What is a kid-friendly event leading up to Christmas? What event would anyone feel comfortable at? It combines traditions of multiple cultures and appeals to all age groups? It is Sinterklaas.
The original tradition of Sinterklaas was imported by Dutch settlers to the Hudson Valley over 300 years ago. Rhinebeck and Kingston, NY, which both had Dutch settlers back in the day have modern takes on the festival that are nondenominational and inclusive. All are welcome.
Both Kingston and Rhinebeck, NY have this festival and parade. In 2019 Kingston’s festival and parade is on Saturday, November 24th from 12 to after dark. Rhinebeck’s Sinterklaas festival is on Saturday, December 7th. They close down Market Street most of the day in Rhinebeck for this event.
Activities abound throughout the day. There are many events for children at both locations. Some involve crafts. In Rhinebeck they had story time, The Pocket Lady, the Snow Queen and King, and other activities. I attended the event in Rhinebeck in 2018. There were events happening simultaneously at different locations around Rhinebeck so I could not catch everything. That gives you options to choose from. Check the calendar of events when it comes out.
They also had a variety of music events in churches around town and outside along Route 9 and other locations.
Rhinebeck has some nice restaurants that are open all day to stop in. Last year an Italian restaurant on Route 9, Gigi Trattoria, had some amazing hot chocolate. Another restaurant, Foster’s , had a food truck with London Broil sandwiches, clam chowder and other items. I had no issues eating a late lunch at an Indian restaurant on Market Street. There were tables available.
Everything culminates after dark with a parade. Many objects are illuminated. Different cultures and traditions are represented.
This event is worth driving to and seeing as much as you can. I was there most of the day in Rhinebeck. If you have children, its a can’t miss event. I highly recommend it for people from NYC and elsewhere looking to have a day or weekend escape from the rat race in the country.
For more information check these websites out or search for another closer to the event. As of when I posted this only the dates were listed not the schedule of events for 2019.
For Kingston’s Sinterklaas: http://www.sinterklaashudsonvalley.com/sinterklaas-kingston/
For Rhinebeck’s Sinterklaas: http://www.sinterklaashudsonvalley.com or check out their Facebook page.