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When you think of being outside in New England, maybe you’re thinking snow and bitter cold. And chances are, you’re right! But most New Englanders know how to dress for the winter. Lots of layers. Bundle up, these top ten winter activities in New England will have you loving the outdoors, because you can’t do these activities in any other season!
Family Winter Activities in New England
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SkiWard (Shrewsbury, MA) – This central Massachusetts destination is a great place to go snow tubing in the winter. With up to 10 lanes, 2 lifts and over 200 tubes, this is something you want to put on your list of things to do this winter!
Open most days, including weekends and holidays, however, be sure to check out their tubing requirements and hours which can be found on their website.
Ultimate Dog Sledding Experience (Oxford, ME) – This family-friendly adventure is unlike anything you’ve probably done before. Ultimate Dog Sledding Experience say they can provide you with a safe but thrilling experience you will never forget.
Riding over the trails with only the sound of the sled runners gliding across the snow. I’m pretty sure it’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Have questions or ready to book – head on over to their website for more information.
Ice Castles (Lincoln, NH) – This frozen attraction is built by hand each year using 100,000 icicles each day. With slides, tunnels, walls of ice that’s lit up at night, this attraction is a unique and fun adventure not to be missed. Buy your tickets in advance by time slot/day to ensure you get to check out this incredible attraction.
Outdoor Ice Skating
Frog Pond – (Boston, MA) – In New England, there are many indoor ice rinks, but an outdoor skating rink is something everyone should try at least once. Located in the heart of Boston, is the Boston Common Frog Pond. The Boston Common Frog Pond which is a wading pool in the summertime is transformed into an ice rink during winter’s coldest months.
The Frog Pond also offers ice skating lessons, ice skate rentals, a cafe for snacks, as well as other kid-friendly events such as winter camp during February vacation.
Weston Ski Track – Snowshoeing is a great family activity that most can do. It is low impact and once you strap your boots into the snowshoes, you are ready to go. Snowshoeing is a great way to see the woods in a whole new perspective! Most hiking trails can be snowshoed on, but if you need to rent snowshoes, then head on over to Weston Ski Track that rents snowshoes (and cross country skis) for the day.
Timber Ripper (Ludlow, VT) – This mountain coaster is a Vermont must-visit attraction located at Okemo Mountain. Get ready to zip through the scenic forest as you twist and turn down 3,100 of track. Children as young as 3 years old can ride with a parent. Check their website for specific rider requirements.
Charmingfare Farm (Candia, NH) – A Traditional New England sleigh ride can be found right here at Charmingfare in New Hampshire. This real working farm offers sleigh rides socials where you not only get a scenic sleigh ride through logging trails, but also a stop at a cozy campfire. At the campfire, you will roast hot dogs, toast marshmallows and sip hot chocolate!
Ice Bumper Cars
The Providence Rink (Providence, RI) – The first of its kind can be found in downtown Providence. Twist, turn and bump on ice! The bumper cars on ice should be reserved ahead of time. They do sell out quickly, especially on weekends and school vacation weeks.
Wachusett Mountain (Princeton, MA) – Winter wouldn’t be complete without at least one day out on the slopes. New England and skiing goes hand in hand as there are 91 ski resorts in the North East! If you’re just getting started and looking for a smaller mountain, centrally located in Massachusetts is Wachusett Mountain.
Offering ski lessons to both kids and adults, as well as snowboard lessons. Wachusett Mountain also has 27 trails, 8 lifts, a full restaurant, cafeteria and many exciting events throughout the entire year. It is also one of the few ski mountains that offer night time skiing.
Bretton Woods Nordic Center (Bretton Woods, NH) – This new trend is here to stay as many are taking their fat bikes (tires are 4 to 5” wide) to the snowy trails. If you’d like to give this new winter adventure a try, head on over to Bretton Woods in New Hampshire. Here you can rent a bike for an hour or 8, bring a helmet and hit the designated trails!
New England is a wonderful place to spend the wintertime. However, there are only so many times you can do the same things. Check this list, plan ahead by looking at their websites. And then go out there and enjoy a new outdoor winter activity. There is so much to do in New England!
This is a guest post written by Christine Gaudreau of NewEnglandMomma.com. Christine lives in Massachusetts and is a mom of two boys and two fluffy dogs. Visit for more great articles on day trips within New England, as well as camping and travel ideas for families.