Lake Placid - Whiteface Mountain - Veterans Memorial Highway
Family-Friendly Attractions & Events for Summer Fun in Adirondacks New York
June 6, 2014 Destinations

One of our favorite family trips was a circle tour of upstate New York and the Adirondacks and beyond.  We explored Lake Placid’s Olympic Spirit, rode horses at a dude ranch, visited castles on secluded islands, and delved into a cool dark cave.  There was so much for our family to do in the Adirondacks that we couldn’t see it all, and can’t wait to go back.  Continue reading for a sampling of the family-friendly attractions in New York’s Adirondacks.

Lake Placid - Whiteface Mountain - Veterans Memorial Highway

From Visit Adirondacks Press Release

This summer, escape the heat and retreat to the mountains, lakes and family-oriented attractions of the Adirondack Region of Northern New York.  Located just a short four hour drive from downtown Manhattan, the region is easy to get to and offers an array of activities and attractions for all ages to enjoy.

From a new rappelling adventure, to the boom of cannons echoing over Lake Champlain, reclaim your summer vacation and reconnect with your family at one of the region’s top summer attractions, including:

Adventurous Ausable Chasm: Ausable Chasm is one of the oldest and most popular natural attractions in North America, offering on-site rafting, canoeing, rappelling, hiking, mountain biking, camping and lodging.  Explore the cliffs on a unique, guided evening Lantern Tour and descend into the chasm to watch the lights dance along towering rock walls, or rappel, traverse and climb along the chasm’s Adventure Trail.  This unique family adventure starts at just $25 per person.

Ausable Chasm

Adventure Trail at Ausable Chasm, image courtesy Ausable Chasm


Scenic Tours of Lake George: At 32 miles, Lake George is one of the longest lakes in the Adirondacks, offering endless shoreline, lakeside restaurants and scenic boat tours.  Hop aboard one of the Lake George Steamboat Company’s three sailing ships for a cruise around the lake complete with lunch, fireworks and captain stories.  The Mohican Discovery Tour sails the entire length of the lake, offering Captain’s narration, breakfast or lunch, a cocktail bar and incredible views of the surrounding mountains.  Tickets start at $14 for children and $31 for adults.

The Outdoors Come in at The Wild Center: The Wild Center in Tupper Lake is the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, offering innovative exhibits, nature trails and guided group expeditions perfect for families who love exploring and being outside.  Join experts for a guided Owl Prowl or paddle down the Raquette River, shop for fresh veggies and more at the museum’s Thursday Farmers’ Markets, or simply enjoy their living exhibits, which include two very cute, very active otters. Tickets are $10 for children ages 4-14 and $17 for adults.  Click here for a recap of our family’s day at The Wild Center.

Squeaker at The Wild Center

Squeaker at The Wild Center; image courtesy of The Wild Center


History Comes Alive at Fort Ticonderoga: Overlooking Lake Champlain, Fort Ticonderoga offers exciting historical reenactments, summer family programs, ghost tours of the Garrison, outings in the King’s Garden, self-guided scavenger hunts, and so much more.  New exhibits include Founding Fashion, a look at the variety of military clothing worn during the 18th century.  From patriotic celebrations, to daily activities, there’s always something brewing at the Fort.  Admission starts at $8 for children ages 5-12 and $17.50 for adults.

The Adirondack Museum: Tucked away in the center of the Adirondacks, Blue Mountain Lake’s, prized gem offers world-class exhibitions, and is often called “The Smithsonian of the Adirondacks.”  Perfect for a day of exploration, many exhibits are interactive so kids can climb aboard an antique train carriage, fish in a pond from the museum’s boat exhibit, and run wild in the Great Outdoors exhibit featuring hands-on “discovery stations,” try rock climbing, “cook” a meal over a campfire and more.  Admission to The Adirondack Museum starts at $6 for children ages 6-12 and $18 for adults.

Adirondack Museum

“Woods and Waters” exhibit at the Adirondack Museum, image courtesy Adirondack Museum


Adirondack Seaway Waterfall Safari: Take a self-guided hiking tour of the Adirondack Seaway’s multitude of waterfalls starting with Harper Falls on the Grasse River in the Downerville State Forest. Stops include Moody Falls, Stone Valley Falls and Lampson Falls, the last of which spans 100 feet, cascading for 40 feet.

Summer wraps up with the 10th annual Cream Cheese Festival in Lowville on September 20, featuring the Adirondacks Tug Hill Region’s number one export – Philadelphia Cream Cheese.  This free family festival features contests, vendors, live music and all things cream cheese. Home to the world’s largest cream cheese plant, this is one savory festival not to miss.

Lake Placid, New York

Need a place to stay?  The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid is celebrating its 40th anniversary and offering affordable travel deals including:

  • More Bang for Your Bike – By day, cruise along the numerous Adirondack Scenic Byways, taking in the park’s breathtaking mountain and lake views, and by night, head home to your Adirondack basecamp at the Golden Arrow.  For just $79 per night, package includes one night of accommodations and a drink at the Straight Shot Lounge or Roomer’s Night Club next to the resort.
  • Midweek + Weekend Spring Golf – With midweek rates starting at $79 per person, per night and weekend rates at $99, the Golden Arrow’s spring golf packages are some of the most affordable in the Adirondacks.  Both rates include accommodations in the resort’s Deluxe Villageside rooms, 18 holes of golf with cart at your choice of four area courses, and breakfast for a small additional fee.

The Adirondack Region is home to the six-million-acre park offering limitless recreation amid 2,000 miles of hiking trails and 3,000 lakes and ponds.  Part of the largest temperate forest in the world, the Adirondacks are also home to 103 towns and villages offering fun attractions for the entire family.

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