With so many fun, family-friendly events on the calendar, August is always an exciting time to visit Dutchess County. Located in the heart of New York’s picturesque Hudson River Valley, Dutchess is the perfect destination for a getaway any time of year, of course, and August has several signature annual attractions that make it especially memorable for adults and kids alike.
However, don’t sleep on the many other great things happening all over Dutchess this August! Here is a list of 10 more guaranteed-to-please excursions you should consider as you try to squeeze as much fun as possible into the final weeks of your summer vacation.
Nothing symbolizes a relaxing summer in the country quite like a field of sunflowers, and August is prime sunflower season in the Hudson Valley. There are several upcoming sunflower-themed attractions in Dutchess County you won’t want to miss.
Begins Friday, August 4, 10 a.m. at Hudson Valley Cold Pressed Oils, Pleasant Valley
Cut your own beautiful sunflowers at this popular annual event! The sixth-annual Cut-Your-Own Sunflowers event hosted by the friendly folks at Hudson Valley Cold Pressed Oils in Pleasant Valley features between eight and 10 acres of bountiful blooms. Dates and times are subject to change due to weather and flower availability. To stay up to date on sunflower-cutting events, live music shows and other special events at the farm, click here. In the meantime, feel free to check out the HVCPO website and browse their online shop for many sunflower-based products, including gluten-free sunflower muffin mix, hummus made with sunflower oil and all sorts of sunflower-themed jewelry items and T-shirts. Click here to stay up to date on sunflower-cutting events, live music shows and other special events at the farm.
August 25-27 and September 1-4 at Barton Orchards, Poughquag
Barton Orchards in Poughquag is hosting its fifth-annual Sunflower Festival Aug. 25-27 and Sept. 1-4. Enjoy a scenic hayride to a five-acre field filled with 11 different varieties of sunflowers. Cut your own sunflowers (bring your own shears if you have them) and enjoy live music, wine and beer served next to the field and a variety of craft vendors. The farm market features an assortment of signature jarred products, produce and local products. The Tap Room will be open with 20 local beers and hard ciders on tap, as well as wine and spirits. The kids will love the fun park — with its giant new slide — as well as the petting zoo and the wooden ship playground. The Slip n' Slide will also be open (weather permitting), so bring a towel! Well-behaved dogs are welcome on a leash, or off the leash in the dog park. Click here to purchase tickets. Can't make it to the orchard? Be sure to stop by the Apple Core year-round farmstand in Poughkeepsie for all your Barton Orchards favorites, like apple cider donuts, maple syrup and all sorts of sweet treats, as well as fresh produce, eggs, meat, dairy and unique jarred products. Special orders are always welcome. Call the farmstand at (845) 471-2879.
Weekly, Wednesday through Sunday, until Oct. 21. at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park
The Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site is the only national historic site named after a first lady, which is certainly an honor befitting such an important and influential woman. The wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor embarked on a dynamic political career all her own. A vocal civil rights proponent, Eleanor was the first chairperson of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and was instrumental in the writing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The Roosevelts purchased the Val-Kill property in 1911 and held frequent family picnics there. Eleanor and friends Nancy Cook and Marion Dickerman built Val-Kill Cottage in 1925 as a place they could enjoy together in the country. After Franklin’s death in 1945, Val-Kill became Eleanor’s primary residence. Guests over the years included everyone from national and world leaders to fellow activists and local students. Free guided tours of Val-Kill are available every week on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 31-Oct. 21. The 30-minute tours feature three rooms on the first floor of the cottage. Advance registration is not available, and tickets are issued on a first-come, first-served basis at the Stone Cottage Visitors Center. Click here to learn more.
Aug. 4-13, The Fisher Center at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson
The 33rd Bard Music Festival will explore the life and work of Ralph Vaughan Williams, one of the greatest symphonists of the 20th century. The British composer, who lived from 1872-1958, crafted a variety of orchestral compositions, including nine symphonies, as well as operas, ballets, chamber music and assorted vocal arrangements. Among his most famous symphonies are "A London Symphony” and “Sinfonia Antartica.” The festival, split over the first two weekends in August (Aug. 4-6 and Aug. 10-13) features a broad schedule of programs and panel discussions. To see the complete schedule and to purchase tickets, click here. Chartered coach transportation from New York City is available for select SummerScape and Bard Music Festival programs. Click here for details. To save 20% on Fisher Center tickets, sign up for our FREE Inspiration Finder Arts and Culture mobile pass by clicking here.
Saturday, Aug. 5, 1-5 p.m. at Boutique Wines, Spirits & Ciders, Fishkill
The ancient Greeks referred to mead as the “nectar of the gods” and believed that the honey-based libation was dew sent from heaven and collected by bees. As perhaps the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world – there is evidence of honey fermentation that pre-dates the production of beer and wine -- mead has evolved over thousands of years to include many varieties, from sweet to dry, full-bodied to light, fruited to plain. Boutique Wines Spirits & Ciders invites you to taste your way through this diverse category – for free! The shop has more than 70 types of mead – including products from the Hudson Valley and around the world -- and there will be plenty of them open for sampling during this event. General admission is free (21 and older only). Click here for details.
Sunday, Aug. 6, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Mashomack Preserve, Pine Plains
Local chefs, farmers and craft beverage artisans will join forces at the historic Mashomack Preserve to produce a one-of-a-kind, locally sourced meal that highlights the region’s rich bounty and culinary brilliance. It’s a perfect way to celebrate the great food produced in Dutchess County and support the work of the North East Community Center – all against a backdrop of beautiful scenery. Click here for more details.
Sunday, Aug. 13, 12-5 p.m. at Pete and Toshi Seegar Riverfront Park, Beacon
Featuring fresh-picked, sweet Hudson Valley corn, the Beacon Sloop Club’s annual Corn Festival is a fun, family-friendly event on the banks of the beautiful Hudson River. Admission is free and all are welcome! Enjoy treats such as chilled watermelon and ice-cold, freshly squeezed lemonade and, of course,lots of delicious corn, boiled to perfection and served with butter. Two solar-powered stages will provide live music throughout the day. Numerous food and craft vendors will be on hand. Environmental non-profits will feature displays of local river history and the environment, along with information about their organizations. Families can enjoy plenty of free activities for children. The Beacon Sloop Club’s boat, the sloop “Woody Guthrie,” will be taking guests on free sails from the Beacon Harbor, weather permitting. Sign up at the Beacon Sloop Club table starting at noon. Click here for more information about the club. Free sails aboard the "Woody Guthrie” are open to the public on weekday evenings. To make reservations, please call Susan at (845) 527-8671.
Aug. 19-20, 12-7 p.m. at the MJN Convention Center, Poughkeepsie
Come and feast on all sorts of delicious seafood delights, including shrimp, clams, scallops, oysters, lobster rolls and delicious seafood salads. Not a seafood lover? Then choose from a variety of other options, including meat, vegan and gluten-free offerings. Wash it all down with a variety of domestic and imported beers, ciders, seltzers, wines and margaritas, as well as soft drinks. Enjoy amazing tribute bands playing Bon Jovi, Meatloaf and Billy Joel, and dance to the mixes of DJ Parag, the ultimate Pitbull Party Time Experience. Travel the globe with the “Around the World” ticket and enjoy calamari from Italy, paella from Spain, New England lobster rolls and fish and chips from the United Kingdom. And don’t forget your official red Solo seafood collector’s cup! Click here for ticket options.
Related: CIA Chef Finder Food Lovers Trail
Sunday, Aug. 20, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Hackett Farm Supply, Clinton Corners
This is awesome! The Littlest Farmers Market is Dutchess County's only kid-operated farmers market and it provides a place for kids 12 and younger to come together and sell their products. Products include everything from locally grown fresh produce and flowers to crafts, garments and even herb-infused popsicles! The market will be open this summer on select Sundays. Click here to see the full schedule. The Aug. 20 and Sept. 10 markets will be at Hackett Farm Supply.
Sunday, Aug. 27, 11 a.m. at Millbrook Vineyards and Winery, Millbrook
Whether you’re running for victory or walking the course, this race through the picturesque landscape of Millbrook Vineyards and Winery promises to be a fun time for all! Registration for the chip-timed race includes a T-shirt, a collapsible wine glass, a finisher’s medal – which doubles as a bottle stopper – and, of course, a pour of wine! Race results will be posted online. Click here to register for the race. While you’re there, schedule a wine tasting and sample some of the finest wines the Hudson Valley has to offer. Outdoor wine tastings are available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, May-October. The wine tasting menu changes month to month. Click here to schedule a tasting.
Sunday, Aug. 27, 12-6 p.m. in the Academy Street Historic District, Poughkeepsie
Stroll through Poughkeepsie’s Southside Historic District and enjoy this free, family-friendly live music event that is always a big hit! Walk along Academy, Garfield, Barclay and Montgomery streets to hear local musicians perform right on the front porches of the neighborhood’s beautiful homes! For updates, click here. Plus, stop by 126 Academy Street and drop off non-perishable items for the Poughkeepsie Community Fridge at Adriance Memorial Library! This Oakwood Friends School student-led project addresses food insecurity in the City of Poughkeepsie. Bring along some canned goods, rice, pasta, cereal or other non-perishable items!
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