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Two-Hour Drive or Less: Best Winter Mini-Vacation Spots near NYC

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Jeannine C
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Tourists may flock to New York City all year long, but New Yorkers need vacations too. With school still in session and inclement weather always a looming possibility, it’s hard to plan more than a few days away during the frosty winter months. But that’s no reason to hold off on digging out of the snow and spending a weekend away. There are plenty of great vacation spots less than a couple of hours away where you and your family can recharge your batteries and have some much needed midwinter fun. Whether you’re looking to hit the slopes with the kids or maybe throw on a bathing suit and pretend it’s 85 degrees and sunny, you’ll find the right place for your family in our roundup of the best winter family vacation spots near the city.
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Camelback Mountain Resort
Believe it or not, Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains are closer to New York City than many of upstate New York’s popular skiing spots. This 166-acre resort offers a variety of skiing and snowboarding lessons for beginners, including programs for three to five-year-olds and six to twelve-year-olds, as well as an on-site nursery for the very little ones. In addition to the largest snowtubing park in the USA (42 lanes!), they also have a 4500-foot Mountain Coaster weaving through the slopes that children as young as three can ride. And this year Camelback celebrates their 50th anniversary with special events, contests, giveaways, and parties all year long. Check out nearby lodging options here.

301 Resort Dr
Tannersville, PA
(570) 629-1661

Distance from NYC: Approximately 90 miles; just under two hours away by car.
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Crystal Springs Resort at Mountain Creek
Can’t decide between skiing or indoor swimming? At Crystal Springs in Vernon, NJ, your family can do both. At Mountain Creek, families can ski or snowtube together, take lessons, and ride the unique Alpine Mountain Coaster. This rollercoaster/alpine slide combo allows riders to control their own speed while twisting and sliding over and around the mountain. They also offer ziplining and cable-rides as well. Back at the resort, their Biosphere Pool Complex includes a tropical-style indoor pool, an underground aquarium, and a 140-foot water slide.

200 McAfee Vernon Rd
Vernon, NJ
(973) 827-5996

Distance from NYC: Approximately 55 miles; less than 1.5 hours away by car.
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Mount Peter Ski and Snowboard
This kid-friendly ski resort is a good choice for a quick day or overnight trip because it’s so close to the city. In addition, they offer FREE lessons to beginning skiers, ages five and up, on weekends and holidays. For tots who are four and under, they offer a program that includes lessons, equipment rental, a lift ticket and hot chocolate for just $50. A great selection for families, their slopes are not overly too intimidating for the younger–or older–skiing novices. For lodging info, see here for some deals.

40 Ski Ln
Warwick, NY
(845) 986-4940

Distance from NYC: Approximately 50 miles; just over an hour away by car.
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Mohonk Mountain House
This scenic and beautiful Hudson Valley resort offers a variety of winter activities for the whole family. They have an award-winning, open-air ice skating pavilion, family-friendly cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snow-tubing, a Victorian-era barn museum and more. During President’s Week, kids stay and eat FREE all week long at Mohonk.

1000 Mountain Rest Rd
New Paltz, NY
(855) 883-3798

Distance from NYC: Approximately 80 miles; about one hour and forty-five minutes away by car.
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Great Wolf Lodge
This Pocono Mountain indoor water park resort is one of the better, albeit more expensive, indoor water parks near NYC. With a wide variety of top-notch water slides and rides, as well as smaller toddler pools just for the little ones, the kids are guaranteed to have a blast at Great Wolf Lodge. In addition to the water park, there is also a bowling alley, a kid spa, indoor mini-golf, as well as the popular interactive live-action video game, MagicQuest, that will keep kids busy during their stay.

1 Great Wolf Dr
Scotrun, PA
(570) 688-9899

Distance from NYC
: Approximately 90 miles; about two hours away by car.
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Rocking Horse Ranch Resort
If you are looking to spend more than a night or two away, then the Rocking Horse Ranch is your best choice. This upstate New York resort has essentially everything your family is looking for in a winter vacation and more. There is an indoor water park, skiing, snowtubing, snowboarding, ice skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides, a Magic Carpet snow lift, an arcade, a BB gun shooting range, daily live entertainment, and an indoor “Fun Barn” equipped with a bounce house, climbing walls, giant Nerf cannons, and a foam factory. Kids stay for FREE from Feb 9-13. Click here for more information.

600 U.S. 44
Highland, NY
(845) 691-2927

Distance from NYC
: Approximately 75 miles; a little over 1.5 hours away by car.
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