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Winter Bucket List 2015-16: Long Island's Can’t-Miss Festive Seasonal Fun!

LongIsland.com

Make this winter your best one yet by checking out, and checking off, LongIsland.com’s 2015 Winter Bucket List!

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Winter is here and with the change of season comes plenty of opportunities for bundled up outdoor adventures, lively holiday celebrations spent with friends and family, snow-filled fun, and warm memories shared, and created, by the fireplace. No matter what fun is to you, there is something fit for everyone to enjoy this season - whether the weather outside is frightful or not!
 
This Winter, why not spend some time exploring local museums and art galleries, making powder fresh snow angels like you did as a kid growing up, catching up on the latest movies out in theaters, constructing the perfect snowman, or lady, and sincerely enjoying all that this chillingly beautiful season has to offer on Long Island.
 
What are you looking forward to most this season? Sledding? Hot Cocoa? Using your brand new snow blower for the first time? Whatever it may be that’s getting you revved up for winter 2015, let us know by leaving a comment!
 
Here’s our Bucket List for Winter 2015:
 
During the Holiday Season
This year the Winter Solstice begins on Tuesday, December 22nd, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a jump on enjoying tons of seasonal fun starting right now! All over the Island there are innumerable holiday celebrations and activities going on to get Long Islanders into the holiday spirit! From beautiful holiday light shows, to delicious Santa brunches, to traditional menorah lightings and happening New Years parties, you’ll have a harder time deciding what to do than finding something to do!
 
  • Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (in person or at home)! Watch along from the comfort of home, or out on the streets of New York City, as your favorite characters (and Santa!) parade by during the much anticipated, and beloved, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 
  • Head Over to the Montauk Lighthouse for 2015 Lighting of the Lighthouse! On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 28th from 4:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., head out to the Eastern end of the Island for the annual lighting of the Montauk Point Lighthouse, the first lighthouse to be built within the state of New York! Rain date is December 5th!
  • Attend Northport Village’s Annual Leg Lamp Lighting Ceremony. Everyone remembers that iconic leg lamp from the 1983 classic American Christmas comedy, A Christmas Story, including Northport Village! Join the community for this fun annual event on Saturday, November 28th at 7 p.m. 
  • Visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. If you want to see one of the biggest, baddest, and brightest Christmas trees out on display for the holiday season, then look no farther than the towering Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in Manhattan! 
  • Head Over to Camp Edey for the GSSC’s 12th Annual Holiday Light Show! This holiday season, head over to Camp Edey in Bayport for the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County’s 12th Annual Holiday Light Show! Enjoy beautiful holiday vignettes, and take in the breathtaking light displays!
  • Check Out The Holiday Lights Spectacular at Jones Beach! Celebrate the holidays this season by making your way over to the Holiday Lights Spectacular at Jones Beach! Featuring a 2.5-mile drive with more than 150 animated and synchronized light displays, the whole family will have a blast taking in the spectacle. The show opens Friday, November 20th and concludes Sunday, January 3rd.
  • Head over to Bayville Adventure Park’s Winter Wonderland! Spend some time gliding around on the ice, touring Santa’s Toy Factory in 3D, and enjoying the spectacular animated holiday light show at Bayville Winter Wonderland! Be sure to catch Captain Bay’s Yo-Ho-Holiday Light Show, a dazzling holiday light show that tells the story of the pirate’s first Christmas, going on now thru Janurary 3rd!
  • Attend a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Whether you have your own decorated tree at home or not, it’s always fun to see the bright, beautiful Christmas trees that local communities have put together for the upcoming holidays!
  • Attend a Menorah Lighting Ceremony. Christmas isn’t the only holiday taking place during this time of year! Be sure to frequent one of the many bright and beautiful menorah lighting ceremonies on Long Island in celebration of the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah.
  • Pick Your Own Christmas Tree. Forget plastic, live tree reproductions! This Christmas season head out to one of the Christmas tree farms on Long Island to find the perfect pine for your pad!
  • Take Your Christmas Card Photos at a Local Landmark! This holiday season take some fun, and unique, holiday photos by incorporating Long Island landmarks! From The Big Duck in Flanders, to The Smithtown Bull, we're sure you can come up with something creative!
  • Catch a Holiday Play at a Local Theater. As the holidays roll around, so do seasonal shows at local Long Island theaters and performing arts centers! Reserve your seats and enjoy the heartwarming plays being shown this season!
  • Attend Your Local Fire Department’s Holiday Parade. Cheer, hoot and holler as your favorite man in red comes around your town, with a posse of his own and candy canes in hand, to provide cheer to the local communities!
  • Shop Til You Drop at a Local Craft Fair. Forget shopping online or at another large retail chain, put your dollars back into the community and show your support to small businesses by picking up some one-of-a-kind goodies and gifts from a local craft fair!
  • Bake Christmas Cookies. Fill your home with the irresistible scent of fresh baked cookies by getting the kids together for an afternoon of Christmas baking fun! No one can say no to delicious Christmas cookies!
  • Attend a New Year’s Eve Bash to Remember! Goodbye 2015, and Hello 2016! Ring in the New Year in style by attending a blow out bash to remember! Don’t forget your noise maker!
  • Give to a Local Shelter for the Holiday Season. While you’re busy decorating the house, baking cookies, and receiving gifts from friends and family, don’t forget to give back! There are those less fortunate who really need, and appreciate, whatever you can give this holiday season!
  • Enjoy a Santa Brunch with the Kids. It’s not quite breakfast and it’s not quite lunch, but it does involve scrumptious food and very special a visit from Santa. Don’t forget the camera!
  • Purchase Some Toys for a Local Toy Drive! With it being the season of giving, what better time is there to collect and donate toys for needy children. Find some fun toys then go drop them off at a local toy drive! 
  • Throw An Ugly Sweater Christmas Party! Add some extra holiday cheer to your, and your friend’s wardrobes, by throwing an ugly sweater Christmas party! Remember, the uglier, the better!
 
Throughout The Winter
Even after the holiday season has come and gone, there is plenty to do on Long Island during the wintertime. From attempting to nail that lucky strike at the local bowling alley, to heading outside to engage in a legendary snowball fight with the neighborhood kids, there is much fun to be had both indoors, and outdoors, now through March!
 
Outdoor
 
  • Head to a Local Rink for Some Ice Skating! Throw on a pair of skates and enjoy a nice glide around the ice by heading to one of the many ice rinks on Long Island! Whether you prefer indoor or outdoor rinks, both are available and open to eager L.I. ice skaters!
  • Build a Snowman. Do you want to build a snowman? But of course! Roll together one large, one medium and one small snowball, place them on top of one another, then adorn your snowman or snowlady with a few props, like a carrot nose and twig arms!
  • Build an Awesome Igloo! Create a winter home away from home, in your own front or backyard, by putting, patting and packing together your own ice fortress! Once completed, settle down in your newly made shelter with a steaming mug of hot cocoa!
  • Go Sledding. Here on Long Island, there are plenty of places to go to enjoy some sledding fun in the snow with the family. Dress warmly, grab your sled and see who makes the best time going down the hill!
  • Enjoy a Snowball Fight! Enjoy some friendly competition this winter season by challenging your friends, family, and neighbors, to an epic snowball fight! Decide on teams, pat together some snowballs, then get ready to tire out those arms!
  • Host a Winter Bonfire in the Backyard & Make S’mores. Warm yourself up, and satisfy your stomach, by hosting a winter bonfire! Be sure to bundle up and don’t forget the S’mores supplies!
  • Create Your Own Snow Angels! Use the fresh white snow outside as your own personal canvas to create silly silhouettes of yourself in angel form! Just pretend like you’re a bird, and flap those arms and legs! 
  • Collect Fresh Pine Cones. Believe it or not, there are tons of different fun games and crafts you can do and make with things found around you in nature, like pine cones! Get out the paint, glitter, and fake snow and get creative!
 

Indoor

  • Make Your Own Gingerbread House! Have fun constructing, and eating, your very own gingerbread house this holiday season! Like to get competitive with your gingerbread house making skills? Then enter one of the many local gingerbread house constructing competitions!
  • Throw a Gift Wrapping Party. To some, wrapping presents can be a lot of fun, but to others, it can be a real chore! Keep the fun in present wrapping by hosting your own gift wrapping party! With plenty of people around for help and support, everyone can get their gifts wrapped and ready in no time!
  • Keep Warm by Preparing Some Hot Cocoa! Nothing beats a hot cup of cocoa on a cold day. Check out these simple stovetop hot chocolate recipes that will keep you feeling warm all season long.
  • Get Crafty with DIY Holiday Decor. DIY this holiday season by dressing up your house with homemade knick-knacks! You may even come up with a few holiday gift ideas to give out to friends and family!
  • Host a Game Night! Don’t let yourself or your friends turn into hermits for the winter season, get the whole gang together for a fun game night instead! Whether you decide to play classic card games, strategic board games, or a brand new video game, remember, it’s all in good fun!
  • A Night of Bowling. Once winter rolls around, many sports get taken off the table until the springtime. One sport that is never off the table because of the weather outside though is bowling! Play a game or two and try your luck at rolling a strike!
  • Visit a Museum on Museum Row! Have fun, and learn something new this winter, by making your way over to Museum Row in Garden City. The whole family will have a ball exploring The Cradle of Aviation Museum, the Long Island Children’s Museum, and the Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center!
  • Enjoy a Local Paint Night. Get creative this winter, meet new friends, and enjoy a glass of wine or two, by attending a local paint night event! These events are tons of fun and a fantastic way to spend a chilly evening.
  • Throw a Cooking Party then Indulge! One way to keep the house warm and smelling good during this time of year is to turn on the heat and light a few candles, another way is to throw a cooking party! Invite over some friends, clear some counter space then start making and baking to your heart’s delight!
  • Watch Classic Holiday Movies. Looking for something to do this season? Why not marathon watch a few classic holiday movies! From Miracle on 34th Street, to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, you’ll have plenty of flicks to pick from!
  • Enjoy an Evening Near the Fire. Sometimes during the winter, you just want to spend a quiet night at home staying warm by the fireplace. Make some hot cocoa, grab a good book and enjoy an evening well spent near the fire.
  • Volunteer! Any time is a great to start volunteering, including right now! Whether you decide to volunteer at a soup kitchen, animal shelter, or holiday toy drive, know that what you’re doing is making a difference and bettering lives.
 
Loads of 2016 Winter Fun: MLK Day, Valentine’s Day, St.Pat’s & More!
Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone, but there are still tons of fun things to do during the rest of the winter season! From jubilant holidays, to much awaited sporting events, There’s still plenty to do now through March!
 
Super Bowl
 
 
MLK Day & Black History Month
 
 
Valentine’s Day Fun
 
  • Make Your Own Heartfelt Card for that Special Someone. True gifts come from the heart, and the same is true for cards! It can be difficult to find the perfect card for someone, but if you make it yourself, then you can make sure it’s just right!
  • Purchase a Meaningful Gift Other Than Flowers. Valentine’s Day isn’t all about flowers and chocolate. It’s about creating cherished moments and memories too! This year, forget the flowers and try something new!
  • Make Your Own Valentine’s Day Treats! Instead of going out and buying a box of chocolates for your special someone for Valentine’s Day, why not make a tasty treat for your sweetheart instead!
 
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
 
  • Head to the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Surround yourself with the luck of the Irish and celebrate St. Paddy’s Day this year at the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade! This parade has been a NYC tradition for over 250 years!
  • Stay Local and Attend a Long Island Parade. Don’t feel like going too far to enjoy yourself and have some fun this Saint. Patrick’s Day? Then skip the NYC parade and opt to attend a local one instead!
  • Plan a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner with these Tasty Recipes. While you’re out enjoying yourself for Saint Patrick’s Day don’t forget to fill up on traditional, and more modern, St. Patrick’s Day recipes!
  • Bake Some Adult Goodies with Guinness and Jameson! When it comes to beer and liquor, there’s no denying that Guinness and Jameson go hand-in-hand when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day. This year though, instead of drinking them straight, mix them into some delicious baked goods!
 
How will you be enjoying the Winter season this year? Let us know in the comments!
Have any Winter Fun Snapshots? Email them to us for our Winter 2015-16 Gallery!
 

Photos