The best New York Adirondack carnivals, winter festivals & events make it the ideal destination for a New York getaway or for a perfect winter holiday break. Staying in a cabin rental can be a great choice.
The Adirondack region located in Northeastern Upstate New York is a veritable winter wonderland. It has a picturesque landscape, towering high peaks and over 100 charming towns and villages. It is also a culturally vibrant, year-round vacation destination and outdoor sports mecca.
The Adirondack Park encompasses 6 million acres and is visited by more than 7 million people each year. It is also home to the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States.
There are 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks, including high peaks for beginners to the most experienced climbers. There are many great winter hikes with breathtaking views, frozen lakes, and glittering ice crystals.
The Adirondacks are also known for their beautiful lakes. There are so many lakes to visit for winter fun. The best lakes to visit in the Adirondacks include Algonquin Lake, Cranberry Lake, Tupper Lake, Lake George, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid/Mirror Lake.
The beautiful Adirondack North Country beckons visitors with welcoming villages and eclectic small towns brimming with art, dining and four-season recreation. Add in winter skiing and snowmobiling, plus Adirondack winter festivals & events and you have the ideal destination for a New York getaway or a mid-winter holiday break while vacationing in an Adriondack cabin rentals.
Here are a few of the best Adirondack Winter Carnivals, Festivals & Events!
Saranac Lake Winter Carnival
Saranac Lake is acharming, historic area with an artsy vibe. It has been home to the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival since the late 1800s. Now a 10-day annual festival, the winter carnival still has the feel of a warm community celebration, but now boasts a wide variety of sports and performances. It also features two parades and three sets of fireworks.
Visitors of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival enjoy collecting the Winter Carnival buttons. This long-standing tradition became even more popular in 1981 when “Doonesbury” creator Gary Trudeau began designing the buttons. Garry Trudeau is a Saranac Lake native and his designs are a special winter treat.
Winter sports such as ski racing and snowshoeing are predominant in the schedule of events at the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival. You will also find skating races and hockey games to enjoy. Non-traditional winter sports at the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival include “Snowflake Volleyball” played in knee-deep snow, Snowshoe Softball, Ultimate Frisbee, and Broomball.
When you are ready to warm up, you will find several cultural activities at the Carnival. Great things to experience include concerts, theatrical performances, a chocolate festival, movies, and a variety show.
The centerpiece of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is the Ice Palace, built on the shore of Lake Flower’s Pontiac Bay at the state boat launch.
In 2019, the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival kicks off February 1stand continues straight through February 10th. For more information, check out their calendar of events.
Plan your stay in a Saranac Lake rental.
Lake George Winter Carnival
Every weekend in February, you will find locals and tourists alike gathering in Lake George Village for the Lake George Winter Carnival.
There are so many great things to do every Saturday and Sunday at the Lake George Winter Carnival. Spectators and participants love the wide range of activities. If you are a foodie, you might find yourself drawn to the array of cook-offs, such as the popular chili, chowder and chicken wing cook-offs.
Or, if races are more your thing, enjoy unique events like the outhouse races, the 4×4 truck races or the ATV scavenger hunt.
There are also many happenings for families and children including pony rides, horse drawn carriage rides, and the Lake George Dog’s Got Talent Show. There’s lot to do at the beach during the Winter Carnival. You’ll find a hot chocolate bar, s’more making and fireworks every Saturday.
The 2019 Lake George Winter Carnival begins with the opening ceremonies on Canada Street on February 2 and continues every Saturday and Sunday through February 24.
EmpireState Winter Games
The Empire State Winter Games take place across multiple venues around Lake Placid. The games feature over 30 different winter sports. Athletes from all areas of New York State gather to compete in this multi-day competition.
The exciting competitions include men’s and women’s hockey, a variety of ski and snowboarding events, bobsledding, figure skating, speed skating and more.
Opening ceremonies take place January 31st, and the Empire State Winter Games continue through February.
Find the perfect Adirondack Downhill Ski Adventure
If you are looking for some of our more active New York Adirondack Winter Festivals & Events, you may want to spend some time on the amazing ski slopes.
The Adirondack region has lots of choices for downhill skiing and snowboarding from Olympic-level to family friendly. Two of the best places to ski in New York are:
- Whiteface Mountain, locatedjust outside Lake Placid in Wilmington, is also known as the Olympic mountain. Whiteface is home to the greatest vertical drop in the eastern United States at 3,430 feet.Whiteface has 81 trails serviced by eight lifts plus it boastsa complete terrain park with jumps, rails, jibs, and a U.S. Air Bag for tricks with a soft landing. Lake Placid Rental
- Gore Mountain in North Creek provides a family-friendly ski adventure.Gore’s vertical drop is impressive at 2,537 feet. It has 102 trails over 4 peaks, and the longest run is almost four miles. Gore Mountain Rental
There are also many cross-country ski centers in the Adirondack Region.
The Lapland Lake Cross Country Ski Center, located in Benson, has a unique trail system designed by Olavi Hirvonen, former U.S. Olympic skier. The resort offers 50 kilometers of scenic trails, many of them one-way to provide a peaceful experience. In Lake Placid, the Cascade Cross Country Ski Centeroffers 20 kilometers of groomed trails for cross country skiers and snowshoers. The trail system also connects to the Olympic trails at Mt. Van Hoevenberg and the Jack Rabbit trails. In North Creek, you will find the Garnet Hill Outdoor Center. This authentic Nordic trail system provides 55 kilometers of expertly groomed trails. Outdoor activities include XC skiing, snowshoeing, and fat tire biking.
Also, if you need tips for your ski trip, check out our article about how to plan and pack for your next New York ski vacation
Visit Lake Placid, “The Olympic Village”
There isn’t just one reason the Adirondack village of Lake Placid is such a great place to visit. With its Olympic tradition, museums and experiences, as well as a quaint, walkable downtown and array of dining experiences, Lake Placid makes fun a priority all year round.
Lake Placid itself is a little village that gained a big reputation in the 1980s thanks to the Miracle on Ice. Host to the Winter Olympic games in 1932 and 1980 the region offers so many unique and authentic sporting experiences, all in one place.
At the Lake Placid Olympic Center, visitors maytour the Miracle on Ice (Herb Brooks) Arena, visit the Olympic Museum, and skate on the outdoor Olympic Oval
Take a tour of the world-class combined bobsled/luge/skeleton track at the Olympic Sports Complex. Visitors can watch a race or have their own experience – with a trained driver, or without.
Self-guided tours are offered year-round at the Olympic Jumping Complex. Take an elevator to the observation deck of the K-120-meter jump and experience a ski jumper’s view from the top.
When Mirror Lake freezes over, dog sled rides are available on the lake. Mushers set up shop along Main Street where you can meet up with a driver and schedule a ride. Read more about Lake Placid Olympics Museum
More ways to enjoy winter in the Adirondacks Winter Festivals & Events
Visit an IceBar
The Glacier Ice Bar and Lounge, is a popular spot in Lake George. Open for two weekends, January 25-27 and February 1-3, this frozen bar is carved from 18,00 pounds of ice. Enjoy a themed cocktail while relaxing at the ice carved lounge around the bar.
Take a winter hike at Scarface Mountain
Scarface Mountain, located near Saranac in Ray Brook, is a moderate hike for winter hikers. The trail requires a 7.4-mile out and back hike. The summit is peaceful and enclosed with trees. Be sure to check the weather in advance, prepare with appropriate clothing and equipment and follow all precautions.
Enjoy a Toboggan Ride
Rediscover your youth with a toboggan ride on a 30-foot high converted ski jump trestle. Located on Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, toboggan riders of all ages can take a thrilling ride down the ice-covered chute onto the frozen lake.
The Adirondacks offer over 750 miles of free snowmobile trails. Explore everything from back country trails to guided adventures and perfectly groomed trails. Many of the trail systems are interconnected so the possibilities are limitless.
Try ice fishing for free
The New York State Department of Environment Conservation free fishing days program encourages New York state residents and non-residents to try fishing by waiving license requirements on Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18.
So, there you have it, these are best of the Adirondack Winter Carnival, Festivals & Events to make your stay here the best winter experience possible!
Quality New York Vacation Rentals
If you’re visiting Lake Placid, or anywhere in New York, New York Rental by Owner has the perfect rental property for you and your family. Whether you’re traveling alone, as a couple, or part of a large group, we offer only the highest-quality properties to make your vacation one to remember.
Have a property in New York you’re looking to make some extra money on? We’re always looking for great new places to recommend to our guests. Contact us for more information!