There are so many ways to enjoy the pleasures of summer in the Valley — it all depends on your mood. Looking for something relaxing? Take a stroll through a formal garden or a cruise down the Hudson. Need more excitement? Watch a stock car race, rock out at a summer concert, or hurtle down a 600-foot water slide. The choices are endless. So gas up the car, and get going!
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Enjoy an Outdoor Concert
Throughout the summer, the sounds of live music can be heard weaving through towns all over the Valley; from hits played by the hottest new band, to classics performed by masters of their art. Hearing music while surrounded by the region’s scenic beauty elevates the experience of a summer concert — whether in the bright, sunny daytime, or at night under the stars.
Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival Festival
Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival takes place the weekend before the summer solstice this year, June 19-20, at Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson. This yearly music and environmental festival aims to create a wave of awareness — through music, education, and activism — about the state of Mother Nature both globally and locally. Pete Seeger, Buckwheat Zydeco, Steve Earle, and the Felice Brothers are just some of the musicians set to grace the eco-friendly stages (which use sustainable energy from solar and biodiesel sources). In between songs, be sure to stroll around the park where you’ll find jugglers, clowns, a juried crafts show, storytellers, a dance tent, and a song circle.
Croton Point Park, Croton-on-Hudson. 845-418-3596 or www.clearwater.org
The ever-popular Mountain Jam at Hunter Mountain returns June 4-6, showcasing a variety of folk, blues, rock, and reggae artists. Also, local legend Levon Helm celebrates his 70th birthday in a performance featuring special guests. When you’re not jamming out, visit some of the many vendors selling food, drinks, and crafts, or check out the Awareness Village to learn more about mind-body-spirit health. The Mountain Jam Web site features the complete lineup and a list of things to bring to make the three-day stay more enjoyable.
Hunter Mountain, Hunter. www.mountainjam.com
Belleayre Summer Music Festival
Another place to jam on a mountain is at Belleayre in the Catskills during its Summer Music Festival. Tents at the base of the slopes transform the ski haven into an outdoor concert hall for a series of performances under the stars. Artists playing at the summit include Patti Lupone (July 10), America (Aug. 14; it’s their 40th anniversary tour), and the Children’s Opera Theater (Aug. 29).
Belleayre Mountain, Highmount. 800-942-6904, ext. 1344 or www.bellayremusic.org
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
However, music lovers are more likely to spy fellow Hudson Valley readers at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts — the 2009 reader’s pick for Best Outdoor Venue for Plays and Concerts. The center has both a covered pavilion and lawn seating, and is located at the site of the original Woodstock Festival. Big-name acts at Bethel for the summer season include Brooks & Dunn (June 27); the Dave Matthews Band (July 13); Sting, performing with the U.K.’s Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra (July 30); and rockers Pat Benatar with REO Speedwagon (Aug. 28).
200 Hurd Rd., Bethel. 866-781-2922 or www.bethelwoodscenter.org
Want to skip ahead? Click on one of these links to:
Become a Beach Bum! Play a Round of Miniature Golf! Get Creative Outdoors! Go to the Zoo! Go Fruit-picking! See some Al Fresco Art! Get Fast and Furious! Visit a Formal Garden! Take in a Horse Show! Rent a Bike on the Walkway! Take a River Cruise! Go to a Water Park! Go to the Drive-in! Enjoy an Outdoor Concert! Picnic at Vanderbilt Mansion! Ride the Rails! Indulge in Dining Delights!