Family Fun: Oktoberfest at Whiteface Mountain - A Leaf Peeping Paradise
Autumn brings with it a barrage of activities to the Adirondacks. Leaf-peepers line the scenic highways and the fall harvest celebrations are in full swing. There is no better way to mark that distinct transition between summer and fall than an Oktoberfest celebration. For those traditionalists seeking a Bavarian experience the annual Whiteface Mountain Oktoberfest in Wilmington on October 1-2, 2011 is full of oom-pah-pah. (I couldn’t resist.)
The free shuttle from Lake Placid is almost worth the price of admission. Nothing beats that valet parking. My children are too old for free admission but there is a discount for season pass holders. Just remember to bring the coupon you received in the mail. Don’t worry, if you plan on getting a season pass you can still receive the discount if you sign up at Whiteface Mountain during Oktoberfest. With lift ticket mentality (cost of ticket divided by the number of runs) I want to make sure that I get my money’s worth.
You will be strategically directed through the gift shop and out under the Cloudsplitter gondola. The music is loud and cheerful. It is Oktoberfest so the polka is a prerequisite. We are woefully underdressed. All sorts of people are in traditional garb and not just the performers and vendors. It will take more than games to get my son in a pair of lederhosen. I can hardly get him to ditch the flip-flops now that the change of season is upon us.
There are carnival rides up the hill for younger participants as well as tractor hayrides. With the Whiteface Mountain’s entrance gate some distance from the road, it is a nice place to foster some much-needed independence. I set a time for us to rendezvous. While my children focus on the rides I use my time to sample fresh jams and ponder over “want” versus “need” for the barrel sauna. We walk and taste the German fare. The last sweep includes the lodge for the 60-second challenges (based on the TV show Minute to Win It!) , the arts & crafts area, juggling shows and face painting in the AuSable Room. The Ski Shop sale will be held there as well so get psyched for the upcoming Whiteface ski season.
Whiteface Mountain’s Oktoberfest (October 1-2, 2011) is $15.00 for adults and $9.00 for juniors (7-12) with the option to get a discounted Cloudsplitter Gondola ride from the base to the top of Little Whiteface for $12.00. (usually $19) Bring your binocs and search for wildlife or just enjoy the breathtaking autumn leaves at full peak.
All photos and content ©Diane Chase (excluding the TriLakes Artist at Work flyer), This post is based on Diane's guidebook Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes & High Peaks: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities (with GPS Coordinates), covering the towns of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene/Keene Valley, Jay/Upper Jay and Wilmington. Diane next guidebook of Adirondack Family Activities in this four-book series will cover the Adirondack East Coast from Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga.