12 Best Things to Do in Lake Tahoe with Kids in Winter

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Lake Tahoe with Kids in Winter
This post may have affiliate links, where I may receive a commission if you purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure and Privacy Policy for more info.

Dive into the winter magic of Lake Tahoe with our family-focused guide! From dog sledding through serene forests to exploring the interactive KidZone Museum in Truckee, we’ve got the best of Lake Tahoe’s winter activities for kids. Gear up for a season of discovery and fun, creating memories in this snowy playground.

Winter in Lake Tahoe, a California gem, is a season of joy, especially when you’re exploring with kids! Trust me, it’s a place where family memories are made against a backdrop of snowy peaks and crystal-clear skies.

If you’re wondering about fun things to do in Lake Tahoe with kids in winter, you’re in for a treat. From the exhilarating slopes at Palisades Tahoe to cozy evenings with s’mores by the firepit, every moment here is an opportunity for adventure and bonding.

I know the importance of finding activities that are both enjoyable and suitable for the little ones. That’s why I’ve curated a list of the best family-friendly things to do in Lake Tahoe this winter. Let’s dive in!

The top places to visit in Lake Tahoe with kids in winter

Top Family-Friendly Activities in Lake Tahoe this Winter

Ready to dive into the winter wonders of Lake Tahoe with your kids? From the thrilling ski slopes at Palisades Tahoe to the enchanting ice skating at Northstar California Resort, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in Lake Tahoe this winter. Whether you’re snowshoeing through serene trails or enjoying cozy evenings by the firepit, there’s an adventure for every family. Here’s your ultimate guide to the best winter activities in Lake Tahoe – each one a must-do for families!

1. Hit the Slopes at Palisades Tahoe

When it comes to kid-friendly things to do in Lake Tahoe in winter, hitting the slopes at Palisades Tahoe is a must! This renowned ski resort, formerly known as Squaw Valley, is a haven for skiing enthusiasts of all ages. With a variety of runs, from beginner-friendly to more challenging slopes, it’s perfect for families looking to introduce their kids to the thrill of skiing.

Trust me, the look of joy on your kids’ faces as they glide down the snowy hills is priceless. The resort offers excellent ski schools, where professional instructors provide lessons tailored to young learners. This ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for your little ones.

But it’s not just about skiing. The resort’s vibrant village atmosphere is packed with family-friendly amenities. Think cozy cafes, inviting fire pits, and shops that add to the whole experience. My advice would be to take a break between runs and enjoy some hot chocolate while soaking in the stunning mountain views.

Remember, winter in Lake Tahoe isn’t just about the activities. It’s all about creating those special family moments. And at Palisades Tahoe, those moments are waiting around every snowy corner.

Palisades Tahoe is one of the best things to do in Lake Tahoe with kids in winter.
Discover the ultimate kid-friendly winter experience in Lake Tahoe at Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley).

2. Tubing at Heavenly Mountain Resort

For a thrilling family adventure, tubing at Heavenly Mountain Resort is one of the best things to do in Lake Tahoe with kids in winter. Imagine the excitement as you and your kids slide down the snowy slopes on a tube, laughter echoing in the crisp mountain air!

Heavenly Mountain Resort offers one of the best tubing experiences in Lake Tahoe. The resort’s tubing hill is not only safe for kids but also offers a rush that even adults will love. The convenience of a magic carpet lift means you can enjoy more rides without the exhaustion of walking back up the hill.

I recommend checking out their tubing sessions in the evening. Why? Because there’s something magical about tubing under the starlit sky, with the lights of the resort twinkling in the background. It’s an experience that truly captures the essence of Lake Tahoe winter activities.

Aside from tubing, Heavenly also offers a range of other winter activities. From ice skating to scenic gondola rides, there’s something for every member of the family. So, bundle up and get ready for an unforgettable day at Heavenly Mountain Resort! This is a must-do in Northern California.

Experience an exhilarating family adventure by tubing at Heavenly Mountain Resort.
Experience an exhilarating family adventure by tubing at Heavenly Mountain Resort.

3. Ice Skating at Northstar California Resort

Ice skating is a quintessential winter activity, and doing it at Northstar California Resort is one of the most fun things to do in Lake Tahoe with kids in the winter. The resort’s ice rink, located in the heart of its vibrant village, offers a picturesque setting for family fun.

The rink is surrounded by cozy fire pits and seating areas, perfect for relaxing after a skating session. If you’re a beginner or an experienced skater, the rink at Northstar is welcoming to all. And if your kids are new to ice skating, don’t worry – skate rentals and helpful staff make it easy for everyone to join in.

My advice? Make sure to visit in the evening when the rink lights up with twinkling lights, creating a magical atmosphere.

Northstar doesn’t stop at ice skating. The resort also offers a variety of other winter activities, which makes it a great spot for a full day of family fun. From skiing to snowshoeing, there’s something for everyone in this winter paradise.

Enjoy a quintessential winter activity with the kids in Lake Tahoe by ice skating at Northstar California Resort.
Enjoy a quintessential winter activity with the kids in Lake Tahoe by ice skating at Northstar California Resort.

4. Snowshoeing at Tahoe Donner

If you’re looking for a serene yet active way to explore the winter landscape, snowshoeing at Tahoe Donner is a perfect choice. It’s one of the best things to do with kids in Lake Tahoe that lets you immerse in nature’s tranquility.

Tahoe Donner offers miles of snowshoe trails winding through stunning forests and meadows. It’s a peaceful retreat from the more crowded ski slopes. The trails cater to all skill levels, which makes it ideal for families. Plus, snowshoeing is a great way to stay active and have fun in the snow together.

I recommend renting snowshoes at the resort if you don’t have your own. The staff are super helpful and can suggest the best trails for your family. And remember, there’s something special about exploring the snow-covered woods, where the only sound is the crunch of snow underfoot.

After your adventure, warm up with some hot cocoa at the lodge. It’s moments like these that make Lake Tahoe in winter a truly special family destination.

Explore the serene winter landscape with your kids through snowshoeing at Tahoe Donner.
Explore the serene winter landscape with your kids in Lake Tahoe through snowshoeing at Tahoe Donner.

5. Ride the Gondola at Heavenly

A ride on the Heavenly Gondola is an absolute must-do and easily one of the most scenic winter activities in Lake Tahoe. This gondola ride offers some of the most breathtaking views you and your family will ever see.

As you ascend, the panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and its surrounding mountains are simply awe-inspiring. Trust me, it’s a sight that both kids and adults will be mesmerized by. The ride takes you up to the Observation Deck, where you can step out and soak in the majestic landscape. It’s a perfect photo opportunity!

Make sure to plan your gondola ride on a clear day to get the best views. Also, don’t rush off after the ride. The top station has activities and dining options, which makes it a great spot to spend a few hours.

This experience is more than just a ride. It’s a chance to see Lake Tahoe from a whole new perspective, creating memories that your family will cherish forever.

Experience a breathtaking winter activity in Lake Tahoe with your family by taking a ride on the Heavenly Gondola.
Experience a breathtaking winter activity in Lake Tahoe with your family by taking a ride on the Heavenly Gondola.

6. Explore the Tahoe Treetop Adventure Parks

For an exhilarating experience amidst nature, the Tahoe Treetop Adventure Parks are a fantastic choice. It’s one of the coolest places to visit in Lake Tahoe with kids in the winter that combines adventure with the beauty of the natural world.

The adventure parks offer a variety of aerial trekking courses, with zip lines and bridges set among the tall pines. It’s thrilling yet safe, with courses designed for different age groups and skill levels. Watching your kids navigate the courses with excitement and confidence is a joy in itself.

I advise dressing warmly and in layers, as you’ll be outdoors and active. The staff are incredibly supportive, ensuring everyone has a safe and enjoyable time. It’s not just about the physical activity. It’s about building confidence and creating fun memories in the great outdoors.

This adventure is a unique way to experience the winter beauty of Lake Tahoe. It’s a day of fun, laughter, and bonding that your family won’t soon forget.

Explore nature's thrill at the Tahoe Treetop Adventure Parks, a winter highlight in Lake Tahoe for families.
Explore nature’s thrill at the Tahoe Treetop Adventure Parks, a winter highlight in Lake Tahoe for families.

7. Dog Sledding with Wilderness Adventures

Dog sledding with Wilderness Adventures is a truly unique experience and definitely one of the best family-friendly attractions in Lake Tahoe in winter. Imagine gliding through snowy landscapes, pulled by a team of enthusiastic sled dogs – it’s an adventure straight out of a winter fairy tale!

The experience is not only thrilling but also educational. Your family will learn about the dogs, their training, and the art of dog sledding. The guides are knowledgeable and passionate, making the experience even more enriching. It’s an interactive experience where kids can ask questions and even help prepare the sled.

My advice? Bring your camera. The landscapes are stunning, and the smiles on your kids’ faces as they interact with the dogs are priceless. This adventure is a heartwarming encounter with nature and these incredible animals. Without a doubt, it’ll be a highlight of your Lake Tahoe winter vacation.

Experience Wilderness Adventures' dog sledding, a standout family-friendly winter attraction.
Experience Wilderness Adventures’ dog sledding, a standout family-friendly winter attraction.

8. Winter Wildlife Tours with Tahoe Adventure Company

Exploring the natural wonders of Lake Tahoe in winter is an experience like no other, especially with the Winter Wildlife Tours offered by Tahoe Adventure Company. For families looking for educational and fun activities in Lake Tahoe with kids this winter, this is a perfect pick.

These tours provide a unique opportunity to witness the local wildlife and learn about the ecosystem. You’ll be guided through serene landscapes, where you might spot various birds, deer, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. It’s a gentle adventure, suitable for all ages.

I recommend bringing binoculars if you have them. The guides are incredibly knowledgeable, sharing insights that will fascinate both you and your kids. It’s a chance to connect with nature and learn about the delicate balance of the ecosystem.

This experience combines education, adventure, and the beauty of Lake Tahoe in winter. It’s a memorable way to appreciate the natural world and its inhabitants.

Discover Lake Tahoe's winter wonders with Tahoe Adventure Company's Winter Wildlife Tours.
Discover Lake Tahoe’s winter wonders with Tahoe Adventure Company’s Winter Wildlife Tours.

9. Attend a Kids’ Snowmobiling Course at Lake Tahoe Adventures

For an exhilarating winter thrill, attending a Kids’ Snowmobiling Course at Lake Tahoe Adventures is a standout choice. Believe me, it’s one of those exciting things to do in Lake Tahoe with kids in winter that combines fun, learning, and adventure.

Lake Tahoe Adventures offers specially designed courses for kids, ensuring a safe and enjoyable snowmobiling experience. The courses are conducted in controlled environments. This makes them perfect for young beginners. Watching your kids learn to maneuver their snowmobiles with confidence is a joyous experience.

I highly recommend this activity for families seeking a unique adventure. The instructors are excellent, prioritizing safety while making sure everyone has a great time. Plus, it’s a wonderful way for kids to gain new skills and a sense of independence.

This isn’t just another winter activity. It’s an opportunity for your kids to explore the snowy landscapes of Lake Tahoe in a thrilling, yet safe manner. A must-try for families looking for an unforgettable winter adventure!

Experience the thrill of winter with Lake Tahoe Adventures' Kids' Snowmobiling Course.
Experience the thrill of winter with Lake Tahoe Adventures’ Kids’ Snowmobiling Course.

10. Scenic Winter Walks at Sand Harbor State Park

Exploring Sand Harbor State Park during winter is a serene and picturesque experience. Hands down, it’s one of the best places to go in Lake Tahoe with kids in winter, offering a peaceful escape into nature’s beauty.

The park transforms into a winter wonderland, with trails that are perfect for family walks. You’ll be surrounded by stunning views of the lake, snow-covered trees, and the tranquility of nature. It’s an ideal setting for teaching kids about the natural world or simply enjoying a quiet stroll together.

Make sure to dress warmly and bring a camera. The landscapes here are breathtaking, especially with the contrast of the snow against the clear blue waters of Lake Tahoe. It’s also a great opportunity for kids to learn about winter wildlife and the unique ecosystem of the area.

Ending your day with a scenic walk at Sand Harbor State Park is a wonderful way to experience the quieter side of Lake Tahoe in winter. It’s a peaceful, memorable activity for the whole family, and one of the beautiful places in Lake Tahoe.

Discover the serene beauty of Sand Harbor State Park in winter, a top spot offering a peaceful escape.
Discover the serene beauty of Sand Harbor State Park in winter, a top spot offering a peaceful escape.

11. Enjoy S’mores and Hot Chocolate by the Firepit

There’s something incredibly cozy about gathering around a firepit with your family, especially in the crisp winter air of Lake Tahoe. Enjoying s’mores and hot chocolate by the firepit is a simple yet delightful activity that brings warmth and joy to any winter day.

Many resorts and lodges around Lake Tahoe offer firepit areas where you can relax and indulge in these sweet treats. It’s a perfect way to unwind after a day of skiing or snowshoeing. The kids will love roasting marshmallows and creating their own s’mores, and let’s be honest, so will the adults!

I recommend this as a perfect evening activity. It’s a time to share stories, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company under the starry night sky. This experience is about more than just the treats. It’s about creating those special family moments that become cherished memories.

Ending your day with s’mores and hot chocolate by the firepit is a must for anyone wondering what to do with kids in Lake Tahoe this winter. It’s a sweet, simple pleasure that epitomizes the joy of the season.

Embrace the cozy charm of Lake Tahoe's crisp winter air by gathering around a firepit with your family.
Embrace the cozy charm of Lake Tahoe’s crisp winter air by gathering around a firepit with your family.

12. Visit the KidZone Museum in Truckee

A visit to the KidZone Museum in Truckee is a delightful indoor option for families. It’s a place where interactive learning and fun come together, which makes it a great addition to your family-friendly winter itinerary in Lake Tahoe.

The museum is designed for children up to age 7, offering a range of exhibits that encourage creativity, exploration, and learning. From hands-on science displays to imaginative play areas, there’s something to spark the curiosity of every young mind. It’s a fantastic way to engage your kids in educational activities while having a lot of fun.

The museum is a perfect change of pace from outdoor activities. It’s also a great option on days when the weather might not be ideal for being outside. The staff at the museum are wonderful, always ready to help and make your visit enjoyable.

Concluding your winter adventure in Lake Tahoe with a visit to the KidZone Museum is a smart choice. It’s an enriching experience for the kids and a relaxing one for the parents. Without a doubt, it’s one of the most fun places to visit with kids in Lake Tahoe during the winter season.

KidZone Museum is one of the best things to do in Lake Tahoe with kids in winter.
Discover interactive learning and fun at Truckee’s KidZone Museum, a delightful indoor destination for families.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Lake Tahoe with Kids this Winter:

If you (and your family) are still curious about what to do in Lake Tahoe this winter, look no further. Here are some common questions I get asked about the best family-friendly things to do in Lake Tahoe, suitable for the winter season.

Which side of Lake Tahoe is best for families?

For families, the North Shore of Lake Tahoe is often the top pick. It’s generally quieter and more laid-back than the South Shore, which makes it great for families seeking a relaxing experience. The North Shore boasts family-friendly beaches, easy access to ski resorts, and charming towns like Tahoe City and Truckee. If you’re after more entertainment and dining options, the South Shore is vibrant and lively, with attractions like Heavenly Village. My personal favorite for a family trip? North Shore, for its tranquility and natural beauty.

Is Lake Tahoe worth visiting in the winter?

Winter in Lake Tahoe is magical. The region transforms into a snowy paradise, ideal for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. Beyond the slopes, there are activities like snowshoeing, tubing, and scenic gondola rides. The winter landscape is breathtaking, and there’s a special charm in the air. It’s a fantastic destination for families looking for a winter getaway.

Heavenly Ski Resort with snow-covered slopes and mountains in the background.
Heavenly Ski Resort with snow-covered slopes and mountains in the background.

Is Tahoe kid-friendly?

Yes, Lake Tahoe is incredibly kid-friendly. With a wide range of activities like skiing, snowshoeing, and tubing in the winter, and beaches, hiking, and boating in the summer, there’s always something for kids to enjoy. Plus, many resorts and attractions cater specifically to families. This makes it a great destination for all ages.

How many days do I need in Lake Tahoe with kids?

I recommend at least 3 to 4 days in Lake Tahoe with kids. This gives you enough time to explore the major attractions without feeling rushed. If you’re into skiing or hiking, you might want to extend your stay to enjoy more of the trails and slopes. Lake Tahoe has a variety of activities, so a longer stay allows you to experience more of what the area offers.

Is Lake Tahoe swimmable?

Yes, you can swim in Lake Tahoe, but it’s known for its chilly waters, even in summer. The best time for swimming is July through September when the water temperatures are a bit warmer. There are numerous beaches around the lake that are great for swimming. Just be prepared for the initial cold shock – it’s refreshing once you get used to it!

The top things to do in Lake Tahoe with kids in winter for all types of travelers
Enjoyed reading about the top things to do in Lake Tahoe with kids in winter? Pin it!

You may also like

Leave a Comment