10 things to do if you don’t ski

In New England, cold temperatures and outdoor recreation go together like milk and cookies. While other parts of the country reluctantly tolerate freezing weather, the hearty New Englanders actually celebrate their snowy wonderland. And that’s great news for families looking for winter getaways in New England, because there’s no shortage of fun things to do in the colder months, even if you’re not a ski family. .

From tried-and-true winter favorites like ice skating and sledding to more unusual activities like curling and snow biking, here are 10 of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors during New England Winter Getaways.

1. Snowshoeing – White Mountains, New Hampshire

Snowshoeing makes social distancing easier as you follow a winding path through woods and meadows on snowshoe-like shoes surrounded by snow-capped pines.

Snowshoeing is a great pastime in cold weather. With no steep learning curve and few bulky pieces of equipment, it’s a great choice for those new to winter sports. And it’s easy to social distance as you follow a winding path through woods and meadows on snowshoe-like shoes surrounded by snow-capped pines.

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In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Walk around white people will teach you the basics of racquet and beyond. Owner Lisa Holcomb holds a Masters in Education and shares her deep respect and stewardship of the land with guests. You’ll feel like you’re inside a snow globe as you traverse a layer of alabaster dust past waterfalls, ponds, and frozen banks. Guided trips start at $35 per person.

2. Snow Bike – Woodstock, Vermont

The fat bikes feature extra-wide oversized tires and modified frames to give more stability and traction for gripping deep snow - no training wheels needed.

If you can ride a bike, you can ride a bike in the snow. The fat bikes feature extra wide oversized tires and modified frames to give more stability and traction for gripping deep snow, no training wheels needed. Pedaling uphill can be exhausting; the coasting descent is exhilarating.

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the Nordic center to the Woodstock Inn and Resort offer fat bike rental and has miles of groomed and ungroomed terrain for riding. Full day trail fees start at $25 per adult, $20 for children under 18. A private lesson costs $45 per hour.

3. Ice Bumper Cars – Providence, Rhode Island

Ice Bumper Cars at Bank Newport's downtown outdoor rink bring arctic fun to the city of Providence.

New England winter getaways don’t get any more fun for non-skiers than driving a colorful bumper car forward, backward and sideways on an outdoor ice surface. the Ice cream bumper cars in downtown Bank NewportThe outdoor skating rink offers arctic fun in the city of Providence. Slide, twirl and bump into your fellow riders during this 15-minute ride.

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The cost is $12 when part of the ice is reserved for bumper cars (the rest of the ice will be for skaters) and $15 for the full rink experience. You can reserve the entire rink for a one-hour private session for $500.

4. Sledding – Camden, Maine

Descend on a long, narrow sled at breakneck speeds of up to 40 miles per hour to the frozen Hosmer Pond.​​​​​​​

the Camden Snow Bowl is a small ski area with views of the beautiful Maine coastline from one of New England’s Most Charming Beach Towns. Camden is home to the Jack Williams Falls Toboggan, a venerable handmade wooden chute flooded with ice. Descend on a long, narrow sled at breakneck speeds of up to 40 miles per hour to frozen Hosmer Pond. The chute is open during the winter months on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, weather permitting. It costs $10 per person per hour.

5. Curling – Boston, Mass.

At the Liberty, a prison-turned-hotel in Boston's upscale Beacon Hill neighborhood, visitors can try curling on synthetic ice.

Curling is an Olympic sport of finesse and strategy that some liken to ice chess. Teams of players take turns sliding stones across the ice towards targets, using sweepers to slow down or change the direction of the stone.

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At the Liberty, a jail-turned-hotel in Boston’s upscale Beacon Hill neighborhood, visitors can try curling on synthetic ice in the big yard. Book a private experience for $110, including a 45-minute lane reservation for up to six people, an instruction and scoring guide, and tasty finger foods like roast beef sliders, chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate.

6. Snow tubing – Middlefield, Connecticut

With snow tubing, your only job is to sit in a giant inflatable inner tube and enjoy the descent as gravity pulls and spins you down the slope.

Snow tubing is the epitome of carefree fun. Your only job is to sit in a giant inflatable inner tube and enjoy the descent as gravity pulls you and spins you down the slope. At Connecticut Powder Ridge Mountain Park and Resort, there is a large tube park with day and night tubes. Sessions last 1 hour and 45 minutes and cost $32 on weekdays and $37 on weekends. The station provides the inner tube and the helmet.

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And if you need ideas for holidays with teenagersthink Interstellar Nights at Powder Ridge, when the eight-lane high-speed hit track is lit with colorful neon lights and pop music plays in the background.

7. Winter Zipline – Barron Mountain, New Hampshire

Located at the foot of Barron Mountain, Alpine Adventure's Winter Zipline Tour is a real dizzying zinger.

It’s hard to imagine a more thrilling New England winter getaway for non-skiers than gliding down a series of cables suspended between snow-covered treetops. Located at the foot of Barron Mountain, Alpine Adventure Winter Zipline Tour is a real dizzying zinger. After an all-terrain vehicle takes you to the top, you’ll swing over six cables that vary in length and height, with views down over the rainforest.

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The cost is $99 for this two to three hour aerial adventure. Knowledgeable guides lend a hand, spicing things up with tidbits of wildlife information. Participants must weigh between 60 and 240 pounds, with a maximum height of 6 feet 5 inches.

8. Snowmobiling – The Forks, Maine

With miles of trails crossing frozen rivers, snow-capped peaks, and forests of pine, spruce, and birch, western New Hampshire is an ideal hub for attempting a snowmobile getaway.

Nordic outdoors is a rustic resort located in a remote corner of western Maine. With miles of trails crossing frozen rivers, snow-capped peaks, and forests of pine, spruce, and birch, it’s an ideal hub for attempting a snowmobile getaway.

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Northern Outdoors will help you rent a snowmobile and suggest trails which will take you through snowy landscapes and observe wildlife in their winter habitat. Snowmobile rentals are $325 per day, plus $30 for jackets, pants, boots, and gloves. The resort rents out cozy cabins and has an on-site brewery where you can unwind with a draft beer at the end of an adventurous day.

9. Ice Skating – Boston

Located in Boston Common, America's oldest public park, Frog Pound is a scenic spot to spin and glide for an afternoon or evening.

The charming frog pond on historic Boston Common, America’s oldest public park, is a scenic spot to twirl and slide for an afternoon or evening. Its central location makes it easy to squeeze in a few spins around the sparkling ice while taking a break from Boston’s many charms.

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Daily public sessions, rentals and lessons are available, along with creamy hot chocolate to warm you up when the cold wind blows. Admission is based on the skater’s height and might just be the best winter getaway deal in New England — free for anyone under 4-foot-8, $6 for everyone else.

10. Learn to Ski – Cranmore Mountain Resort, North Conway

New Hampshire's Cranmore Mountain Resort has 54 runs — enough to keep every skier in the family entertained — but the mountain manages to feel intimate and friendly for those just starting out.

New England is home to dozens of ski resorts, but North Conway Mount Cranmore is special. It’s New England’s winter getaway where non-skiers can easily learn to become skiers thanks to its top-notch ski school and some of the softest alpine terrain in the Granite State.

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Cranmore is known for its abundant natural snow, sunny south-facing slopes and varied terrain. There are 54 runs – enough to keep every skier in the family entertained – but the mountain manages to feel intimate and friendly for those just starting out. And if you’re not convinced to try skiing, Cranmore has a great snow tubing hill and an alpine roller coaster to keep you busy too.

Adult 1-day lift tickets start at $29 for kids 5 and under, $59 for kids 6-12, $89 for teens 13-18, and $99 for adults . Discounts on multi-day tickets are available.

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