Stay local: Shop, play and have some fun

| 30 Sep 2011 | 08:37

There’s much to do in the Hudson Valley for local residents looking for an afternoon out As the fall leaves continue to fall, officials of Orange County Tourism remind area residents there are still many things to do even as the weather begins to get colder. It’s your last chance this year to visit the 50th anniversary exhibits at the Storm King Art Center. Sculpture and landscape dot this 500-acre park. It closes for the season on Nov. 14. Even though there’s no sign of snow, the ice skating rink at Bear Mountain State Park is open every day except Wednesdays in November. Sip hot chocolate at the indoor carousel or stroll through the Trailside Zoo. Looking for a little bit more adventure? Take the kids to the batting cages, miniature golf, go karts, laser maze and arcade at the Castle Family Fun Center in Chester. It’s half-price from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in November. A special Veteran’s Day tribute is set for 2 p.m. on Nov. 13 at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in Vails Gate, but you can catch the exhibits at this museum throughout the year. Celebrate Thanksgiving in three different ways at two historic sites. Museum Village in Monroe cooks a traditional open hearth Thanksgiving feast on Nov. 13 for dinner guests. The next day, you can still taste cooking from the open hearth as you tour the buildings and view a wide range of handcrafts for sale. Brick House, an 18-century estate in Montgomery, features authentic holiday arrangements in each of the 10 rooms of the historic home, also on the 14. Holidays also inspire gift giving, something to think about when you visit Orange County’s wineries. The Hudson Valley Hard Cider Experience at Applewood Winery on Nov. 6 and 7 is an opportunity to taste what you’re giving, or even buying for yourself. Make a trip to nearby Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery for fresh baked goods from Pane Bistro Café, a glass of wine, and the rock and blues band playing on weekends. You’ll also find a shop for the wine lover on your list. Shop at the Sugar Loaf Art and Crafts Village where stores are filled with handcrafted items. On the second Saturday of the month, stores serve wine and hors d’oeuvres with extended hours. Special guest artists will be at Gillinder Glass on Nov. 6, 7 and 26. The Neversink Valley Area Museum in Cuddebackville will host a craft fair on Nov. 28. And don’t miss the “After Thanksgiving Midnight Madness” event that same weekend at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley Cool temperatures invite hikes on the Appalachian Trail and long bike rides on the Heritage Rail Trail, or choose from hundreds of special happenings on the events calendar at Spend some time at performances on the stages of Eisenhower Hall at West Point and the Lycian Centre in Sugar Loaf. Eisenhower Hall presents Toby Keith on Nov. 11, and the Moscow Ballet’s Nutcracker on Nov. 13. November offerings at Lycian include “Oklahoma” on Nov. 11, and the rock and roll show “Alice and Wonderland” on Nov. 13. The Rogowski Farm in Pine Island offers “Breakfast on the Farm” in its farm kitchen every Saturday and Sunday year round, where you can also stock up on some fresh produce for your holiday meals. A later breakfast can be found every Sunday at Bear Mountain’s Overlook Lodge, where its buffet Champagne Brunch has been a tradition for many years. The Sunday Champagne Brunch at West Point’s Thayer Hotel, overlooking the Hudson River, is a place to go before sightseeing at the U.S Military Academy. Visit, or call 615-3860 for more information.