Since starting Big Gay Hudson Valley in February of 2009, we have met a tremendous amount of gay-owned, and gay-friendly businesses throughout our area. Recognizing that it is critical for our community to support one-another to make our presence stronger, we created The Big Gay Holiday Guide to keep all of us informed about our allies and supporters – and to help us all make smarter choices as to where we spend our dollars this holiday season.

As part of this year’s Big Gay Holiday Guide, our featured partners are also offerings a variety of give-a-ways! Want to be eligible to win one of a variety of great prizes?  You’ve got to have signed-up for our mailing list. If you are already receiving our e-mails, then best of luck – You are already entered!

If not, please click here to sign-up and enter the drawing.

Now, please scroll down and check out some great holiday gift ideas from partners that support our community.

Open since 2004, bluecashew has blazed a trail of innovation, fusing utility & design into a well-merchandised specialty kitchen experience. At bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy, Sean and Greg pride themselves on finding the most unique and classic quality goods with an all budget friendly understanding.

At bluecashew they strive to be inspirational, informed, courteous and never underestimate their customers. Whether you are looking for a simple stocking stuffer for the food enthusiast in your life, or a complete makeover of your entire culinary collection, the boys of the bluecashew have the perfect mix of products for you.

bluecashew invites you to join them this Saturday, December 4th from 2:30 – 5:30pm for a special unveiling of their Holiday windows – created by set designer and artist, Paul O’Connor. Based in Bloomington, NY for the past 11 years, Paul is a master carpenter and instructor at Vassar College in the Theater Department. Immediately following the event is a yearly must – the Rhinebeck Sinterklaas parade.

Shop bluecashew in person at 6423 Montgomery Street, Suite 3, in Rhinebeck, or check out their website.

Let’s face it, we all love coming home to a clean house. Thanks to R&C Cleaning that reality is only a phone call away. R&C Cleaning offers commercial and residential cleaning services throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley. From builders and real estate agents who are working with empty properties to occupied offices and homes, R&C’s professional staff and impeccable service are topped only by their incredibly reasonable rates.

Proprietor Cathy Temple’s work can be seen throughout the Valley as her company already services many local businesses including the Bardavon Opera House, County Players theater, the Dutchess County Association of Realtors, Kallman Insurance, Vassar College, and the Dutchess County Arts Council. Check out their website for a partial list of services offered and give them a call today to schedule your free consultation with Cathy herself.

To inquire, visit Cathy online at or call 845.473.4645; Mention BGHV, and you’ll receive 10% off your first cleaning.

Built in 1764, the recently renovated and expanded Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa combines modern luxury and comfort with historic elegance and charm. Their 70-acre estate on the banks of the Hudson has been carefully landscaped to preserve its natural beauty. Stroll through exquisite gardens, flowering terraces, and wild flower fields. Hike past ponds, brooks, streams, and waterfalls as swans serenely glide by.

Visit their Spa and feel your tension melt away with an aromatherapy massage. Renew with a rejuvenating facial. Relax in your private whirlpool. Curl-up in front of your own fireplace. Sleep on a cloud of down in an antique canopy bed. Wake to the smell of freshly baked scones and marvel at spectacular sunrise over the Hudson.

A weekend away at Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa makes a great gift for you and that special person in your life. Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa – a short drive from the city, a million miles away. Look for their restaurant, Henry’s, coming in January!

To book your get-a-way now, or to learn more about Buttermilk’s Spa Services, please call Adam Glinert, General Manager at 877.7.INN.SPA, or visit their website. Mention that you read about Buttermilk Falls Inn on to Adam or any of their Innkeepers and get an additional 10% off your reservation! Good through February 2011.

This holiday season, why not give yourself or those close to you the gift of convenience, by exploring the luxury rental opportunities available at the newly opened Vineyard Commons – right across the Mid-Hudson Bridge in Highland, New York.

Located in the heart of the Historic Hudson River Valley, Vineyard Commons is an extraordinary luxury rental community unlike anything you’ve seen before. These most sought after residences were built for maintenance-free living and include:
• High end luxury apartment homes, at affordable prices
• First rate services
• A vast array of amenities
• Gourmet Dining at their public restaurant, The Bistro at Vineyard Commons

Residences here enjoy the rural character of country living while remaining connected to the culture and energy of NYC. Vineyard Commons is dedicated to providing affordable upscale style housing to individuals and families from every walk of life.

To schedule a tour of Vineyard Commons, please contact Charlie Vetter Jr., Associate Broker, ABR, SRES, Houlihan Lawrence @ 845.464.1687 direct or e-mail him at

Located in a newly restored building in the heart of Poughkeepsie’s revitalized Main Street, Bull and Buddha, offering a chic yet casual setting, Bull and Buddha blends an understated urban interior with exotic Asian design elements, including a hand-carved two-ton Buddha that greets entering guests from behind the bar.

The menu fuses fresh sushi, noodle dishes, and steaks to create an exciting and unique dining experience. Owned and operated by a group of “20 and 30-something’s”, Bull and Buddha boasts a young and energetic atmosphere, making it the perfect place to lounge with friends over drinks or have a memorable (late) night out. Bull and Buddha is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner – and don’t miss their new unlimited Champagne brunch on Sundays for only $25 per person!

A gift certificate to the Bull and Buddha is a great idea for adventurous food lover on your list. To order your gift certificate, call the Bull and Buddha at (845) 337-4848, or just stop by 319 Main Street in Poughkeepsie. To learn more about the restaurant, and check out their menus, visit their website.

Be sure to mark your calendars, and join BGHV at the Bull and Buddha on December 16th for the Christmas with Tom & Trixie after party!

Kevin and his wife, Val, have a passion for wine and, as a lifelong resident of Poughkeepsie, he is excited to be able to fulfill his dream of owning a local wine shop. South Side Wine & Spirts is conveniently located at 202 Hooker Avenue on the Southside of Poughkeepsie and they offer plenty of parking both on street – as well as behind the store.

Take advantage of Kevin’s knowledgeable, friendly service with 10% off your first purchase, or just stop in to chat (or have a taste) – he welcomes the opportunity to talk about wine!

Southside Wine & Spirits is the sponsor of the bar during the intermission of Christmas with Tom & Trixie on December 16th at the Cuneen Hackett Art Center in Poughkeepsie. Wines will be offered for $5 a glass during intermission with all the proceeds of the bar benefiting Hudson Valley PFLAG. Learn more about their store by visiting their website.

This Holiday season why not make your hair disappear and your skin crystal clear? Derma Laser Center offers a variety of services such as Laser Hair Removal, Spider Vein Therapy, Facial treatments, body massage services, along with a staff specializing in professional makeup and permanent cosmetic makeup.

Derma Laser Center of Poughkeepsie is conveniently located on RTE 9 behind the Merrill Lynch building and is offering a variety of specials for the holiday season; 25% off a package or 50% off two or more packages.

Schedule your facial or body massage this month and receive an additional $10 off!

For a free consultation or to book an appointment, Call Assunta, General Manager, at 845-473-3762 or visit them on the web at


Always ready when you are, a gift card to The Culinary Institute of America is the perfect way for you or your favorite foodie to experience the CIA and bring the world of food to life. Available in any denomination from $20 to $3,000, CIA gift cards never expire!

CIA Gift Cards may be used to dine at any of the award-winning restaurants at their Hyde Park, NY campus including the Escoffier Restaurant, American Bounty Restaurant, Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, St. Andrew’s Café, and the Apple Pie Bakery Café. CIA Gift Cards can also be used to register for a one-day food enthusiast or professional development class at any of the college’s locations in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; or San Antonio, TX.

Visit the CIA’s website to purchase your gift card online or call 1-866-242-7787 today. Want to stay in the loop as to the many offerings from the CIA? Sign up for their mailing list today.


Located in the heart of the Arlington business district, Babycakes Café is popular with the Vassar College community and locals alike. This funky European-style eatery offers quality, made-from-scratch food in a casual setting.

The café serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch with take-out and catering available. Featuring everything from freshly baked sweets to house-made pasta, Babycake’s also offers a full bar with a unique wine and beer list that makes it the place to be for a relaxing night out.

Babycakes is also quickly becoming popular as the host site each and every week for Big Gay Wednesday Night! Since the closing of Griff’s, Babycakes is now the place to be every Wednesday from 9pm to 1am as Ryan and Josh of Prephab DJ’s serve up the tunes. Stop in for dinner before the music begins, and then stay for a drink or dessert well into the night.

To learn more about Babycakes Cafe, pick up a gift card, or dress your holiday table with something sweet from their pastry case, visit their website.

One of our favorite places to browse for gifts, Julie Saffron’s Cocoon, does a great job when bringing together unique – and very affordable – items from around the world. Whether it be for your home, living room, bedroom or kitchen, you’re guaranteed to find something fabulous on the shelves of one of our favorite places to shop.

Julie’s inventory is fresh and inspired, featuring a rotating stock from amazing brands like Vosges, Bodum, Acca Kappa, and many more.  Just how many gay-themed tchotchkes can you find peppered around the store?

You can find Cocoon right in the Village of New Paltz at 67 Main Street. You can also shop their store online.

If you thought Cocoon had fun stuff for your home, then come and check out it’s sister store – Verde . With some amazing products and accessories for your garden, Verde can help you bring the best of the great outdoors inside during the chilly winter months ahead.

Packed with great gift ideas, both Cocoon and Verde are like an adventure in shopping – with great new ideas around the corner. Of course, if you are not sure what to purchase for your loved ones, gift certificates to Cocoon and Verde are always a great option too.

Verde is located right around the corner from Cocoon at 3 North Front Street.  Drop in or give them a call at 845.255.4500


At Fox and Hound Wines, owners Nick and Tom strive to make wine shopping less intimidating for people. As the area’s only gay-owned wine and spirits store, they provide a warm and welcoming environment where guests in their store are comfortable browsing and discovering wines for themselves.

With a  friendly and knowledgeable staff, they work hard to stock their store with a wide selection of hand selected boutique wines and spirits and to keep their prices as competitive as possible. For the owners, the name Fox and Hound Wine & Spirits captures an upscale Hudson Valley vibe and has allowed the owners to incorporate a portion of their personal collection of dog art and antiques into a store design that is reflective of their interests and tastes.

Check out their website to stay current on store tastings and drop into the store at 20 New Paltz Plaza in the Village of New Paltz.

The Holiday season is upon us, and while there are plenty of “traditional” favorites to enjoy, BGHV, Trixie Starr, and Tom Judson are bringing something new to Poughkeepsie on Thursday, December 16th at 8pm; “Christmas with Tom & Trixie: Is That All There Is?” After all, nothing says “Christmas” like a drag queen and an ex-adult film star!

That’s why famed Hudson Valley drag sensation Trixie Starr and Tom Judson (a.k.a. GayVN Award winner “Gus Mattox”) have teamed up to create what promises to be the holiday cabaret spectacular of 2010. The show will include a variety of holiday and popular songs, audience singalongs and even a fundraising Bingo game at intermission.

“Christmas with Tom & Trixie: Is That All There Is?” will be full of fun and imbued with the holiday spirit. So come all ye faithful, ye faithless and everything in between to the musical, mirthful must-see holiday show of 2010! Tickets are $20 each, and can be purchased via PayPal, and a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Hudson Valley PFLAG.

To learn more about the show dates and times for their additional performances in Albany, Hudson, White Plains, and the Berkshires, be sure to visit Limited quantities are available for the December 16th show in Poughkeepsie, so be sure to purchase your tickets online today before they sell out!

Not sure what to get that special someone on your list? You know who we mean: the man who has everything, or the woman with impeccable taste.

Give the gift that fits everyone—a Membership to the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center. Available through the Center’s Website, just include the recipient’s information on the form, select “gift membership,” and enter your name and short message in the “Gift From” text box. The Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center will even send the gift membership card in a special package!

If you’re interested in Staying A ‘Mo In the Know, drop in to the center at their home at 300 Wall Street in Kingston.

Of course, there are many other gay-owned or gay-friendly places in the Hudson Valley that you might consider visiting for your holiday shopping needs. For a full listing of other places you might want to check out, please visit BGHV’s resource page. Wherever you spend your money this season, we hope you consider buying local – and patronizing those that support our community.


All the best for a healthy and happy Holiday season!
With Warm Wishes,
Stephan & Patrick