Hudson River tourism directors share their top picks for places to go, sights to see, and things to do throughout the month of August.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. There are a ton of things to do in the Hudson Valley each month. And as we enter the final stretch of summer vacation, the Hudson Valley bustles with festivals, musical performances, outdoor activities, and more—a little something for everyone.
To help scout out the best events in the Valley, we reached out to local tourism directors from Albany to Westchester for their top picks for things to do. Check out their selections, then get planning!
Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont
August 15-20, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
A family tradition for more than 125 years, the Altamont Fair returns for summer attractions galore. Attendees can look forward to everything from a shark show and demolition derby to a circus and pig races. Rides on the Dreamland Amusements midway are a must, as are breaks for food and drinks from the fair vendors.
Irish American Heritage Museum, Ten Broeck Mansion, and Underground Railroad Education Center, Albany
August 17, 2-6 p.m.
History comes alive in Albany through these special tours, which invite visitors to visit three of the city’s top historic sites. During the event, guests can learn about the lives of enslaved people and accomplishments and contributions of free individuals of color in the region. There will also be information on the lives of Irish immigrants, reformers, and abolitionists. Tours commence at the Irish American History Museum at 2 p.m. before moving to the other two sites.
Washington Park, Albany
August 26, 12-6 p.m.
Bring the family to this afternoon festival designed to celebrate Latin culture in the Capital Region. Get ready for a fun-filled excursion featuring musical performances, food, arts and crafts, and children’s attractions. This event aims to shed light on and uplift Hispanic cultural heritage both in the region and across the globe.
Lebanon Valley Speedway, West Lebanon
What’s better than one night of monster truck madness? Two nights, of course! Head over to the Lebanon Valley Speedway to witness the action-packed interactions between monster trucks. Tickets run from $10 to $45.
Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Steeptletop, Austerlitz
August 12-13, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Edna St. Vincent Millay’s picturesque Steepletop home opens for public tours in mid-August. Book tickets in advance to secure a spot on the tour, which runs for 60 minutes. Along the way, visitors will be able to explore the 200-acre property, which features charming gardens and trails. For those who want to extend their visit, the venue offers grounds and picnic passes as well.
Mac-Haydn Theatre, Chatham
August 17-20, 23-24, 26-27, 30-31
The Tony and Oliver award-winning musical hits the stage at the Mac-Haydn Theatre this month. Pick up tickets to follow the story of the quartet behind the music and their journey to international acclaim. Tickets run $45 per person.
Columbia County Fairgrounds, Chatham
August 30 – September 4
Come one, come all to Chatham for six days of family fun in Columbia County. The annual fair features entertainment nightly, so your visit could include anything from a demolition derby and monster tractors to a rodeo, live music, and a volunteer firefighting parade.
Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson
Now in its 33rd year, the Bard College Music Festival features a series of themed concerts, lectures, and panel discussions that focus on all things music. This year’s fest pays homage to British composer Vaughan Williams, dubbed one of the greatest symphonists of the 20th century.
Waryas Park, Poughkeepsie
The 16th incarnation of La Guelaguetza Festival returns to Poughkeepsie at the beginning of August to celebrate Oaxacan culture and tradition. Stop by to watch traditional Oaxacan dances and costumes, then check out artwork, crafting, live music, and kids’ activities. Of course, authentic Oaxacan food will be available for sampling as well.
Waryas Park, Poughkeepsie
Get jazzy with it at this fun-filled fest in Poughkeepsie. The Hudson River serves as a backdrop for the occasion, which is all about top-tier musicians performing colorful jazz tunes for the community. There will be general seating in the tent, and attendees are free to bring their own chairs and blankets to hang out on the lawn as well.
Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck
You know it, you love it, and you won’t want to miss it. After all, this year’s iteration of the Dutchess County Fair packs in more fun than ever before, with agricultural displays, carnival rides, concerts, and more to keep families entertained all week. This fair is the second-largest county fair in New York State, so expect a seemingly endless list of things to do – and eat! – while exploring the fairgrounds.
Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park
Chances are you’re familiar with the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. But have you ever wondered about what happens behind the scenes at the acclaimed culinary school? These ongoing tours are the perfect opportunity to learn more about the education center, participate in an interactive demonstration, and ask students questions about their experience. Tours take place on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, so visit the website to learn more and plan your visit.
Sunflower Valley Farm, New Hampton
August 4, 5-9 p.m.
August in the Hudson Valley is synonymous with sunflower season, so round up the family to enjoy the bright and bold blooms at this special event. Visitors can munch on bites from food trucks and local vendors, with entertainment by Sons of Hudson. There will also be opportunities for wagon rides throughout the fields, family photos, visits with baby farm animals, and, of course, sunflower picking. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for children five to 12, and free for those under five.
Trail’s End Taphouse at Greenwood Lake Garden Market, Greenwood Lake
August 5, 2-9 p.m.
Now in its second year, the Pirate Invasion Festival invites you to round up your best mates to join a pirate brigade, catch the action of a sword fight, and listen to music from Too Many Captains. Pirates young and old can take part in family games like Cannonball Battle and a Pirate Joke Contest. Kids can even learn to “Fight Like a Pirate” (with foam swords, so parents can breathe a sigh of relief). Tickets cost $15 in advance or $20 at the gate for adults and $10 for children ages four to 10. Admission is free for those under four.
Museum Village, Monroe
August 19, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Kicking off its ninth year in the Hudson Valley, the Fiesta Latina features so many fun to-dos. Visitors can spot the 65th Infantry Regiment “Borinqueneers” and the all-Puerto Rican Army unit, attend a reading and book signing by best-selling author Herman Mendoza, and watch as one outstanding individual receives the Con Orgullo Lo Nuestro (Proudly Ours) Award.
Sterling Forest, Tuxedo Park
August 26 – October 8, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
It’s back! The New York Renaissance Faire takes over Sterling Forest in Tuxedo Park for a summer filled with good, old-fashioned, 16th-century fun in the Hudson Valley. Expect to wander the 65 acres of English village scenery, with 20 stages and more than 100 shops stocked with artisanal wares. Each weekend, visitors can witness acrobatics, a living chess match, jousting tournaments, and more. P.S. Don’t leave without ordering one of the behemoth roasted turkey legs.
Port Jervis Transportation History Center, Port Jervis
August 26, 12-4 p.m.
History abounds in Port Jervis, and this museum crawl is the perfect way to dive headfirst into the region’s past. Participants can visit the Erie Boxcar Museum, Fort Decker, and the Port Jervis Fire Museum during the crawl, then stop by the Tri-States Railway Preservation Society Museum, which is located at the Port Jervis Transportation History Center. For even more, attendees can check out additional railroad equipment from Operation Toy Train and the Dining Car Society.
Wells Park, Brewster
August 5, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; August 6, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wine and food may be the stars of this Putnam County festival, but there will also be live music, vendors aplenty, and cooking and mixology demonstrations. Craft beverage lovers will want to stop by the cider, spirits, and beer tent, while everyone will want to hang out and play lawn games.
August 12-13, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Venture over to Cold Spring to browse the wares of more than 50 talented artists and artisans. This event takes place outdoors and is free to attend. Bring the kids and the dogs to stroll the stands and listen to live music.
640 NY-52, Carmel
August 19, 3 p.m.
For its second year, Prog on the Lake is a must for rock music lovers in the Hudson Valley. Swing by the Boyd Concert Lawn next to Lake Carmel for outdoor concerts by a mix of local and touring acts. Attendees are free to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets to savor the shows.
Putnam County Golf Course, Mahopac
Fridays in August
The Putnam County Golf Course makes Fridays even more fun with a full slate of live entertainment in August. Swing by on Friday evenings throughout the month for live music and a barbecue buffet, with a cash bar available as well. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., while the show begins at 8 p.m.
This monthly to-do is the perfect time to check out the thriving streets of downtown Troy. Stroll around town to check out the happening businesses, art galleries, and restaurants in the area, many of which offer special promotions and sales for the occasion.
Powers Park, Troy
August 26, 3-8 p.m.
For the final show in the 20th anniversary season of the Powers Park concert series, blues legend Albert J. Cummings brings his soulful tunes to the stage. He’s joined by special guest Matt Mirabile for what’s sure to be a memorable evening.
August 30 – September 4
Close out August with a bang at the Great Schaghticoke Fair, which spotlights some of the best agriculture and craftsmanship in Rensselaer County. This is the third-oldest fair in New York, so attendees can expect an abundance of produce, homemade crafts, and food scattered throughout the fairgrounds.
Penguin Rep Theatre, Stony Point
Penguin Rep Theatre invites spectators to follow along with the story of famous couple Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner in this play by Cary Gitter. Audiences can learn more about their first encounter, ups and downs, and lives beyond their careers. Visit the theater’s website for tickets.
Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center, Nyack
Thursday evenings in August, 7-9 p.m.
If you’ve never stopped by the Edward Hopper House Museum in Nyack before, let this be your excuse to do it. Throughout the month, the venue hosts its summer concert series to bring a little jazz to Rockland County.
Palisades Center, West Nyack
Comedy lovers have it good this month when Finesse Mitchell stops by Levity Live for what’s sure to be a hilarious evening. The American actor, standup comedian, and author was previously a cast member on Saturday Night Live and currently can be spotted on Hulu’s History of the World Part II. Tickets are on sale now.
August 12, 2-7 p.m.
With live music, loads of food, a beer garden, and vendors, what more could you ask for from this bluegrass festival? Performers include Particle Theory-Eugene Tyler Band, Tim O’Donohue & The TMU Band, and Nick Dunbar & Sad Cowboy. This fest is presented by Maureen’s Jazz Cellar.
Ulster County Fairgrounds, New Paltz
August 1-6, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Start August strong with a visit to the Ulster County Fair in New Paltz. This annual to-do is all about local agriculture and horticulture, with entertainment, shopping, and loads of tasty treats as well. Visit the website to see the full schedule of events and purchase tickets.
Twin Star Orchards, New Paltz
August 5, 12-6 p.m.
Sip on the flavors of summer at this craft beverage festival in August. Twin Star Orchards will open its grounds to more than 20 craft beverage producers, and attendees can sip and sample during two-hour tasting sessions. On the food front, the orchard will have wood-fired pizzas, burgers, and barbecue to pair with the drinks. Vendors and live music add to the occasion, which costs $20-$55 to attend.
Canal St and Liberty Sq, Ellenville
August 12, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
It’s blueberry season in the Hudson Valley, and no place celebrates it quite like Ellenville. Head to the Ulster County town for a blueberry shindig like no other. The day features more than 100 vendors, live music, raffles, and a blueberry muffin contest, with blueberry goods aplenty for visitors to enjoy.
Cantine Field, Saugerties
August 12, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The fourth iteration of the Caribbean Carnival brings with it mouthwatering food, colorful costumes, face painting, and more cultural attractions. Attendees are welcome to wear carnival attire for the chance to win the Best Carnival Costume Contest.
Mazzstock Field, Marlboro
This three-day music festival in Marlboro is just the thing to lean into summer vibes in the Hudson Valley. Camp out and listen to tunes that range from blues and reggae to alternative and country. While there, be sure to check out the art, food, yoga, and craft vendors.
Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Pleasantville
Want to learn how to fish but not sure where to start? If so, this interactive workshop if for you. The family-friendly event, hosted in coordination with the Girl Scouts of America, teaches participants how to fish at Swan Lake. Rods and artificial lures will be provided.
Lyndhurst Mansion, Tarrytown
Through August 24
The Tarrytown estate partners with Jazz Forum Arts for its 13th year of jazz concerts in Westchester. The shows take place on the Lyndhurst Bowling Alley Lawn, and picnicking is encouraged. The property opens for shows at 4 p.m., with the music running from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
John Jay Homestead State Historic Site, Katonah
August 5, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Learn all about early American craftsmanship at this special weekend event in Katonah. Historical reenactor Tom Hunt leads the free demonstration, which uses 18th-century tools to show how our ancestors operated prior to the invention of modern technology.
Cross County Center, Yonkers
August 2, 6:15-7:30 p.m.; August 12, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Melanie Underwood, the chef behind Gather Culinary, teams up with Cross County Center for a series of family-oriented cooking workshops on The Green. Children ages five and up are welcome to attend with a parent as everyone learns how to use new ingredients and prepare a no-bake/cook recipe. Tickets cost $30 per person and include supplies.