Holiday Celebrations and Shopping
Holiday spirit is highly infectious, but one trip to any mall will guarantee immunity well past New Year’s Eve. Our small town holiday festivals, on the other hand, are veritable petri dishes of the stuff. Attend any or several of the many scattered throughout our region and you may find holly spontaneously sprouting in your heart.
Now - December 31
Home for the Holidays at Ventfort Hall
The Lenox mansion, built in 1893, is decorated for the holidays and offers fun for both children and adults through to New Year’s Eve, including a dramatic reading of The Curious Abduction of Mona Lisa, Cinderella marionette shows with puppeteer Carl Sprague, and Christmas tea with an Edwardian lady.
Friday, December 13 - Sunday, December 15
Crispina’s Holiday Shindy
Participants gather from near and far to sell truly notable handmade items ranging from decorative and utilitarian craft, to specialty food and body products. Everything is made by the sellers. Live minstrel-style music and healthful, delicious food for on-site lunching round out the experience staged in the former RC church turned artspace located at 40 Melville St., right in the heart of Pittsfield’s UpStreet Cultural District.
Saturday, December 14
Festival of Trees Family Day
Bring the family to the Berkshire Museum and enjoy the sounds, sights, and tastes of the holiday season with a full day of fun. View the decorated trees, encounter amazing animals with Richard Roth of Creature Teachers, decorate cookies, and enjoy the voices of the Blafield Children’s Chorus and Berkshire Singers performing holiday favorites.
Now - December 31
Staatsburgh Gilded Age Christmas
No need to say “bah humbug” at Staatsburgh State Historic Site, with a full month of lavish holiday decorations and special programs. A Gilded Age Christmas features the popular Holiday Whodunit, where children are invited to solve a “history mystery” which includes a search for the miniature houses of Mistletoe Mouse tucked into various rooms in the mansion, and a chance to win a special prize. The gift shop also will be open, with an array of jewelry, books, scarves, keepsakes, and gifts.
Saturday, December 14 & Sunday, December 15, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
EX-MAS Winter Market
Hudson River Exchange brings you a market filled with gifts made and collected by regional artisans and vendors. Enjoy live music and snacks while shopping the 30+ vendors inside a heated tent—lounge on hay bales, sip on hot cider, maybe even hula-hoop—at 704 Columbia Street (7th Street Park, one block from Warren Street).
Saturday, December 14 & Sunday, December 15
Clermont State Historic Site
Come see Clermont all dressed up for the holidays, with a weekend of family-themed events. The historic site hosts children’s stories underneath the Christmas tree, an open house, a holiday party, and candlelight tours.
Saturday, December 14 @ 5 p.m.
This celebration promises something for everyone; shop at the stores, sample the food, and enjoy entertainment such as caroling and hay rides. The big highlight of the evening is the parade down Main Street featuring local celebrities and, of course, Santa.
Saturday, December 21, 3 - 5 p.m.
Kwanzaa Umoja Celebration
Hudson Opera House hosts a celebration with crafts for children and performances featuring dancers from their workshops with Anthony Molina and Kuumba Dance & Drum programs. A candle lighting ceremony and the sharing of the Nguzo Saba (the seven principles of Kwanzaa) by community members will be followed by “Karamu” supper and the giving of Zawadi (gifts for children).
Now - December 29
Wilderstein Historic Site
Florists and designers have transformed the riverfront mansion into a magical holiday wonderland. Come see the result for yourself by taking a Holiday House Tour (tours run every weekend), or enjoy fine tea, finger sandwiches, and homemade cakes and cookies at a Yuletide Tea on December 14.
Saturday, December 14, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
WORK:SHOP—a Curated Holiday Artisan Sale
Wickham Solid Wood Studio in Beacon hosts a sale featuring high-quality small goods produced by 15 Hudson Valley-based businesses. This is a great chance to acquire affordable pieces from some extraordinary makers. Goods include art prints, stoneware, jewelry, ceramics, wood pieces, glassware, and other fine handiwork.
Saturday, December 14, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
FDR Presidential Library and Museum
Free admission to the museum in Hyde Park, where there will be holiday decorations, refreshments, and special activities all day, including the annual Children’s Reading Festival beginning at Noon in the Henry A. Wallace Center. Children’s book authors, including Hudson Valley author and illustrator Iza Trapani, will read from and sign copies of their books. In addition, there will be free photos with Santa from 1-3 p.m., and children can make holiday cards for sailors on the USS FRANKLIN AND ELEANOR ROOSEVELT beginning at Noon.
Friday, December 13, 6 p.m.
Holiday in the Depot
Washington Depot’s town-wide celebration features a tree-lighting ceremony, caroling, wagon rides, and other fun. This is a great time to buy local, as businesses will be open late and offering sales, specials, and giveaways. Be sure to stop in at The Hickory Stick Bookshop and visit with author Wendell Minor, and the National Iron Bank for cookie decorating and hot chocolate.
Saturday, December 14, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Torrington Makers Market
The Market is a curated retail show featuring the freshest artisans from CT, NY, MA, and RI who will proffer their handmade toys, jewelry, fine art, quilts, clothing, repurposed antiques, and more (a purse from The Love, Mich Collection shown above). This event takes place inside several different spaces along Main Street and Water Street in downtown Torrington.