Didn’t leave the Bay to make it up to the snow this winter? Good news: thanks to a miracle March, which dumped dozens of feet of snow in Lake Tahoe, winter is still in full swing. With skiing, family-friendly music and ample outdoor adventure (if hitting the slopes isn’t your forte), now’s the ideal time for a getaway to North Lake Tahoe. Read on for seven reasons a springtime trip should be in the cards for your family.

photo: Jeff Dow, North Lake Tahoe

1. Go for the Skiing and Riding: Choose from 12 Downhill Ski Resorts
North Lake Tahoe has a downhill ski resort for every type of family and level of skier. If you’re looking for a smaller, more intimate mountain check out Homewood, Mt. Rose or Sierra-at-Tahoe. We love Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows and Northstar for a larger, resort-style experience. Whichever spot you choose to ski and ride, check out each resorts’ ski school. Many offer great packages and a low teacher to student ratio.

photo: Pennuja via Flickr

2. Go for the Snow Fun: There’s More Than Just Skiing
If hitting the slopes isn’t your thing, North Lake Tahoe offers a variety of great activities—snowy and otherwise! Squaw Valley’s renovated high camp offers snow tubing and mini snowbiling. Ride the tram (don’t forget your camera!) and grab lunch before your snow play begins.

photo: KidZone via Yelp 


3. Go for the Indoor Fun: Museums and Trains!
Warm up from the cold and flex those curiosity muscles at a couple of indoor play spots in Truckee we love. Head to the KidZone Museum, which is aimed at kids up to age seven. Here you’ll find a fairy tale-themed exhibit where kids can climb up a rope ladder to the ship’s deck, an art studio, a designated aquatic- and nature-themed infant area, science lab and much more.

Insider tip: Your Bay Area Discovery Museum membership can get you into the KidZone Museum for free or at a discount, depending on your pass level.

If you have a little who is into trains, chug on over to the Truckee Railroad Museum. Situated inside an old Southern Pacific caboose, this train museum is tiny but mighty. Inside you’ll find stories, pictures and railroad artifacts. Just be sure to call ahead of time as the museum is only open when docents are available.


photo: Granlibakken North Lake Tahoe

4. Go for the Dessert: Gimme S’more!
You don’t have to go camping to enjoy a good s’more. Cozy up next to a fire pit for a memorable s’more dessert. The patio at Lone Eagle Grille serves up s’mores and great lake views, while the Ritz-Carlton offers a daily “marshmology” where experts divulge the history of the marshmallow while you nosh on housemade ones!

photo: Bartowski North Lake Tahoe

5. Go for the Winter AND Spring Fun: Ski in the Morning and Hike in the Afternoon
One of the reasons we think end of winter/beginning of spring is an ideal time to visit North Lake Tahoe is the variety of activities you can do in one single day. Whether your family members can’t agree on an activity or you have family who are turbo adventurers, this is the time to visit. Ski in the morning and post-lunch visit the lake for SUP, biking or hiking. Boredom is not an option.


photo: Granlibakken Treetop Adventure Park, North Lake Tahoe

6. Go for the Adventure: Swing Through the Trees
Right in Tahoe City is Granlibakken Tahoe where you’ll find a skiing and sledding hill (perfect for uber beginners!), hiking trails and Tree Top Adventure Park. Suitable for kids ages five and up, the adventure course, which is open year-round, features a flying squirrel zone for the youngest adventurers with three different kids courses. And, for your older kids who are at least 4’8” tall enjoy the park’s 50+ platforms and bridges where your kiddos will soar through the treetops anywhere from 15 to 50 feet up in the air!

7. Go for the Music: WinterWonderGrass Tahoe
If you’ve never been brave enough to tackle Outside Lands with your kids and shudder at the thought of navigating a stroller through Golden Gate Park for Hardly Strictly, WinterWonderGrass Tahoe is for you. Happening at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows, this music festival on April 6-8, 2018 is made for families. We’ve attended every year and love how intimate and doable this festival is for families. Click here for our full guide to this great jam fest.


What’s your favorite thing to do in North Lake Tahoe? What other activities do you recommend to Red Tricycle families? Leave a comment below!

— Erin Lem



A Family Guide to Lake Tahoe in the Winter with Kids

What to See, Eat & Do in Truckee with Kids

10 Things to Know About WinterWonderGrass Tahoe

BEST Ski Resorts for Kids