An Insider's Guide to April Events in the Hudson Valley
Local tourism directors share their top picks for things to do throughout the month.
Bejeweled and Bedazzled: Jewelry and Personal Adornment
Credit: Albany Institute of History & Art
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. There are a ton of things to do in the Hudson Valley each month. In fact, when it comes to actually choosing between one event or another, there’s potentially too much to do. Food fest on Saturday? Great. But there’s also that play you wanted to see. Oh, and that workshop you RSVP’d for in the afternoon. And the…oh wait, that’s already two things too many!
To help scout out the best events in the Valley, we reached out to local tourism directors from Albany to Ulster for their top picks for things to do. Check out their selections, then get planning!
Discover Albany President and CEO Jill Delaney shares her top recommendations for the month:
Photo by theRep
April 5 – May 12
If you love romantic comedies, you’ll adore “Shakespeare in Love,” a play filled with sword fights, secret trysts, and more than a few backstage disasters. Throughout the show’s run, theater-goers can attend special events like “Chef’s Table Night,” where patrons enjoy complimentary light bites before the show, or a “Post-Show Discussion Night,” which invites guests to learn more about the show with Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill and the cast.
Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany
January 26 – June 9
This dazzling exhibit features more than one hundred works of jewelry and personal adornment dating across four centuries. Drawn from the collections of the Albany Institute and private collections, these personal effects tell the stories of the individuals who owned them, as well as where and why they were purchased and what they reveal as works of art and embellishment.
Times Union Center, Albany
April 27, 7 p.m.
Arena football is making a comeback with the Albany Empire at the Times Union Center! The 2019 season kicks off on Saturday April 27 and runs through Saturday July 20. In addition to cheering on the professional arena football players, fans can arrive at South Pearl Street three hours prior to the home games for a block party.
“Dutchess offers something for everyone this April,” says Mary Kay Vrba, President & CEO of Dutchess Tourism, Inc. “Get outdoors with paddle in-hand, immerse yourself in a day of fun, or delight your taste buds with a cup of joe or a warm brew.”
Pleasant Valley Recreation Center, Pleasant Valley
April 27, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Head out to Wappinger Creek for a family-friendly water derby that extends from Pleasant Valley to Greenvale Park. The eight-mile canoe and kayak race is open to different classes, with trophies awarded at the end. Register in advance here if you’d like to compete.
Dutchess Community College, Poughkeepsie
April 27-28, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Over the course of two days, KidVenture invites the littlest members of the Hudson Valley to Dutchess Community College for hands-on activities, educational demonstrations, and live entertainment. On top of that, a number of Touch-A-Truck exhibitors will be onsite for kids who want to check out the four-wheeled rovers up close.
Marriott Pavilion, The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park
April 28, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
This April, A Cup of the Valley returns to Hyde Park for a day filled with everyone’s favorite brews. Whether you’re a fan of java or camellia sinensis, you’ll love checking out new vendors and old favorites. Greenwood Lake Bagels, Cardoso Cookies, and Emy Desserts are already confirmed to attend, which means there will be more than a few sweet treats to snack on as well.
Read on for Tourism Director for Greene County Heather Bagshaw’s picks for things to do in April:
Photo provided by Greene County Tourism and TAP New York
Hunter Mountain, Hunter
As the state’s largest craft beer festival and the largest single-state craft beer event in the nation, the annual TAP New York festival features hundreds of beers from over 120 breweries throughout New York State. If that isn’t incentive enough to mark your calendar, keep in mind that the whole thing goes down at the base of one of the most beautiful mountains in the Catskills.
99 Rte 23, Catskill
Enjoy panoramic views from hundreds of feet in the air as you stroll across the mile-long pedestrian sidewalk on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. Three vantage points along the Skywalk provide guests an opportunity to see the spectacular mountain and river views. No pets are allowed, so leave Fido at home for this one.
Throughout Greene County
Thinking about a day trip to Catskill or Tannersville? Greene County is home to so many stores, antique shops, and country general stores that make scouting for one-of-a-kind presents and knickknacks a piece of cake.
Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl, Hunter
Brace yourself for high-speed fun on the longest, fastest, highest zip-line canopy tour in North America and second largest zip-line in the world! Whether you choose the Sky Rider, Adventure Tower, or Mid-Mountain tour, you’ll have an adrenaline-filled blast as you climb and glide high above the ground.
Check out Orange County Tourism Director Amanda Dana’s selections for the best things to do this month.
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, Newburgh
April 27, 12-4 p.m.
This April, Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site celebrates the grand reopening of the newly restored Tower of Victory. The tower, which was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the peaceful end of the Revolutionary War, closed in the 1950s after hurricane winds damaged the tower’s tile roof. On April 27, community members can climb the tower for the first time in almost 70 years and take in the magnificent sights of the Hudson River and Hudson Highlands.
Zulu Time Rooftop Bar and Lounge, West Point
April 20, 4-11 p.m.
Kick winter to the curb at Zulu Time’s opening party on April 20. The West Point event features tastings, raffles, live music, and more at the top of The Thayer Hotel, where breathtaking views of the Hudson River await. If you’ve never been to Zulu Time before, you won’t want to miss this fest.
Locations throughout Orange County
A tourism collective, OCNY West celebrates the community and agriculture of the western region of Orange County. In April, upcoming events include the five-year anniversary celebration of Orange County Distillery on Saturday, April 27, a live reading of the children’s book Run Wild by author David Covell at Foundry 42 on Saturday, April 13 at 10:30 a.m., and Soons Orchard’s Second Annual Spring Fever Evening Egg Hunt – an adults only event – on Saturday, April 13 beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Angry Orchard, Walden
Walden’s beloved cidery has a full calendar for April, including Angry Orchard’s Sugar Shack Weekend beginning on Saturday, April 6 at 12:00 p.m., Angry Orchard’s Adult Spelling Bee on Saturday, April 13 at 5:30 p.m., and Mindful Movement in the Cider Garden at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 28.
Orange County Speedway, Middletown
The Speedway kicks off the start of racing season with the Hard Clay Open on Sunday, April 7. Later in the month, it honors the late Carl “Fuzzy” Van Horn at Orange County Fair Speedway’s 100th anniversary season opening on Saturday, April 13. Before and after the races, fans can enjoy free live music at the 31st Lap Tavern.
Read up on Ulster County Tourism’s event highlights for April:
Benmarl Winery, Marlboro
April 5-7, 3 p.m.
During this special weekend, Benmarl invites Hudson Valley vino lovers for a peek into the cellar with the winemaker to discover how small-batch wine is crafted. In addition, visitors will have the chance to taste unbottled wines and shop discounted vintages at the winery.
Denizen Theatre, New Paltz
If you’ve never seen a show at a black box theater before, prepare for an unforgettable evening at New Paltz’s Denizen Theatre. In April, Denizen unveils “Every Brilliant Thing,” a heart-felt show that explores themes of family, mental health, and storytelling. Opening day is April 5, with post-show talkbacks scheduled for every Wednesday.
Catskill Mountain Railroad, Kingston
April 6, 13, 20, 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Hop aboard the famed Catskill Mountain Railroad for the Bunny Express this April. Like with the railroad’s Halloween and Polar Express rides, the train invites passengers to take a journey across the Hurley Flats for a celebratory Easter egg hunt and photos with the Easter Bunny. A truly magical experience, this event is sure to sell out.
SUNY Ulster Campus, Stone Ridge
April 13, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Calling all Hudson Valley gardeners! This full-day conference includes 16 gardening classes, which range in topic from “Achieving Color in the Garden All Season” to “Organic Heirloom Gardening.” Later in the day, keynote speakers Karen Smythe and Anne Cleeves Symmes will speak about “Beatrix Farrand: One of America’s Most Celebrated Landscape Designers.”
Mohonk Preserve, Gardiner
In an effort to help Ulster become the healthiest county in New York, Mohonk Preserve offers a free, one-month membership to all Ulster County residents. Anyone interested can pick up passes throughout the weekend, then get ready to explore the preserve’s natural beauty in Gardiner.
Ashokan Center, Olivebridge
This unique event teaches attendees all about the art of blacksmithing, from forging hot steel to using the tools of the trade. The weekend is packed with activities for beginners and experienced metalsmiths, so check out the schedule online if you want to register.