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Saratoga Staycations: Fun Winter Break Ideas Within Driving Distance

While you might think of February break as a time to head south for warmer weather and sunnier skies, it's actually the perfect time to take a staycation. Saratoga is an ideal day trip distance from attractions, activities, historical sites, and fun for all ages. Check out some of our top picks below!

Go Skiing in the Southern Adirondacks

a man skiing

Have you hit the slopes yet? Saratoga is located within easy driving distance of several mountains in Upstate New York and Vermont!

For skiing in the southern Adirondacks, you can't beat the many trails at Gore Mountain in North Creek. Gore is only one hour from Saratoga and offers skiers over 100 different trails and 14 lifts.

A little closer to home at just under 30 minutes from Saratoga, West Mountain offers more than 30 trails and alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. They also offer lessons if you need to brush up on your skills or learn a new one.

Head North for Indoor & Outdoor Winter Fun

kids splashing at great escape's indoor water park

Just because you didn't head south for winter break doesn't mean you can enjoy warmer temperatures. Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park in Queensbury boasts water slides, a lazy river, a surfing simulator, and so much more. You can either book a stay at the lodge or purchase day passes to the water park. Best of all? The park's temperature is always kept at 82 degrees.

If you'd rather get out into the snow, take a day trip north into the Adirondacks to go on a snowmobile tour in Lake Luzerne or a snowshoe tour of Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville.

On the weekends, head up to Lake George Village for fun activities at the Winter Carnival. The first four weekends of the month will be filled with games, competitions, demonstrations, cook-offs, and more, all either on or near the lake, weather and ice permitting.

Explore New York's Past at Local Historic Sites

interpreters at fort ticonderoga in the winter Photo provided by Fort Ticonderoga

Take some time during winter break to learn something new about local history. Although the tour road is closed in the winter, you can cross-country ski or snowshoe around Saratoga National Historical Park to see the historic battlefield in a whole new light. This park is just minutes from Saratoga and the perfect place to enjoy crisp winter weather. Don't forget to stop by the visitors center, which is open year round.

For a bit of a road trip, plan a visit to Fort Ticonderoga on the southern shores of Lake Champlain. About an hour and a half north of Saratoga, Fort Ticonderoga is a living history museum where you can learn about the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, and colonial life. Although the fort isn't open daily in the winter, they are open for special living history events on certain weekend days throughout the winter.

Check out special winter events in Fort Ticonderoga's calendar >>

Go Underground on a Stunning Tour of Howe Caverns

the inside of a cave

Head west into Schoharie County to visit Howe Caverns during their special February Break hours. At about an hour and 15 minutes southwest of Saratoga, Howe Caverns is the ideal distance for a day's adventure.

Cave tours at Howe Caverns run on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the winter, but during February Break, visitors can explore the caverns all week long. Though outdoor activities are closed for the season, there's still plenty see at Howe Caverns while on the tour. You'll walk amongst fascinating cave formations and take a short boat trip along an underground river.

Participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count

a red cardinal in a bush covered with snow and ice

Planning on a true staycation and chilling out at home? Participate in this year's Great Backyard Bird Count!

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count is a crowd-sourced, annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds in your backyard and around the world. This is a really cool and easy event to participate in, and a great way to introduce yourselves to ornithology, the study of birds.

Get Ready for Spring Training in Cooperstown

a Brooklyn Dodgers display at the Baseball Hall of Fame

It's not quite baseball season yet, but that doesn't mean you can't get excited for it. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is filled with artifacts and photographs from baseball's history and is the perfect cure for a baseball fan's pre-season blues.

While many of the other museums in Cooperstown are closed for the winter (or only open for special programming on select days), you can still take a stroll down Main Street or explore Glimmerglass State Park's stunning views of Otsego Lake on cross country skis or snowshoes.

Discover five more awesome day trips near Saratoga »

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