Family Attractions in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe Attractions

As the largest alpine lake in North America and a popular destination year-round for skiers, hikers, and campers, you will definitely be able to find a variety of kid-friendly attractions in Lake Tahoe to make your next family vacation a memorable one. A perfect getaway for both summer and winter outdoor recreation, the area around this gorgeous lake, spanning the border between California and Nevada, has a myriad of ski resorts, golf courses, hiking trails, and water sports, all of which make for a fun and relaxing Lake Tahoe family vacation.

Above all, however, the top attractions in Lake Tahoe are its many ski resorts. The second largest of these, Squaw Valley, boasts 30 ski lifts with joint access to over 270 runs with nearby Alpine Meadows. Children can also take skiing and snowboarding lessons so that even kids without prior skiing experience can enjoy a wintertime Lake Tahoe family vacation. This resort also offers extensive family-friendly lodging options, with amenities such as a kids’ pool, bike rentals, and babysitting services. Yet along with lodging on the mountain itself, several other kid-friendly hotels in Lake Tahoe can be found near tourist attractions.

These resorts, however, are not the only things to do in Lake Tahoe with kids in the wintertime. Wilderness Adventures’ Dog Sled Tours offer a unique opportunity to ride in a certified dog sled with an experienced handler at the reigns, while on a tour of the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains. This by itself is a great reason to visit the area, and hotels near this one-of-a-kind, a kid-friendly attraction in Lake Tahoe are equally family-friendly, some of which even offering free lodging to young children! For example, there is the Resort at Squaw Creek Olympic Valley, which is close to the sled dogs attraction, and also offers a free shuttle to the resort, ice skating, four restaurants, and three pools.

This destination can also be an awesome lake vacation with kids during the summer, for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Granite Chief Wilderness, located directly to the west of the lake as a part of the Tahoe National Forest, is a popular site for a variety of Lake Tahoe attractions for kids, such as camping, day hiking, mountain climbing, and fishing. You and your kids are sure to love the awe-inspiring scenery, federally maintained, virtually untouched wilderness!

Even if your kids are less interested in the beauty of nature, there are still many things to do in Lake Tahoe with kids, such as the many water sports which take place in or around the lake itself. Kayaking, for example, is a simple yet fun way to enjoy the sights, while scuba diving can offer a unique look at the underwater life that call the lake home. A perfect kid-friendly attraction in Lake Tahoe for your aspiring marine biologists, scuba gear can be rented at many of the rest areas sprinkled around the lakeside. Other fun activities include para-sailing, paddle boarding, and jet skiing, all of which can also be rented nearby.

So for your next California or Nevada family trip, check out the many Lake Tahoe attractions for kids which will leave your children wanting to come back every year. No matter what the season, this area welcomes its visitors with stunning scenery, exciting activities, and cozy lodging. Book your next Lake Tahoe family vacation today, as it is sure to be a memorable adventure!

Top Family Attractions in Lake Tahoe, California

Boreal Mountain Resort, Truckee

Boreal Mountain Resort features skiing, snowboarding, and snow play areas. The Terrain park includes handrails, boxes, and a super half-pipe as well as a 15-step staircase. The family snow play area called ”Playland,” has been re-designed and features snow tubing and snow play for the entire family.

This place is separated into the ski, snowboard, and sledding zones. If you get hungry the food court is located in the main office where all the rentals are. The menu options are decent and food is pretty good, but of course expensive. We went to the sledding/play side. For adults, it’s $25 per person with “lift tickets” for 2 hours.

Squaw Valley USA, Olympic Valley

Squaw Valley Ski Resort is one of the largest ski areas in the United States and the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. It is the second-largest ski area at Lake Tahoe with 33 chairlifts and has the only funitel lift in the US. Mother Nature at it’s best. I was in awe of the beauty of this place. Snow-capped mountains (even in the summer!), towering pine trees, clean air.

I am not a skier but I can see how great it would be to explore the various runs that they offer. Down in the village, there are lots of shops to browse through, plus coffee shops to warm you up. In the summer, activities for kids (trampoline jumpers for example) and families (tandem bikes) are available for rent. After walking about the village, we took the cable car to the top of the mountain and was greeted by mild summer weather in the snow! Facilities for fine dining, skating, and swimming (pool heated to super hot) are available.

Resort at Squaw Creek Olympic Valley

The Resort at Squaw Creek is THE place to stay being in Squaw Valley’s premier, award-winning property. With the recent $53 million renovations of this Lake Tahoe hotel, each of the 405 guest rooms, suites and penthouses have been remodeled to match the luxury resort’s new, more relaxed, and residential feel. Muted tones and rich textures create an inviting ambiance that helps you feel at home – right in the heart of the Sierra. This Four Diamond Resort is located in a ski-in/ski-out location and with its own chairlift just steps from the main building, guests have easy access to 4,300 acres of world-class terrain. Rooms are exclusive and comfortable with first-class amenities including 3 outdoor swimming pools, 3 hot tubs, 4 distinctive restaurants, selection of boutique shopping, newly renovated spa, health and fitness center with large fitness room, sauna, steam room, ice skating rink, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog-sledding, championship golf course, mountain biking, hiking, tennis, game rooms, children’s activities (4-12 years), and free hotel shuttle to the main lifts of Squaw Valley, USA.

Our family loved the Resort at Squaw Creek. My kids favorite part was the swimming pool. They had a shallow pool for the little kids that are right next to the sandbox so kids can take sand to the pool or water to the sand and build to their heart’s content. Don’t worry about getting sand in the pool as it was cleaned nightly! They had other pools for older kids and adults. One pool had a nice water slide another had games of water volleyball going on. Multiple hot tubs to keep you warm and never feel overcrowded. There were movies going on at dusk in the pool area for the kids too.

We took advantage of the free shuttle and went to Olympic Valley for dinner multiple nights. Every place we ate at was good, no complaints from anyone. The kids were free to run outside, climb on rocks or sit by various fire pits. Bring your smores stuff cause you can make smores at any of the fire pits! There was always something going on, movies and concerts, plus free shuttles when events ended made it easy to get back to the resort at the end of the night. We biked the Truckee River Bike Path one day, kids loved it. Not too hilly and older kids can easily make it. We stopped along the way and let kids out to play in the water, was shallow and mellow enough for our 2 yr old to enjoy too. The golf course was an added bonus for the guys! They had a few specials going on with dinner and golf, check with clubhouse they were very informative. Kids golfed for free in the evenings.

Gondola Rides at Heavenly, South Lake Tahoe

The year-round gondola ride at Heavenly Mountain Resort gives passengers unparalleled views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains.

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, Norden

Sugar Bowl is a ski and snowboard area in northern Placer County well known for its long history, significant advanced terrain, and high annual snowfall as well as being one of the closest ski areas to the San Francisco Bay Area. Sugarbowl is very hard to beat for a number of reasons. Regardless of your level, they have great terrain and decent facilities. We have been Core members for a few years now and love the program. The lessons that are part of the program have really helped my 10-year-old daughter go from never ridden a snowboard before.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort

Kirkwood Mountain Resort features skiing and snowboarding in winter and hiking and mountain-biking in summer. Kirkwood is one of the region’s larger resorts and is well known for having one of the highest average snowfalls and a broad selection of advanced skiing terrain.

Mount Rose Ski Resort

Mount Rose Ski Tahoe is the closest ski resort to Reno, Nevada. The resort area is 1,200 acres and is located in the Toiyabe National Forest.

Northstar Ski Resort, Truckee

Northstar at Tahoe is a year-round resort situated near the North Shore of Lake Tahoe that features 2,280 feet of downhill terrain accessed by 19 lifts, a snowmaking system, a cross-country center and summer activities including an 18-hole golf course and a lift-served mountain bike park. Take a break from the slopes and visit The Village at Northstar – watch a movie with the family, dine in, or schedule a spa appointment.

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