Northeast winter family vacation road trips, including ideas for Christmas in the Northeast.
As my kids have gotten older and my husband has gotten busier at work, it’s become increasingly difficult to find a good time to go on family vacations. So, the days between Christmas Day and New Year have become one of our favorite times to travel on a quick family getaway. We generally do a winter family vacation road trip, and living in the Northeast, there are lots of options to travel for a Northeast winter vacation. This year, my son specifically requested a vacation that didn’t involve skiing, and luckily, we have some great choices for Northeast winter getaways. Here are some of our favorite road trips for Northeast winter family vacations road trips.
Disclosure: Affiliate links within. Purchasing and/or clicking on some of the links in this post helps support Family Travel Magazine®. Some of these Northeast winter getaways trips were provided at no cost or minimal cost for purposes of review. All opinions are our own, and we’ve editorially selected these winter getaways.
Northeast Winter Vacations
Cape Cod/The Islands
Visiting the Cape and Islands in the winter is like a secret getaway – the crowds from the summer are completely gone. While many places are closed in the winter, if you find a hotel with an indoor pool, you can still enjoy swimming. Some of the popular summer restaurants and shops are still open in the winter, and you can ride the Polar Express through the 23rd. I found some great rates on Hotwire.com (book through Ebates.com for 2% back) for a hotel on Martha’s Vineyard and one in Falmouth. Just be sure to check ferry schedules (for the Islands) and make sure that your restaurant/attraction choices are open in the off season. Some do close, so you will have limited options.
North Conway, NH
While you can certainly ski in North Conway, there are lots of other fun things to do for a Northeast winter vacation. Besides the outlet shopping (with plenty of great deals both before after the holidays), you can also visit Santa’s Village on New Year’s Eve for the Partybration. Tubing is available on Cranmore Mountain resort, and if you’d like to visit an indoor water park, stay at the Red Jacket Resort.
New York City
Anytime is a good time to visit New York City, and the holidays are arguably the best time thanks to the beautiful Christmas decorations and the holiday-themed shows. If you are looking for something to do in Christmas in the Northeast, it’s a great option. Be aware that it is expensive to stay in the city during the entire holiday season – stay outside the city if you are looking for a bargain. January is a great time to visit because the crowds have all left. Just be sure to bundle up, it can definitely be cold. While you are there, make sure you dine at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, which is my kids’ favorite.
Our hotel pick: The Hilton Midtown
There are lots of things to do in Lake George in December. The Six Flags Great Escape Lodge is a great lodging option, and the indoor water park is included with a stay (day passes are also available). There are several tubing parks in the area, as well as a children’s museum in Glens Falls. Of course, there are also some ski options available in the area.
For more outlet shopping, visit Freeport, Maine, just a few hours North of Boston. Don’t miss the flagship LL Bean Store – my kids loved it there!
We recommend: The Hilton Garden Inn.
Portland, Maine is one of my favorite places in New England. While it’s definitely a beautiful place to visit in the summer, there are also plenty of things to do in the winter. We have visited there over a few Christmas vacations, and have really enjoyed it. You can read more things to do in Portland, Maine here.
New Haven, CT
Foodies and families will love the options available in New Haven, CT. The Yale Peabody Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery are both great places to visit with kids. Of course, you can’t miss out on the famous New Haven pizza – it really is delicious!