Our family (wife, boys 8-10, and I) did a day trip to Lake Placid from our condo in the Lake George region. It exceeded our expectations. We headed into town to the Orda store to pick up an Olympic passport; you purchase it to get admission to Olympic venues along with a 20% discount on the bobsled experience; I highly recommend this not only for cost but a timesaver of not needing to buy tickets at the sites; I'm not sure if you can purchase them in advance but if you can it would be worth it to save time since we passed the venues heading into town.
We first hit the Olympic Bobsled area (Mount Van Hoevenbergon on your GPS and map). Here you can take the 20 minute driving tour and then walk down (or not) the bobsled track (recommended); you can also pay to ride a bobsled (expensive, but highly recommended, it was the highlight of our boys' vacation); we did this first and were glad after we saw the crowds showing up.
After lunch on the fly we then headed to the Ski Jumping complex (our GPS took us to the top of the hill at the elevator, go to the entrance of route 73 to start); we went up the ski lift (kids liked) and then headed up the elevator to get a view from the ski jumping tower (you walk around on your own); we then went down to see kids performing flips and turns into the pool (we were there about an hour or so).
We then headed to Whiteface Mountain (trust the GPS to take you to the gondolas and head in); we went up in the gondola up to the summit of Little Whiteface to take in the wonderful views (though weather obscured it a bit it was cool to see the clouds rolling over the mountains); you can also hike a bit up there; we were there a bit over an hour or so since the gondola was about 40 minutes round trip; we opted not heading around to the top of Whiteface since I was bit confused about it and we were short on time (read someone elses reviews for details). Tip-Whiteface reviews are on the Wilmington NY page.
We then headed into town to see the Olympic Center and Museum (same building, trust the GPS); there's metered parking on the street and next to center. The museum was on the side on the lower level; it's small but well done (we spent an hour here, but you can spend much more). We then headed upstairs to see the ice rink; there was a paid event going but the ticket taker let us go inside to take a peek (do you believe in miracles?). Sometimes there's free events.
We then headed out and walked down Main Street to hit some shops, grab our souvenirs, and grab a bite at Big Mountain Creperie (yum, recommended, for something different). The bobsled area was pretty time consuming, but the rest of the venues moved quickly. We started the day about 9:30 and managed to hit all those venues except the guided tour of the Olympic Center (no biggie).
It was a wonderful day trip. We may base in Lake Placid in the future.