Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities:
Christmas in the Central Adirondacks

If I wasn’t already being inundated by Christmas songs and flashing holiday decorations, I would find it difficult to believe that Thanksgiving is next week. I usually have all my holiday shopping finished by now. This year I will be hitting the stores with the masses, looking for those perfect gifts. Though my children are just as partial to video games as the next group of kids, I do try to encourage a handmade Christmas. Around various areas of the Adirondacks local stores and businesses have their own version of Black Friday with a handmade touch.

Indian Lake is celebrating their 15th annual Country Christmas Tour while Inlet and Old Forge hosts an Adirondack Christmas on Main Street. These local businesses support local artisans and make gift giving unique and easy. Each location is also hosting holiday workshops for children to be able to take time and make a homemade craft.

Twenty-four different businesses, crafters, artisans and vendors will be set up throughout Indian Lake on November 23-24. The event will kick off at 9 am with artisan and crafter tours. At noon each day a vintage and new Santa Claus and Snowman display will be open at the Indian Lake Town Hall. Don’t forget to check out the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts production of “Little Women.” Each day Willemsen’s Train Exhibit will be open and various craft workshops available.

In Inlet and Old Forge, Christmas comes early with an Adirondack Christmas on Main Street. This event is held on two separate weekends, November 23-25 (Inlet and Old Forge) and December 1-2 (Old Forge). Though some events like the Santa Express Train from Thendara to Otter Lake have an admission, most events are free. There are horse drawn wagon rides, face painting and special animal encounters with the Utica ZooMobile. Children can have their picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus and even meet Santa’s Reindeer in front of Walt’s Diner.

Cindy Beckley, office manager for the Town of Webb Visitor Information Center says, “ This event is part of the Central Adirondack Association. Last year the Carillon Music was very popular so we brought it back. This mobile Carillon will be set up at Point Park where the Light Parade ends and the Christmas tree lighting takes place. He will play on Friday and Saturday (November 23-24) from 2-6 pm for 20 minutes every hour.”

Beckley says there will be shuttle buses picking up people from the Thendara train station and will run the 2 1/5 mile length of Old Forge. Beckley wants people to know there will be a shuttle bus or wagon ride available to get to all the different venues. Of course, visitors can always dress for the weather and enjoy the view while walking to all the various events.

After speaking with Beckley I had the opportunity to speak with Mrs. Claus, who asked that her other name be withheld in the spirit of the holiday. According to Mrs. Claus Adirondack Christmas on Main Street has been happening in Old Forge for over ten years. She knows that Santa has been visiting for over 25 years but the event grew to include all the current activities including shuttle buses to Inlet. She said there will be plenty of opportunities for children of all ages to meet with her and Santa. Enjoy!

Photo courtesy Town of Webb Visitor Information Center, Old Forge.

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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