Winter break here on the east coast can often be pretty chilly. While settling into an annual routine of sleeping in and drinking hot chocolate is an amazing option, there are many underrated  activities even New Englanders may not know about. Simply packing up some warm clothes and driving a few hours through our pine tree covered roads can earn you a beautiful day on the ski slopes of Vermont, ice fishing on a little lake in New Hampshire, or even something more adventurous, like snowmobiling with friends and family.

Envision yourself sliding down slopes of your chosen caliber, stopping midway for warm sugar crusted waffles and ending the day with sore calf muscles—that strange sense of accomplishment. Ice fishing is definitely a lesser known activity, but it is an unparalleled seasonal experience. Imagine stepping onto a five-inch layer of solid ice with holes drilled in a neat rectangular formation, placing a fishing line and flag in each hole. Imagine nibbling on a cookie, sipping on your choice of hot drink, using it as both a natural hand warmer and something to take your mind off the anticipation of a fresh catch. Snowmobiling is another great activity, where you can get the best views on your own adventure, immersed in New England’s winter wonderland. 

If you prefer something a little less woodsy, then head to the city. In particular, in the heart of New York City, Times Square during winter is even brighter than usual. At night, the lights and ornaments strung on to every building create a very nostalgic ambience. Holiday markets are also great spots  to indulge in a festive spirit and buy great chocolates, one-of-a-kind wood carvings, or exotic-smelling candles. 

Making snowmen outside and hoping it never melts, getting out your stash of stale peppermint sticks and stirring your powder hot chocolate into hot milk are all unbeatable, timeless things to do. But maybe this year, winter break will be a time to explore the perfect storybook snowy winter by venturing beyond your blankets and backyard. Travel just around the corner to have a winter break you will never forget.