Although NYC is close to plenty of downhill skiing options, cross-country skiing is also a fun option with kids. Also known as Nordic skiing, cross-country skiing is a great winter sport for families. Children as young as 5 can ski alone, and parents can tow tots in a sled or carry them in a backpack while on the trails. You can't do that while swooshing down a mountain!
While cross-country skiing is nowhere near as dangerous or as expensive as downhill skiing, the tricky thing is finding snow and equipment. Unlike downhill ski resorts, most cross-country trails aren't in the business of making their own snow so you're going to have to wait for the white stuff before you can get out there. Getting outfitted with XC skis is relatively inexpensive comparend to downhill, but unless you want to purchase kits for your growing children, you also need to find a spot that offers children's gear rental. Your best bet is a Nordic Ski Center that offers trails and rentals.
Here are our favorite spots where families can enjoy cross-country skiing, and most are less than a 2-hour drive from New York City. But conditions and offerings change, so call ahead to make sure they have both snow and ski rentals in your sizes.
Find more fun seasonal activities in our Snow Sports Guide.