Are you visiting the Lake George area this winter? This New York state destination is a perfect spot for families. Learn more in our guide to Lake George in winter.
Lake George in Winter
Lake George in winter is a great place to plan a family vacation because of its relaxed vibe and family friendly attractions.
Although most people plan a summer visit, we planned a weekend to the Lake George region for early December. We were looking for a family getaway that was driving distance from our home in Rochester, NY and we wanted a place we could relax.
The great thing about visiting Lake George is you can keep busy with winter activities like cross country skiing, strolling the village of Lake George or staying cozy in your cabin relaxing.
Where is Lake George
Lake George is located in the Adirondack mountain region. It is about a 4 hour drive from Rochester, NY and New York City. It is a 2 hour drive from Utica and Cooperstown.
Many families spend their weekends in Lake George to enjoy the lake life. Lake George is a great location no matter where you live in New York!
Where to Stay in Lake George in Winter
Lake George is home to many motels along Lake George village, but I prefer a rental for more space for our family of five.
When traveling with a family of five a motel room typically will not fit us, and we end up having to book 2 rooms making it not very budget friendly.
If you are traveling with a small family on a budget a motel room may be a great choice. Check out this list to explore your options.
We stayed at The Lodges at Cresthaven and loved it from the minute we entered! The Lodges at Cresthaven offer family suites that fit up to 6 people. We stayed at The Oak Tree Lodge.
The Oak Tree Lodge is the newest addition to the Lodges at Cresthaven in Lake George. They have a full kitchen, 2 master suites, balcony views of the lake, and a fireplace. They are also equipped with a washer and dryer.
The amenities at the resort include private beach, hot tub, heated indoor/outdoor pool, playground, arcade, basketball court, weekly summer activities, and the Boathouse restaurant on-site. These amenities are offered April-November to guests.
We visited in December and didn’t get access to all of the extras for guests but we did enjoy walking to the beach, playing on the playground, and playing basketball and shuffleboard.
If you plan a winter visit to the Lodges you will also enjoy deeply discounted rates for the resort. They also run winter specials that are worth checking out.
I do wish the heated pool was open year round but we had a great time.
Visiting during the winter months has one really big perk: the resort is quiet! We had the place basically to ourselves and sneaking out on the balcony to watch the sunrise with my hot cup of coffee was one of my favorite memories.
Best Things to Do in Lake George in Winter
Lake George Ice Castles
Lake George Ice Castle is a fairly new seasonal attraction that is in Lake George. It is an awesome activity for the colder months.
Lake George Ice Castles is located at Charles R. Wood Park. Guests visiting the Lake George ice castles will find themselves exploring ice-carved tunnels and breathtaking led-lit sculptures.
It is weather dependent and outdoors.
Lake George Ice Castle typically runs from January-February but can open earlier if the season allows.
Lake George Winter Carnival
Lake George Winter Carnival will be held weekends in February 2023. The festival has a parade on Canada street, outhouse races, and contest throughout the village.
There are also helicopter rides, horse-drawn carriage rides, polar plunges, S’mores on the beach and lots of fun activities. Learn more here.
C + C Adirondack Snowmobile tours will allow you to customize what your tour to what works best for you. They offer different packages and are great for ages 6+.
Ice Bar season starts in February and many local restaurant and bars participate. If you want a parents night out this might be a great addition to your getaway. Learn more here.
Day Trip to The Wild Center
We visited The Wild Center on a different visit but I wanted to include it on this list because it is such an amazing place to visit year round.
During the winter months they have Wild Lights which is a nightly walk through with lights. This is on select dates through January and February. Dates can be found here.
Skiing in and around Lake George
Whether you are looking for downhill skiing or cross-country skiing Lake George has you covered. Gore Mountain offers lessons for skiing and snowboarding as well as on-site restaurants.
Snow Tubing and Sledding in Lake George
Dynamite Hill Recreation Center is a free park that residents and visitors can sled at. The hill is illuminated at night. Be sure to bring your own sleds.
Another option is tubing in West Mountain. Tickets should be purchased in advance. West Mountain provides tubes and a lift up the hill.
Ice Fishing in Lake George
Ice fishing is dependent on if/when the lake freezes. Most of the time it is in the January/February months that there is a frozen lake.
Rod Bender Charters offers ice fishing charters. All equipment is provided. Updates on when the season starts can be found on the website.
Lake George Mystery Spot
Lake George Mystery Spot is located in Lake George village. It is a road-side type attraction located next to the visitors center. When you stand in the center x and talk your words echo back to you. It is a fun thing to try with the kids.
Visit Bolton Landing
Bolton Landing is a community located on Lake George and minutes from the village of Lake George. The Barrel is a family friendly restaurant that offers great dining and activities.
One fun activity is curling! I know my kids would love this and we are going to make sure we visit The Barrel on our next visit to Lake George.
Snowshoeing at Cole’s Woods
Cole’s Woods is located in Glens Falls and offers snowshoeing and trails. There is a lodge and a YMCA as well. This is a non-profit organization that provides up-keep of the Glens Falls trails.
Ice Skating around Lake George
There are indoor and outdoor options for ice skating in Lake George. Be sure to check the website to see if they offer gear and the price to skate.
For outdoor check out Crandall Park or Gurney Lane Recreation Area. Indoor options are Saratoga Springs Ice Rink and Glens Falls Recreation Center.
Winter Weekend in Lake George with Kids
I was a little concerned planning a winter family vacation to Lake George. I didn’t know if there would be Lake George winter activities to keep us busy during our visit.
I knew it was more of a spring/summer/fall destination and was prepared for a lot of the family friendly attractions to be closed for the season.
Most restaurants and shopping were open, but a lot of the Lake George village shops were closed for the season. Keep this in mind when planning a visit to Lake George in the winter.
We ended up having the best time for our first time visit to Lake George.
We enjoyed the quiet walks to the lake, playing outside at the resort playground and basketball courts, and ordering take-out to enjoy by the fire.
Where We Ate in Lake George during a Winter Trip
During the summer Lake George has many places to eat along the lake and in Lake George village. A weekend visit to Lake George in the winter is a little different.
A lot of places close for the winter season. Be sure to check the restaurant website before arriving.
We did manage to find a few places that we enjoyed and stuck to take-out during our visit. We really loved having a kitchen and a place to eat that felt like home.
When we arrived in we visited the local Tops grocery store to stock the fridge with snacks and drinks for our 3 night stay in Lake George.
We also wanted coffee and breakfast for our mornings. For lunch we spent it at the resort because the kids were working on school.
Having a kitchen really helped with meals but we went out for dinner most nights to treat ourselves. Our full winter Lake George weekend itinerary is below.
A few places to eat for families:
- Pizza Jerks
- The Garrison
- The Tiki Motel (Polynesian Dinner Show)
- Capri Pizza
- 163 Tap Room
- The Boathouse (seasonal)
- Adirondack Pub & Brewery (Check hours of operation)
Winter Lake George Weekend Itinerary
We planned this trip in 2020 when social distancing and virtual school was part of our lives. It as an incredible trip and we still talk about how we can’t wait to get back.
Most of the trip was relaxing at the resort. We were looking for a cozy cabin getaway and that is exactly what we got.
When we plan our next trip to Lake George in the winter I will definitely include a visit to the Lake George Ice Castles. They were not open during our visit in 2020.
Day 1: We arrived in the late afternoon at The Lodges at Cresthaven. After getting settled in our lodge we walked down to the beach and explored the resort. Then we ordered pizza from, Rocco’s and relaxed for the night.
Day 2: Our morning started out with virtual school and work. We made lunch at the lodge and went for walks on property. We were among a handful of people staying there so we had the place to ourselves.
After lunch from New Way Lunch, we headed to Saratoga Springs to hike around Saratoga Spa State Park. There are multiple trails with fresh water springs that you can try. These range from great to disgusting depending on which ones you try.
You can tell which ones are good by the people lining up to fill their water jugs. From there we had dinner in the village of Saratoga Springs at Cantina.
For the evening we headed to Ellms Family Farm in Ballston Spa for a Rudolph Outdoor movie event. This was actually further than I expected when I had planned the trip.
It was a fun and unique event. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like they continued this after the 2020 season.
Day 3: For our last full day we did school and work in the morning. Then we headed out to Lake George village to explore. A lot of the stores were closed for the season but we enjoyed being outside and walking around.
We stopped at the Lake George Mystery Spot and just enjoyed the quiet of the village. In the evening we headed back to the resort for dinner(take-out) from The Garrison and a quite night at the resort.
Lake George in the winter exceeded our expectations.
We spent a lot of time by the fire and walking to the small beach at the resort during our winter visit to Lake George. It was a perfect mix of fun activities as well as time to relax.