President’s Day is February 21st, and if you live around New York, chances are your kids will be home for the holiday—and the rest of the week. But just because families are staying closer to home this year, it doesn’t mean they have to endure a long week of cabin
fever. So bundle them up, hit the rails, and check out one of these easy winter getaways - that won’t break the bank.

1. Long Island Children’s Museum and Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City

LICM Picture
Long Island Children's Museum

MTALIRR

Hempstead

Plus 10 Minutes by Ride-Share

Plan Trip

Fourteen exhibits at the Long Island Children’s Museum help kids learn hands-on— whether it’s by fixing a clunking car, testing rotary phones, or categorizing grizzly bears by their diet. TotSpot is a play space for the littlest ones in your family, and the exhibit “Age of the Dinosaurs,” open through May 29, features animatronic dinosaurs kids can operate themselves. Next door, the Cradle of Aviation Museum boasts a hangar full of military and civilian aircraft, including a Grumman F-14 Tomcat jet and an immersive exhibit on the Hubble telescope.

For overnight stays—and a splash in a heated indoor pool—check in at the Long Island Marriott, just three minutes away by car.

2. RPM Racing, Farmingdale

MTALIRR

Ronkonkoma

Take LIRR to Hicksville, Plus 20 Minutes By Ride-Share

Plan Trip

MTALIRR

Babylon

Take LIRR to Amityville, Plus 15 Minutes by Car

Plan Trip

The whole family can burn off steam at RPM Racing in Farmingdale. This sprawling spot offers two ¼-mile tracks for high-adrenaline go-karting, as well as over 150 arcade games, billiards, and mini bowling, for those less inclined to go full speed. Go Mondays for the half-mile challenge, when both tracks combine to form one giant loop, or brush up on your hairpin turns in the racing simulator.

Afterward, retire to the Marriott Melville Long Island, just 10 minutes from RPM Racing by car, for a dip in the heated indoor pool.

3. Long Island Aquarium, Riverhead

LI Aquarium
LI Aquarium

MTALIRR

Ronkonkoma

Take LIRR to Riverhead, Plus 3 Minutes by Ride-Share

Plan Trip

Get some close encounters with things that fly, scurry, and swim at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead. A true year-round destination, the aquarium has both indoor and outdoor exhibits, including the large Penguin Pavilion, where the flightless birds cavort across a landscape of rocky outcrops, stone walls, and swimming pools. At the Butterflies, Bugs, and Birds exhibit, 40 to 50 species cycle through a tropical garden in the courtyard thick with vines.

Tuck in for the night at the Hyatt Place Long Island/East End, right next door to the aquarium.

4. Thunder Ridge, Patterson

MTAMetro-North

Harlem

Metro-North to Patterson via MTA’s discount package, plus free shuttle

Plan Trip

Why drive to Vermont when there’s plenty of powder right here in New York State? The Thunder Ridge package takes you from Grand Central to the slopes in a little over an hour. Once there, take advantage of 22 trails, from the gentlest bunny slopes to the toughest advanced trails. While the kids zip around, parents can book a class or two at Snowsports School (or consider private lessons). Before you depart, make sure to clock in some
lounge time with a mug of hot chocolate and admire the mountain view.

5. Hayden Planetarium and the DiMenna Children’s History Museum, Manhattan

Planetarium

MTASubway

1BC

MTAaway package to AMNH and New-York Historical Society

Plan Trip

Tucked into the northern end of the American Museum of Natural History, the Rose Center for Earth and Space is a home for dreamers and science lovers alike. View a dazzling collection of ancient geological specimens, or follow a walkway that charts the history of the universe over 13 billion years. Over the course of 25 minutes, Hayden Planetarium’s star show, Worlds Beyond Earth, journeys from our solar system to the outer edges of the known universe. Before heading home, pop by the DiMenna Children’s History Museum, a
collection of interactive stations and pavilions in the New-York Historical Society, where kids can learn what life was like in previous eras. As an added bonus, MTA Away offers discounts on admission to both the American Museum of Natural History and the New-York Historical Society!


Giulia Pines is a native New Yorker who writes about arts and culture, business and finance, and occasionally travel. She grew up on the 1 line, but currently resides along the 7.