Published on: November 8, 2022

December to remember in Upstate New York

Lake Placid – If Thanksgiving officially opens the winter season in Upstate New York, then December in Lake Placid means that all systems are go for a consistent four to five months of great fun on snow and ice.

Of course, Christmas week is the highlight of the month for the families that spend the holidays in the Adirondacks. That certainly is the case here at the Mirror Lake Inn, which is adorned with some 300,000 lights, creating a set worthy of a Hallmark movie.

“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.”

Santa has big plans for the Lake Placid area in December

Join our village for the Holiday Village Stroll December 9-11. This is the perfect way to get in the spirit of the season, topped off by Santa’s arrival and the tree-lighting ceremony in Mid’s Park. The kids will love the scavenger hunt, everyone will benefit from the shopping specials and a commemorative ornament will be made available. It’s a packed three-day schedule.

tree lighting ceremony
The lighting of the tree is part of the annual Holiday Village Stroll

No holiday season in Upstate New York is complete without a trip to the North Pole to visit Santa’s Workshop. Our North Pole is nearby, just above Wilmington, N.Y. and merely a few miles from Whiteface Mountain. Santa will be available to meet the kids on weekends from Nov. 12 – Dec. 18, as well as Nov. 25. Hours of operation are from 10 AM to 3:30 PM.

Winter is our friend – snow edition

Skiers should consider taking advantage of the Mirror Lake Inn Ski Shop. You can leave your equipment at home and rent from our all-star consultants and technicians. Olympic silver and bronze medalist Andrew Weibrecht and brother Ethan, a former ski racer himself, man the operation and can guide you into the perfect setup of top-of-the-line Head and Blizzard gear.

Skis in the Mirror Lake Inn Ski Shop
Andrew and Ethan will professionally handle your ski equipment needs

Andrew is available to ski exclusively with guests of the Mirror Lake Inn at nearby Whiteface Mountain. For a half day or a full day, he will tour skiers around the same mountain where he learned his craft and carried those skills to a 16-year career and three Olympic appearances for the United States. Andrew is also a member of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum. Check the Inn’s website for details and costs for our exclusive Ski With Andrew offering.

Incidentally, Whiteface Mountain has continued its snowmaking and lift improvements in recent years. For beginners, it features Bear Den, a self-contained mini ski area with all the benefits and infrastructure of the main mountain. Connecting to the primary ski center from Bear Den is easy peasy, done via lift, ski trails and internal bus service. Take your pick.

If Nordic skiing appeals to you, there is no shortage of cross-country ski terrain just minutes from the hotel. Our sister property – Whiteface Club and Resort – turns its championship golf course into a cross-country ski center, while the golf pro shop becomes a Nordic operation. The Whiteface Club is less than three miles from the Mirror Lake Inn.

You can also find cross-country skiing and snow shoeing at the 1980 Olympic site at Mount Van Hoevenberg, Cascade Ski Touring Center, as well as the Craig Wood Golf Course and Lake Placid Club golf courses.

For those interested in truly serious Nordic ski touring, the famous Jack Rabbit Trail links some 31 miles of easy, popular terrain between Keene, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Paul Smith’s College.

Winter is our friend – ice edition

On our property, we need just a little cooperation from weather forecasters to get our tennis court converted to a skating rink, so please bring your skates for your stay with us.

While December might be too soon to safely introduce activities on Mirror Lake, Lake Placid will offer ice skating on its modernized Olympic skating oval on Main Street, about a mile from the Inn.

The 400-meter track offers daytime and evening skating sessions on the same oval where Eric Heiden performed his own miracle on ice by winning five Olympic gold medals in 1980. It’s the perfect place for meeting friends and socializing, working up a dinner appetite, digesting a big supper or just stretching the legs with some good exercise.

If you need to pick up the pace on a sheet of ice, let’s consider the half-mile bobsled ride at the Olympic Sports Complex. You’ll hop in a sled with a certified driver and brakeman and bank your way over the final 10 turns of this course that has been the site of many World Cup and World Championship races. Bobsledding is known as the Champagne of Thrills. We’ll drink to that!

Four children in a bobsled.
Lake Placid offers bobsled rides to the public

You can also see fastest athletes on the same track, from the very top, when World Cup bobsled and skeleton racing returns to the Olympic Sports Complex. See past and future Olympic medal winners tackle the Mount Van Hoevenberg course from Dec. 16-18.

December will bring us youth hockey action at the Olympic Center, next to the skating oval. The sixth annual Miracle Holiday Classic Mite Jamboree will be held on Saturday, December 10, while the eighth annual Miracle Holiday Classic takes place December 16-18.  

When you are organizing your fun-filled days around Lake Placid, here are some considerations to work into your schedule:

–Breakfast is a must, especially in winter. These adventures should start with a hearty breakfast. The AAA Four Diamond The View Restaurant at the Mirror Lake Inn, renowned for its farm-to-table Adirondack dinner fare, is every bit as impressive at the start of the day. You’ll realize this after just one morning. As recent social media influencer Cameron Coscia posted, “the breakfast burrito is the best I’ve ever had.”

–Dine in a heated Whiteface Mountain gondola cabin without leaving the ground. The Cottage Café, overlooking Mirror Lake, offers two such cabins for lunch and dinner. They are positioned on The Cottage’s deck and are available for walk-ups on a first come, first served basis, or ask the staff about renting one. On the chilliest days, step inside, remove your coat and dine at room temperature.

2 gondola cabins for dining
Heated gondola cabins for dining at the Cottage Cafe

–Relax in our world-class European spa, complete with pool, Adirondack sauna, and jacuzzi. Also, check the spa’s menu for the massage that’s just right for you and then book at their reception. You might also consider a manicure, pedicure or a workout in our fitness center overlooking the Adirondack High Peaks.

–One of the newest experiences we offer at this time of year enables visitors to enjoy their favorite beverage in the evening while seated around a fire pit.

As you can see, the holidays here extend 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.