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Hudson Valley Adventures: Year in Review 2019

Flags at the entrance of the NY Renaissance Faire

I personally love reading recap posts on other people’s blogs because I find it both fun and inspiring to reflect with people on their past year, where they went, the goals they accomplished — and the ones they didn’t — so I thought I’d start a tradition of my own and reflect on my Hudson Valley Adventures from 2019.

This past year was definitely better than the year before. I overcame some personal fears and learned so much about myself, blogging and photography.

I did more ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ stuff, though than ‘Going-out-and-Exploring’ stuff. I do not regret a minute of it because I can honestly say that I learned so much.

While I’ve loved trying out new things on the blog and visiting new places, I also realized that the Hudson Valley still has so much to offer and I need to get my butt off this chair and off this computer and get to exploring.

Below, I’m listing the places I went to and the things I did in 2019. I’m also going to share some of my goals and plans for the upcoming year, so make sure to read all the way until the end!

A Year in Review of Hudson Valley Adventures

My 2019 Hudson Valley Adventures

Wing Wars VS Wing Fest

Eating wings at the Wing Wars Fest
Servers at Wing Fest, in the Hudson Valley, dishing out. Eating is always a part of my Hudson Valley Adventures

I’m a big foodie and I’d love to try every restaurant and food festival in the Hudson Valley, but that would take a lot more time and money than I imagine in my head.

One good way of trying some new foods while having a Hudson Valley Adventure is by partaking in the many food festivals in the region.

Although many restaurants come and go, food festivals are here to stay and are always a BIG hit in the Hudson Valley. I love all types of food and I hope to be able to attend some more great Food Festivals in 2020.

The Hudson Valley Wing Wars and Hudson Valley Wing Fest were both similar events but shared some differences. If you’re a chicken wing lover, then these festivals are for you!

Read more about my visits to both Wing Wars AND Wing Fest

Visiting the West Point Museum & Visitors Center

The front of the West Point Museum

On a chilly rainy day, I made my way to West Point Museum and was pleasantly surprised by, not only the museum but also by the Visitors Center. While the Museum was my focal point of visiting the area, I was happy with the abundance of information at the Frederic V Malek West Point Visitors Center.

The Visitors Center is home to the West Point Cadet Experience Exhibit. This is an educational and candid look at a Cadet’s typical day and their course of action throughout their time at the Academy.

This visit was a perfect mixture of military history and present-day life in this historic region of New York.

Read more about my visit to the West Point Museum & the Frederic V Malek West Point Visitors Center

A Visit to DIA:Beacon

Exhibits at the DIA:Beacon

Beacon is, so far, my favorite place to visit and walk around in. It gives off an artistic vibe that is infectious. I can spend the whole day there and my visit to DIA:Beacon for one of my Hudson Valley adventures did not disappoint.

Going to DIA: Beacon for the first time excited me. It is a different kind of art experience. Artwork hung ON walls, hung FROM the ceiling and piled ON the floor. These are just some of the images you will see when visiting this splendid location.

Read more about my visit to DIA:Beacon

Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum

The upstairs science space of the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum

Although my kids are now teenagers, I was lucky enough to get a one-to-one tour of the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum in Poughkeepsie. And, it made me wish I was a kid again!

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is not a glorified play space. It is an Authentic Learning Space. As someone with a Degree in Early Childhood Education, I appreciate the time they have taken to educate families and caregivers about WHY the materials are there and HOW their children are learning.

This superb family place hosts many special events throughout the year. Make sure to add it to your list.

Read more about my visit to the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum

A Great Afternoon at the NY Renaissance Faire

Horseman at the Joust at the NY Renaissance Faire

On a hot and sunny summer’s day, we took a drive to Sterling Forest and immersed ourselves in the glory of the NY Renaissance Faire. I loved being surrounded by armor and gowns and, best of all, FAIRIES!

This Premier Medieval Festival in NY hosts thousands of visitors each and every year. This, by far, is my favorite Hudson Valley festival and is more than a festival full of magical and mystical creatures. It’s a day of fun the whole family will love.

Read more about all the fun at the NY Renaissance Faire

An Evening at The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

dinosaur display the blaze wm

An evening at The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is like no other. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, is the Tri-State Area’s Biggest Fall Event. 

Even though the thought of seeing 7,000+ carved pumpkins in one location is impressive enough, you can’t even begin to imagine some of the creations made with all of these carved jack-o’-lanterns. It is a fun evening for the entire family!

Buy your tickets early, as it usually sells out quickly.

Read all about The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Making an ornament @ Hudson Beach Glass

Orange and black glass Beacon ornament
Ornaments hanging by back wall at Hudson Beach Glass

I stumbled upon the glass blowing studio at Hudson Beach Glass by accident. I was taking a walk in Beacon and opened the front door to Hudson Beach Glass and noticed another door to the right. And that is where this Hudson Valley Adventure began!

Making my own glass ornament was an awesome experience. These one-of-a-kind experiences are what makes the Hudson Valley so special. This area is so full of art and artists that it doesn’t take going far to experience something magnificent.

Read my full recap of the experience here

Union Church at Pocantico Hills

Chagall stained glass and Henri Matisse adorn this simpple church in Westchester County, NY

Another place that surprised me this year was Union Church at Pocantico Hills. I had heard about the beautiful stained glass windows created by Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall house at the church, but I was not expecting to be marveled by this experience.

Union Church is a darling church situated on quiet Westchester County road. This church and its active congregation take great pride in being able to showcase these magnificent pieces of art. And Magnificent they are!!!

Read about my visit to Union Church at Pocantico Hills

A Visit to Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers

The prettiest of all views from Yonkers Parks is from Untermyer Park and Garden

Can you believe this magical place exists in the Hudson Valley? In Westchester County, you can find a ‘Walled Garden’ discreetly tucked away next to a Yonkers community center and ‘hidden’ from plain sight.  

This public park and gardens are a massive 43-acres and encompass the most breathtaking Grecian sculptures found in the Lower Hudson Valley. This ‘Hidden’ garden is not only majestic during the warmer months when the flowers are in full bloom but remain that way throughout the year. 

Read all about Untermyer Park & Garden

What are my main takeaways from this year’s Hudson Valley Adventures?

It was a busy year of exploring and wandering all around the Hudson Valley, as well as, building this blog. These Hudson Valley Adventures taught me that I find joy in simple things.

The moments that matter the most are ones that I’m able to reflect and enjoy the experience without feeling rushed. I, honestly, get anxious during tours. I’m a ‘wandering around’ kinda gal.

My photography has also evolved and I have the privilege of being able to experiment and work on my craft without the pressure of having clients.

Because of this, in 2020 I want to see more places, write more content and begin to take more videos and build up my YouTube channel.

I hope this post inspires you to go out and explore the Hudson Valley this coming year.

Chase your dreams & do what you love! Have your own Hudson Valley Adventures and tell me all about them!

Here’s to a new year full of love, happiness, health, and adventures!


Sharing is Caring!
When visiting these local attractions, be sure to tell them that you found them on Hudson Valley Exposed!


Explore my Hudson Valley Map

My interactive map features all of the attractions, parks, museums and businesses I’ve featured to date! My blog posts are linked to each location.

Be sure to zoom in and/or out in order to see all the places.

Symbol Key for Map

Until the Next Adventure…

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About Author

Jackie is the HV blogger behind Hudson Valley Exposed, featuring the hottest things to do, places to see and weekend getaways. Get information from a local who is seeing it all! She lives in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region with her hubby, kids, and doggies.

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