Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Experiences Under the Stars

These New York resorts offer after-dark activities to keep the agenda engaging and memorable for attendees after the sun goes down

By Linden M. Bayliss

Resorts in New York are offering after-dark experiences for groups. || Photo by lansa, courtesy of Adobe

Recent statistics released by Event Production Network (EPN) based in West Windsor Township, New Jersey, show that 67% of attendees at in-person events show up to experience something new or interesting. With summer nights offering warmth, starlight, and fireflies, memorable experiences abound after the sun sets at two resorts in the Empire State this season.

The Overlook Platform at Inns of Aurora Resort & Spa is the stargazing destination for its lantern-lit sunset hike. || Courtesy of Inns of Aurora Resort & Spa

Inns of Aurora Resort & Spa in Aurora, New York, nestled along the Finger Lakes, is comprised of six restored historic homes with cozy accommodations including in-room fireplaces, private balconies, and views of Cayuga Lake. The resort’s activities are all centered around wellness and nature, and it offers an exciting late-hour option to get out on the trail—its lantern-lit sunset hike. During this experience, participants will gather at dusk for a guided hike with the resort’s resident outdoorsmen—the hike begins at the Webster Barn trailhead and heads up to the Overlook Platform for an evening of campfires, s’mores, and stargazing. Throughout the hike, guides provide education about the indigenous plants and native medicinal herbs scattered along the trail.

When the sun sets at Mohonk Mountain House, attendees can experience nighttime yoga or campfires. || Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York, is a Victorian castle resort situated on 40,000 acres of protected forest. This National Historic Landmark, founded in 1869, offers numerous team-building activities and experiences planners can tack on to the agenda, including a few nighttime specials. Under its wellness offerings, Yoga Under the Stars gathers teams at Mohonk outside at night for a peaceful, close-to-nature session of Yin Yoga, a slow-paced yoga style in which poses are held for a longer time for a deeper stretch. On Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays throughout the summer, Mohonk hosts Campfire Under the Stars activities, where attendees can roast marshmallows by the fire while listening to live music by musicians from across the Hudson Valley. A private campfire with lawn games setup can be added on to a group’s schedule that includes s’mores as well as outdoor games like giant Jenga and cornhole.

Campfire songs and s’mores can be enjoyed at Mohonk Mountain House on summer nights. || Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

Both hotels have a plethora of meeting spaces available for booking as well. At Inns of Aurora, planners can take advantage of its Taylor House Conference Center housed in a grand lakeside estate first built in 1838—its two floors contain grand parlors, a boardroom, and an ornate dining room and large patio that can accommodate up to 50 attendees. Mohonk Mountain House offers spacious rooms like its Cliff View Room, offering an abundance of natural light, views of the lush mountainside, and 1,440 square feet of space. Mohonk also provides a complete meetings package that includes a dedicated meeting planner from its team, overnight accommodations, three farm-to-table meals a day, a meeting room, and a full audiovisual setup plus more.