10 Fun Things to Do this Winter in Lake Placid
Winter Activities in Lake Placid
10 Fun Things to Do this Winter in Lake Placid: Skating, Skiing, Bobsledding, Shows and More!
Lake Placid has always been considered a winter wonderland; and since Melvil Dewey established the Lake Placid Club as a winter resort destination, Lake Placid has been considered a haven for winter activities. Why not enjoy some of the most exciting activities and events this winter season?
Stars on Ice is back in Lake Placid a month later to kick off their special 10-tour engagement throughout the US. Formerly a Thanksgiving weekend tradition, this year the Stars will skate into town during the Holiday Week. With Kurt Browning choreographing and skating and countless Olympic and World medalists performing, this show can’t be missed. The show is December 30th at 7:30pm; tickets are on sale at the Olympic Center box office or at www.starsonice.com.
2. Ski on Whiteface Mountain
No trip to Lake Placid would be complete without a skiing excursion on Whiteface Mountain. Last season Whiteface was open for 138 days and skiers and riders enjoyed 247 inches of natural snowfall. This year, enjoy special pricing on Wednesdays and Sundays. The five Super Sundays are scheduled for Dec. 11; Jan. 1; Feb. 5; March 11 and April 1. During those five selected Sundays, tickets prices to ski and ride Whiteface’s 3,430 feet of vertical will be $35 for adults 20 years and older, $30 for teens and just $25 for juniors. The themes include Historic Sunday (Dec. 11), Island Madness (Jan. 1), Super Football Sunday (Feb. 5), Shamrock Sunday (March 11) and Retro Sunday (April 1). Every non-holiday Wednesday is a Coca-Cola “Why Not Wednesday” at the Olympic mountain. A one-day lift ticket is just $38 when a skier or rider brings a Coca-Cola product. For more info, check out whiteface.com.
Lake Placid’s charming Main Street offers an eclectic and unique arrangement of shopping destinations. Boutiques, unique novelty foods stores, sports memorabilia, restaurants, and more line Main Street, while brand name stores like Gap, Starbucks, Life is Good, and Eastern Mountain Sports are also here. The small-town feel of Lake Placid’s Main Street combined with the array of fine shops make shopping an all day affair. If you need some advice on where to go, don’t miss our list of the Top 10 Coolest Stores in Lake Placid.
4. Go Skating on the Olympic Oval
While New York City has Rockefeller Center, Lake Placid has the Olympic Speed Skating Oval – a 400-meter track that is open daily for public skating in the winter months. For 8 dollars, guests can skate on the same oval where Eric Heiden won his five gold medals in the 1980 Olympics. Skate rentals are available for $3 a pair; for more information, visit lakeplacidskating.com.
If you’re in Lake Placid for New Year’s Eve, come skate at the fourth annual Skate into New Year event from 10:30pm-12:30pm on the Oval New Year’s Eve! Admission is $5, and students get in free with valid student ID. All proceeds go to charity, and nonperishable food items are requested for donation to the food pantry. For more information, visit the Facebook event page or call 518-302-5028.
5. Go Tobogganing
A favorite Lake Placid attraction, the Toboggan chute on the shores of Mirror Lake is open on weekends during the winter. The hours of operation vary depending on the thickness of ice on the lake and other factors that help ensure a safe and fun toboggan experience. Visit www.northelba.org/government/park-district/toboggan-chute.html for more information.
If the toboggan chute isn’t open, there are still options for sledding in Lake Placid! The Craig Wood Golf Course has plenty of hills, and is a safe place to go sledding or snow tubing. If you want a real snow tubing experience, try the Ski Jumps in Lake Placid or the Mt. Pisgah Ski Center in Saranac Lake.
6. Experience Speed Skating
One experience that is very unique to Lake Placid is the “Lake Placid Speed Skating Experience.” For $15 per person (plus $8 admission for entrance to the oval), the intrepid visitor can strap on a comfortable pair of speed skates and receive a tutorial from an experienced local speed skater. Perhaps the most fun is the thrill of skating on the same track as 5-time Olympic Gold Medalist Eric Heiden and watching World level competitors zip around the oval. Visit lakeplacidskates.com for more information, or call 518-302-5028.
7. Take a Tour
One of the most historic Olympic venues, the Olympic Center hosted the skating events for both the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Games, and was the home of the famous “Miracle On Ice” game in which the US Team claimed victory over the Russian Team. But did you know you could take a tour of the facility? The tour guides are extremely knowledgeable, and have experienced the history of Lake Placid firsthand. For more info, call 518-523-1655.
Another wealth of history is obviously the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. Located through the box office doors, the museum is a favorite for visitors of all ages. See props from the Disney movie Miracle about the Miracle on Ice, or see original Olympic artifacts, costumes, and even an extensive collection of Olympic torches! The museum is open 10 am until 5 pm every day; call 518-523-1655 for more details.
9. Try Bobsledding (or Dogsledding)
Ever wanted to try bobsledding? Now you can, at the Olympic Sports Complex. Ride with a professional driver down America’s only dedicated bobsled track. Rates are $65 for adults, $60 for teens, and $55 for students.
If bobsledding isn’t really your thing, why not try a dogsled ride? Thunder Mountain Dog Sled Tours, based out of nearby Vermontville, New York, offer rides on Mirror Lake every day from December to April (weather permitting of course). Price for a 10-minute ride is between $6 and $12, depending on the number of people you’ll put on the sled. To get there, simply walk to the end of Main Street and turn right down the path opposite the High Peaks resort. For more information, call 518-891-6239.
10. Watch Winter Sporting Events
If being a spectator is more your style, come watch winter sporting events in Lake Placid.
Bobsled and skeleton events are always happening at Lake Placid; perhaps the most exciting one this year is the 2012 FIBT Bobsled and Skeleton Championships, where athletes from over 20 countries will be competing at the Olympic Sports Complex. This event will take place February 17-26, 2012. Watch whiteface.com for more information.
On the Mountain, the FIS Eastern Junior Finals will be happening from March 9-13, 2012. The New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSEF) is hosting the Finals, where the best JI and JII racers on the East coast will come to compete. Keep watching whiteface.com for more information.
Come watch speed skating races as they used to be – outdoors! The Lake Placid Ice Marathon is December 17th and 18th, and features a 10k, 25k, and 40k race. If you like watching faster-paced races, the Charles Jewtraw All Around (January 7th and 8th) and the Jack Shea Sprints (January 21st and 22nd) feature shorter distances and faster races. Local and international skaters will be competing. Visit lakeplacidoval.com for ice updates and more information.
–Christie Sausa is a Contributor to The Free George.
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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