Warm, Welcoming, and Fascinating!

Spend a winter afternoon inside some of the Hudson Valley’s most interesting walls.

Baby, it’s cold outside! But warm and inviting within Hudson Valley’s indoor destinations. Spend a leisurely afternoon perusing shops, galleries, museums, and other toasty places where you don’t need to be all bundled up. Dreary weather doldrums disappear when you schedule your adventures in the Valley!

Talk to the animals while you feed and pet them at the Winter Zoo at Bailiwick Ranch in Catskill. It’s all cozy inside to welcome their newest addition, a baby Bengal tiger named Takara. Domestic and exotic animals are spending the colder months indoors and love to entertain visitors on Saturdays and Sundays. Come say hi to celebrity animals Tallulah and her friend Kayden who appeared on Animal Planet! The more the merrier with fox, deer, swan, and bobcat waiting for you to hop onboard the Bear Mountain Merry-Go-Round. The 42-seat carousel twirls within a gorgeous stone and timber pavilion. Watch the animals make their turns from the warmth of the large stone fireplace where a cup of hot chocolate tastes so good.

Another great place for kids is The Castle Fun Center in Chester. The huge roller skating rink is a great place to take a spin, but if you’d rather go up than around, test your skill at the rock wall. There’s so much to do here between the arcade, laser tag, and other activities, the time will just fly. No matter. Jesters Restaurant & Pub is a relaxing atmosphere when you’re not trying to win a prize at the arcade. Speaking of games, there’s a terrific exhibit at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers. The Art of Video Games features the most influential artists and designers across five eras of game development, from early pioneers to contemporary artists. The multimedia exhibition illustrates 80 video games demonstrating the evolution of the medium. Try them yourself; there are five games available for visitors to play.

Video games are a riot of noise, so if you want the quietness of a tomb visit The Mystery of the Albany Mummies at the Albany Institute of History and Art. Purchased from the Cairo Museum over a hundred years ago, two mummies reveal their story with many pieces from their tomb gathered from around the world. The expansive exhibit features archaeological discoveries and objects related to the Ancient Egyptian afterlife. From the very old to the very new, Gallery66 in Cold Spring is featuring “New Year – New Visions,” a show expressing artistic exploration and experimentation. Using different materials, formats, and interpretations of the world, the exhibiting artists escort the viewer into a whole new aesthetic. The show runs through February 2nd, so catch it soon and come out of the cold in Cold Spring!

One of the biggest players in the arts here is Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries in Beacon. The renowned collection comprises art from the 1960’s to the present in a 300,000 square-foot facility overlooking the Hudson River. Take off your coat and wander through the huge galleries showing works by Louise Bourgeois, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Richard Serra, and Andy Warhol. A marvelous café offers fresh choices for lunch or a snack. Across the river, the Uptown Gallery in the heart of Kingston’s historic Stockade District is an elegant space that is playing an exciting role in the artistic renaissance of the city. A rich variety of programs throughout the year host art exhibitions, classical music recitals, and film screenings. A series of culinary events feature leading chefs and the finest and freshest ingredients paired with beautiful music and art.

Club Helsinki Hudson in the city of Hudson offers an eclectic mix of innovative programming connecting all ethnicities and ages. A unique venue with both restaurant (great food!) and performance space brings entertainment to a new high. The wide variety of weekly cultural offerings can be found on their web site. Arts enthusiasts who want to pursue their passion need to head to the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy. Want to try a potter’s wheel? Make a stain glass panel? Try a yoga class? Learn to cook Latin food? Here’s your chance. Family Saturdays include a specific project for kids and grown-ups. The Arts Center also offers special events, exhibits and performances throughout the year.

Shed the scarf and mittens for fascinating indoor adventures in the Hudson Valley. Exploring the region’s museums, galleries, and family destinations is great for chasing winter’s blues. If there isn’t enough winter left to do it all, these entertaining spots are also open in the spring!

Additional information can be obtained from the Hudson Valley Tourism web site at www.travelhudsonvalley.com. Hudson Valley Tourism, Inc. is the 10-county region designated by I LOVE NEW YORK to promote tourism for the area. Counties include Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Ulster and Westchester. Regional information can be obtained from any of the county tourism offices, or by calling 845-615-3860.