Events Listings

Dozens of exciting things to see and do -- including Polly's Picks.



Holiday Houses

 

Upper Valley

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Pruyn House, where visitors take a glance into the past for “Holidays — Then and Now,” a greenery show hosted by the Blue Creek Garden Club (Dec. 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.). Also enjoy a holiday open house, complete with punch, cookies, and music by the Recorders. Dec. 3, 12:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 207 Old Niskayuna Rd., Newtonville. 518-783-1435 or www.colonie.org/pruyn

 

Live reindeer, stilt-walkers, Victorian carolers, and giant street puppets are merely a fraction of what you will encounter in Hudson as you take A Winter Walk on Warren Street, sponsored by the Hudson Opera House. Unique among the Valley’s holiday festivities, the event features mannequins who come to life in shop windows and free horse-drawn carriage rides. Hear a 35-voice all-ages choir perform holiday music with members of the Capital Area Flute Club. Dec. 2 from 3-5 p.m. Warren St., Hudson. 518-822-1438 or www.hudsonoperahouse.org

 

Light up the season at the 10th annual Capital Holiday Lights in the Park. The tour features more than 100 spectacular scenes and displays that the whole family will enjoy. Additional activities include musical performances, a carousel, face painting and balloons for the kids, and food tastings with celebrity chefs. The Lakehouse is open most evenings with crafts, refreshments, and special visits from your favorite holiday characters (like Santa and Rudolph). Sun.-Thurs. 6-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 6-10 p.m. through Jan. 1. $12 per car. Washington Park, Albany. 518-435-0392 or www.albanyevents.org

 

The sights, sounds, and spirit of the holiday season fill Albany's historic district during the third annual Holiday House Tour. The self-guided tour (which features different houses each year) spans residences in the Hudson Park, Washington Park, and Pine Hills neighborhoods, and includes the Albany Institute of History and Art, the Fort Orange Club, and Capital Holiday Lights in the Park. Dec. 10 from 12-5 p.m. $25. Call for more information. 518-462-3825 or www.historic-albany.org

 

Take a leisurely stroll around the lake at the beautiful Olana State Historic Site, the home of 19th-century Hudson River School artist Frederic Church. The site plays host to a huge bonfire with traditional carolers setting the scene for an unforgettable holiday experience. Dec. 9, 3-5 p.m. Rte. 9G, south of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, Hudson. 518-828-0135 or www.olana.org

 

Decorated in the style of a Currier & Ives print, the Clermont State Historic Site is open for free tours, hot spiced cider, and yuletide treats (Dec. 9-10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.). Kids will love the “Child’s Christmas” event. After exploring historic yuletide traditions, they’ll enjoy refreshments, a complimentary holiday favor, and hobnob with a special visitor (Dec. 2-3, 10 a.m.). $12. Clermont Ave., Germantown. 518-828-0135 or www.clermontny.org

 

Mid-Valley

 

Boscobel’s candlelight tours are a Valley tradition, delighting visitors with an elegant feast for the senses. The Federal-style house museum is dressed in its holiday best, with an array of flowers, evergreens, even fruits and nuts. The fanciful dessert table is laden with elaborate treats, and guests toast the holiday with mulled cider from the Wassail Bowl (just the way they did in the 19th century). Dec. 17, 4-7 p.m. $12, $10 seniors, $8 children 6-14. Daytime tours Dec. 15-31 (except Dec. 19, 25, & 26), 10 a.m.-3:15 p.m. $10, $9 seniors, $6 children 6-14. Rte. 9D, Garrison. 845-265-3638 ext. 115 or www.boscobel.org

 

Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Downtown Warwick to experience the village’s yuletide spirit. There’ll be hot chocolate and festive carolers — and, of course, no holiday celebration would be complete without a visit from Old Saint Nick. Dec. 10, 12-3 p.m. Main St., Warwick. 845-986-2720 or www.warwickcc.org

 

The stately 50-room Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site comes to merry life this season. Tours of the Gilded Age mansion — dressed to the nines in evergreens and other finery — include refreshments and live music provided by a string quartet and a brass ensemble. Dec. 8 from 6-9 p.m. Albany Post Rd., Hyde Park. 845-229-9300 or www.nps.gov/vama

 

Experience the holidays just as Franklin D. Roosevelt did when he was home at Springwood, his Hyde Park residence. Revelers are invited to enjoy the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site’s Christmas Open House. A historical interpreter leads tours through the gaily decorated mansion, followed by refreshments. Kids will love having Christmas stories read aloud to them, just as Roosevelt did for his own children. Dec. 9 from 6-9 p.m. 4079 Albany Post Rd., Hyde Park. 845-229-9300 or www.nps.gov/hofr

 

The 79-room Staatsburgh Mansion, owned by the Mills family, has been lavishly prepared for the holidays. Events include guided tours highlighting the family’s history. Children ages 6-12 will delight in doing crafts and winning prizes during the “Holiday Whodunit.” The “Friends of the Mills Mansion Party” boasts a delectable assortment of cocktails, treats, and holiday jazz tunes. Throughout December, call for exact dates and times. $5, $4 seniors & students, children under 12 free; reservations required for most events. Old Post Rd., Staatsburg. 845-889-8851 or www.staatsburgh.org

 

At Morrison Hall, the holiday season is in full bloom. For their 12th annual Holiday Open House, the Victorian mansion has been lovingly decked out with greenery by the Middletown Garden Lovers. Music by the SUNY Orange Madrigal Singers (Dec. 9, 3 p.m.) and the Chamber Ensemble (Dec. 10, 1 p.m.) fills the halls. Dec. 9-10, 16-17 from 1-5 p.m. 115 South St., Middletown. 845-341-4372 or www.sunyorange.edu

 

Visitors to Knox’s Headquarters get a taste of holiday cheer. The 18th-century mansion that housed three of Washington’s Revolutionary War generals is festooned with period decorations and offers live music and guided tours. Dec. 16, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Daytime tours Dec. 26-29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Call for admission fees. Forge Hill Rd., Vails Gate. 845-561-5498 or http://nysparks.state.ny.us

 

The sounds of festive music fill the air this month at the Mount Gulian Historic Site. Stroll through the restored 18th-century farmhouse’s beautifully decorated — and candlelit — hallways while carolers serenade you (Dec. 17, 19-22). Take a break with the kids at the Children’s Christmas Victorian Tea Party (Dec. 27). Call for time and fees. 145 Sterling St., Beacon. 845-831-8172 or www.mountgulian.org

 

The historic section of Newburgh comes into sharp focus with The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands Candlelight Tour. Participants view homes at their own pace. The sites represent several time periods, and are decorated just as they would have been in holidays past — deal for a romantic stroll or family outing. Dec. 10 from 12-5 p.m. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Tours begin at the Capt. David Crawford House, 189 Montgomery Ave., Newburgh. 845-561-2585 or www.newburghhistoricalsociety.com

 

Wilderstein Historic Site’s exquisite Queen Anne mansion is brimming with holiday decorations provided by well-known Hudson Valley and New York City artists, designers, and florists, creating a whimsical atmosphere for visitors. The house includes both modern and period décor. The Yuletide High Tea takes you back in time with traditional holiday food and music (Dec. 2 at 1 p.m., reservations required). Weekends in Dec. from 1-4 p.m. 330 Morton Rd., Rhinebeck. 845-876-4818 or www.wilderstein.org

 

Lower Valley

 

The Glenview, the riverside mansion that is part of the Hudson River Museum, is done up in High Victorian Gothic Style by acclaimed designer Bob Pesce. The bold, fruity holiday decorations extend to the house’s second floor, where the museum’s biggest — and smallest — attraction is on view. Nybelwyck Hall is an eight-foot-long, 26-room dollhouse that mimics a 19th-century home on a miniscule scale. Open throughout Dec. $5, $3 seniors & children 5-15, under 5 free. (Free admission on Dec. 10 from 1-4 p.m.)  Warburton Ave., Yonkers. 914-963-4550 or www.hrm.org

 

Evening candlelight tours at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside bring an 1850s Christmas to life. Join fellow revelers in song as you make your way down an evergreen-lined path lit with real candles. The cottage is decorated for the season, and excerpts from Irving’s Christmas tales and family letters are read throughout the evening. Enjoy hot cider in the kitchen yard beside a roaring fire. Dec. 9-10, 16-17. First tours at 4 p.m., last at 8 p.m., reservations required. Call for ticket prices. W. Sunnyside Lane, Tarrytown. 914-631-8200, ext. 618 or www.hudsonvalley.org

 

Take a candlelight tour through the home of one of the wealthiest families of the post-Revolutionary War era. The period décor sets a festive mood at Van Cortlandt Manor. Tables are set with family china and are full of 18th-century style desserts. Visit the ferry house, dance to the lively strains of a fiddler, and drink a toast to the season. Dec. 22-23, 29-30. First tour at 4 p.m., last at 8 p.m. Reservations required, call for ticket prices. S. Riverside Ave., Croton-on-Hudson. 914-631-8200, ext. 618 or www.hudsonvalley.org

 

Lyndhurst offers Fairytale Holiday Evenings this month. Each room of the Gothic Revival mansion is decorated to represent a different tale, complete with clues to the stories to keep children of all ages guessing. While the kids explore, parents can indulge in hot cider and cookies and finish last-minute shopping at the holiday boutique. Fri.-Sun. throughout the month, reservations required. $12, $6 children under 15. 635 S. Broadway, Tarrytown. 914-631-4481 or www.lyndhurst.org

 

Unleash your creative spirit at the New Castle Historical Society’s Holiday Tree Lighting and Victorian Craft Workshop. Carolers entertain as you create a unique holiday item; later, take a museum tour through the society’s Horace Greeley House Museum, with exhibits that explore local Quaker heritage. End the day with the lighting of the site’s huge Christmas tree. Dec. 2 from 12-4 p.m.; tree lighting festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. 100 King St., Chappaqua. 914-238-4666 or www.newcastlehistoricalsociety.org

 

Dutch traditions come to life at The Historical Society of Rockland County’s annual St. Nicholas Day Festival. Children (and their parents) hear Dutch stories about the legend of St. Nicholas while sipping apple cider and munching on ginger cream cookies. Includes admission to the annual Miniature and Dollhouse Show. Dec. 2 at 11 a.m. & 1 p.m., reservations required. $5. 20 Zukor Rd., New City. 845-634-9629 or www.rocklandhistory.org

 

Spend an enchanted evening at the historic Jacob Blauvelt House this December as the Historical Society of Rockland County hosts its annual candlelight tour. As you make your way through the fragrant halls, traditional sweets and festive greenery will bring Dutch-American holiday celebrations to life. The music of this era fills your ears as docents in period costumes serve seasonal refreshments. $10, $5 children, reservations required. Price includes admission to the museum’s annual Miniature and Dollhouse Show. 20 Zukor Rd., New City. 845-634-9629 or www.rocklandhistory.org

 

Special Events

 

Mid-Valley

 

West Point Women’s Club: Craft Bazaar Dec. 9-10: Shop for the holidays at this fair, which includes arts and crafts items, jewelry, floral works, and woodcrafts. Stick around for the free USMA holiday band concerts. Bazaar hours Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., concert at 7:30 p.m.; Sun. 12-5 p.m., concert at 3 p.m. $3. Eisenhower Hall Ballroom, USMA Campus, West Point. For information, visit www.shopthepoint.com

 

Putnam County Hstorical Sciety:  The Gilded Age: High Fashion in the Hudson Highlands 1865-1914 Through Dec. 3: More than 30 elegant outfits — from riding habits to wedding dresses — worn by the Valley’s Victorian-era trendsetters are on display in this fun and unusual exhibit. Wed.-Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 63 Chestnut St., Cold Spring. 845-265-4010 or www.pchs-fsm.org

 

Woodstock Tango: Pre-New Year’s Milonga Dec. 30: Dance the night away at this traditional Argentinian tango social. A dance demo with special guests, buffet, salsa break, and door prizes round out the evening. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $20. Mountain View Studio. Rock City Rd., Woodstock. 845-246-1122 or www.woodstocktango.com

 

Lower Valley

 

Historical Society of Rockland Rounty Miniature & Dollhouse Show Through Jan. 28: Miniature furniture and toys, elaborate dollhouses, special surprises — two galleries of early and contemporary dollhouses make this annual show a holiday tradition. Tues.-Sun. 12-4 p.m. $6, $3 children. 20 Zukor Rd., New City. 845-634-9629 or www.rocklandhistory.org

 

Mamaroneck Artists’ Guild A Gift of Art Through Jan. 4: The guild’s annual holiday show and boutique presents all manner of beautiful and affordable artworks, from jewelry and scarves to seasonal decorations and crafts. Tues.-Sat. 12-5 p.m. 2120 Boston Post Rd., Larchmont. 914-834-1117 or  www.mamaroneckartistsguild.org

Art

 

Upper Valley

 

New York State Museum: Chocolate Through Jan. 7: A multimedia exhibition that looks at the history behind this sweet treat. Exhibit admission $4, $2 children. Guided tours available Saturdays at 1 & 2 p.m. Represent Through Feb. 25: This exhibition of works by various artists of African descent features highlights from the museum’s permanent collection. Daily 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-474-0068 or www.nysm.nysed.gov

Mountaintop Gallery Holiday in the Mountains Through Jan. 7: Handmade quilts, pottery, and other crafts by local and regional artisans are featured in this annual exhibition and sale. Call for hours. 5348 Main St., Windham. 518-734-3104 or www.greenearts.org

 

digital artist’s space Pixelwhipped: Before & After Through Dec. 29: This show includes works by five regional artists, each of whom examines how digital technology has affected the artistic process and the way artists “see.” Mon.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 27 Second St., Troy. 518-203-1096 or www.digitalartistspace.com

 

Catskill gallery Salon 2006 Holiday Exhibition Through Jan. 13: A sampling of small-scale original artwork by local painters. All works are for sale and available to take home immediately — bring your holiday shopping list. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 398 Main St., Catskill. 518-943-3400 or www.greenearts.org

 

albany institute of history & art Flora, Fauna & Fantasy: The Art of Dorothy Lathrop Through Dec. 31: Considered to be “the American Beatrix Potter,” Albany illustrator Dorothy Lathrop displays over 120 original works (many of which have never before been exhibited). Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m. $7, $5 seniors & students, $3 children, 5 and under free. 125 Washington Ave., Albany. 518-462-1522 or www.albanyinstitute.org

 

Deborah Davis Fine Art Small Treasures IV Through Dec. 31: Local and regional artists exhibit works of limited size (and price). A wide range of styles and media are represented. Thurs.-Mon. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and by appt. 345 Warren St., Hudson. 518-822-1890.

 

Mid-Valley

 

frances lehman loeb art center Off the Shelf: New Forms in Contemporary Artists’ Books Through Dec. 17: Books created by more than a dozen contemporary artists are used to complement their paintings, drawings, sculpture, and works in other media. Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 1-5 p.m. Vassar College. 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie. 845-437-5632 or www.fllac.vassar.edu

 

samuel dorsky museum of art Museum, Mission and Meaning: Selections from the Collections Through Dec. 10: The museum marks its fifth anniversary

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