Smorgasburg Upstate

For those of you without NYC foodie friends, Smorgasburg is, “the largest weekly open-air food market in America.” Thousands of people visit each weekend and my Instagram feed has me drooling at all the deliciousness that one can find to eat there. However, living in the suburbs of New York City, trekking down to Brooklyn, even for some amazing eats, does not appeal to me.  Fortunately, for us suburban folks there is Smorgasburg Upstate.

Located at the Hutton Brickyards in Kingston, NY, this is the second season of Smorgasburg Upstate.  While last year, it took place once a week, this year it is scheduled for only one weekend a month.  My family and I visited this past Sunday for opening weekend.  From northern Westchester County, it is approximately a 90 minute drive. Both parking and admission are free.  The location is very photogenic with Hudson River views and vestiges of the old brickyard including a Lidgerwood crane and frames of the steel kiln sheds.

Smorgasburg is located under a giant pavilion.  Savory food vendors include Itsa Pizza Truck, Pakt, Hookline Fish Co, Santa Fe Tacos, Ramen Burger, Kovo Rotisserie, Gomen-Kudasai Noodle Escape, Nacho Nirvana and The Grille Wagon. Bakery and sweet food vendors include Bread Alone, Cafe Warshafsky, Seraphine Bakery, Jane’s Ice Cream and Fruition Chocolate.

While we were there we sampled the mac and cheese donut with bacon jam and “The Big Daddy” (pulled pork, cheddar cheese, bacon, sauteed onions, jalapenos, and BBQ sauce on a roll, pressed on the flattop) from The Grille Wagon.  Both of these were delicious!  The Grille Wagon was smart with their advertising  and had samples of some of their more popular menu items on display.  They were even roasting a whole pig and serving it later in the afternoon!

We also shared BBQ Duck Nachos with Fontina & Mango-Avocado Salsa from Nacho Nirvana.  They were a good dish to share.  However, I found them to be just okay.  There was a lot of cheese and it became cold and congealed very quickly.  The mango-avocado salsa (pretty much guacamole) was delicious though!

We finished up with some ice cream from Jane’s Ice Cream.  I loved the Apricot Orange Blossom and Kahlua Calypso Crunch flavors!

The Ramen Burger from Ramen Burger and the Fried Avocado Sandwich from PAKT looked tasty as well and if I wasn’t stuffed, I’d give them a try!

You won’t go thirsty at Smorgasburg Upstate.  Besides water and soda that vendors sell, Maya’s Lemonade (from Maya’s Jams) and STAND coffee provide non-alcoholic beverages.  There’s a bar serving local craft beer and hard cider on tap along with wine and cocktails.

For those wishing to shop, some of the flea market vendors include Mezzanine Vintage, Hazel and Hudson, So Mid-Century, Bohemian Farmgirl and NorthCountryClassics.  There are also food vendors selling honey, hot sauce, olive oil, brittle and more.

Once you’ve gotten some food, you can choose from several seating options.  The Adirondack chairs with Hudson River views are very popular and are the first seats to be taken.

There are also several picnic tables both under the pavilion and out on the grass where you can sit and eat.  For the younger visitors, there are a couple toddler-sized dining tables and chairs as well.

Sit, relax, and bask in the sunshine while you enjoy your good eats.  You can be entertained by the live music, or, like my children did, engage in some fun dog watching.  Smorgasburg Upstate is very dog-friendly!  We couldn’t believe the number and different types of dogs we saw while we were there.

If you’re up to it, you can even play a game of cornhole out on the lawn.

Although I’ve never been to Smorgasburg in the city, the number of vendors and the uniqueness of foods sold at the Upstate location is a bit lacking (and disappointing) in comparison.  Compared to the 100 vendors at the Brooklyn location, Smorgasburg Upstate had a lot less food vendors.  The Ramen Burger (Ramen Burger), Smoky Tails (Hookline) and Mac and Cheese Donut (The Grille Wagon) were probably the most unique food items available.  If you go to Brooklyn, you can expect to find Ube Ice Cream served in a dragon fruit bowl, Spaghetti Donuts, Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches, Raclette Sandwiches and more!

For reference, most main dishes (sandwiches, pizzas, etc.) are priced between $10-$15 and and are cash only.  There is an ATM onsite if needed as well as restrooms with flushable toilets and sinks.

The Details:

Smorgasburg Upstate
200 North Street
Kingston, NY

11 AM- 6 PM

Dates:
June 17 & 18
July 15 & 16
August 19 & 20
September 16 & 17
October 21 & 22

June 23 & 24 there is a Bob Dylan concert at the Hutton Brickyards.  Visit Ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets.

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park

Beautiful, scenic river views, exercise, and outdoor family fun.  A visit to Poughkeepsie, New York, isn’t complete without a trip to the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park where you can experience it all!  Spanning 1.28 miles long, the Walkway is the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.  Walkway Over the Hudson opened in October 2009 and is a New York State park.

The bridge sits 212 feet above the Hudson River and offers spectacular scenic views.  Bike riding, roller blading and skateboarding are all permitted on the bridge. Dogs on a six foot lead are also welcome.  With the beautiful spring weather we’ve been experiencing, there’s no better time to visit the Walkway!

Our family has visited the Walkway twice now.  Our first visit was in the summer and it was hot!  So hot, that there was a warning posted that dogs should not walk on the bridge, as the temperature was over 100 degrees! That first visit our daughter rode her bike while we walked.  However, we didn’t even make it across the entire bridge as we were so hot and hungry!

Our second visit was on a breezy, sunny, spring day.  It was a perfect day for walking across the bridge and taking in the views.  We walked the entire bridge and back, with a few photo stops in between.  For our family 2.56 miles was plenty of walking!  If you prefer a longer walk or run there’s a 4.4 mile loop trail that crosses the Mid-Hudson Bridge.

There are picnic tables at both entrances of the walkway if you want to bring lunch or snacks and make a longer day out of your visit.  During our summer visit there was a hot dog truck at the Poughkeepsie entrance.  On our spring visit, there was a snack stand open at the Highland entrance selling kettle corn, beverages and other snacks. There are beverage vending machines as well.

On the walkway closer to the Poughkeepsie entrance there’s a glass-enclosed 21-story elevator operated by a NYS park employee which leads down to the waterfront.

Within walking distance is the Poughkeepsie train station, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum,the Poughkeepsie Ice House on the Hudson restaurant and more.

Other important things to note is that there are bathrooms at both entrances that house self-composting toilets with hand sanitizer only, no sinks or running water.  There were no changing tables for babies and toddlers.

Although the bridge isn’t that long, if walking it with kids be ready to take frequent breaks! Strollers and wagons are allowed on the walkway.  There are benches in a couple of spots along the bridge that are great photo spots as well as a place to rest tired feet for a few minutes.  Bring quarters and your kids can enjoy using the coin operated binoculars.  I also recommend bringing water or beverages (or be prepared to purchase them!), as from personal experience, your kids will get thirsty, especially if it’s hot!

Spend an hour or a day visiting the Walkway Over the Hudson!  As you can see in the picture below, there is lots to do in the area.  Regardless, the walkway is a Hudson Valley experience you should not miss!

The Details:

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park

Poughkeepsie Entrance:
61 Parker Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Highland Entrance:
87 Haviland Road
Highland, NY 12528

Hours:  6:30 AM to sunset (varies depending on the month – check here for the schedule)
Elevator operates from 9 AM to one hour before park closing

Parking:  $5 (for four hours) to park in the New York State parking lot
Empire passes are accepted
There is a free parking lot on Parker Avenue, before the state parking lot entrance

The bridge is 1.28 miles long and is 212 feet above the Hudson River.

A Night with the Black Knights Hockey Team

Hockey Knight

Living in northern Westchester County, we are fortunate to be so close to West Point Military Academy.  Besides being a top tier educational institution, West Point is home to some pretty competitive sports teams.  This past Saturday evening, our family visited West Point to spend a night with the Black Nights ice hockey team.  This was the first time that either my husband or kids had ever been to an ice hockey game.

Attending an ice hockey game was my husband’s winter family bucket list item.  We decided to go see a West Point hockey game, since they play so close to home.  After referencing our calendar, we picked a date and purchased our tickets online via the Army Hockey website.

Tate Rink is located inside the 131,000 square foot Holleder Center.   There are multiple entrances to the building. We parked in the F lot, where there are stairs that lead directly down to the center.  Our tickets had an 8:00 PM start time printed on them.  Luckily, we arrived at the rink around 7:15 PM, thinking we were early.  We discovered that the game had started at 7 PM and we had missed almost the entire first period!

The Black Knights Hockey Team

We had purchased $15 bleacher seats that were three rows from being the last seats.  Although our seats were high up, literally almost in the rafters, I thought we had a great view of the game.

Zambonis

For those unfamiliar with ice hockey, like I was, two teams of 5 players, plus the goalie are on the ice at a time.  The game consists of three, 20-minute periods.  With time outs, ref calls, etc. and zambonis resurfacing the ice in between each period, expect to be at a game for more than the 60 minutes of active play time.

Black Knights vs. Niagara University

The evening that we attended, the Black Knights were playing Niagara University.  The game was fast-paced and exciting. I was a bit surprised at how aggressive the players were and several fights occurred throughout the game. At various times throughout the game the penalty box was occupied by players from both teams!

Black Knights final score

During the game we saw, breaks in the playing time were filled with upbeat music, an emoji camera (requesting you to flex for the cam!) and more!

These two particular teams were pretty well matched and the game went into a five minute overtime, after the third period ended in a 4-4 tie.  With less than 41 seconds remaining on the clock,  Conor Andrle scored a goal, clinching a win for the Black Knights!

Concession Stand

Thinking we were seeing a late game (8 PM) we ate dinner before we arrived at the rink.  However, there are concession stands selling food and beverages.

Overall, we had a great time seeing the Black Knights hockey team play.  I am looking forward to attending another game or two next year!

I highly recommend attending local college and or minor league sports events with your family.  They are an affordable night of family fun and are a great introduction to sporting events for kids.

The Details:

The Black Knights hockey season is usually from October through February.

When:  There are still two home games, February 18 and February 25.

Tickets:  $15-$20 ($15/bleacher seats, $20/chair seats)

Getting There:  Take 9W north to 218.  (the first exit that notes West Point) The entrance to West Point is directly across the exit ramp.  Be prepared for the driver of the vehicle to show picture ID and have your car trunk searched.

Parking:  Free parking is available in the A or F lots.

Concessions:  Food including chicken fingers, fries, popcorn, cotton and beverages are available for purchase.

Summer Bucket List Update

View of Bear Mountain Bridge

It is hard to believe it is already August!  We are halfway through the summer and I thought I’d share our summer bucket list update.  We are making great progress!  Although not on the original bucket list, we attended a polo match and have eaten some great, local food as well!

Berries

Go strawberry picking at Fishkill Farms.   We missed strawberry picking, since they are usually only available in June.  However, we did get to go blueberry and raspberry picking!  You can check out our post here.

HV Renegades

See a Renegades baseball game.   We went to a game in July and had a lot of fun.  We were chosen to get a seat upgrade and got to sit right behind home plate!  There was also a great fireworks show after the game!  If we have time before the season ends, I would go back to see another game!

FDR Park

Take a hike and geocache.  We took a trip to both FDR and Bear Mountain State Park and hiked and did some geocaching.

Vanderbilt Mansion

Visit the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site and the Vanderbilt Mansion.  My daughter has her Every Kid in a Park pass that expires this month.   So far we were able to visit the Vanderbilt Mansion and even found a geocache on the property!  They are doing renovations on the mansion and there was fencing and supplies around the outside, making it not very photo-worthy.  The gardens however, were beautiful!  We haven’t yet made it to the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site though.  We have to try to fit this in soon!

Walkway Over the Hudson

Walk the Walkway Over the Hudson.  We did the Walkway Over the Hudson on a super hot day!

Have a picnic.  We visited FDR park on Father’s Day and had a picnic lunch before we went geocaching.

Mini Golf

Play mini golf and have lunch at Red Rooster Drive-In.  We did play mini golf at a local course but have not yet made it to Red Rooster.

Enjoy an outdoor concert.  We saw a couple of local bands play at a park before we watched Goonies outside on the big screen.

Visit Untermyer Gardens and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers.  We still have to do both of these!  I keep seeing beautiful pictures on Instagram of Untermyer Gardens and can’t wait to see it in person!

Daily Moos Creamery

Summer is all about ice cream!  We are definitely going back to The Hudson Creamery (the Breakfast Club Sundae was so good!) and I’d like to visit The Blue Pig.  So we revisited The Hudson Creamery, where I enjoyed the Serafina sundae.  We still have to visit The Blue Pig.  However, we visited a new local ice cream shop called Daily Moos Creamery, which serves flavored soft serve!

Hot Dippity Donuts

And when not indulging in ice cream, we’d like to eat some doughnuts.  While we like Dunkin’ Donuts, we hope to get to Gypsy Donut and Hot Dippity Donuts.  We’ve been to Hot Dippity Donuts twice now!

If you have been following along with us on Instagram you have probably seen most of these pictures.  Look for more posts about our summer adventures on the blog as our family hopefully completes our summer bucket list!

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Our Hudson Valley Summer Bucket List

View of Bear Mountain Bridge

Our family is so fortunate to live in the beautiful Hudson Valley.  We are close enough to enjoy all the food, culture and arts of New York City.  However, we also love living close to the Hudson River and enjoying all the family fun that our community and neighboring areas offer.  Summer is quickly approaching and we have made a bucket list of fun things in the Hudson Valley that we would like to do over the next couple of months.  Please note, although there are some date specific events and festivals that we are interested in, I did not add them to this list, as I wanted to keep our summer plans and this list flexible.

Go strawberry picking at Fishkill Farms.  We went strawberry picking for the first time last year and really enjoyed it. Freshly picked strawberries are amazing!

See a Renegades baseball game.  Last summer we went to a Rockland Boulders baseball game and this summer we’d like to see a Renegades game.

Take a hike and geocache.  Our family has caught the geocaching bug and we plan on finding as many caches as we can!  On the top of our list is to return to Fahnestock State Park and probably a trip to Bear Mountain State Park.

Visit the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site and the Vanderbilt Mansion.  My daughter has her Every Kid in a Park pass that expires in August.  We enjoyed visiting the home of FDR back in November and we said that once the weather got warmer we’d like to go visit the Eleanor Roosevelt House and the Vanderbilt Mansion.

Walk the Walkway Over the Hudson.

Have a picnic.

Play mini golf and have lunch at Red Rooster Drive-In.

Enjoy an outdoor concert.

Visit Untermyer Gardens and the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers.

Summer is all about ice cream!  We are definitely going back to The Hudson Creamery (the Breakfast Club Sundae was so good!) and I’d like to visit The Blue Pig.

And when not indulging in ice cream, we’d like to eat some doughnuts.  While we like Dunkin’ Donuts, we hope to get to Gypsy Donut and Hot Dippity Donuts.

We will be having lots of fun this summer!  You can follow along on Instagram and read about it here on the blog as our family hopefully completes our bucket list this summer!

Do you have any recommendations for us to add to this list?