstanding cuisine while experiencing exceptional artwork and live entertainment.

2. Chuang Yen Monastery | Putnam County

Home to the largest indoor statue of Buddha in the western hemisphere—Chuang Yen Monastery (CYM) is in Kent, NY. Designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, the beautiful grounds are an ideal place to find inspiration, awareness and wisdom. Plan a day visit! Open to the public from 10am-3pm every day from April 1st to January 1st—the monastery welcomes respectful visitors. Learn more about Buddhism, rejuvenate your spirit, enjoy a quiet moment and check out the gift shop.

3. The Chapel Restoration | Putnam County

Fifty miles north of New York City, across from Metro North Railroad Station and within walking distance of the charming 19th-century village of Cold Spring—the Chapel Restoration (which has no religious affiliation) hosts the renowned Sunday Music Series and Sunset Reading Series. A serene setting with spectacular views, it also serves as a wonderful venue for weddings and other private gatherings, such as christenings, commitment ceremonies, and renewal of vows, and memorials.

4. “The Nutcracker” at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House | Dutchess County

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the New Paltz Ballet Theatre returns to the Bardavon 1869 Opera House to present “The Nutcracker,” the timeless holiday classic featuring dancers from the New York City Ballet! Join Marie on her magical journey through the Land of the Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets! December 9th-11th.

5. Chasing Icebergs: Art and a Disappearing Landscape | Columbia County

The Olana Partnership, in collaboration with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, presents “Chasing Icebergs: Art and a Disappearing Landscape.” This first winter exhibition at Olana State Historic Site highlights Frederic Church’s iceberg sketches from his 1859 intrepid voyage to the Arctic. November 20th-March 26th.

6. Windham Festival Chamber Orchestra | Greene County

On November 26th the Windham Festival Chamber Orchestra returns to the Doctorow Center for a Thanksgiving weekend concert! It will include Ralph Vaughan Williams; Variants on Dives and Lazarus for Strings & Harp; Sir Edward Elgar: Sospiri for Strings & Harp; Claude Debussy: Danses sacrée et profane for Harp & String Orchestra; Robert Manno: Petit Voyage en Nostalgie for Flute, Harp & String Orchestra; Howard Hanson: Serenade for Flute, Harp & String Orchestra; Jacqueline Kerrod: New Work for Harp & String Orchestra (Premiere); Jean Sibelius: Elegie from King Christian Suite II; and, Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis.

7. Albany Symphony: The Magic of Christmas | Albany County

On December 4th at 3pm, the Palace Theater will be a superb spot to celebrate the season with family and friends with the Capital Region’s most beloved holiday spectacular. Hear the Albany Symphony and a sleigh full of hometown talent perform Christmas carols, cheerful holiday favorites, and more!

8. Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Holiday Classics | Rensselaer County

On December 10th, you’re invited enjoy an evening of holiday classics with the Albany Symphony Orchestra at the world renowned, acoustically perfect, 1870s music hall.

9. A Charlie Brown Christmas & Frosty the Snowman | Ulster County

Round up the kids and grandkids! It’s time for the classic winter holiday favorites— “A Charlie Brown Christmas” presented by the Woodstock Playhouse Production Company and “Frosty the Snowman” presented by the New York Conservatory for the Arts. Enjoy seeing all the beloved characters, hearing the music, and delighting in the skating on stage! December 9th, 10th and 11th.

10. 24th Annual Dinner Theatre Version of "A Christmas Carol" | Ulster County

Experience the joy of Christmas as you feast with the Cratchit family including Bob, Mrs. Cratchit, Belinda and everyone‘s favorite–Tiny Tim. You’ll be treated to scenes right of out Dickens’ classic book with visits from Ebenezer Scrooge, his nephew Fred, the Man of Goodwill, the ghost of Jacob Marley and the three spirits of Christmas. In addition, holiday carolers will entertain at your table!

Greene County Windham Festival Chamber Orchestra

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