Winter in New England is lovely and there are so many great things to experience. Here are the best New England winter activities that we love to do and the best places to visit in New England in winter.
This Polar Express train ride in North Conway or Lincoln, New Hampshire is closest your family will get to visiting Santa at the North Pole, short of an actual trip there. We have visited many Polar Express train rides, but this was the most magical and will make even the most skeptical of children believe. This is a must-do at least once for your family. And to make the deal even better, New Hampshire is one of the best places in New England winter vacation getaways.
3.Go to a Christmas tree lighting
The Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI is always a treat as it is a beautiful hotel right on the water and their Annual Tree Lighting is a class act. The entire hotel lobby is decked out for the holidays. There is cocoa and cookies and then Santa arrives to live music.
4. Tag and cut your own Christmas tree.
We go to Big John Leyden’s in West Greenwich, RI, but there are Christmas tree farms all over New England.
5. Go Skiing!
A great way to take advantage of the snow is by doing some fun winter sports. In Rhode Island, we ski. snowboard and tube at Yawgoo Valley in Exeter, RI. It is a small mountain which makes it well-suited for kids to learn to ski. When we want a real ski holiday, we head to New Hampshire!
8. Snow Boarding
We also go to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, a full-scale vacation site with many more trails. Here is another article about an adult trip to nearby Bretton Woods in NH by RoarLoud. You can also snowshoe, snowmobile and cross-country ski. When we want to do these winter activities we head to Fox Carlton Pond in Maine where we stay in their beautiful small lodge and they schedule these excursions for us. RoarLoud also has an article that gives ideas of where to do other winter sports here.
7. Try some cross country skiing.
You can do some great cross country skiing right out side of your super cute room at Darby Field Inn, which was visited by The House of Maps. I have stayed there too and loved it.
9. Check out a living nativity.
10. Go back in history to experience what the holidays of lore.
New England is full of rich American history and winter is a fun time to learn more about it. There are Christmas tours available in Salem, MA and Newport, RI. Old Sturbridge Village in MA, a historical reenactment colonial village has many Christmas themed activities.
11. Visit the artificial Ice Castles in Lincoln, NH.
Together with slides and lights, they are really a thing of beauty and worth a trip. They are near Loon Mountain and Santa’s Village in North Conway, so you can make a trip with these activities.
12. Go see a light display.
The Shrine at La Salette has more lights (300,000) and creches than I have seen anywhere outside of Disney, but even better, it’s free!
Even Waterplace Park in Providence, RI gets decked out in its Christmas best for a WaterFire to benefit the Providence Rescue Mission. WaterFire is one of my favorite things in Rhode Island and you can make it a great night with some pre-fire ice skating and dinner.
14. Take in a boat parade.
15. New York City
Not actually in New England, but a must do at Christmastime, Central Park never disappoints. The lights, decorations, roasting chestnuts, store windows, carriage rides are so much of what I love about Christmas. Check out my article about why I love New York at Christmas so much. Or subscribe here, my weekly newsletter shows up directly in your inbox!
16. Spend a winter weekend in a New England Country Inn.
Have a wonderful New England Christmas!