As winter descends, festive displays and holiday vignettes are stirring New Yorkers’ wanderlust.
Satisfy your travel bug with a convenient weekend winter escape that won’t involve hours of mask wearing or air rage. The Lower Hudson Valley is a short train ride from Grand Central Terminal and the region offers spectacular state parks, historic mansions, and holiday attractions.
A two-night winter weekend in the lower Hudson Valley can include:
The Abbey Inn & Spa, 900 Fort Hill Road, Peekskill, N.Y.
Celebrate the holidays nestled high atop historic Fort Hill in Peekskill in a former convent of the Episcopal Sisters of Saint Mary’s. The ex-convent is beautifully repurposed with luxury accommodations and amenities including the farm-to-table restaurant Apropos and a serene spa, all overlooking the glorious Hudson River.
Blue Mountain Reservation, 435 Welcher Avenue, Peekskill, NY
Live your winter woodlands fantasy at this public park featuring 28 miles of trails for hiking, running and mountain biking that range from easy to very difficult. Guests at the Abbey Inn & Spa are allowed to use the hotel’s free bicycles to explore surrounding parks like Blue Mountain.
Westchester Trail Rides, (914) 539-2987
Experience New York before the automobile on horseback and ride through 7,000 acres of scenic landscape near Croton-on-Hudson. Experienced guides offer rides weekdays and weekends.
A Christmas Carol at the Yorktown Stage, 268 Veteran’s Road, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
Check out a production of a holiday classic with a new, original score by Martin Harich and Matej Smutny, who added elements of contemporary music while remaining faithful to the work’s 19th-century setting. The shows are on December 26 at 2 and 6 p.m. and on Dec. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Holiday Tea, 149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah, N.Y.
The Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts will host five afternoon Holiday Tea Musicale events December 15 to 19 in the historic Rosen House, where musicians will perform in a festively decorated environment while guests enjoy sandwiches, desserts and tea or hot chocolate.
Victorian Christmas, 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers, N.Y.
The Hudson River Museum has decked out its 1877 Gilded Age Glenview mansion with Victorian-era Christmas decorations. The 45-minute guided tours of Glenview’s six fully restored period rooms occur on Thursdays through Sundays. Capacity is currently limited to 12 visitors per tour, advance tickets are strongly encouraged, and masks are required.
Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm, 1335 White Hill Road, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
If your winter weekend includes a rental car, consider cutting your own Christmas tree. This farm is open Wednesday through Monday through Christmas, and it also offers a farmers’ market.
Westchester’s Winter Wonderland, 1 Bronx River Parkway, Valhalla, N.Y.
Before loading the car with a Christmas tree, drive through a holiday light extravaganza consisting of a 1.2-mile experience filled with thousands of lights. Visitors will see twinkling angels, a 50-foot dove, dancing trees and a spectacular 100-foot light tunnel. Timed entry is required, and visitors are not allowed to exit their vehicles during the tour.