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Skiing at Holiday Valley
Photograph: Courtesy Craig Melvin/Holiday ValleySkiing at Holiday Valley

15 stress-free holiday activities in New York

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season with these fun winter activities all around New York

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The holidays are a magical time of the year, but there's no denying that it can also be very stressful. Between finding the perfect gifts for everyone on your list, attending holiday parties and spending quality time with friends and family, it's difficult to fit everything into your schedule by the New Year. But it's important to find some time to chill out, and these winter activities are perfect ways to take a break from the craziness of the holiday season.
Ice skating in Bryant Park
  • Things to do
  • Ice skating

We're the first to admit that the überpopular ice-skating rink in NYC's Bryant Park is pretty much crowded all the time. But if you get there right when it opens at 9am, then you won't have to deal with the stress of waiting in line and will have more room to practice your axels. Plus, you'll have the rest of the morning to stroll through the Winter Village in the park.
More information: timeout.com/newyork/sports/bank-of-america-winter-village-at-bryant-park-rink

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Dog sledding in the Adirondacks

Dog sledding in the Adirondacks

Head to upstate New York for one of the most popular winter activities in the Adirondacks: dog sledding. Hop on a sled as a pack of eager pups glide you through a thrilling ride in the snow. It's so much fun, you'll want to take back-to-back rides!
More information: adirondack.net/dog_sledding
Capital Holiday Lights in the Park
Photograph: Courtesy T.R. Laz

Capital Holiday Lights in the Park

Being corralled by a tour guide is the opposite of relaxing. That's why we like the setup at this holiday lights show in Albany. Just hop in your car, find some holiday music on the radio, and enjoy the festive decor at a leisurely pace. You'll find crafts and refreshments in the Washington Park Lake House at the end of the ride, too.
More information: albanycapitalholidaylights.com
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Skiing at Holiday Valley in Ellicotville, NY
Photograph: Courtesy Craig Melvin/Holiday Valley

Skiing at Holiday Valley in Ellicotville, NY

Don your favorite holiday sweater, and hit the slopes at the aptly named Holiday Valley. In addition to skiing, the mountain offers tubing, a mountain coaster and even spa treatments, where you can really relax.
More information: holidayvalley.com
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Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Pops
Photograph: Courtesy Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Pops

Ah, nothing beats the soothing sounds of a symphony playing live. This year's concert also features a Big Band with twists on favorite holiday tunes like "O Tannenbaum," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and more. Prepare to leave the concert ready to spread the holiday cheer.
More information: bpo.org
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