7 Enchanting Winter Wonderland Experiences to Enjoy in the Hudson Valley

Winter in the Hudson Valley is truly a magical experience. With snowfall, twinkling holiday lights, and picturesque landscapes, it's impossible not to feel the seasonal spirit. Whether you're looking for a cozy holiday experience indoors or want to enjoy some outdoor fun, there are a slew of activities in the area that will make this winter memorable. Here are some suggestions for winter wonderland activities in the Hudson Valley.

1. Sinterklaas (December 2) | Dutchess County

A day where children rule, the Sinterklaas celebration embraces the Hudson Valley’s Dutch heritage. The historical Dutch character Sinterklaas, the precursor to Santa Claus, is celebrated with a day full of children’s workshops and performances of dance, theater, magic, and music all over Rhinebeck Village. The day ends with the starlit Children’s Starlight Parade, led by Sinterklaas on his white horse. Following the parade is the Sinterklaas Pageant and the Illuminated Star Ceremony, honoring the children – the kings and queens of the day. The event concludes with a wish for peace. Visit the HVT calendar for more information.

2. Festival of Trees (November 11-13) | Greene County

Presented by the Fortnightly Club of Catskill, the 27th annual Festival of Trees invites you to celebrate the holiday season. Visit Anthony's Banquet Hall in Leeds, NY, to witness the beautifully decorated trees and wreaths, participate in the silent auction, and enjoy food, vendors, live entertainment, and a visit from Santa Claus. Check out the HVT calendar for more information.

3. Christmas on the Farm with EGGBERT at Devitt’s Nursery & Supply | Orange County

Experience a unique holiday tradition, as you meet Eggbert, an animatronic talking egg developed by Cornell University in 1930. Every year, between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors enjoy the illuminated trail leading to Eggbert, creating magical memories for children as the egg recognizes them by name and discusses their Christmas wishes. Follow Devitt’s Nursery & Supply on Facebook for exact dates. Eggbert is a #mustseeinoc.

4. Holiday on the Lake in the Historic Hamlet of Carmel (December 2) | Putnam County

The festivities start at 2:30 PM with the Christmas Village, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. The village features vendors, food, children's crafts, and cookies and milk with Santa. Wagon and trolley rides, a tree lighting ceremony, live music, entertainment, and a parade are also part of the event. The night concludes with the Tree Lighting Ceremony at Lake Gleneida and a Menorah Lighting Ceremony sponsored by the Hamlet of Carmel Civic Association (HCCA). Visit the HVT calendar for more information.

5. Winter Wonderland (November 24 - January 1) | Westchester County

Enjoy a range of attractions, including elves Ned and Albert, angels of peace, dancing trees, glowing snowballs, a candy cane lane, and a 100-foot light tunnel. The highlight is Westchester’s 40-foot Christmas tree. Visit www.wwinterwonderland.com for more information.

6. Catamount Mountain Resort | Columbia County

This family-friendly ski area features 43 trails on a 1,000-foot vertical mountain and a snow tubing park. The Aerial Adventure Park offers an adrenaline-pumping experience with 9 aerial trails with 150+ challenge elements. The Catamount Zip Tour includes three dual zipline spans, with an uninterrupted 1,000-foot drop on the CataMonster span. Visit catamountski.com for more information.

7. Belleayre Mountain | Ulster County

The only gondola in the Catskill Mountains, Belleayre, offers skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and scenic gondola rides on 171 acres. With 50 trails and glades, and 2 parks, Belleayre has something for everyone, from challenging steeps and fun bumps to long, cruisy trails. Visit www.belleayre.com for more information.

From the historical Dutch character Sinterklaas celebration to the exhilarating ski trails of Belleayre Mountain, there's something to entice every visitor. Whether you prefer venturing through skillfully lit holiday displays, immersing yourself in local traditions, or seeking thrilling outdoor adventures, the Hudson Valley offers a diverse range of experiences to make your winter season unforgettable. So bundle up, step out, and let the magic of the season wash over you.

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This project/program/event is supported by a grant awarded to Hudson Valley Tourism by New York State's Empire State Development and the I LOVE NY Division of Tourism.

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