A trio of laughing friends step out of a cafe and walk toward an art gallery, in which a complementary-whiskey tasting table has claimed a corner. A neighboring boutique sends guests on their way with thoughtfully packaged wares. Along the sidewalk, trees glow with warm string lights as pale pink clouds roll in above. This is a typical scene at any of the various monthly night markets around the Hudson Valley, and just one reason why they’re so magnetic.
During these community-wide events, businesses typically stay open late—and many offer specials—so that tourists and locals alike can shop, nosh, and celebrate the culture of a neighborhood. The after-hours allure takes the convivial community vibe typically found at farmers’ markets and gives it a night-out atmosphere commenced by happy-hour specials and the live soundtrack of local musicians.
Night markets generally occur once a month on a fixed schedule rather than date—second Fridays, fourth Saturdays, and so on. Most take place early enough that you can bring the whole family and run late enough for evening fun that still gets you home in time for a full eight hours.
Taste the food. Peruse the shops, browse the art, appreciate the music. Sample whatever they hand you. Here are a few of the Hudson Valley's most happening monthly night markets.
Eastdale Second Fridays in Poughkeepsie
Eastdale Village on the outskirts of Poughkeepsie continues to bring in new and exciting businesses, and every Second Friday of the month, their wide array of shops and eateries celebrate with a fete at Cottage Square from 6pm to 9pm, May through October. In addition to Eastdale’s resident businesses, guest food trucks like The Grille Wagon, The Cluck Truck, or Cousins Maine Lobster feed the masses, with wine and beer by The Bar on West & Main, backed by live music from a different local band each month. Outdoor seating is available, or visitors can bring a blanket or camp chair for lounging. View the full food and music lineup online.
Beacon Second Saturdays
No matter how Beacon continues to evolve, the arts prove to be a foundational draw to the riverside city. Every second Saturday of the month, art galleries along Main Street and beyond—like Dia: Beacon, BAU Gallery, and many others—stay open late, offering viewings (and products for purchase, of course), in addition to gallery talks, live music, and more. Shops and other businesses partake of the fun as well, and many offer discounts, art pop-ups, or wine and food tastings. Most businesses stay open until 9pm. View additional details about participating galleries at beaconarts.org.
Third Thursdays at the Rosendale Theater
Alright, this is not exactly a “market,” but it’s still a great opportunity to support local arts—and it goes with our sporadic-date theme. The Rosendale Theater features a variety show every third Thursday, with multiple acts per night ranging “from poets to puppets, from folk to funk.” Past performers have included comedians Danny Mendez and Shannon Cooke, local bands Sonic Soul and Ramona Lane, and others on stage at the historic theater. Admission cost is a requested donation, with all proceeds going toward programming.
Last Fridays at Water Street Market
New Paltz’s Water Street Market is a tucked-away alleyway of shops, bars, cafes, and gathering spaces at the edge of the village. This year, businesses went all-in on creating a night market—organized by cheese/plant/beer cafe Grazery—that has quickly gained a devoted following of locals, tourists, and a general post-college crowd. The last Friday of each month from 5pm to 9pm, you can expect live music and pop-up culinary treats at Grazery, summery cocktails or wine pops at Jar’d, coffee and craft brew at Mudd Puddle, and more. Last month's event featured spirits tastings and art at Cronin Gallery, lobster rolls and oysters by Oyster Party, and other indulgences. Keep the good times rolling at an after-party with a dance-music DJ upstairs at The Parish.
Fourth Saturdays in Kingston
The Kingston Waterfront Business Association is hosting their monthly night market in the city’s Rondout neighborhood for the first time in five years this season, on every fourth Saturday from May through September. Stroll the riverside promenade after shopping and eating your way down the main drag, enjoying al fresco activities, pop-up shops and snacks, store discounts, live music, and more from 6pm to 8pm. The event kicked off in May with a Rock Academy performance at TR Gallo Park at 4:30pm, followed by an array of culinary pop-ups and live music around the neighborhood, prosecco specials at Brunette, a beer garden at Savona’s, discounts at Milne, the debut of dinner at Rosie General, and more fun and food than you could possibly squeeze into two hours. View the details for the upcoming monthly happenings at thekingstonwaterfront.com.