13 Joyful Ways to Holiday in the Hudson Valley

Believe it or not, the holidays are here! We’ve tracked down a sleighful of ways to experience them. From Winter Wonderlands to Victorian Strolls—these ideas are sure to make your season merrier.

1. Winter Wonderland Drive-thru Holiday Light Extravaganza! | Westchester County

Fasten your seatbelt and prepare to be amazed! Attractions include favorite elves Ned and Albert, glittering angels of peace and a 50-foot dove, dancing trees, glowing snowballs, a candy cane lane, a spectacular 100-foot light tunnel, Westchester’s favorite 40-foot Christmas tree and so much more!

2. Grand Holiday Illumination | Westchester County

Inaugurated in 2015, the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy's Grand Holiday Illumination has quickly become a Yonkers tradition. Thousands of visitors come to enjoy the spectacle--the Walled Garden lit with more than 100,000 lights and holiday music from many traditions. This winter treat is free thanks to our generous sponsors.

3. Holiday Lights of Nyack | Rockland County

On December 2nd at 4pm, usher in the season at the annual Holiday Lights of Nyack event. Enjoy live caroling, the lighting of the tree, a holiday story reading, free cocoa, and a visit from Santa. This village tradition is sure to get you and your family into the holiday spirit!

4. Holiday on the Lake Carmel | Putnam County

On December 3rd at 3pm, the festivities will begin at the Holiday on the Lake in the Historic Hamlet of Carmel. The fun kicks off with the new and exciting Christmas Village sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Expect live music, a parade, the lighting of the tree, and of course, Santa. Everyone is welcome to join the Santa Stroll benefitting the American Cancer Society at 6:15pm.

5. Holiday Decorated Mansions and Historic Sites | Dutchess County

The holiday season is especially colorful and festive at the magnificent mansions and historic sites in Dutchess County! In addition to being decked out for the occasion, many sites host holiday-themed tours and events, including Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie and the Staatsburgh State Historic Site in Staatsburg. This event takes place throughout December at various locations.

6. Holiday Lights in Bloom at Orange County Arboretum | Orange County

Visit Orange County’s Arboretum in Montgomery, NY and view a spectacular light display with your family. Sip on some hot cocoa while you explore the festive lights throughout this inviting natural setting.

7. Whoville Shopping Village in Washingtonville NY | Orange County

This holiday market features a curated selection of makers, collectors, and farmers—all harnessing the spirit and beauty of the Hudson Valley. Set against the gorgeous, industrial setting of Basilica Hudson’s 1880s repurposed factory, this event is a perfect way to jump into the season and find extraordinary local, vintage and handmade gifts. Admission is $5.

8. Basilica Farm & Flea “Holiday Market" | Columbia County

Enjoy a luxury getaway to scenic Columbia County. Minutes from the cultural attractions of the Berkshires, historic sites, antiquing treasures and chic shops of Chatham and Hudson, NY—this beautiful property offers enduring elegance with today’s modern comforts. Each guest room has unique furnishings and private en-suite bathroom. Wake up to a delicious full breakfast with locally sourced ingredients.

9. Athens Annual Victorian Stroll | Greene County

This event is happening on December 10th at the Family Ice Skating Rink at Athens Riverfront Park. Families and friends gather for a free, fun-filled day in celebration of the annual Athens Victorian Stroll. You’ll go up and down the historic Second Street, Athens Riverfront Park, and all around the village. Businesses, residents, and community organizations host family-friendly activities, offer free goodies to eat, and provide entertainment galore, with nods to Athens’ past. Bring your own skates!

10. Cohoes Holiday Market | Albany County

This unique holiday shopping experience with a focus on 'gift-centric' artisan goods, crafts, art, food, and more will be happening on weekends from November 26th-December 23rd. Located at Canal Square Park, Silliman Park, and the corner of White and Remsen.

11. Troy Victorian Stroll | Rensselaer County

Mark your calendar for December 4th. Since 1982, the Victorian Stroll has brought residents and tourists together to enjoy the beautiful City of Troy. The Stroll’s activities and entertainment are strategically spread throughout the streets, amidst unique shops, storefronts, restaurants, bars, and parks. The events’ footprint is South to Congress Street, East to 6th Ave, West to River Street, and North to Hutton Street. An event all ages will enjoy. Shop, dine and stroll Troy!

12. Lumagica at Stone Ridge Orchards | Ulster County

This event is happening on December 10th at the Family Ice Skating Rink at Athens Riverfront Park. Families and friends gather for a free, fun-filled day in celebration of the annual Athens Victorian Stroll. You’ll go up and down the historic Second Street, Athens Riverfront Park, and all around the village. Businesses, residents, and community organizations host family-friendly activities, offer free goodies to eat, and provide entertainment galore, with nods to Athens’ past. Bring your own skates!

13. A Frosty Fest | Ulster County

Get ready for this family-fun, holiday light event in Ulster Park featuring over one million lights, 12 holiday attractions, live theatrical entertainment, photos with Santa, gift shops, and more. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving and ending December 18th. Online tickets are available at www.afrostyfest.com. Reservations are required.

Ulster Winter: A Frosty Fest, Mr. & Mrs. Frosty

Looking for that perfect holiday gift? Check out these suggestions for Shopping & Antiques.