It’s certainly easy to begin daydreaming about the forthcoming springtime once February rolls around — but wait! Winter in the Hudson Valley has a charm all its own, and here in Dutchess County, there are so many sights and experiences that are guaranteed to captivate your heart and warm your soul. From world-class cuisine and masterful works of art to breathtaking views and fascinating history, Dutchess has it all. Check out this list of the Top 10 February events in Dutchess County and embrace the tranquility of winter in the Hudson Valley.
Speaking of embracing, stay tuned for updates on Valentine’s Day events and find your romantic side. If you’re in need of a relaxing getaway this winter, be sure to read our spotlight articles on Winter Travel Perks and Deals in Dutchess and Winter Road Trip to These Quaint Towns to help plan your escape.
February is also Black History Month, and there are many examples throughout history of people who heroically championed the causes of justice, equality and progress for African Americans right here in Dutchess County, from the Abolitionist Movement through the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. Click here to learn more.
As always, keep your camera handy. To share your photos, click here, and be sure to tag @DutchessTourism on social media.
Saturday, Feb. 3, 6 p.m. at Farquharson Hall, Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park
One of the CIA’s signature dining events, the ninth-annual Beefsteak dinner is a one-of-a-kind feast featuring unlimited beef, beer and bourbon. Get ready to sing and dance along with live music, enjoy great food and drink, and celebrate the camaraderie of the evening as you sit elbow-to-elbow with other guests at communal tables. Click here to purchase tickets.
Related: Dutchess Tourism’s CIA Chef Finder is a digital passport that helps you find Culinary Institute of America chefs who create world-class cuisine in the heart of New York’s Hudson Valley.
Saturday, Feb. 3, throughout the Village of Wappingers Falls
The first Saturday of each month is an occasion to celebrate all that is wonderful in the Village of Wappingers Falls, and the theme for February’s First Saturday Wappingers is “Local is Where the Heart Is” in honor of Valentine’s Day. Participating establishments include Norma’s, County Fare, Coupe Champagne Bar, The Hog, Ruinous Revived, the Mesier Homestead, Patsy’s Pizzeria, di’Vine Wine Bar, the County Players at the Falls Theatre, FurEver Friends, and the River Valley Arts Center. Click here for updates.
Saturday, Feb. 3, 5 – 8:30 p.m. at the Majed J. Nesheiwat Convention Center, Poughkeepsie
Vote for your favorite chicken wings as the top restaurants, food trucks and caterers in the Hudson Valley battle it out. Bring your appetite and feast on all their amazing and unique flavors. Enjoy great music from some amazing bands, along with games, prizes and a great night of fun. Hang out with the Wing Girls and dance the night away. Click here for ticket options.
Saturday, Feb. 10, 3 p.m. at the Fisher Center at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson
Celebrate the Year of the Dragon with this fifth-annual concert by The Orchestra Now, conducted by Jindong Cai. “The Sound of Spring” is an authentic Chinese New Year concert featuring dramatic orchestral works and world-class Chinese instrumental soloists. Arrive at 2 p.m. and enjoy pre-concert Chinese instrument demonstrations and Lunar New Year activities. Click here to reserve tickets.
Opening reception Saturday, Feb. 10, 7 – 9:30 p.m. at Distortion Society, Beacon
Distortion Society opens a new solo art exhibition featuring new paintings by Taj Campman. These works, created over the last five years, signify a shift in the artist’s studio practice away from representational painting and toward abstraction. The exhibition will run through April 6. Click here for the scoop on all the upcoming exhibitions at Distortion Society, which is located on Beacon’s walkable Main Street and is part of the city’s vibrant art scene.
Saturday, Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m. at the Fisher Center at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson
For more than 30 years, the prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Medal has honored individuals who, much like the former first lady herself, have championed the cause of human rights. This year, in response to the alarming rise of book-banning in the United States, a new medal has been created, the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Bravery in Literature, which celebrates intellectual freedom. Seven award recipients will be honored at the inaugural award ceremony: Judy Blume (for Lifetime Achievement); Maia Kobabe (for “Gender Queer”); Alex Gino (for “Melissa,” previously published as “George”); George M. Johnson (for “All Boys Aren’t Blue”); Laurie Halse Anderson (for “SHOUT”); Mike Curato (for “Flamer”); and Jelani Memory (for “A Kids Book About Racism”). To purchase tickets to this special event, click here.
Related: Find your new favorite museums, muses and more with the Dutchess Tourism Inspiration Finder mobile passport program.
Sunday, Feb. 18, 1 – 3 p.m. at Clover Brooke Farm, Hyde Park
Dr. Mike Tibbetts, the co-owner of Clover Brooke Farm and of Hyde Park Hops, will provide you with the know-how to create your own home brew right on the farm. He’s a home brewer himself, and he understands the biochemistry of fermentation. Clover Brooke Farm will supply you with everything you need to enjoy a perfect brewing experience. Click here to register for the class, and be sure to check out the other experiences Clover Brooke offers, including llama and alpaca hikes, donkey walks and the Bunny Luv-a-Palooza experience.
Feb. 23 – 25 at the Beekman Arms and Delamater Inn, Rhinebeck
A murderous plot is afoot, and you can help figure out “whodunit?” over the course of a weekend at America’s oldest inn. Enjoy a delicious dinner on Friday, when you will meet the characters and learn their sinister motives. During brunch on Saturday, you will witness a murder, and an investigator will lead you through the clues during dinner. On Sunday morning during brunch, the murderer will be revealed. Solve the mystery and win a prize! This all-inclusive experience features two nights of luxury accommodation and four gourmet meals. Click here to make reservations. The Beekman Arms opened in 1766 and has been operating continuously ever since, hosting a long list of distinguished guests that includes George Washington, Oprah Winfrey, Frank Sinatra and Miley Cyrus.
Saturday, Feb. 24, 3 – 5 p.m. at Maxon Mills, Wassaic
Catch a glimpse of creative geniuses in action as the Wassaic Project’s artists-in-residence open the doors to their studios and welcome visitors to peek at their works-in-progress. The Maxon Mills gallery is a work of art in its own right; the historic, seven-story wooden grain elevator along the train tracks has been repurposed into a magnificent exhibition space for the Wassaic Project’s contemporary artists. Check out the Wassaic Project’s Winter Exhibition, “I Should Have Been a Pair of Ragged Claws,” which will be on display through March 16. Click here for details.
Tuesday, Feb. 27, 8 p.m. at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House, Poughkeepsie
Get ready for a night of boisterous hilarity as Bianca Del Rio, the “Joan Rivers of the Drag World,” brings her razor-sharp wit to Poughkeepsie. This will be the comic’s sixth worldwide stand-up comedy tour. Her new show will cover politics, pop culture, political correctness, current events, cancel culture, and everyday life through the eyes of someone who’s “dead inside” and finds humor in everything. As with all of her shows, there will be lots of audience interaction! Click here to purchase tickets, and be sure to check out the "Rotten to the Core" and "Pushing Up Daisies" VIP packages.
Feb. 23 – March 3 at Adams Fairacre Farms, Poughkeepsie
Save the dates for this annual gardening extravaganza! Check back for updates on special giveaways, dress-up days and more. Click here for details.