Short Winter trip W - E Coast USA - Suggestions needed!

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Short Winter trip W - E Coast USA - Suggestions needed!

Hi Fellow Travelers

My partner and my two younger teenage girls are planning to travel to the USA this winter.  We arrive San Francisco later December, spend a few days in San Francisco, Monterey, and surrounding area before heading to Reno for New Year's Eve/Day with some family friends, so the first week is taken care of.

We plan to leave Reno January 1st and need to be in New York by the 6th- 7th of January.  We basically have 5-6 days to get across to the East Coast. My partner has never spent any time in the snow (which my girls and I love) so I'd like to introduce him to a magical snowy climate.  Sking is not an option as my partner is not a skier, I'd prefer more time for a ski trip and this trip is last minute so skiing has not been budgeted for.

However  - we would love to experience the following  - between Reno and New York:
Snowshoeing
Dog Sledding
National parks
Winter Wonderland  and Cute Picturesque little towns

One option is to take the Californian Zephyr to Denver and hire a car around that area - for 4 days and then fly to NYC.  The Californian Zephyr arrives Denver around 4pm on the 2nd January (24 hour trip from Reno)

Another option is to fly directly to the East Coast and spend some time in a New England state.

Open to any suggestions  - being able to drive around would be an advantage. 

Thank you for all of your suggestions.
Kind regards
Belinda