This month I tried to do as many “summery” things that I could. I ran outside, attended some events but try as I did, August whooshed by before I completed everything on my to-do list.
It’s hard #adulting some days, isn’t it? Trying to work and enjoy the summer is something I still don’t have the hang of. In fact, as much as I try to edit my life, there always seem more to do that keeps me from doing all the things I want. However, there were some noteworthy moments this month and for that, I feel blessed.
The first highlight of the month was the discovery of Trevor Zoo at the Millbrook School. Established in the 30s, the zoo has more than 80 species of animals and some of them are quite exotic. They have ring tailed lemurs, red wolves- even two red pandas!
The grounds are lush and spacious, there are sections to picnic and they’re open 365 days per year. Ever pinching my coins, I was impressed by the entry price ($4 for kids, $6 for children). It’s one of those Hudson Valley gems that not enough people know about. I mean, I’ve been living here for 30 years and never heard of it till recently.
One event that many residents look forward to is the annual Dutchess County Fair. If you didn’t know, the fair has been taking place for more than 170 years and is somewhat renowned for its showcasing of agriculture and antiques, as well as games and other entertainment. When I was little, it was a magical place, especially when it became dark and the grounds were lit in neon. It’s still sort of magical to me.
This year I took my nieces (ages 7 and 10) and being able to enjoy all the rides and sights through them made me nostalgic for when I was their age and my dad would ride the kiddie roller coaster with me. And on a side note, the food is exceptionally better than in was in the 90s.
Beyond fried dough and corn on the cob, there was never much for vegetarians and vegans there until now. It’s damn close to artisanal, with vendors offering pasta and burrito bowls and all these other things that go well beyond the typical hot dog and popcorn menu. Yes, it’s still an expensive trip (fortunately, kids under 12 are free) but for a one day of fun, it was worth it.
Since I’m on the topic of food, I also want to mention a new restaurant worth checking out. It’s called Veggie Go-Go and it’s on Rt 9, at 1289 Route 9 South, in Wappingers Falls.
This new eatery comes from the team behind Go-Go Pops in Cold Spring, NY. I’ve interviewed Lynn Miller before for Organic Hudson Valley Magazine. She and her husband Greg have been offering healthier options to HV diners since 2010. With their first location (Go-GO), you’ll find artisanal popsicles made local produce, as well as fair trade chocolate and coffee. At Veggie Go-Go, savory fare is the name of the game. I like savory.
They have lots amazing salads (you can build your own or order from their menu) but also savory pies, soups, and veggie burgers. And it’s not just for vegetarians or vegans either. They also serve chicken and fish based dishes, as well as dairy. With a custom made salad coming right over $10, it’s become one of my favorite spots.
Finally, this month saw the opening of Field Trip, the curated boutique in Newburgh that features handmade items from independent American designers. I wrote about the opening this week, so if you haven’t read the post yet, please check it out.
With the long weekend ahead, I know there will be lots of fun activities throughout the Hudson Valley. I just hope I have the energy to conquer them. To see where I go, follow me at @theupstateedit on instagram where I regularly post.
Hudson Valley based writer.