Rev Up Your Weekend With 5 Winter Adventures

When the temperatures drop and it’s freezing outside, date days can get a bit tricky. It’s so easy to stay curled up in bed, unfazed by reality, but we challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and take advantage of Long Island during the wintertime. To take your weekend to its fullest potential, tackle any one (or more) of these five Long Island winter activities.

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Take in a light show

Vanderbilt Planetarium audience HR.jpg

image: the vanderbilt museum

The Vanderbilt Museum offers a spectacular selection of indoor light shows and activities for visitors to enjoy. Get into the holiday spirit and watch Laser Holidays featuring a mix of everyone’s favorite holiday music all set to fantastic laser lights and digital artwork. Or kick back and relax at the Planetarium with Pink Floyd’s cult favorite “The Wall.” Find out more.

Go ice skating


image: ice-skating at the arches

Channel your inner Sarah Hughes and take a few spins around the well-maintained ice skating rink at Tanger Outlets in Deer Park. During the holiday shopping season, the outlets are decorated in full splendor with life-sized nutcrackers and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Nighttime skating is especially romantic and private lessons are available on Saturday mornings. Find out more.

Cut down your very own Christmas tree


image: shamrock farm

Head out east for the day to experience a country Christmas by cutting down your own Christmas tree. Wear your leather gloves, red-checkered flannels and best walking boots. And don’t forget to bring a rope to tie your tree to the roof of your car for the trip back home. Call ahead in inclement weather to make sure the farm is open and trees are still in stock. Tall ones tend to move quickly, which means it’s best not to delay. Find out more.

Go on a seal cruise


image: the riverhead foundation for marine research and preservation

Hop aboard the Captain Lou Fleet in Freeport and catch a glimpse of the winter population of harbor seals. Each year, the seals migrate to Hempstead Bay in search of food during Long Island’s coldest months. Run by The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research & Preservation, this outing is a cold one, but all the more reason to snuggle up next to your date for warmth. When it gets too chilly, head inside the heated cabin and warm up with a beverage. Find out more.

Visit the aquarium


image: long island aquarium

Perusing the exhibits at Atlantis in Riverhead isn’t just for kids anymore. Expect exciting, interactive experiences that make day dates all the more interesting. Book yourself a once-in-a-lifetime close up encounter with an African penguin to learn how the experts take care of these playful birds. Or, immerse yourself in an adventure you will never forget by scheduling a shark dive that submerses you into the 120,000-gallon Lost City of Atlantis Shark Exhibit. Find out more.

Did we miss a winter date idea that you’ve been on? Let us know!

denine anderson-regan

Denine co-writes the award-winning blog, We Know Stuff, with her sister, Daniele. Visit them,, for tasty recipes, fun kids crafts, and family-focused lifestyle articles. Twitter @WeKnowStuff_US.