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Holiday Events Round-up 

click to enlarge WALTER HILL
  • Walter Hill

December is here once again, bringing with it holiday cheer, decorations, and celebrations in the Hudson Valley. All month long, the region offers plenty of events and activities to enjoy this time of year. Whether you prefer light shows, fireworks, shopping, or simply reveling in the season with old friends and new, there are a variety of performances and festivals to suit every taste. Even with a chill in the air and snow on the ground, the Hudson Valley continues to prove itself as the best place to spend the winter season. Continue on a family tradition or let 2015 be the year to start a new one. See a show, or see three. Since it can be difficult to pick, here are a few options for things to do this month.

Boscobel Sparkle 2015

Fridays and Saturdays in December offer the chance to explore a winter wonderland at Boscobel House and Gardens Sparkle 2015. Visit Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus in the Sparkle Garden, awe at the Sparkle Queen Stilt Walker, enjoy demonstrations, and take a tour of the estate's grounds. Candlelit paths and displays light up the night at Boscobel, a sure way to delight both the youngest and oldest guests. Tickets $10 to $25. Boscobel.org

Frozendale Festival

Main Street in Rosendale hosts the Frozendale Festival on December 12, showcasing its array of shops, galleries, and theaters. Whether or not the day is as cold as the name implies, a list of events and activities will take place throughout the day, as will a Winter Gift Sale at two locations. The full schedule is available on the Town of Rosendale's website, as well as more info on the community. Townofrosendale.com

A Gilded Age Christmas

Staatsburgh State Historic Site has decked the halls of Mills Mansion for the season, and it's open for tours 12 to 4pm, Thursday through Sunday between November 27 and December 20, as well as every day between December 26 and the end of the year. Visit the extravagant mansion while it's decorated for the holidays and stop by the shop for a gift straight from the Gilded Age. Nysparks.com

It's a Wonderful Life

Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center will be presenting a live radio play of the holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life on select days this December. The performance will mimic an authentic `40s-style radio broadcast and will be hosted by Joe Daily from Q92 and Steve Andrews from the WSUS "Morning Show." In addition, the performance will benefit both Catholic Charities and Sugar Loaf PAC. Adult tickets are $30, and tickets for children under 16 are $15. Sugarloafpac.org

Winter Walk

Warren Street in Hudson is hosting its Winter Walk for the 19th year. From 5 to 8pm on December 5, stop by the festive, decorated thoroughfare and visit Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, Santa's reindeer, and various other characters, street performers, and carolers. Activities and performances will take place along the walk, culminating in a fireworks show launched from Promenade Hill to light up the night sky. Though the event officially ends at eight, businesses and restaurants will continue to celebrate long into the evening. Hudsonoperahouse.org

Sinterklaas

Sinterklaas Festival Day in Rhinebeck is Saturday, December 5. The festival takes place all over the Village of Rhinebeck, and rings in the season as the Dutch settlers would, celebrating children as the bringers of light in this dark time of year. The festival is named for the Dutch patron Sinterklaas, but is all-inclusive and nondenominational for fun across all cultural lines. Honor and celebrate your community and the peace and hope it brings to the world this year and for years to come. Sinterklaashudsonvalley.com

Polar Express

The Polar Express arrives in Kingston this year and the Catskill Mountain Railroad will be hosting the festivities through December 27. Whether you're a believer in Santa Claus or not, catch the train at Kingston Plaza for an evening of winter celebration. Adult tickets are $36, and tickets for children 2-11 are $29. Catskillmtrailroad.com

Work:Shop Holiday Artisan Market

The third annual Work:Shop Holiday Artisan Market takes place December 5 and 6 in Beacon. In addition to its unique venue at Wickham Solid Wood Studio, the market will feature a collection of 17 local artisans as well as nibbles from local eateries and drinks from Denning's Point Distillery. Head over to the renovated hat factory on Main Street and pick out handmade gifts for loved ones this holiday season, or pick out something nice for yourself. Worskshop.virb.com

A Charlie Brown Christmas

NYCA and the Woodstock Playhouse present a double feature of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "The Tailor of Gloucester" December 4, 5, and 6. The two short plays come together for a night of Christmas cheer and childhood delight for both the young and old in attendance. After the performance, pose for photos in a Holiday Wonderland and enjoy cookies and cider. Tickets are $18 for children and seniors, $21 for adults. Woodstockplayhouse.org

Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks

Poughkeepsie's annual Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks is on Friday, December 4, starting at 6:30pm. The procession will lead to a first Christmas tree lighting on Main Street, continuing to Dongan Square Park for a second, and will culminate with the fireworks display along Poughkeepsie's waterfront. To view the fireworks from the Walkway, interested members may do so for free while nonmembers may pay a donation of $5. At 8pm, the Bardavon will be screening Miracle on 34th Street. Bardavon.org

Snowflake Festival

The Kingston Uptown Business Association will host the annual Snowflake Festival in Uptown Kingston on Friday, December 4, from 5 to 8:30pm. The Festival includes free performances and events, as well as the option to take photos with Santa, take horse and buggy rides, or enter to win a bike raffle. The Business Association also encourages making dinner reservations at one of the many restaurants in Uptown Kingston and making a night of it. Facebook.com

A Christmas Carol

Half Moon Theatre will present "A Christmas Carol" at the Culinary Institute of America the first three weekends of December. Halfmoontheatre.org. During the week leading up to Christmas Day, Walking the Dog Theater in Hudson will be performing "A Christmas Carol" exactly as Dickens wrote it, including descriptive passages. Wtdtheater.org. Beacon Players will present "A Christmas Carol" with the option of a preshow lunch with Santa. Beaconplayers.com. Ulster Ballet will also have performances of "A Christmas Carol" at UPAC during the first weekend of December. Bardavon.org

The Nutcracker

Catskill Ballet Theatre presents "The Nutcracker" during the second weekend of December at UPAC. The annual production is a tradition for many families and schools. A discounted rate of $22 per ticket is available for groups of 10 or more. Catskillballet.org. The same weekend, New Paltz Ballet Theatre will be performing "The Nutcracker" at the Bardavon, featuring dancers from the New York City Ballet. Bardavon.org

—Mary Looram

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