The sun is shining, the weather is warming and the flowers are blooming — what a great time to visit the Hudson Valley! This Memorial Day Weekend is shaping up to be a great one, with many fun and patriotic events planned right here in Dutchess County. Here is a list of family-friendly activities to help you plan an unforgettable holiday weekend. Keep that camera handy! If you would like, feel free to share your photos here.
"Morning Light: Sunrise at Innisfree"
Saturday, May 27, 4:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at Innisfree Garden, Millbrook
If it's peace and tranquility you crave, this is the event for you! The 185-acre public garden will open about an hour before sunrise for anyone looking to experience the beauty and serenity of the picturesque garden’s natural and designed features as they awaken with the first light of day and are gently bathed in golden sunlight. The Japanese primroses, yellow foxgloves and peonies should be blooming. With its beautiful flowers and plants, breathtaking rock formations and all sorts of wildlife, Innisfree is truly a sight to behold. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest gardens. Bring a picnic breakfast or lunch and spend the whole day! Plus, this event falls on Innisfree's Community Day, so residents of these Northeast Dutchess County communities: Amenia, Clinton Corners, Dover Plains, Millbrook, Millerton, North East, Pine Plains, Stanford, Washington, Wassaic, Wingdale and their hamlets receive free entry into the garden (proof of address required). Click here to register.
Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Stormville Airport, Stormville
With hundreds of vendors lined up, the Stormville Airport Flea Market is a treasure hunter's dream come true. As seen on the HGTV show "Flea Market Flip," you can find anything and everything, including antiques and collectibles, arts and crafts, old treasures and new merchandise. There is something for everyone, so walk, shop, eat and enjoy! Free parking and free admission. For details, click here.
Saturday, Sunday and Monday, May 27-29, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at SplashDown Beach, Fishkill
Here’s one for the kids – and the kids at heart! Start Memorial Day Weekend off with a splash at “America’s Biggest Little Water Park,” which features water slides and attractions for all ages. Get your pulse racing on The Megalodon raft ride or the Humunga Half-Pipe (New York’s only zero-gravity half-pipe). Or cool off and relax as you float down the Croc Creek Wavy Lazy River in your own tube. Plus, coming this summer is the new Pelican Bay Water Playground, which features four new water slides and a 500-gallon dumping bucket. To purchase tickets and season passes, click here.
"Fairy House Hunt" at Locust Grove
Saturday, Sunday and Monday, May 27-29, 10 a.m. at Locust Grove Estate, Poughkeepsie
Kids and families will love the Fairy House Hunt, a scavenger hunt for more than 30 tiny fairy houses hidden among the gardens and trees at Locust Grove. Costumes encouraged! Fairy wings and flower crowns are available for purchase in the museum shop. Click here to purchase tickets. Locust Grove is an Italianate-style villa that was designed in 1850 for Samuel F. B. Morse, the creator of Morse Code. These days, the mansion is open for tours, and the 200 acres of landscaped grounds include five miles of hiking trails.
Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, May 28, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck
Barn Star's motto is "Save Natural Resources, Buy Antiques!" And there will be plenty of antiques at this annual show, which features more than 125 exhibitors' displays spread across three spacious and well-ventilated buildings at the Fairgrounds. The show spans not only centuries, but cultures as well, with antique items of all sorts. Specialty food truck vendors will be serving up a delicious menu. After the show, take some time to visit Historic Rhinebeck Village. $12 per person; parking is free. No pets allowed. To purchase tickets, click here.
"World War I and the End of the Gilded Age"
Monday, May 29, 2 p.m. at Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Staatsburg
Led by a costumed guide, this tour of the Staatsburgh Mansion chronicles how the Mills women and men participated in the war effort and explains how the extravagance of the Gilded Age era withered away in the cataclysm of the Great War. To make the required reservations, click here.
Fishkill: The parade and ceremony will begin at 1 p.m., with the parade marching from Church Street to Main Street and Broad Street, hosted by the Village of Fishkill. There will also be a Memorial Day Service at the Fishkill Rural Cemetery led by Major Patricia Greaves, Chaplin USMA, from 11 a.m. to noon.
Millbrook: Parade and ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. at Franklin Avenue and Tribute Garden Park, hosted by Millbrook VFW Post 9008. Guest speaker: Air Force Colonel Edward M. Soto.
North East/Millerton: Parade will begin at 10 a.m. and march from the Millerton Fire House to Veterans Park on Main Street for a ceremony, hosted by Millerton American Legion Post 178.
Pawling: Parade will begin at 10 a.m. and march from the Chamber of Commerce on Memorial Drive to the ceremony at Veteran Memorial Plaza at the Village Green, hosted by American Legion Hasler Kamp Post 215.
Pine Plains: Parade and ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. (the parade will march from Pine Plains Firehouse to Town Clock Memorial to Evergreen Cemetery), hosted by Shekomeko American Legion Post 426 and Pine Plains VFW Post 5519.
Poughkeepsie: Ceremony will start at 11 a.m. at the Dutchess County War Memorial at John K. Rinaldi Park, hosted by Dutchess County Executive William F.X. O'Neil and the Dutchess County Division of Veterans Services. Guest speaker: U.S. Navy SEAL Alex Othmer.
Red Hook: Parade will begin at 10 a.m. and march from Red Hook High School to Memorial Square Park, where there will be a ceremony hosted by VFW Post 7765.