Winter Day Trips for NYC-Area Families

Winter Day Trips for NYC-Area Families


The cold weather doesn’t mean your family has to stay inside all winter. There are plenty of travel destinations right outside of New York City where you can enjoy a quick day trip or a long weekend. We’ve rounded up a few places we think are worth checking out this winter.

RELATED: Our guide to the best family day trips 


Mohonk Mountain House
1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz
Travel Time: 1.5 hours from NYC

Located just 90 miles away from NYC, many families make a visit to Mohonk Mountain House an annual event. This Victorian Castle hotel offers a variety of family-friendly activities, including ice skating, snowshoeing, tubing, and cross-country skiing. There’s also a spa and the hotel’s Kids' Club, so the little ones can stay occupied while you get that much-needed massage.

Greek Peak Mountain Resort 
2000 NYS Route 392, Cortland
Travel Time: 3.5 hours

Greek Peak Mountain Resort has 38 trails, perfect for all skill levels. There’s also tubing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Nearby Hope Lake Lodge has an indoor water park.

Westmoreland Sanctuary 
260 Chestnut Ridge Road, Mount Kisco
Time Travel: Under 2 hours

Not only can families learn about wildlife in the area, but in March, they can also celebrate Maple Sugaring season with programming, demonstrations and an “all you can eat” pancake feast. Learn about the evolution and process of maple sugaring, as well as how to tap a tree.

Bear Mountain State Park 
Palisades Parkway or Route 9W North, Bear Mountain
Time Travel: Under 2 hours

Bear Mountain State Park is situated in rugged mountains rising from the west bank of the Hudson River. During the winter months, families can visit the Trailside Museums and Zoo, as well as enjoy hiking and cross-country ski trails. There’s also an outdoor rink which is open to ice skaters from late October through mid-March, and a Merry-Go-Round featuring hand painted scenes of the park on 42 hand-carved seats. Want to stay the weekend? The Bear Mountain Inn is nearby.


Stamford Museum & Nature Center 
39 Scofield Town Road, Stamford
Travel Time: 1¼ hours

Located on 112 acres in North Stamford, this sanctuary also supports a working farm with heritage breed animals kids can visit, plus an organic vegetable garden and open pastures, nature center, and the Edith & Robert Graham Otter Pond. This winter, there is also the Billion Bricks interactive family workshops, where parents and kids learn to build specific Lego designs.

Mystic Seaport
75 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic
Travel Time: 2.5 hours

While Mystic is a beautiful place to visit in warm weather, you don’t have to skip it in the winter.  Families can still explore historic wooden ships dating all the way back to 1841, and pay a visit to the nearby Children's Museum for kids 7 and younger. And of course, don’t forget to check out the Planetarium and say hello to the fish at the Aquarium.

Allegra Farms Sleigh Rides 
Lake Hayward Road, East Haddam
Travel Time: 2.5 hours

Celebrate the season with an antique sleigh ride through the New England countryside. There’s also the Horse Drawn Carriage and Sleigh Museum of New England located on the farm, just don’t forget to bring your own refreshments.


Santa’s Special Paradise Express 
301 Gap Road, Ronks
Travel Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

In December, the Strasburg Rail Road offers a 45-minute ride with Santa and friends, featuring stories and treats. Post-ride, kids can give their wish list to Mrs. Claus and take a ride on the Tinsel Trolley, a self-propelled motorcar. 

Kalahari Resorts 
250 Kalahari Blvd, Pocono Manor
Travel Time: Under 2 hours

Kalahari features a 100,000-square-foot water park with retractable roof and a 30,000-square-foot Family Entertainment Center, which includes an arcade stocked with the latest games and an indoor Mini-Golf course.

New Jersey

Lakota Wolf Preserve 
89 Mount Pleasant Road, Columbia
Travel Time: 90 minutes

The Preserve offers Wolf Watch tours twice a day, giving you and your loved ones the opportunity to willingly get surrounded by packs of wild animals (keep in mind that there is no actual contact with the wolves).


RELATED: Download our Freebie Guide to Fun Winter Activites