There's a chill in the air, but that doesn't mean you have to stay inside. Browse our guide to Long Island's outdoor activities this winter, from ice skating to sledding. Call ahead to make sure these spots are open, as many are weather dependent.
You can practice your spins, jumps and crossovers on local ice — or just attempt to stay upright — at indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks around Long Island.
ANDREW STERGIOPOULOS ICE RINK AT PARKWOOD SPORTS COMPLEX, 65 Arrandale Ave., Great Neck, 516-487-2975, gnparks.org. Public sessions open to Great Neck Park District residents and nonresidents. Fee $7 (residents with park pass), $12 nonresidents; $5 skate rental. Fees subject to change.
DIX HILLS PARK ICE RINK, 575 Vanderbilt Pkwy., Dix Hills, 631-462-5883, huntingtonny.gov. Hours 10 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday; additional 3:45-5:15 p.m. session on Thursday and Friday; 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday Fee $7.50, $6 for 13 and younger (residents with recreation card); $12, $9 for 13 and younger (nonresidents); $4 skate rentals. Reservations online are recommended.
FREEPORT RECREATION CENTER, 130 E. Merrick Rd., Freeport, 516-377-2314, freeportny.gov. Hours 3:30-4:45 p.m. Thursday; and 7:30-9 p.m. Friday; 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday Fee $4-$10.
LONG BEACH ICE ARENA, 150 W. Bay Dr., Long Beach, 516-705-7385, longbeachny.gov. Fee $10, $5 skate rentals.
NEWBRIDGE ARENA, 2600 Newbridge Rd., Bellmore, 516-783-6181, newbridgearena.com. Hours 4-6 p.m. Wednesday; 8-10 a.m. Thursday; 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. Friday; 12:30-2:30 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through June. Public sessions are on a first-come, first-served basis. Skating lessons, Youth hockey. Fee Public Sessions: Weekends $9 for Town of Hempstead Park residents; $11 nonresidents; Weekdays: $7 for Town of Hempstead Park residents; $9 nonresidents; $5 skate rentals.
NORTHWELL HEALTH ICE CENTER AT EISENHOWER PARK, Eisenhower County Park, 200 Merrick Ave., East Meadow, northwellhealthicecenter.com, 516-441-0070. Two indoor rinks, one outdoor rink. Learn-to-skate program, lessons. Fee Public sessions: $15, $5 skate rental.
PORT WASHINGTON SKATING CENTER, 70 Seaview Blvd., Port Washington, pwskating.com, 516-484-6800. Must buy tickets in advance and register on website. Fee $18; $5 skate rentals.
SUPERIOR ICE RINK, 270 Indian Head Rd., Kings Park, 631-269-3900, superioricerink.com. Hours 4:30-6 p.m. Wednesday; 8:30-10:30 p.m. with D.J. Friday; 12:30-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday Fee $10 Wednesday; $15 Friday nights; $10 Saturday-Sunday; $5 skate rental.
THE RINX AT HIDDEN POND PARK, 660 Terry Rd., Hidden Pond Park, Hauppauge, 631-232-3222, therinx.com. Hours 12:30-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 4-5:45 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, Tik-Tok on Ice: 8:15-10:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 12-3 p.m. Fee $12 weekdays, $13 weekends; $9.50 ages 11 and younger weekdays and $10.50 on weekends; $14 on Friday night. Reservations required.
TOWN OF OYSTER BAY ICE SKATING CENTER, Stewart and Cherry avenues, Bethpage Community Park, 516-433-7465, oysterbaytown.org. Hours 4-6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday; 10 a.m.-noon Tuesday and Thursday; 1-3 p.m. and 3:30-5:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
OUTDOOR ICE RINKS
BUCKSKILL WINTER CLUB, 178 Buckskill Rd., East Hampton, buckskillwinterclub.com, 631-324-2243. Hours 1:15-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday and holidays; 8:45 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Weekday evenings alternate between public skating and ice hockey. Fee $27 adult; $22 child ages 16 and under; $12 ages 4 and younger; $18 senior 65 and over; $7 skate rental.
CHRISTOPHER MORLEY PARK ICE RINK, Searingtown Road, Roslyn-North Hills, 516-571-8113, nassaucountyny.gov. Outdoor ice rink, public sessions. Fee: $15 adults, $10 ages 3-18, free ages 3 and younger; $5 skate rentals.
GRANT PARK ICE RINK, Broadway and Sheridan Avenue, Hewlett, nassaucountyny.gov, 516-571-7821. Hours 1:15-3:15 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1:15-3:15 p.m., 4-6 p.m., and 7-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Fee Residents: $10, $6 child; nonresidents: $15, $10 child; $5 skate rentals. Online advanced registration required.
GREENPORT ICE RINK, Mitchell Park, Front Street, Greenport, villageofgreenport.org, 631-477-2200, ext. 2. Hours 3-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, Family Night 5-9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday and school holidays. Public sessions; private rentals, lessons. Fee $5, $3 seniors and 18 and younger Mon.-Fri., $10, $7 seniors and 18 and younger Sat.-Sun. and holidays; $5 skate rental.
MARJORIE R. POST COMMUNITY PARK, Unqua and Merrick roads, Massapequa, 516-797-7990, oysterbaytown.com/ice. Hours 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Friday; 1-3 p.m., 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Saturday; 1-3 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Sunday. Fee Residents: $7 ages 18 and older, $6 ages 5-17, $4 ages 2-4, free younger than 2, $4 seniors 60 and older; nonresidents: $11 ages 18 and older, $9 ages 5-17, $6 ages 2-4, free for younger than 2, $6 seniors 60 and older; $5 skate rentals.
THE RINX AT HARBORFRONT PARK, 101-A E. Broadway, Village Center, Port Jefferson, 631-403-4357, therinx.com/pjrinx. Hours Noon-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6:15 p.m. Sunday. Public sessions daily. Rentals, learn-to-skate lessons. Fee $12, $9:50 ages 11 and younger; $6 skate rentals.
SYOSSET-WOODBURY COMMUNITY PARK, 7800 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury, oysterbaytown.com/ice, 516-677- 5990. Hours 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Friday; 1-3 p.m., 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Saturday, 1-3 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Sunday. Fee Residents: $7 ages 18 and older, $6 ages 5-17, $4 ages 2-4, free younger than 2, $4 seniors 60 and older; nonresidents: $11 ages 18 and older, $9 ages 5-17, $6 ages 2-4, free for younger than 2, $6 seniors 60 and older; $5 skate rentals.
There are only a few days each year we get to partake in this winter tradition, so be prepared. Call ahead to ensure these trails are open day-of and have enough snow to accommodate you for an afternoon of fun.
BETHPAGE STATE PARK After golf, sledding is probably the most popular activity at the 1,500-acre state park straddling the Nassau-Suffolk border. What's so cool about sledding at Bethpage? You get to glide downhill in the footsteps of some of the world’s most famous professional golfers. No snow tubes, inner tubes, discs or saucers. 99 Quaker Meetinghouse Rd., Farmingdale, 516-249-0700, parks.ny.gov.
CEDAR CREEK PARK Cedar Creek’s sledding hills are easy to find. They’re next to parking fields at the south end of the park. The sledding is intermediate, on hills bordered by tall trees, including some evergreens. One of the hills is bowl-shaped, offering an up-and-down roller-coaster ride. 3340 Merrick Rd., Seaford, 516-571-7470, nassaucountyny.gov/2792/Cedar-Creek-Park
HEMPSTEAD LAKE STATE PARK The slope is short and not very steep at Hempstead Lake State Park, but it’s scenic. The hill begins where Lake Drive meets Peninsula Boulevard and ends with a view of human-made (and most likely frozen-over) McDonald Pond. It’s pretty much a bunny hill, best for families with young children. Park in Field 3 for easy access to the sledding area. And not to worry: A safety fence installed by park workers at the bottom of the slope keeps sledders from overshooting into the pond. 1000 Lake Dr., West Hempstead, Southern State Parkway Exit 18 (Eagle Avenue), 516-766-1029, parks.ny.gov.
NEWBRIDGE ROAD PARK Short and steep, the lone hill gives some of the best sledding. It’s a round hill, allowing sledders to slide down in any direction. 2600 Newbridge Rd., Bellmore, 516-783-2500
WILDWOOD STATE PARK There’s no need to travel upstate to go sledding alongside hardwood forest. Wildwood is about as wild as wilderness gets on Long Island. There’s no particular area set aside for sledding, but that’s actually an advantage, opening up the park’s 769 acres to sledders. Just choose a hill and turn it into your own private downhill run. Many sledders gravitate toward the campgrounds, or roadways, which are closed in winter to campers and vehicular traffic, park officials say. 790 Hulse Landing Rd., north of Sound Avenue, Wading River, 631-929-4314, parks.ny.gov
Here are some of Long Island’s popular spots for snow shoers, according to George Gorman, regional director of New York State parks on Long Island, and Edward Moran, former president of the Long Island chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club.
BETHPAGE STATE PARK, FARMINGDALE "It’s in the middle of Long Island," Gorman says, making it geographically desirable. It offers somewhat hilly terrain. 516-249-0700; nysparks.com
BLYDENBURGH COUNTY PARK, SMITHTOWN "It’s a six-mile loop around Stump Pond, so you start and end in the same place. It’s very pretty," Moran says. 631-854-3712; alltrails.com
CALEB SMITH STATE PARK PRESERVE, SMITHTOWN "It’s like being in an upstate area, without the intrusion of residences. You see nature at its best with a beautiful snowy landscape," Gorman says. Says Moran: "They’re all fairly easy trails. You see deer in there. It’s a nice place to get started." 631-265-1054; parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/CalebSmithTrailMap.pdf
CAUMSETT STATE HISTORIC PARK, LLOYD NECK Caumsett is a favorite because of its outstanding views of the Long Island Sound, Gorman says. 631-423-1770; nysparks.com
CONNETQUOT RIVER STATE PARK PRESERVE, OAKDALE "It’s pristine. There are miles and miles of trails going through the woodlands along the Connetquot River," says Connetquot environmental manager Annie McIntyre. "You can go a mile, you can go 11 miles." 631-581-1072; nysparks.com
HECKSCHER STATE PARK, EAST ISLIP "Heckscher has 25 miles of trails. It’s pretty much flat," says park manager David Auguste. "We also have a beach environment because we’re on the Great South Bay." 631-581-2100; nysparks.com
SUNKEN MEADOW STATE PARK, KINGS PARK "There are some really pretty trails overlooking Long Island Sound in the section known as The Bluffs," Moran says. You can start from the picnic area inside Sunken Meadow State parking Field 4, and head east on the Long Island Greenbelt Trail, he says. 631-269-4333; alltrails.com/trail/us/new-york/sunken-meadow-trail
TRAIL VIEW STATE PARK The trail starts right off on Jericho Turnpike for the Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Trail and continues to Cold Spring Harbor State Park, Gorman says. "For getting into the hills, I like the northern part better," he says. "You’ll feel like you climbed a mountain in the Catskills at the end of it." He recommends beginners try a different park before taking on this more challenging trail. Jericho Turnpike (Route 25), Woodbury to Cold Spring Harbor State Park, Route 25A adjacent to Cold Spring Harbor Library; 631-423-1770; nysparks.com
You might not love the cold weather that smacks Long Island come winter, but plenty of animals do.
SOUTH FORK NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM AND NATURE CENTER The month of February brings winter wildlife tours such as Quevedo leading a Winter Sea Ducks birding search at Montauk Point (Feb. 5), an Eastern Tiger Salamander search on the museum grounds (Feb. 12), a Seal Walk (Feb. 13) and a Nighttime Owl Prowl (Feb. 16). March will also feature salamander strolls (March 5, 12, 19), a Woolly Bear Caterpillar walk (March 13) and a search for waterfowl off Southampton’s Dune Road (March 19). 631-537-9735; sofo.org. Fee to participate is $15, $10 ages 3-12, two and under are free; reservations must be made in advance.
COASTAL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION SOCIETY OF LONG ISLAND SEAL WALKS The organization will lead several seal walks through May 11 at Cupsogue Beach County Park. Those who take part can look forward to possibly seeing pinnipeds like harbor seals, gray seals and harp seals. The walks are timed to see the animals resting on sandbars. 975 Dune Rd., Westhampton Beach; 631-319-6003, cresli.org. Advance registration is required; donations of $5 per adult, $3 ages 18 and younger are not required but recommended.
SEAL WATCHING CRUISES WITH CAPTAIN LOU FLEET While most frosty nature jaunts take place on the East End, this company sets sail from Freeport, with a search for harbor seals within Hempstead Bay. Each journey will have a naturalist aboard to chat about the biology of seals and other marine life. Trips are usually held Saturdays and Sundays through April 10, but cruises are also scheduled for Feb. 21-25 and March 11, 14-17. 31 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport; 516-544-6698, liwhaleandsealwatching.com. Rates are $39, $34 for children 12 and younger.
FULL MOON HIKES AT QUOGUE WILDLIFE REFUGE Featuring hundreds of acres of protected space, this nonprofit nature preserve has more than seven miles of nature trails that are open daily, from sunrise to sunset, for no fee (though donations are appreciated). The grounds hold many habitats, ranging from a tidal estuary and wetlands to bogs, a field and pine barrens. Full moon hikes are offered monthly, with the next taking place on Feb. 15. 3 Old Country Rd., Quogue; 631-653-4771, quoguewildliferefuge.org. $20, reservations required and must be made at least 24 hours in advance. For ages 12 and older.
Cozy up by the fire, explore the local attractions or stay put and sip cocktails at the hotel restaurant, there is plenty in store for a weekend getaway on Long Island. COVID restrictions vary per venue; be sure to check what’s presently in effect before visiting.
GURNEY’S MONTAUK Located on the Atlantic Ocean, it has magnificent views — and just in case the winter winds are blowing in, the venue’s signature Fire Pit is always ready to offer some warmth. In March, Gurney’s is scheduled to debut its re-imagined Seawater Spa, equipped with an ocean-fed seawater pool, cardio rooms and fitness classes. Inspired by the new year, Gurney’s is offering a "22% Off For 2022" special until April 14. Daily rates start at $305 with discount applied. 290 Old Montauk Hwy.; 631-668-2345, gurneysresorts.com
SAG HARBOR INN Sag Harbor offers plenty of shops and restaurants on its Main Street, walking distance from the Inn. In February, couples can take advantage of the "Romance" package: offered Sundays through Thursdays, guests will receive a box of chocolates and wine upon arrival, then stay late with a 1 p.m. checkout. A complimentary Continental Breakfast is also available, as is 24-hour tea, coffee and hot chocolate in the lobby; nightly rates start at $189. 45 West Water St.; 631-725-2949, sagharborinn.com
AQUA BEACH HOTEL Guests can stay put and rent sauna access ($40 for 30 minutes), soak up sunsets by the outdoor fire pits and even request some complimentary s’mores to roast. The boutique hotel is offering a "Warmer Winter Package" for the season, which includes sauna access and a pair of fluffy robes to take home. Rates start at $349 nightly but through February there’s another deal: stay two or more nights and save 20% on weekday stays. 15 Bay Ave., Aquebogue; 631-722-3212, aquahotelbeachclub.com
ALLEGRIA HOTEL A luxury hotel that sits along the boardwalk in the "City By the Sea," those who stay can play along the Atlantic Ocean or wander over to the city’s bustling social and shopping scene on West Beech Street at the corner of New York Avenue, about a mile west of the hotel. Among its ongoing deals, people can stay three nights or more to score up to 20% off the hotel's rates, which start at $169.15. 80 W. Broadway; Long Beach; 516-889-1300, allegriahotelny.com