You may think I am rushing fall by writing about things to do in the winter in the Northeast, but now is the time to plan! The Northeast is known for its beautiful winters and activities such as skiing (in all its forms!), snowboarding, snowtubing, ice skating, and more. But if you and your family DON’T ski or snowboard, there are still plenty of places to explore and enjoy.
Resorts are a great option for families as they offer a home base with lodging (great for naptime and avoiding schlepping everyone back and forth in the car), all-inclusive activities (and sometimes meals), and beautiful grounds to spread out and explore. Here are some of our favorite resorts in the Northeast to enjoy:
- Woodloch Pines in Hawley, Pennsylvania: Established in 1958 by the Kiesendahl family, Woodloch Pines is a resort in the northwest section of the Poconos in Pennsylvania. The 350 acre property has grown over the years to now include a lakeside resort with 160 rooms and suites, times shares and private homes, a championship 18 hole golf course, a luxury spa, and a seemingly infinite amount of ways to have fun. The daily calendar usually includes over two dozen activities, with both indoor and outdoor options for every season and every type of weather.
Winter Highlights: Snow tubing, ice skating, and the Winter Olympics competition.
Why you should come back in the summer: All of the lake activities (swimming, boating, sun bathing!), camp fires, hiking trails, and daily outdoor picnic lunches.
Read our full post here.
- Hershey Lodge in Hershey Pennsylvania: One of two hotels in the area owned by the Hershey Company, the 700 room Hershey Lodge is super family friendly with chocolate themed amenities around every corner: The decor is chocolate themed, the dining options have seemingly endless chocolate themed options, the retails shops are filled with chocolate themed gifts (and every form of chocolate), and there are plenty of activities to keep kids busy, starting at the kids check in.
Winter Highlights: Sipping hot chocolate- the best EVER!) by the fire, splashing in the Water Works indoor water park, exploring the new arcade.
Why you should come back in the summer: Exploring Hersheypark, an 120 acre, chocolate themed amusement park with tons of rides for all ages; Outfitters activities like kayaking, ziplining, fishing, and hiking.
Other nearby fun: There are tons of activities in the Hershey area (Hersheypark! Chocolate World! ZooAmerica!), and the state capital of Harrisburg (Echo Dell Indian Echo Caverns! The State house!). See our full City Guide here.
Read our full post here.
- Crystal Springs Resort in New Jersey: Home to the largest golf resort in the Northeast and only an hour from Manhattan, Crystal Springs includes two resorts, situated three miles apart: Grand Cascades Lodge and Minerals. Crystal Springs is also home to the top ranked Reflections Spa and almost a dozen dining options.
Winter Highlights: Visiting with Santa and Mrs. Clause at Christmas Corner during the holiday season, “Glice skating” on the private rink, roasting s’mores on the outdoor fire pits, playing glow golf at night, and swimming in the year round Biosphere.
Why you should come back in the summer: There are six golf courses, three pool complexes, hiking trails, and award winning gardens. Get the full scoop on summer activities and amenities here.
Read our full post on winter at Crystal Springs here and summer at Crystal Springs here.
- Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland, New York: A top rated family resort in the heart of New York’s Hudson Valley, Rocking Horse Ranch is a 500+ acre, all inclusive resort with dozens of daily activities for every age and interest. The ranch is home to over 100 horses and there are several daily opportunities to learn to ride a horse.
Winter Highlights: Horseback riding is offered year round, the Winter Fun Park includes skiing, snowtubing (multiple lanes!), and ice skating (ALL of which is included in guests’ stay, including ski rentals!), there are tons of special holiday activities, and the indoor/outdoor Big Splash pool complex and Eldorado Hot Springs are heated and opened all year.
Why you should come back in the summer: Tons of water fun on the lake, mini golf and bungee jumping, lawn games, playgrounds, and outdoor dining.
Other nearby fun: Our City Guide to Dutchess County includes historical sites Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, which are open year round.
Read our full post here.
- Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island: One of the most iconic (and awarded) resorts in North America, Ocean House offers a resort with close to 100 rooms, suites, and private homes; several dining options; an award winning spa; and a daily calendar of culinary, artistic, and historic experiences.
Winter Highlights: The resort is decorated beautifully; there are holiday themed meals and Adults will surely want to book the Gondola Village.
Why you should come back in the summer: The pristine, private beach with cabanas and dining options on the beach, boat cruises, croquet and tennis and golf, and tons of kid focussed activities- see the full list here.
Other nearby fun: Mystic, Connecticut is less than 30 minutes away and Newport, Rhode Island is less than an hour from Ocean House. Both seaside towns offer tons of winter fun and family friendly attractions open year round. Check out our holiday guide to Newport here.
- Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster, Massachusetts: Set in the middle of Cape Cod, Ocean Edge Resort is a world class resort spread over 400+ acres with its own private beach, 18 hole golf course, tennis and pickle ball courts, 5 pools, multiple boating options, and endless amounts of family fun. Ocean Edge Resort has over 300 guest rooms and villas between the two complexes: The Mansion and the Villages, less than a 1/4 mile from each other. There are advantages to staying at either location.
Winter Highlights: The Cape is so much quieter in the winter, but just as beautiful. Ocean Edge has great dining options on property (book an igloo!) and indoor games and activities- check the calendar here. The Bayside Indoor Pool and Fletcher Indoor Pools are open year round.
Why you should come back in the summer: It’s the Cape. in the summer. Enough said! The options are endless, but start with the beaches and bike paths and boat cruises.
Other nearby fun: Our Cape Cod (in the winter) City Guide has great options for year round fun.
Read our full post here.
- Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire: The stunningly beautiful resort offers over 250 rooms and suites, several dining options, a full service spa, and an indoor and outdoor pool, heated year round. Be sure to sit on the massive front porch and enjoy the views of the mountains in ANY season!
Winter Highlights: Bretton Woods Ski Resort, voted #2 overall ski resort in the East, is located practically across the street from the entrance to the Omni. Bretton Woods has 63 trails and 10 lifts spread throughout 400+ acres. On resort property, guests can enjoy sleigh rides, cross country skiing, snowtubing, and snowshoeing. Check here for the daily calander of activities.
Why you should come back in the summer: The resort is located amongst the White Mountains National Forest, with opportunities to hike, bike, zip line, golf, fish, and ride horses.
Other nearby fun: Tons of skiing in the winter and the famous StoryLand amusement park in the summer.
- The Woodstock Inn in Woodstock, Vermont: One of the most iconic hotels in all of New England, the Woodstock offers 140+ rooms and suites, several indoor and outdoor (seasonal) dining options, and a full service spa.
Winter Highlights: The hotel has plenty of nooks and crannies for indoor games and movie nights; The nearby Saskadena Six Ski Area offers great skiing and snowboarding and a cozy lodge for breaks and meals; the resort’s Athletic Club offers tons of indoor classes throughout the winter; Check out the nearby Billings Farm and Museum (usually closed in March and early April, open on weekends November- February) to see lots of animals and learn about the farm industry; kids will love the Vermont Institute of Natural Science for outdoor fun Montshire Museum of Science for indoor fun on especially cold days.
Why you should come back in the summer: The resort offers fly fishing lessons, a falconry school, tennis club, golf course, and beautiful gardens to explore. The Saskadena Six Ski Area turns into the perfect spot for mountain biking during the summer. Woodstock is also home to tons of hiking and biking trails.
Other nearby fun: Burlington is about 90 minutes north of Woodstock, and Concord, New Hampshire is about hour east of Woodstock; both cities offer tons of family friendly attractions open year round.
Read our full post here and our food guide to Woodstock here.
- Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Jeffersonville, Vermont: The 1,000+ acre resort, named “America’s Family Resort” is now a year round destination with dozens of outdoor activities no matter the weather. The resort has over 700 condos, ranging in size from 700 square foot studios to 2,000+ square foot five bedroom homes spread out throughout the complex, with several dining options, and indoor pools, athletic centers, and entertainment venues for the whole family.
Winter Highlights: Everyone knows that Smugs has world class skiing and snowboarding (over 70 trails), but there are tons of other activities at the Nordic Center (ice skating, snowshoeing, snowtubing) and a weekly Thursday carnival. Stay warm indoors at the Fun Zone 2.0 Complex with arcade, OZone, and Go Zone.
Why you should come back in the summer: There are SO many outdoor activities at Smugs during the summer, (tennis courts, frisbee golf course, skate park, mountain bike park), tons of water activities (Water Wars, Lagoon Pirate Parties), a week day nature center, daytime contests (scavenger hunts, bingo, singalongs, trivia contest), nightly entertainment (concerts, comedy nights, karaoke, movie nights) and special events.
Read our full post here.