Happy December! Here are 10 ways to launch you and your loved ones into the spirit of the season, New York State style.

1. Shop unique gifts at a New York State holiday market. Give your family and friends a gift they won’t forget this holiday season. Head to one of New York State’s many holiday markets to get one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted items from local artisans, artists, crafters and specialty food and beverage vendors alike.

2. Explore the many holiday lights and tree lighting ceremonies in New York State. From the Rockefeller Center Tree in Manhattan to the Lights on the River Festival in Oswego, there are plenty of ways to indulge your holiday spirit across our great state. Here are some of the best places to see holiday lights across New York.

 

3. Enjoy some of New York State’s finest dining with family and friends. Sharing a meal is perfect for catching up with the ones you love. Head to one of these premier restaurants in New York State to wow your family, friends and your tastebuds.

4. Escape the holiday stress with a relaxing (car-free) weekend getaway. Kick your feet up and let the train or bus do the navigating. Here are 10 car-free weekend getawaysfrom Manhattan that are perfect for you to spend some much-deserved hassle-free quality time with loved ones this holiday season.

5. Take a ski holiday with the whole family. New York State is home to nearly 100 downhill and cross-country ski centers, with trails for the whole family ranging from beginner to challenging black diamonds. Take your family on a ski holiday they’ll never forget this season. Afterall - when the weather gets white, it’s time to hit the slopes.

6. Explore New York State by snowmobile. Hop on and ride one of New York State’s 10,400 miles of snowmobilingtrails from the Hudson Valley toward the Adirondacks and Niagara.

7. Cross-country ski the state. Snap on your skis and explore New York State’s wintery goodness. Cross-country skiing is a relaxing yet invigorating way to explore the wonderland that is New York winter.

8. Enjoy the great indoors. Outside feeling a little too chilly? Winter is the perfect time to head inside and hit one of New York State’s renowned museums, top-named stage and musical performances, award-winning wineries or spas. Take a load off and enjoy yourself in the name of the holiday season!

9. Delight in some of the best holiday shopping in the country. Whether you’re into outlets, boutiques, malls or antiquing, New York is host to some of the best shopping in the country - and we’re not just talking the Big Apple. Shop gifts for family and friends at these New York State shopping hubs.

10. Make new holiday traditions. Make new traditions while you keep the old. From ice skating to winter carnivals to indoor water parks, the Empire State has something the whole gang will love. Create your own holiday traditions with the whole family this season.

Don’t forget to post photos of your New York adventures on Instagram and Twitter with #ILoveNY and #iSpyNY and tag us on Facebook!