Snow showers are expected to hit Long Island this Thursday and Sunday, according to The Weather Channel, bringing with it a flurry of chilly activities. Though this weekend’s showers will likely only provide a thin blanket of snow at most, it’s a good time to plan frosty fun for the kiddos when the next big storm hits.
Sledding at Bald Hill in Selden
Grab those sleds out of the storage closet and head to one of the many county parks to take full advantage of the snow. Bald Hill, the home of Suffolk County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park, is one of the highest peaks across Long Island and serves as a popular spot for adult and children sledders. Before hitting the hills, be sure there is adequate snowfall and young-ones are bundled up safely. The park off of Exit 63 of the Long Island Expressway.
Sledding at Eisenhower Park
If you’re located in western Long Island and Bald Hill seems like too much of a snowy trek, head to Eisenhower Park, centrally located in East Meadow. This county-operated site is home to Old Sled Hill near Parking Field 1, allegedly one of the highest hills in the park. Be sure to dress warmly and call ahead to be sure the park is open to the public for sledding. A staff member can be reached by calling 516-572-0347. Eisenhower Park is located between Merrick and Stewart Avenues.
Indoor Ice Skating at the Long Beach Ice Arena
Nothing says “winter” like tying up some ice skates and gliding across a rink. The City of Long Beach Municipal Ice Arena, located at 150 West Bay Drive, is a year-round skating space that welcomes professionals and first-time skaters. It’s open to public skating sessions, stick and puck sessions, youth and adult hockey programs and freestyle sessions for figure skaters, too. Masks are currently required indoors at all times. The venue does not take reservations. For more information, go here.
Outdoor Ice Skating in Port Jefferson Village
The Rinx at Harborfront Park is a small, outdoor skating rink with an incredible waterside location that gets only more beautiful as the sun goes down. hat’s open from November through March. Public skating sessions are hosted daily with some exceptions, and skates are available for renting. Children 11 and under can skate for just $8.50 during the week, and $9.50 on weekends. The venue also offers various skating practice programs, great for kids. For more information about skating sessions, classes and more, go here.
Many brave souls dive head-first into the freezing cold Long Island Sound, Great South Bay and the Atlantic Ocean each year through the Polar Plunge. Long Island notably has several upcoming plunges. Registration fees from the event go toward fundraising a specific sponsor or cause. Next month, the Long Beach Polar Bears will host its Super Bowl Splash, a plunge that benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Participants will meet at Riverside Boulevard in Long Beach on Feb. 6.
Additional Polar Plunges are slated for March, organized by the Town of North Hempstead, which benefits Special Olympics New York, and the Town of Oyster Bay, which benefits the athletes of the Special Olympics.
Cross-County Skiing at Bethpage State Park
Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale is well-known for its five world-class golf courses, including the Black Course, which was the site of the U.S. Open in 2002 and 2009. But during the winter months, it’s the perfect, hilly landscape for cross-country skiers. This 1,477-acre park, which borders Nassau and Suffolk Counties, is open for use for skiing, sledding and snowshoeing and has various trails to explore. Inflatable sleds are not permitted. Call the park office prior to arrival at 516-249-0701.
Hot Chocolate Sipping at The Witches Brew
Looking to warm up after a busy day out in the cold? Or maybe just looking for a sweet treat? The Witches Brew restaurant in West Hempstead is a popular spot to grab a hot chocolate and warm up. The Hempstead Turnpike eatery offers a variety of teas, coffees and healthy food choices, all inside of a cozy (and a little creepy!) house/restaurant. The whimsical restaurant also offers a variety of vegan options.
Seal-Watching at Jones Beach State Park
Many families bundle up every year and head to Jones Beach State Park, which offers seal-watching hikes at the Jones Beach Energy & Nature Center. An expert leads tourists along a trail, where they can spot habor and gray seals feeding in the bay. However, these are RVSP-only events, so be sure to nab a reservation in advance. For more information, go here.
Ice Fishing at Deep Pond in Wading River
The ice fishing season traditionally runs from late December to February to Long Island. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, waters at least 8 feet in depth are critical for ice fishing, and three to four inches of solid ice is necessary to ice fish safely. Many fishermen opt to head upstate for ice fishing, as higher temperatures are preferred. But there are options on the Island, including at Deep Pond at the John M. Schiff Scout Reservation in Wading River. A special permit is required to fish in this location. For requirements and regulations, go here.