LAKE PLACID – Temperatures have dropped; snowstorms have already hit; snow guns are producing more white gold. This has been one of the snowiest Novembers on record. Whiteface Mountain and Mount Van Hoevenberg opened early. It can only mean one thing: Lake Placid for the holidays!
It’s now just after Thanksgiving and the 300,000 lights across the sprawling seven acres comprising the AAA Four Diamond Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa are creating a one- month celebration of that most wonderful time of the year.
Past visitors will attest: the holiday season in Lake Placid and our resort property go well beyond the week between Christmas and New Years. We know this is a special time of the year, so why not expand it?
While the exterior lights trumpet the holidays, by early December the Inn’s common areas inside the resort, adorned with Christmas trees, poinsettia, balls and boughs, provide an appropriate ambiance for those enjoying a holiday beverage, cookies or a quiet conversation.
Our actual kick-off for the holidays is Lake Placid’s premiere social event, the 32nd anniversary of Joy to the Children, on Thursday, December 6. Held in collaboration with the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Joy to the Children is an annual fundraiser at the Mirror Lake Inn, supporting the mission of raising needed funds for children’s programs at our local arts center. All proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction benefit this cause.
Hosted by the Weibrecht family, attendees enjoy extraordinary food, drink and service, compliments of the Inn’s staff, in this season of giving.
On this evening, Ed and Lisa 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.
Holiday video: https://vimeo.com/192494025
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 10th annual event, held village-wide, takes place December 7-9.
Friday features an ice-skating party in the Olympic Center, live music and The Cottage Café’s Ugly Sweater Party.
On Saturday, you can participate in the Jingle Bell Walk/Run, bring the kids to the Mirror Lake Inn for holiday story time, view the Christmas tree lighting in Mid’s Park on Main Street, and participate in the soup, chili and chowder tasting party.
Sunday begins with breakfast with Santa at the Mirror Lake Inn, the movie The Polar Express at the Palace Theater, special Holiday Village Stroll offers for skiers and riders at Whiteface Mountain, and the Skating Club of Lake Placid’s holiday show.
Visitors in Lake Placid for the holidays should make room for a Main Street stroll where many unique shops will have those perfect holiday gifts.
As all of this is unfolding, winter sports on snow and ice come alive for the season as temperatures fall and snow totals rise. Andrew Weibrecht, son of Mirror Lake Inn owners Ed and Lisa Weibrecht, will ski this winter with hotel guests (surcharge). Prior to his retirement last spring, Andrew won Olympic silver (2014) and bronze (2010) medals, and will be inducted into the U.S. Skiing Hall of Fame in April. Andrew will ski a half day, until 12 noon, with our guests. You may get more information on skiing with Andrew by checking the hotel website, or call reservations at 518-523-2544.
Lake Placid for the holidays will also include World Cup luge racing. This year’s competition features many competitors from last year’s Winter Olympics including local star Chris Mazdzer. They hit the Lake Placid track December 15-16.
Whiteface Mountain, which opened in mid-November, adds terrain 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 are all 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 tamer, lace up your skates and take a few laps on the 1980 Olympic Oval on Main Street, about a mile from the hotel. This is where Eric Heiden won five gold medals in 1980. Night skating, before or after dinner, is the best!
Along the same lines, and at the same venue, public bobsled, luge and skeleton rides will be offered between Christmas and New Year’s. Get the experience on the final seven curves of the track where the world’s fastest athletes compete.
The holidays are a special time at the Mirror Lake Inn, honored with the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award as the number one resort in New York State and number two in the entire mid-Atlantic region. Furthermore, browsers on TripAdvisor continue to rank the property as the best in Lake Placid.
After Christmas Eve dinner in The View Restaurant, Lake Placid’s only AAA Four Diamond rated dining establishment, the booklets are handed out and one hour of caroling takes place from 9-10 PM. Executive Housekeeper Steve Wyle (guitar) and former Lake Placid Police Chief Mike Saulpaugh (piano) lead the traditional holiday songs as guests join from the dining room, and visitors arrive from the village. The hour includes homemade cookies and eggnog.
“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 for the holidays.”
Now you are in the mood for the season. But we’re not done yet. Lake Placid for the holidays offers more events and activities until the end of the year and beyond.
On December 29, the action will be well over everyone’s head – it’s the annual New Year’s Ski Jump under the lights, followed by a fireworks display.
Lake Placid for the holidays continues with a long-time tradition on December 30. Scott Hamilton’s Stars on Ice, featuring Olympic medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White, along with Mirai Nagasu returns to the Olympic Center.
World Cup freestyle skiing, another yearly event, brings the sport’s best moguls and aerial skiers to Lake Placid January 18-19 at Whiteface Mountain and the Olympic Jumping Complex.
As we said at the top, Lake Placid for the holidays 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.