The Best Winter Family Activities Around Long Island: Winning December Break And Starting 2023 Like A Boss!

The Mint Chip Mama - Winter Family Activities Lightscape Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Winter Family Activities

The Mint Chip Mama - Winter Family Activities LuminoCity

Outdoor Winter Activities For Families

Yes, it is cold but outdoor winter family activities are so much fun! From light shows to outdoor sports, exploring the outdoors in the winter is really great. There are so many kid-friendly things to do in New York in December.

Go to one of the many amazing holiday light shows in our area including Lightscape at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Shimmering Solstice at the Old Westbury Garden, Magic of Lights at Jones Beach, and LumicoCity at Eisenhower Park.

Immerse yourself in the wizarding world of Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience

Go ice skating in one of the town ice skating rinks or in your backyard

Visit LEGOLAND New York in Goshen

The Mint Chip Mama - Winter Family Activities LEGOLAND Westchester

Fun Indoor Winter Family Activities

Winter is the best time to visit indoor activity places. From spa treatments to ice cream tours, you have an unlimited variety available.

Fly through the sky at Urban Air

Visit LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester

Climb amongst colors at Hapik Yonkers

Learn Manhattan’s history including soaring over the city on a ride at Rise NY

Book a Mother/Daughter facial at Smooth Generation

See what’s popped up at TWA Hotel

Go to a New York Riptide Lacrosse Game

Go to an old time ice cream shoppe

The Mint Chip Mama - Winter Family Activities Urban Glass

Take A Class

Either as a family or with friends, taking a class is a fun way to spend a cold day.

Take a holiday glassblowing workshop at Urban Glass

Enjoy a class or spa day at Wow Mom World Long Island

Make some spin art at Casa De Spin

The Mint Chip Mama - Winter Family Activities American Armor Museum


We have so many museums in our area. Lucky enough you can find free admission to many of these through your local library.

Planes, space, and stars at the Cradle of Aviation Museum

Learn about transportation and see carriages from the 1700s at the Long Island Museum

Check out Native American history at Garvies Point Museum

Learn about Long Island’s Whaling History at the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum

See tanks galore at the Museum of American Armor

Visit an airport with its own museum at the American Airpower Museum

Learn about spies at Raynham Hall Museum

Dress up like a colonial person at Fraunces Tavern

Play all day at the Children’s Museum of the East End

Pretend You Own a House in Manhattan at The Frick Collection

Visit the New York Historical Society

Experience the Old Bethpage Restoration’s Candlelight Evenings

See the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show

See if you can find art and make it a picture frame at the MOMA

Spend a day with the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History

Walk around inside and then around the grounds of the Nassau County Museum of Art

Dress up like a firefighter at the Nassau County Fire Museum

Make giant bubbles at the Long Island Children’s Museum

Spend the day at The Met

The Mint Chip Mama - Winter Family Activities

Visit A Nature or Science Center

My kids love science centers. We always seek them out when we travel. It’s also fun to find them close to home.

Liberty Science Center in New Jersey

Harsco Science Center in Pennsylvania

The New York Hall of Science in Queens

Stick your hand in a tank at the South Fork Natural History Museum & Nature Center (SoFo)

Visit the turtles and frogs at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery

See all kinds of animals healing at the Sweet Briar Nature Center or Quogue Wildlife Refuge

The Mint Chip Mama - Winter Family Activities Riverhead Shipwreck

Enjoy A Complimentary Experience

Don’t forget any type of activity counts as fun winter family activities! Taking a drive to look at lights or driving to the beach are some of our favorites. Furthermore – remember – sometimes the best things in life are free!

Check out a new (to you) Long Island playground

Walk around Gantry State Park

Get lost in a beautiful winter outdoor garden for a different perspective.

Walk to Fire Island

Watch an early beach sunset from your warm car

Visit a World War One shipwreck on the beach in Riverhead

Enjoy your favorite summer body of water in the winter or discover a new one

Take a hike on one of Long Island’s great hiking trails

Walk around Bushwick and take in the street art and graffiti

Visit Huntington’s pedestrian walkway and tree and then go to Heckscher Park and Museum

Walk on the boardwalk at Jones Beach

Drive over your favorite bridges for fun

Walk around Little Island in Manhattan

See Louis Vuitton’s “200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition”

Visit a new library like the amazing Middle Country Public Library

The Mint Chip Mama - Winter Family Activities Cinnaholic

Fun At Home

The easiest place to find winter family activities is at home. From a new game to a cooking or baking activity it’s a total win – and you can wear your pajamas.

Make a chocolate pop-it or chocolate bark

Start your summer garden now – yes now- from the seeds of things you eat.

Update your kid’s rooms

Show your kids an 80s movie and see if it’s the same as you remember

Watch a movie from the 90s and show them how fashion recycles

Download a personalized video game (with their face as a character!)

Decorate a Cinnaholic Wreath Cake

Make a vision board or collage with recycled holiday magazines

Look through your gently used books and donate them to The Book Fairies NY

The Mint Chip Mama - Winter Family Activities TWA

Take A Road Trip

We are so lucky to have so many great cities near us in New York. They are not only packed with history and winter family activities but lots of hotels where I’m sure you can grab a last-minute room and head on down.

Philadelphia including the Franklin Institute, Eastern State Penitentiary, Franklin Square Park, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell

Washington, DC. including Mount Vernon, the National Harbor, Ford’s Theatre, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, The International Spy Museum, and a White House Tour

Boston including a Duck Tour, Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum, The New England Aquarium, and the Boston Children’s Museum

Head out east to Greenport, Long Island

Visit one of these great family destinations in Pennsylvania: Strasburg Railroad, The Crayola Experience, Camelback Resort, Dutch Wonderland, Turkey Hill Experience

The Mint Chip Mama - Winter Family Activities

Congratulations! You Made It Through December Break!

Of course after all of this, you will need to sit down, pat yourself on the back for being an amazing show runner of winter family activities, put your feet up, and have a nice little cocktail.

While you’re there check out all the great gifts from my Holiday Gift Guide, Father’s Day Gift Guide, or Mother’s Day Gift Guide now on sale and stock up your gift closet for the rest of the year!

The Mint Chip Mama - Winter Family Activities Shimmering Solstice Old Westbury Gardens

Don’t forget to check out all the family friendly destinations we’ve researched!

Please let us know what you think of this post! Was it helpful? Did you go to any of these places? Try any of these things? If yes, please like the post, comment below, and share it on your social media.

Also don’t forget to follow us on FacebookInstagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and Tik Tok and email us at with what you want to see next!

Published by Stacey Wallenstein

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (13, 10, and 7). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. Please check out The Mint Chip Mama in the Press: The New York Post, Psychology Today, NY Metro Parents, New York Family, Parents Magazine, Newsday, News 12, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids, NerdWallet, Big Apple Kids Guide, and more! The Mint Chip Mama was also nominated as "The Best Blog On Long Island" for 2022, 2023, 2024, one of the Top 20 New York Mom Blogs & Websites, and one of the Top 100 Mom Lifestyle Blogs on the web! For more updates, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest.

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