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Top Activities & Things to Do During Winter in the Albany, NY Area

What is your favorite winter activity? Whether it's skiing down a mountain, ice skating on a frozen pond, or sliding down a snowy hill, there are so many ways you can enjoy this wonderful season in the Albany, NY area.

Gear Up for Outstanding Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding

man and child in red winter coats skiing

Winter is also known as ski season - and for good reason! Skiers and snowboarders flock to New York State's ski resorts, which are some of the best in the Northeast. Plan a trip to the Capital Region, the Adirondacks, the Catskills, or beyond for an amazing day on the snowy slopes.

Explore ski resorts near Albany »

Strap on Your Skis or Snowshoes for an Outdoor Adventure

man cross country skiing with sign near a trail

While downhill skiing and snowboarding may not be for everyone, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are two of the most accessible winter activities in the region. If you're new to the activities and want to try one of them out, then you can visit a place like the Nordic Center at Gore Mountain in North Creek and enjoy rentals and access to designated trails. Or, if you already own a pair of cross-country skis or snowshoes, then you'll find several local trail networks and nature preserves that are open for both activities.

Check out cross-country ski trails »

Find snowshoe trails »

Take the Kids Snow Tubing & Sledding

a boy snow tubing down a hill

Recapture the joy of childhood or make some new family memories for your own children by taking them snow tubing and sledding this winter. There are snowy hills at Washington Park and the Capital Hills Golf Course in Albany, as well as at Mine Kill State Park in North Blenheim.

However, if you're looking for a real snow tubing park, then you should bring the kids to West Mountain in Queensbury, Willard Mountain in Greenwich, or Hunter Mountain Resort in Hunter. All four ski areas have an official snow tubing park that's perfect for families.

Experience the Freedom of Ice Skating

pair of white ice skates

Get your skates sharpened and your laces tied - it's time to ice skate! Here's where you can find public skating at indoor and outdoor rinks in the Capital Region:

  • Albany County Hockey Facility - 830 Albany Shaker Road, Albany, NY 12211
  • Bethlehem YMCA Ice Skating Rink - 900 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054
  • Capital Ice Arena - 16 Clifton Common Boulevard, Clifton Park, NY 12065
  • Conway Ice Rink at Hudson Valley Community College - 80 Vandenburgh Avenue, Troy, NY 12180
  • (NOTE: Closed for 2020-2021 winter season) Empire State Plaza - Albany, NY 12210
  • Knickerbacker Ice Arena - 191 103rd Street, Troy, NY 12180
  • Saratoga Springs Ice Rink - 30 Weibel Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
  • Swinburne Skating Rink - 810 Clinton Avenue, Albany, NY 12206

Note: Be sure to confirm hours of operation and find out if the ice rink is open beforehand.

Test Your Ice Fishing Skills in the Albany Area

person on frozen lake ice fishing

Travel outside of the city of Albany and discover some of the area's best lakes and ponds for ice fishing. You can go ice fishing nearby at Ann Lee Pond in Colonie and Thompsons Lake in the Towns of Berne and Knox. Both are located in Albany County, and the NY State DEC has information about fish species you may catch. In addition, ice fishing is popular at Grafton Lakes State Park, Cherry Plain State Park, and Moreau Lake State Park - all of which are located in the Capital Region.

Hit the Road to Other Cities & Communities

a frozen ice bench

Winter is a great time of year to get out and explore. Here are some fun day trip ideas near Albany:

Saratoga Springs

The Spa City is a top spot for both indoor and outdoor winter activities. Enjoy a day of snowshoeing at Saratoga Spa State Park, and then step inside a local restaurant or cafe for a hot drink. You can also check out major winter events, such as ice bars and festivals.

Lake George

Drive an hour north of Albany to Lake George and the southern Adirondacks for gorgeous scenery and winter attractions. There are ice bars, seasonal events, and a variety of winter activities to enjoy. You'll find plenty of things to do in the village and surrounding area.

Lake Placid Region

Embark on a two-hour drive north into the Adirondacks for endless winter fun in the Lake Placid Region. Visit the historic Olympic facilities, go ice skating in Lake Placid, or hit the slopes at nearby Whiteface Mountain. Before heading back home, be sure to peruse the quaint Adirondack village for excellent shopping and dining. You can even plan a weekend getaway in Lake Placid to give yourself more time to experience this awesome area.

Ready to have fun this winter? Add some of these activities to your to-do list and make the most of the season!

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