While New York winters can certainly be wet and cold, having fun in the winter sun is chronically underrated, especially in New York where the outdoor possibilities are seemingly endless.

molchanovdmitry/Think Stock
molchanovdmitry/Think Stock

Staying indoors and relaxing in a bundle of layered blankets can get boring fast, yet the sunny days of winter provide an opportunity for boundless outdoor entertainment and activities that’ll keep your family asking for more. Take advantage of the sun’s warmth this winter and get outside to try these fun outdoor activities for the whole family:

Skiing and Snowboarding

New York State boasts the most designated ski and snowboarding areas in the country, and there are many close to and in CNY. Take advantage of this nearby opportunity for the whole family to learn a new and exhilarating skill by signing up for local lessons. Already know how to ski? Hit the trails at one of the 51 designated skiing areas and resorts dotted around the state. More into cross country skiing? New York offers plenty of picturesque cross-country trails for the whole family to enjoy as well.

Sledding Girl - Expressing Joy


Have a hill in your backyard? No? Then how about the local park? Sledding downhill is a fun winter pastime we all remember enjoying. There is just something about flying down a hill on a cheap piece of plastic that really gets the heart pumping. Whether racing a friend or just taking turns, downhill sledding is a safe, entertaining, and fun way to stay active with the family this winter.

Ice Skating

Whether you can skate like an Olympian at Lake Placid, or can barely stay on your feet, ice skating has long been a fun and go-to winter activity in New York. While I don’t recommend just doing it anywhere, New York offers dozens, maybe even hundreds of public ice rinks throughout the state.

Photo by Dea Piratedea on Unsplash
Photo by Dea Piratedea on Unsplash

Building A Snow Castle

Everyone at some point or another has built a sandcastle, but have you ever built a snow castle before? I have and I have to say, some of them were pretty impressive. Unlike sand, snow often offers a more malleable and workable medium to build with, allowing one to build structures many times the size of just your average sandcastle. Cause when I mean snow castle, I mean a castle big enough to chill out and relax inside your isolated masterpiece. And it's not that difficult, simply use your imagination and start building! Find an area of deep snow, pile up snow, or tunnel (supervised) through a snowbank to get started!


One of the best things about New York is our Olympic history, and there is no better way to experience it while also having tons of family fun than cruising down the track at Lake Placid’s Mt. Van Hoevenberg Bobsled Experience. Experience what it's like to be a winter olympian by climbing into and taking off down the thrilling over half-mile-long track in a real bobsled, only in Lake Placid, NY.

Zip Lining

You and the family can take flight on the highest, longest and fastest mountain zip lines in New York and the nation… if you're brave enough. Whether in the Adirondacks, Catskills or in your own backyard, zip lines offer the exhilarating opportunity to take flight, zoom over your surroundings and experience a real-life birds-eye view of the world. New York is home to several commercial ziplining options, including the highest North American zipline tour, the Sky Rider, which is also the second-largest zipline in the world. For those looking for a more relaxing experience, there are plenty of other options located throughout New York State.

Snowball Fight

One of the oldest and noblest winter traditions is the classic snowball fight. You’re outside and throw some snow at your sibling, they in return throw some snow back. Now, you're in a battle to the ice-box as you both focus on trying to bury the other with snowballs. You're zigzagging across the lawn, diving in the snow, hiding behind trees and others to try and avoid them, all while having some fun. A family snowball fight can bring light and entertainment to a stir-crazy family this winter. Want to make it really exciting? Divide the family into teams and bet your chores!

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