Lake George is the Crown Jewel of the Adirondacks, especially in the winter. The fun doesn’t stop when the lake freezes and snow falls. This mountain region embraces the cold season, making it a true winter wonderland you must experience. Not a fan of ice and snow? We have plenty of indoor attractions that will keep you warm and cozy while enjoying one of the best towns in the Adirondacks.
Things to Do in Lake George in the Winter Activities
1. Lake George Winter Carnival
You can visit the Lake George Winter Carnival every weekend starting in February. This event is perfect for all ages, with fun events such as polar plunges, pony rides, ATV races, comfort food tasting, and more! The location of this event is weather dependent as it’s held directly on the frozen water of Lake George. Check the Winter Carnival Facebook page for updates on cancellations or relocations to plan your trip.
2. New Year’s Day Lake George Polar Plunge
One of the most epic Lake George winter traditions is the New Year’s Day Polar Plunge, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Hundreds of people brave this event yearly, jumping into Lake George’s icy waters from Shephard Park Beach. Prepare for your plunge by packing a towel, warm clothes, and a disposable waterproof camera to capture your adventure!
3. Snowmobile Tours
Lake George snowmobile rentals are excellent for adventure seekers exploring the backcountry mountain terrain. C+C Adirondack Snowmobile Tours offers amazing trips out of Chestertown. Rental fees include a sled, a helmet, and a guided 1-2 hour tour of trails maintained by the Northern Warren Trailblazers. Bring warm clothes: boots, gloves, hats, balaclava, neck warmer, and snow pants– snowmobiling in New York State gets chilly!
4. Snow Tubing
Snow tubing in Lake George is a blast! Locals love West Mountain, featuring six lower lanes and four upper lanes for riders to master. Tickets are good for two hours, but you must be 4 years or older to ride. If you’re looking for a less crowded and free tubing option, Dynamite Hill is fantastic, especially for younger riders.
5. Ice Skating on Lake George
When the lake is frozen, Lake Geoge is an ice skating paradise. You’ll be surrounded by mountain beauty, with stunning views along the shore and plenty of places to stop and rest. Ice skating outdoors requires different safety measures than indoor skating, like making sure the ice is thick enough. No skate rentals are available along Lake George; you must bring your own.
6. Ice Castles
The Ice Castles in Lake George is one of the most majestic sites, with caverns, slides, and crawl tunnels to explore. This award-winning attraction was built with hundreds of thousands of hand-placed icicles lit with LED lights, a site you must see to believe. The Lake George ice castle is one of only five locations in the country of its kind! Weekday tickets are $22 and weekend entry is $27.
7. Hot Chocolate Stations
Look out for the Hot Cholocate Stations scattered around Lake George to help you stay warm. These delicious stops are available all season long and are free with the purchase of a Winterfest Wristband. Can’t find a station? The Winterfest map will show you the closest one in your area.
8. Skiing or Snowboarding
Lake George is near some of New York’s most beautiful downhill ski slopes. Gore Mountain is New York’s largest ski resort, about 40 minutes from Lake George. They offer private and group lessons for all ages, on-mountain dining, and tons of shops to browse. West Mountain also has fantastic downhill slopes and classes, with night skiing opportunities!
9. Cross Country Ski Trails
Cross-country skiing in Lake George forces you to slow down and enjoy the winter scenery. These ski trails (which double as some of the best hiking trails in the Adirondacks) are flat and easy to glide on. The Lake George Recreational Center has 4 miles of groomed trails with a trail map to plan your route. If you’re willing to travel a bit, the Adirondack Mountain Club has plenty of trails across the region.
10. Snowshoe Experience
You don’t need any experience or special training in snowshoeing– just the snowshoes! There are a variety of trails in Lake George for snowshoers of different abilities. Natural Stone Bridge and Caves has self-guided tours and rentals with beautiful caves, and Dynamite Hill Recreation has accessible, groomed trails for snowshoers and cross-country skiers.
11. Lite Up the Village
Lite Up the Village is a spectacular show in Shepard Park starting at the end of November. Each winter, residents of the village gather to string up thousands of lights in creative displays to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season. The event is free and offers horse-drawn carriage rides, refreshments, and a firework show over the lake.
12. Ice Fishing
Lake George ice fishing is a lifestyle in the winter, with fishing huts and popups covering the lake. Seasonal fish to catch are lake trout (in deep water), landlocked salmon (in shallow water), and yellow perch (by the islands). For popular fishing spots, you can try Million Dollar Beach, Hearthstone Campground, and Diamond Point. You can also book a guide to help you out.
13. The Great Eight Firework Shows
Every Saturday in January, visitors to Lake George can catch a small firework show in the village. The shows start at 7 pm and last eight minutes. These fireworks are not over the lake, so you can see them best along the sidewalks in the village or the Beach Road Parking lot.
14. Visit the Ice Bars
Ice bars are a fun Lake George tradition unique to snowy regions. These are the best ones in the area:
- Adirondack Pub Brewery: The Grooviest Ice Bar starts at the end of January during the Funky Ice Fest at Adirondack Brewery. They also have ice sculptures, specialty beers, food specials, and many other family-friendly events. Must provide proof of vaccination.
- Glacier Ice Bar and Lounge: This grand ice bar is hosted at the Sagamore at the end of January. They have rentable outdoor igloos, ice carving demonstrations, and bonfires with s’mores. Non-hotel guests can pre-purchase tickets online.
- Fort Williams Ice Bar: Fort Williams Polar Ice Bar is a full-service bar showing off amazing artistic sculptures. They have a fire lounge, warm food, and specialty drinks to enjoy while listening to live music.
- King Neptune’s Ice Lounge: This ice Lounge is a winter-long feature hosted on the lakeside patio of King Neptune’s. They have fun games like ice cornhole, an ice luge, and ice shuffleboard. This event is weather permitting.
- Garrison Ice Bar ★: This is a great ice bar to grab a burger or a sandwich while enjoying a drink. It’s a popular spot to stop during the Lake George Winter Carnival and has incredible lake views.
- Ice Bar at Gaslight ★: For a unique ice bar, the 1920s-themed restaurant Gaslight hosts one every winter with additional features like fire pits, outdoor blankets, a heated patio, and fun ice carvings to browse. You have to try their pizza– it’s amazing!
15. Breweries and Tap Rooms
Some of the best Adirondack breweries and tap rooms are located right in Lake George! 163! Tap Room is a favorite, providing 16 beers on tap and large bottle selections with an on-site restaurant featuring a full menu. The Adirondack Brewery on Canada Street is close to several local shops and has a pub with lunch and dinner menus, food trucks, and a host of fun seasonal events.
16. Axe Throwing
Are you feeling a little risky? Try the axe-throwing experience and learn to throw an axe like a pro! Adirondack Axe in Queensbury is an exciting attraction for couples and small groups. You must be 18 years or older to throw; visitors 13 to 17 must be accompanied by someone 21 or older. You can book a session for open throws or group reservations. They also have knife throwing, a game room, and a paint experience, where you can get really messy being creative. Make sure to wear closed-toe shoes, just in case!
17. Adirondack Winery Tasting Room
You can book a wine tasting at the Adirondack Winery Lake George Tasting Room, located just across the street from Shepard Park in Lake George. The Tasting Room is compact with various delicious local and vintage wines. Booking in advance is recommended to guarantee a spot, as the tasting room can get very busy, especially during the winter. They also host exciting weekly events, such as live music and trivia nights.
18. Painting with Patrice
Painting with Patrice is a super fun two-hour guided paint session for groups of 10 and under held on Thursday evenings in January and February. The price is $20 per session with all materials included and an 8 x 10-inch painting. The painting options are inspired by scenic views of the Lake George region. You must make reservations for this activity at least one week before by calling 518-696-3399), and masks are required.
19. Adirondack Salt Cave
Adirondack Salt Cave is a wellness center in Glens Falls, NY. Here, you can get massages, have a salt cave session, get a facial, and more. Book way ahead of time, because reservations go fast; Esepecially during the high tourism season.
20. Barn of Goats
If you’re looking for a new unique attraction, try the Barn full of Goats experience hosted by Dorothea. It’s $25 per person to visit the barn, listen to a short lecture, and be able to interact with the goats inside their pen! The goats are very friendly, but they like to eat things, so wear your hair up and avoid dangling pieces of clothing and jewelry. Also, there are no bathrooms at the barn, and no outside pets are allowed.
21. Roosevelt Baths and Spa
The Roosevelt Baths & Spa is an exquisite experience just 30 minutes from Lake George in Saratoga Springs, one of our favorite towns in Upstate New York. This historic spot was built in 1935 and has been relaxing patrons for generations. The spa offers fantastic services such as hydrotherapy, massages, and mineral baths using natural spring water from the iconic Saratoga Springs. Note: Masks are still required in this location.
22. Get the Winterfest Wristband for Deals
The Lake George Winterfest Wristband is new to the area and is a must to save money on hotels and restaurants during the winter months. It has special perks like UNLIMITED FREE HOT CHOCOLATE STATIONS, free carriage rides (all season), and one winter sport activity.
- Wristband cost: $30.00- Available for purchase on OCT. 1st
- Must order by Sunday of the upcoming weekend.
Winter Places to Stay in Lake George
- The Lodges at Cresthaven: These luxury lodges are perfect for a Lake George winter getaway, featuring oversized soaking tubs and an indoor pool with lake views. Winter guests can enjoy the Grotto Spa, fitness center, game room, indoor pool, lakeside fireplace, and lounge. $$$
- Friends Lake Inn: This upscale hotel in Chestertown is beautiful and voted one of the best Upstate New York getaways. Favorite amenities include on-site dining, privacy from lake crowds, in-room fireplaces, and jacuzzi tubs.
- The Inn at Erlowest: Guests will love the Victorian-style decor of this inn, with fine cuisine and gorgeous lake views. The rooms are spacious with turn-of-the-century design and include jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces. $$$$★
- Courtyard by Marriott Lake George: This hotel boasts sleek modern decor and clear views of Lake George. They have an indoor pool and are only a five-minute walk from the tons of shopping, dining, and Shepard’s Park. $$$
- Fern Lodge: This hotel is perfect for couples looking for luxurious rooms with fireplaces. There are so many things to do onsite, including games, a sauna, a wine cellar, and an awesome bar. $$$$
Lake George Places to Eat
- Taqueria Paloma: Sitting on the lake on the southern end of Lake George, this place has terrific modern Mexican Cuisine with a breakfast and lunch menu. You can order online for pick up or dine-in. Note: They are closed on Mondays.
- Caldwell House Restaurant: Intimate diners will love this chef-owned restaurant famous for its steaks, seafood, and unique entrees. The restaurant is set in a 1940s log cabin with a large stone fireplace, perfect for winter dining.
- Top of the World Restaurant: This restaurant is located at the Top of the World Golf Resort, with scenic views and American-style dishes. They source their cuisine from local farms and an on-site garden for an authentic farm-to-table experience.
- Bistro LeRoux: Bistro LeRoux is a unique restaurant in Lake George that serves french cuisine and showcases artwork from around the world. Their winter menu and hours differ from summer, so check before you visit.
- 10 McGillis Public House: This public house serves hardy farm-to-table dishes right on the south end of Lake George. You get a 10% discount with a Winterfest wristband!
- The Barrel: a winter seasonal restaurant and pub in downtown Bolton Landing (pictured above).