11 Unique Hudson Valley Experiences Perfect For Your Bachelor or Bachelorette Party

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a bachelor or bachelorette party? Many assume it’s a night full of drinking and debauchery or a guys or girls weekend somewhere with your “squad.” But that’s not always the case. If you are looking for something different and memorable, here are 11 Hudson Valley experiences perfect for a unique bachelor or bachelorette party.

 

Laugh it Up Comedy Club at Mahoney’s Irish Pub & Steakhouse, Poughkeepsie

 

Laugh it Up Comedy Club is one of the Hudson Valley’s premier comedy clubs and is perfect for the guy or girl who wants a fun, affordable, lighthearted night out with friends. They bring in some of the most sought-after comedy acts in the country, including, most recently, Gilbert Gottfried (you may remember him as the voice of Iago in the Disney animated classic “Aladdin”) and Colin Quin (from “Saturday Night Live” fame). Instead of making a trip to NYC to see great comedians, they bring them to you. You can also come early to chow down on some delicious Irish/American cuisine and drinks.

 

Hudson Valley Renegades, Fishkill

 

This is definitely the place to be for baseball fans! The Hudson Valley Renegades are the short-season, Class A affiliate of the American League’s Tampa Bay Rays and offer some great opportunities – not only for bachelor or bachelorette parties but engagement parties, as well. For a small group, you can try Leo’s Table for 6, which is a private table for you and five friends, catered by Leo’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria. If you and your significant other want to combine parties, they offer luxury air-conditioned suite rentals for 15-20 people or picnic area rentals on both the first- and third-base lines, for 20 or more people. Both come fully catered and include mention on the video board.

 

iFLY Westchester Indoor Sky Diving, Yonkers

 

If you are up for a massive rush of adrenaline, you might want to try indoor skydiving at iFLY Westchester. Imagine being propelled into the air in a giant vertical wind-tunnel that simulates what it’s like to actually go skydiving. Having fun is always a must, but safety, of course, is their number one priority, so certified instructors prepare you for this 1½ – 2-hour experience. Participants will have to sign a waiver; and once all safety precautions are taken, you and your party can live it up and also take advantage of the flight enhancements and catering options they provide for your party. You can also purchase photos from the day, which would make an awesome gift.  Imagine the stories you and your bridal party will have. It’ll certainly be a party no one will forget.

 

RELATED: 4 WEDDING GIFT IDEAS UNIQUE TO THE HUDSON VALLEY

 

Skydive the Ranch, Gardiner

 

If you and your bridal party are true risk-takers and want to jump from 13,500 feet in the air, then Skydive the Ranch might be for you. Their team of certified instructors make sure you have an experience of a lifetime. Safety, again, is their number one concern so be prepared to watch training videos, sign paperwork, and be fully instructed for your jump. Assuming this is your first jump, your jump will be a tandem jump, meaning you are jumping with a licensed, experienced professional on a parachute built for two. Plan for about 3 hours, from the time you arrive to the time you’re finished, but add more time for more jumpers. The best part: Professional videographers film the whole jump. What a great film to play during your cocktail reception!

 

New York Zipline Canopy Tours, Hunter

 

Popular for skiing, Hunter Mountain is also home of the New York Zipline Canopy Tours, the largest zip line canopy tour in North America. You can zip line during the day or even at night, and they have three different options for thrill-seekers. The adventure tower takes you through nine different obstacles as you make your way up a 60-foot-tall tower. The mid-Mountain Tour can be done during the day, or at night, and has six zip lines and four suspension bridges. The tallest, fastest and longest zip lines are found in the Skyrider tour. Fly 600 feet above the valley at speeds of nearly 50 miles per hour! The Skyrider Tour is not for the faint of heart, but certainly, an experience to remember.

 

Angry Orchard, Walden

 

Nestled on a 60-acre orchard in the heart of the Hudson Valley, Angry Orchard – yes, THAT Angry Orchard – is a great day-trip for you and your friends. For over 200 years, cider has been made in the Hudson Valley, and this farm has all your cider wants and needs covered. You and your bridal party can take one of three tours, including one of their gorgeous treehouse tasting room, designed and built by Animal Planet’s “Tree House Masters”; all tours include cider tastings. After your tour, make your way to the Cider Garden, where you can casually relax by the fire sipping your favorite cider. Time it right and you can also catch some great live music from bands such as Sublime during their Angry Orchard Rock the Roots one-day music festivals.

 

Table to Farm Tours, Roxbury

 

Located in the Catskill Mountains of Delaware County, Table to Farm Tours are perfect for any bride or groom that considers themselves to be a ‘foodie’ and who appreciates the local bounty the Hudson Valley has to offer. Table to Farm Tours brings you face-to-face with the farmers who grow the food you eat, gives you a chance to hear their stories, tour their farms and taste the food they put the time and effort into growing. They also offer dinner and drink tours that take you to local vineyards, distilleries and cideries and pairs that experience with a home-cooked, farm-to-table meal. They can even curate a tour specifically for you, which would be a perfect way to celebrate with your bridal party. This is not just a nice weather event. Even in the winter, they’re open for wine, spirits and brewery tours and every summer have a bunch of new farms to visit.

 

Hudson Valley Wedding Yoga, Kingston

 

A wedding is a joyous occasion, but planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful occasions – not just for the bride or groom, but for the bridal party as well. The folks at Hudson Valley Wedding Yoga understand and want to help you de-stress naturally. In fact, their slogan is “Adding peace and presence to life’s joyous celebrations.” Yoga classes would be perfect for you and your significant other alone, just to center, breathe and relax, but also makes a great outing for your bridal party. If you think you can’t ‘do’ yoga, don’t worry. They’ll customize a program based on your specific needs and abilities. Each session includes a guided meditation and breathwork, all designed to calm your body, mind, and spirit.

 

RELATED: 5 SURPRISING THINGS YOUR BRIDAL PARTY EXPECTS OF YOU

 

Savor Beauty, Saugerties / NYC

 

How does a spa day with your girls sound? If that sounds right up your alley, Savor Beauty is for you. Savor Beauty is an organic skin care line based upon Korean beauty traditions, have three locations in New York City and Saugerties, and offer spa packages for the bride and bridal party (6-12 people). Each 90-minute spa party includes a dedicated party host who shows you how to create your own face mask using exotic clays, and a Savor Beauty masterclass (featured on Allure.com) teaching you how to create a one-minute self-care skin ritual. You’ll also have time to explore their clean, eco-conscious makeup line to enhance what you already have in your makeup bag, get a beauty goodie bag and credit toward a day-of purchase. It’s a BYOC (Bring Your Own Cake) party but they provide a bottle of champagne!

 

Hudson River Cruises, Kingston

 

Explore the Hudson River in the way it was intended – by cruising. Hudson River Cruises on the Rip Van Winkle is not only a great option for you and your bridal party, but can also be a great location for your wedding or rehearsal dinner. They offer a huge array of tours including sightseeing tours, happy hour sightseeing tours, July sunset cruises and themed music cruises with both DJ or live music. Each cruise leaves Kingston, goes south to Hyde Park and back to Kingston again and lasts about 3 hours. On your cruise, you’ll see majestic mansions, historical homes, and breathtaking scenery. Add more fun to your cruise by checking out one of the many restaurants in the Kingston Rondout before or after your trip.

 

A Maze in Pottery, Briarcliff Manor

 

If you want to explore your artistic side and create a really cool wedding gift or keepsake for your home, try A Maze in Pottery. They are a paint-your-own-pottery studio and provides a whole showroom full of unglazed pottery such as vases, dishes, pots, and jars. All you have to do is choose what item you want and paint it. No appointment is necessary, but groups of five or more are required to call ahead. The studio fee is nominal and the unfinished pieces start at $4, with the average price being between $15 – $25. Once you choose your item, their staff will guide you through the painting process. They use non-toxic, lead-free, food-safe glazes and paints and have idea books, stencils, sponges, and stamps to really make your piece one-of-a-kind. When you’re done painting, they glaze it and fire it in their kilns to make it shiny, and safe for food, the microwave, and the dishwasher. Your item is then ready to be picked up one week from the day you paint it. Imagine making a serving dish for the couple, or a first-date guest book.

 

What are you planning for your bachelor or bachelorette party? Would you consider any of these experiences for yours?

 

Photo credit: Cassady K Photography

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The Best Freebies and Discounts For Your Wedding Day

Who doesn’t like free stuff? If you are planning a wedding, you know just how expensive it can be, and to get anything for free not only helps your wallet and your budget, but also helps to lower your stress level. Getting something for free (or discounted) means it’s one less thing you have to worry about, and who doesn’t want that? You have enough to deal with.

 

During each stage of your wedding planning, there are free or discounted things you can get, from fun to functional, and so to make it easy for you, I’ve broken them down into different categories:

 

Registry

 

If you are a couple who plans to register for gifts, it can be a daunting experience especially if you need everything from a can opener to a couch. There are, though, perks to registering that will make it easier for you and your guests:

 

  • When you sign up for a wedding registry, each store will give you a list of the most commonly needed gifts a newlywed couple should register for — everything from pots and pans, to bedding, to china — and you can use that checklist to create a perfect wedding registry.
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  • After your wedding, most stores will give you a discount on any item you purchase off your registry, that wasn’t purchased as a gift, up to a year after your wedding.
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  • Some stores may offer you free gifts just for signing up for a registry and may even give you a gift once a group of items, such as a full setting of china, or a full collection of pots and pans, is purchased.
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  • Your guests may also get discounts or free gifts if they purchase over a certain dollar amount.
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    RELATED: 7 PRACTICAL WAYS TO CREATE YOUR AWESOME WEDDING REGISTRY

     

    Showers, Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties, Engagement Parties, Rehearsal Dinner

     

    Part of the wedding planning fun is the events leading up the wedding such as bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, engagement parties and rehearsal dinners. What makes them fun are the games guests play, and the food, but when the people planning these parties are usually in your bridal party, or your parents, they may not have a lot to spend on anything too fancy. But fancy doesn’t always mean better. Here are some great tips for awesome party games and discounts:

     

  • If you do a quick Google search, you can find websites with amazing FREE downloadable game ideas or templates, that all you need is a printer to make.
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  • If you are having a party at a restaurant, ask if they have special rates for parties, or set menus for parties that may bring the cost down.
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  • If the restaurant doesn’t offer any of that and the guests are left ordering off the main menu, ask the restaurant if you can limit the menu by choosing three or four items off that menu, and printing your own menus, this way guests can still get the great food, but you aren’t left covering a bill with 20 guests ordering the lobster or filet mignon.
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    Wedding Planning

     

    It’s impossible to plan a normal day, much less your wedding, without a to-do list or a checklist to make sure you are getting everything you need to get done, done. Here are some tips to help you get through your planning checklist, including checklists themselves:

     

  • Wedding websites are a great way to inform guests about any wedding information you have to share. I highly recommend making one for your wedding, but make sure that you get one that is free AND password protected.
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  • Planning checklists are a must! There are books you can purchase that help you plan every aspect of your day with timelines as to when to get them done, such as sending out invites. However, most bridal magazines will provide these checklists in the back of their publication for FREE. Yes, you still have to pay for the magazine, but a few dollars on a magazine is better than $20 or more on a book or binder. In addition, your wedding venue can provide you with one as well.
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  • If you are crafty and are looking to print your own invitations or anything else that is going to need fonts you can’t find in your standard word processing software, you can find free fonts that you can download that meet the aesthetic you are looking for.
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    RELATED: WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING COUPLES OVERLOOK AT WEDDING EXPOS?

     

    Venue Freebies

     

    Your wedding venue is so much more than a place to hold your wedding ceremony or reception, they are an invaluable resource for tons of wedding freebies:

    Photo Credit: Majestic Studios


     

  • When you send out your invitations, your guests need directions on how to get there. While most people just need an address to plug into a GPS, some people may not have a GPS. There’s no need for you to drive the course or figure it out yourself because your venue can provide direction cards for you. You just tell them how many invites you are sending out and they’ll provide you with however many cards you need.
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  • Another thing your venue can provide you with is a seating chart template that you can use to plan your venue space. Write everything out in pencil so that you can change things around or make a bunch of photocopies so that you can make changes…and believe me, there will be changes!
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  • I’m sure you’ve seen really interesting and very personalized escort card for guests on Pinterest, but what you have to remember is that you either have to buy them or spend time making them. What you may not realize is that your venue can provide them form you. If you don’t really care how fancy they are, you can get them for free and all you would need to do is write or print names and table numbers on them.
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  • In addition to escort cards, your venue will also provide you with table numbers, so you don’t need to worry about them at all, unless you want something really personalized
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    Day of Freebies

     

    On your wedding day, you still need one more checklist, and that has everything you need to bring with you on the day of your wedding and your wedding night. There’s more to bring than you think. You can download your free wedding day packing checklist here

     

     
     
     
     

    Miscellaneous Fun Free Stuff

     

    If you are a lover of pop culture and the celebrity scene, you can send extra wedding invitations to your favorite celebrities. Believe it or not, doing this is actually a “thing” and many people love to do this because of the cool keepsakes they get in return. The most popular places to send wedding invitations to are the White House and to specific Disney characters. You can get a special greeting with stamped autographs of the First Family when you send an invite to the White House and from Disney, you can address your invite to your favorite Disney character and get specially signed postcards or trinkets from them. Everyone knows the address for the White House, but if you want to try sending an invite to any character at Disney, the address is Walt Disney World Communications P.O. Box 10040 Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040

     

    What free stuff or discounts have you received so far during your wedding planning?

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