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15 Amazing North Conway Winter Activities

Nestled in the White Mountains, North Conway is the perfect base for winter adventures in the New Hampshire Mountains. This pretty town has plenty to offer all year long but comes alive in the winter when snow covers the mountains. As the biggest town in the region, you can find plenty to keep you busy whether you are spending a day, a weekend, or a week in the area. This list of the best North Conway winter activities has something for everyone!

List of 15 North Conway Winter Activities

Below is a list of 15 things to do in North Conway in the winter. Scroll down for more details on each activity and links.

  1. Go Downhill Skiing
  2. Try Winter Hiking
  3. Go Snowshoeing
  4. Take the Scenic Conway Train
  5. Go Tubing
  6. Cross Country Skiing
  7. Visit Living Shores Aquarium
  8. Snowmobiling
  9. Go Shopping
  10. Eat out
  11. Take a Scenic Drive
  12. Ice Castles
  13. Pamper Yourself
  14. Go Ice Skating
  15. Try an Escape Room

Map of Things to do in North Conway in Winter

15 North Conway Winter Activities

Below you can find 15 ideas for fun things to do in North Conway during the winter. Since North Conway is the right in the heart of the White Mountains, many of these winter activities are in the mountains near Conway.

If you are visiting New Hampshire for a few days, you might also like: 4 New Hampshire Road Trips.

Go Downhill Skiing

Some of the best ski mountains in New Hampshire are right in near North Conway. Whether you are looking for challenging mountains or a beginner hill, you can several different options. Below you can find a list of ski mountains. If you need to rent gear most mountains rest skis right on site and you can find a few other shops right in North Conway where you can get the equipment you need.

North Conway Winter Activity: Go Skiing
North Conway Winter Activity: Go Skiing

Try Winter Hiking

Winter is our favorite time of year to hike and the White Mountains offer incredible opportunities for getting on on the trail during the snowy season. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating these mountains as they experience sudden weather changes and challenging trails despite their relatively short height. With a little planning, you can easily and safely enjoy hiking around North Conway in the winter. Check out some more details of our favorite White Mountain hikes, or learn more about winter hiking for beginners.

For some winter hikes near North Conway, check out:

  • Boulder Loop Trail
  • Arethusa Falls
  • The Moats
  • The Base of Tuckerman’s Ravine
  • Mount Willard
  • Webster-Jackson Trail, Mount Jackson
  • Mount Field and Mount Tom

Go Snowshoeing

Like winter hiking, snowshoeing gets you out on the trail in the winter and is one of the best North Conway winter activities to try. Snowshoes are the perfect footwear when there has been a fresh dusting of snow and they help to keep you up on top of the snow (instead of sinking down into it). If you don’t have your own snowshoes, check out one of the rental companies in town and try one of the hiking trails listed above, or ask at the shop for suggestions.

Even for a short snowshoe, be prepared for the weather!

Take the Scenic Conway Train

The Conway Scenic Railway offers classic rides through the mountains and valleys throughout the year. Winter is one of the best times to enjoy the snow covered landscapes. In the winter, the Snow Trail operates between North Conway and Attitash. You can take the train as a scenic drive or get off at the mountain to enjoy some skiing or ice skating.

You can learn more about the Scenic Conway Train on their official website.

Go Tubing

Many of the local ski mountains also offer tubing. Tubing is awesome sledding on an inflatable tube. These small hills offer a thrilling downhill ride on a tube and can be booked for an hour or more. Tubing is a great family activity and many tubing facilities are open during the day and on weekends.

Check out the tubing at King Pine or Cranmore Mountain.

Cross Country Skiing

If you aren’t up for a full day of downhill skiing or are looking for a different experience, cross country skiing is a great way to get out into the mountains and get some exercise. There are several cross country ski centers near North Conway where you can rent gear and get a day pass to ski. All the touring centers groom and most have both skate and classic nordic ski trails.

Check out:

  • Jackson Ski Touring Center
  • Bretton Woods Nordic Center
  • Bear Notch Ski Touring Center
  • Mt. Washington Valley Ski Touring & Snowshoe Center

Visit Living Shores Aquarium

Open throughout the year, this interactive Aquarium takes you on an exploration of the ocean. Located near Storyland, this makes a great winter activity especially if you have young kids and the weather is bad. The Aquarium can be visiting in 1-2 hours and has touch tanks, otters, and many underwater creatures.

You can buy tickets online on their official site: Living Shore Aquarium

Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling is a popular activity in New Hampshire and New England in general. Many people bring their own snowmobile, but there are also many places where you can rent them and you can find miles of trails throughout the area. Check out the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association on trails or stop in a Profile Powersports in North Conway to rent a snowmobile.

Go Shopping

As the town of North Conway has grown over the years, it has become a bit of a shopping destination. In town itself, you can find many classic shops selling NH art, outdoor gear, and toys. If you head just south of town, you will find many outlet malls. While North Conway may be known as a outdoor recreation destination, many people visit here to enjoy the day shopping!

Check out Settlers Green Outlet Village, the Christmas Loft and many other shops in the area.

Eat out

North Conway has many great places to eat. If you are there on a busy winter weekend, be prepared for crowds at many of the best places to eat. You can find restaurants ranging from pizza places to fine dining overlooking the mountains.

Don’t overlook some of the excellent breakfast and brunch places to start your morning off right.

Some of our favorite places to eat in North Conway include:

  • Moat Mountain Smokehouse & Brewing Co.
  • Table & Tonic
  • May Kelly’s Cottage
  • The Met
  • Flatbread Company

Take a Scenic Drive

The White Mountains around North Conway make for some amazing drives and winter is a great time to head out to see some snowy landscapes. The two best drives here are to either drive the Kancamagus Highway or to take route 302. It’s also worth driving north on route 16 to Jackson NH. If you have time, you can turn these drives into long loops, but plan on an entire day to complete this drive with stops along the way!

Ice Castles

The Ice Castles aren’t right in North Conway, but they are a White Mountain classic winter activity and worth exploring if you are in the area. These castles are made every year and you can walk through the amazing frozen castle and even take a slide down the ice slide. Your tickets to the Ice Castles should be booked in advance as they do sell out. The Ice Castles are located in North Woodstock, NH.

See more about visiting the Ice Castles.

Pamper Yourself

Whether you are recovering from a day on the slopes or just need a little relaxing there are a few options in town with places to pamper yourself. Check out the Soaking Pot in town where you can soak you feet after a long day or try Trilogy Massage Therapy.

Go Ice Skating

Another fun winter activity to try in North Conway is ice skating. You can find both indoor and outdoor ice rinks in the area and can either bring your own skates or rent them there. Check out King Pine, Schouler Park, Ham Public Ice Arena, or Nestlenook Farm.

Try an Escape Room

If you’ve never tried an escape room, North Conway may be the perfect place! Check out Mystery Escape rooms and try to problem solve you way out of the mystery. They offer several escape room options and are designed for kids over 8.

Things to Know About Visiting North Conway in the Winter

How to Get to North Conway

North Conway is nestled right in the White Mountains in central/eastern New Hampshire. If you are coming from the south, you will drive up route 16. This is the biggest road to get to North Conway. If you are coming from Maine, the best way to reach North Conway you will drive through western Maine on one of several smaller highways such as 113 or 302. From the North or West you will need to travel through the Mountains to get to North Conway on route 302 or 112.

Since all the roads that lead to North Conway are small, you can expect back ups and traffic during busy times. This includes Sundays throughout the year and people head home from the mountains.

Below are some common driving times:

  • Boston to North Conway: 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Portsmouth to North Conway: 1 hour and 40 minutes
  • Portland to North Conway: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Amtrak also operates to North Conway.

Winter Weather in North Conway

New Hampshire weather in the winter can be unpredictable. If you are planning a trip and want guaranteed snow, you should plan your trip between mid January and mid February. Snow is never guaranteed, and while the mountains may get a December snow storm, it is not consistent. The same is true for late winter.

Temperatures in the winter fluctuate from bitter cold and below zero to days with temperatures above 32 degrees.

You can see monthly weather in North Conway at Weather Spark.

Where to Stay in North Conway

North Conway has lodging options from basic hotels to luxury mountain resorts. A few options to consider based on your budget are:

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