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Days in the sun swimming, fishing and barbequing are the perfect start to your family's vacation. Afternoons spent visiting a few local sites, going out to eat or having a family adventure are the building blocks of memories and stories recalled years later. So pack up the kids – don’t forget the sunscreen – and journey into your perfect family getaway.
Jump on in! The water's fine.
On a hot summer day, there is nothing like jumping into the crisp waters of an Adirondack Lake. Lake George is one of the clearest lakes in the world. You can see the fish swimming and sunlight dancing off the surface. With beaches all along the shore, it’s easy to pack a bag and enjoy a day of sand castles and splashing. Many local shops and outfitters rent kayaks, canoes, jet skis and boats so you can create your own lake adventure.
How about some good old fashioned fun?
Who doesn’t love a game of Skeeball, Ms. Pac-Man or exchanging those tickets for a lollipop and switch blade comb? There are several arcades in the heart of Lake George Village, each with its own flavor of fun. Playland Arcade is a classic, Fun World Arcade has the latest and greatest and Lake George Lanes & Games is an arcade and bowling alley. Funa’rama Fun Park has a carousel, bumper boats and other kid approved rides and attractions. Try them all or find your favorite. You’re guaranteed to leave with a pocket (or even a bag) full of treats!
Are the kids looking to add a little velocity to their vacation? Head to Queensbury for some paintball, laser tag, go-karts, rock climbing and bumper cars at Adventure Family Fun Center.
Then travel about a mile away to The Fun Spot and try the go-karts, mini-golf, roller skating and laser tag. New in 2017 is the Ninja Challenge course. This American Ninja Warrior-esque attraction is chock full of rings, swings, nets and other obstacles for kids and teenagers to test their endurance!
Want to make a day of it? The Glen Drive-In Theater is right up the road offering the traditional nightly double feature with new-release movies. The prices can’t be beat, they have a full snack bar and two screens. You choose which films you want to see!
It's not a vacation without mini-golf!
It’s time to find out who will win the coveted title of best mini golfer in the family. Will it be dad or the baby of the family? Maybe grandma will sweep in with the win. One thing is certain, when it comes to mini golf, the Lake George Area delivers. There are 10 – count ‘em – 10 mini golf courses to choose from. Two Pirate’s Coves – one in Lake George and one in Queensbury, Adirondack themed mini golf in Lake Luzerne, Gold Rush Adventure at The Fun Spot, Lumberjack Pass near the outlet shops, and Magic Castle, an indoor mini golf course in Lake George Village.
Then there are the three nostalgic courses. Goony Golf with its giant upside down bear also has a haunted house. In Lake George Village, overlooking the water are Around the World and Around the US in 18 holes. Stop at the ice cream shop right next to the courses for post-game treat. No matter where you go in the Lake George Area, you’re bound to see at least one mini golf course. Go ahead – challenge your family to a game!
Turn up the adrenaline.
Welcome to the Adirondacks where flying as high as the mountains around you is actually possible! One of the best ways to get a bird’s eye view of the lake is from the sky. Parasailing adventures in Lake George are second to none. With three companies offering regular trips and room on the boat for the family to wait their turn, this is one heck of a way to experience the Adirondacks.
Eagle Flyer Zipline is perfect for adventurous families looking for a rush! Four lines run side by side carrying riders almost a mile and dropping 50 feet from the top of French Mountain.
Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course in Bolton Landing is the largest aerial ropes course in the US. With courses for various ages and ability levels, this high flying course features zip lines, obstacles, climbing challenges, swings and a real workout. Reservations are your best bet. Adirondack Extreme is very popular and frequently sells out.
Looking for some excitement on Thursday night? Every Thursday in the summer, the sky above the southern basin of Lake George lights up with a fireworks display. The bursts of color are visible from anywhere in Lake George Village but Shepard Park is a popular spot, offering front row seats of the colors each firework reflects in the lake.
Most restaurants in the Lake George Area are family friendly with traditional favorites on the menu. If you’re looking for a memorable experience, try one of the many lakefront restaurants with views of a lake and mountains beyond.
Moose Tooth Grill has an ambiance, menu and prices meant to please every member of the family. Located in the center of Lake George Village, the restaurant is charming with facts about moose (yes, that is the plural form) around the restaurant. Kids leave with moose crowns. Try the homemade sodas and craft beers!
Martha’s Dandee Creme is a longtime favorite and a rite of passage for anyone visiting the Lake George Area. The soft serve ice cream is famous and was even featured on the Rachael Ray and Today shows. Recent renovations to the location aim to please. There is a grill serving delicious food, fountains in the front with dancing water and enough service windows to keep up with the high demand so you won’t be waiting in line for long.
Learn something new!
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you can’t challenge your mind. Up Yonda Farm is a nature preserve for families with interactive exhibits and hikes that introduce your family to wildlife and plants in the Adirondacks. Don’t miss the butterfly garden!
Fort William Henry stands on the southern shores of Lake George and was instrumental in both the French & Indian and Revolutionary Wars. The fort’s museum and grounds give families the opportunity to experience army life in the 1700’s complete with musket and cannon firing demonstrations.
Natural Stone Bridge and Caves combines a true Adirondack experience with an educational theme park. This park features several caves that can be explored by the family and areas for recreation, rock climbing, mining for treasure and digging up fossils. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes – this is an authentic Adirondack trail complete with jutting roots, rocks and some slippery spots.
The City of Glens Falls is home to a real family gem. The World Awareness Children’s Museum houses a huge collection of artifacts from cultures around the world. Each is meant to be handled, worn and explored by children of all ages. Families can learn about world cultures through fashion, food, art, music and play.
A day at the park.
Summer is the season for getting outside and the Lake George Area is full of parks. Bring your bikes and take the family along the 10 mile Warren County Bikeway that runs from the shores of Lake George to the City of Glens Falls.
If you’re looking for a thrill, check out some of the Lake George Area theme parks. For the youngest of your tribe, Magic Forest is the perfect spot. A classic park full of kiddie rides and characters awaits along with some entertaining shows.
If it’s a hot day, head to Water Slide World for some relief. Jammed full of water slides, a wave pool, lazy river, pirate ship and kiddie pools, everyone in your family will be refreshed whether they’re up for the Caribbean Cannonball or prefer to spend their time in the lazy river.
No trip to the Lake George Area is complete without at least one day spent at The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom. This Six Flags Park is actually two theme parks in one. Divided up into different towns and villages, there are shows, rides, games and attractions for all ages. Bring your bathing suits for Splashwater Kingdom, where waterslides and attractions will help cool down that hot afternoon sun.