Skip to main content

Know Before You Go: Lake George Winter Carnival Insider Tips

Sponsored by:
Stay and Play at Holiday Inn Resort Lake George

Enjoy year-round comfort at the Holiday Inn Resort at Lake George. This award-winning hotel features premium amenities, a restaurant, and various on-site activities. It's prime location makes it easy to enjoy every moment Lake George has to offer. Learn More »

The annual Lake George Winter Carnival is held each weekend in February, so there are lots of opportunities to make the most of this special event - and to enjoy everything else the Village offers in winter. Read our insider tips below to maximize your time and fun at the carnival so you can stay warm, find parking, and check out what's happening throughout the community.

people on ice at winter carnival

Staying Overnight? Book Your Room Early!

The Lake George Winter Carnival celebrates its 62nd anniversary in 2024, and the event is expected to be as epic and popular as ever. With the Winter Realms and everything else happening this season, lodging books up quick in the winter!

Choose the Holiday Inn Resort Lake George - Adirondack Area to Be Close to All the Action

split image with outdoor fire on the left and hotel bed on the right

If you stay at the Holiday Inn Resort Lake George - Adirondack Area, you'll be on Canada Street about 1 mile from Shepard Park and all the Winter Carnival action. You can walk out your door and stroll up the road to the park and frozen lake!

This hotel consists of nearly 130 spacious rooms and suites, including luxury suites if you want to treat yourself this trip, and kid suites, so you can have an adjoining room with your children, should you bring the entire family; they'll be close by without being right on top of you.

This Holiday Inn Resort has all the convenient amenities you need to bring ease and relaxation to your visit, including an indoor pool, on-site restaurant TR's Restaurant and Lounge, and a fitness center.

Other Lodging Options Around Lake George

The Inn of Lake George and Fort William Henry are also located in the Village, and the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls is another excellent year-round lodging option that's minutes from the Town of Lake George.

Keep an Eye on the Weather, Dress Accordingly & Watch for Schedule Updates

people at the carnival on the ice

The weather can affect the schedule of the Winter Carnival. If the lake isn’t frozen in the southern basin, then some activities may be postponed, cancelled, or moved onto shore. See the Winter Carnival's Facebook page at for the latest updates. You’ll also need to know how much to bundle up for the day based on the weather.

Chances are, layers are going to be your friend. Make it so that you can add or remove layers as needed, perhaps carrying a backpack with you where you can stash extra clothing. If you're bringing kids, you’ll definitely need a backpack or a diaper bag where you can keep extra hats, sweaters, and anything else you may need during the day. Pro tip for parents: if you need to take a stroller along, make sure it's a high quality jogging stroller, as this will be best for navigating the snow and ice.

The Lake George Winter Carnival organizers are great at keeping their website and Facebook page updated with the latest information, so make sure to follow them.

Order Food for Cook Offs & Hot Chocolate Mugs Ahead of Time

Patrons can now order online ahead of time for the four cookoffs that happen each Saturday throughout the Winter Carnival season (each Saturday in February). Details are still to be announced for the 2024 carnival, but last season they hosted a Chili Cook Off, a BBQ Cook Off, a Soup & Chowder Cook Off, and a Chicken Wing Cook Off.

Hot chocolate souvenir mugs can also be purchased in advance.

Plan Ahead: Decide on Your Must-See Attractions

pink fireworks at night in winter over lake

Let’s say you’re planning on arriving at the Winter Carnival in the morning because you’d like to check out the sanctioned car races on the ice. But you simply cannot leave without seeing the spectacular fireworks over the lake. The car races start at 11am; the fireworks are at 6pm. Are you going to last all day?

Favorite carnival activities you might prioritize are the car races, the ATV Poker Run, the hockey games (youth games and Adirondack Pond Hockey Tournament), and the outhouse races. Browse the schedule and prioritize what you must see or do at the Winter Carnival, keeping in mind you have four weekends to enjoy it. Be realistic about how long you are going to stay outside in cold weather. Which brings us to...

Scope Out Spots to Warm Up In

bonfire by frozen lake
Photo credit: Charles Henry Eldridge

It’s a good idea to have a couple of places in mind where you can pop in and warm up. Here are a few suggestions:

Bonfire on the beach: There’s a bonfire at Shepard Park Beach throughout each day of the Winter Carnival. It’s not inside, but it is a place to unwind and decompress before exploring more of the carnival, and there's a hot chocolate bar close by on Saturday evenings.

Caffe Vero: Caffe Vero is open year-round and situated across the street from Shepard Park. Stop in for a cup of coffee and hang out for a bit.

Lake George Beach Club: The Lake George Beach Club will be open on weekends during the Winter Carnival. When you need to warm up, slip by the ice bar patrons outside and duck indoors to enjoy a solid meal as you refuel.

Bonus tip: If you're visiting a restaurant with a restroom, use it while you're in there. Otherwise, the bathrooms at Shepard Park are open and porta potties are also available.

Visit Village Shops & Restaurants

the outside of the winery in the winter

Many might be surprised to find out how many shops and restaurants are still open in the Village in the winter. Make sure to pop into a few while you're out and about enjoying the Winter Carnival!

The Adirondack Winery in particular is a prime spot to visit, as they're across from Shepard Park and have exciting events and specials going on all year long. Stop by for a tasting and to pick up a bottle of your favorite wine for when you get back home.

Browse stores and activities open year-round in the Lake George area »

See a list of Lake George region restaurants open year-round »

Have an Idea of Where You Want to Park

cars on street and people walking on sidewalk in lake george in winter

A final consideration before you head out for the event: where you're going to park (if you're not staying in the Village and can walk, that is). In the winter, street side meters are covered and you don't need to pay. If you head up McGillis Avenue, there's often parking towards the top of the hill. Or, you could pay to park in a parking lot like the Beach Road Lot, which utilizes a pay-and-display-kiosk.

Find more info on parking in the Village »

See the Lake George Winter Carnival schedule »

« Back to the Winter Carnival

« Back to the Winter Guide