10 Essential Winter in Massachusetts Things to Do ❄️ 2024

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Are you planning for a winter trip to Massachusetts? The Bay State has plenty of great options for winter things to do like skiing, ice skating, sledding, and more.

Whether you’re looking for active outdoorsy fun, restful retreats, or something in between, it’s not hard to plan an amazing winter in Massachusetts!

There are lots of fun winter things to do in MA, these are just a few of the top ideas for your next Massachusetts winter getaway.

A woman stands with trees lit for the holidays around her in Boston
Winter in MA is FUN!

Winter in Massachusetts: What to Expect

So, how cold does it get in Massachusetts in the winter? Pretty cold!

The amount of snow and the actual winter weather temperatures vary around the state, but expect that anywhere you go will be on the colder side between the months of December and March.

Coastal Massachusetts, including Cape Cod, is warmer than the western region of the state, but you should still expect lows in the low 20s throughout the coldest months of January, February, and sometimes even into March.

Does Massachusetts get a lot of snow? Yup!

The Berkshires and central region of the state see the most snow, with typical annual snowfalls of 50 – 70 inches! For those that love to play in the snow, this is a great bet for where to go for snow in Massachusetts.

Winter in Massachusetts: Things to Do

1. Go Skiing, Snowboarding, or Snowshoeing

A woman hikes in the snow at sunset having fun in Massachusetts in winter on vacation.
Massachusetts winter vacations are so much fun!

Massachusetts may not be the first place that people think of when considering a New England ski adventure, but it has some great spots to hit the slopes, and lots of beautiful country for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

Ski Butternut is one of the most popular ski spots in MA, with 100 skiable acres and 100% snow-making capabilities, so you know there will always be plenty of snow! Plus, Ski Butternut is located in Great Barrington, where there are all kinds of cute small-town MA things to see and do.

2. Book a Restful Massachusetts Winter Spa Retreat

A sandy beach covered in snow with a lighthouse against a blue sky is one of the top things to do in winter in Massachusetts
Winter in Massachusetts is absolutely beautiful.

Looking for a quiet, restful retreat from the hustle and bustle?

Mirbeau Inn & Spa is in historic Plymouth, Massachusetts, and it has gorgeous spa facilities. In addition to its beautifully appointed guestrooms, onsite amenities and spa services combine to make this an ideal couples spa vacation destination.

A variety of treatments are offered, including Kur rituals, which are full-body treatments that involve soaking in a jetted mineral bath. How restful and rejuvenating would that be?

Click Here to Check Prices & Book Mirbeau Inn & Spa!

Nantucket has great warm-weather things to see and do, but a winter vacation in Nantucket means fewer crowds while you explore the beauty of the island. Sankaty Light is a stunning sight any time of year, but there’s nothing quite like a visit with the muted winter sun framing its outline.

The Nantucket Hotel and Resort is open year-round. While it doesn’t have a dedicated in house spa, you can add massage services to your stay and find out for yourself why Vogue calls December “Secretly the Best Time to Visit Nantucket!” Note that a lot of places close from January to March, so some things won’t be available during your Nantucket winter vacation.

Click Here to Check Prices & Book The Nantucket Hotel and Resort!

Cape Cod is another typical warm-weather getaway that offers great charm in the colder weather months. You know those beautiful beaches that you sunbathe on in the summer? They become near-pristine places for quiet reflection and stunning sunrise and sunset walks in the winter.

There are so many great towns to visit and so many lovely opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the Cape without having to contend with summer crowds. Winter might even become your new favorite time to visit Cape Cod!

For a luxury Cape Cod winter getaway, consider booking a room at the stunning Chatham Bars Inn. The full service spa includes a variety of bodywork and treatments that will leave you feeling perfectly blissed out!

Click Here to Check Prices & Book Chatham Inn!

💆🏻‍♀️ Still looking for the ultimate winter spa destination in MA? Check these out 💆🏻‍♀️

Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa, Lenox MA

Crowne Pointe Historic Inn & Spa, Provincetown MA

Chateau Merrimack Resort & Spa, Tyngsboro MA

3. Go Ice Skating

People ice skating outdoors in Boston, Massachusetts during the holidays
I’m telling ya, outdoor ice skating during the holiday season is amazing!

Ice skating is one of the most fun winter activities in Massachusetts, and you’ve got lots of great options for both indoor and outdoor ice skating in MA!

Whether you prefer an idyllic outdoor ice skating session that requires gloves, hat, and scarf, or you’d rather stay indoors to glide over the ice, you’ve got some great choices.

MA Outdoor Ice Skating Options:

Indoor Ice Skating Options:

4. Escape the MA Winter Weather by Visiting a Museum

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA, decorated for Christmas
I loved seeing how they doll up the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for the holidays!

I’m sure it doesn’t come as a shock to you when I suggest visiting a museum for one of the best indoor things to do in a Massachusetts winter! The Bay State is known for having some of the best museums in all of New England.

I’m going to offer up a list of a few of my personal favorite museums to visit, as well as a few that are on my list to visit ASAP. I was just at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for Christmas 2023 and it was all dolled up for the holidays!

Museums that offer a break from Massachusetts winter weather:

5. Enjoy Sledding & Snowtubing, Massachusetts Style!

Wondering where to find the best snowtubing in Massachusetts? I don’t blame ya, it’s such a fun winter thing to do! Many of the top MA ski resorts offer snow tubing, but these are some of the most popular:

2023/2024 Snowtubing in Massachusetts 

If it’s more an old fashioned sledding experience you’re after, here are some of the best places to go sledding in MA:

2023/2024 Massachusetts Sledding Hills

6. Attend Massachusetts Winter Festivals

Boston brownstones decorated for Christmas

There are several great annual winter festivals in Massachusetts to choose from, so I’d suggest doing a search for “winter festivals near me” or “winter events near me” if you’re already in your destination. Chances are, there’s going to be something going on near you!

If you’re still in the planning stages and looking for winter events in Massachusetts, you’ll want to check out this list of fun winter festivals and events in MA:

So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival, Salem MA

This is absolutely one of the best MA winter festivals! I mean, we’re combining chocolate and ice sculpture, can’t go wrong with that!

You’ll find ice sculptures all around town beginning Friday, February 9, and you’ll have the opportunity to participate in the Chocolate Hearts Challenge, where you look for QR codes to scan around town for a chance to win prizes!

2024 Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival Info

Beginning February 9, 2024 and going through February 11, 2024. There are nighttime illuminations of the ice sculptures on Friday, February 9 and Saturday, February 10, from 5 pm to 9 pm

Lowell Winterfest, Lowell MA

Lowell Winterfest is an annual Massachusetts winter event in downtown Lowell that features ice skating, live music, carousel rides, and of course, lots of tasty treats from local food vendors!

There’s also a winter market, a soup competition by local restaurants, and an all-you-can-eat chocolate event – yum!

2024 Lowell Winterfest Info

Friday, February 16 to Saturday, February 17, 2024

First Night Northampton 2024, Northampton MA

In its 39th year, this family friendly arts festival is the perfect way to ring in the New Year!

First Night Northampton goes from noon to midnight, with live music, activities, vendors, and fireworks.

2024 First Night Northampton Info

Sunday, December 31, 2023 – January 1, 2024, noon to midnight!

WinterFEST 2024, Newton MA

This is an annual winter festival that celebrates the season with live music, vendors, winter walks, family activities, and more. Some years there are ice sculpture demonstrations and snowman building competitions, too.

2024 WinterFEST info

January 27 – 28, 2024

Northampton Ice Art Festival, Northampton MA

This is one of the coolest winter festivals Massachusetts has to offer! This is an opportunity to watch as skilled artists show the rest of us how to take a huge hunk of ice and whittle and carve it down into a masterpiece.

2024 Northampton Ice Art Festival Info

The details for dates and time haven’t been released yet as of this writing, but it takes place at the end of January, so be on the lookout for details as we get closer to the time.

Winterfest, Easthampton MA

You’ll find many community festivals are pretty geared towards families, but this one – while still being very family friendly – has something that’s for adults only: an ice bar!

There are several great events including live music, horse drawn wagon rides, a historical ice harvest, artisan craft fair, community bonfire, and more.

2024 Winterfest Info

Saturday, February 10, 2024, times TBA

7. Plan a Romantic Winter Getaway in MA

Festively decorated store windows in MA

If you are looking for a romantic winter getaway, Massachusetts can 100% provide! Something about cozying up in the snowy weather just sets the stage perfectly for optimum romance.

There are several excellent romantic getaway spots across the state to choose from, like 33 Main in Lenox, a gorgeous boutique B&B that puts you perfectly situated in the Berkshires for so many great things to see and do. Plus, everyone loves a gourmet breakfast to wake up to in the morning, right?

Click Here to Check Prices & Book 33 Main!

If you’re looking for a little more of a big city vibe for your romantic getaway, consider Boston as your winter vacation destination! Not only is there a great selection of romantic things to do in The City on a Hill, but there’s also a surplus of fantastically cozy indoor activities, like stellar restaurant and brewery options, cute coffee shops, neat museums, and amazing hotel and vacation rental options.

My husband and I enjoyed staying at the gorgeous Fairmont Copley Plaza for our romantic Boston trip. It is such a beautiful property, it will really take your romantic winter vacation to the next level!

Click Here to Check Prices & Book Fairmont Copley Plaza!

8. Dash through the Snow on a Sleigh Ride!

Horse drawn sleigh rides in Massachusetts are basically the most wholesome and perfectly old fashioned ways to enjoy the MA winter! It’s also one of those wintertime activities that can be either perfect for the family or for a romantic date idea for that special someone.

While snow cannot be guaranteed (duh) these are your best options for Massachusetts sleigh rides:

🐕 PS did you know you can go on a dog sled ride in Massachusetts, too??? It’s true, check it out here!

9. Dive into Christmas Cheer

A sparkling snow scene in a city park with statue during a Massachusetts winter
MA in winter has so much holiday spirit!

If you will be spending your winter in Massachusetts during the Christmas season, there are oh, so many festively fun things to do!

There are especially a lot of things to do in Boston during winter, which is just absolute Christmas time magic with events like the Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting, the Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll, and just so many more great Christmas happenings!

Christmas tree outside of Faneuil Hall in Boston, MA

Then there are towns like Stockbridge that give off all the Hallmark Christmas movie vibes with all their Merry Christmas happenings, and so many wholesome and festive activities, like visiting a Christmas tree farm for hot cocoa, wagon rides, and fantastic Christmas photo opportunities!

Here’s a list of some can’t miss holiday events in Massachusetts:

SoWa Winter Festival, Boston MA

The SoWa Winter Festival features vendors, local artists, and lots of food and drink over several weeks in December. This is a great place to go for some festive Christmas shopping!

2023 SoWa Winter Festival Info:

Friday, November 24 – Sunday, December 17, 2023. Thursday and Friday, 4 pm – 9 pm, Saturday, 10 am – 10 pm, Sunday, 10 am – 7 pm, Monday – Wednesday, Closed

Night Lights: Starry Skies, Boylston MA

This is an immersive light experience that takes place at the New England Botanic Garden, and it runs all Christmas season long! Thousands of lights make this event oh, so Merry & Bright, and s’mores and hot cocoa will have you feeling as festive as can be as you explore this gorgeous light display.

2023 Night Lights Boylston Info

November 24, 2023 – December 31, 2023, daily, 4 pm – 10 pm

Christmas by Candlelight, Sturbridge MA

Old Sturbridge Village invites guests to lean into old fashioned New England Christmas traditions with their Christmas by Candlelight, featuring live music, sleigh rides, bonfires, treats, and more.

2023 Christmas by Candlelight Info

December 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, and 30, 2023. Tickets are timed, so you can choose your time slot when you buy your tickets, and you must purchase in advance.

10. Cozy up in the Perfect MA Winter Cabin

Two people wearing socks near fireplace, sitting under blanket
Winter in MA is the perfect time to cozy up with the one you love!

If a Massachusetts winter vacation that lets you hunker down in a comfy, cozy cabin while the winter weather rages around you sounds appealing, then you’re in luck!

There are so many options for cabins in Massachusetts during winter, so you’ll just need to figure out what you want to be near and start your search there.

If you’re looking for a vacation rental that delivers a major WOW factor, check out the Octagonal Glass Treehouse in Otis, one of the best rentals in MA. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the views from this unique home are absolutely phenomenal!

While not technically a cabin, this treehouse gives off major comfy cozy cabin vibes, and the wood-burning fireplace makes it an ideal place to warm up after a long day of playing in the Berkshires!

PS Berkshires winter scenery is *Chef’s Kiss* when the snow falls!

Final Thoughts: Massachusetts Winter Fun

There are so many fun Massachusetts things to do in the winter. Enjoy creating (and crossing items off!) your winter MA bucket list!

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