Winter Fun on Long Island, New York

Skiing, Skating, and Seal-Watching Await

Weekend escapes from New York City to Long Island, New York, aren't just for the summertime. Yes, it's most renowned for its stunning stretches of powder-fine sand and places like the ritzy Hamptons and cool Montauk, but it's also a winter wonderland come December and January. From cross-country skiing to outdoor ice skating and seal cruises, there's much to see and do on Long Island in the winter, a vacation land right on the doorstep of the city.

01 of 08

Go Cross-Country Skiing

You don't need to travel far to enjoy skiing. If you've tried cross-country skiing or it's always been on your bucket list, then get out your gear and go to Muttontown Preserve in Nassau County on Long Island when the weather cooperates. The preserve covers 550 acres, and when enough snow is on the ground, you can cross-country ski across the preserve's ski trails. While you're there, check out the Chelsea Mansion at the northern end of the preserve. Built in 1924, this elegant mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places.

02 of 08

Go Ice Skating Outdoors

Several families and kids skating around Deer Park Ice Rink

 Deer Park Ice Rink

Ice skating on an outdoor rink is the most authentic way to enjoy this sport. It's just not the same without feeling that nip in the air. You have several outdoor rinks to choose from on Long Island. Check out rinks in Deer Park, Roslyn, Lynbrook, Greenport, Port Jefferson, and Woodbury. 

03 of 08

Play a Round of Winter Golf

Group of men playing a round of golf at Bethpage State Park Golf Course

Jeremy Garretson

If you're a golfer who can brave the cold, Nassau and Suffolk counties both have countless public golf courses. No matter your location, you'll find 18 holes and stunning views close by. Playing golf against the minimalist canvas of winter on a cool day makes for a memorable golfing experience just because it stands out in relief from warm-weather rounds.

04 of 08

Watch a New York Islanders Hockey Game

New York Islanders playing the Philadelphia Flyers

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Marcus Calliste

Watch Long Island's professional hockey team, the New York Islanders, as they compete with other teams at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. (Yes, these games happen in Brooklyn and not on Long Island, but if you're Long Island fan, what's a little traveling to see your favorite team?)

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05 of 08

Go on a Seal Cruise

A group of seals sunbathing by the water

Captain Lou's Fleet

Go on a seal cruise on the Captain Lou Fleet. You'll start out in Freeport and cruise through Hempstead Bay in search of harbor seals and other winter visitors to the waters around Long Island.

06 of 08

Watch the Annual Long Beach Polar Bears Super Bowl Splash

Two women in the icy water during the Super Bowl Splash

 Make-A-Wish® Metro New York

Watch people jump into the cold Atlantic Ocean every Super Bowl Sunday as the Long Beach Polar Bears Super Bowl Splash raises money for Make-A-Wish® Metro New York. Or maybe you'd like to join this group for an icy dip. 

07 of 08

Long Island Restaurant Week

At various times each year, Long Island Restaurant Week offers upscale dining at (relatively) bargain prices. You'll find prix-fixe menus at participating restaurants throughout the region, places that might usually be a bit too much for your budget Go ahead, live it up.

08 of 08

Go Shopping ... Indoors

Exterior of Louis Vuitton at Americana Manhasset

 Americana Manhasset

When the weather is frightful, indoor malls are a center for shopping, dining, and other fun activities. Long Island has a wealth of shopping malls, like the Americana Manhasset and the sprawling Tanger Outlets. If it's not too cold, spend an afternoon wandering around Long Island's small-town main streets, where you'll find one-of-a-kind local shops and unique places to eat.

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