Winter is Coming. And while that may excite the most ardent Game of Thrones follower, it can be a painful proposition for New Yorkers. And on Long Island, a region that boasts beautiful parks and beaches, it may be especially frightening. But, it doesn't have to be. For every beach on the Island there is a slope perfect for sledding; for every outdoor summer activity, a rink. Why lounge in the sun when you can frolic in the snow? Here are some of the things you can do when the ground turns pearly white.
Live on the Vine
Think the Hamptons is just a place for summer lounging? The East End gives you the Live on the Vine music festival which rocks all through February and March. What's better than live music? Live music with some wine. Some of the most exciting names in regional jazz music will jam in some of the most preeminent vineyards on the island. After all, the cold is less cold with blues music. And wine.
In the mood for ice skating, but it's just too cold to handle? Try out The Rinx in Hauppauge with two world class indoor skating rinks located just inside Hidden Pond Park. Enjoy the beautiful wintry surroundings while skating with all the comforts and convenience of a fabulous indoor rinks. Looking for other prime indoor skating locales? The Dix Hills Skating Park offers lessons year round and is the perfect location for skating lessons or your child's next birthday bash. Want to stay indoors with an outdoor feel? Try the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink in the fabulous Great Neck park.
Christopher Morley park offers one of the best outdoor skating rinks in the region. In fact, News 12 named it the best outdoor rink on Long Island. And if you need to warm up - there is a fire and plenty of hot chocolate. Want to entertain the kids and get in some shopping? The famous Tanger Outlets has a surprising little secret: a rink for the kids and the big kids right adjacent to the fabulous shopping.
OK, Ok so there's a place for you alpine skiers in the mix. But, there are a number of downhill ski clubs which call Long Island their home, including the Garden City Ski Club and the Grumman Ski Club. Long Island also offers great venues for cross country skiers. Our favorite? Montauk Point State Park where you can view the Sound while hitting the (horizontal) slopes.
Take a Cruise
You don't need the Carribean or a boatload of cash (pun intended) to take a winter cruise. The Riverhead Foundation offers winter seal cruises out of Freeport. The whole family will learn a lot about marine life and seal behavior in particular, but warm clothes are needed. The ides of winter, i.e. January, is when the seals are most visible.
Watch Others on the Ice
The Islanders are in the midst of their last season the Island and they look poised to make an exciting playoff run. And if your kids are a bit younger (or are Rangers fans) Disney on Ice hits the Nassau Coliseum in January.