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.
Although some of these locations are open to the public, please follow these guidelines:
Please be safe.
Practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash hands thoroughly and follow all mandates and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov) and NY State and local Governments.
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.
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 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…
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?
There are also several others in the Hudson Valley, including:
- Belleayre Mountain in Highmount, NY (Ulster Co): Skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing & snowshoeing
- Mount Peter Ski Area in Warwick, NY (Orange Co): Skiing, snowboarding & tubing (free beginner lessons on weekends/holidays)
- Catamount Mountain Resort in Hillsdale, NY (Columbia Co): Skiing & Snowboarding
- Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill in Rhinebeck (Dutchess Co): known for spectacular panoramic views from the top, this is a prime sledding spot in the Hudson Valley.
- Fishkill Farms in Hopewell Junction, NY (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.
- James Baird State Park in Pleasant Valley, NY (Dutchess Co): Cross country skiing & snowshoeing
- Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Pleasantville, NY (Westchester Co): Cross-country skiing
- Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Montgomery, NY (Orange Co): sledding, skiing is no longer available
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:
- Murray’s Skating Center, Yonkers
- Bowdoin Park, Wappingers Falls (open daily)
- Bear Mountain State Park Ice Rink (open Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat & Sun) Admission: $5 | Skate Rental: $5
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.
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.
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 –
- Trevor Zoo, Millbrook (open 10am – 5pm everyday) Admission: under $10 | Reservation needed
- Trailside Museums & Zoo (daily 10:30am – 4pm) Admission: Free | Parking $10 (weekends)
- Forsyth Nature Center, Kingston (open daily 9am – 5pm)
- Teatown Lake Reservation, Ossining (Nature Center Hours – open daily 9am – 5pm)
- National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, New Windsor (open Tues – Sun) Admission: Free
- Motorcyclepedia Museum, Newburgh (open Fri, Sat, Sun 10am – 5pm) Admission: $15
- West Point Museum, West Point (temporarily closed) Admission: Free
Art Museums –
- Hudson River Museum, Yonkers (open Thu – Sun 12pm – 5pm) Admission: $8 | Tickets Encouraged
- DIA:Beacon, Beacon (open Fri – Mon 10am – 4pm) Admission: $15 | Reservations required
- Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz (closed until February 6th, 2021) Admission: $5
- Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah (open Tue – Sat 10am – 5pm | Sun 12pm – 5pm) Admission: $10 | Reservation Needed
Arts and Culture –
- Photography Exhibit at Howland Cultural Center, Beacon (Sat & Sun from 1/9 – 1/30: 1pm – 5pm) Admission: Free
- Take a class at The Rye Arts Center, Rye (classes for both adults & children) 1/22, 1/23, 2/6, 2/13 & 3/20
- Orange County Arboretum, Montgomery (open daily sunrise to sunset) Admission: Free
- Untermyer Gardens & Park, Yonkers (open Sat & Sun) Admission: Free | Reservation Needed
Parks & Outdoor Spaces –
- Albany Pine Bush Preserve, Albany (open daily)
- Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park, Poughkeepsie/Highland (open daily: sunrise – sunset) Admission: Free
- Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Museum, Katonah (open daily: 8am – 4pm) Admission: Free
- Tilly Foster Farm, Brewster (open daily 10am – 4pm)
- Hudson Highlands Nature Museum Hiking Trails (Sat & Sun from sunrise to sunset)
- Stony Kill Farm Trails, Wappingers Falls (open daily: sunrise – sunset) Admission: Free
- Open Barn (open Sat & Sun: 11am – 1pm) starting the beginning of February | Admission: Free | Reservation Needed
- Hudson River Skywalk, Hudson/Catskill (open daily: sunrise – sunset) Admission: Free
- Historic Huguenot Street, New Paltz (open daily sunrise – sunset) Self-guided audio tours available
- Storm King Art Center, New Windsor (open Sat & Sun from January 16th – March 21st: 10am – 4pm)
- Per vehicle starting at 1 person in car – $20
- Opus 40, Saugerties (January 23rs – February 1st) Admission; $100 for a group of 5 people
- 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 –
- Amenia Market (Fridays: 3pm – 7:30pm)
- Barton Orchards (Daily: 7 am – 6:30 pm)
- Beacon Farmers Market (Sundays: 10am – 12 noon)
- Brewster Market (Sundays: 10 am – 2 pm)
- Fishkill Farms Winter Store Hours (Fri – Sun: 9am – 5pm)
- Fromer Market Gardens (Saturdays: 9 am – 3 pm)
- Hastings-on-Hudson Market (Alternating Saturdays/Dec-May)
- Kingston Winter Farmers Market (every other Saturday 10am – 2pm)
- Mamaroneck Market (Saturdays: 9 am – 1 pm)
- Millerton Farmers Market (Saturdays through December, then 2nd & 4th Saturdays through April)
- Ochs Orchards Market (Daily: 9 am – 5 pm)
- Ossining Market (Saturdays: 9 am – 1 pm)
- Pleasantville Farmers Market (Saturdays 9am – 11:30am)
- Rosendale Winter Farmers Market (second Sunday 10am – 2pm)
- South Salem/Gossett’s Farm Market (Saturdays: 9 am – 2 pm)
- Tarrytown & Sleepy Hollow Farmers Market (second & fourth Saturday each month 9:30am – 12:30pm)
- Troy Market (Saturdays: 9 am – 2 pm)
- Wagon Wheel Farm (Winter Hours: Daily: 7 am – 5 pm)
Ice Cream Shops Open during Winter –
- Beacon Creamery, Beacon
- Boice Bros Dairy, Kingston
- Chester Ice Cream, Chester
- East Fishkill Provisions, Hopewell Junction
- Emack & Bolio’s, Albany
- Joe’s Dairy Bar and Grill, Hopewell Junction
- Lighthouse Ice Cream & Coffee, Tarrytown
- Longford’s Own Made Ice Cream, Rye
- Main Street Sweets, Tarrytown
- Mapleview Cafe, Poughkeepsie
- Mikey Dubbs Frozen Custard, New Rochelle
- Nancy’s of Woodstock, Woodstock
- Pane & Gelato, Eastchester
- Penny Lick Ice Cream Company, Hastings-on-Hudson
- Ron’s Ice Cream, Beacon
- Scoop Shop, Scarsdale
- Seven Scoops, Shrub Oaks
- Temptations Cafe, Nyack
- The Chocolate Studio, Beacon
- The Dairy O, Westtown
- Village Creamery & Sweet Shop, Valhalla
- Zoe’s Ice Cream Barn, Lagrangeville
Day Trips to Famous Estates & Historic Homes –
- Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park (grounds open daily 8am – 4:30pm)
- Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site, Yonkers (grounds open Tue – Sat 12pm – 3:30pm)
- Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park (grounds open daily 8am – 4:30pm)
- Home of Franklin D Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park (grounds open daily 8am – 4:30pm)
- George Washington Headquarters State Historic Site, Newburgh (grounds open Fri & Sat 11am – 3pm) Tour Fee: $4 with reservation only
- Olana State Historic Site, Hudson (grounds open daily 8am – sunset) Ground Admission: Free
- Boscobel House & Gardens, Garrison (grounds open Saturdays 10am – 4pm) Grounds ticket required
Wine/Cider Tastings & Events –
- Magnanini Winery, Wallkill – Tasting Room (Wed – Sun | Friday – Pasta Night)
- Robibero Winery, New Paltz (Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon)
- Benmarl Winery, Marlboro (Sat & Sun) Reservations required
- Applewood Winery, Warwick (January & February: Sat & Sun – March: Wed – Sun)
- Angry Orchard, Walden (Thur, Fri, Sat, & Sun) Reservations required
- Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider, Stone Ridge – Their Farm Bar is open Fri, Sat & Sun
- Bad Seed Cider, Highland (Sat & Sun)
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.
#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.
Essential Packing List for Winter in the Hudson Valley
- 3+ t-shirts/long sleeved t-shirts
- A light cardigan for warmer areas
- A heavier sweater for colder places
- Winter hat, gloves & scarf
- Crossbody bag/Backpack
- 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
#2: You can try out new hikes & hiking trails that are typically crowded during other times
#3: Visit the grounds of beautiful historic sites throughout the Hudson Valley
#4: Buying fresh produce at the local winter 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.
Where to Next?
Now that you have information regarding what you can see & do during winter in the Hudson Valley, let’s see where you should go next…
Until the Next Adventure…
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