39+ Exciting Hudson Valley
Winter Activities
(Many will Surprise You)

The idea of cold scares a lot of people. However, the Hudson Valley doesn’t always get extremely cold in the Winter and there are plenty of Hudson Valley Winter activities that do not include being out in the cold.

This is why I have compiled this list of Hudson Valley winter activities that take place throughout the Winter and are fun for everyone.

This list also includes some locations that are open year-round and may be surprising to most people.

The places on the list are open throughout the year, including the winter (when most places are closed to visitors and tours). This way you can enjoy these attractions without the usual crowds that are often found during other times of the year.

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Essentials you need for any Hudson Valley Outing:


Hudson Valley Directory

Personalized Hudson Valley Directory

Personalized Hudson Valley T-shirts

Picture Perfect Adventures in the Hudson Valley Ebook and Planning System

101+ Things to do in the HV for $10 or less

Click below to see items I always have during my Hudson Valley Outings:

  • Because ‘you never know’ when an accident happens, you need this product in your life. This is a great buy for under $15
  • If you’re going to be out all day exploring, you never REALLY know what the weather will be like. Even if you think you do know, this is an essential item. This is another great buy for under $15.
  • My favorite walking shoes, by far, are these because they are soft and the memory foam feels great on my feet.

Weather during Hudson Valley Winter


Hudson Valley Winter weather (December – March) can consistently range from 20 – 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most of the Mid-Hudson Valley Region and the Catskills are cold and wet throughout the winter and evenings can be frigid.

Many parts of the Lower Hudson Valley often experience milder temperatures that may be between 5 – 10 degrees warmer than the Mid-Hudson and Upper Hudson Valley regions.

Because the Hudson Valley Region runs approximately 150 miles north, the weather can be significantly different in Westchester County than in Albany. And because much of the Hudson Valley is mountainous, that also adds to the changes in climate/weather due to the high elevation.

Hudson Valley Winter Activities

Hudson Valley Snow

Whoever said that it snows more in the Hudson Valley than the city has not been to either in the last 5-ish years.

We’ve recently had winter storms that have only affected the lower part of New York State and caused no snow to accumulate in the Mid & Upper Hudson Valley regions. Weird, right?

Hudson Valley snow accumulations can vary greatly from year to year. Some years there will be more Hudson Valley snow in the lower Hudson Valley than the other areas or vice-versa.

As crazy as that sounds, the weather in the Hudson Valley is becoming more unpredictable than in years past.


The Best Hudson Valley Winter Activities


I have taken some time to compile a list of Hudson Valley Winter Activities.

Some activities on this list may be obvious: hiking, skiing, etc., but there are some places open in the Hudson Valley during winter that not many people know about.

Let’s dive in…

Hudson Valley Rail Trail
Walking along the Playland Boardwalk to the Westchester Children's Museum

Hiking & Climbing During the Hudson Valley Winter

Hiking is a big deal around these parts. There are so many beautiful areas to explore in the Hudson Valley that it’s a Hikers Paradise. Moreover, there are trails and mountains all around the region with endless possibilities of you hiking on a new trail with each visit.

Some great places to hike are:

This is also a premier destination for rock & ice climbing. This is especially true in New Paltz, where there are several tour guides that take you to the Shawangunks to explore and climb.

During the pandemic, I found that walking eased my anxiety and because of this I began hiking. If you’re looking for some inspiration for trying out a new place to hike or to re-visit an old favorite, I have written this Guide to Hiking in the Hudson Valley.

THE 3 S’s of Hudson Valley Winter Activities: Skiing, Snowboarding & Sledding

Are you a skier, snowboarder or sledder?

The better-known places in the Hudson Valley for these activities are Thunder Ridge Ski Area in Patterson, NY (Putnam Co) and Hunter Mountain in Hunter, NY (Greene Co).

There are also several others in the Hudson Valley, including:

  • Fishkill Farms in Hopewell Junction (Dutchess Co): sledding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing. Participation is free, just check in with the Farm Store first. They’ll have hot cider, cocoa & hard cider available for purchase.

Check out the information online for each and see which one is a better fit for you and your family.

Ice Skating in the Hudson Valley

The highlight of our winters as kids was taking a early trip to the Ice Casino at Playland Park in Rye, NY.

Although my feet always ached the next day and I hated being cold, the act of gliding on ice once a year felt magical to me.

Here are some great places to go ice skating in the Hudson Valley:


Hudson Valley Ice Skating Guide

Reference this article all about Hudson Valley Ice Skating: What to Wear, Where to go, etc. During the winter months, many Hudson Valley parks offer free ice skating on their ponds & lakes (weather conditions permitting). Just bring your skates and have fun!



Other Hudson Valley Winter Activities


There is no shortage of Hudson Valley Winter activities. And you don’t have to be an outdoor activity lover to still have fun during the cold weather months.

Sap collecting hudson valley winter activities

It’s a good idea to plan an outing in order to:

  • Take a break from life
  • Change the scenery of your life
  • Get some fresh air
  • See something new
  • Make some great winter memories

I hate the cold and often force myself to see & do new things during the winter. Wintertime can be very long if there is nothing to look forward to.

As someone who lives here full-time, I can assure you that I STILL have not done everything I want to do during the winter here.


Tip:

The locations on this list are open through the winter. Always confirm day/hours of operation before making plans. Each location’s title is a direct link to the location’s website.


Hudson Valley Winter Activities that may Surprise you:

Zoos & Nature Centers –

Museums –

The front of the West Point Museum

Art Museums –

Arts and Culture –

Gardens –

Snowy path at Stonykill farm in Dutchess County
Stony Kill Farm

Parks & Outdoor Spaces –

  • Open Barn (open Sat & Sun: 11am – 1pm) starting the beginning of February | Admission: Free | Reservation Needed

Farms –

  • Clover Brooke Farm, Hyde Park – (weekends only) Reservations needed
    • Offering Llama/Alpaca Hike & Farm Experience
    • Warm & Fuzzy Small Animal Farm Experience
    • Goat Walk Adventure

Winter Farmers Markets –

Vanderbilt Mansion

Ice Cream Shops Open during Winter –

Day Trips to Famous Estates & Historic Homes –

Wine Tasting at Benmarl Winery in Marlboro

Wine/Cider Tastings & Events –

Fairs & Festivals – (many cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2020)

  • Any information will be added as it’s found.

All-inclusive winter sports day

  • Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz (winter sports day pass: Dec – Mar) Fee: $99 p/p includes Equipment rental fees for ice skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and MICROspikes, Access to hiking trails and groomed cross-country skiing/snowshoeing trails, and Access to the Mountain House, the ice skating Pavilion, Greenhouse, Gift Shop, and Carriage Lounge

Looking For Hudson Valley Winter Events???

Reference my list FULL of Hudson Valley Winter Events and plan your weekend adventures. Plan early because many of these events require a reservation and may sell out.



The Hudson Valley Winter Activities Travel Packing List


Before you begin packing

#1: Check the weather

First things first – check out the how the weather will be before you even consider packing.

I have made the mistake several times of packing without checking the weather and regretted not being prepared (rain in Disney, unusually cold in New Orleans, etc).

I know the Hudson Valley is not a huge location, but the weather can differ from one county to another. Ten counties is a lot of space when you consider that it can be much hotter in Lower Hudson Valley and in the cities versus Upper Hudson Valley and in the country/mountains.

#2: Make a list of Hudson Valley Winter Activities you will be doing

Make sure you are prepared with any essential gear that you will need for some popular Hudson Valley Winter Activities & Events.



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#3: Examine where you’ll be staying the majority of the time

Check and see if you’ll be spending the majority of your time in the city or in the county.

Why is this important? If you’re visiting the city, then you can get away with packing less things. You can always run into a coffee shop to warm up and stock up on water and snacks at a local mart.

If you’re visiting the country, you will be out in the elements for longer periods of time without an indoor break. It’s always a good idea to have extras packed away in the car.


Things To Know Before Packing For Your Trip To Or In The Hudson Valley:

  • Temperature and weather are different depending on where in the Hudson Valley you will be staying or exploring. So plan accordingly.
  • Be prepared for rain or snow, even if there is no bad weather predicted for the day.
  • Evenings can be much colder than day time temperatures, so it’s always good to have an extra layer or two with you/in the car.
  • Although you may have a location in mind, always double check hours of operation. Wintertime events or a sudden change in weather may interfere with your initial plans.

How to Use This Post when Packing for Hudson Valley Winter Activities


I’ve broken down all of the basic Hudson Valley packing essentials so you can prep for your visit without being worried about missing a thing. However, I’d recommend downloading my printable Hudson Valley Packing List below so that you can check things off the list as you’re packing for your adventure.

In the downloadable checklist, I’ve also included an essentials section that applies to any trip.

Download image for summer in the Hudson Valley packing list

Essential Packing List for Winter in the Hudson Valley


The Must-Haves

  • Undergarments
  • Pajamas
  • 3+ t-shirts/long sleeved t-shirts
  • A light cardigan for warmer areas
  • A heavier sweater for colder places
  • Sunglasses
  • Winter hat, gloves & scarf
  • Crossbody bag/Backpack
  • Sneakers
  • Socks for sneakers
  • Long pants
  • Insulated water bottle (collapsible preferred)
  • Coat with a hood for inclement weather
  • Snow boots (if needed)

Extra Necessities for Hudson Valley Winter Activities

These items are not essential for Winter in the Hudson Valley, but depending on which activities you plan to partake in during your outings, you’ll want to consider adding some of these.

If you’re hiking through rockier terrain on a cold day: (pictured below are items that are reasonably priced)

  • Hiking Boots/Shoes
  • Insulated pants for hiking

Top 5 Reasons to love Winter in the Hudson Valley


#1: It’s the perfect time of the year catch up on visiting museums

SEE MY FULL LIST OF MUSEUMS IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY

#2: You can try out new hikes & hiking trails that are typically crowded during other times

HERE’S MY LIST OF HUDSON VALLEY HIKING TRAILS

#3: Visit the grounds of beautiful historic sites throughout the Hudson Valley

SEE MY LIST OF THE BEST HUDSON VALLEY HISTORIC SITES

#4: Buying fresh produce at the local winter farmers markets

SEE MY FULL LIST OF HUDSON VALLEY FARMERS MARKETS

#5: Strolling, shopping & eating throughout the Hudson Valley


Tips For An Amazing Time Doing Hudson Valley Winter Activities:

  • Check individual destination websites for updated days/hours of operation
  • Have a Plan B in case the weather does not cooperate with your original plan.
  • Bring and extra set of clothes/shoes on your outings.
  • Be prepared for any kind of weather.

Until the Next Adventure…

Signature for Jackie at Hudson Valley Explored


Jacqueline Ramirez

Jackie is one of the top bloggers in the Hudson Valley. She has been featured (along with some of her photos) in several local and national publications. Read Jackie’s crazy story, “From a Naive NYC Girl to Popular Hudson Valley Blogger & Author“. Feel free to send Jackie a message here.