You’ve seen the photos of chair lifts buried in powder and snow banks towering over street signs. With Tahoe’s most epic winter in years—and no end in sight to the season—it’s time to experience the stunning winter wonderland in-person. Start at Squaw Valley, which promises a line up of family fun throughout March. From world-class ski racing to a kid-friendly music festival, here are all the reasons to pack up your snow bunnies and hit the slopes.
1. Get inspired by the pros as they race down Red Dog face in the AUDI FIS World Cup, March 9-12 at Squaw Valley. Catch locals Julia Macuso and Mikaela Shiffrin speed down in the Women’s Giant Slalom Friday, March 10 and Women’s Slalom Saturday, March 11. With a free viewing area at the base of the mountain, this race will inspire your future racers and get your entire clan amped up for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Fun facts: It’s the first time in 19 years Squaw has hosted a World Cup race. And, for those who remember: Red Dog run played host to the 1960 Winter Olympics.
2. Squaw is making the entire World Cup weekend a party, and you’re invited. Here are some of the festivities (most are free!) you shouldn’t miss:
• The village will be rocking with live music. Catch Dustbowl Revival, Rusted Root and a fireworks display all starting at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, March 9. The next day promises even more great music with HoneyHoney taking the stage at 2:45 p.m. All shows are free and will take place at KT Base Bar.
• The U.S. Ski Team will sign posters at 5 p.m. on the Plaza Bar deck following the Giant Slalom race.
• Stroll through the Village as it transforms into California Way for the weekend. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, the Village will be full of state-grown food and beverages.
3. Tahoe has received close to 600 inches of snow this season, which makes March an ideal time to take some turns up at Squaw. For pint-sized skiers and shredders, we love SnoVentures. With beginner lifts and a magic carpet, this terrain caters specifically to newbies. If you’re looking to pack in more snowy fun, SnoVentures offers up snow tubing, mini snowmobiles and a day lodge with firepits for roasting marshmallows. There’s even a complimentary shuttle between the Village and SnoVentures because Squaw knows trekking even the shortest distance in the snow with your kids can be a trying experience.
4. For one of the most breathtaking views that doesn’t require a trek up a mountain, take a ride up the Aerial Tram. You’ll climb 2,000 feet in 10 minutes and be rewarded by 360 degree views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Mountains. Once there grab lunch at High Camp or go ice skating. We love the accessibility of this part of the mountain via the tram. It’s a great way to spend a morning or afternoon without having to throw on a pair of skis. Kids under five ride up free.
5. If Outside Lands and Hardly Strictly are too large and difficult to tackle, we suggest checking out WinterWonderGrass, happening Friday, March 31 to Sunday, April 2. This music festival is totally managaeble for families and a great opportunity to introduce your kids to a live music scene. We’ve attended in years past and love the size of the festival and the amount of families in the crowd. This year promises the same laid-back, inclusive vibe for music fans young to old. Musical highlights include Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, the Infamous Stringdusters and much more. Check out the full line up and buy your tickets here.
Know before you go:
• Kids under 12 are free!
• Unlike a lot of other music festivals, WWG will allow in and out privileges with wristbands.
• You can bring strollers if absolutely necessary, but we suggest not doing so since space will be limited. The entire festival area is fairly small so you likely won’t need the wheels.
• As in years past the bathroom facilities are porta potties. Bring wipes and hand sanitizer.
What are your tips for experiencing Tahoe in this winter? Share your feedback in the comments below!
— Erin Lem
all photos courtesy of Squaw Valley