By Kaitlin Ahern

Top 20 Winter Activities in Rockland County

June 13, 2014   |    

Plan an exciting winter in Rockland County with our top 20 best cold-weather activities in Rockland County, including activities in Ramapo, Nyack, Orangetown, Clarkstown, and Haverstraw. Don't miss winter seasonal fun, like ice skating at a local rink, celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas with the Rockland community, sing along at The Bossy Frog Band's Holiday show, and catch a thrilling IMAX movie at the Palisades Center Mall.

1. Journey to Outer Space

Join a Public Space Mission at the Town of Ramapo Challenger Center on the third Sunday of every month, when kids can go on simulated, interactive missions to Mars, the moon, and a comet.

moon mission
ice skating

2. Go Ice Skating

Hit the ice for some classic winter fun at Bear Mountain State Park Ice Rink. The rink is typically open early November through mid-March (weather pending). Find more indoor and outdoor ice rinks in the area.

3. Cut Down a Christmas Tree

Make this Christmas special with an early December trip to cut your own Christmas tree at Emmerich Tree Farm in Warwick (Dutchess County), where you can also enjoy wagon rides to fields, hot chocolate, and cookies by the bonfire. Search for more tree farms in the area. 

cut your own christmas tree

4. Celebrate Hanukkah

At the Family Hanukkah Event at JCC Rockland in West Nyack, families can help build a giant Hanukkah menorah out of Legos. The time frame for this event depends on when Hanukkah falls—check our calendar for updates.

5. Meet St. Nicholas

The Historical Society of Rockland County opens the doors to the 1832 Jacob Blauvelt House in New City to welcome children of all ages to celebrate St. Nicholas Day. Each child receives a special treat in his/her shoe from St. Nicholas, and everyone can visit with St. Nicholas and his horse, enjoy refreshments, and visit the society’s current exhibition.


6. See The Nutcracker

Rockland Youth Dance Ensemble presents that classic Christmas tale, The Nutcracker ballet, at SUNY Rockland Community College in early to mid-December. If you plan to head into the city for a Christmas show, too, check out our top picks.

7. Bah Humbug! It's A Christmas Carol

TheatreworksUSA presents a family-friendly version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, NJ, usually a few days before Christmas. The show typically stops by for only one performance, so be sure to buy tickets early.

8. Go Skiing

Grab your gear and pack up the kids for a day of skiing or snowboarding at one of the area’s family-friendly resorts. Find tons of area ski and snowboard resorts here.

kids skiing

9. Sled Downhill

When the flakes start to fly, pull out your Flexible Flyer and get set for some snowday fun. But before you head out to your local sledding hill, be sure to check out our sledding safety tips

10. See The Bossy Frog Live!

The Bossy Frog Band’s Holiday Show features everyone’s favorite frog in a seasonal, non-denominational, end-of-December celebration full of music and dancing. The show has been held at the Lafayette Theatre in Suffern and the Nyack Center; check our calendar for location details closer to the show. Before you go, see tips from Bossy Frog’s Rockland-based bandleader Jeffrey Friedberg (who is also a certified music therapist) on how to make the most of your child’s concert experience at

bossy frog

11. Count Down to 2015

Kick off the New Year at Bear Mountain State Park. The ice rink, carousel, and zoo area are open all day on Jan. 1. Find more winter activities in the Rockland area.

mickey and minnie skating

12. Disney on Ice

The Disney on Ice tour typically stops at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ, for a few days in early January. Check online for the full schedule.

13. Volunteer in Your Community

Give back to the community on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in mid-January. Learn more about volunteer opportunities in the Rockland area. 

lego play kid

14. Travel to LEGOLAND

Escape from the cold and head to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester in nearby Yonkers. Among its attractions, LEGOLAND boasts several themed building stations, rides, and MINILAND, a miniature re-creation of the New York metro landscape. 


15. Watch a Movie on the Big Screen


What’s better on a cold winter weekend than some warm popcorn and a family movie? Head to the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack to catch the latest films in IMAX. Or if you have a family member with sensory issues, opt for a sensory-friendly matinee where the lights stay up, the sound is turned down, and audience members are encouraged to get up and make as much noise as they please.

16. Bounce Around on a Trampoline

Keep the kids active in the cold months at Bounce! Trampoline Sports, an indoor play space at 612 Corporate Way in Valley Cottage that has tons of fun trampolines and foam pits.

camp binoculars

17. Get Excited for Camp

Look ahead and start planning the perfect summer for your child at the indispensable Westchester Camp & Summer Activities Fair at Crowne Plaza in nearby White Plains, typically held in early February. Meet directors, learn about a wide variety of programs, and even win a prize or two. 

18. Dress Up for the Princess Ball

Bring your little sweetheart to the Princess Ball at New Jersey Children’s Museum, located at 599 Valley Health Plaza in Paramus, NJ. This pre-Valentine’s Day celebration offers kids the chance to meet Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, and several other Disney princesses while enjoying dinner and dancing.

19. Catch the Harlem Globetrotters

Catch the famous Harlem Globetrotters in mid-February, when these world-class ball-handlers show off their skills on the basketball court at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ. 

harlem globetrotters
maple sugaring

20. Learn About Maple Syrup

Do you love syrup on your pancakes? See where the sweet stuff comes from during a maple sugaring event at The Nature Place Day Camp in Chestnut Ridge. You’ll learn how to tap a tree and boil down sap into syrup. Find more details, plus other locations that host maple sugaring events in February and early March.



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