Dispatches from The Inn

The holidays begin early at Mirror Lake Inn

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and 300,000 lights across the seven acres comprising the AAA Four Diamond Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa create a one month celebration of the most blessed time of the year.

Past visitors will attest: the holidays in Lake Placid and our property go well beyond the week between Christmas and New Years. We know this is a special time of the year, so we’ve expanded it.

While the exterior lights trumpet this holy season, by early December the inn’s common areas inside the resort, adorned in Christmas trees, poinsettia, balls and boughs, provide a similar ambiance for those enjoying the holidays with a beverage, cookies or some quiet conversation.

The kick-off is Lake Placid’s premiere social event, the 29th annual Joy to the Children, on Thursday, December 10. Held in collaboration with the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Joy to the Children is an annual fundraiser at the Mirror Lake Inn, hosted by owners Ed and Lisa Weibrecht, who provide extraordinary food, drink and service at no charge in this season of giving. The event’s mission is to raise needed funds for children’s programs at our local arts center. All proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction benefit this cause.

On this evening, the Weibrechts open their resort to over 500 gala attendees, who range from local and regional officials, to members of the Lake Placid athletic and tourism worlds, to business leaders in the community.

All facets of life here and in the surrounding region intersect once a year at Joy to the Children to welcome the holidays.

Mirror Lake Inn staff restores the property within a matter of hours, just in time to welcome visitors and residents for the Holiday Village Stroll. The seventh annual event, held village-wide, takes place December 11-13.

Friday features an ice skating party and live music; On Saturday, you can participate in the Jingle Bell Walk/Run, bring the kids to the Mirror Lake Inn for holiday story time and view the Christmas tree lighting in Mid’s Park on Main Street; Sunday begins with breakfast with Santa at the Mirror Lake Inn, the movie The Polar Express at the Palace Theater, and a holiday skating show at the Olympic Center.

If any Mirror Lake Inn families would like a special visit from Santa, just make that request known in advance. For a nominal charge, it can be arranged.

As all of this is unfolding, winter sports on snow and ice comes alive for the season as temperatures fall and snow totals rise.

Whiteface Mountain, which opened on Thanksgiving Day, adds trails in December on a daily basis for skiing and riding. The Olympic network of cross country trails at Mount Van Hoevenberg, the Whiteface Club Golf Course and the Cascade Ski Touring Center all come online at this time with Nordic skiing and snow shoeing.

On the ice at the Olympic Sports Complex, the thrilling half-mile bobsled ride, with a professional driver, is offered. Or for an experience that’s a bit more tame, lace up your skates and take a few laps on the 1980 Olympic oval on Main Street, about a mile from the hotel.

It all adds to the spirit of the holidays, but none more so than Christmas Eve, which is a special time at the Mirror Lake Inn. After dinner in The View Restaurant, also Four Diamond rated, the booklets are handed out and one hour of caroling takes place from 9-10 PM, led by Restaurant Manager Katie Welch (vocals), Housekeeping Manager Steve Wyle (guitar) and former Lake Placid Police Chief Mike Saulpaugh (piano).

“The atmosphere we create here reminds me of the popular holiday song, ‘Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go’,” says Mirror Lake Inn owner Ed Weibrecht. “It’s that sense of family and being at home with your loved ones that our staff delivers to each guest. We’re glad people decide to spend this time of the year with us. So it’s important that we give them the environment and warmth of being home.”

Now you are in the mood for the holidays. But we’re not done yet as events and activities abound until the end of the year and well beyond.

Watch high fliers from the world of ski jumping in a pair of meets in Lake Placid on December 28-29.

That’s followed by “From the Heart” on December 30 in the Olympic Center. This is a professional ice skating production, which headlines greats from the past and present, such as Ekaterina Gordeeva, Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Ilia Kulik and many others.

As we said at the top, the holidays here extend well beyond one traditional week. We hope you can experience some of these events and activities with us, making this a joyous and blessed season for you and your family.

The staff at grandmother’s house awaits.

New hiking trails in the Adirondacks


Bar none, hiking is the top recreational activity in the Adirondacks. Around the Lake Placid area, there is no shortage and the routes have become uber popular. All you have to do is take a drive out of Lake Placid on Route 73 on a weekend – any time of year – and you will see for yourself.

But in recent years, more hiking has been added to the menu, with access points just a few minutes by car from the middle of the village.

Keep Reading