Looking for a fun travel idea outside of New York City? One area that I’ve always loved exploring is the Adirondacks and being known for its winter activities, it’s definitely a where you can enjoy tons of outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding and more! Check out a recap of some must-check out spots if you’re visiting the Adirondacks this winter:
Adirondacks in the Winter: What to Do:
1. Whiteface and Gore
This seasonWhiteface Mountain is debuting some improvements, including a renovated Base Lodge and Bear Den Lodge as part of an expansion of the cafe and learn-to-ski center; a makeover of Cloudspin Lounge; renovations to Porcupine Lodge warming hut on the summit of Lookout Mountain; and upgraded snowmaking and grooming operations. A special “Ski Free, Stay Free” deal includes a free night of lodging and a free day of skiing with a three or four night stay at select properties during non-holiday periods.
Gore Mountain in North Creek added more than 130 high-efficiency snow guns, and the gondola unloading station at the summit has been restored with restrooms and vending machines. Mid-mountain, Saddle Lodge was renovated (doubled in size, new dining options) and the new Northwoods Lodge provides extra space for a rental/repair shop and Gore’s Snow Sports School.
Titus Mountain Family Ski Center in Malone is ideal for families, with many great learn to ski and board programs, tubing, 50 trails, three terrain parks and night skiing, and you can rent the entire Upper Mountain for events.
Children in third and fourth grades can take advantage of Kids Ski Free Passport Programs at participating resorts, including Learn to Ski or Ride for Free. Plus, kids five and under ski free with a paid adult.
2. Lake Placid
The Olympic venues from the 1980 Games are still used today for national and international competitions, and are open to the public. Visitors can tour many of the Olympic Sites from the 1980 Games, skate on the Olympic Speed Skating Oval, ski at Whiteface Mountain (site of all the Olympic downhill events) and take a bobsled ride (with an experienced driver) at the Olympics Sports Complex. On Feb. 24, enjoy the USOC PyeongChang Olympic Winter Fest at the Lake Placid Training Center, with sport demos, meet and greets with Team USA athletes, s’mores, and a concert by Third Eye Blind.
Since the Olympics, Lake Placid has hosted and continues to host large-scale national and international sporting events celebrating the international spirit of the Olympic Winter Games and Lake Placid’s robust winter sports heritage, including the World Cup Luge (Dec. 15-16), FIS 2018 Freestyle World Cup aerials competition (Jan. 19-20), Empire State Winter Games (Feb. 1-4), USCSA Ski & Snowboard Championships (March 4-10), Lake Placid Nordic Festival and Loppet (March 18), ECAC Hockey Men’s D1 Championships (March 16-17) and Miracle on Ice Fantasy Camp (March 25-26).
3. Holidays in the Adirondacks
At the foothills of Whiteface Mountain, deep in the heart of the Adirondacks, lies the charming hamlet of North Pole, NY – Santa’s workshop! This was “America’s first theme park” when it opened in 1949, and has grown into an institution since then, home to beloved storybook characters, elves, live reindeer, a Candy Cane Express locomotive ride…and of course, Santa. Visitors can explore Santa’s House, toy making and candy making “factories,” enjoy live shows, a farm and more. Open winter weekends until December 23.
Ride the Train to Christmas Town and follow the journey of Janice and her brother on their first trip alone to Christmas Town. Along the way, meet Bumblee the bear, Zephyr the cat, and Wabash the squirrel and enjoy cookies and cocoa served by elves along with a visit from Santa. In Christmas Town, meet Blitzen the reindeer at the petting zoo, make ornaments and other arts and crafts, enjoy a hay wagon ride, browse local arts and crafts for holiday gifts, and enjoy dinner and live entertainment. Runs on select days and times through December 27th.
New Year’s Eve Dining Cruise on Lake George includes a dinner buffet, mock count down for families, free champagne and ginger ale, and party favors. Boarding begins at 5 pm and the cruise runs from 6 to 8 pm. Later in the evening, the New Year’s Eve Party Cruise rings in the New Year with live music, party favors, a champagne toast and fireworks at midnight accompanied by the singing of Auld Lang Syne. Boarding begins at 9 pm and the cruise goes from 10 pm until 12:30 am.
4. Additional Winter Attractions, Events and Activities and More
The Sagamore Resort’s Glacier Ice Bar & Lounge in Lake George will be open on the weekends of Jan. 19 and 26, featuring 18,000 pounds of crystal-clear ice carvings.
The Ice Palace is the centerpiece of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, Feb. 2-11. Dating back to 1898, the work today is done by volunteers who build palaces with anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 primarily 2-by-4-foot-long blocks that have at times measured up to 30-feet wide by 90-feet long and 50-feet high. The completed fortresses are always decked out with colorful flags and may contain ice furniture and sculptures along with tunnels and mazes.
Also in Saranac Lake, the legendary Hotel Saranac has reopened after a $30 million restoration.
The new Adirondack Snowshoe Fest in Saranac Lake, Feb. 24 and 25, will feature a series of races for all ski levels, the second annual Shoe-Be-Doo (a 5k fun walk or run for families and individuals), guided tours, bonfires, hot chocolate, food and drink, live music and entertainment, and more.
Other winter carnivals include the Long Lake Winter Carnival (Jan. 13), WinterFest in the Heart of the Park (Jan. 13), Lake George Winter Carnival (weekends in Feb.), Lake George Winter Carnival (Feb. 3) and the Frozen Fire & Lights / Cardboard Sled Race (Feb. 24), and more.
Some packages can be found here: http://www.lakeplacid.com/packages/ski and here: http://www.lakeplacid.com/packages/ski-free-stay-free