When you live in an amazing town like Saratoga Springs, you don’t have to venture too far to find things to do. But in case you’re in the mood for a day trip or an out-of-towner, I’d thought I’d share 5 of our favorite things to do on Lake George, all which are family friendly. We often forget that Lake George is not only full of amazing views, but also tons of family-friendly activities. I’m still in the “keep the peace” mode with my littles. Find me a place that will keep them busy, happy, and where I don’t have to chase, and mommy’s happy.
I grew up spending no time on the water, and having NO appreciation for the blues, greens and grays of Lake George. Boy has that changed. My husband grew up on these waters. From long days (and nights) boating with his family, to working at campsites, he knows every nook and cranny of the Lake. So between our weekend boating jaunts, family reunion rental weeks, and quickie day trips, we have our favorites. These are our 5 favorite things to do while on Lake George.
BLUE WATER MANOR
The Tavern on the Lake at Blue Water Manor checks off every box on the list. Amazing views. A great menu with plenty of options for adults and kids alike. A mini beach. Several bars (including a casual Tiki) overlooking the lake. A beautiful pond with giant colorful fish (we’ve actually named the fish… please let me know if you meet Cookies & Cream or Lemonade!) Stone paths and waterfalls that make my kids so happy. A playground to keep the hungry monsters busy during the wait (and there’s often one during summer season). Although the restaurant sits adjacent to BWM’s lodging, it’s open to the public and accessible from both the road and water.
VETERAN’S MEMORIAL PARK BEACH
In our years of vacationing on Lake George, Veteran’s Memorial Park Beach in Bolton Landing has saved my sanity many a times. Give them a couple sand toys and I can sometimes sit for over an hour straight, and maybe even finish an adult conversation uninterrupted (invaluable these days!) Pre-covid, Veteran’s Beach would host daily craft activities during the prime summer months. They also have a little playground and pavilion area for when you want a quick break from the beach. The $5 parking fee is worth every penny.
FIREWORKS ON LAKE GEORGE
David and I enjoyed our first “real” date ringing in the 2005 New Year watching fireworks from The Sagamore’s old atrium, overlooking the water. A year later, he proposed at the Sagamore at that same New Year’s celebration, with fireworks to follow. Fireworks on the water are an amazing sight, and have a special place in our hearts. We’ve been bringing the boys for years to the Independence Day fireworks on Lake George, and have made so many family memories while the colors light up the ink black skies and water. And it doesn’t have to be New Year’s Eve or the 4th of July (nor do you need a boat) to enjoy fireworks on Lake George! Enjoy one of the Thursday night shows with live music from your blanket in Shepard’s park, or board one of Lake George Steamboat Co.’s Firework Cruises and experience it for yourself.
AROUND THE WORLD MINI GOLF
My now 12 year-old was obsessed with geography as soon as he could talk, so we found this not-so-hidden gem years ago. The mini-golf course has two sides: Around the World, or Around the USA. The course was designed by a local and opened almost 60 years ago. His desire was to bring his worldly travels back to our local community. Want to visit the Taj Mahal? Then play around the world. Want to tap into the New York subway system? Then head over to the USA side. This place is AMAZING, and has kids smiling as much as parents giggling. From the colorful “antique” obstacles, to the stories each landmark hole tells, I will assure you that we still have many more trips around the world in us.
It’s like clockwork. We’re passing exit 22 of Adirondack Northway and stomachs are growling. David says “let’s stop by Capri for a quick slice” which brings cheers from the back seats. Capri has been in the Lake George Village since 1972 (just across from Shepard’s Park) and has been patronized by my husband since he was 10. The New York style pizza is fabulous, and we SO wished they delivered to Saratoga. As the kids make their way to their table with their giant slices, “The Leader of the Pack” plays from the jukebox. Old photos of “the family” plaster the walls. In a world of fancy-brick-oven-and-creative-toppings, there is always room for a good old-fashioned PIZZA JOINT.
I’m sure as the kids grow, our need to keep the kids busy won’t be such a priority during travel. As for now, these are our “go-to’s” for family friendly activities on Lake George.