Holidays in the Hudson Valley

With brilliant light displays, snowy adventures, and downtown shopping, experience the holiday season in the Hudson Valley. Families, couples, and friends can all delight in the exciting seasonal activities.

Snowshoe on the Ashokan Rail Trail, an 11.5-mile recreational trail located along the Ashokan Reservoir. The trail isn’t plowed during the winter—only the trailheads are—making it ideal for snow-filled exploration. With three trailheads, the Woodstock Dike Trailhead in West Hurley, the Ashokan Station Trailhead in Shokan, and the Boiceville Bridge Trailhead in Boiceville, the Ashokan Rail Trail is easily accessed from multiple locations. Don’t have snowshoes? No problem! You can rent them at Kenco Outfitters in Kingston. If Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, the Ashokan Rail Trail is just as fun to walk or run.

Go on a hike at Bear Mountain State Park. Open year-round from dawn to dusk, there’s plenty of time to explore! From November to March, head to the Bear Mountain Ice Rink for a day on the ice—ideal for beginner or experienced skaters of all ages. Skate rentals are available in both kids and adult sizes. Enjoy views of the surrounding park while you glide across the ice.

Appreciate art and the winter season as you make your way across the snow cross-country skiing at Art Omi in Ghent. The Sculpture and Architecture Park at Art Omi, which is open year-round from dawn to dusk, features groomed trails for cross-country skiing at no cost. Enjoy the surrounding landscape filled with rolling hills and a wide variety of more than 60 impressive art pieces.

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without holiday shopping! Although the Hudson Valley is home to several picture-perfect towns with incredible shopping, put the historic Main Street in Cold Spring at the top of your list. With boutiques, coffee shops, antique stores, and art galleries, you can find gifts for everyone in your family and friends group. While you’re there, grab a bite to eat at one of the local eateries, such as Hudson Hil’s Café, Cold Spring Depot, or Riverview Restaurant.

See dazzling lights at the Annual Price Chopper/Market 32 Capital Holiday Lights in the Park. Bring the whole family as you drive through more than 100 spectacular light displays in Washington Park, located in Albany. The event typically runs from late November to early January. Ticket prices vary depending on the size of the vehicle, and all proceeds benefit the youth programs of the Albany Police Athletic League.

Explore downtown Troy at the annual Troy Victorian Stroll. The multi-day celebration features local shops and restaurants while giving a nod to the city’s unique history. Community members and visitors rejoice as you stroll alongside beautifully decorated storefronts. T&J Handcrafted Soap, Truly Rhe, and Funcycled are just some of the shops to peruse, and Copper Pot, Lo Porto’s, and Lucas Confectionery are three must-try places for a bite to eat.

Hit the slopes for the holidays! Windham Mountain in Windham and Hunter Mountain in Hunter both feature exceptional skiing and snowboarding less than three hours from New York City. Windham Mountain boasts 54 trails with 285 skiable acres, and Hunter Mountain offers 67 trails with 320 skiable acres—both including runs for beginner to expert skiers and riders. Enjoy après activities at slope side restaurants or explore the towns filled with local eateries, shops, and more.

Feel the wind in your face as you fly down Mount Peter on a snow tube. Mount Peter, located in Warwick, features a 600-foot tubing run with a magic carpet lift, so you can relax going back up the hill too! Single tubers must be at least 42” and those 36-48” can ride with an adult. Reservations are required. Visiting with someone under the height requirement? Mount Peter also has Little Tikes Tubing, an area with a smaller tubing hill.

Celebrate the holiday season by cutting down your own Christmas tree at a Hudson Valley farm. There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh pine around the holidays, but it’s even better when it’s coming from your beautifully decorated tree. Fabulous Firs Christmas Tree Farm in Poughkeepsie, BJ’s Christmas Tree Farm in Pleasant Valley, and Evergreen Farm in Millbrook are just a few of the farms within Dutchess County that offer “cut-your-own” trees. Note: there are also several other tree farms located throughout the Hudson Valley.

Westchester County

Experience Westchester’s Winter Wonderland, an annual celebration featuring lights, elves, and a 40-foot Christmas tree. Drive along more than one mile of twinkling holiday lights and seasonal exhibits, such as Candy Cane Lane, Winter Winds Way, and a visit from Santa. The drive-thru experience is complete with cheerful music played through your car radio. The Winter Wonderland event, which is held at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla, typically runs from late November to early January. Tickets should be purchased in advance.

Get in the holiday spirit with a trip to the Hudson Valley this season.