1.Sinterklaas! (Rhinebeck) This Dutch tradition brought over from the Netherlands, will be celebrated on December 5th, 2015, in Rhinebeck. This re-creation held in the Hudson valley includes a massive parade, a cookie tree, and Dutch bakery treats. “Every year we witness Sinterklaas at our restaurant across the street. It’s always interesting to see the crazy costumes in the parade, and be a part of the vibrant atmosphere” said Lily Hickey, an employee in the Rhinebeck area. Bringing an old tradition to the Hudson valley is a fun and different take on Christmas that definitely differs from the norm.
2. Watt Christmas Wonderland (Goshen) A massive estate located in Goshen, has been open since 2005 to exhibit extensive Christmas decorations as well as illuminating light displays. During December the mansion that was once haunted in October is turned into a Christmas wonderland offering a small drive through Christmas town.
3.Taconic Advent (Milan, Taconic Range) What has started this past Sunday is the Taconic Advent Lantern display. This is a 26 day event in which each day lanterns will be lit and released to represent 26 days of Christmas. On the first day, one lantern was released, the second day two lanterns, and so on and so forth. The final day will be Christmas Eve in which 26 lanterns will be released at once and sent high into the air.
4.ERDAJT Holiday Light Display (LaGrangeville) Seen on ABC, FOX, CNN and CBS news, is the house belonging to the Gay’s, a five person family that puts on a massive Christmas light show every year. With a provided playlist that accompanies the light display, visitors can drive through and watch the light display from the warmth of their cars. “The Display is computerized and there are 1080 individually controlled items outsides. As Lou Young put it on CBS last year, we have an entire vistas of lights” said Timothy Gay, the owner of the home and father of the family. “We will have our 9th marriage proposal at our display this year”. This massive light display offers multiple show times through the holiday season that you can find here.
5.A Frosty Fest (Ulster Park) What normally hosts haunted hayrides, and headless horseman tours is now an event filled holiday light spectacular. Located in ulster Park is Frosty Fest, an event including Candy Cane Lane, a drive thru enchanted forest, a magical mansion, a 3-D walk through tour, and more.
6.Marist Christmas Tree (Poughkeepsie) Although the tree was lit this past Sunday, the light display is something to drive by and witness any night of the week. “I was at the tree lighting, and I try to drive by it when it gets dark anytime I can. We see them putting up the lights for weeks in advance and it really is incredible to look at” said Kelsey Zappora, a student at Marist College. The massive tree display stays lit until after Christmas
7.A Holiday on Huguenot Street (New Paltz) Located at the New Paltz Reform church on Friday December 4th is an evening filled with hourly evens on Huguenot Street. Starting with a street holiday tour at 4pm and continuing with pop up shops, performances by the church choir, a massive Christmas tree lighting, and ending with a free concert from the Big Blue Band. The vent continues into the weekend with multiple hourly events that you can register for here.
8.Kevin McCurdy’s Holiday Spirit festival (Wappingers Falls) Celebrating its 11th anniversary. Kevin McCurdy’s Holiday Spirit festival includes holiday tunnels, twinkling light displays, an enchanted forest and much more. Named one of In Car and Travels top 20 Christmas events in America, this festival includes massive events that incorporate old Christmas themes and various walk through villages. Open Friday Saturday and Sunday through Dec 27th with tickets available online.
9.Holiday Lights in Bloom (Orange County Arboretum) Located in Goshen on Cornwall is a free program that incorporated Holiday lights with beautiful flower displays. Throughout December the arboretum will be in full bloom with garden themed Christmas lights displaying a variety of flowers, trees, and insects. The various gardens offer a different take on the holidays as it incorporates the beauty of spring with the illumination of the holidays and winter. “We like to visit it ever year” said Kaitlin Bond, who lives a town over from Cornwall. “It’s a quick trip from my house, and it’s just an easy free thing to do on a Sunday night”.
10.Christmas on Colden Hill (Newburgh)Similarly to the ERDAJT holiday light display is this animated light display which is open to the public every night in December. Visitors can tune in to 102.5 FM during the running of the show, and listen to the accompany music that goes with the light display. This display is an easy and inexpensive activity to help get you in the holiday spirit any night of the week.