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Winter Bucket List 2014-15: Long Island's Indoor & Outdoor Seasonal Fun That You Won't Want to Miss!

LongIsland.com

Winter’s got its own special set of fun things to do - get the scoop right here!

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A student enjoys her snow day by sledding down a small hill on Kirkland Drive in Greenlawn.

Photo by: Sandra Stelmach

This Winter, there are plenty of great things to do, whether you love brisk hikes with beautiful Winter scenery, or you’re more into snuggling up close by the fire. From celebrating the holidays this December, to enjoying a day of Sledding on a Snow Day in February, there are tons of fun things to do this Winter - both indoor and outdoor! No matter what you call fun, there’s something to do this season - it might not be a day at the beach, but the colder weather has a ton to offer!

Why not take the opportunity to enjoy some of the Indoor Activities you may have foregone this Spring & Summer when the sun was shining - there’s lots of great local events happening all season long, and lots of wonderful places to visit, such as museums, ice rinks, laser tag arenas, and art classes.

There are also lots of great ways to enjoy the great outdoors if you feel like braving the cold. Long Island’s landscape looks completely different when the leaves have fallen, and snow covers the ground.

Here’s our Bucket List for Winter 2014:

During the Holiday Season
The official start of Winter is Sunday, December 21st, however, there are plenty of great ways to get into the spirit of the season as early as November! Across the Island, there are countless great holiday celebrations of all kinds that you won’t want to miss - from tree & menorah lightings, to festivals and fairs, to parties to ring in the New Year - with this much fun, it only makes sense to get a jump on the season!

  • Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (in person or at home)! Although it’s not quite Winter yet, watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a tradition for families across Long Island, and the US. For many, seeing Santa’s Sleigh ride down the streets on New York marks the beginning of the Holiday Season!
  • Head Over to the Montauk Lighthouse for Lighting the Lighthouse 2014. On Saturday, November 29th from 4:30 PM - 7 PM (rain date: December 6th), the Montauk Lighthouse will host its annual Lighting the Lighthouse Ceremony, where beautiful, festive holiday lights illuminate the entire lighthouse . This Long Island tradition is one you won’t want to miss!
  • Attend Northport Village’s Leg Lamp Lighting Ceremony. On Saturday, November 29th at 7 PM, Northport Village will hold their annual “Leg Lamp Lighting Ceremony”, where they light up the iconic Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story in the window of Northport Hardware, located right in the heart of the Village.
  • Shop Locally on Small Business Saturday. Every year, the Saturday after Black Friday is dedicated to shopping locally. This year, as you cross folks off of your shopping list, consider shopping small at some of the local businesses in your home town!
  • Visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. On December 3rd, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit up for the first time - an event you can attend in person, or watch on TV! If you can’t make it to the lighting ceremony, not to worry! The tree will stay lit from December 3rd, 2014 through January 7th, 2015.
  • Attend SantaCon 2014 in Riverhead! On December 6th, head over to Riverhead for the East End's 1st Annual SantaCon! Deck yourself out in your best red & white duds, and join the droves of Santas as they take over the town with Christmas Cheer!
  • Check Out The Holiday Lights Spectacular at Jones Beach! Returning after seven years of absence is the Jones Beach Holiday Lights Spectacular, which will be running from November 20th through January 4th. Featuring millions of lights and miles of fun, this is a holiday event you won’t want to miss - click the link above for hours, deals, and more!
  • Attend a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Can’t make it into the City for the Rockefeller Tree Lighting Ceremony? No problem! Towns across Long Island will be hosting Tree Lighting Ceremonies that are a ton of fun, and a great way to get into the Christmas Spirit!
  • Attend a Menorah Lighting Ceremony. This December, between the 16th and the 24th, towns will also be hosting Menorah Lighting Ceremonies, to mark the 8 Days of Hanukkah - another great way to get into the holiday spirit!
  • Send Santa a Letter with Your Christmas Wish List! Parks across Nassau County will have special mailboxes set up this Holiday Season for kids to send their letters to Santa - why not let him know what's on your list this year?
  • Pick Your Own Christmas Tree. Right here on Long Island, there are plenty of places where you can pick your own beautiful, live Christmas Tree this holiday season. Whether you get a live tree every year, or you’ve been thinking about getting a real treat for 2014, get the scoop on where you can get your own real Christmas Tree this holiday season.
  • Head Over to Camp Edey for the GSSC’s 11th Annual Holiday Light Show! December 12th - 21st, head over to Camp Edey in Bayport for the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County’s 11th Annual Holiday Light Show! Featuring beautiful holiday vignettes and breathtaking light displays, the Light Show has been a holiday favorite for locals for over a decade!
  • Take Your Christmas Card Photos at a Local Landmark. This holiday season if you’re going to be sending cards out to friends & family, why not take your Christmas Card Photo at a local landmark - there are plenty of great ones to choose from!
  • Throw an Ugly Sweater Party This Holiday Season. Let's face it - most of us have an ugly Christmas Sweater in our closet that fashionistas would consider ill-advised at best. Luckily, there's a great new trend - celebrating your ugly sweater with a party! Have your friends bust out their best ugly sweaters, and get ready for some big laughs & holiday fun!
  • Catch a Holiday Play at a Local Theater. Lots of local theaters will have performances of holiday classics such as a Christmas Carol playing November through January - a great way to enjoy the holidays without braving the cold!
  • Meet Santa. This Holiday season, Santa will be making lots of local appearances across Long Island! Be sure to make time to meet the man in red, and let him know what's on your list this holiday!
  • Attend Your Local Fire Department’s Holiday Parade. Each Holiday Season, local Fire Departments deck out their trucks in beautiful lights, and drive through local neighborhoods handing out candy canes and holiday cheer. This December, be sure to make time for the Holiday Parade happening in your town - click the link above for more info!
  • Visit NYC for the Holidays. Whether you're thinking about visiting "The Tree", or you're planning a day of Christmas Shopping, nothing is quite like New York City during Christmas time!
  • Shop Til You Drop at a Local Craft Fair. This holiday season, give a gift from the heart! Head over to a local craft fair, and pick out something special that’s handmade by Long Island artisans for everyone on your list.
  • Bake Christmas Cookies. Love baking? This holidays, go all out with sweet treats made right at home! Just don't forget the secret ingredient - love!
  • Round Up Friends & Family to Go Christmas Caroling! Surprise your neighbors with some holiday cheer - round up your friends and family, decked out in your holiday best, and go Christmas Caroling door to door!
  • Attend a New Year’s Eve Bash to Remember! This New Year’s Eve, say goodbye to 2014 in style at one of the amazing New Years Eve Bashes happening at local pubs, catering halls, clubs, restaurants, and other great venues across the Island!

Throughout The Winter
In addition to all of the great holiday fun happening throughout the Winter, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the season whether you love the great outdoors, or you're more comfy nestled up by the fire! From November to March, there are plenty of great ways to get into the spirit of the season - from sledding and skating to visiting a local museum - get the scoop right here!

Outdoor

  • Go Sledding. Right here on Long Island, there are plenty of great hills to go sledding on - perfect for enjoying during the next snow day!
  • Take Your 4 Legged Friend to the Dog Park for a Day of Fun! This Winter, the fun doesn't have to just be for humans - why not head to a local Dog Park with your pup for a day of outdoor fun!
  • Ice Skate at a Local Rink. What better way to dive into winter fun than a day of skating at the local ice rink? This winter, there are plenty of rinks to go skating at, both indoors and outdoors, and you won’t even have to leave the neighborhood to enjoy them!
  • Get in Touch with Nature on a Seal Hike. What better way to get in touch with nature than to get up close and personal? If you're a nature-lover, then you won't want to miss out on one of the Guided Seal Hikes happening this Winter!
  • Build a Snowman. Nothing says Winter Fun quite like building a snowman. This season, let your inner child out to play, and build a fun snowman with your friends and family!
  • Build the Ultimate Snow Fort. Snowed in, and looking for a fun way to spend the day? If you've got some time to kill on a Snow Day this Winter, then you'll want to learn how to build the Ultimate Snow Fort!
  • Make the Most of Your Local Parks. Just because picnic season is over, doesn't mean your local parks are closed! This Winter, get a breath a fresh air and make the most out of your local parks!

Indoor

  • Root for the Islanders During Their Last Season at the Coliseum. The 2014/15 Season is the last one that the Islanders will be playing at Nassau Coliseum - next season, they’ll be calling Brooklyn’s Barclays Center home! Head over to Uniondale this Winter to check out the Isles for the last time in Nassau County - you won’t regret it!
  •  Visit Museum Row for a Day of Indoor, Educational Fun! Looking for a fun way to make the most out of a gray weather day? Head over to Garden City’s Museum Row, which is home of some great museums that are fun for kids of all ages, including the Cradle of Aviation, the Long Island Children’s Museum, and more!
  • Spend the Day at an Indoor Play Place. Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you have to stop moving! This Winter, round up the little ones for a day of Indoor Fun at a local Play Place!
  • Volunteer. If you're looking for a great way to get out of the house this Winter, why not volunteer? There are plenty of local not for profits that could use your help - shelters, pet rescues, soup kitchens, and more!
  • Host an Amazing Oscars Party. This year, the 87th Academy Awards will begin broadcasting at 7 PM on Sunday, February 22nd. Round up all of your pals some snacks & popcorn, and make your predictions - the Oscars are the perfect excuse for a low-key at home party!
  • Strike Out at a Local Bowling Alley. Bowling can be a ton of fun for the whole family whether your team is made up of novices or pros! With dozens of bowling alleys in both Nassau & Suffolk, an afternoon of bowling is a great way to spend a quiet Winter day.
  • Get Creative at a Local Paint Night Event.  At art studios, restaurants, and bars, Paint Night Events have been all the rage. At a Paint Night Event, a seasoned pro will teach you how to paint your very own masterpiece - while enjoying your favorite cocktail!
  • Host a “Frozen” Theme Party Your Kids Won’t Soon Forget! Right now, Disney’s Frozen is one of the hottest movies around. This Winter, you can earn lots of Cool Points with the kids by hosting a Frozen Themed Birthday or Winter Break Party!
  • Brew Amazing Hot Cocoa Right at Home! Nothing tastes better on a cold Winter day than some freshly made hot cocoa! This Winter, indulge in a delicious seasonal tradition as you warm up by the fire.
  • Host a Game Night with for Friends & Family

Tons of 2015 Fun: MLK Day, Valentine’s Day, Saint Pat's & More!
After the champagne bottles have all been popped, and the streamers are cleaned up, and put away, things slow down in terms of holiday festivities. That said, there's still plenty to do January through March - check out all the great upcoming fun right here!

Super Bowl XLIX

MLK Day & Black History Month

Valentine's Day Fun

  • Make a Heartfelt Card for That Special Someone. This Valentine’s Day, let that special someone know you care with a handmade, heartfelt card.
  • Plan a Romatic Surprise. Really wow your Valentine this year with an out of this world surprise that they won't see coming!
  • Enjoy a Night on the Town with that Special Someone. This Valentine's Day, let the special person in your life know you care - take them out to one of Long Island's amazing dining hot spots!
  • Meet Someone New This Valentine's Day. Just because you're single doesn't mean you can't have fun on Valentine's Day! Check out these great Singles Events for some fun all throughout February!
  • Make Sure Mom Feels Loved and Appreciated Too. Valentine's Day isn't just about couples! It's about showing and reminding the people you love that you do so with sweet gestures and gifts. This includes good ol' mom!

Celebrate Saint Pat's

  • Attend Your Local Saint Patty’s Day Parade. Throughout March, towns across Long Island will be celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with fun filled parades down Main Street. Grab your best green and go - it’s sure to be a ton of fun!
  • Learn All About Saint Patty's Days Traditions. This St. Patrick's Day, learn all about sharmocks, leprechauns, and other holiday symbolism and traditions as you celebrate.
  • Get Your Green on at a Saint Patrick's Day Concert. All throughout the month of March, there will be concerts celebrating Saint Patty's Day!

How will you be enjoying the Winter this year? Let us know in the comments below!
Have some Winter Fun Snapshots? Email them to us for our Winter 2014-15 Gallery!

 

Photos

  • A beautiful shot of Sun Path at the Twin Lakes Preserve after snow has fallen. Photo by: Vinny Ciro

  • Carol Tokosh of Smithtown takes advantage of the snow at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve. Photo by: Mike D'Agostino/Friends of Caleb Smith Preserve

  • Babylon's Argyle Lake is transformed into an ice rink after freezing. Photo by: Tom Karn

  • A playful pair of snowmen created by reader Alma and her family earlier this year after a surprise snowfall. Photo by: Alma Flores Romero

  • A fun DIY Ice Rink one creative Long Islander built in their own backyard! Photo by: Alice F.

  • A fun miniature snowman, built by a family in Hauppauge. Photo by: Georgette B.

  • A student enjoys her snow day by sledding down a small hill on Kirkland Drive in Greenlawn. Photo by: Sandra Stelmach