Brighten your November with shopping, dinner and a show in Orange County, NY
Hudson Valley, N.Y. - The trees have dropped their leaves revealing wide open views of the scenic Hudson Valley countryside. Cozy fireplaces and bonfires are glowing. It’s that time of year when visions of Sugar Loaf Art and Crafts Village and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets begin to dance in your head. Even more reason to get a jumpstart on Orange County holiday shopping, November’s a wonderful time to taste the local harvest transformed into colorful dishes by stellar regional chefs and catch lively performances at unique performing arts venues. Great shopping, exceptional culinary delights, and topnotch entertainment add up to extraordinary getaways. It’s time to gather your shopping partners and head for the Orange County hills just an hour north of New York City.
For a superb foodie experience, time your visit to coincide with Hudson Valley Restaurant Week happening November 5th through 18th. Chefs at more than 150 restaurants throughout the region, sixteen of them in Orange County, will be creating exciting dishes for your dining pleasure. The farm-to-table theme of this event is perfectly served by the rich fall bounty of the local farms and orchards. Click on the event web site to see who’s participating and to preview some of the special menus. Besides the words “Hudson Valley” reflecting the source of the local ingredients, “Blooming Hill Farm,” a purveyor of 200 varieties of organic produce shows up frequently. This supplier of some of the finest restaurants in the Hudson Valley and New York City draws families near and far to their Blooming Grove farm stand on weekends. Maybe you’ll be inspired to pick up some farm fresh ingredients for your own kitchen before you head home.
Top off your meals with a variety of great shows at top-notch venues. Laughs are always on the menu at Jester’s Comedy Club in Chester. Their Saturday night shows feature talented comedians who have appeared on Comedy Central, HBO, and the major television networks. Go to Jester’s web site to catch snippets of upcoming shows by Paul Virzi and Chris Clarke performing on November 10th, and Jimmy Failla and Johnny Watson performing on November 17th. A few belly laughs are sure to burn up some of those decadent dessert calories.
What production could be more apropos for Restaurant Week than “The Dining Room?” See the Creative Theatre - Muddy Waters Players bring this “comedy of manners” to the stage at the Playhouse at Museum Village in Monroe on November 9th, 10th and 11th. Through a series of vignettes set in a single dining room with a wide variety of characters, the play utilizes humor and humanity to peer into upper middle class American culture. Relax and digest this fascinating show in the old fashioned playhouse on the village green at one of New York State’s largest living history museums. You’re sure to leave feeling satisfied.
The Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center has a hearty variety of shows for every appetite. The sounds of Bluegrass and country legend Del McCoury, as American as apple pie, will put a sweet finish on your evening on November 10th as he fills the house with his famous Grammy winning mountain tenor backed by banjo, guitar and mandolin. At “Selected Shorts: Delicious Fictions” a terrific lineup of actors of stage and screen tell humorous tales about food and love. Relish this savory show on Friday, November 16th. Even the Air Pirates Radio Theater performance on November 17th has a food theme: “Search for the Tenders of the Golden Arches.” As an audience member you’ll be making the sound effects for this fun, original show. You’ll find this fabulous year round theater in the same Sugar Loaf Art and Crafts Village famous for its artisan crafts shops, studios and galleries.
Just a stone’s throw from the popular Newburgh Waterfront eateries participating in Restaurant Week is the new Railroad Playhouse. It’s located in the beautifully renovated West Shore Railroad Station which, coincidentally, houses its own café and patio for dining. Reserve a seat at this unique 99-seat venue for performances of “America’s Brightest Star” on November 8th, 9th, and 10th. A world-premiere dark comedy, the all-star cast grapples with the issues of reality TV talent shows. From November 13th through 17th, catch a performance of “A Few Good Men” performed at the Railroad Playhouse by the Just Off Broadway Theatre Ensemble. Get the flavor of this riverside theater; it’s like a smooth cordial or a cup of hot tea after dinner.
Quick! Call your girlfriends or a date and make your reservations. If you can’t be here for the official Restaurant Week, there are lots of special restaurants throughout the county always ready to impress with a fine meal. Chances are good there’ll be something special on stage, too. Whenever you come, just don’t forget your shopping list. Find a complete list of attractions, lodging, and events at http://www.orangetourism.org/. For a free copy of the Orange County Travel Guide call 800-762-8687, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Orange County Tourism is headquarters for tourism in the county and is part of the I LOVE NEW YORK program.
- Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. (845) 561-2022 http://www.hudsonvalleyrestaurantweek.com/
- Sugar Loaf Art and Crafts Village. (845) 610-3740 http://www.sugarloafnewyork.com/
- Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. (845) 928-4000 http://www.premiumoutlets.com/
- Blooming Hill Organic Farm. (845) 782- 7310 http://www.bloominghillfarm.com/
- Jesters Comedy Club. (845)345-1039 http://www.jesterscomedyclubny.com/
- Playhouse at Museum Village. (845) 294-9465 http://www.ctmwp.org/
- Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center. (845)610-5335 http://www.sugarloafpac.org/
- Railroad Playhouse. (845) 565-3791 http://www.rrplayhouse.org/
- Just Off Broadway, Inc. (845)875-4325 http://www.justoffbwy.com/
Mary Ann McCarthy