Don’t let the cold temperatures and slushy roads prevent you from getting out and about this winter and going on winter day trips from NYC. There are numerous winter day trips from NYC available to keep you 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.
Relaxing winter day trips from NYC: Top resorts & spas
Spa Castle – 131-10 11th Ave., 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 bath as well as several restaurants serving Korean, Italian and Japanese cuisine, as well as a juice bar.
Mohonk Mountain House – 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz, N.Y.
Located in a Victorian castle along Lake Mohonk, this site has a spa with various types of treatments, outdoor and indoor pools, six tennis court, kids’ club, ice rink and trails. The restaurant serves both a la carte and buffet-style meals, and afternoon tea and cookies are available in the resort’s fireside lounge. Its rooms feature period decor as well as fireplaces, balconies and kitchens.
Whiteface Lodge – 7 Whiteface Inn Lane, Lake Placid, N.Y.
Located in Adirondack Park, this resort features 6 million acres of recreation area and includes a movie theater, bowling alley, canoeing, ice skating, full service spa, fitness center, wellness classes, saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs and a restaurant. Its buildings – which include 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 – 290 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk, N.Y.
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, heated indoor saltwater pool and gym, as well as a cocktail lounge, beach club and several restaurants. The rooms feature high-definition TVs, iPod docks, wet bars, pull-out sofas, private verandas, kitchens, beamed ceilings, fireplaces and terraces for a cozy stay.
Fun for the kids
Bounce Trampoline Sports – Locations in Connecticut and New York
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.
WonderWorks – 9090 Destiny USA Drive, Syracuse, N.Y.
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 4-D motion ride. Other activities include virtual sports, creating three-dimensional images and an Xtreme bike ride.
Legoland Discovery Center Westchester – 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers, N.Y.
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 4-D 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.
Coco Key Water Resort – 915 NJ 73, Mt. Laurel, N.J.
Who says the pool is closed for the winter? This indoor water park features aquatic jungle gym, wading pool, large water slides, a lazy river, mini-pool with a basketball court, adults-only whirlpool, and indoor-outdoor spa and eateries. Overnight packages are available for onsite lodging.
Windham Mountain – 19 Resort Drive, Windham, N.Y.
Windham Mountain Ski Resort offers 54 trails for skiers, six terrain parks, a 650-foot slope for tubing, ice skating, 3 miles of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, a mini snowmobile park, a hybrid bungee jump-trampoline and twin zip lines, which enable visitors to race down a 500-foot course while 40 feet up in the air.
Alpine Endeavors – 44 Main St., New Paltz, N.Y.
Guides from the group pick up visitors from the Poughkeepsie Metro-North Station, take them to lunch and then drive them to some of the top spots for ice climbing in the region. All equipment is provided and instructions are included for beginners in parties of three or more.
Fahnestock Winter Park – 1570 Route 301, Carmel, N.Y.
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 – 2000 NY-392, Cortland, N.Y.
A ski resort and indoor waterpark, 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 waterpark with a whitewater wave pool, rapids, slides and a hot spring.
Nature-filled winter day trips from New York
Stamford Museum and Nature Center – 39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford, Conn.
Originally a private estate, the 118-acre museum now houses a 10-acre working farm and Tudor-style museum and 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 – 89 Mt. Pleasant Road, Columbia, N.J.
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 site’s 21 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.
Riverhead Foundation Seal Cruise – 28 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport, N.Y.
The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation operates this two-hour afternoon seal cruise, which departs from Freeport on winter weekends. Midwinter is a great time for spotting harbor and gray seals that are migrating south. An onboard naturalist 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 – 5281 Route 44-55, Kerhonkson, N.Y.
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.