Romantic and Family Friendly Winter Weekend Getaways From NYC

The indoor pool area with blue and yellow slides at the Great Wolf Lodge

We are the envy of the world, to live right here in New York City during the holiday season. Well, that’s true during any season really; hence the record-breaking 52 million people who came to visit us last year. And during these upcoming festive days it’ll seem as if most of those millions are in Rockefeller Center seeing the tree, dawdling and gawking on Fifth Avenue looking at the window decorations, and cramming into every museum, Broadway theater, and best ice skating rinks in NYC.

It’s definitely fun to join the visiting hordes every now and then. I always check out Rock Center at some point, for example, as well as the emergent Bryant Park holiday scene. Plus, I’ll never let crowds force me out of my beloved museums (such as the very popular and long-lined Yayoi Kusama Infinity Rooms at David Zwirner). That being said, if you are looking to do more than embark on a wonderful winter day trip from NYC  – here then, are five ideas to get you started planning, whether with or without kids.

A family playing in the waves of the Slap Tail Pool area at the Wolf Lodge

The Pocono’s Family Friendly Great Wolf Lodge

If you’re looking for a holiday season getaway for the whole family–and, let’s face it, after the Thanksgiving/December whirlwind, you need the break as much as your kids–the first place that always comes to mind is the Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos. Admittedly, I’ve never personally experienced the indoor, 84-degrees, 79,000 square-feet water park, with its insane variety slides and rides for all ages and levels of thrill-seeking, but everyone I’ve ever known who’s been has returned with nothing but raves. It’s a blast and liberating for the kids (and grownups), the rooms and food are fine, and it’s only about a 90 minute drive from Manhattan.

A caravan of snowmobiles ride through the snow covered trails in the forest of Ridin-Hy ranch

Wintertime Family Adventures

The indispensable Mommy Poppins pointed the way to two other wintertime family adventures. For the more rustic among you, the Ridin-Hy Ranch Resort is an all-inclusive spot about 3.5 hours from Manhattan near Lake George. Nestled within Adirondack State Park and offering plenty of old-fashioned snowy activities–horseback riding on snow-covered trails, sleigh rides, skating, tubing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, as well as cozy meals, board games, and entertainment by the fire in the main lodge–Ridin-Hy Ranch offers both expansive and intimate family fun. Another, less-woody option is the Woodloch Pines in the Poconos, which seems to emphasize indoor as much as outdoor winter activities, and includes a fully-equipped luxury spa, The Lodge at Woodloch, right next door.

A large white house, called the Dorest Inn, in a snow covered town

Romantic Holiday Getaways

For more romantic holiday-season adventuring, I can personally recommend the fantastically charming Dorset Inn, Vermont’s oldest continuously operating inn (more than 200 years of service!). Located in Dorset’s super-quaint town square, and offering first-rate dining, friendly faces, and comfy beds, the Inn also offers a perfect home base for all manner of outdoor wintertime activities, from downhill and cross-country skiing (Bromley, Stratton, Wild Wings), to taking long walks down country roads. Finally, Geneva on the Lake, a luxurious “wine country villa” in Finger Lakes country offers old-world style, wintertime adventures and beauty, all paired with lots of wine- and food-centric events.

Check here for our Summer Weekend Getaways from NYC!

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