This summer, when the Hudson River’s cool waters beckon with the promise of the unknown, follow your instinct and chart a course to a new adventure. Discover the Hudson Valley’s incredible lineup of summer festivals, events, and family-friendly gatherings. Enjoy everything from a weekend dedicated to vampire-banishing garlic, to a cycling event that incorporates farm-to-fork tasting menus.

Need a reason to visit the Hudson Valley this summer? How about 12! Check out the summer and fall’s lineup of festivities, including:

1. Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival June 7 – September 3 celebrates its 32nd season in Garrison with five inventive productions including a new take on The Taming of the Shrew and Richard II, as well as touring productions of Hamlet and the Sea-Main’s Music.

2. Farm to Fork Fondo June 9-10 at the Warwick Valley Winery in Warwick is an organized bicycle ride through the verdant, rolling fields of the Catskills’ farmlands, which features stops for chef-prepared, locally sourced treats along each route. All participants receive tickets to the Farm-to-Fork barbecue, finisher’s prize, a beer at the finish line and more.

3. 27th Hudson Valley Balloon Festival July 6-8 at Dutchess County Fairgrounds – Enjoy three days of hot air balloon rides and tether rides, helicopter tours, family-friendly games, and the Hot Air Balloon Illumination Moon Glow.

4. Hudson Valley Chalk Festival July 20-22 on Main Street in New Paltz – This free event features the top professional street painters from around the world as well as local artists. Watch as they transform pavement into scenes of beauty, reverence and destruction with chalk. Live music and family-friendly offered.

5. Hudson Valley Jazz Festival August 9-12 is held at multiple locations and features an incredible line-up of performances and interactive experiences. Don’t miss Jazz Brunch or Jazz trivia!

6. Hudson Valley RibFest August 17-19 at Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz – Features barbecue, family-friendly fun and live music entertainment all weekend long. Kids will enjoy the craft workshops, and their parents can try their prowess on the mechanical bull. Chef demos and tasting make this one tasty event for the whole family.

7. Summer Hoot at The Ashokan Center in Olivebridge August 24-26 offers a “down-home, multi-generational celebration of live roots music, local food and crafts,” and the community of the Catskills. Enjoy three days of music on two outdoor stages, food and craft vendors, and camping and hiking for the whole family.

8. 19th Annual Hudson Valley Ramble September 1-30 is an event series that happens every weekend in September, and features group hikes, bike rides, and more.

9. Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest September 8-9 at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck – Taste the bounty of the Empire State at this craft beverage and food festival. Sample wines, spirits, beers and bites, and brush up on your culinary and oenophile skills during one of the educational seminars.

10. Hudson Valley Garlic Festival September 29-30 is a must-do. Enjoy chef demonstrations and lectures, musical performances, a garlic marketplace, craft vendors and a kids’ area filled with face painters, crafts and more.

11. Hudson Valley Dance Festival October 6 at Historic Catskill Point in Catskill will feature incredible performances from renowned dance companies and upcoming artists performing a range of styles.

12. Hudson Valley Veg Fest November 3-4 at Gold’s Gym in Poughkeepsie – a 42,000 square foot domed space called “The Net,” brings two days of advocacy, conversations, and education about living a plant-based life, spotlighting veganism and growing a vegan economy.

Explore the Hudson Valley and mark your calendars for Veg Fest, Summer Hoot, and more!