Organized by the Manhattan User’s Guide, NYC Bloggers Do The Holidays is back for a second year with 14 sites that know how to rock your yuletide socks off. When you’re done reading oM’s Anti-Holiday Travel Guide, click on our fellow bloggers’ links below for some entertaining insights on how to make the best of this holiday season.

Some New Yorkers can’t get enough of NYC during the holidays, when the city becomes even brighter, more crowded, more giving, more jolly. For others, the chimes, chestnuts, and cherubic faces can wear thin, in which case a quick stress-free getaway out of Manhattan may be just the ticket. Whether you choose to go camping in Brooklyn, share a cheap romantic meal with Manhattan views, or fire a shotgun in the Hudson Valley, these five quick getaways from NYC (all car-free!) provide a much needed escape from the forces of holiday cheer.

A Cheap Romantic Date | Turning Point News and Café | Hoboken, New Jersey
a bench in Hobokrn by jeffreywithtwofHot chocolate on a horse-drawn carriage through Central Park is overrated and, some might say, cruel. However, a ferry ride across the Hudson for brunch on a Manhattan-facing bench is a much classier and creative date idea. Pick up the “Special Good to Go Combo” at this café located in the shipyard marina community, where $10 will buy you a cup of soup, a sandwich (or salad) and a freshly baked item. Cuddle up next to the river with a thermos of spiked cocoa.
How to get there:
You have 2.5 options: Hop on the NY Waterway Hoboken north ferry ($8.50 one way) from downtown or Wall Street and get off at the 14th Street stop right across from the café at the corner of 14th and Frank Sinatra Drive. Or take the PATH train ($1.75 one way) to the Hoboken Terminal then take a $5 cab or the NJ Transit bus #126 ($1.50 one way) to the 14th Street and Park Ave. stop a few blocks from the café.

 

A S’Mores Affair to Remember | CAMP | Brooklyn, NY
S'mores at CAMP photo by LindsayTarynPhoto.comBring the boots, leave the sleeping bag. This bar helps its patrons to rekindle that childish summer camp innocence with a fire pit and a basket of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. At an affordable price, the rustic venue milks your nostalgia for all it’s worth with classic 80s movies, board games, and karaoke. You will enter Camp as a New Yorker who takes life too seriously and leave as a New Yorker who will remember to cherish the little things. How to get there: Take the F/G train to Bergen Street. Walk South a few feet on Smith Street until you reach 179.

Live Dangerously, Like Sarah Palin | Mid-Hudson Sporting Clays | New Paltz, NY
skeet shootingYou may not be the kind of person to hunt your own turkey for Thanksgiving, but you will become someone who says, “Wooo, yeah!” after firing a shotgun and shattering your clay pigeon target. Skeet Shooting is one of those special sports not meant for New York City folk—we’ll let Palin have this one talent—but with the right amount of red flannel and some chutzpah (doesn’t really take much) you’ll discover a sense of accomplishment not always felt at the end of a 9-5. Visit Mid-Hudson Sporting Clays, bring seven bucks, let them teach you a thing or two (like don’t swing a loaded gun around and follow through after pulling the trigger) and get Woo!’in.
How to get there:
Adirondack Trailways to New Paltz. Call Delroy Taxi at 845.452.1222 for quick transportation to the shooting range.

Dance By the Light of the Bridge | Ravel Hotel | Long Island City, Queens
Ravel Hotel's Penthouse 808Slip away for dinner atop a green-house glass enclosed roof at a luxury boutique hotel beside the 59th Street Bridge. Order the Red Dragon Rolls ($11), split a sesame-ginger skirt steak ($20), savor the Manhattan skyline views, and get ready to do the vertical hokey pokey as an intimate restaurant setting morphs into a cozy club hot spot that’ll do wonders for those winter woes.
How to get there: Take the N,W,7, E,F,G,V to Queensboro Plaza or Queensbridge. Call the Ravel Hotel ahead of time to set up complimentary shuttle pickup/drop off at the station.

Pony Up | Bronx Equestrian Center | Bronx, New York
No honking horns, no sirens, no bells, no garbage trucks, no clicking heels on the pavement just the clucking of a bit in your Appaloosa’s mouth and the hoofs trotting over the Pelham Bay Park floor. You’ve earned these 60 peaceful minutes on a western style horseback riding adventure through the far reaches of New York City. And for $30 an hour, including lessons on the trail, this is one ride you may find yourself repeating year-round.
How to get there:
Take the 6 to the last stop at Pelham Bay Park. Then hop on Bus #29 to City Island. The Center recommends telling the driver to let you off by the stables. For the experienced riders, call 718.885.0551 to schedule a more private trail ride at $40 per hour.

When you get back, you’ll find the city looking and smelling better than Christmas morning.

For those New Yorkers we mentioned earlier, the ones who might fancy reindeer crocheted sweaters and love to hang about Christmas shops, here are five offManhattan guides for reveling in the holidays:

8 Holiday Activities for Kids Near NYC
Four Budget-Friendly Holiday Shopping Getaways Near NYC
Four Holiday Events in Brooklyn

A Gift Guide for New Yorkers: What the offManhattan Staff Wants for the Holidays

17 Holiday Music Events Near NYC

NYC Bloggers Do the Holidays

A Child Grows - Where to See Santa in New York City and Brooklyn
Eater’s Digest - 10 “Warm-You-To-the Bone” Holiday Eats in NYC
Give and Get NYC - Give and Get for the Holidays
‘the improvised life’Design (or Hack) Your Own Holiday E-Cards
Manhattan User’s GuideThe Gift Guide: 21 Over $21
Markets of New YorkFestive Food at New York’s Holiday Markets
Mommy Poppins11 Experience Gifts for NYC Kids
NY BarflyHoliday Cocktails, And We Ain’t Talkin’ Egg Nog
offManhattanThe Anti-Holiday Travel Guide: 5 Quick Getaways from NYC
the skint11 free and cheap non-holiday things to do this holiday season
This is FYFA Drug-Friendly Guide to Your New York Holidays
Patell and Waterman’s History of New YorkChristmas with Andy Warhol
Walking Off the Big AppleA Mortal’s Guide to the Angels of New York City
We Heart AstoriaThe Best Places To Shop Local – WHA Holiday Gift Guide

Photos: Bench by Jeffrey Hutton, S’mores by LindsayTarynPhoto.com, skeet shooting by Jen, Ravel Hotel, Bronx Equestrian Center