Does the arrival of sultry summer weather make you dream of getaways to charming harbor towns where you can stroll the waterfront, enjoy the breeze and watch the boats go by? When you don’t have a week off work to travel, there’s nothing like a daytrip to Kingston’s Rondout Historic District to indulge in the fantasy of being in a seaport far, far away.
While any reasonably nice day is a good time for a visit to the Strand, with its delightful waterfront promenade, restaurants, antique shops and boutiques, the Hudson River Maritime Museum is the Rondout’s anchor (pun intended) destination, and this Saturday’s Hudson River Day celebration the perfect excuse to head down dockside. There’s an amazing array of fun things to do, many of them free, and Museum admission is discounted to $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and free for kids.
Hudson River Day activities go on from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and you’ll want to arrive early if you hope to snag one of the free seats aboard the Mary Theodora. The historic steamboat only holds ten passengers; short jaunts on the Rondout Creek set sail every hour on the hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and seating is first-come, first-served. If you’d sooner spend some money for a reserved seat than wait patiently in line, you might want to buy a ticket online for one of the day’s two sails aboard the replica Dutch yacht Onrust. The “Brunch on the Hudson” excursion costs $39 and departs at 10:30 a.m.; “A Toast to Adriaen Block” costs $49 and heads out at 5 p.m. Both include traditional Dutch refreshments. The Onrust will be open for deck tours between noon and 4 p.m.
Next door, on the porch of the Kingston Home Port and Education Center, kids will be able to participate in boatbuilding and floating, color their names in signal flags and make a monkey’s-fist knot, all free, or get their faces painted for $5. The Hudson River Fishermen’s Association will conduct two-hour Kids’ Fishing Workshops at 10 a.m. and noon, costing $2 per lesson. The New York State Police Scuba Dive Unit and K-9 Unit will give live demonstrations, as will the Rondout Rowing Club. Organized tours of the Maritime Museum and the new Riverport Wooden Boat School will occur throughout the day.
Food booths and trucks will be on hand, along with live music in the Gazebo from Ben Rounds, Payne’s Grey Sky, the River Acoustic Band, the Percussion Orchestra of Kingston (POOK) and Lawson. How can you miss this full day of (sneakily educational) fun?
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is located at 50 Rondout Landing. For more info, call (845) 338-0071. The full schedule for Hudson River Day can be found online at www.hrmm.org/hudson-river-day.html.