Family Winter Getaways

Explore some hot spots in Upstate New York

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Any family trip should include things for each member of the family to do and winter getaways make it easy to keep everyone happy.


Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz

Conde Nast Traveler’s readers selected Mohonk as its 2023 Best Resort in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. It’s easy to see why. Its size, history and copious amenities equal a stay unequalled elsewhere in the region. The Smiley family has owned and operated the resort since its founding in 1869. Guests can enjoy the resort’s skating pavilion, rock climbing, and 85 miles of trails for winter hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The resort also offers snow tubing on a 260-foot run and its own skating rink. Relax at the spa on the grounds or at the indoor heated pool. All three meals are served on site.


Greek Peak Mountain Resort, Cortland

It won Advance Media New York’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards on and Greek Peak as Central New York’s Home Mountain. The resort’s Hope Lake Lodge offers different types of lodging from hotel rooms with to condominium-style suites, plus Bearfoot Den, a children’s area with lots of activities. Guests can also enjoy fitness center, several on-site dining options, spa, and more.


Holiday Valley, Ellicottville

SKI Magazine rated Holiday Valley as a top 3 resort. Guests can select from hotel accommodation with a heated pool, sauna and outdoor hot tub; Tamarack Lodge condos with an indoor heated pool, hot tub, sauna and spa; and long-term condominiums, townhouses and chalets. Each offers on-site dining options. Lessons and rentals are available.


Greater Niagara’s Buffalo Ski Center and Kissing Bridge, Glenwood

It offers stay-and-play packages with the nearby Roycroft Inn. The family atmosphere draws locals back year after year; however, it’s also attractive to weekenders who want a more intimate ski getaway experience. The Center provides lessons and equipment rentals. On-site casual dining is available.


Whiteface properties

It includes numerous Adirondack locations (Whiteface Mountain and Mt. Van Hoevenberg) and one in the Catskills (Belleayre Mountain). Numerous types of lodging are available on site and in these resort towns to suit any family’s needs.

In addition to rentals and lessons, Whiteface in Wilmington offers The Slides, 35 acres of steep, narrow chutes for expert skiers. The double-black-diamond area is available only by hiking to the top of Summit Quad, a few hundred feet above the tallest mountain in Vermont.


Mt. Van Hoevenberg, Lake Placid

It offers 55 kilometers of trails, plus a bobsled, skeleton and luge track. Nearby lodging includes luxurious hotels, rustic lodges, welcoming B&Bs, chalets, and Adirondack cabins.


Belleayre Mountain in Highmount

It provides stay-and-play packages with area lodgings to help families better afford a ski getaway. This option also offers a greater variety of lodging types: upscale resort, hotel, alpine style lodges, unique B&Bs, mountain chalets, and rustic cabins. On the mountain, dining options include the Marketplace, Groomers Pub, and the Waffle Cabin. The 1,400-foot vertical drop strikes the right balance between challenging and family-friendly. Lessons and rentals are available. Visitors can ski (alpine and cross country), snowboard and snowshoe.


Dry Hill Family Ski & Tubing Area, Watertown

It offers day and night skiing, tubing and lessons at low rates, making it a perfect for a day trip for new skiers and snowboarders.


Bristol Mountain, Canandaigua

It bills itself as the “premier winter resort in the Finger Lakes.” It provides instruction and rentals at lower rates than many large ski resorts and it offer a wide range of options when it comes to snow activities.