Last month I drove down from Montreal to celebrate the holidays at scenic Lake Placid. Since a wonderful destination is worth revisiting a second time with friends and family, here are some of my more family oriented activities in the surrounding towns of Wilmington and Tupper Lake.
Traveling with younger kids? Older relatives ? Want to spend their positive energy on other activities than sports around Lake Placid or on Mount Whiteface? Here are my two recommendations for families seeking discovery and learning activities in the nearby towns of Wilmington and Tupper Lake:
For magical and wondrous times, I highly recommend a couple hours spent at Santa's Workshop: a timeless fantasy village located in North Pole, NY where young and old can revel in the beauty of Christmas all year round!
Santa's Workshop has been a family tradition since 1949. It is home to numerous beloved fairy tale and storybook characters, busy elves, live reindeer and the star of the village: jolly old Santa himself!
My family was pleasantly surprised to see a well stocked ornaments boutique as well as a traditional toy factory, candy store and hat maker where you can actively take a creative part in making your own souvenirs!
For those who believe in the more religious side of Christmas, a simple live retelling of the nativity is re-enacted daily by a dozen costumed staff.
Older visitors can also enjoy various activities such as riding on the merry go round, trying their hand at grooming and feeding a baby reindeer in the stables, tasting old fashioned snacks or seeing a blacksmith in action.
For all those who remain young at heart, there is never any age limit to sit on Santa’s lap - the absolute favorite activity of my 80 year old aunt !
Santa’s Workshop is open year round with special Santa's Character Breakfast days from July to September and a sparkling winter, night village of lights from December 5th to the 22nd.
The village is only a 15 minutes drive from Mount Whiteface.
For more info please visit : http://www.northpoleny.com
324 Whiteface Memorial Highway Wilmington,
The Wild Center - Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks
Boasting 81 acres, this "hidden gem of the Adirondacks” situated at Tupper Lake is a new kind of natural history museum that mixes the indoors and outdoors in innovative ways. It was one of the highlights of our trip to Lake Placid and it was we'll worth the 45 minute drive.
A world-class 'museum' - similar to the Smithsonian, the exhibits were detailed with much of the content being interactive and aimed at both younger and older explorers of nature.
Inside the stunning interior, visitors follow a circular path around the museum that lead them to different exhibit halls featuring realistic waterfalls, trout- filled aquariums and even a live otter glass display. In the center of the hall is an activity room where native animal photography and art is on display and visitors can participate in workshops. In the grand theater, films from engaging field scientists doing research in the Adirondacks showcase the world that surrounds the Museum and play in continuous cycle all day.
For outdoor enthusiasts, several hiking trails are on offer outside the Wild Center. Visitors can request snow shoes during the winter. The learning experience is similar to the inside exhibits, except they are in the heart of the forest, with activities that the trained staff change daily. Our guide enjoyed her job as she was knowledgeable and responsive to our questions. My family of four with a senior aunt loved the Wild Center and the numerous activities on offer. The museum is stroller and wheelchair friendly and we easily spent a few hours at the center with everything the center had to offer.
In a nutshell, the Center boasts various live animals, a wide screen theater, canoes, a river, guided walking tours, tons of cutting-edge green building systems, and new to summer 2015, it will include Wild Walk, a brand new trail across the treetops ---the only treetop walk in the Adirondacks!