While it’s magical to see a child’s face light up when they open gifts on Christmas, it won’t be long before mom and dad hear those two dreaded words: "We’re bored."

And when the kids have an entire week off from school, it’s not always easy to find fun, safe ways to keep them busy. Whether you are looking for a quick family getaway, or daily activities that encourage youth to put down the electronics, add these fun happenings to your end-of-year itinerary.


Ice Skating at Bear Mountain

Vit Kovalcik

Bear Mountain State Park, Bear Mountain. bearmountainicerink.com

This spacious outdoor rink is surrounded by scenic beauty of a state park. Warm up with a little hot cocoa, or after you hang up your skates, explore the many hiking trails and outdoor fun Bear Mountain has to offer.


Holiday Family Camp

Steve Mason

Frost Valley YMCA, Claryville. frostvalley.org

December 27, 2016-January 1, 2017

Enjoy up to a week of quality time with your family in the Catskills. Stay active with plenty of outdoor activities including cross-country skiing, snow tubing, and more. Or, stay warm indoors with archery, climbing, crafts, and other fun. Enjoy New Year’s Eve partying as a family with line dancing, trivia, food, and a ball drop.


A Cure For Cabin Fever

George Washington
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Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, Newburgh.

December 28-31, 11 am-3 pm each day.

Tour the Headquarters, which is decorated for the season, and hear about First-president Washington’s stay in the Hasbrouck House, which included the final winter of the Revolutionary War. You’ll also have the chance to explore the Museum, which houses over 1,300 artifacts, and create a different craft project each day, including a bookplate, whirligig, hand-dipped candle, and a merit badge.


The Polar Express

Young Girl Meets Santa on a Train
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Catskill Mountain Railroad Events, Kingston. cmrrevents.com

Through December 28

Relive the magic of the classic holiday story of The Polar Express. Step onboard licensed train cars, where passengers will hear the sounds of the film’s soundtrack, enjoy hot cocoa served by friendly chefs, and will be treated to a sing-along and special reading of the storybook. Upon reaching the first destination (the North Pole, of course) kids will be visited by the big man himself, as Santa delivers small souvenirs.


School Break Mini Camp

Group Looking For Minibeasts At Activity Centre
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Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, Cornwall. hhnaturemuseum.org

December 27-30, 9 am-3 pm, Ages 6-9

When it’s time to give younger kids a little break from screen time, sign them up for day camp at this popular nature museum. Each day, campers have the oppourtunity to meet live animals and learn about their lives. They’ll discover how other animals survive outside in the cold, while enjoying hikes, games, crafts, and other activities. Hot cocoa is provided but children should bring their own lunch. Please register in advance.