Holiday Happenings

’Tis the season — for joyful and sacred music, dancing toy soldiers, Dickensian drama, candlelight tours of historic sites, afternoon tea parties, and entertaining strolls through Valley towns big and small



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Special Events

Thru Jan. 2: For the 13th year, Albany’s Washington Park is aglow with dozens of holiday light displays during Capital Holiday Lights in the Park. Marvel at the scene while driving through the park, then enjoy refreshments — and meet Rudolph and other special friends — at the lake house. Sun.-Thurs. 6-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 6-10 p.m. $15 per car. • Madison & New Scotland Ave., Albany. 518-435-0392 or www.albanycapitalholidaylights.com

Dec. 5: Enjoy fine chocolates, desserts, and other goodies at the annual Chocolate Expo and Holiday Gift Market. Shop for jewelry, artwork, and other gifts in the galleries while enjoying seasonal music. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. • New York State Museum. Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-474-5877 or www.nysm.nysed.gov

Dec. 5: Watch the lighting of the state trees and shop at the holiday marketplace at the Capital Holiday Tree Lighting & Fireworks Festival. The event also features children’s arts and crafts and festive music. 1-6 p.m. • Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-474-0538 or www.empirestateplaza.org

Dec. 11: Get in that last-minute holiday shopping while enjoying the shops, bars, and restaurants on Lark Street at Winter WonderLARK. This year’s event features the Santa Speedo Sprint: watch — or join in — as runners dash down the street in their skivvies to support the Albany Damien Center. 12-5 p.m. • Lark St., Albany. 518-434-3861 or www.larkstreet.org

Thru Dec. 18: Find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list at the Shaker Christmas Craft Fair. More than 50 regional crafters offer jewelry, apparel, ornaments, pottery, photographs, and accessories. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. • Shaker Heritage Society. Heritage Lane, Albany. 518-456-7890 or www.shakerheritage.org

Dec. 5: Visit the Collar City for the 28th annual Troy Victorian Stroll. The event offers more than 100 free attractions, from performers (dancers, musicians, storytellers) and rides to refreshments and a craft show. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. • Downtown Troy. 518-274-7020 or www.victorianstroll.com

Dec. 3: Bring the kids to the Hurley Heritage Society’s An Evening with St. Nicholas. Storyteller Karen Pillsworth entertains with tales of this famous Dutch figure; enjoy a snack, and make a holiday ornament to take home, too. 7-9 p.m., reservations required. $3 suggested donation. • Hurley Reformed Church. 11 Main St., Hurley. 845-338-7686.

Dec. 1-5, 17-19: Local performers take on the roles of Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and those mysterious ghosts in this rendition of A Christmas Carol at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. Dec. 10-12: Loosely based on Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Sugar Plums and Nutcrackers is a dance performance that incorporates classical ballet, jazz, rhythm tap, hip-hop, and other elements. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. Dec. 26: Celebrate the season with classical guitarist David Temple in a concert featuring tracks from his new CD, Winter Stillness [In Flight]. 3 p.m. Tickets for all performances are $20, $18 seniors & children. • 661 Rte. 308, Rhinebeck. 845-876-3080 or www.centerforperformingarts.org

Dec. 3: Kick off the holiday season with Poughkeepsie’s Celebration of Lights Parade & Fireworks. The parade features the Amerscott Highland Pipers, Hudson Valley Philharmonic brass ensembles, Arm of the Sea Theatre — and more than 200 local schoolchildren. The city’s holiday tree is lit, and Santa Claus makes an appearance on a fire engine (6:30 p.m. in downtown Poughkeepsie). Afterwards, catch a screening of the 1983 family movie A Christmas Story, and find out if young Ralphie gets the only gift he really wants for the holidays. 8 p.m. $5. • Bardavon Opera House. 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie. 845-473-2072 or www.bardavon.org

Thru Feb. 28: A holiday tradition for decades, the Historical Society of Rockland County’s 35th annual Miniature, Dollhouse & Art Exhibition showcases dolls, furniture, toys, and other pint-sized items that will charm children and adults alike. Tues.-Sun. 12-4 p.m. $7, $3 children. • 20 Zukor Rd., New City. 845-634-9629 or www.rocklandhistory.org

Dec. 4: Tomaseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas recreates the joy of Christmas Eve in a farmhouse set in the west of Ireland, where neighbors gather around the fire to tell stories, play music, and dance traditional jigs and reels in hobnailed boots. 8 p.m. $20, $18 seniors & students, $13 children under 13. • Academic Arts Theater, Westchester Community College. 75 Grasslands Rd., Valhalla. 914-606-6262 or www.sunywcc.edu

Dec. 4: Take a break from shopping and laugh with comedian Kevin Meaney as he reminisces about his hilarious holiday memories. 8 p.m. $29.50. Dec. 21: Catch a screening of the 1954 classic film A White Christmas. Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney star in the story of love and show biz that takes place at a (snowless) Vermont ski lodge in December. 8 p.m. $7. • Tarrytown Music Hall. 13 Main St., Tarrytown. 914-631-3390 or www.tarrytownmusichall.org

Dec. 1-31: Looking for a unique gift? Visit A Gift of Art Holiday Show and Boutique at the Mamaroneck Artists’ Guild. Affordable works of art are available, as well as boutique items such as jewelry, scarves, holiday decorations, and other crafts. Tues.-Sat. 12-5 p.m., closed Dec. 26. • 126 Larchmont Ave., Larchmont. 914-834-1117 or www.mamaroneckartistsguild.org

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