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Halloween Fun in the Hudson Valley

Fall has officially begun and that means Halloween will be here before we know it. Even with COVID, while many events have been cancelled, there is still a lot of Halloween fun in the Hudson Valley to be had. Here are some of the Halloween events taking place to help you plan your October Halloween fun.

Photo Credit: Story Screen Drive-In

Beacon Horror Show VI – Story Screen Drive-In in Beacon is featuring a month of Halloween/Horror themed movies including The Addams Family, Candyman, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Blair Witch Project and more. Check out their site for the full schedule of movies.

Location: Story Screen Beacon
720 Wolcott Street
Beacon, NY 12508

Dates: Thursdays – Sundays in October, 7 PM or 9:15 PM/9:30 PM

Tickets: $10/ticket

Photo Credit: Bronx Zoo

Boo at the Zoo – The Bronx Zoo is continuing its annual Halloween celebration. Children can come in costume and enjoy pumpkin carving demonstrations, the candy trail, the pumpkin trail, a scavenger hunt and more.

Location: Bronx Zoo
2300 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY 10460

Dates: Thursdays – Sundays
October 1 – November 1 and Monday, October 12
10 AM – 5 PM (Thursday/Friday)
10 AM – 5:30 PM (weekends and holidays)

Tickets: $39.95/adults (13+)
$34.95/seniors (65+)
$29.95/children (3-12)
*Advanced ticket purchases are required

Parking: $17

Claude’s Halloween – This is a neighborhood Halloween display in Newburgh. You can park your car and take pictures of your children with the decorations. However, this year, there will be no indoor displays. Or, you can just drive by in your car to admire the festive display.

Location: Colden Hill Road
Newburgh, NY

Dates: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October, 5 PM – 10 PM

Admission: Free

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze – This is the Hudson Valley’s most famous fall event. Enjoy seeing thousands of hand-carved, illuminated jack o’lanterns in amazing displays of artistry.

Location: Van Cortlandt Manor
525 South Riverside
Croton on Hudson, NY 10520

Dates:
September 18-October 31st
November 1, November 6-8, 13-15, 20-21

Tickets: Start at $24 plus $2 surcharge for phone purchase
*Advance reservations required, no tickets are sold onsite

*Free Parking
*Food and drinks will NOT be available for sale this year

Halloweekends at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets - Tim Burton Weekend
Photo Credit: Night Out

Halloweekends at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets – Drive-In experience presents a holiday-themed drive in movie with trivia, karaoke, raffles and more.

Location: Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
498 Red Apple Court
Central Valley, NY 10917

Dates: October 16th – The Nightmare Before Christmas
October 17th – Corpse Bride
October 18th – Beetlejuice
October 23rd – Jurassic Park
October 24th – Labryinth
October 25th – Casper
October 30th – Ghostbusters
October 31st – Poltergeist
November 1st – Gremlins

Gates open at 6 PM, show starts at 7 PM and the feature film begins at 7:45 PM.

Tickets: $100/car + $6.99 fee includes a parking space and admission for you and 4 guests, the movie, concessions, performances, games and trivia, and qualifies you to enter Travel Channel’s Halloween prize pack sweepstakes and a chance to fly to Las Vegas to visit Ghost Adventures’ Zak Bagan’s Haunted Mansion.

Haunted House Hunt – Hudson Valley Mom Bloggers, Momming Unplugged have created a Haunted House Hunt. Children can wear their Halloween costumes while they search the grounds of Bottlegate Farm for 18 haunted houses. There is also a scavenger hunt and photo opportunities.

Location: Bottlegate Farm
919 New York 52
Carmel, NY 10512

Dates: Weekends in October 10 AM – 4 PM

Tickets: Children (3-12): $10 + $2.40 fee + $1.03 sales tax
Adults: $7 + $2.21 fee + $0.76 sales tax
Children 2 & under: Free
*Entry is by timed reservation.

*Light refreshements

Dare to Ride the Horseman's Trail
Photo Credit: Headless Horseman

Headless Horseman Drive-Thru Haunted Experience & Haunted House – This year, the Headless Horseman award winning attraction is replacing its Haunted Hayride with a Drive-Thru Haunted Experience. There is also a walk through corn maze and haunted house that is part of the experience.

Location: 778 Broadway, Route 9W
Ulster Park, NY 12487

Dates: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October, 7 PM – 9 PM timed entry, every 15 minutes

Tickets:
$48.49/person ($39.95/person plus $4.95 service charge and $3.59 salex tax): General Admission on October 2-3, 9, 11, 16, 18, 25
$57.13 ($47.95/person plus $4.95 service charge and $4.23 tax): High Demand Nights on October 10, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31

*This event is not recommended for children under the age of 13
*Children 8 or younger will not be admitted
*Children 15 or younger must be accompanied by an adult
*No refunds

Special Children’s Days: Younger guests get to experience a daytime I Spy Drive Thru game experience and then get to walk through the Magic Moon Maze Haunted Gardens, Witch Hazel’s Halloween House and more.
Saturday October 10th and Saturday October 24th
11:30 AM – 3:30 PM
$11.95/person plus service charge and tax

Image may contain: text that says 'THEHAUNTEDMANSION.COM The WICKED wooDs THE ROOTS OF ALL EVIL An All Outdoor Attraction'
Photo Credit: Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion

Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion – This is the 44th year of the Haunted Mansion. This year’s, “The Wicked Woods” will be an outdoor only experience. Guests will walk an almost one mile trail of Halloween horrors.

Location: 38 Sheafe Road
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590

Dates: October:
Thursdays: October 1st (7:30 PM – 11:30 PM) & October 29th (7:30 PM – 9:30 PM)
Fridays: 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM
Saturdays: 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM
Sundays: 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Tickets: Fridays and Sundays $25/person
Saturdays: $28/person
Plus online ticketing fee and sales tax
*reservations are required
*No refunds

*Free parking
*This event is not recommended for young children
*Food and drinks will NOT be for sale this year


Nightmare Circus -Nightmare Circus is a family operated haunted house.

Location: 24 Sycamore Road
Mahopac, NY 10541

Dates: October 30th and October 31st, 7 PM – 11 PM

Admission: Free

*Recommended for teens and adults only.

Pure Terror Scream Park – Pure Terror Scream Park is the Guinness World Record holder for “longest haunted house scream park in the world.” Guests walk through 10 different themed haunted houses filled with characters and special effects.

Location: 1010 State Route 17M
Monroe, NY 10950

Dates: October:
Thursdays – October 22, 29, 7 PM – 9:30 PM
Fridays – all 7 PM – 10:30 PM
Saturdays – all 7 PM – 11:00 PM
Sundays – all 7 PM – 9:30 PM

Tickets: – Limited online timed tickets
Off Peak General Admission – $49.75 + online service fee + NY sales tax
*Only available on select dates: 10/2, 10/3, 10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/22, 10/25, 10/29, 11/1

On Peak General Admission – $54.75 + online service fee + NY sales tax

VIP Platinum Ghost Ticket – $79.75 + online service fee + NY sales tax
*Good for any night and time. Your group will enter through the VIP entrance.

*No refunds – all sales are final.



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Collaborative Concepts at Tilly Foster Farm

A giant earthworm, penguins, sheep and a peacock are just a few of the over 30 pieces of art that you can see at the Collaborative Concepts outdoor art exhibition taking place at Tilly Foster Farm. There are 31 more days left to view this outdoor sculpture exhibit in Brewster.

Sculpture at Collaborative Concepts

Collaborative Concepts was founded in 1999 and  has presented over 40 exhibitions throughout the Hudson Valley. Their mission is to, “provide the community with exceptional cultural experiences.” Their current project is doing just that, offering visitors a chance to see a variety of sculptures at no cost.

Sheep Sculpture at Collaborative Concepts exhibit

Tilly Foster Farm Project 2020 opened September 5th and will close on October 31st. There is a variety of fun and interesting pieces on display.

Sculpture at Tilly Foster Farm

Due to COVID this is a self-guided show.  When you arrive, there is a QR code that can be scanned on your phone to access a map of the sculptures.  Many of these pieces of art are even for sale. We had a fun time walking around and playing “Guess how much this one costs?!”

After you walk around and look at the art, be sure to leave some time to visit the animals!

Alpacas at Tilly Foster Farm

Tilly Foster Farm is home to four alpacas, pigs, goats, chickens and two miniature horses.

Tilly Foster Farm

Thursday through Sunday evenings, you can enjoy dinner at Tilly’s Table Restaurant after you view the art exhibit. The restaurant also serves brunch on Sunday mornings and offers both indoor and outdoor seating.

The Details:
The Tilly Foster Farm Project
Tilly Foster Farm
100 Route 312
Brewster, NY 10509

Hours:  September 5th – October 31st
Mondays – Wednesdays, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursdays – Sundays, 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Admission:  Free

Parking: Free

*There is a bathroom on site.

*Wear comfortable walking shoes. The fields are hilly.

*Wear sunscreen and/or a hat. The fields are open with no shade.




Fall Fun at Kelder’s Farm


*Please note that we visited Kelder’s Farm last October. Things may look different this year due to COVID and social distancing.

If you are looking for something to do with the family this October, enjoy some fall fun at Kelder’s Farm in Kerhonkson. We visited Kelder’s Farm last October to enjoy a day of fall family fun. There is so much to see and do for families with kids of all ages.

Kelder's Farm - World's largest Garden Gnome

First, you HAVE to take a picture with the World’s Largest Garden Gnome!

Kelder's Farm corn maze

The main reason we visited Kelder’s Farm was to walk through the corn maze. This was a fall bucket list item for me and Kelder’s Farm has two corn mazes that guests can enjoy! The mazes were challenging enough but not impossible.

Kelder's Farm Apple Cannon

We all enjoyed shooting apples from the apple cannons!

Kelder's Farm feeding the animals

One of our favorite parts of the farm was visiting the animals. We purchased bags of feed and some vegetables and enjoyed feeding them to the goats and alpacas.

Kelder's Farm Bounce Pillow

My kids weren’t interested in jumping on the pillow, which is included with the admission.

But we all enjoyed climbing the hay bales!

Kelder's Farm mini golf

We played a round of miniature golf. While picturesque with foliage, we found the course in need of some TLC.

Kelder's farm pumpkin patch

When you visit in the fall, you can go apple picking and pumpkin picking. Some vegetables may still be available in the U-pick section. Check directly with the farm for availability and pricing. The farm is fairly large and they have a tractor-driven hay ride that you can take down to the corn maze and pumpkin fields.

Kelder's Farm cider donut

Kelder’s Farm serves food at The Ice Cream Barn including pizza, burgers and of course, ice cream. While we didn’t eat at the Farm (we crossed the street and enjoyed pierogies at Helena’s Pierogies), we of course couldn’t pass up cider doughnuts! We had to wait a little bit, but it was worth it for hot, fresh doughnuts!

There is so much to do at Kelder’s Farm that you can easily enjoy a full day visiting the farm.

The Details:
Kelder’s Farm
5755 US Route 209
Kerhonkson, NY 12446
(845) 626-7137

Hours: Open ever day except Wednesday: 10 AM -6 PM
Closed Wednesdays

Tickets:
Farm Pass: $13.99 + $1.50 online fee ($16 at the door)

Ultimate Farm Pass: $19.99 + $1.75 online fee ($22 at the door)
includes everything in the Farm pass plus $3 food/drink coupon, unlimited apple cannon shots and a bag of animal feed

Tips:
*Due to COVID-19 all guests must wear masks and practice social distancing.

*Arrive early to avoid crowds!

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Apple Picking at Soons Orchards






Apple Picking at Soons Orchards

Is it even fall if you don’t go apple picking?! This is an annual family activity for us. However, we don’t have a favorite orchard and instead every year like to try a different orchard in the area. This year we went apple picking early in the season at Soons Orchards in New Hampton.

The Orchard

Soons Ochards has been growing apples since 1910. They currently grow 55 varieties on their 30 acre orchard. The apples available for picking depend on when in the season you visit. It is important to note that the orchard is down the street from the Market. Like us, many guests mistakenly arrived at the Market, only to discover that we were in the wrong location.

The Experience

Due to COVID, Soons Orchards require timed reservations for apple picking and prepayment in advance. There is also a $1.00 per person charge. When you arrive an employee will check you in and give you your prepaid bag(s).

Apples Ready for Picking Today at Soons Orchards

There is a posted sign that notes the apples that are ready for picking that day, along with their flavor profile. It is recommended that you take a picture on your phone so you can refer to it while picking.

Apple Variety signs at Soons Orchards

There are signs at the end of each row that note the types of apples that are growing. Rows that have apples that are not ready for picking are roped off.

Rows of apples at Soons Orchards

Soons Orchards U-pick orchard is only five acres, which is a lot smaller than other orchards we have visited. The rows of apple trees are 700 feet long. They are narrow and social distancing cannot be practiced when entering and exiting the rows. Please also be cautious when walking as the ground is uneven in areas. We found that for some apple varieties we had to walk a fair distance down the row to find ones that we could pick. Although you won’t do a lot of walking, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Soons Orchards - reaching for the highest apples

They do not have or allow pole pickers. We found many of the best looking apples at the top of the trees. While climbing trees is prohibited, we found a way to pick those hard-to-reach apples!

Soons Orchard Apple arch

We found this cool looking branch arch and of course had to take an apple picking break to take some photos.

If you are looking for a no frills, apple picking experience, give Soons Orchards a try. Be sure to visit the farm store down the road for produce, baked goodies, including cider donuts, and more. We bought some plain, cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar cider donuts. Unfortunately, they do not serve hot, fresh donuts and cider wasn’t ready for the season yet.

Soons Orchards Family Selfie

The Details:
Soons Orchards
634 County Route 50
New Hampton, NY

U-Pick Apples: open now on weekends and holiday Mondays 10 AM – 4 PM
through the mid to end of October. The last entry is 3:30 PM. Check their website for the most up-to-date information.

Price: $18 for peck bag
$28 for a 1/2 bushel bag

*Check their U-Pick page to see what apples are currently available for picking

*There is a port-a-potty at the orchard

Soons Orchards Farm Store
23 Soons Circle
New Hampton, NY
(845) 374-5471

Open daily 9 AM – 6 PM

Orchard Hill Cider Mill Tasting Room

Hours: Thursday 12 PM – 6 PM
Friday & Saturday 12 PM – 8 PM
Sunday 12 PM – 6 PM

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Hudson Valley Pick Your Own Fruit Guide

Clover Brooke Farm Llama Alpaca Hike {Hyde Park}

Earlier this summer I was scrolling through Instagram where I first learned about the Clover Brooke Farm Llama and Alpaca Hike. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to add it to my summer bucket list.

Summer was quickly coming to an end and I still hadn’t booked a visit. These hikes are held rain or shine so I was hesitant to book tickets too far in advance, for fear of rain. We finally had a free weekend where the weather was looking beautiful and I went online to purchase tickets. Unfortunately, the llama/ alpaca hikes I was interested in only had one ticket available. I knew that my 14 year-old daughter would love this experience, so I direct messaged Clover Brooke Farm on Instagram and asked if they had a wait list. Andrea’s message let me know that they don’t. However, she let me purchase a ticket share, which allowed me and my daughter to share an alpaca for a slightly reduced ticket price. So off to Clover Brooke Farm we went!

From northern Westchester County, Clover Brooke Farm is about an hourlong drive. People come from all over for this experience, as there were at least two groups who traveled from Long Island on the day of our visit.

Clover Brooke Farm is a family owned, 25-acre farm. Current owners Andrea and Mike purchased the farm in 2015. Their main purpose is to be an animal fiber producing farm. However, they also welcome visitors and make additional income through programs like llama/ alpaca hikes, warm & fuzzy animal visits and yoga on the farm.

Before you start your llama/ alpaca hike you get to meet some of the farm animals up close. The animal tour is approximately 30 minutes where you meet goats, sheep and some llamas and alpacas. This is an interactive experience with lots of petting and picture taking!

After the farm tour, we were then given our llamas or alpacas. Each llama and alpaca has their own distinct personality which is fun to see. The animals have fun names too, like Ringo, Biscotti, Prince Caspian, Twist and Shout. On our visit, only two llamas were available. Since we had a share ticket, my daughter and I shared the responsibility of walking Twist, a white alpaca.

The one mile hike takes about an hour, over a well worn path through fields, up hills and into the woods.

There’s a photo-op about halfway through the hike, where Andrea will take your group picture with your phone or camera.

This was such a unique and fun experience! My daughter loved it and had such a great time. If you are looking for something different to do with your family, friends or a day date with your loved one, check out Clover Brooke Farm’s Llama Alpaca Hike and Farm Experience!

The Details:
Llama Alpaca Hike and Farm Experience at Clover Brooke Farm
175 Ruskey Lane
Hyde Park, NY

Times: Llama Alpaca Hike and Farm experiences are offered:
Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: 10 AM and 12 PM
Wednesdays: 10 AM

Tickets: $43/person but must be purchased online in advance
Ticket shares: $30/person – must be purchased with a full price
ticket and needs approval from Andrea

*Participants must be a minimum of 8 years old.

*There is no indoor bathroom. There is a compostable outhouse on the property.

*Bug spray and hand sanitizer are available for use prior to the hike.

*Closed toe shoes are recommended as it is a hike.

*At the end of the hike you are given a complimentary bottle of water.

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A Walking Tour of Bannerman Island

Walkway over the Hudson

Westchester County Outdoor Mini Golf Guide

One outdoor activity that both my tween and teen are always up for is playing a round of mini golf. While it’s often a vacation activity for us, there isn’t much vacationing currently happening. Since mini golf is a fun, social-distance-friendly family activity, we decided to check out the various courses in Westchester County. Read on for information, ratings and our reviews of each of the courses we visited.

Please remember to check with the locations directly for the most up-to-date information.

Brookside Mini Golf at Tibbetts Brook Park (Yonkers)
355 Midland Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10704
(914) 557-5046

Course: 18-hole mini golf course
Cost: $8/person (cash only!)
Hours of Operation: July – August – 12 PM to 6:30 PM (daily)
September – November – 12 PM – dusk (weekends)
Parking: $5

Rating:
Atmosphere: 4/5
Creativity: 3/5
Difficulty: 3/5

Review: The Brookside Mini Golf course is located in Tibbetts Brook Park, a Westchester County Park and has been operating since 2002. It is a short walk from the parking lot, past the pool house, to get to the golf course.
We visited on a Saturday and there was a constant flow of visitors.

The course was recently renovated and it shows. The putting greens were in good condition and most of the waterfalls and water features were running.

There were a couple of obstacles including the a loop (that we saw at every mini golf course!), a clown mouth and a bridge.

There was lots of plants and bushes planted throughout the course, giving the course a nice “curb appeal.” This is the only mini golf course that has a par for each hole printed on the score card. Unfortunately, the holes are not numbered here. However, following the cement path leads you to each hole.

To keep germs to a minimum, you can choose the color ball you want, but the attendant hands the ball and club to you. Once you are finished playing, everything is wiped down with sanitizing wipes.


There is a limited food menu including pretzels, pizza and nachos as well as various frozen ice cream novelties. However, we thought $5 for a Chipwich or a SpongeBob ice cream pop was a bit steep.

If you want to make a day of it, bring your suits and enjoy the pool and slides (Be sure to check first if they are open. During our recent visit, the pool was closed. There is a separate admission for the pool).

Charles J. Cook Park (Cortlandt Manor)
293 Furnace Dock Road
Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567

Course: 9-hole mini golf course
Cost: Free, but only open to Town of Cortlandt (and Village of Buchanan and Croton) residents
Hours of Operation: Closed Mondays
Tuesday – Friday: 2 PM – 7:30 PM
Saturday & Sunday: 12 PM – 7:30 PM
Parking: Free

Review coming soon!

Playland Park (Rye)
1 Playland Parkway
Rye, NY 10580
(914) 813-7010

Course: 18-hole mini golf course
Cost: $5/per person
Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Closed Mondays
Parking: $10

Rating:
Atmosphere: 5/5
Creativity: 3/5
Difficulty: 2/5

Review: Playland Mini Golf wins hands down for best atmosphere. Nowhere else in Westchester County can you play miniature golf with views of the Long Island Sound. With the boardwalk and the beach right next to the course, it feels like you’re on a vacation.

I mean, look at how close to the water you are! At $5 per person, it is also the cheapest miniature golf course. However, you do have to pay $10 to park, so the overall cost is comparable to the other courses.

Each hole was easily identifiable by a number.

The course itself is a tad run down. Some of the holes had patchwork and mismatched putting green material. It was the easiest of the courses we visited though, with three of us getting holes in one.

There are some fun features, like this waterfall, a gazebo and a well.

Playland Mini Golf is the only course that enforces social distancing. They only allow two to three groups on the course at a time. A new group cannot start playing until the previous group has gotten to hole 9, the waterfall. It is likely you will have to wait for a little bit to play. They also wipe down and sanitize the balls and clubs before you play.

Overall: This was a fun golf course with beautiful views. Definitely worth a visit.

Saxon Woods Park (White Plains)
1800 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
(914) 924-4644

Course: 19-hole mini golf course
Cost: $9/adult, $7/children under 10 (Cash or credit)
Hours of Operation: June – September – 12 PM to 8 PM

Parking: Free

Rating:
Atmosphere: 4/5
Creativity: 3/5
Difficulty: 3/5

Review: The Saxon Woods Park Mini Golf Course is located in Saxon Woods Park, a Westchester County Park. It’s part of the 700-acre property that includes the county’s largest swimming pool, ball fields, an 18-hole golf course, playground and hiking trails and is run by Powell Catering Service.
We visited on a recent Saturday and there was a constant flow of visitors. There was even a birthday party that was being set up during our visit.

This was one of the few courses that we visited that had rules posted for play.

This mini golf course sits inside a natural forest and stream area and has the most shade of all the courses we visited. Unfortunately, it sits adjacent to Mamaroneck Avenue, so you see and hear all of the traffic going by.

Each hole was labeled with a number. This was the only course we visited that had flags in the holes to help identify the target.

There are frozen ice cream novelties for purchase at the admission booth and a food concessions stand next door.

Overall: This was one of the nicer mini golf courses that we visited with a not-too-difficult course.

Yorktown Golf & Baseball (Mohegan Lake)
2710 Lexington Avenue
Mohegan Lake, NY 10547
(914) 526-8337

Course: 18-hole mini golf course
Cost: $7/adults, $5.50/children under 12
Cash or credit (4% credit card fee)
Hours of Operation: Spring & Summer – 10 AM – 8 PM

Ratings:
Atmosphere: 2/5
Creativity: 1/5
Difficulty: 3/5

Review: Established in 1994, this miniature golf course is only one of the attractions at the Yorktown Golf & Baseball Center. The facility also houses a 2-tiered driving range and eight batting cages. Unfortunately, the miniature golf course does not appear to have been updated since it was built. During our visit, the waterfall and ponds were not filled, leaving empty cement structures. The putting green is separated from the cement. The score cards do not have a par printed, nor did we see a maximum number of strokes. However, we limited ourselves to a 5 stroke max on each hole. We found some of the holes (1 and 15) especially difficult.

Overall: This is a bare bones, miniature golf course that is in need of some major upkeep. The course lacks fun features and was our least favorite of the courses we visited.

Magazzino Italian Art {Cold Spring}

Have you ever driven by a place numerous times and never realized what exactly it was? That was our case with Magazzino Italian Art. This art museum is located right on Route 9 in Cold Spring. It was co-founded by Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu and opened on June 28, 2017. The 20,000 square-foot museum features postwar contemporary Italian art displayed in 8 galleries.

Magazzino welcomed guests for the first time in 4 months on July 10th with multiple safety measures in place. Admission is by timed reservations only and parties are limited to a maximum of six guests. Guests must wear a mask at all times.

Upon arrival, guests get a contact-free temperature check. They are also each provided an EGOpro device on a lanyard, that will quietly alert you if you get too close to another party. The museum has one way traffic flow that is marked with arrows. Guests are encouraged to take their time in each gallery as reservations include only one lap of the building, to provide a safe flow of foot traffic. Once inside, you can scan a QR code on their phone to access the digital museum guide for information on the exhibits. This was a nice feature.

Until September 7th, you can see the special exhibition “Homemade” in gallery 8. This exhibit features more than 30 works of art from eight New York-based artists that were created during COVID quarantine. It goes to show that challenging times can result in works of inspired beauty. We probably spent the most time in gallery 8 as it was the most relatable for us.

Make sure to leave time to stroll around the grounds after your museum visit. A variety of flowers are planted on the grounds, including lavender that smelled wonderful!

At the top of the hill, accessible from either the steps in the parking lot, or the gravel walking path from the museum, are donkeys! A baby was born just two weeks ago, but unfortunately, we didn’t get to see him, as he was hiding inside the shady barn.

Picnic tables and two tree swings are next to the donkey pen. You can enjoy a snack here and kids will have fun swinging.

It is evident, in the measures that they are taking, that the staff of Magazzino Italian Art takes the safety of their visitors seriously. We felt very safe and the 90 minute time allotment for our reservation was plenty for us to enjoy the exhibits.

I would not recommend this museum for families with young children, unless they are VERY closely supervised. There are a ton of fragile art pieces at their reach and on the floor. However, reservations are not needed to access the grounds.

Escape the summer heat with a visit to Magazzino and enjoy viewing Italian art!

The Details:
Magazzino Italian Art (museum)
2700 Route 9
Cold Spring, NY 10516
(845) 666-7202

Hours: Monday: 11 AM – 5 PM
Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: CLOSED
Thursday: 11 AM – 5 PM
Friday: 11 AM – 5 PM
Saturday: 11 AM – 5 PM
Sunday: 11 AM – 5 PM

Admission: Free – but advanced reservations required

Parking: Magazzino has its own parking lot with free parking

Hudson Valley Pick-Your-Own Fruit Guide

Although we may be social distancing this summer, there is still a lot of outdoor fun to be had. I know many of us go apple picking in the fall. But did you know that there are many other pick-your-own fruit opportunities in the area, especially during the summer?! Use our Pick-Your-Own Fruit Guide to help you know what fruit is available to pick when in the Hudson Valley. Please note that some farms require reservations for picking and all farms are requiring face masks and social distancing. Different varieties of fruit are available at different times of the picking season. The farms offer fruit picking at different times during the growing season. So please check directly with the farm to find out what fruit varieties are available for picking and when.

Strawberries (Mid-Late June)
DuBois Farms (Highland)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Greig Farm (Red Hook)
Jenkins-Lueken Orchards (New Paltz)
Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Mead Orchards (Tivoli)
Ochs Orchard (Warwick)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)
Saunderskill Farm (Accord)
Thompson-Finch Farm (Ancram)

Cherries (Late June – Early July)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Prospect Hill Orchards (Milton)
Rose Hill Farm (Red Hook)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)

Apricots (Mid-Late July)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Rose Hill Farm (Red Hook)

Nectarines (Early July – Late September)
DuBois Farms (Highland)

Peaches (Mid-Late July – Mid-Late August)
DuBois Farms (Highland)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Rose Hill Farm (Red Hook)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)
Wilken’s Fruit & Fir Farm (Yorktown Heights)

Plums (Mid-Late July – Early August)
DuBois Farms (Highland)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Rose Hill Farm (Red Hook)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)

Currants (Mid-Late July)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)

Gooseberries (Mid-Late July)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)

Blueberries (July – August)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Greig Farm (Red Hook)
Halfway Acres (Campbell Hall)
Jenkins-Lueken Orchards (New Paltz)
Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson)
Mead Orchards (Tivoli)
Ochs Orchard (Warwick)
Rose Hill Farm (Red Hook)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)
Saunderskill Farm (Accord)
Thompson-Finch Farm (Ancram)

Blackberries (August – September)
Greig Farm (Red Hook)
Jenkins-Lueken Orchards (New Paltz)
Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson)

Raspberries (Mid-Late July – Early October)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Jenkins-Lueken Orchards (New Paltz)
Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)

We enjoyed apple picking at Wilkens Farm. It was a hot day but we picked apples and enjoyed cider dougnuts!

Apples (Mid-Late August – Early November)
Barton Orchards (Poughquag)
DuBois Farms (Highland)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Greig Farm (Red Hook)
Jenkins-Lueken Orchards (New Paltz)
Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Mead Orchards (Tivoli)
Ochs Orchard (Warwick)
Rose Hill Farm (Red Hook)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)
Saunderskill Farm (Accord)
Thompson-Finch Farm (Ancram)
Wilken’s Fruit & Fir Farm (Yorktown Heights)

Grapes (Mid-Late August – October)
DuBois Farms (Highland)
Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)

Pears (Mid-Late August – Mid-Late September)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction)
Lawrence Farms Orchards (Newburgh)
Samascott Orchards (Kinderhook)

Strawberry Picking at Saunderskill Farms

There’s nothing like biting into a juicy, ripe strawberry and enjoying the burst of sweetness that hits your tongue. In mid-June, there’s a short two to three week window, when strawberries are ripe for the picking at farms throughout New York State. For the second year in a row, we visited Saunderskill Farms in Accord, NY and highly recommend the strawberry picking here.

Saunderskill Farms is an eleven generation family-owned farm. The farm is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Tricentennial Award” for being operated by the same family for over 300 years! Of course, this year, due to social distancing, strawberry picking looked a little different. Masks had to be worn and social distancing rules applied. However, it was the same enjoyable family experience!

When you arrive, go to the Farm Market to purchase baskets. This year, only quart baskets are being sold, for $5 each.

When you get to the enclosed field, you will see the rows of strawberry plants.

As you can see from this picture, the strawberries are in different stages of ripeness. So, you may have to do some searching. But there were plenty of strawberries! They were just hidden under the large leaves.

We filled these two quarts in about fifteen minutes! There were so many ripe strawberries. We discovered last year, that freshly picked strawberries do not last as long as store-bought strawberries. So we didn’t pick as many this year.

After you pick your strawberries make sure to stop back at the Market to do some shopping. You can find fresh fruit, vegetables, frozen fish and meat.

You’ll also find the farm’s homemade pickled vegetables, fruit butters and jelly as well as locally made honey, syrup and more. They sell soups, sandwiches and other food to-go and have tables outside, if you are looking to eat on site. At the Bakery you can pick up fresh cider donuts, homemade pies, pastries and other homemade baked goods.

We picked up some Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies and a piece of cherry pie to take home with us.

If you are looking for flowers and plants, make a stop at the greenhouse. Here you can find not only annuals, perennials and vegetable plants, but also seeds, fertilizer, tools and more.

You have a couple more weeks to enjoy strawberry picking before the season ends. Although we picked our strawberries quickly, we packed a cooler in the car to store them in. It was a beautiful day, so on the way home we stopped in nearby New Paltz for some lunch and walked around Main Street. It was a day out that the whole family enjoyed.

The Details:
Saunderskill Farm
5100 Route 209
Accord, NY 12404
(845) 626-CORN (2676)

Open: Tuesday – Sunday: 7 AM – 4 PM

Parking: There is plenty of free parking

Cost: $5 per quart basket

*Masks are required

*Social distancing rules apply

*Arrive early! By noon, the parking lot was packed and they were limiting the number of guests inside the Farm Market.






Indoor Family Fun During this Stressful Time

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Our nation is facing a pandemic and it looks like this is just the beginning of of what may possibly be a very long journey. While we’ve been advised to practice social distancing and avoid large crowds, being inside and having to entertain our children for days, if not weeks, can seem a bit daunting. Here are some indoor family fun ideas during this stressful time:

Yoga – The physical and mental health benefits of yoga are endless. If you’ve never tried yoga, now, in these uncertain times, is a great time to start. And why not get the whole family involved?!

Families with young children can check out Cosmic Yoga. This is a yoga program targeted towards children ages 3+ and introduces them to yoga, mindfulness and meditation in a fun and entertaining way. With yoga-themed adventures like Frozen, Moana, Minecraft and Trolls, your kids (and you!) will have a blast.

Families with older tweens and teens may want to check out Yoga with Adriene. Not only does she have an episode, specifically targeted towards teens, but she adapts her episodes to all levels of yoga.

Virtual Museum Tours – Most, if not all museums are currently closed. However, you can take a virtual tour of these 12 museums located throughout the world.

Movie Marathon – Now is the perfect time to have a mass movie marathon. Have everyone choose a favorite movie and watch it. Or pick movies you’ve been meaning to watch but haven’t yet. If you can’t find your favorites on cable, Netflix, Amazon, etc. try your local library. At this time, most libraries are still open. You can put the movies on hold and have them sent to your local library.

Some ideas for families with younger kids:
*Check out Rotten Tomatoes Top 100 Kids & Family Movies and try to watch the ones you haven’t yet or rewatch your favorites.
*For those with Disney Plus, Disney is streaming Frozen 2 early…..why not watch them both?

Some ideas for families with older kids:
*watch (or rewatch) all of the Harry Potter movies
*do a Marvel movie binge
*do a Star Wars movie marathon

Podcasts – When you’ve tired of the screen, sit together and listen to a podcast. Here are some family friendly podcasts geared toward the 8-12 crowd:

Six Minutes – This podcast is a mystery adventure told in 6 minute episodes.

Smash Boom Best – This podcast is a debate show where topics like cat versus dog and pizza versus taco are battled out and one declared a winner.

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel – This podcast is a serial mystery, self-described as, “…Goonies, meets Spy Kids meets Stranger things for 8-12 year olds” performed by kids. W

Puzzles – I’ve written about White Mountain family puzzles in the past, as they have been a family favorite. The whole family can enjoy working on a puzzle together, since their family puzzles have pieces cut into three different sizes, small for adults, medium and large, for beginners. They have five different puzzles available in this collection. Otherwise, puzzles with fun pictures like Pets Rock, pictured above, are fun to work on as a family.

Art Projects – Do your kids have boxes of craft projects from birthdays and holidays stashed in their closets? Now is a great time to take them out.

Art is a great way for everyone to sit together but express their own creativity.

*Buy some canvases and everyone can paint their own pictures. If you have rocks or shells from your summer adventures, you can paint those too.
*Take a walk around your yard and find some nature materials. Create collages using what you’ve found.

Other purchasable art activities include:
*Coloring books (for you and the kids)
*Paint-by-numbers (for you and the kids)
*Paint-by-sticker (for kids)

Family Reading Time – There are different variations of family reading time that you can enjoy.
*You can all sit and take turns reading (or some family members can just listen) from the same book. Here’s a list from goodreads for some ideas!
*Or, everyone sits with their own book for a set period of time and enjoys some quiet reading time on their own.

Cook and or Bake – Spend some time together in the kitchen. Have the kids help you prepare dinner one night. Better yet, have them pick out a recipe that they want to try and help them with it. For something a little more fun and motivating, make a sweet treat!

A fun domino game perfect for family game night!

Board Game Time – Now is a good time to clean out the game cabinet and dust those board games off. Enjoy some of your favorites and if you have games that you don’t play anymore, take them out and donate them. If you’re in the market for some new games you can check out some of our favorites here and here, or some from this list.