Written for LakePlacid.com by guest blogger Christie Sausa.

Perfectly paired film fun

Now in its 23rd year, the Lake Placid Film Festival presents several iconic films celebrating respective anniversaries this year. Hosted by Adirondack Film, the Festival takes place from October 26 - 29 and includes showcases for rising filmmakers like “Your Shorts are Showing!" for films between 2 and 15 minutes. Since 2000, the Festival has offered locals and visitors alike the opportunity to appreciate film and learn more about the art and craft of the medium.

And while watching iconic films is fun enough, they can be even more fulfilling with the right activities. From outdoor adventures to indoor pursuits, the Adirondack region has plenty of complimentary places to visit and things to do before or after your film of choice. So purchase your Lake Placid Film Festival pass and check out these activities that perfectly complement your film experience.

Old-fashioned red and white cardboard boxes of popcorn sit in a glass-enclosed popcorn maker.

"Cool Runnings" and Olympic experiences

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, this feel-good 1993 movie based on the true story of the 1988 Olympic Jamaican bobsled team will open the Film Festival this year. If you’re watching a film about bobsledding, you will want to see where bobsled athletes train and compete! Luckily, when they aren’t hosting Olympic and world-class athletes for competitions, Lake Placid’s newly revitalized venues offer several opportunities for visitors to experience their own Olympic dreams.

The Lake Placid Bobsled Experience at Mt. Van Hoevenberg will open for the season in December; in the meantime, the Cliffside Coaster is open for business! The new attraction allows guests to navigate their own coaster sled alongside the 1980 Olympic Sliding Track for a ride where you control the speed through sharp corners, cliffside banks, and enjoy the scenery along the winding track.

You can also take a tour at the historic Mt. Van Hoevenburg venue, where knowledgeable guides will share more about the sport and the historic site of the 1980 sliding sports.

Fall foliage surrounds a mountain coaster, on which a blue bobsled can be seen.

If learning more about Olympic winter sports was your favorite part of the heartwarming film, you can do more at the new Lake Placid Olympic Museum. This interactive museum in the newly renovated Lake Placid Olympic Center is a treat for anyone interested in Lake Placid sports history and the history of the Olympic movement itself.

Want to visit all the venues and save? You can purchase the newly returned Lake Placid Legacy Sites passport, including free Lake Placid Olympic Museum admission!

"The Exorcist" and cozy activities

The chilling horror classic is still scary all these years later (it's celebrating it's 50th anniversary), and what better way to decompress than a walk around the lake?

Mirror Lake is beautiful in all seasons, and a nice long walk (2.7 miles) is the perfect way to relax. Walk at dusk to take in the sunset and watch the landscape darken. Stop in on Main Street, check out the various shops, get cozy at restaurants like The Cottage, or chill in Starbucks with a pumpkin spice latte—anything to feel relaxed, safe, and warm after the still-disturbing film. 

A middle-aged couple sits on a bench overlooking a lake, with a village and mountains in the background.

"Charlotte's Web" and wildlife activities for the whole family

Also celebrating its 50th anniversary, the classic animated tale about the unlikely friendship between a pig and a barn spider has moved kids and adults for decades. But did you know there were places where you could commune with animals in the Lake Placid region?

If you want to purchase a furry (inanimate) friend, you can head to Critters on Lake Placid’s Main Street, which boasts an impressive assortment of stuffed animal toys.

A toddler reaches out to a stuffed animal in a shop.

But if you hope to meet some real animals, head to the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington, NY. While no longer a home to bears, foxes, and wolves, the newly reformatted Refuge does host smaller animals like numerous birds (including owls), small mammals and insects. And the knowledgeable and passionate Refuge owner, Steve, typically offers tours so you can learn more about the interconnected ecosystem we all live in.

If you always wanted to experience nature from the animal’s perspective, visit The Wild Center in nearby Tupper Lake. This renowned interactive science museum offers indoor and outdoor experiences on 81 acres, including the Wild Walk, in which guests can navigate a trail of bridges to the treetops of the Adirondack forest. Charlotte the Spider would most certainly approve, as there is a Spider’s Web portion of the Walk where guests can hang out.

Both “The Exorcist” and “Charlotte’s Web” are based on books. To read the source material or grab other titles, visit The Bookstore Plus and the inviting Lake Placid Public Library. Both have wonderful selections and the latter even has reading rooms overlooking Mirror Lake.

A close-up of a person's hands holding a book in a bookshop, with a book-filled table in the background.

The Lake Placid Film Festival will come to Lake Placid October 26 - 29 and will offer panel discussions, seminars on filmmaking, trivia, a range of films, and conversations with special guests. Watch for more information, including schedules, as the event gets closer! Plan your trip to Lake Placid today by exploring where to stay during the event, where to eat, and other great activities!