Winter Activities in Hudson Valley

Nov 12, 2021

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, there are plenty of winter activities in Hudson Valley that are worth exploring. Many of them are family-friendly, making them suitable for people of any age. Plus, there are options for enjoying the outdoors, as well as staying bundled up inside.

If you want to really take advantage of the winter wonderland that is the Hudson Valley, here are some activities, attractions, and holiday events to make your season bright.

Winter Activities in Hudson Valley


Take a Snowy Hike

While many people think that hiking is more of a warm-weather activity, it’s also an excellent option during colder months. There are great trails in locations like:

  • Cold Spring
  • Mohonk Preserve
  • Taconic Mountains
  • Sam’s Point
  • Shawangunk Mountains
  • Storm King Mountain

Just make sure to check local weather conditions and snow depths before you head out of the door. That way, you can choose the right option or, if necessary, pack extra equipment, like snowshoes.

Try Ice Skating in Hudson Valley

The Hudson Valley isn’t short on ice skating opportunities. If you prefer to stay indoors, options like McCann Ice Arena and Ebersole Ice Rink are worth exploring. If you’re looking for outdoor ice skating in Hudson Valley, try Empire State Plaza or Bear Mountain Ice Rink.

Before you head out to skate, check with the venue to see when the public has access to the ice. Many rinks block out times for sports teams, figuring skating, and similar activities, so you’ll want to review their public skate times before travelling out.

Grab Your Skis and Hit the Slopes (or Trails)

downhill skiing

When it comes to Hudson Valley winter activities, skiing is a classic choice. You have plenty of amazing destinations available whether you prefer to hit the slopes or want to cross-country ski.

For traditional downhill skiing, options like and Catamount Mountain Resort and Mount Peter Ski Area are worth checking out. For cross-country, try places like Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park and Saxon Woods Park.

Head to the Zoo

Taking a trip to the zoo might not be a traditional winter activity, but it’s a great choice, nonetheless. You can stretch your legs while observing a wide array of animals, allowing you to have an experience that’s both educational and fun. Plus, there are plenty of indoor areas to get a break from the chilly weather.

Both the Trevor Zoo and Trailside Museums & Zoo are worth checking out. You could also try the Forsyth Nature Center if you’re looking for a shorter day out.

Explore Local Museums

If you’re trying to figure out what to do in Hudson Valley in winter but would prefer an option that lets you stay out of the cold, there are plenty of museums in the area. The Hudson River Museum is an excellent choice. There’s an expansive article collection and various historical exhibits. Plus, you can attend a planetarium show while there.

The Motocyclepedia Museum is a fun option for motorcycle enthusiasts. If you’re a fan of art, give the Katonah Museum of Art a try.

Go to a Farmers Market

winter markets

Whether you’re looking for holiday gifts or some treats for yourself, another one of the fun things to do in the Hudson Valley in winter is head to a farmers market. Many run during the colder months of the year, so there’s almost guaranteed to be an option near where you live or where you’re visiting.

Here are a few options:

Tour Historic Estates

Tours of many local historic estates are available during the winter. You can spend time exploring the grounds, giving you a chance to stretch your legs outdoors. Then, you can head inside to explore historic homes, allowing you to get a break from the chilly weather while learning about the area’s history.

You can visit the homes of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt if you’d like to learn more about the life of the 32nd President and his First Lady. Washington’s Headquarters is an excellent option for anyone interested in the Revolutionary War, and the Olana Historic Site is worth checking out if you’d like to learn more about local history.

If you enjoy historic architecture, Vanderbilt Mansion is a must-see. Philipse Manor Hall is another great option. Plus, the Manor Hall is near other attractions, allowing it to be part of an exciting day trip or weekend.

Go to a Cider Tasting

hard cider tasting

Cider is often associated with the colder months of the year. If you want to give yourself a seasonal treat and aren’t traveling with children, heading to a cider tasting might be your perfect Hudson Valley winter activity. Here are some local cideries you may want to check out:

It’s important to note that many cideries do require reservations. As a result, you’ll want to make one online or contact the location before you plan to travel to it.

Holiday Events in the Hudson Valley

Enjoy Christmas Lights in Hudson Valley

If you’re looking for fun, family-friendly holiday Christmas activities in the Hudson Valley, checking out the various Christmas light displays throughout the area is an excellent option. You can tour decorated neighborhoods on foot or head to a drive-thru event to enjoy the lights while staying toasty in your vehicle.

While you may be lucky to live near some amazing displays, you can also head to Hudson Valley Christmas lights events like these below:

Hop on the Polar Express

train ride

If you’re looking for Christmas activities in the Hudson Valley that are a bit unique, consider booking a ticket on the Polar Express. This train ride recreates the classic children’s story, allowing passengers to experience book readings and performances while enjoying hot chocolate and cookies. Plus, there are passenger participation activities, including caroling.

Overall, the trip takes about one and a half hours. However, passengers are encouraged to arrive around 30 minutes before departure, giving them enough time to park and board.


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