0

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.



7 Fall Weekend Getaways

Now that school has started, it’s not as easy to go away with the kids. Plus, COVID is making travel even more difficult. Fortunately, there are many fall weekend getaways close to Westchester County that are perfect for both families or couples looking to rest, recharge and have some fun! I am sharing 7 weekend getaways that we think families will enjoy.

Corning – This is the furthest destination that we are sharing, but it’s definitely doable for a weekend visit. There are some unique experiences to enjoy in the area including the Corning Museum of Glass, Watkins Glen State Park and more.

Crystal Spring ResortThis is the only New Jersey weekend destination that we have traveled to so far, but it’s a good one! Your family may never want to leave the biosphere pool. They offer both complimentary activities and those that have an additional cost. There are several onsite restaurants to choose from.

Emerson Resort – The Emerson Resort is located in the Catskills and is perfectly situated for some fall foliage viewing. This resort is also dog friendly if you want to bring your pet with you. Here you can find the world’s largest kaleidoscope. They offer several onsite activities and also have a spa. The Catskill Rail Explorers and plenty of fall hikes will keep you busy when you’re not enjoying the resort.

Kalahari Resort – If you don’t want to have to worry about the weather, take a visit to Kalahari. You can enjoy the indoor water park, arcade, mini golf and more. With several onsite restaurants, you won’t have to leave the resort. And if the weather is nice, they also have an outdoor treetop adventure course.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania – Only three hours from most of Westchester County, Lancaster, Pennsylvania is a great weekend getaway. Experience “Pennsylvania Dutch Country” for an educational and fun experience.

Pine Ridge Dude Ranch – Pine Ridge Dude Ranch is great if your family enjoys horseback riding. This is an all-inclusive dude ranch experience with both outdoor and indoor activities to keep the family occupied.

Villa Roma Resort – Villa Roma Resort offers a variety of activities for families with kids of all ages including go karts, a bowling alley, a zip line and more. Dinner and breakfast are included in the price of your stay.

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)

Snow Much Fun in the Hudson Valley! {A Life Well Lived}

New York has finally had its first snowstorm of 2020. Once it snows, there’s a very high chance that more snow will make an appearance……still waiting on that though! However, I am not a winter person. As beautiful as snow falls are, I honestly hate winter and the cold! I do like the family to participate in seasonable activities though – since we get to experience all four seasons, we might as well make the most of them! We will hopefully get to enjoy some of these ways to have “Snow Much Fun” in the Hudson Valley this winter!

Quick and Easy Ideas that you can do at your house or nearby:

1.Build a snowman – Buy a snowman making kit to have on hand for the next snow fall. Or collect and set aside a spare hat, scarf and gloves so you are all ready to decorate your snowman when the time comes.

2. Make snow angels – Don’t forget to take a pic of your creations!

3. Have a snowball fight – Make sure everyone has waterproof gloves for this activity! If you want to make perfectly sized snowballs super quickly, you can get a snowball maker kit.

4. Go sleigh riding – We have a big hill at our elementary school that kids love to sleigh ride down. My son has a new sled and can’t wait to try it out!

5. Build a snow fort – I’m not sure that my kids have ever made a snow fort! This Sno-Brick Maker can help construct snow forts!

6. Snow art – The snow is their canvas with these sno markers.

7. Make maple syrup candy – We tried making this many years ago and I burnt the syrup. We are due for another attempt and this recipe looks easy enough.

8. Make frozen bubbles – Take your bottles of bubbles outside and blow them to enjoy some bubble fun. The temperature has to be below freezing for the bubbles to freeze. If you don’t

Ideas that require a little planning and/or travel:

9. Skiing and/or snowboarding – There are many mountains within driving distance to enjoy skiing or snowboarding. Thunder Ridge Ski Area is located in Patterson, nearby in Putnam County.

10. Ice Skating – there are plenty of places in the Hudson Valley to ice skate – both indoors or outside. Check out our ice skating guide.

11. Snow Shoeing – This activity is on my winter bucket list! I’ve never snow shoed before, but it looks like a good winter workout!

12. Tubing – Tubing is a fun activity for the entire family! We enjoyed tubing at Mount Peter, but several ski mountains offer tubing. Most places require you to reserve a time slot, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Activities that require more planning and require travel outside the Hudson Valley:

13. Ice Fishing – Ice fishing is a winter activity that requires a lot more planning and preparation. First, the ice needs to be four inches thick. Second, you need to get a fishing license. Then besides fishing poles, there is also special equipment like ice safety picks, ice cleats, a chisel, rescue rope and more. To find out more information and locations where ice fishing is allowed, check out the NYS DEC site.

14. Snowmobiling – Snowmobiling trails abound in upstate New York. The Adirondacks have several different companies that rent snowmobiles and give tours.

15. Ride a bob sled – In Lake Placid, NY you can enjoy a bobsled experience. At the Olympic Sports Complex, a professional driver helps guide riders down the track at exhilarating speeds of up to 50-55 miles per hour. The ride is only about 40 seconds down 800 meters of the 1,500 meter track. Reservations are highly recommended.

16. Take a dog sled ride – Lake Placid also seems to be the only place in NY state where you can enjoy a dog sled ride. Weather permitting, Adirondack Wilderness Adventures and Thunder Mountain Dogsleds operate dog sled rides on Mirror Lake.

17. Horse drawn sleigh ride – The Adirondacks is the place for winter fun! Country Dreams Farm operates its sleigh rides in Lake Placid. Belgian Draft horses pull you in a sleigh through the woods and fields.

Cardoso Cookies {Made in New York}

Cardoso Cookies are made locally in the Hudson Valley. Anthony Cardoso is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and makes his cookies with all natural ingredients.

I recently attended the Fall Hudson Valley Restaurant Week kick-off event at the Culinary Institute of America.  By now, you know I’m attracted to all things sweet and I was compelled to stop by the Cardoso Cookies table.  There, I had the pleasure of meeting founder Anthony Cardoso.  He graduated from the Culinary Institute in 2002 so you can bet he’s qualified to make a good cookie!

Anthony Cardoso is the founder of cookie company Cardoso Cookies. A graduate of the Culinary Institute he uses fresh ingredients with no preservatives.

 What was his motivation for starting Cardoso Cookies?

Anthony wanted to start a food business where the primary focus was on producing a consistent, high quality, and fresh (made to order & from scratch) product. He didn’t want a brick and mortar storefront or a food truck (at the time it was too big of an investment). While visiting the Rhinebeck Farmers Market, he realized that there was a lack of sweet options.  This helped him narrow his focus down to cookies.  The following months included lots of recipe development, package testing, and test shipments all over the nation to friends and family. Cardoso Cookies was launched on August 1, 2015.

Based out of Hopewell Junction, Cardoso Cookies are primarily available for purchase online. Orders can be placed through the company website and  shipped anywhere in the United States.  Once an order is placed, the cookies are baked to order and usually shipped or delivered the next day. He even offers free local delivery if you happen to live near Hopewell Junction! Additionally, Anthony sells his products at local events and markets to grow a following.  Past events have included the Hudson Valley Wine and Chocolate Festival, the Stormville Flea Market and the Fishkill Farmer’s Market.  You can also purchase his cookies at Crown Maple, in Dover Plains or North River Roasters in Poughkeepsie.

I asked Anthony which was his most popular selling cookie.  He said it’s the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie. That’s not terribly surprising but it also happens to be his favorite, too!  What sets their chocolate chip cookie apart from a classic chocolate chip is the inclusion of 4 different types of chocolate chips (milk, semisweet, bittersweet, and white).  As a bittersweet chocolate lover,  Anthony also really enjoys the Bittersweet Brownie cookie. The bittersweet chocolate batter and semisweet chocolate chips make it a rich and delicious cookie.

But how do they taste?!

Anthony was offering samples of many of the different cookies he makes and sells.  I took him up on his offer to bring a selection of cookies home to share with the family.  As a family lifestyle blogger, I seek to highlight family-friendly products in my “Made in New York” feature.  I try to have everyone in the family sample and give opinions on the products.  Cookies definitely qualify as family-friendly in my house and my kids were super excited to be cookie taste testers.

Of course, I had to try the famous Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie although I was a bit more intrigued by some of the other variety of cookies that we sampled.

Birthday  Sugar Cookie – This is a sugar cookie filled with sprinkles.  I liked the soft chewiness the most.

Hot Cocoa Cookie –  This is a dark chocolate cookie with milk chocolate chips and marshmallows.  This was a soft cookie and one of the more fragile ones.

“New”Tella Cookie – This is a thick sandwich cookie filled with Callebaut chocolate ganache and chocolate hazelnut spread filling.  I wasn’t expecting the cookies to have a cinnamon flavor and, although they were tasty, I think I’d prefer them with a plain butter cookie.

Red Velvet Cookie – This is a classic red velvet cookie with white chocolate chips.

Salted Caramel Chocolate – This is another delicious sandwich cookie.  A thick chocolate filling and local Hudson Valley-made Cara-Sel Salted Caramel are sandwiched between two chocolate cookies.

Thick Mints Cookie – This is a super thick, chocolate and mint flavored cookie, covered in a chocolate coating.

All of the cookies were delicious.  However, the unanimous family favorite was the Hot Cocoa Cookie.  Although I didn’t try them myself,  Anthony had other varieties available to sample including the Brookie (1/2 chocolate chip, 1/2 brownie), Bittersweet Brownie, and Apple Oatmeal.  He also sells Maple Doodles, Peanut Butter cookies, Peanut Butter Cup cookies, Oatmeal Raisin, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, and a S’mores cookie.  He even sells a vegan chocolate chip cookie.

As you can see from the labels, these cookies are made with all natural ingredients.  Because there are no preservatives, these cookie are best eaten with a week. You probably won’t have to worry about that because there’s no way they’ll be sitting around uneaten! If you’re planning to save some cookies for a future date, though, they can be frozen for up to three months.

Besides cookies, Cardoso Cookies also sells edible cookie dough. The dough contains no eggs or egg products and is ready to eat.  The 3-pack sampler contains 10 oz. jars of Classic Chocolate Chip, Birthday Cake and Brownie Batter.

The cookies and cookie dough make great gifts and party favors.  Gift tins and boxes are available and would make great holiday gifts or a tasty treat for a dinner party.  His prices are quite reasonable too.  Small gift tins of 6-8 cookies start at $12.99.  A (21-24 count) sampler pack of 3 different cookies of your choice is $36.99.

Be sure to follow Cardoso Cookies on Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date on where they are selling.  They will also soon be offering special deals for social media fans.

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!

3

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?