Lake Placid, New York, the quaint Adirondack town with pristine mountain views, and site of the 1980 and 1932 Winter Olympics, can add one more thing to its resume – reinvigorating Christmas shopping. With increased pressure from internet sales, Lake Placid figured out a way to bring people to their town (and stores). It wasn’t that complicated, just make the holidays about more than just shopping. Besides, isn’t that what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown? The Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll is an annual tradition that combines family-friendly activities like ice skating, Santa Claus, live music, food, and drink, with sales, discounts and deals. My daughters and I gave my wife the weekend alone to rest up for the holidays, while we took advantage of the Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll to find some gifties for her. Continue reading for more on our Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll Christmastime adventure.
It was pristine Adirondack winter weather, with a fresh dumping of snow during the week to brighten up the trees, mountainside, and lakeshore, along with clear skies and warmer temps on the weekend for us strollers. We stayed at the historic Mirror Lake Inn, checking in on Friday night after our long drive from Rochester. The family suite in the lakeside cottage was perfect, complete with bunk beds and cozy fireplace. We fortified ourselves with dinner in Taste Bistro, and rested up for the next day’s festivities and shopping. [Look for a full review of the Mirror Lake Inn to come.]
The Holiday Stroll started early Saturday morning as runners and walkers dashed by the cottage for the annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk benefiting Adirondack Health. While I couldn’t convince my teenagers to wake up early to join the activity, we gave the competitors a wave on our way to a hearty Adirondack breakfast. Afterwards, the girls hustled back to the room to primp and preen while I checked out Holiday Story Time. I stood in the back of a full house reminiscing and smiling at the excitement of the children listening to How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
Mirror Lake Inn was just a short walk up to Main Street, and we arrived at the same time as Santa who rolled in on a bright red Lake Placid fire truck. The line of parents and children stretched as far as the eye could see, and while my daughters were far too cool for a picture with Santa, they were more than happy to sample the complimentary cookies and hot chocolate.
The morning quickly disappeared, and we had serious shopping on our minds. We browsed the eclectic collection of stores, to find presents for Mom, and the shops welcomed us with discounts, deals, promotions, and, best of all… snacks. Somehow, we made more visits to the Adirondack Popcorn Company than any other business on Main Street. Things that make you go, hmmmmm, or more like, Mmmmmm?
As the afternoon grew later and energy started to wane, area restaurants set up tasting stations along Main Street to strengthen the troops. There were also gift wrapping stations available for those of us who may be more, shall I say, gift wrap challenged.
In addition to shopping there were crafts for the children, holiday movies at the cinema, Santa, characters (the 1980 Olympic raccoon mascot was spotted), and ice carving demonstrations as well. “Do you want to carve a snowman?”
The evening capped off with a traditional Yule Log Hunt; we gathered ’round the fire to learn the history of the Yule Log before the Yule Master sent us off with a blast of his horn. Capes are THE fashion accessory for Yule Log hunters.
All followed by the lighting of the town Christmas with children’s choral medleys wafting in the air.
With less than two weeks before Christmas, the Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll was a fantastic small-town winter festival, perfect for families. “The stroll is entirely volunteer run and thanks to huge community participation, we’ve grown tremendously since our first event,” said Mary Jane Lawrence, Chair of the Holiday Village Stroll planning committee. Many of the area hotels offer special Holiday Stroll packages for visitors looking to make a weekend getaway, finish up that holiday shopping, and/or rest up and relax for those hectic days before Christmas.
That evening we slept soundly in our Mirror Lake Inn beds after we successfully found gifts for Mom throughout the day. Sunday morning we woke in time for one last holiday event, a breakfast with Santa, ate heartily, and enjoyed the last bit of wonderful Daddy/Daughter time during our Christmastime adventure before heading back home. Kudos to the Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll committee for increasing the spirit of Christmas, and helping our family create a new holiday memory.
DISCLOSURE: Adventures by Daddy was hosted by the Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau and Mirror Lake Inn for the purposes of experiencing the Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll and sharing this recap. However, all opinions expressed are those of the author. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.