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Top 10 Dutchess Events in July

Date Published: June 21, 2024

Hooray for summer! The weather is beautiful, the kids are home from school and there are a million exciting things to see and do here in Dutchess County.  

Located in the heart of the Hudson Valley of New York State, Dutchess is known for its world-class cuisine, fascinating historic sites, vibrant arts and culture scene, burgeoning craft beverage industry and family-friendly attractions, as well as acres upon acres of farmland and vineyards and miles upon miles of hiking and biking trails that offer stunning views of the Hudson River and the surrounding highlands.  

Whether you visit for a weekend, a week or the whole summer, you will find new adventures waiting around every corner. Getting here is easy — by car, train or plane — but once you’re here, it’s oh-so-hard to leave.  

Here is a list of the Top 10 Dutchess County events in July (the toughest part was narrowing the list to 10). Be sure to keep that camera handy, and feel free to share your photos here. 

Zoes Ice Cream Barn, LaGrangeville
Zoe's Ice Cream Barn, LaGrangeville

The Great Hudson Valley Scavenger Hunt 

July 1–31 at multiple locations 

This free scavenger hunt offers a chance to win the grand prize of $2,024, along with other amazing prizes and rewards! Here’s how it works: Visit participating establishments and attractions throughout the Hudson Valley between July 1 and 31 – including quite a few here in Dutchess County – and earn points as you go. The teams with the most points will have a chance to win $2,024 in cash and five flight vouchers valued at $400 each, courtesy of Breeze Airways. There will be other drawings for those collecting fewer points, as well as other awards, including “Best Selfie,” “Best Team Spirit” and “Best Team Name.” It’s a fun way to visit some of the Hudson Valley’s many wonderful landmarks, restaurants, shops and businesses. Click here to see a list of participating establishments and start hunting! 

Related: Upstate Art Weekend (July 18–21) is an annual celebration featuring more than 140 destinations and artists from throughout the Hudson Valley. Click here for a guide to more than two dozen participating locations in Dutchess County alone. 

Omega Rest & Rejuvenation Retreats 

Ongoing at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Rhinebeck 

Relax and recharge in the peaceful tranquility of Omega’s scenic 250-acre campus. The best part about an Omega retreat is that you call the shots – do as little or as much as you like. Enjoy simple, comfortable accommodations and delicious farm-to-table meals made with local, sustainable ingredients. Yoga, tai chi and meditation classes help you to exercise your body and mind. Take a canoe or a kayak out on Omega’s 80-acre Long Pond Lake, select a book from the more than 7,000 volumes on holistic living at Ram Dass Library, explore the garden and woodland trails, or hit the court for some pickleball, tennis or basketball. In the evening, enjoy some musical entertainment, settle in for a movie or gather by a bonfire. Click here to book a Rest & Rejuvenation Retreat. Throughout July, Omega will also be hosting three separate theme weeks: Arts Week (June 30–July 5), Retreat Week (July 7–12) and Family Week (July 21–26). These theme weeks are among Omega’s longest-running and most popular annual programs, and each features its own unique and carefully curated activities and workshops. Click here to learn more about Omega’s theme weeks. 

Related: Check out our guide to July Fourth Fireworks and Celebrations

Exterior of Dassai Blue Sake Brewery, Hyde Park
Dassai Blue Sake Brewery, Hyde Park

Tanabata Festival

Sunday, July 7, 12–5 p.m. at Dassai Blue Sake Brewery, Hyde Park

Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival, is a wonderful Japanese tradition celebrated each year on the seventh day of the seventh month. According to legend, two celestial lovers — Vega (known as Orihime) and Altair (known as Hikoboshi) — are separated by the Milky Way but are able to meet once a year on this special day. Japanese communities honor this day with colorful events and festivals; people write their hopes and dreams on colorful strips of paper (Tanzaku) and tie them to bamboo branches. Dassai Blue, the new state-of-the-art sake brewery from the prestigious Japanese sake brand Dassai, invites you to celebrate this festival with them. Enjoy live music and activities, including Origami and Wishing Trees, as well as freshly prepared sushi from Dassai's own sushi chef, and, of course, Dassai Blue sake! Click here to learn more about sake tastings at the brewery. 

Pawling Triathlon

Saturday, July 13, 8 a.m. at Lakeside Park, Pawling

Test your physical and mental endurance amid the scenic charm of eastern Dutchess at the Pawling Triathlon. This sprint-style triathlon features events for adults and youths, so it's perfect for families. The adult course includes a 0.3-mile swim, a 12-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run. The two youth courses (under 10 and 10 and older) feature shorter courses. There will be finisher medals and age-group prizes. Take advantage of the post-race fuel station and the on-site recovery tent. Click here to register.

Marist College, Poughkeepsie 
Marist College, Poughkeepsie

New York Stage and Film Summer Season 

July 16–Aug. 4 at Marist College, Poughkeepsie 

New York Stage and Film has been an incubator for emerging and established artists and their work since 1985, and this summer’s annual festival on Marist College’s scenic riverfront campus features three weeks full of imaginative and insightful plays and musicals, including a solo performance titled "Mommy, A One Woman Cho" by Margaret Cho; the play "Basement, IL" by Stacy Osei-Kuffour; and the musical "The Heart," by Kait Kerrigan. To see the complete season schedule and to purchase tickets, click here. Tickets are selling quickly, so don't wait!

Kevin Hart: "Acting My Age"

Saturday, July 20, 7:45 and 10:30 p.m. at the MJN Convention Center, Poughkeepsie

Don't miss this chance to see famous comedian Kevin Hart perform live, right here in Poughkeepsie, as the MJN Convention Center (formerly the Mid-Hudson Civic Center) hosts a night full of fun and hilarity. One show wasn't enough, so they added a second show. This is a hot ticket, so act fast! Click here to purchase tickets for either the 7:45 p.m. show or the 10:30 p.m. show.

If you have a chance, spend the night at the newly remodeled DoubleTree by Hilton Poughkeepsie, which is right next door and within walking distance of several great restaurants.

Chef and Farmer Brunch

Sunday, July 21, 11:30 a.m. at Mountain View, Pine Plains

This annual event showcases the farm-to-table cuisine and sustainable farming practices for which Dutchess County has become famous. Enjoy a delicious feast prepared by local chefs using locally sourced ingredients and featuring all your favorite Hudson Valley flavors. Click here to reserve tickets.

Millbrook Horse Trials 

July 25–28 at the Riga Meadow Equestrian Center, Coole Park Farm, Amenia 

Head to the rolling hills and bucolic countryside of Eastern Dutchess and celebrate the deeply rooted equestrian traditions of the Hudson Valley at the Millbrook Horse Trials. Enjoy four days of dressage, cross-country and show jumping competitions, as well as a country fair with vendors, food trucks, a petting zoo and other family-friendly activities. As the only remaining competition in the Northeast to offer an Advanced division, the Millbrook Horse Trials is an important event on the national calendar and will feature roughly 400 competitors of all levels, from Olympic riders to local amateurs. Spectator admission is free! Click here to see the full schedule of events. 

Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park
Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park

A Culinary Tour of Hawaii

Saturday, July 27, 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. at the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park 

The Culinary Institute of America presents this one-day cooking workshop inspired by the cuisines and cultures of the Hawaiian Islands. In this hands-on class, you'll explore the history, cooking techniques, and flavors of ancient Hawaii, alongside contemporary dishes like Kalua Pork and Poke, which draw their inspiration from the many cultures that have made Hawaii their home. Click here to reserve your spot.

If time allows, make a weekend out of it! The new Inn at Bellefield is right across the street from the CIA and is the perfect base of operations for an excursion to Hyde Park's historic sites, Rhinebeck's walkable shopping and dining district, and many other attractions along the Route 9 corridor.

Related: CIA Chef Finder Food Lovers Trail 

College Hill Park, Poughkeepsie
College Hill Park, Poughkeepsie

Frederick Douglass Day 

Saturday, July 27, 12–2 p.m. at College Hill Park, Poughkeepsie 

There are many examples of people in Dutchess County who have heroically championed the fight for equality in America, from the Abolitionist Movement through the Civil Rights Movement. Celebrated activist, writer and orator Frederick Douglass — who had escaped bondage in Maryland and went on to become an iconic figure in the antislavery and women’s suffrage movements of the 19th century — delivered an inspirational speech at the Collegiate School in Poughkeepsie (now College Hill Park) on Aug. 2, 1858, and implored the audience of 4,000 to demand justice and end slavery in the United States. In commemoration of this important event, the City of Poughkeepsie and the nonprofit organization Celebrating the African Spirit have joined forces to present the annual Frederick Douglass Day on the site of his impassioned speech. Music, food and performances will honor the significance of Douglass' speech and applaud the local people who were in attendance and witnessed history that day. To learn more about the history of College Hill Park and ongoing efforts to preserve it, click here.

Bonus Event:

Beacon Open Studios

July 19–21 at multiple locations in Beacon

Visit the studios of more than 100 visual artists, dancers, musicians, and filmmakers during this 16th-annual self-guided tour. The weekend's festivities begin with a free public reception on July 19 at 6 p.m. at The Yard in Beacon featuring live music by Leah Valentine and Lila Blue. The participating studios will be open for visitors on July 20 and 21 from 12–6 p.m. Click here for more information, including details on accompanying, ticketed events throughout the weekend. To complement the Open Studios weekend, a month-long group exhibit will be held at Hudson Beach Glass Gallery from July 13 through Aug. 4 highlighting the diverse works of many of Beacon's talented visual artists.

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