Top 20 Things to Do in Winter on Long Island

UPDATED JULY 2019: You don't need to worry about the cold when there are so many fun things to do in winter on Long Island. Go back in time to explore old fashioned Christmas villages, go skiing and sledding, and hang out in awesome indoor play spaces when it's too cold to venture outside. There are amazing holiday theater events and performances to check out, too! 


1. Oh, Christmas Tree

Cut your own Christmas tree at Mike’s Christmas Tree Farm in Manorville, late November through Christmas Eve. Choose your favorite tree and chop it down yourself, making it feel like a country Christmas. Find details on Mike’s and more tree farms near you in our u-pick guide. 

2. Skate Date

Go ice-skating at Christopher Morley Park in Roslyn, voted best outdoor skating rink on Long Island by the viewers of News 12 Long Island. Enjoy the 200-foot rink, surrounded by forest, from November through March (weather pending). If you're looking for more skating fun, check out these additional indoor and outdoor rinks. 

3. Dreams of Sugar Plums

It’s not hard to find performances of The Nutcracker in late November and early December, but there’s only one version done by the Long Island Ballet Theatre. Savor the local spin on this classic ballet in Port Washington Thanksgiving weekend. Tickets are much less expensive than Lincoln Center, too!

4. Let There Be Light

Christmas tree lighting festivals, like the one at the Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport in late November, can make even the Scroogiest among us embrace the holidays. Enjoy cookies, hot chocolate, carolling, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Clause, and ornament making. The tree lighting will take place outdoors in the mansion courtyard.

5. Christmas Past

Linda Burke

On select dates in late November and early December, the Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead will host their Country Parlor Holiday Folk Art Show. This is a holiday gift show with approximately 25 folk artists who are selling their merchandise in the historic Naugles Barn!

6. Crafty Giving

Love the old-fashioned, understated look of a single candle lighting each of your home’s windows during the holidays? Head to Paint a Piece in Commack to create your choice of scented candle (the pottery and glass creations make great holiday gifts, too).

7. No Humbugs Here

The Dickens Festival in Port Jefferson in early December is a holiday treat that celebrates the author of A Christmas Carol. From costumed characters to Victorian entertainment and food, this event will surely bring out the Christmas spirit. 

8. Snow Day Solution

When the snowflakes fly, take advantage by going sledding. The hill in Eisenhower State Park in East Meadow is ideal because of its gentle slope and thrilling length—perfect for the littlest snow bunnies. You can find sledding spots all over the island! 

9. On the Slopes

Head to a nearby mountain for skiing and snowboarding. Belleayre Mountain in Highmount is great for families because of its Learning Zone, a designated retreat for first-timers ages 8 to adult.

10. Firefighters for a Day

Honor our everyday heroes (and learn essential fire safety) at the Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center in Garden City. This destination teaches all about the work and sacrifices of firefighters by letting visitors put on actual firefighter uniforms and go through obstacle courses.

11. It’s Souper

You don’t need to know how to run or tackle to be part of Port Washington’s Souper Bowl. All you need to do is make a stop at each of the soup stations, taste as many different soups as you can—all of which are donated by participating Port Washington restaurants—and then vote for your favorite soup. The festival is held in late January or early February; check for details.

12. Cruising with Captain Lou

Courtesy The Riverhead Foundation

Seal Cruises in Freeport, aboard the Captain Lou Fleet, show families these beloved creatures in their natural habitat. Bundle up: January is when the sightings are best. Learn about the biology and behavior of seals and other marine life on this scenic junket. Cruises are presented by The Riverhead Foundation and board on select weekend dates through April.

13. Frosty Fête

The Harborfrost festival in Sag Harbor in early February is a celebration of winter in Sag Harbor highlighting fire and ice. There will be live ice carving demonstrations, ice sculptures, live music, and indoor children’s activities.

14. Super Bowl Splash

Watch the most hardcore people jump into the freezing Atlantic Ocean on Super Bowl Sunday when the Long Beach Polar Bear Club raises money for charity. Maybe you’ll even want to join them!

15. Spa Party

Princesses-in-training can get pampered at Darlings & Divas in Amityville, which hosts special events throughout the year, including pampering parties near Valentine’s Day. Activities typically include manicures, glittery makeup, and dress up.

16. Lasers in Levittown

Any kid will say lasers are awesome. So Long Island Laser Bounce in Levittown is a no-fail way to thrill the kids on cold winter days. The arcade includes a laser tag arena filled with glow-in-the-dark obstacles and cool special effects lighting systems.

17. L.I.’s Air & Space Museum

Rod Leonhard

Highlighting the island’s contributions to flight, which many people don’t know about, The Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City aims to get kids excited about the science and beauty of flying planes. Make a day of it by stopping by the nearby Long Island Children’s Museum and Historic Nunley’s Carousel.

18. Bouncing Off the Walls

By the time February rolls around, everyone is getting a case of cabin fever. Have the kids jump off the stir-crazies at Bounce! Trampoline Sports in Syosset. Aside from plain old jumping, they can play trampoline basketball, dodgeball, and fly into ginormous foam pits. Talk about a cure for cabin fever!

19. Summer in Sight

A real eucalyptus tree brought in from California stands at a height of 18 feet in Once Upon A Treetop in Plainview. Playing in the treehouse makes summer seem that much closer. Little ones can also roam around in a pint-size village complete with a train station, grocery store, and other interactive “stops.”

20. Puppet Play Time

The Long Island Puppet Theatre in Hicksville gives your kids a taste of entertainment you probably enjoyed all the time as a kid. The shows use both marionettes and traditional hand puppets. Craft workshops are also available.