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WonderWorks at Destiny USA
WonderWorks at Destiny USA

Winter getaways from NYC for the whole family

These winter getaways from NYC are fun for all ages—warm up in an indoor water park, explore underground caves or skate like an Olympian


If you have kids in tow, these family day trips and weekend getaways from NYC are fun for all ages. Water parks aren’t just for summer—balmy indoor versions bring warm-weather action in from the cold. Or glide around one of the state’s best outdoor ice-skating rinks. Syracuse’s activity-packed Destiny USA gives new meaning to hanging out at the mall.

RECOMMENDED: Winter getaways from NYC

With its 38,000-square-foot indoor play zone—and an attached 200-suite lodge—Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park (89 Six Flags Dr, Queensbury, NY; 518-824-6060,; $29.99–$44.99; 3½ hours from NYC by car) offers something for every member of the family, from action-packed whitewater rafting complete with a 41-foot drop to a meandering tube ride down a lazy river.

Greek Peak Mountain Resort (2000 Rte 392, Cortland, NY; 800-955-2754,; $32–$35; 3½ hours from NYC by car) offers its own take on warming winter fun at Cascades Indoor Waterpark, which boasts three-story tube and body slides, a wave pool and a  year-round temperature of 84 degrees.

Go old-school—and become a part of the American athletic tradition—when you throw on a pair of skates and make a few circles of the Olympic Speed Skating Oval (2634 Main St, Lake Placid, NY; 518-523-2445,; $8, children 12 and under $5, skate rental $3)—one of the country’s few remaining outdoor rinks of its kind, complete with a fire pit for warming your nippy parts.

Descend 156 feet underground—at Howe Caverns (255 Discovery Dr, Howes Cave, NY; 518-296-8900,; 3 hours from NYC by car), a prehistoric cavern filled with dark corners, serpentine passageways and 6 million years of history.

There’s much more to be found than retail at the Destiny USA Mall (9090 Destiny USA Dr, Syracuse, NY; 315-466-6000,, 4 hours from NYC by car). WonderWorks (315-466-7700,, an indoor “amusement park for the mind,” offers thought-provoking exhibits, like an antigravity chamber and illusion gallery. For more physical thrills, hit Pole Position Raceway (315-423-7223,, a quarter-mile indoor go-kart racetrack where speeds reach about 45 miles per hour.

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