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December Top 10 Events

Date Published: November 9, 2021

Tis’ the season for holiday shows, shopping, and celebration! From bright new festive attractions to dancing to the classics, browse our Top 10 Events for December. 

1. Historic Sites Holiday Tours

Various dates throughout December 

Step back in time this holiday season with a historic tour of Locust Grove Estate which has been updated with festive holiday decorations! Enjoy trees festooned with antique ornaments in the Drawing Room and Dining Room, and an exhibit of lavish gifts originally exchanged by members of the Young family a century ago. Tours happen every Saturday and Sunday until December 19. For more historic holiday fun, visit Staatsburgh State Historic Site for lavish turn-of-the-century holiday decorations on the main floor. Happening Thursday through Sunday throughout December. Continue the holiday trail at Mount Gulian Historic Site. Tour the homestead aglow in candlelight that has been beautifully decorated with fresh greens, ribbons, bows, and sparkle!

2. Kevin Mccurdy’s Holiday Spirit Festival

Various dates throughout December

Kevin McCurdy's Holiday Spirit Festival is a Hudson Valley original, one of a kind, family event. Celebrating its 14th anniversary, the Holiday Spirit Festival is like no other, offering families a place to make new memories and relive old ones. From its inception, it was designed to take you back to those days of yesteryear, with holiday tunnels and twinkling light displays, while adding a new twist. A new addition to this year’s lineup is a Winter Wonderland Walk, a path through a North Pole village with animated scenes and beautiful lights. For more information, click here.

3. Drive-thru Holiday Light Shows 

Pack up your car with friends and family and visit some of our drive-thru holiday light displays! Coming for the first time ever to Dutchess is The Wonderland of Lights! Celebrate the holidays at this dazzling spectacle, featuring dozens of displays to delight the entire family. This memorable experience is happening from November 25 through December 26. Follow the light trail towards Lagranville and experience the ERDAJT Holiday Light Display. This blazing display holds the Guinness World Record for the most holiday lights on a residential property! With 670,000 lights on display last year, driving through their property with synchronized radio music is the perfect way to kick off the season. Visit starting November 26 through the end of December.

4. The CENTER for Performing Arts Presents “A Christmas Carol”

Saturday, December 3- 19 at The CENTER for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck

Now in its 16th year, The CENTER is pleased to present the Charles Dicken’s classic, A Christmas Carol, directed by Lou Trapani. With musical direction by Paul and JoAnne Schuber, this play is a family-friendly performance happening throughout December. For more information, click here.

5. Annual City of Poughkeepsie Celebration of Lights

Friday, December 3 at 8:00 p.m. at The Bardavon Opera House, Poughkeepsie 

After a 2 year wait, the 27th annual Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks is back. Join friends and family in this dazzling display of holiday spirit! The parade will commence at 6:30 pm on Main Street and Garden Street and proceed to the evening’s first Christmas tree lighting on Main, at Mural Square near Market Street. The parade will then proceed down Main Street to Clover Street where it will conclude at Dongan Square Park for the second Christmas tree lighting. Then at 7:15, Poughkeepsie River District Business Association and Legion Fireworks will present the area's only winter fireworks display. Following the parade and fireworks, the Bardavon will present a screening of the holiday film classic It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) preceded by a concert on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. For more information, click here

6. Sinterklaas: An Old Dutch Tradition in the Hudson Valley 

Saturday, December 4th at the Village of Rhinebeck 

The Sinterklaas Festivities draw on the Hudson Valley’s Dutch heritage, but with some modern day twists. Children are the focus — becoming kings and queens for the day, turning the switches of the original story into royal scepters. The day features performances at venues throughout the village: dance, music and theatrics, tightrope walking, even fire juggling! Strolling musicians, dancing Grumpuses and a variety of colorful characters wander the streets of the village to delight children with stories and treats. Astride his white steed, Sinterklaas leads the Children’s Starlight Parade, which culminates in the center of town with the Sinterklaas pageant, honoring the children and ending with a stirring wish for peace. For more information, click here

7. Holiday Markets

Saturday, December 4 & Sunday, December 5

Celebrate the arts at The Dutchess Handmade Pop-Up Shop at the Trolly Barn in Poughkeepsie on Saturday, December 4 from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. This pop-up happens only twice a year with incredible items created in the Hudson Valley. Shop locally made glass, jewelry, greeting cards, textiles, ceramics, wood, products, prints, paintings, home, decorating items and more! Find the perfect item for gift giving and collecting from local artists and artisans. Shop more holiday goodies at the HV Holistic Holiday Market at the Comfort Suites Hotel & Banquets in Fishkill on Sunday, December 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. With an array of vendors, practitioners and readers you can meet our local artisans and support their craft. 

8. Winter Music Concerts at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park

Friday, December 17 - 19 at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, Tivoli

Enjoy live music with a view at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park! Performing one weekend in December, Superwolves on tour. Band members Matt Sweeney and Will Oldham reunite 16 years after their original underground classic, for performances featuring an album that plays like the continuation of a decades-long conversation. Sip on free hot cider while enjoying great music. For more information, click here

9. Holiday Craft Fair 

Saturday, December 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Majed J. Nesheiwat Convention Center, Poughkeepsie

Celebrate the holiday season at Majed J. Nesheiwat Convention Center with their Holiday Craft Fair featuring Hudson Valley artisans and handcrafted products! Free and open to the public, get your holiday shopping done while supporting local this year. For more information, click here



10. A Night of Sinatra & Dino 

Saturday, December 18 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Revel 32, Poughkeepsie

Kick-off the holidays with a spectacular night of dining and dancing to the sounds of Sinatra and Dino. You'll feel like you're in Vegas right here in Poughkeepsie as you dance and sing the night away to your favorite tunes from these iconic legends! Backed by a fabulous band, featuring Broadway musicians and their special guests, this show is one you won't want to miss! Tickets include a delicious buffet in the stunning Grand Ballroom, followed by a performance in fabulous Cannon Hall. For more information, click here.


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