5 Things to Do in the Hudson Valley Before Winter is Over | General Arts & Culture | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
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5 Things to Do in the Hudson Valley Before Winter is Over 

click to enlarge punxsutawney_phil_2018.jpg

Whether you subscribe to the Farmer’s Almanac or you go by the standard Gregorian calendar, the official first day of Spring varies, but without a doubt it is coming soon. On February 2, trusty ol’ groundhog Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow, a sure omen of early spring (only the 18th time this has happened since the tradition started in 1887).

We are all more than ready for longer days, birdsong, and the bright green of new buds, but before that let’s squeeze out the last of what winter has to offer. Here are five things to do in the Hudson Valley before winter is good and done.

1. Go Ice Skating

While ice skating doesn't compare to the adrenaline rush of skiing down a Black Diamond slope, it has its own elegant exhilaration. The pleasure of gliding weightlessly across ice (until you invariably fall) offers a sensory experience unlike any other. Ice skating is a terrific wintertime cardio workout that builds core and posterior-chain strength, and it has lasting benefits for balance and proprioception, that sense of bodily awareness that gives us grace and poise. On a crisp winter's day, lots of Hudson Valley park ponds are open for skating, or if you'd prefer a Zambonied rink, here are 6 Hudson Valley skating destinations.

2. Winter Walk through Art Omi

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Set on 120 acres in rural Columbia County, Art Omi is a remote sculpture and architecture park and gallery well worth the pilgrimage. Installed at the Fields Sculpture Park at Art Omi in January, Christopher Wool's Untitled is a large-scale bronze and copper plated steel sculpture with a quicksilver personality. From one angle, the sculpture—made from ranching wire found on his property in Texas—looks like a tangled nest of telephone cable; from another, a free-form take on a motorcycle in motion. Untitled adds to the profusion of wondrous outdoor sculpture at this year-round art attraction in Ghent. Through December 31.

3. Delve into Dia:Beacon

Charlotte Posenenske, Vierantrohr (Square Tube), Series D, 1967. Installation view, Offenbach, Germany, 1967. - © ESTATE OF CHARLOTTE POSENENSKE. COURTESY ESTATE OF CHARLOTTE POSENENSKE, MEHDI CHOUAKRI, BERLIN AND PETER FREEMAN, NEW YORK
  • © Estate of Charlotte Posenenske. Courtesy Estate of Charlotte Posenenske, Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin and Peter Freeman, New York
  • Charlotte Posenenske, Vierantrohr (Square Tube), Series D, 1967. Installation view, Offenbach, Germany, 1967.

If trekking through the snow to see art is not on your list of fun ways to spend a Saturday, why not take advantage of the off-season to tour Dia:Beacon, Dutchess County’s world-class contemporary art museum. Dia is home to an impressive collection of work by modern titans ranging from Louise Bourgeois to Dan Flavin. Here’s a pro tip: to skip the $15 admission, head to Dia:Beacon on the last Sunday of any given month for Community Free Day. (Beacon residents enter free every weekend.) Take advantage of the gratis entry to wander through the colossal, rusted steel sculptures of Richard Serra and ponder the mind-bending string works of Fred Sandback. On March 8, the museum debuted a new Charlotte Posenenske exhibition— first American retrospective in 51 years since she renounced art. "Charlotte Posenenske: Work in Progress" will remain on display through September 9.

4. Sip a Winter Cocktail

5 Year Run at A&P Bar in Woodstock, NY
  • 5 Year Run at A&P Bar in Woodstock, NY

Winter cocktails typically come in the form of toddies, mulled wine and ciders, flips, milk punches, and other cocktail styles that have a way of warming the body (and soul). While a hot drink is comforting, sometimes a balanced bourbon-based sour has everything that you need to stay warm during the winter months. Seek out any craft cocktail bar worth its margarita salt and you’re sure to find a bevy of seasonal drinks. Or check out our list of top 5 winter cocktails in the Hudson Valley.

5. Host a Wintercue

click image COURTESY OF HBPA
  • Courtesy of HBPA
Grill culture in America is going strong, especially as the variety of cooking methods available has increased. While gas grills reigned supreme for nearly a decade, new technology offers pellet, wood-fired, and convection grills to name a few. Charcoal is vying for a comeback, smoking is on the rise, and Kamado-style cooking has taken off. No longer is barbequing just a thing to do summer while you’re already lounging on the deck. People love their grills so much they are taking to the outdoors in winter to grill in a new phenomenon called wintercuing. Unsure of how to proceed with your winter BBQ? There is a whole website to help you out.

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