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Looking for things to do in Lake George, NY? This gorgeous lake in New York State’s Adirondack region is the perfect vacation destination. Whether you want to relax and chill or find new adventures, there’s something here for everyone.
I received free admission to some attractions in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.
One of the things I love most about a Lake George vacation is that there are so many things to do! Having spent all my childhood summers here with my grandparents, we were always taking boat tours, visiting historic forts and more. Now I’m carrying on the tradition and sharing these experiences with my own family.
One visit and I know you’ll love it as much as we do! If you’re planning your next family vacation here, these are just a few of the awesome activities you’ll find around the lake.
Things To Do In Lake George
- Fort Ticonderoga
- Star Trek Original Series Set Tour
- Bolton Landing
- Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course
- Up Yonda Farm
- Horseback Riding
- Lake George Village
- Steamboat Cruise
- Fort William Henry Museum
- Adirondack Winery
- Mini Golf
- Million Dollar Beach
- Water Sports
- Hiking Trails/Prospect Mountain
- The Great Escape
- Lazy River Tubing
- Natural Stone Bridge And Caves
Located at the northern tip of Lake George, Fort Ticonderoga is the perfect place to give your kids a history lesson and have some fun at the same time. Situated between northern Lake George and the southern end of Lake Champlain, the fort played an important part in the Revolutionary War.
The fort is steeped in history and as authentic as you can get without a time machine! When you visit the living history exhibits, the shoemaker isn’t just demonstrating how shoes were made back in the 1700s. He making actual shoes in real time. These shoes are then worn by the soldiers and everyone else working at the fort.
The tailors? They’re making the uniforms, one piece at a time! Every person that you see in Revolutionary War attire is wearing clothing that were made on site.
Speaking of time, the year that’s being represented also changes regularly. This summer’s costumes and exhibits reflect life in the year 1774. However, visit next summer they’ll be sharing what life was like at the fort in 1759.
Exhibits include everything from art and dioramas to uniforms and weapons. There were plenty of hands on activities for the kids too. My 9 year old loved the scavenger hunt and both girls had a blast try to lift an old cannon (it’s heavier than it looks).
Kid will love the musket demonstration, where the soldiers show how they load and fire their weapons.
Just be sure to plug your ears!
If you want to learn even more about the fort, you can join one of their special tours. These include:
- Ticonderoga Guns By Night: This 90 minute tour includes a dramatic nighttime demonstration of weapons. It’s a great tour for history buffs who want to learn more about how they were used during the French And Indian War to attack and defend the fort.
- The Gossip Tour Of Fort Ticonderoga: This adults-only tour includes all the drama! From scandals and hijinks to unsolved crimes and stolen wives, you’ll want to leave the kids at home for this one.
- Beneath Fortress Walls: Take a guided tour under the fort walls to learn more about the history of the building and re-building of the fort.
- Cannon And Coffee Tour: This early bird program for those of you who like to start the day early! Tour the museums artillery collection and learn what it tells us about the history, technology and even art of the day. Coffee included!
- Boat Cruises: When you’re done touring the fort, hop on a boat for a cruise up Lake Champlain. This 75 minute scenic cruise includes beautiful vistas of New York’s Adirondacks as well as Vermont’s green mountains. Along the way, you’ll learn about Lake Champlain’s maritime and military heritage and see underwater shipwrecks using sonar readings. Beer, wine, soft drinks, water and snacks are available for purchase on board
Fort Ticonderoga is open from May-October every year.
Star Trek Original Series Set Tour
After you travel back in time at Fort Ticonderoga, you can take a trip to the future! Not far from Fort Ticonderoga, you can experience the final frontier with a Star Trek Original Series Set Tour.
Star Trek fans will love being able to walk through exact replicas of the sets from the 1960’s television sci-fi series. While the original sets were dismantled and mostly destroyed, that didn’t stop Trekkie James Cawley. He used the original blueprints from the show to rebuild these sets just as they looked during filming.
Plan your trip just right, you may even run into William Shatner. He’s been known to make special appearances from time to time.
You may also want to catch Trekonderoga, an annual fan favorite event. The 2021 event is scheduled for September 24-26 and includes a special guest appearance by George Takei, who starred as Lieutenant Sulu in the series and several Star Trek movies as well.
If you enjoy wandering through charming towns filled with quaint shops, galleries and restaurants, you’ll love the small town vibe of Bolton Landing.
You’ll find shops filled with antiques, crafts and even Christmas decor. When you get hungry, stop into Bolton Beans and have lunch in an old train car.
Bolton Landing is also home to the Sagamore Resort, the gorgeous lakeside hotel that also happens to be where my husband proposed to me! There’s no better place to stay on Lake George if you really want to treat yourself.
You don’t have to stay overnight to enjoy the Sagamore though. Drop in and dine at one of their award winning restaurants for a delicious lunch or dinner with a view.
If your family is into outdoor adventure, Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course should be at the top of your to-do list. I’ve done zipline courses from Sarasota, Florida to Costa Rica and this one is one of my all time favorites.
There are a variety of courses to choose from and you can upgrade for more extreme experiences. You’ll get the best of both worlds with the 3+ hour Treetop & Zipline Adventure Combo. For $58, it includes the first two adventure courses as well as the new Low Rider Zip Tour.
The scenic views that come with this aerial adventure course are part of what makes this course so amazing! We had the best time ziplining through the trees and over the babbling brooks. By the time we were finished, my girls were experts at navigating the swaying bridges high above the ground.
The courses offer 25+ obstacles that can be moderated in difficulty. The Low Rider Zip Tour is an introductory zipline course that’s perfect for both beginners and seasoned obstacle course adrenaline junkies!
Though it may seem dangerous, the course has a reliable safety system in place. The Clic It Smart Belay System is designed to ensure that you are clipped safely to the lines at all times. There’s also a 1/2 hour safety training where you’ll get to practice on the ground first.
NOTE: I don’t recommend this for anyone with a fear of heights.
Up Yonda Farm
Up Yonda Farm, in Bolton Landing, is an environmental nature center that all ages can enjoy. Families can explore the butterfly garden, go for a hike on 3+ miles of nature trails and learn more about Adirondack animals and more in the interactive museum.
Little ones can learn about the life cycles of butterflies, see how maple syrup is made or even get up close and personal with turtles and snakes. They’ll also love the treasure hunt, where they’ll need to search for five hidden geochaches which can then be turned in for prizes.
Finally, you can finish up the afternoon with a scenic picnic lunch by the lake.
Saddle Up Stables
What’s better than a family horseback ride? How about horseback riding with a lake view!
There are quite a few locations where you can ride, including Saddle Up Stables. Located between Bolton Landing and Lake George Village, it was voted “Best Of Lake George” for horseback riding in 2021.
Take one of their guided trail rides and you’ll get beautiful views of the lake and possibly deer and other wildlife too. Riders must be seven years or older but pony rides are available for the younger kids.
Check out this list of ranches for more riding options around the lake.
Lake George Village
No trip to the lake is complete without a visiting Lake George Village. Located at the southern end of Lake George, this fun spot is where all the action is.
You’ll want to plan to spend the day because there’s so much to do here. Take a boat tour, explore a historic fort or wander through the House Of Frankenstein Wax Museum!
We had a great time just browsing the shops. There are shops selling crafts, souvenirs, clothing and even a Christmas shop.
There are multiple arcades and a small amusement park for the kids.
Shepard Park has a playground for the kids as well as an amphitheater where there are free concerts throughout the summer. We thought it was the perfect place to relax while we enjoyed our ice cream cones.
If you’re into fishing, grab your rod and reel and head to the public dock. Otherwise, just take a leisurely stroll down by the water instead.
There’s so much to see in Lake George Village you may just want to book a hotel and stay a few extra days.
Lake George Steamboat Tours
There’s no better way to the lake than from a boat and the Lake George Steamboat Company has lots of cool options. Located in the Lake George Village, you can choose lunch and dinner cruises, a cruise with a champagne brunch or even a Rockin’ Music Cruise with live music. Kids can set their inner pirate free on the pirate cruise, complete with loot filled goodie bags!
We took the one hour Minnie Ha Ha cruise. This authentic steamboat, complete with paddle wheel, is one of my favorite ways to tour the lake.
We spent half our time pointing out which lake houses we’d buy when we win the lottery! This was my top choice…what do you think?
The girls had fun checking out the engine room to see what happens behind the scenes.
Towards the end of the cruise, you’ll be treated to a song from the steam calliope. If you’ve never heard a steamboat playing a duet with its own echo, you’ve totally been missing out. Listen closely and you’ll hear the echo.
While our tour was only an hour, there are longer tours available. There’s even a six hour tour that takes you the length of the entire lake. Each cruise offers snacks and drinks (cocktails too) at what I thought were very reasonable prices. So sit back, grab a drink and enjoy!
Fort William Henry
While you’re touring Lake George Village, you may also want to check out Fort William Henry. Built in 1755, this British fort played a pivotal part in the French and Indian War.
While you’re learning the history of the fort, the kids may be invited to “join” the king’s army. They’ll be assigned a musket, a uniform and a certificate showing that they’ve enlisted. At the end of their “service”, they even receive a coin as payment.
Walk through the various museum exhibits, then watch live demonstrations of soldiers firing muskets and cannons.
You can also get a glimpse of what the soldiers must have seen as they defended the fort.
The fort is open from May-October every year and if you time your trip just right, you may even catch a live re-enactment of the Battle Of Lake George. The Fort William Henry Hotel is close by as well, if you’re looking for a place to stay.
Wine lovers will want to stop into the Adirondack Winery for a wine tasting.
Opened in 2008, this popular winery was one of the first micro-wineries in the country. Though they started small, they now have thousands of visitors a year and are popular with both the locals and tourists.
Here you’ll find a variety of locally-handcrafted and award-winning wines. Enjoy a glass while you take in the beauty of Lake George and the Adirondacks.
Have the kids in tow? No problem! Children and strollers are welcome and there’s even a small kids corner so they can play while you sample.
Walk-ins are welcome but availability is limited so reservations are strongly encouraged.
There aren’t many activities more family friendly than mini golf (or as my family calls it, putt-putt). Goony Golf and the Around The World Golf Course are two of the more popular locations in Lake George Village.
Goony Golf is both whimsical and wacky, with silly animals, elves and even a T-rex.
The Around The World miniature golf course is filled with replicas of famous landmarks, so you can travel the world as you play.
Other courses include Lumberjack Pass and Pirate’s Cove so choose your favorite and have a little putt-putt fun!
Million Dollar Beach
If your family prefers to spend the day relaxing lakeside, you want to hit Million Dollar Beach in Lake George Village. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, this is the biggest and most popular beach on the lake.
There are lifeguards, picnic tables (with grills) as well as a boat launch and boat inspection area. It’s a great place to chill for the day and just enjoy a little lake life R&R!
Note: Pets are not allowed so just keep that in mind if you’ve brought your furry friend on vacay with you.
Water Sports & Activities
The beach is nice but one of the best things about a trip to the lake is playing IN the water! Luckily there are no shortage of water sports and activities around Lake George.
Choose from jet skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing and more. You can even go parasailing and enjoy beautiful views from high above the lake.
For a more laid back day, rent a boat and have a picnic on one of the many islands. You’ll find plenty of boat rentals available on the Visit Lake George page.
If you’re looking for more outdoor activities with the family, you don’t have to go far to find them. Hiking is another popular activity around the lake and there are no shortage of scenic trails.
These hikes are the perfect way to admire the natural beauty of Adirondack mountains up close.
Located just behind Lake George Village, Prospect Mountain is one of the top destination in the area for hiking. You’ll follow a marked trail for about three miles round trip and get some great views of the lake along the way.
The hike takes you through forests, past waterfalls and over streams. You may even run across the old cable incline railway, once the longest Cable Incline Railway in the world.
Once you reach the top, you’re rewarded with spectacular views of Lake George and Vermont.
NOTE: This hiking trail is not recommended for younger children because of the steep grade in some areas. However, you can still drive to the top to enjoy the panoramic views.
The Great Escape
We love theme parks and The Great Escape theme park is a fun destination for the whole family. Originally build as Storytown USA, it was one of my favorite places as a child. Back in the day, it had a Mother Goose storybook theme and was geared towards smaller children. Things have definitely changed a lot since then!
The name was eventually changed to The Great Escape and in the 90’s, the park was bought by Six Flags. Today you’ll find everything from kiddie rides to thrill rides and even a waterpark.
The lodge is open year-round and features an indoor waterpark as well. Howver, the theme park is closed during the winter months so you’ll want to plan accordingly.
Lazy River Tubing
While it’s not on Lake George, Tubby Tubes River Co. is located just five minutes from Lake George Village on the lower Hudson River. Here you can hop in an inner tube and take a lazy, two hour guided trip down the river.
Life doesn’t get much more relaxing than this and it’s the perfect way to enjoy the Adirondacks! Upgrade to get a tube with a backrest or one to carry your cooler (alcohol is allowed as long as it’s not in glass bottles).
Natural Stone Bridge And Caves
Located about 30 minutes from Lake George Village, the Natural Stone Bridge And Caves feature the largest marble cave entrance in the eastern U.S.
Take a self-guided above ground nature trail and wander by an old sawmill, waterfalls and surface caves. Explore the lighted caves and grottos to see tranquil pools and raging water.
In addition to the hiking, there are plenty of kid specific activities.Children can climb rock walls, mine for gemstones, take part in a dino dig and lots more. You could easily spend an entire day here.
There are so many things to do in Lake George area that even I haven’t done them all…yet! Which of these activities do you think your family would enjoy most? Do you have anything I should add to the list?
Lisa you forgot about white water rafting it’s so much fun ages 5 and Up you all still forget about the fireworks every Thursday night in July and August I been going to Lake George every year for a week I don’t miss a week in Lake George for the past 32 years I stay at Marine Village Resort I think it’s the best place to stay you’re right in the village on the lake with a big beach. You rent a WaveRunner you can dock it there paddle boats kayaks paddle boards it has a playground for the children it has a swimming pool it has propane barbecues for the guests to use all around the motel Lake George is a place that you can go to every year and you will always find something different I love the mountains so it’s the perfect place for me I took my girlfriend there for the first time this year she likes Florida the Bahamas Bermuda Aruba she’s been to Hawaii I took it to Lake George I said you would love it we stayed there from Monday through Friday she says she wants to go back next year and stay longer now she wants to live there I wish I could but I couldn’t leave my grandchildren I would recommend it to anybody of all ages if you can’t find something to do in Lake George you’re not looking great story Lisa
All great suggestions, thank you! It’s really such a wonderful place for all ages!