6 Free and Low-Cost Things to Do Indoors in Lake Placid, New York

The Adirondacks are known for outdoor activities⁠—perhaps you’re planning a trip to hike, bike, ski, or bobsled. Lake Placid’s weather isn’t perfectly predictable, so you can make the most of your trip with a few indoor activities. Here’s how to have fun no matter the temperature or precipitation outside:


  • Learn how Olympians are made at the Olympic Training Center.


Every weekday afternoon the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center offers a free 30-minute behind-the-scenes guided tour telling the stories of the facility and its athletes. Call ahead to make sure the tour is running. Missed today’s tour? The lobby is open during normal business hours so stroll in anytime to browse their collection of Olympic memorabilia. Learn more.


  • Buy a bag of treasures at the thrift store.


At Lake Placid’s thrift store, you can fill a black garbage bag full of thrifted finds and have hours of fun rummaging through the racks and bins of donated items—all for just $8. The store, Helping Hands Thrift Shop, is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10am to 2pm. Learn more.


  • Catch a movie in an old-school theater.


A downtown gem, Palace Theatre shows four films a day, one in each of its four rooms. Not much has changed here since the family that still owns it opened the doors 50+ years ago and tickets are just $7 (cash only). If that’s not a good enough deal, every Thursday night they show a free movie at 7pm. Learn more.


  • Go bowling for some family fun.


Bowlwinkles offers bowling lanes, darts, pool, and arcade games. Their bar and restaurant offers happy hour specials each day from 3pm to 6pm. Alongside the typical burgers, wings, and nachos, they also serve fun items like funnel fries with maple syrup. The going rate for bowling is $4.50 per game, per person and shoe rentals are $2.50 per pair. Learn more.


  • Get lost in history at the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society.


This museum, located in a former train station, tells the story of the people who have lived in and visited Lake Placid through artifacts and intriguing old photographs. Learn how the area was marketed first as a cure for illnesses like tuberculosis, and later as a vacation destination. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday from Memorial Day to mid-October. It’s $5 for adults, $2 for seniors, and free for children. Learn more.


  • See where the Miracle was made.


The scrappy US men’s hockey team beat the Soviet Union team in 1980 when Lake Placid last hosted the Olympics—and you can see the rink where it all went down. Adult admission to the Whiteface Lake Placid Olympic Center is $8. Learn more.

5 Tips for Living Like A Local In Lake Placid, New York

Lake Placid is home to about 2,000 full-time residents, but gets as many as 3 million overnight visitors each year. There’s a lot you may miss out on as someone traveling here for just a weekend or two. We really shouldn’t be telling you this, but shhh, here are the secrets and local favorites that full-time Lake Placid folk have been keeping from you until now.


  • Go Ivy League with your maple syrup.


With the Adirondacks being prime maple syrup producing territory, locals obviously don’t pour the fake corn syrup impersonator on their pancakes. But did you know that Cornell University’s sugar maple research program has an outpost in the nearby Uihlein Maple Research Forest? Their researchers tap sugar maple and birch trees in search of new methods for making maple syrup! You can support the university’s work by buying syrup as a souvenir for yourself at their store located at 157 Bear Cub Lane in Lake Placid. If you’re lucky you might get a free tour, too.


  • Park at the post office.


We really shouldn’t be telling you this. On a busy day in town, when no other parking can be found on Main Street, try parking by the post office. Be sure to follow the posted parking signs so you don’t get a ticket.


  • Shop at the farmer’s market.


Yes, almost every town has a farmer’s market these days. But you can never go wrong with fresh and colorful produce, plus plenty of free samples. Shop at Lake Placid’s farmer’s market for a picnic lunch, and look out for jewelry, lively floral arrangements, and carved wooden bowls. It’s open Wednesdays in the late afternoon from late June through mid-October.


  • Visit the public library’s porch and overlook.


The Lake Placid public library’s location right downtown makes it the perfect place to relax amidst the busy shopping street. Even if you’re not a library member, they often have a handful of books and magazines for free and for sale out front. Best of all, they have windows overlooking Mirror Lake and a small lawn with Adirondack chairs beside the water where you can read peacefully.


  • Wear your hat above your ears.


It may not be the most comfortable or warm, but locals like to wear their winter hats resting somewhere above their ears. Some style gurus say that a hat should rest 1/8 of an inch above your ears. Fashion isn’t always easy, but at least you’ll blend in!

4 Ways to Stay Warm and Cozy During Wintertime in Lake Placid

In between ski runs, toboggan rides, and sled dog tours, you’ll need to warm up during your Lake Placid vacation! Temperatures have reached as low as -114 °F (-81.11 °C) on top of nearby Whiteface Mountain. That weather isn’t typical, but Lake Placid gets nearly 200 days per year where the weather is below freezing! Balance winter sports with time for warming up with these tips.



  • Grab a hot cocoa. We recommend stopping for hot chocolate with marshmallows at least twice per day, to keep the cold away. Get yourself a mug at Emma’s Lake Placid Creamery, Adirondack Chocolates, or Temptations from Lake Placid Gourmet.


  • Visit a brewery. Believe it or not, but the tiny town of Lake Placid is home to multiple breweries! Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, Big Slide Brewery & Public House, and Valcour Brewing Company are among the local establishments offering a variety of beers brewed on-premise. Or just a little way down the road you can find Ray Brook Brewhouse. All are perfect for toasting up your insides.
  • Get in front of a fire.



If you’re staying with us at the Winterberry, you’ll find a fireplace and blankets to warm up with each morning and evening. But while you’re out for the day, you can visit a high-end restaurant like Peak 47 at Whiteface Lodge or Artisans at the Lake Placid Lodge for a majestic fireplace alongside your meal. Or you can try Maggie’s Pub or The Cottage for a crackling fire and slightly more casual den vibe.


  • Get outfitted in the proper winter gear.


If you failed to pack properly or lost your mittens on the mountain, you can find all the warm winter clothing you need in town. It’s amazing what a wicking base layer and wool socks can do for you! Find a list here of nearby retailers selling everything from street clothes to the athletic gear used by the pros.