Hudson Valley Holiday Events Guide

The lights, the music and of course Santa Claus! With COVID, things may look different this year, but there are still many Hudson Valley holiday events taking place. Check out our Hudson Valley Holiday Events Guide for all the info!
As always, please check directly with the venue for the most up-to-date information.

A Christmas Carol 2020

A Christmas Carol 2020 at The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinbeck: (Rhinebeck) This year’s performance of A Christmas Carol will be a drive-in live theatre experience. The show is presented on an outdoor stage
Dates: November 19 – December 20, 7 PM (no performances Nov. 26 & 27)
Tickets/Price: $20 /person

A Frosty Fest

A Frosty Fest: (Ulster Park)
Attractions include a Meet and Greet with Dasher the Reindeer, Holiday characters, drive through Frosty’s Enchanted Forest, visit the Magical Mansion, outdoor photo with Santa, walk through Frosty’s Adventure, photo with Blizzard the Bear, “Jingle the Elf” stage show and more.
Dates: Weekends only (Friday-Sunday) November 27 – December 20
Tickets/Price: $15.95/adult + service charge and tax, $12.95/child (under 12) + service charge and tax, Free/children under 12 months
*Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Christmas Tree at the Cross County Center: (Yonkers) The Cross County Center has a new Christmas tree this year. The 44 foot tall tree has a walk through feature where you can look up to the top of the tree. Throughout the season there will be strolling entertainers, a Holiday Food Truck Market and a Pop-Up Ice Skating rink.

Grand Holiday Illuminations at Untermyer Park & Gardens: (Yonkers) This annual holiday light show will take place at Untermyer Park & Gardens. Tickets are not yet available, but check the Untermyer Gardens site for updates.
Dates: December 12 – January 3
Tickets/Price: Free, but timed entry reservations needed

Holiday on the Hill at Lasdon Park and Arboretum: (Katonah) Enjoy the annual Holiday on the Hill exhibit and train show at Lasdon Park and Arboretum. Tickets will be sold online only for scheduled entry. Enjoy the holiday train exhibit, outdoor safe Santa visits and more.
Dates: December 4 – January 31

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Photo Credit: Bronx Zoo

Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo: (Bronx)
Enjoy five lantern safaris throughout the park, ice-carving demonstrations, costumed characters and more.
Dates: Select dates November 20 – January 10
Tickets/Price: $34.95/Adult (Age 13+), $22.95/Child (Ages 3-12), $31.95/Senior (Age 65+), $17/Parking

Holiday Lights Parade at FDR Park: (Yorktown) The Yorktown Parks and Recreation department is holding a holiday lights parade featuring decorated floats.
Date: Saturday, December 5 at 7 PM
Tickets/Price: Free

Holiday Light Spectacular at the Orange County Fairgrounds: (Middletown) Enjoy a holiday drive through, multi media projection show, lighted displays and more. Drinks and treats will be available for purchase.
Dates: November 27 – January 3 (Thursday – Sunday, November 27 – December 13), (Daily, December 17 – January 3) 5 PM – 10 PM
Tickets/Price: $25/per car online in advance, $30/per car at the door

Holiday Tea Musicale at Caramoor: (Virtual) Enjoy a special holiday streamed performance and self-paced virtual tour of the Rosen House.
You can add a Holiday Tea Box for $50 that includes an assortment of finger sandwiches, holiday treats and a variety of teas. A Deluxe Tea Set is available for $120 that includes a teapot, two teacups, a tray and a Caramoor tea blend. Boxes need to be picked up at Caramoor December 18, 19 or 20 between 10 AM and 12 PM.
Dates: December 14 – January 1, with special viewing performances on December 18, 19 and 20 at 1 PM, where you can chat with the Director of the Rosen House and fellow attendees
Tickets/Price: $10

NYBG Train Show

Holiday Train Show at NYBG: (Bronx)
This year, the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show is a members only event. Members need to reserve tickets in advance and are limited to one visit.
Dates: November 12 – January 31

Kevin McCurdy’s Holiday Spirit Festival: (Wappingers Falls)
This year the Holiday Spirit Festival will be an all outdoor event. Enjoy the Winter Wonderland Walk through a North Pole village, train exhibit, Santa’s Reindeer Barn, holiday entertainment, characters and more.
Dates: Weekends Only (Friday-Sunday) November 27 – December 27, and December 22 and 23
Tickets/Price: $16/General Admission, Free/under 2 years

Merry and Bright Logo

Merry & Bright: A Holiday Driving Tour: (Hyde Park) The town of Hyde Park is holding a holiday light driving tour created by the community and local businesses. Homes can sign up to be part of the tour and ballots can be printed so you can vote on your favorite display. The kick-off on December 6th at 6 PM will include special one night only light displays at several town locations.
Dates: December 6 – December 20
Tickets/Price: Free

NYBG GLOW: (Bronx)
GLOW is an evening, outdoor illuminated experience at the New York Botanical Garden. During your visit you can also enjoy ice carving displays, dancers, musicians and other outdoor fun.
Dates: November 27, & 28, December 5, 12, 18, 19, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, January 1, 2, 9
Tickets/Price: $30/adults, $18/children (2-12), Free/children under 2
Members: $20/adult, $10/children (2-12), Free/children
under 2

Peace, Love, Lights: Drive-Thru Holiday Lights Experience at Bethel Woods: (Swan Lake) Enjoy an over one mile drive-thru holiday illuminated experience from the warmth of your car.
Dates: November 23 – January 3, 5 PM – 10 PM
Tickets/Price: $20/car

While you are at Bethel Woods, you can also enjoy Dinner with Santa before or after your drive-thru experience.
Dates: December 3- December 27, 5 PM – 8 PM
Price: $45/adult, $20/child

Photos with Santa:

Jefferson Valley Mall: (Yorktown Heights) This year photos with Santa will be looking a little different. Reservations are strongly recommended. Santa and his helpers will be wearing masks and guests are required to wear masks as well. This will be a socially distant experience.
Dates: November 27 – December 24

The Westchester: (White Plains) This year photos with Santa will be looking a little different. Reservations are required. Santa and his helpers will be wearing masks and guests are required to wear masks as well. This will be a socially distant experience.
Dates: November 20 – December 24

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Westchester’s Winter Wonderland: (Valhalla) This year, Westchester’s Winter Wonderland will be a drive-thru experience. Enjoy a 1.2-mile illuminated drive from the warmth of your car. You will enjoy a light and music extravaganza.
Dates: Open every night November 27 – January 3, (except November 30, December 7, December 14, December 24 and December 25)
Tickets/Price: $25/car, $40/van or limo

White Plains Holiday Market: (White Plains)
This holiday market will be held on Court Street between Martine Ave. and Main Street. Over 40 vendors and artisans will be selling their wares in sheds similar to those seen at Bryant Park.
Dates: December 18 – December 23

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

Madam Brett Park {Beacon, NY}

Hidden in the outskirts of the city of Beacon, you will find Madam Brett Park. This 12 acre park is one of the 45 parks created by Scenic Hudson. The park may be small, but it is here that you will find the impressive Tioronda Falls.

We visited this park mid-day on a recent Saturday afternoon. There is a small parking lot that can hold about 16 cars. There is also room along the gravel entrance road to park, although I’m not sure this is sanctioned parking.

There are two hiking trails that can be accessed at Madam Brett Park. The white trail runs 0.6 miles and the red trail is a 700 feet loop that is connected to the white trail. Our main reason for this visit was to see Tioronda Falls rather than getting in a hike. I love waterfalls and am on a quest to see as many as I can in New York! From the parking lot, it is a short walk to reach the falls.

There are a couple of different viewing spots of the falls, depending on how close you want to get. The closer you get though, the more adventurous you have to be. First there’s a short iron catwalk that must be traversed. Luckily, there’s a railing to hold on to.

Then, you will have to walk across the ledge of the Tioronda Dam. There happened to be a fallen tree lying across it, possibly from the recent Hurricane that passed through.

The end of the trail and the highest viewing spot of the falls is this observation deck. However, there were already people sitting up there and they didn’t look like they were leaving any time soon. Since we were practicing social distancing, we didn’t join them.

We ventured down off the trail to get to this closer view of the falls. We didn’t stay long, as there were other groups waiting to come down. However, it was so picturesque.

There was a lot of foliage overgrowth. But don’t be deceived. Although these flowers are pretty and were attracting lots of butterflies, they are actually an invasive species.

After you view the falls, walk past the parking lot to access the boardwalk that runs adjacent to Fishkill Creek. This will lead you to the rest of the white trail.

You will walk past the remnants of the Tioronda Hat Works. In January of 2017, a massive fire broke out here. Fortunately, fire fighters were able to prevent the fire from reaching the boardwalk. We turned around shortly after crossing the boardwalk. However, the white trail continues to the marsh.

The Details:
Madam Brett Park – A Scenic Hudson Park
560 South Avenue
Beacon, NY 12508

Parking: Free
Open: Dusk to dawn, year-round
Length: White trail – 0.6 miles
Red trail – 700 feet loop
You can access the Dennings Point Trail via the white trail

*There are no bathroom facilities here
*Dogs are allowed on a leash
*Fishing, X-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted
* Be careful making the turn into the park. You must drive through a narrow, one-lane underpass. Both entering and leaving, we had close calls with other cars.

A Night at the Drive-In {Overlook Drive-In, Poughkeepsie}

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This Wednesday, July 15th, you can enjoy the second of five weeks of “A Night at the Drive-In.” This FREE summer movie series is hosted by Michael B. Jordan, most recently of Creed and Black Panther fame, and Amazon Studios. Hudson Valley locals can enjoy viewing these movies at the Overlook Drive-In in Poughkeepsie. Every other Wednesday there is a double-feature screening of movies that celebrate, “diverse voices in cinemas.”

Tickets are free but must be reserved and printed here in advance and shown at the gate. Although the movie screening doesn’t begin until 8:50 PM, you can arrive earlier to stake out a good parking spot. Gates open at 7 PM. You can either pack some dinner and snacks or purchase them at the snack bar. Burgers, hot dogs, pizza, chicken tenders, nachos, fries, pretzels, ice cream and more are available.

This is a fun summer evening out where social distancing can be practiced. Movie ratings vary and parental discretion is advised.

Remaining Movie Schedule:

Although the series started July 1st, here is the schedule for the rest of the summer:

July 15th: “Movies to Make You Proud”
Black Panther (PG-13)
Creed (PG-13)

July 29th: “Movies that Inspire Your Inner Child”
Spiderman Into the Spiderverse (PG)
Hook (PG)

August 12th: “Movies to Make You Open Your Eyes”
Do The Right Thing (R)
Get Out (R)

August 26th: “Movies to Make You Laugh”
Coming to America (R)
Girls Trip (R)

The Details:
Overlook Drive In
126 Degarmo Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
(845) 452-3445

Cost: Free

Time: First showing screens at approximately 8:50 PM

*Please note that the Overlook Drive-In policy requires all visitors to wear a face mask for entry.

Exploring Dover Stone Church

Fall is the perfect time to go hiking! I highly recommend exploring Dover Stone Church in Dover Plains, NY for a day of outdoor family fun. Back in the spring, my daughter and I enjoyed a nice visit here.

Let me be clear right at the start, Dover Stone Church is not actually a church. It’s actually a cavern, formed over the years, in a silhouette reminiscent of a cathedral’s stained glass window. The property was originally private but was purchased by the Town of Dover in 2002, when it became available for sale. Through grants and donations, the property has been renovated and expanded. In the summer of 2015, three miles of nature trails were opened for visitors to enjoy.

But let’s back up. Before you get to the cavern, you must park across the street in the school parking lot (only when school is not in session). After crossing the street, a sign helps point you in the right direction.

A giant sign welcomes you the Dover Stone Church!

And then you encounter this amazing view! This was taken back when we visited in May. I’m sure the view with the fall foliage is just as spectacular!

You pass another welcome sign and a display that gives a short history of the Dover Stone Church.

It’s a short 0.25 mile hike from the pedestrian path to the trails. On the way you cross a footbridge where underneath, the Stone Church Brook flows.

As you approach the Stone Church will pass a sign directing you to the hiking trails towards the left. Stay to the right to visit the Stone Church.

The path toward the Stone Church is pretty rocky. As you get closer to the Church, the rocks are also wet and slippery.

There are some pretty neat views of the brook.

But, of course, the Stone Church is the main reason for this visit!

The cavern was briefly closed in July of 2019 due to rockfalls in the cave. It has since reopened, but you are warned to use caution and enter at your own risk. If attempting to enter the cave, be cautious and wear appropriate footwear. Some minor rock hopping is needed to get inside. But I highly recommend going inside if you can. How often can you see a waterfall inside of a cave?!!

The Stone Church Cave Trail is only 0.3 miles round trip. After we got our fill of the cave, my daughter and I went off to hike. The red trail and yellow trails are each 1 mile round trip and the blue trail is 1.5 miles round trip. The trails are well marked with colored trail markers. We hiked the red trail which was an easy hike with no notable features.

I’d love to visit the Dover Stone Church again with the whole family, since only my daughter and I made this trip. The four of us can try out the other trails.

The Details:
Dover Stone Church
3128 NY-22
Dover Plains, NY 12522

Parking: Park across the street in the Dover Elementary School parking lot (when school is not in session) and at Frescho 22 Plaza, 3156 NY-22 (when school is in session)

Hours: Open 7 AM to 7 PM, weather permitting

*No swimming is allowed
*There is a carry in, carry out policy
*Pets must be leashed
*Altogether, our visit took a little over an hour including photos at the Stone Church and a one mile hike on the red trail.

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A Visit to the Hudson Valley Food Hall {Beacon}

Our family loves food halls! Food halls are an upscale equivalent to a mall food court. We love having a variety of food options available but being able to eat together in one location. We’ve been to City Kitchen and Urbanspace Vanderbilt in New York City multiple times. So when we heard that Hudson Valley Food Hall was opening in Beacon, we of course had to check it out.

Hudson Valley Food Hall is located at 288 Main Street in Beacon. The building was formerly inhabited by the Roosevelt Theater. The food hall is directly across from the Howland Public library and Glazed Over Doughnuts. From northern Westchester County it was approximately a 35 minute drive.

We planned to have a late lunch at the Hudson Valley Food Hall and arrived at 1:45 PM. The place was fairly busy when we got there. There are several food options from six different food vendors:

Bombay Wraps

Green House Salads

Hudson Valley Seafood

Katie Rose Bakery

Miz Hattie’s Southern BBQ

and Momo Valley.

Our first stop was Bombay Wrap, which also had the longest line during our visit. We opted for The Big Meal which includes rice with a choice of sauce, roti, two subji (fillings/mains), a samosa and a drink for $12.99.  For our subji we got the Chicken Curry and Paneer Tikka, on the recommendation of the cashier. When we asked for his suggestions, he mentioned that these are two of their popular dishes. Everything was delicious but a bit spicy. That was fine with us, but the kids aren’t huge fans of spicy food. Overall, I think it’s a great value for the price.

We then stopped at the Momo Valley stand.  Momos are South Asian dumplings native to areas like Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal.  Established in 2018, besides momos, Momo Valley offers a noodle soup bowl, a chicken over rice bowl and an Everest platter (Nepal’s national fish that includes lentil soup, rice, veggies, dry curried meat, fermented daikon or carrots, and sautéed greens). 

We opted to share a mixed momo bowl, which includes two grass-fed beef, two chicken and two spinach and cheese momos for $10. The momos are served steamed, though you can get them fried for an additional cost. We liked how each momo flavor is wrapped differently to differentiate them.

The Hudson Valley Food Hall doesn’t have a liquor license yet, so no alcohol is served.  The plan is for the Roosevelt Bar to serve cocktails which showcase local spirits made in the Hudson Valley. At the time of this posting, the food hall still did not know when they will receive their liquor license. For now, it’s an ice cream and soda bar.

We tried a peach and basil soda. The syrups come from More Good, a local Beacon company that, besides hand-crafted soda syrup concentrates, also sells a variety of teas and bitters. A 16 oz. soda is $2.95 and besides Peach and Basil, other flavors include Concord Grape, Cherry Cola, Root Beer, Ginger Ale and Cassia Kream.  We loved how the serve the sodas in a glass with a metal straw.

Although we did not try any ice cream, the menu looks delicious! The ice cream is homemade from the Mapleview Cafe in Poughkeepsie.

The food hall is narrow with limited seating. There is an upstairs dining space with a couple of additional tables and chairs.

We enjoyed the couple of items that we tried during our visit. We like how the food hall aims to showcase chefs and food from around the Hudson Valley. However, we wished that there was more unique food offerings. Overall, we are very happy to see a food hall in the area and wish the Hudson Valley Food Hall great success!

The Details:
Hudson Valley Food Hall
288 Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508

Hours: 11 AM – 9 PM, 7 days a week
Hudson Valley Seafood is open 9 AM – 6 PM
Once the Roosevelt Bar opens, food vendors will be staying open later

Parking: Street parking – see tip below

Tips:
*Expect to wait a few minutes for your food, especially during busy times.

*Main Street on a weekend in Beacon is BUSY! We recommend taking the first available parking spot you find and hope you are good at parallel parking! We parked a few blocks down from the food hall and made the short walk.

* The Beacon Farmer’s Market takes place on Sundays from 10 AM – 3 PM, right down the street from the Hudson Valley Food Hall. After you enjoy lunch at the food hall, you can make a stop at the market to stock up on veggies, baked goods, cheese and much more!

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Dennings Point Distillery

Dennings Point Distillery

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and Dennings Point Distillery for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Dennings Point Distillery is located on North Chestnut Street, in Beacon.  The Distillery has been open since September of 2014 and is housed in a former mechanic shop.

When we visited during a summer weekend, founder Karl was relaxing in the Distillery. Because, doesn’t his shirt say it all?! He took us on a tour and gave us a bit of the Distillery’s history.  Similar to many of the people that we have met in the craft beverage trade, distilling started as a hobby for Karl.  He previously had a career in healthcare management and in 1990 bought his first moonshine  still.  Once craft distilling was legalized, many years later, he decided to give it a go professionally.

Denning’s Point makes several different products, though their best seller (and Karl’s favorite) is their bourbon.  The Distillery tries to source as many local ingredients as possible.  The bourbon is made from grains sourced in New Paltz and rye from the Finger Lakes region.  Another great example of their “the closer, the better” philosophy is the apple brandy made with apples from Wappingers Falls.

They make a vodka and their gin is an American-style gin that is more citrusy than the traditional.  Maid of the Meadow is a wheat-based spirit infused with wild herbs and honey. All three are distilled from NY State wheat.

Distilling takes place during the week with weekends dedicated to tours and tastings. Much of the equipment and machinery has been cleverly repurposed by Karl to suit his needs for each particular task.  However, their 250-gallon hybrid still was hand hammered in Louisville, Kentucky for its specific use.  They propagate their own yeast, which takes extra time, but makes a big difference in the flavor of their spirits.

To age their spirits, they use a variety of barrels including 10, 30 and 53 gallons.  Once the spirits are ready to be bottled, it’s an all-hands-on-deck operation. All of their spirits are bottled and labeled in a small room in the back.

After our tour, my husband enjoyed a tasting.  Their tasting room is  small and only seats about six guests.  He tried the 100 proof Beacon Bourbon, Maid of the Meadow and their Blueberry Gin.  The Blueberry Gin is a seasonal product, made with wild blueberries.  As I mentioned, the Beacon Bourbon is one of Denning’s Point Distillery’s most popular spirits.  Of the three that he tried, my husband’s favorite was Maid of the Meadow. He’s always been drawn to honey, whether a spirit infusion or cocktail ingredient.

Denning’s Point Distillery was voted Hudson Valley Magazine’s  “Best Hudson Valley Distillery” in 2015, 2016 and 2017.  Karl would like to continue growing a local presence but increase widening distribution of their spirits.  Most visitors come up from the city, as Beacon is easily accessible by train.  We recommend Hudson Valley residents, too,  make a visit to the Distillery. If you can’t make it, their products are distributed through Manhattan Beer at locations throughout the Hudson Valley.

The Details:

Denning’s Point Distillery
10 North Chestnut Street
Beacon, NY 12508
(845) 476-8413

Website: http://www.denningspointdistillery.com

Tastings & Tours:  Friday 2 PM -8 PM (Tastings only), Saturday 2 PM – 8 PM (Tours at approximately 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 PM, except for the second Saturday of each month when tours are at 2:30 and 3:30 only), Sunday 2 PM – 6 PM (Tastings only)

Price:  Tastings & Tour $5

2

A Visit To Hudson Valley Brewery

(Thank you to Hudson Valley Brewery and Dutchess Tourism for hosting us. As always, all opinions are our own.)

Hudson Valley Brewery is currently one of three craft breweries in Beacon, New York.  Located on Main Street, the brewery resides in a white painted brick building that was formerly a metal dinghy factory.  You enter the brewery through a garage door that opens into a large, warehouse-type tasting room. Visitors can start a tab at the bar with a credit card.  The bar is strictly for ordering beers, as there are no seats to sit at, and it’s constantly bustling with guests.  However, there are plenty of picnic tables, both inside and out to sit at and relax while enjoying your beer.

Hudson Valley Brewery specializes in sour IPAs.  They have a 30 barrel system and last year released 65 different beers.  They rarely make the same beer twice, so there’s plenty of reasons to visit often.   The descriptions of these beers make me want to try them all!  The brewery doesn’t offer flights, but most of their beers are available in three different sizes (4 oz, 8 oz or 16 oz).  Each guest is allow to order two beers at a time, but multiple trips can be had.

The day of our visit, my husband tried two different beers.  He tried the Holocene and the Motueka Incandenza.  The Holocene is a 6% sour IPA that, according to the menu,  tastes like, “poundcake, mango drink and funfetti.”  The Motukea Incandenza is also a 6% sour IPA and the tasting notes include “limoncello, green Boston Fruit slices and Glacier Freeze Gatorade.”  This was my husband’s first time trying sour beer, but after this tasting he has become a big fan.  He enjoyed both of these beers but liked the Incandenza a little bit more.  The Fauna seemed to be a popular beer, as it was ordered several times while we there.  It has an enticing light pink color.

If you enjoy the beer, you can purchase cans to bring home with you.  The colorful, pastel-colored cans are designed by artist Evan Cohen. They have a can release every two weeks, alternating Fridays and Saturdays.  New releases are very popular, and some sour beer fans even camp out before the day of a release to ensure they get to be one of the first to sample it.

We visited on a summer Saturday and the brewery was bustling even shortly after the 2 PM opening time.  Visitors come from all over to sample their sour beers.  The brewery is doing some brisk business and within the next year they have plans to expand into the building next door with a restaurant and tasting room.

The Details:

Hudson Valley Brewery
7 East Main Street
Beacon, NY
(845) 218-9156

Website: http://hudsonvalleybrewery.com
Hours: Thursday & Friday 5 PM – 10 PM, Saturday 2 PM – 10 PM, Sunday 2 PM – 8 PM

 

 

 

 

Walking Tour of Bannerman Island

(Thank you Dutchess Tourism and Bannerman Castle Trust for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

As life-long residents of the Hudson Valley, my husband and I both heard of Bannerman Island, but only recently got to visit the castle ruins and hear the history of the infamous site.  While many, like myself, refer to it as Bannerman Island, Bannerman Castle actually resides on Pollepel Island.  This 6.5 acre piece of land sits amidst the Hudson River.  Over 100 years old, the island and castle are only accessible via tours by the Bannerman Castle Trust and the New York State Parks.

Tours depart from either Beacon or Newburgh.  We took a tour from Beacon, which departs right near the Beacon train station.  Visitors board the Estuary Steward for an approximately thirty-minute boat ride to Bannerman Castle.  Once you arrive on the island, your tour guide greets you for a seven stop, 1.5 hour walking tour of the island.

The story of Bannerman Castle is an interesting one.  On your tour you will hear the story of how and why Francis, “Frank” Bannerman VI had the Castle built.  I’m not posting many photos of the island or writing about the history of the Castle in this post.  It is more fun to hear and see the story in person.  Although Bannerman Castle is part of the Hudson Highlands State Park, the repairs and upkeep of the Island and structures all come from the Bannerman Trust. They really appreciate visitors coming to take the tour and see the Island.

You get to walking inside the family’s summer residence, which acts as a Visitor Center and also houses a small gift shop.  This is a renovation that was recently completed, though the second floor, pictured above, still remains off-limits to visitors.

As you tour the island you will see breathtaking views of the Hudson River and surrounding Hudson Valley.

You will also see beautiful gardens and flowers throughout the island.  These gardens are maintained by a team of volunteers who weed, plant and water them.

Unfortunately, you do not get to walk inside the Castle.  As you can see, support beams are attached to help protect the remaining structure of the Castle.  While this experience is family-friendly and recommended for children ages 11 and up, there were no children on our tour.  My husband and I purposely chose to do this tour on a summer day when our children were with their grandparents.  However, there are plenty of family-friendly events hosted on Bannerman Island throughout the season including Broadway and Theatre shows, movie nights, musical performances and more.  Be sure to check out the calendar of events!

The Details:

Bannerman Island Walking Tours

From Beacon: Saturdays at 11 AM and 12:30 PM, Sundays at 12:30 PM
From Newburgh:  Sundays at 11 AM

Admission:  $35/adults, $30/children under 11

Parking:  Free parking is available on weekends at the Beacon Train Station

Tips:
*Make sure to wear sneakers or comfortable walking shoes.  You will climb 70 steps from the dock up to the beginning of the tour.

*You can bring your own beverages.  Water and drinks are also sold on the boat and at the Visitor’s Center.

*The tour is not wheelchair or stroller-friendly.

 

Dinner and a Beer Flight at Mill House Brewing Company

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and Mill House Brewing Company for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Mill House Brewing Company is located on Mill Street in Poughkeepsie, right off of Rt. 55.  Surprisingly, the restaurant was never actually a mill and was most recently a Chinese restaurant! My husband and I didn’t realize until visiting that we’ve driven by this place multiple times on our way across the river!  Now that we know that it’s there though, we will be back.  Mill House Brewing Company is a brewery and a pub.  When we talked to people at other stops on our Dutchess Craft Beverage Trail tour and mentioned that we were visiting Mill House Brewing Company, they always commented on how good the food was here.  And they weren’t wrong!

The restaurant has an extensive menu, filled with so many delicious options.  My husband and I debated making a meal out of Appetizers and Bar Bites, because there were so many dishes that we wanted to try!  In the end we took our server’s recommendation and shared the Fried Calamari Salad.  The portion was humongous and could have been a meal in itself!  I had never heard of a fried calamari salad before, but it was so good.  The calamari was so tender and the chili-lime vinaigrette and Srirarcha Ranch aioli complemented the arugula so well.

For our entrees we shared the Fig and “Pig” pizza and a Deep Fried Scallop and Oyster Po’Boy.  The sandwich was messy good!  Unfortunately, it was a daily special and not something that they serve every day.

The pizza Fig and “Pig” is one of five pizzas that the restaurant serves.  This has smoked mozzarella, housemade duck bacon, black mission figs, arugula and aged balsamic.  We were getting full and took most of the pizza home with us!

Mill House Brewing also has several burgers on their menu, including the 50/50 burger being the winner of the Hudson Valley Burger Bash, three years in a row.  They also make several different sausages and offer a variety of pasta, seafood and steak dishes.  There is something for everyone at this Mill House and I can almost guarantee you that it will be delicious.

We were seriously too stuffed for dessert, as much as we wanted to try some of them (I’m talking about you, Peanut Butter Sundae and Cannoli Profiteroles!).  Just another reason for us to go back!

“….our A-Team here, who make “holy s#*t” moments happen at Mill House day in and day out.”

But of course, besides serving amazing food, we can’t forget that Mill House is also a brewery!  They have 16 taps and are always changing the beers that they serve.  My husband enjoyed a flight, where you can choose 5 beers for $15.  His flight included Kold One, which is their most popular beer, Cross Reference Blackberry, Cucumber Blessings, Velvet Panda and Northwest Territory. Although he enjoyed them all, his favorite was Cucumber Blessings. This award-winning cream ale is crisp and dry with notes of cucumber.  Basically, a perfect summer beer!

Assistant General Manger, Chris, told to us that the brewmasters Jamie Bishop and Larry Stock have become more experimental with their beers since they acquired the additional space down the street that houses 20 additional barrels.  According to Chris, asking him to name his favorite beer is like asking a parent to name their favorite child.  However, at the time of our visit, his current favorite brew was Zoe.

Brewmaster Jamie works with a local artist to create unique badges for each new beer.

If you really enjoy your beer, hopefully it is one of five that are sold in cans.  Kold One, Cucumber Blessings, Hubar I DIPA, Grocery Getter and Northwest Territory Imperial are their five beers that you can find in stores like Whole Foods, some local beer distributors and even Grand Central Station.  Otherwise, you can purchase some on your way out of the restaurant to take home with you (along with some of their home homemade sauces made with their beer).

Stop by The Mill House Brewing Company for a delicious meal and a cold brew (or flight)!

The Details:

Mill House Brewing Company
289 Mill Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 485-2739

Website: www.millhousebrewing.com

Hours: Monday – Thursday 11:30 AM – 9 PM, Friday 11:30 AM – 10:30 PM, Saturday 11 AM – 10:30 PM, Sunday Brunch 11 AM – 3 PM, Sunday Dinner 3 PM – 9 PM