From theater productions and art exhibitions to festivals celebrating maple syrup and tattoos, there are a lot of interesting and exciting events scheduled for March here in Dutchess County. In fact, this is a perfect time to visit. Use this list of our Top 10 March Events to help plan your trip to the heart of New York's Hudson Valley. Be sure to check back for updates on Women’s History Month events and the spring version of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (March 20-April 2). Remember to take plenty of photos and share them here!
Tastings and Tours at Shady Knoll Orchards & Distillery
By appointment at Shady Knoll Orchards & Distillery, Millbrook
Enjoy that authentic farm-to-glass experience at Shady Knoll, a family-owned and operated farm and distillery which grows its own apples, rye and corn for use in its award-winning whiskey products, apple brandy and pommeau. All the processing, fermenting, distilling, barrel-aging and bottling is done right there on the farm. Click here to book your appointment to tour the farm and distillery and sample Shady Knoll’s assortment of spirits. Shady Knoll is one of the featured participants in the Dutchess Tourism Taste Finder Trail, a mobile passport program that serves up perks at various craft beverage tasting rooms and tap houses in Dutchess County. Click here to obtain “The Pass to Fill Your Glass.”
Feb. 24-March 5 at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck
The New Deal Creative Arts Center of Hyde Park presents this powerful drama written by John Patrick Shanley. Set in 1964 at the fictional St. Nicholas School in the Bronx, the play tells the story of how the school’s principal, Sister Aloysius, takes matters into her own hands when she suspects Father Flynn of having improper relations with a male student. Directed by Thom Webb, this production stars Cora Colwell, Stephany Hitchcock, Kevin McCarthy and Jontae Walters. "Doubt: A Parable” won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. The 2008 film adaptation featured Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Viola Davis and Amy Adams. To purchase tickets at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, click here.
“The Adaptive Exhibit” by Runway of Dreams
Through Monday, March 13 at the Steel Plant Gallery, Marist College, Poughkeepsie
The Runway of Dreams organization’s Marist College chapter presents “The Adaptive Exhibit,” which will be on display at the Steel Plant Gallery through March 13. Produced and curated by students, this project showcases fashionable, functional and adaptive apparel specifically designed for those with disabilities. The exhibit promotes the mission of Runway of Dreams, which seeks to empower people with disabilities through fashion inclusion, and features such adaptive brands as Steve Madden, Seven7, é Ispirante, Zappos and Mai We Care, among others. Marist is home to one of the finest fashion programs in the world; in 2021, a Forbes Magazine article ranked Marist on its list of the “Best Colleges that are Shaping the Future of Fashion,” which included 10 colleges from around the globe.
Late Night at “The Loeb”
Every Thursday, 5-9 p.m. at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie
Admission to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is free for everyone, and every Thursday, the historic gallery at Vassar College stays open late to accommodate more visitors. Vassar was the first college in America to be founded with an art gallery and teaching collection when it opened its doors in 1861. These days, “The Loeb” is home to more than 22,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, textiles and ceramic and glass wares. All galleries are wheelchair accessible. Call (845) 437-5632 to arrange for accessible parking.
Michael Hambouz: “Hot Blooded”
Friday, March 3, 5-7 p.m. at Troutbeck, Amenia
Troutbeck and the Wassaic Project team up to present a solo art exhibition featuring works by Michael Hambouz titled “Hot Blooded.” Curated by Will Hutnick, “Hot Blooded” showcases a collection of two- and three-dimensional, chromesthesia-influenced paintings created under the guidance of music. The pieces experiment in form and color to process bouts of loss and self-reflections on cultural identity. The exhibit will be on display from March 3-April 27 at Troutbeck, an enchanting, centuries-old country inn and estate which has hosted many important figures in politics, civil rights and literature during its fascinating history. Stop by the opening of the show on March 3 at 5 p.m. featuring a DJ set by Taraka.
Oh, sweet! The New York State Maple Producers Association presents its 27th annual celebration of all things maple and the folks who make them. Witness sustainable agriculture at its best as you meet the sugar makers who make New York the second-largest maple-producing state in the U.S. year after year. Taste the natural goodness of New York maple syrup and maple products and learn how they are made. Participating Dutchess County locations include Soukup Farms in Dover Plains, Fresh Air Maple Farm in Fishkill and Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls.
Visit Soukup Farms and enjoy a self-guided maple tour, product samples, a limited breakfast takeout menu, maple and apple cider donuts and syrup-making (weather permitting); be sure to stop by the farm store.
Fresh Air Maple Farm will hold a one-day family event at Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill on March 25. Along with a host of family-friendly activities, the sugar shack will be open all day so visitors can watch the evaporator in action and taste samples. Maple-themed foods, including maple smoothies and freshly made waffles, will be available in the dining hall from local vendors and exhibitors.
At Bowdoin Park, meanwhile, the Eastern Dutchess Road Runners Club and Sneaker Mutt host the Sap Happy Maple 5k race on the morning of March 25, followed by the Community Pancake Breakfast and Competition in which one Dutchess County Park staff member will be paired with a Culinary Institute of America student to make pancakes. Maple education workshops are set for March 24 and 26. Dutchess County Parks Maple Syrup will be on sale throughout the weekend (while supplies last).
Sunrise Stroll on the Walkway
Monday, March 20, 7 a.m. at the Walkway Over the Hudson, Poughkeepsie
Celebrate the start of spring and greet the rising sun as you walk across the World’s Longest Elevated Pedestrian Bridge. This, however, is no ordinary sunrise. On the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the sun rises in perfect alignment with the Walkway deck, creating spectacular photo opportunities as the Hudson River and surrounding hillsides are gently bathed in dawn’s first light. Gates will open early so you can witness this wondrous occurrence first-hand and free of charge. Get your camera ready!
The Walkway Over the Hudson is one of more than two dozen stops on the Dutchess Tourism Zen Finder Outdoor Experience Trail. Click here to get your pass and start exploring the parks and trails of Dutchess County.
Friday, March 24, 8 p.m. at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House, Poughkeepsie
They’ve played at many of the world’s biggest festivals over the last 40-plus years and have become the preeminent ambassadors for Malian and African music all over the world. On this night, Amadou and Mariam will bring their unique Afro-blues sounds to Poughkeepsie for an unforgettable performance. Both blind since childhood, Amadou and Mariam first met at the Bamako Institute for the Young Blind in their native Mali. The inseparable husband-and-wife duo has been on a remarkable musical journey ever since, introducing African music to a global audience and inspiring a generation of young artists. Tickets for this concert are already selling quickly; click here to reserve yours.
Tour de France Wine Dinner
Friday, March 24, 6-9 p.m. at Shadows on the Hudson, Poughkeepsie
Relax and enjoy stunning views of the Hudson River as you indulge in a world-class, French-inspired dinner paired with luscious French wines. Chef Cassie Jarrin and Chef Sam Ryan serve up a delicious five-course, prix fixe menu, with each course expertly paired with the perfect wine selected by Enrique Duran, the Wine Director/Sommelier at Shadows on the Hudson. The restaurant is perched on a cliff 40 feet above the mighty Hudson and sits only 50 feet from its eastern bank. Click here to see the menu and make reservations.
March 31-April 2 at the MJN Convention Center, Poughkeepsie
Head to the Majed J. Nesheiwat Convention Center, formerly the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, for a family-friendly weekend of tattooing, entertainment, contests and fun. More than 200 artists from around the world have been hand-picked for this event to ensure the highest quality work. Click here to purchase single-day, weekend and VIP passes. Tickets are also available at the Hudson Valley Tattoo Company in Wappingers Falls.
Looking for a place to stay for the weekend? Click here and unlock “Stay in Dutchess” deals, which allow you to stay longer for less at participating Dutchess County hotels and inns.