Now that Thanksgiving has passed and December is rapidly approaching, many people are ready for the holiday season. Radio stations have started playing holiday music, Netflix is featuring seasonal-themed movies and white lights and icicles light up Vassar’s Main Gate (take a peek at night—it is pretty!). Now is the time to take a break from work and embrace the holiday season.
If jumping into the festive spirit has inspired you to venture off campus, here are some ideas that you might enjoy! These activities suit groups, so you can bring your friends or family along to enjoy all that the local area has to offer, including tours of historic homes, holiday treats, local festive gifts and much more.
Arlington Holiday Festival
When: Saturday, Dec. 1, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Vassar College Alumnae House
The Arlington Holiday Festival offers a little something for everyone and is convenient. Just a short walk from main campus, the fair will feature a variety of activities, including a petting zoo and holiday goodies for sale. Worried about finding the perfect gift? Look no further! There will be lots of local and handmade items for sale. Go on an Eggnog Crawl where you can explore the local businesses in Arlington and all they have to offer (you can buy tickets the day of for $5). There will be a parade that will march down Raymond Avenue with Santa arriving at the end via sleigh. To conclude the festive day, the tree will be lit at 5:30 p.m. along with live caroling!
Christmas Open House at the Vanderbilt Mansion
When: Sunday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park, NY
Drive about 20 minutes off campus and experience the holiday spirit at the Vanderbilt Mansion. A national historic site, the mansion will be decorated and filled with holiday cheer. This event is free and perfect for groups. You are welcome to bring a camera and have a holiday photo taken in front of the Christmas tree.
Twilight Tours at Boscobel House and Gardens
When: Saturday, Dec. 1 to Sunday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 8 to Sunday, Dec. 9
Where: Boscobel House and Gardens, Garrison, NY
Visit the beautiful Boscobel home decked out for the holidays. The home, styled for a traditional 19th-century Christmas, is perfect for the history buff craving holiday cheer. Just a 35-minute drive from campus, the candlelit home offers multiple evening tours for $26.
Holiday Craft Fair
When: Saturday, Dec. 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Mid-Hudson Civic Center
The Holiday Craft Fair, located only 15 minutes off campus, is a great place to find gifts for the holiday season. This fair will feature products from the Hudson Valley: From locally sourced pieces to works by artists in the community, the fair incorporates a variety of handicrafts from over 100 vendors. The event is free and there will be raffle prizes as well as live music.
25th Annual Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks
When: Friday, Nov. 30, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: Upper Landing Park, Poughkeepsie Waterfront
This cost-free event, hosted by theWalkway Over the Hudson organization, will feature fireworks over the Hudson. While the walkway will be closed, visitors can sip hot chocolate at the Upper Landing Park on the banks of the Hudson and watch the sky light up with color during a dazzling display.
These events will prepare anyone for our forthcoming winter wonderland.