Vassar has been connected to the Poughkeepsie community since its founding. Area residents are welcome at many sports and cultural events or just to stroll our lovely campus. Vassar’s community benefits report lists the many ways Vassar interacts with the community.

Go to our sign-up page if you would like to be added to our Vassar Events e-mail list.

For Musicophiles and Theatre-lovers

Whether you love symphony, theatre production, independent films or good old-fashioned drive-in movie, the Hudson Valley has something for everyone.

  • Broadway: If your heart lies on Broadway, just hop on the Metro-North Railroad at the historic Poughkeepsie train station and you’ll be there in under 2 hours.
  • Fischer Center: See performing art programs including SummerScape, Bard Music Festival, Spiegeltent, and more.
  • Four Brothers Drive-In: A drive-in experience that is really unique with gourmet food, a fire pit, mini-golf and so much more. Pet friendly.
  • Overlook Drive-In Theatre: The Largest Screen in the Tri-State Area. Family-owned and operated.
  • Roosevelt, Lyceum and New Paltz Cinemas: Small, family-owned and operated movie theatres that still have low prices and real butter on the popcorn.
  • Upstate Films: Theater in Rhinebeck showing an eclectic mix of classic Hollywood and foreign films, animated films as well as lectures by guest filmmakers, scholars, and critics, reflecting a diversity of themes, styles, countries, and eras.

For Nature Lovers

  • Barton Orchards: A 175-acre orchard with pick-your-own apples, vegetables, and pumpkins. They also have an ice cream stand, farm market, farm animals, dog park, tap room, concession stands, and festivals throughout the year.
  • Bear Mountain State Park: The park features a large play field, shaded picnic groves, lake and river fishing access, a swimming pool, Trailside Museums, and Zoo, hiking, biking, and cross-country ski trails.
  • Bowdoin Park: Located in Southern Dutchess, the park facilities include picnic areas, a playground, soccer fields, two softball fields, a sand volleyball court, a cross-country course, and wetland observation areas.
  • Cedar Heights Orchards: Family-owned apple orchard in the Village of Rhinebeck, NY.
  • Dykeman Farm: Activities available include apple and pumpkin picking, a farm stand, and hay rides.
  • Greg Farm: Family-owned farm in Red Hook featuring pick-your-own fruits and vegetables, hiking trails, goats, a cafe, and a farm market.
  • Harriman State Park: Harriman State Park’s major facilities include Lakes Welch, Sebago, Tiorati and Silvermine, the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area, Sebago Cabins, and Beaver Pond Campgrounds.
  • Hudson Highlands State Park: The park’s extensive hiking trail network includes terrain that varies from easy to challenging and also includes Bannerman Island, which can only be accessed by water.
  • Hurds Family Farm: Pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, a cafe with cider and donuts, a corn maze, nature trails, farm animals, gem mining, and more.
  • James Baird State Park: Enjoy hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, basketball, softball, tennis, volleyball, 18-hole golf course. A restaurant—Eighteen by Copolla’s—is open to the public.
  • Kesicke Farm: The farm stand sells meat, eggs, and produce. Falls festivals include a corn maze, wagon rides, hay wagon rides, pumpkin picking, and live animals.
  • McEnroe Organic Farm: NOFA-NY Certified Organic, the year-round market offers vegetables, fruits, herbs, premium soil blends, and compost.
  • Mead Orchards: Pick your own fruits and vegetables or visit one of their farmer’s markets.
  • Meet Me In Marlborough: Take in the views of the Hudson River Valley of Ulster County, NY. Visit the hamlets of Marlboro and Milton, NY, and explore the shops, restaurants, farms, and festivals. Treat yourself to the spa/salon and a night at a B&B or lodge.
  • Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, picnicking, scuba-diving, rock-climbing, bouldering, boating, scenery, horseback riding, cross-country ski trails, and technical Rock Climbing.
  • Mohonk Preserve: Their mission is to protect the Shawangunk Mountains region and inspire people to care for, enjoy, and explore their natural world.
  • Rose Hill Farm: Located in Red Hook, NY, a historic family-owned farm with pick-your-own cherries, blueberries, plums, apricots, nectarines, peaches, and apples.
  • Teatown Lake Reservation: A nonprofit nature preserve and an education center with hiking trails, a two-acre island refuge of native wildflowers, year-round programming, and wildlife exhibits.
  • Wilderstein Historic Site: In addition to mansion tours and walking trails, special exhibits are featured periodically as well as special activities and events.

For Art Enthusiasts

For Foodies

  • Angry Orchard: Reserve a tour, enjoy draft, canned, and bottled cider, order food from the in-house kitchen, get curbside cider & merch, and they even have a treehouse experience.
  • Bad Seed Cider Company: They offer 12 cider taps (30+ rotating) and a full menu of pizza, snacks, and more to enjoy.
  • Black Snake Brewing Company: Grab an IPA or ale and get a group together for a game of Giant Jenga or cornhole, visit the goats, then snack on some hand-crafted pretzels, gourmet hot dogs, or BBQ.
  • Dining in the area: A list of popular local restaurants.
  • Gordon Commons: Dine in, take a meal to go, or place a catering order. There is something for everyone here.
  • Heritage: Award-winning restaurant with an organic approach, bar, and event space.
  • Milea Estate Vineyard: Enjoy the hilltop tasting room with two scenic patios and a sun porch, farm-to-table bites, guided wine tasting, estate tour, or book the luxury farmhouse accommodations.
  • Millbrook Vineyards & Winery: Wine tasting in the Taproom and Taproom Terrace, cheese plates and snacks, picnic area, and self-tours of the vineyard. 
  • The Amsterdam: A restaurant serving elevated farm-to-table fare, a craft bar, and a worldly wine list with locally sourced ingredients.
  • Twin Star Orchards: Open for outdoor seating, takeout, and delivery, you may order pizzas, burgers, and beverages featuring Brooklyn Cider House ciders.
  • Ze Windham Wine Bar: Enjoy 100 different wines from around the world and unique pairings with light bites, charcuterie plates & cheese samplings.

For Runners, Hikers and Cyclists

  • Dutchess County Rail Trail: 13-mile trail from the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie to Hopewell Junction.
  • Mohonk Preserve: Walk & Cycle along varied scenery on 80 miles of carriage roads in the Gunks, including 30 miles on the Preserve.
  • Mount Beacon: A steep but manageable hike with observation platforms at the top.
  • Wallkill Valley Rail Trail: 22+ mile rail trail from Gardiner to Kingston includes walking, jogging, bike riding, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.

For the Young (and Young at Heart)

  • Clover Brooke Farm: Hikes and Walks, Farm Tours, and Small Animal Experiences by appointment. Also, take a class such as soap making and home brew beer.
  • Dutchess County Fairgrounds: Home of the Dutchess County Fair and other events throughout the year.
  • Dutchess Stadium: Home to the Hudson Valley Renegades, our local baseball team, and also host to other events like car shows and the Hudson Valley Fair.
  • Happy Valley Arcade Bar: Arcade, bar, and snacks.
  • Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area: One of the now fifty-five federally-recognized National Heritage Areas throughout the United States, it is a network of designated Heritage Sites, classified by theme and amenities which includes the Arts, Architecture, Landscapes & Gardens, Commerce, and Environment.
  • Lillymore Farm: Take an alpaca and llama farm tour or walk an alpaca, llama, or goat. Get tickets online.
  • Megabrain Comics: Comic book shop and arcade.
  • Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome: Activities include a museum, air shows, and biplane rides. 
  • Poughkeepsie Galleria: Premier shopping destination with department stores, specialty shops, restaurants, and a multiplex theater.
  • The Vinyl Room Cocktail Bar:  A vinyl record cocktail bar with 12 rotating craft taps, an extensive cocktail menu, wine & cider, and a small food menu.
  • Woodstock Sanctuary: Come visit the rescued animals—tours are every Saturday—or stay at the Gray Barn, an award-winning boutique inn.


  • Athletics and Fitness Center: The Athletics and Fitness Center includes a varsity gym and an indoor all-purpose running track.
  • Events: View upcoming and ongoing events.
  • Farmer’s Market: Located on the Vassar College Alumnae Lawn on Raymond Ave. from 2:00 p.m.—6:00 p.m.
  • Gordon Commons: Dine in, take a meal to go, or place a catering order. There is something for everyone here.
  • Life Long Learning Program: Get information about courses and activities available.
  • Palmer Gallery: James W. Palmer III Gallery serves as an exhibition space for artwork created within and beyond the Vassar community.
  • Plan a Wedding: Request the use of College facilities for gatherings, conferences, fundraisers, and summer programs.
  • Walk on the campus: View the map for buildings, parking, and other information.