Winter break is nearly here and soon thousands of students will be out of class and wondering just what to do with themselves. Well don’t worry, we’ve got it covered. Great things are happening all over New York State this winter. Just like the beauty of fall with its colors and vibrancy, winter in New York offers a ton of activities and events to keep you busy and enjoying the outdoor, snow covered mountains and terrain. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
One of the northeast’s largest free holiday festivals is in New York’s Capital Region in Downtown Troy. Minutes from Hudson Valley Community College, this event brings people together with more than 100 live performance, period scenery, and holiday food and shopping throughout the downtown streets. There’s even an amateur photo contest for visitors to participate in. Snap the best shot of the events and you could win!
New Year’s Day Polar Plunge Swim
This New Year you can welcome in 2016 with a cold dip in the Icy Water’s of Lake George. A short few minutes from Adirondack Community College, the frosty lakeside will be filled with about 1,000 volunteer swimmers taking the icy swim. Go just to watch or register to join the fun yourself with this daring New Year tradition.
20th Annual Charles Dickens Festival (Port Jefferson, Long Island)
Charles Dickens, the famed author of such classics such as Oliver Twist and The Christmas Carol, is being honored once again this weekend in Port Washington, just 10 minutes away from Stony Brook University. There will be numerous festivities you can, “See the world of a Christmas Carol come alive as Port Jefferson is transformed into a living museum and play, complete with horse drawn carriage rides, carolers, and many street performances.”
Empire State Plaza Holiday Tree Lighting and Firework Festival
This year Downtown Albany’s annual tree-lighting event will have a little something for everyone. A hop, skip, or a bus ride away from the University at Albany, this event will have ice sculpture demonstrations, holiday arts and crafts fair, skating demonstrations by the Hudson Mohawk Figure Skating Club, live music, train rides around the Empire State Plaza concourse and a holiday rock and skate with Grand Central Station. And that’s just the start! The tree-lighting will be kicked off at 5:15 and will be concluded with a fireworks show!
Holiday Candlelight Evenings
Less than 20 minutes from SUNY Old Westbury is the Holiday Candlelight Evenings. Located in Old Bethpage, New York this four night event will include 19th century buildings lit by candlelight, an 1866 decoration Christmas tree, Civil War era Christmas songs, and stories of Christmases past. Along with the Christmas fun there will be music, food and fun along with a holiday craft show.
Frozen, An Ice Wine Festival
The Westfield Ice Wine Festival, located just 30 minutes from SUNY Fredonia, is a celebration of regional ice and specialty dessert wines held both indoors and out with wine tastings, ice carvings, food pairings, a fire pit, live acoustic music, and demonstrations. It’s a great 21 and over event for the student that has class, even when the don’t have classes.
Empire State Winter Games
For the 36th year running Lake placid will be holding it’s Winter Games. Just 15 minutes away from North Country Community College, this event, brings together athletes from across the State and beyond to compete in 19 winter sports in beautiful Lake Placid. The 2015 Games included over 1500 participants of all ages, including master divisions.
Saranac Lake Winter Carnival
And if you’re still looking for something to do in the area after watching the winter games you can visit tht Saranac Lake Winter Carnival! With three fireworks displays, parades, traditional and quirky winter sports and the unforgettable Ice Palace decorated with dazzling lights and creative carvings there is something for everyone this February!
Lake George Winter Carnival – 55th Annual
And finally you can head back to Lake George for the Winter Carnival. There will be family fun outdoor activities including the pony rides, cook-off competitions, helicopter rides, ATV, truck and snowmobile races. Not to mention s’mores and fireworks on Saturday. So celebrate winter fun at the Winter Carnival!