There’s plenty to explore this Presidents Day Weekend! From winter festivals to Presidents Day celebrations, historical sites, holiday specials, and more. So take advantage of the long weekend to take a New York State getaway the whole family will be talking about for years to come!
Remember to social distance and wear a mask as required by state guidelines. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions are open and available.
Lake George Winterfest (Adirondacks)
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Every winter, Lake George transforms into a glittering winter wonderland and the Lake George Winterfest is its crowning jewel. Sit back and relax on a horse-drawn carriage ride (pictured) that takes you through snowy forests before landing at a secluded field to enjoy hot chocolate and s’mores over an open fire. Head out to nearby West Mountain and get out on the snow with alpine and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or take a moving magic carpet ride uphill for snow tubing! Gaze up in awe at the award-winning frozen attraction, the Lake George Ice Castles, as you walk beneath archways of dangling icicles overhead, navigate your way through the maze, and for the more adventurous, crawl through tunnels, passageways, and slides.
Ice Skating and Innovation in Downtown Schenectady (Capital-Saratoga)
Extended hours are coming to one of Schenectady’s newest attractions this Presidents Day Weekend – the outdoor ice skating rink at Mohawk Harbor. After gliding on the ice at Schenectady River Rink, enjoy classic games in the venue’s large heated tent, as well as food and beverages from two restaurants on-site–Druthers Brewing Company and Shaker & Vine. Escape the cold and explore the latest interactive exhibitions about our planet and the stars at the Museum of Innovation and Science (miSci). Learn about the cosmos in an immersive 30-foot dome at the museum’s Suits-Bueche Planetarium, an official NASA Space Place.
Free Fishing and Resort Specials in Sullivan County (Catskills)
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From February 19-20, it’s Free Fishing Days across New York State! No fishing license is required on select Free Fishing Days, however, all other freshwater fishing regulations still apply. For popular ice fishing waters in Sullivan County and park regulations, see here.
The Villa Roma Resort in Callicoon is also celebrating Presidents Day Weekend with special rates starting at $65 per night for children aged 4-12 and $208 for adults. The resort features virtually every indoor and outdoor activity and amenity for the whole family to enjoy, including ski hills, an indoor pool and sauna, sports complex, game room, spa and salon, dining and lounges, and more.
Fun and Games in the Carousel Capital of the World (Central New York)
Come one, come all, to Binghamton, the Carousel Capital of the World! Beyond its collection of antique merry-go-rounds that transport you back to yesteryear, this charming city nestled among rolling hills in the southern tier of New York State offers family fun around every corner throughout the year. This Presidents Day Weekend, The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier (pictured) will be decked out in red, white, and blue for the Monday holiday. Play, explore and imagine with crafts and activities, and learn about former Presidents. Head to the nation’s fifth-oldest zoo at Ross Park, a 90-acre zoo with more than 100 exotic animals on display and keeper talks with cougars and Cats of Asia on weekends. Enjoy vintage video games ranging from 1974 to today at Robot City Games, the state’s largest arcade!
Mayville Winter Festival (Chautauqua-Allegheny)
The postcard-perfect village of Mayville is a welcome retreat, with views of the northern end of Chautauqua Lake on one side, and rolling countryside on the other. Every year in February, the village hosts its annual Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival in Lakeside Park, featuring an ice castle constructed with ice blocks from Chautauqua Lake, scheduled activities for kids and families, food trucks, a beer and wine tent, and other local craft vendors, and live music on Saturday evening from 5-8 pm.
Winter Break at Corning Museum of Glass (Finger Lakes)
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The Corning Museum of Glass is keeping kids and families entertained all winter break-long from February 19-27 with a jam-packed schedule of family-friendly activities. On February 20, the museum is hosting Marvelous Marble Day – a gallery-wide scavenger hunt for marbles. For those who want to join in the fun from home, the museum is also hosting a virtual event on marbles, with a live demonstration from a glass artist on how to make a marble by hand. Other activities include You Design It; We Make It, where you can submit a unique design for selection to be created live in the glassmakers' studio at the museum, a Make Your Own Glass (or snowperson) workshop, and much more. Check out the full schedule of activities here.
Explore Presidential History in Buffalo (Greater Niagara)
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For Presidents Day Weekend, Old Fort Niagara recounts the major campaigns on the New York frontier during the American Revolution. Held within the Visitor Center, Old Fort Niagara will be open all weekend long, with its Revolutionary New York event on February 19.
While in Buffalo, take a tour of the city where Theodore Roosevelt began his presidential journey. Visit (or take a virtual tour of) the site of Theodore Roosevelt’s inauguration at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site and learn about one of America's most well-known and influential presidents through interactive exhibits, historically-restored rooms, and an extensive collection of artifacts and documents related to the late president.
Family Fun at Mohonk Mountain House (Hudson Valley)
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Mohonk Mountain House is offering a fun-filled weekend experience for the whole family from February 18-21. Enjoy live music and entertainment every night, along with roasted marshmallows at the lodge’s new fire pits, beaded snowflakes craft kits ‘to-go’, indoor archery, scavenger hunt excursions, and more!
In nearby Hyde Park, take a tour of the home of the 32nd President of the US at The Home of Franklin D Roosevelt National Historic Site. Currently open for virtual tours and limited in-person tours, learn about the four-time elected president at the nation's first Presidential Library & Museum and explore over a thousand acres of gardens and picturesque walking trails.
Come Play at the Long Island Children’s Museum (Long Island)
Credit: Long Island Children's Museum
The Long Island Children's Museum will have extended hours all Presidents Week long, offering families the opportunity to play and learn together across 14 interactive exhibits, animal encounters, art spaces, and more. For more family-fun museums, the Cradle of Aviation Museum is just a short walk away down Museum Row. The Air and Space Museum takes visitors on a journey throughout over 100 years of aerospace history, and is home to over 75 air and spacecraft, a state-of-the-art planetarium dome theater, over 30 hands-on exhibits, and more!
Looking to add some presidential history to your weekend itinerary? Take a trip to Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay and tour the home and grounds of the 26th president Theodore Roosevelt. Whilst the Old Orchard Museum is currently closed, the Theodore Roosevelt Home is welcoming advanced reservations for guided tours.
Take a Museum Tour of New York City (New York City)
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Take your pick of museums to explore across the city this Presidents Day Weekend! The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is holding its annual family-friendly festival Kids Week from February 19-26, welcoming children of all ages and interests to learn more about STEAM (science technology, engineering, arts, and math) through workshops, live demonstrations, and interactive exhibits and presentations. New York City’s most popular family-friendly museums are open throughout the weekend and school vacation week, including the American Natural History Museum, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Go Ice Fishing at the Indian River Lakes (Thousand Islands-Seaway)
Another opportunity to enjoy Free Fishing Weekend in New York State is in the winter wonderland that is the Thousand Islands-Seaway region. Join Clayton's Mid-Winter Fishing Derby on February 19 for a fun-fuelled day of ice fishing along French Bay. Grand prizes are awarded for adults (and kids!) for the biggest catch of the day, along with hourly cash prizes will be awarded for the largest fish measured. Registration is required for all participants. The Ice Fishing Clinic is also providing a day of ice fishing on February 21 with New York Sportsman's Hall-of-Famer Tom Hughes for teens aged 14-18 to learn the tools and techniques used to fish on the Indian River Lakes.