Everybody on the East Coast knows that the Poconos is a great place to escape and stay cool during the summer, but the Poconos region offers plenty of year-round activities. And winter is no exception. While plenty of people come for the skiing in the winter, there’s much more than just skiing in Pennsylvania’s winter wonderland.
Sure, there are more than 185 ski slopes and trails to explore (with everything from beginner slopes to build confidence, all the way to steep expert mogul-filled runs. But the region also offers a lot more to enjoy. Here are just a few of the winter attractions that make living in the Poconos a winter wonderland.
Take a toboggan or luge run down one of the slopes at the Adventure Center at Skytop Lodge in Skytop, PA (570) 595-7401.
This is a delightful and magical way to explore the region’s landscape. Give snowshoeing a try at Delaware State Forest Snowshoeing in Swiftwater, PA (570) 895-4000.
Want to race with the wind? Climb aboard a snowmobile, rev up the engine and ride till your heart’s content at Hickory Run State Park Snowmobiling in White Haven, PA (888) 727-2757.
Want something a little out of the ordinary? Jump on a dog sled and mush your way along trails behind a team of Siberian Huskies at Arctic Paws Dog Sled Tours in Skytop, PA (570) 216-2551.
Looking for something a little more sedate? Take a trip through yesteryear when you wrap up in a warm blanket with your loved ones, breathe in the fresh, pine-scented air, watch the spectacular scenery glide by from your horse-drawn sleigh. Check it out at Carson’s Paradise Riding Stable in Mount Pocono, PA (570) 839-8340.
Winter SwimmingIf you think great swimming and water fun is only a summertime activity in the Poconos, you’ll be delighted to explore these year-round water park options.
- Great Wolf Lodge: The resort not only offers an incredible indoor water park, but it also has gorgeous hotel accommodations, delicious food options and plenty of shops to explore. No need to check the forecast when you take a family getaway to Great Wolf Lodge Resort, it’s always the perfect temperature inside the cozy confines of the lodge.
- Camelbeach Mountain Water Park: Camelback Resort, in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, introduces Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia– voted #1 Indoor Waterpark in the USA & one of the best resorts in the Poconos. You can also take advantage of the lodge’s mountain winter activities that include skiing and snowboarding.
- Kalahari Resorts Indoor Waterpark: Come see 220,000 square feet of iconic water park fun at America’s largest indoor water park. Hear the whoosh as you zoom down one of the many hair-raising waterslides. Feel the splash of the wave pool, the thrill of the kids’ play area, or the rush of indoor surfing. You can also relax in your own private indoor cabana and enjoy a flat screen TV, chaise lounges, refrigerator, security safe and much more.
- Mount Airy Casino is a great place for adults to be adults. Enjoy gaming at the casino, fine dining at one of five different eateries and take in lots of great entertainment. Whether you want to rock out with Classic Rock royalty, Laugh out loud with comedy legends or swoon with Broadway’s Best, Mount Airy has a wide variety of big-name talent booked for you. Check here for upcoming shows.
- Bushkill Inn & Conference Center, 159 Pocmont Loop, Bushkill, Pa 18324 T: (800) 200-2978 • bushkillinn.com is set on 160 serene, wooded acres in one of the most picturesque areas of the Pocono Mountains. Bushkill Inn and Conference Center is a luxury hotel comprised of well-appointed guest rooms and suites in the main lodge, and secluded cottages and cabins throughout the property that feature oversized-decks for scenic viewing. Enjoy a leisurely walk along winding nature trails or observe abundant wildlife or gaze at a night sky full of stars.
- The Lodge at Woodloch is surrounded by 400 acres of private woodland in the Pocono Mountains, The Lodge at Woodloch is an upscale adult-only retreat. The resort's private lake is the center of many outdoor activities, including hiking around its five miles' worth of paved and unpaved nature trails possible year-round. The on-site, wood-beamed, Tree restaurant and bar offers all-inclusive seasonal meals designed around locally raised meats and fish, as well as organic vegetables, many of which come from the resort's own (pesticide-free) produce garden. Guests can partake in cooking demonstrations, and for extra fees, wine tastings and special event dinners hosted by the chef. Click here for specifics on accommodations and special offers.
If all those activities make you hungry, you won’t have to worry. There’s an abundance of great places to eat throughout the Poconos. PoconosBest.com lists the following as “The Poconos Five Top Restaurant Tables”: The Stone Bar in Snydersville, PA; Alaska Pete’s in Marshalls Creek, PA; Basso (Italian) in Cresco, PA; Peppes Bistro in Eagle Valley Corners; and The Dimmick in Milford, PA. You can also explore the offerings from a number of “farm-to-table” restaurants listed here.
Of course, the Poconos aren't just a winter wonderland. The region is a great place to be all year round. And what better way to have access to all the Poconos has to offer than to build your own dream home here. If you're looking for some ideas on what that could look like, take a look at some of the beautiful custom homes we’ve built in the area. See what it would be like to enjoy all the winter activities—and the rest of the seasons in your new Poconos home!
Shopping at The Malls
There may be times when you’re into some power shopping and need to hit a lot of stores in a short time. That’s the way life is sometimes! In those instances, it’s hard to beat the convenience and concentrated options you’ll find at a mall. Sometimes, the mall really has it all. Here are a couple of choices within easy driving distance in the Poconos.
- The Crossings Premium Outlets® is nestled in the heart of the Pocono Mountains region and features 100 brand name and designer outdoor outlet stores. Conveniently located off of Interstate 80, Exit 299, you will find everyday savings from Gap Factory Outlet, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors, The North Face, Under Armour & more. Various dining options are available whether you grab and go in our food court or sit down at the Log Cabin Bar & Grill. Check their “Deals” page for specials as Black Friday approaches!
- The Stroud Mall is located at 344 Stroud Mall Rd, Stroudsburg, PA 18360 and is home to nearly 70 stores including Aéropostale, Bath & Body Works, Bon Ton, Christopher & Banks, Claire’s, Finish Line, Foot Locker, Gertrude Hawk, JC Penny, Kay Jewelers Maurices, Payless Shoesource, and many more. Click here to check out deals before Black Friday!
- Palmer Park Mall, at 123 Palmer Park Mall in Easton, PA is a 457,981 square foot regional mall that is home to many national chains including American Eagle Outfitters, Boscov's, Claire's, Spencer Gifts, and more—as well as several local vendors. In addition to great shopping, they also offer plenty of restaurants—and they host regular events throughout the year.
Shopping That Won’t Make You Feel Like Dropping
If you’re tired of the same old mall scene, you should check out some of the unique shopping opportunities in the Poconos.
- 84 Country Store, 101 Creamery Rd, Greentown, PA 18426 is the largest country store in Pennsylvania and offers Amish jams, fudge, candles, indoor gem mining and their own “Kids Country” (2,000 square feet just for kids). Visit the antique house with thousands of items.
- Backroads Antiques, 3424 Route 715, Henryville, PA 18332 is a great place if you’re looking for some special antiques. It’s like stepping back in time and finding items ranging from rare to collectible, primitive, furniture, vintage glassware, and everything in between.
- The Christmas Factory, Business Route 209, Marshalls Creek, PA 18335 is a great place to find items to get you in the holiday spirit. In fact, it’s one of the largest and most exciting Christmas shops in the world! It’s a dazzling Christmas wonderland full of savings with over 60 decorated trees.
- Country Junction World's Largest General Store, Route 209, Forest Inn, Lehighton, PA 18235 is the place to find home accessories, foods, candy, house wares, flowers, ice cream, gourmet coffee and Yankee Candles. You can also stop by Sorrenti's Wine Cellar for wine tasting. It’s fun for the whole family. At Pappy's Farm kids can feed animals and pet llamas, sheep, goats, alpacas, geese and chickens.
Take in a Play
*Check local area rules and regulations regarding the CDC recommended guidelines and other resources related to COVID-19 before attending public events. Stay safe!
The Poconos region has plenty of visual and performing arts for all to enjoy! Take your kids to a family-friendly musical. Or treat yourself to more adults offerings. Choose from classic plays and theatrical events to fine art exhibitions and sales, cultural events abound in the Pocono Mountains.
There are a number of places where you can check out theatrical presentations or catch a concert. Here are just a couple:
- The Shawnee Playhouse, built in the 1920's and recently renovated, presents many of today's biggest shows. Complete with full bar and wonderful restaurant, the Sherman Theater offers everything needed for a complete evening of entertainment. Audience and performers alike have been awed by the sound, comfort, and historic feel of this incredible performance venue. Check their website for upcoming shows.
- Casino Theatre Entertainment Center features two modern movie theaters with digital projection and 3D capability. The entertainment center offers a 1950s-style malt shop and restaurant, featuring more than 70 flavors of Hershey's ice cream and special treats like homemade waffle cones, sundaes, malts and egg creams. Food is served in the theater using special trays that fit into cup holders. The Casino is known for its "Dinner and a Movie" specials every Monday and Tuesday, featuring a home-cooked entree and movie ticket for just $11 ($14 if seeing a 3D movie). Visit their website for more details!
- The Cooperage Project offers all kinds of musical performance (from jazz to bluegrass to chamber music) in a unique environment in Honesdale, PA. There’s much more than music to experience. Click here to see a list of events for the whole family!
Hone Up on Your History
The Poconos region has a rich history going back to the natives who lived here before the towns. You can check out some of the history of the area’s first residents at The Pocono Indian Museum in Bushkill.
Many of the towns in the Poconos have also gone through quite an evolution. There's a history of mining, manufacturing, and industry, and railroading. The area offers a number of places to explore a past that's quite different from life in the Poconos today. The No. 9 Mine and Museum has a fun and interesting tour that lets kids (and adults) see an actual coal mine left pretty much the way it was when operations ceased. There is even an intact hoist shaft and also a museum packed full of mining artifacts.
Getting Out of Town (If You Live Here)
What if you already live in the Poconos area and want to get away for a change of scenery? That’s one of the great things about the Poconos. You’re within easy driving distance of two major metropolitan areas that have so much to offer. You can head down to Philadelphia and see how Center City’s Dilworth Park transforms into a hub of holiday cheer each winter and enjoy the awesome seasonal attractions. Ice skate at the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink, and then relax with a warm seasonal beverage at the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin. Then take a stroll through the seasonal plant arrangements in the Wintergarden. Top things off with a dazzling free light show on the side of City Hall and the festive makers market. Or head over to see more festive lights, winter treats, special activities and holiday cheer at historic Franklin Square park during the free Franklin Square Holiday Festival and Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show presented by PECO. Inspired by the imagination of Benjamin Franklin, the light show plays every evening, complemented by comfort food, local beers and hot beverages at Ben’s Sweets & Treats. Click here for even more fun and festive holiday events in Philadelphia this winter!
You’re also not far from New York City. It’s relatively easy to head into the Big Apple to do some Christmas shopping (or post-Christmas shopping). Or you can catch a Broadway show. If you’re flexible about which shows you want to see, you can often pick up discounted tickets a day or so before a show online at TodayTix or even same-day tickets at one of three TKTS Discount Booths (click here for locations).