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Things to Do for the Holidays in the Lake George Region

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Things to Do for the Holidays in the Lake George Region, 2011

Crafts Fairs, Tree Lightings and The Polar Express: A Plethora of Holiday Fun this Season in Warren and Hamilton Counties

As Thanksgiving is right around the corner (literally) as well as Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa, there are many holiday related events going on for the family and maybe for adults as well. It’s time to get out and support our local artists, find some interesting handcrafted gifts, support some local organizations who help others during the holidays and get ready for annual appearances from Charlie Brown, Rudolph, The Grinch, Frosty and someone who goes by the name of Santa…


Santa Claus on Polar Express. Photo Dave BowerThe Polar Express

First, everyone’s talkin’ ’bout the Polar Express. Chris Van Allsburg’s children’s book has been transformed into a magical train that departs from the Saratoga Amtrak Station, taking you all the way to the North Pole. Well not the North Pole, NY, but a secret North Pole with an undisclosed location (hey, think of all the paparazzi that would swarm it if they really knew where Santa lived). And though this doesn’t technically fall in the Lake George region, it’s run by a company that does, so we thought it worthwhile listing here.

The Polar Express allows children (pajamas optional) of all ages to experience the adventure of this magical story. As the train’s conductor punches your golden tickets, the train comes alive with holiday music, dancing chefs who serve hot chocolate and cookies, all interrupted by a doubting hobo who wafts throughout the train. Once the train reaches the North Pole, dancing elves appear to greet the children followed by an appearance by the man in red himself, Santa Claus. Plus, everyone gets a collectible mug for future cocoa explorations. Presented by the Saratoga North Creek Railroad, the Polar Express runs twice daily at 6pm and 8pm on November 18-20, 22, 23, 25-27 and on December 2-23, 27-28. Total round trip is about an hour. Ticket prices vary by age and class of service. For more information visit

Warren County

North Country Festival of Trees at the Queensbury Hotel

The holidays get underway at the Queensbury Hotel on November 25th through the 27th with the North Country Festival of Trees–a festival of elaborately decorated trees, wreaths, centerpieces, stockings, fireplace mantels and gingerbread houses ready for purchase or viewing. Kids can experience the Children’s Wonderland and have their picture taken with Santa in his chalet. There will also be a holiday boutique featuring handmade items by local artisans. Special events during the festival include (both on the 23rd) a Senior Luncheon at 11:30am and a Gala Champagne Reception at 7pm. Proceeds will benefit the Prospect Child and Family Center. Call 518-798-0170 for more information.

Wild Things at the Hyde Collection

The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, will feature a variety of free afternoon activities for all ages on Sunday, December 4th. If you’ve always wanted to write a children’s book, SUNY Adirondack Associate Professors of English Nancy White and Peter Marino will present Life Lessons and Other Nonsense: A discussion of the history and craft of children’s literature for writers and readers of all ages, taking place in the Helen Froehlich Auditorium from 1pm-2pm. At the same time, for children (1pm-2pm) in the Art Studio, there will be a book reading of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, followed by a movie in the Helen Froehlich Auditorium beginning at 2:15pm. For more information, call 518-792-1761 ext 28.

FireworksLite Up the Village in Lake George

Lake George will be celebrating its annual Lite Up the Village celebration, on Sunday, November 27th. Trees in Shepard Park will feature hundreds of red, green, blue and white LED lights, heavily promoted by the village’s go green committee; ‘go green’ is this year’s theme featuring a power-generating bicycle and various other displays. Events kick off at 4pm with Christmas Carols by Cyndie Wade-Wood, followed by a magic show at 4:30pm. Santa Claus (perhaps you’ve heard of him?) will make a scheduled appearance at 5:15pm, followed by fireworks over the lake. Post fireworks festivities will take place at the village firehouse, where Santa will hand out goodies to kids followed by hearty holiday singing. All events are free. For more info call 518-668-5771.

Holiday on the Hudson – Hometown Christmas

Various events will coincide in Lake Luzerne, Hadley and Corinth during Holiday on the Hudson. From December 2nd – 4th, 2011, this holiday tradition is celebrated the first weekend of December as all three towns will be aglow with holiday lights, church choirs, strolling singers, stories of Christmas and Hanukkah, a pet parade, wagon rides, fireworks, crafts, bazaars and a visit with Santa. There will be plenty of shopping, warm refreshments including cookies, hot cocoa, and plenty of goodies just in time for the holidays. Visit for more info.

yuletide gathering, adirondack repertory dance theatreYuletide Gathering – Adirondack Repertory Dance Theatre

It’s time to get in the spirit at the Wood Theater in Glens Falls as this local holiday tradition combines original choreography combining elements of ballet, jazz and hip-hop, including a performance by ARDT students of Clement C. Moore’s The Night Before Christmas. There will be live music by guest artists Jonathan Newell, Gisella Montanez-Case, Elizabeth Huntley, and John Barclay. There will also be a special appearance by a guest artist called Santa, yet I’m not sure what he has planned for the audience. There will be two performances on Saturday, December 3rd at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets are $10-$15. Visit for more information.

Christmas Cantata – Chimes of the Holy Night

Originally composed in 1926 by Fred B. Holton and Herman Von Berge, Chimes of the Holy Night is a legendary Christmas Cantata that features such traditional holiday music as “Jesus, Our Lord,” “Let Us Go Even unto Bethlehem,” and “How Beautiful upon the Mountains.” There will be two performances of the piece, one at St. Sacrament Episcopal Church in Bolton Landing on Saturday, December 3rd at 7pm and the second on Sunday, December 4th at 3pm at the Community United Methodist Church in Chestertown. Lenore Simpson will conduct an ecumenical choir with accompaniement by Robert K. Flachbarth. Both free performances will benefit the Community Share Center. 518-494-3374.

Group Show at Vantage Gallery in Glens Falls

There’s a very interesting group show of local artists at the Vantage Gallery. Through November 27th, you can check out the unique wood furniture of Jason Henderson, the intricate tendril drawings of Russell Serrianne, and the sumptuous wood sculptures of Robert Longhurst. Also on display in the Gallery shop are examples of Senera Kovalosky’s gourd sculptures and the colorful and vibrant landscape paintings of Laura Von Rosk. The Vantage Gallery is located at 176 Glen Street in Glens Falls. Call 518-321-4265 for more information.

Gore Mountain Ski Resort Opens

That’s right, ski season is here. Opening day for Gore Mountain is Friday, December 2nd. Apparently they’ve got a lot of good stuff going on this year, including a Lumberjack Log Jam on December 17th and a Winter Solstice Party on the 21st. Visit for more info.

Lights on Craft Show at the Copperfield Inn

Get in the holiday shopping spirit on December 3rd with a visit to the Copperfield Inn in North Creek, where you can shop for unique, local handmade gifts. If you bring a canned good for the Adirondack Community Outreach Center, you’ll receive a free silent auction ticket. Events are free and will run from 11am-4pm. Call 518-251-4461 for more details.

Holiday in Hague

The Hague Community Center will feature holiday family fun for Holiday in Hague on December 3rd from 10am-3pm, including a parade, a tree decorating contest and lighting. Call 518-543-6161 for more info.

Our Town Theatre Group’s Annual Holiday Celebration

On December 9th, you’ll be able to enjoy a free community soup social, and afterwards watch a performance of The Arts Center’s production of Cinderella. Ticket prices for Cinderella vary and are available by calling The Arts Center directly at 518-352-7715. The soup social starts at 6pm at the Tannery Pond Community Center, followed by the show at 7:30pm. They’re also encouraging donations of a personal care item or nonperishable food item.

Holiday Open House at The Shirt Factory

If you’re looking for those unique finds, you may want to check out the Holiday Open House at The Shirt Factory in Glens Falls. Unique handcrafted gift items and original works of art will be on sale by over 20 artists. The open house runs Saturday, December 10th and Sunday, December 11th from 10am-5pm each day. There will also be demonstrations by the artists, and an opportunity to win a Shopper’s Advantage Basket (worth $500, you’ll be registered for the drawing with every $25 you spend). For more info, visit

Adirondack Ballet Theatre Presents The Nutcracker

And what would the holidays be without The Nutcracker? This favorite holiday ballet will be headed to Glens Falls’ Charles Wood Theater on Saturday, December 10th (2:30pm & 7pm) and Sunday, December 11th (2:30pm). Performing the roles of Nutcracker Prince, Cavalier and Sugar Plum will be guest artists, Jacob Warren and Mina Lawton; both are currently dancing with professional NYC-based ballet companies. All the other roles will be performed by company members. For more info, call 518-798-9663.

Upstate Model Railroaders Holiday Train ShowUpstate Model Railroaders Holiday Train Show

Collector or not, everyone remembers their first train set. The Upstate Model Railroaders Holiday Train Show will be happening at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Sunday, December 11th from 10am to 4pm. Slip back to yesteryear while viewing an abundance of train layouts, and pick up a few train-themed gifts for your kids and collector friends as well. Vendors will be on hand selling trains, model cars, buildings and parts for all scales of train sets. Cost is $5 for adults; kids under 12 get in free. Call 518-423-7519.

Festival of Trees at the Hancock House

If Christmas trees are your thing, you won’t want to miss this one. Four floors of beautifully decorated trees will make up the Hancock House’s Festival of Trees in Ticonderoga. Refreshments will be available as well. The festival takes place on Sunday, December 11th beginning at 1pm. Call 518-585-7868 for more info.

Hamilton County

model trains at indian lake country christmas tourIndian Lake Country Christmas Tour

This year’s theme is “Made in the Adirondacks” which will give visitors an in depth look at the work of 80 plus local and regional artisans and crafters on Friday and Saturday, November 25th and 26th. This is a self-guided tour of the many artisans and crafters, who are showcasing holiday gift items for sale in their homes and at various locations throughout Indian Lake. In addition to the tour, there will also be a Gifts to Give workshop for children, Bob Willemson will host an exciting model train exhibit for enthusiasts, and rare tours will be given of the Prospect Cottages and the Hedges in Blue Mountain Lake. And speaking of Blue Mountain Lake, be sure to check out the Black Friday Sale at the Adirondack Museum’s store from 10am-5pm, also on the 26th. Many unique items will be for sale and there is a 25% discount for Museum members.

The Great Adirondack Snow Dance 2011

It’s time to put on your dancin’ shoes and get in the holiday spirit, as the Great Adirondack Snow Dance gets underway in Speculator on Saturday, December 3rd. Plenty of fun stuff will take place, including a buffet dinner starting at 4:30pm, a Bonfire and Dance starting at 6pm and plenty of live music starting at 7pm. For the kids, there will be plenty of activities, including appearances by Percy Penguin, a balloon man, plenty of hot cocoa and toys and someone named Santa Claus will also be stopping by. For more information, contact the Melody Lodge at 518-548-6562.

This article was cowritten by Dave Bower and Monica Sirignano.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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