Tucked away in the corner of Beacon, an unusual and stimulating gem quietly beckons visitors. The Dia: Beacon is a local museum that pushes the art envelope. Check any preconceived notions you hold about “art” at the door, because the Dia will take you on a wild ride. Installations at the Dia include large-scale steel sculptures, yarn hung in crude shapes, piles of glass, fluorescent lights arranged as monuments, and a spider bigger than your car, but really that only scrapes the surface. Dia means “passing through” in Greek, and the art at the museum urges you to experience it fully, moving through the pieces and taking them in both singularly and collectively. The work at the Dia is much more than a painting here and there, but rather works of art that span multiple rooms and give meaning to the concept “larger than life.” Equally stunning is the Dia building itself, which is a repurposed Nabisco printing factory from the early 1900s. A lush urban garden surrounds the building, but the magic truly begins inside. Mile-high ceilings loaded with the original skylights, exposed brick, and airy, natural light is the perfect backdrop for the thought-provoking, sometimes shocking pieces housed inside. The Dia doesn’t allow pictures, so you’ll have to see for yourself. They offer frequent Community Free days for Hudson Valley residents; the next one is coming up on October 19th. Do not miss your opportunity to spend the afternoon exposing your family a once-in-a-lifetime art experience, and then discuss your favorite pieces over a picnic at the nearby Hudson River front. I promise, you won’t regret it.