Don’t let the cold temperatures and slushy roads prevent you from going on one of these winter day trips from NYC. There are so many ways to stay busy this season.
Our list includes excursions that require you to embrace the cold and others that are warm and relaxing respites from the frosty weather. And while most of them make for a great day out, a few are out-of-state or offer lodging to justify an extended weekend visit.
Note: Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, please check official websites before visiting to check for restrictions or closures.
Relaxing Winter Day Trips From NYC: Resorts and Spas
College Point, N.Y.
During the winter months, this Queens sauna and spa is a hot spot for those seeking a warm and relaxing respite from the cold. The site features spa pools, saunas, a fitness center, sleeping room and a meditation room. There’s also a beauty spa and hydrotherapy pools as well as a juice bar and light dining options.
Mohonk Mountain House
New Paltz, N.Y.
Located in a Victorian castle along Lake Mohonk, highlights at this resort include trails, a spa, outdoor and indoor pools, an ice rink and views for days. There are a variety of dining options, and afternoon tea and cookies in the fireside lounge. Day access to the Mountain House and property is available to those with advance dining or spa reservations. A winter sports day pass can also be purchased, which includes equipment rental fees for ice skates, snowshoes and other activities.
Lake Placid, N.Y.
Located in Adirondack Park, this resort features 6 million acres of recreation area and has a movie theater, bowling alley, ice skating, full-service spa, fitness center, wellness classes, saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs and restaurants. Its buildings, accented with wood-beamed exteriors and cast iron fireplaces, reflect 19th century architecture. Visitors can try out the slopes on Whiteface Mountain or drop by the Olympic Museum.
Gurney’s Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa
Only 4 miles from the Montauk train station, this oceanfront resort showcases the best of the beach in the off-season, making it one of the best winter day trips from NYC. It features a full-service spa with heated indoor saltwater pool and gym, as well as a cocktail lounge and several restaurants. While you are in town, discover more ways you can enjoy your day in Montauk in the winter.
Fun For the Kids
Bounce! Trampoline Sports
Locations throughout N.Y.
Filled with wall-to-wall trampoline courts, this 50,000-square foot-emporium in Long Island features trampolines that reach to the ceiling, a bungee ride and a dodgeball court. Kids can jump into foam blocks or play on inflatable obstacle courses in the safe space. But perhaps the most fun is in trying to slam-dunk basketballs.
Described as an “amusement park for the mind,” this site features more than 100 hands-on science exhibits and attractions, laser tag, a ropes course and a 4D motion ride. Other activities include virtual sports, creating three-dimensional images and Xtreme 360 Bikes.
Legoland Discovery Center Westchester
Among millions of Lego bricks, there’s tons of fun stuff to do at Legoland Discovery Center at the Ridge Hill shopping center in Yonkers. With a 4D cinema, indoor Lego playground and a mini New York City replica, this interactive indoor attraction is another one of the best winter day trips from NYC, especially for children ages 3-10. Save up to 30% at Legoland Discover Center with your AAA discount.
CoCo Key Water Resort
Mt. Laurel, N.J.
Who says the pool is closed for the winter? This indoor water park features an aquatic jungle gym, wading pool, large water slides, a lazy river, mini pool with a basketball court, adults-only whirlpool, an indoor-outdoor spa and eateries. Overnight packages are available for onsite lodging.
Windham Mountain Ski Resort offers 54 trails for skiers, six terrain parks, snow tubing slope, ice skating, 3 miles of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, a mini snowmobile park and more.
Ice Climbing With Alpine Endeavors
New Paltz, N.Y.
Allow expert guides to show you the top spots for ice climbing in the region from November through mid-April. All equipment is provided and instructions are customized to the experience level of your group. If you prefer your feet on the ground, Alpine Endeavors also leads winter hikes and snowshoe treks.
Fahnestock Winter Park
Featuring nearly 10 miles of machine-groomed trails through a 16,000-acre preserve, Clarence Fahnestrock Winter Park is a great spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The winter sports zone includes a base lodge that offers hourly rentals of skis, show shoes, sleds and inner tubes, as well as hot chocolate and other snacks that can be enjoyed in front of the fireplace.
Greek Peak Mountain Resort
Ski resort Greek Peak has activities for those planning to spend time outdoors and those who seek an escape from the freezing temperatures. You can ski on the mountain’s 32 trails from December through mid-March. There’s also snow tubing and an indoor water park with a whitewater wave pool, rapids, slides and a hot spring.
Find more family-friendly ski resorts in the Northeast.
Nature-Filled Winter Day Trips From New York
Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Originally a private estate, the 118-acre museum now houses a 10-acre working farm and Tudor-style museum. There is also a gallery featuring exhibitions, an interactive nature center, outdoor trails, a large planetarium, four-story observatory with a research telescope, playground and an otter pond. The center also offers seasonal exhibits, festivals, children’s programming and camps.
Lakota Wolf Preserve
Being surrounded by a pack of wolves in the woods might not sound like the most appealing winter activity, but it is if you’re visiting New Jersey’s Lakota Wolf Preserve, which cares for wolfs, foxes and bobcats born in captivity. Visitors can meet some of the wolves in a fenced-in area and tour the site as well, making this one of the best winter day trips from NYC for animal lovers.
Long Island Seal Watching Cruise
Midwinter is a great time for spotting harbor and gray seals on Long Island. The two-hour cruise is led by onboard naturalists who tells visitors about the biology and behavior of seals and other sea creatures that might be spotted during the cruise. Reservations are required.
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Known for its lakes and waterfalls that become dramatic icescapes during the winter, Minnewaska State Park has 23,000 acres that include 25 miles of footpaths and 35 miles of carriage roads. You can also take a 3-mile hike led by the site’s environmental educator that stops at Awosting Falls. Snowshoes can be rented per day, and the site has a $10 vehicle entry fee.
Which one of these winter day trips tickles your fancy? Let us know in the comment section.