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Best winter weekend getaways from NYC for families

From skiing to indoor water parks, the best winter weekend getaways from NYC are great when the weather dips.

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Winter can be magical in NYC, with plenty of options for ice skating, sledding and sipping hot chocolate. These seasonal activities are just a few of the amazing things to do with kids in the winter. When the crew needs a change of scenery, however, think about planning a little break. These winter getaways from NYC for families will scratch the itch for something new while embracing the best of the season. If your family is into skiing, snowboarding or snow tubing, head to a nearby family-friendly ski resort. Or maybe the kids would like to take in the wintry landscape with a train ride. Nature lovers might consider a cozy, family-friendly cabin for a little R&R and exploration. If you need a break from the cold, no problem — check out one of the fun indoor amusement parks or indoor water parks that are within just a few hours from the city. So pack up the car, bundle up and head out for one of these fun winter weekend getaways from NYC that the whole family will love.

Winter getaways from NYC for families

  • Things to do
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Travel time: 2 hours and 45 minutes by car from NYC

With a 1600-foot vertical drop and 12 miles of trails, Windham Mountain is one of the biggest and best-run ski areas close to NYC. The ski school program for ages 4-9 includes lift ticket, rental and 2-hours and 30-minutes of instruction. Skiing's not your thing? Try the tubing park, or nurse a warm cup of cocoa in the lodge. A free shuttle connects the ski area to the picturesque village of Windham, where you will find comfy hotels and cozy restaurants. Who needs the Alps when you have the Catskills?

Travel time: 2 hours and 20 minutes by car

Camelback Resort is the ultimate winter wonderland twofer: you can hit the slopes and tubing park for snowy fun outdoors, or splash around in the massive indoor waterpark for some tropical fun. The water park is complete with tube slides, the adventurous Venus Slydetrap, the gnarly Bombora Flowrider—it's worth the hype, and a nice change of pace from chillier activities. Soak up the 84-degree temperature as kids choose which one of the 13 slides suits their needs. There's also a lazy river for those who want to take things slow. If you have tots in tow, not to worry—kiddie slides are at the ready. Good news for moms and dads: In the off-chance the youngsters allow for a bit of alone time, grab a cocktail at the swim-up bar.

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Travel time: 1 hour and 40 minutes by car

You visit Rocking Horse Ranch in the winter for the indoor water park, horse-drawn sleigh rides and a bunny slope perfect for first-time skiers. But that's not all: The Winter Fun Park has skiing, snowboarding and tubing, while the Fun Barn is an indoor playspace complete with climbing walls, giant Nerf cannons and bouncing structures. Don’t forget the scavenger hunts and bingo. Day camp and nursery programs are also available for when you want a little grown-up time to attend wine tastings or try a spa treatment.

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Travel time: 2 hours by car from NYC

Butternut has been the bunny slope of choice for generations of New Yorkers and New Englanders. One of the best family mountains in the East, it has a terrific ski school for the kids, plus adult lessons if you need them—it's never too late to learn the basics. The First Timer Package includes a beginner lift ticket, rentals and a 90-minute lesson. The package is for skiers ages 4 and up—start 'em young, and your little skier will always be a natural on the slopes.

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Travel time: 1.5 hours by car from NYC

It's hard to believe you're only a short distance away from NYC when you pull up to this vast Victorian pile that opened in 1869. Mohonk is a winter wonderland for kids and parents alike, a private paradise the size of a state park. The ice rink is legendary, and older kids will love the tubing and snowshoeing—all of which are included in the price of your stay. When the weather is too cold or the crew's had enough activity, head to the fireplace for a mug of cocoa.

More travel ideas

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Snow is beginning to fall across the country, which means we're already planning this year's trip to the best ski resorts and ski towns in the U.S. From California to Vermont, we've rounded up the best ski destinations in the nation for any type of getaway: Thinking about a family vacation? Or a girls' weekend with the most luxe après ski amentities? We have a ski resort with your name on it. All you have to do is pack.

  • Things to do

If you're planning a winter vacation, you want to spend as much time outside as possible, right? That part is made easy, when you head to one of the best snowboarding resorts in the USA. From California to Maine, the best places to go snowboarding in the U.S. include plenty of runs for all skill sets (bring along the kiddies and make it a family vacation) and gorgeous views of mountains, lakes and forests to boot.

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  • Travel

When it comes to planning a vacation in 2021, we want two things: affordable, safe and to be out of the house with our kids. (Ok, maybe that's three things.) So when it comes to booking a cheap family vacation in the U.S., we're looking at under-the-radar destinations from coast to coast, where you can get more bang for your buck, enjoy the great outdoors and stay socially distanced (assuming that's still a thing). On this list you'll find scenic national parks, outdoor adventures, less popular beach towns and camping as well as other fascinating destinations that won’t blow your budget. Be safe and have a great time! 

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