Day trips: Offbeat fests

Kick up your heels at these quirky shindigs.

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Photograph: Courtesy of Cupcake Fest

Cupcake Festival

Cupcake Festival

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Rubber Ducky Festival

Rubber Ducky Festival

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Photograph: Courtesy of Hon Festival

Honfest

Honfest

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Photograph: Courtesy of Hon Festival

Honfest

Honfest

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Photograph: Courtesy of Hon Festival

Honfest

Honfest

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Photograph: Courtesy of the Hunter Mountain Brat Brew Fest

Hunter Mountain's Brats & Brews Festival

Hunter Mountain's Brats & Brews Festival

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Photograph: Courtesy of the Hunter Mountain Brat Brew Fest

Hunter Mountain's Brats & Brews Festival

Hunter Mountain's Brats & Brews Festival

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Photograph: Courtesy of the Hunter Mountain Brat Brew Fest

Hunter Mountain's Brats & Brews Festival

Hunter Mountain's Brats & Brews Festival

RECOMMENDED: See all day trip ideas

Cupcake Festival; Gardiner, NY
Travel time: Two hours from NYC by car
During this daylong baked-goods extravaganza, dozens of vendors display cupcakes, sweets and the occasional savory treat. The epic bake-sale-cum-block-party also features local musicians. The icing on the (cup)cake is the amateur contest, with prizes awarded for prettiest, most creative, most delicious and people's choice. If you think you've got the winning recipe, you can register for a kiosk before the event. gardinercupcakefestival.com. May 15; free.

Rubber Ducky Festival; Tannersville, NY
Travel time: Two and a half hours from NYC by car
This bucolic upstate shindig brings the bath-time creatures into the wild. Adopt one of 500 rubber duckies at a neighborhood merchant ($5) and join the throngs of locals who release them into Gooseberry Creek at 11am. Ducks float upstream and end across from Rip Van Winkle Lake, where the first three win cash prizes; their arrival is heralded in a festival complete with food and craft vendors, as well asa local DJ. At 2pm, decorated canoes tear up and down the lake in the Crazy Boat Race. tannersvilleny.org. May 28; free.

Honfest; Baltimore, MD
Travel time: Two and a half hours from NYC by train
You want kitschy? You got it. Charm City's Honfest will make you think the cast of Hairspray just exploded into town. A nostalgic celebration of working-class women—'60s-era, colorfully clad, community-spirited "hons"—this bash exudes "Bawlmer" culture. Check out local art, gorge on crab cakes and Polish sausage, and pile up your beehive in preparation for the centerpiece event: the Best Hon contest. After all, the higher the hair, the closer to God. honfest.net. June 11--12; free.
Make it an overnight: The family behind top Greek restaurant the Black Olive, in the harborside Fells Point neighborhood, has just opened a LEED-certified-green inn one street over. The Inn at the Black Olive comprises 12 suites outfitted with organic mattresses and hydrotherapy tubs, a gourmet market and a rooftop restaurant. 410-276-7142, theblackolive.com. Rates start at $375; mention TONY to receive 15 percent off through June 12.

Hunter Mountain's Brats & Brews Festival; Hunter, NY
Travel time: Two and a half hours from NYC by car
Pull on your lederhosen and enjoy all the sausages, bratwurst and schnitzel you can eat. Sample five varieties of beer, including Franziskaner Weissbier or Spaten Lager, to the oompah-pah of Austria's Die Fahrenbacher and America's favorite Polka band, Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra. After a few steins, you'll be itching to hit the floor with the Schuhplattler dancers. huntermtn.com. Aug 13--14; admission TBA.

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