In Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, narrator Sal Paradise has this to say about New York’s most famous river: "If you drop a rose in the Hudson River at its mysterious source in the Adirondacks, think of all the places it journeys by as it goes out to sea forever—think of that wonderful Hudson Valley." At Mountain Valley Guides, the kayaking team allows customers to heed Sal’s thoughts and explore the river's expanse of open water, marshes, islands, and cliffs. Kayakers paddle to the base of the Storm King Mountain, explore the castle on Bannerman's Island, search for bald eagles in Moodna Marsh, relax on the beach at Little Stony Point, and end the evening with a Hudson Valley Sunset.
For more than a decade, Abrakadoodle—a national mobile art-education program that has earned praise from Nickelodeon and other kid-centric organizations—continues to host children's art classes, camps, and parties that help young ones along their learning paths. Bringing art education wherever it’s needed, Abrakadoodle’s team of instructors transforms local spaces, such as community centers, into informative classrooms where students aged 20 months–12 years learn to expand their creativity and imagination. Each age-appropriate class focuses not only on teaching a range of techniques such as painting, foil embossing, and mosaics but is also is designed to help kids build confidence and sharpen academic skills. With those goals in mind, the program determines each child's progress not by what the child creates but rather by what they've learned, which the team calls Process Art.
When not actively inspiring youngsters during art classes, Abrakadoodle’s team offers camps that engage young minds with educational field trips and musical games. The program’s art parties also offer an artistic way to celebrate birthdays, kindergarten graduations, and baby's first time saying the alphabet in pig Latin.
The trainers at Odyssey Athletic Center know that a single approach to physical fitness is as boring as it is limiting. They bear certifications and degrees from a variety of disciplines, earning the recognition of workout guilds ranging from the Aerobic & Fitness Association of America and the World Instructor Training School to the American Council of Exercise. This knowledge of different exercise systems enables them to host 60 classes per week inside their 27,000-square-foot facility. Their scheduled Pilates sessions help students nurture lean muscle without bulk, and Zumba meetings melt away calories with fun dance steps set to a Latin beat. To ensure they stay informed on emerging fitness techniques, staff members attend continuing-education classes and hold weekly question-and-answer sessions with their dumbbells.
The self-described "beer geeks" at Growler & Gill Craft Beer Shoppe work double duty, pouring brews behind the bar and helping customers select six-packs in the retail section. Made up of certified cicerones and experienced home brewers, staff members are happy to explain the difference between a lager and an ale or a wheat beer. Visitors who decide to pull up a barstool and sample a few gills—a unit referring to a quarter-pint—can also order a bite to eat off a pub menu that includes Bavarian pretzels, Polish pierogi, and bratwurst. They also offer regular events throughout the week, such as Wednesday night trivia to free brewery tastings on Thursday. In the spring and fall, the Lower Hudson Valley Craft Beer Fest comes to Growler & Gill Craft Beer Shoppe and features beer-centric food and samples from several domestic and international breweries.
The son of an Irish father and a Mexican mother, Jose O'Brien got his first taste of fusion cuisine as a child in New Mexico. While his grandmothers colluded on Mexican-Irish holiday meals, Jose acted as translator, taste-tester, and pint-sized UN Secretary General. The cuisine born in that kitchen lives on today in a restaurant named after Jose and located far from its regions of origin.
As one might expect, the menu features both traditional cuisine such as the casa burrito with shredded chicken, pico de gallo, and guacamole; and slightly more unusual combinations such as the Irlandes burrito, with ground beef, Irish bacon, bangers, mash, and cheddar cheese. It's also punctuated by a huge burger section, brimming with items like the Tijuana Philly, drowning in mushrooms, jalapeños, cheese, and barbecue sauce; or Jose's burger, a house favorite that comes with bacon, avocado, green chili, and the coup de grace, a fried egg. Those with a taste for unaltered Emerald Isle cuisine can get their fill as well: Jose O'Briens makes a mean shepherd's pie and a quite personable bangers and mash.