North Lake Tahoe Fall/Winter Travel Guide

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Winter is creeping up on us here in the Sierras and we can hardly wait! Family travel to the Lake Tahoe region in the fall and winter is just as popular as in the summer. It’s time to switch gears from beaching, boating and pool time to snow play, skiing and ice skating! If you are traveling with kids to North Lake Tahoe this season check out our list of must do activities for kids.

KidZone

11711 Donner Pass Road, Truckee 530-587-5437

Winter Hours: Oct. 9 through May 29
Mondays: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Drop in admission $8 per person (under 1 is free), memberships available

Frequent visitors that have kids already know about the KidZone. It’s an amazing indoor place space with theme changes every 2 years and minor exhibit and toy changes a couple times a year to keep things fresh. Currently, the theme is Fairytales and features a pirate ship, a castle and a cottage along with dress up clothes, instruments, a train table and an indoor playground. The art room allows kids to make messes away from your rental or hotel and the science room lets kids watch frogs, snails and look at objects under microscopes. Check out their calendar for awesome workshops and events!

Truckee Donner Aquatics Center  

8924 Donner Pass Road, Truckee  530-550-4406

Rec Pool Hours

Mon-Fri: 10 a.m. to Noon, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sat: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Sun: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Drop in admission: adults $8, kids $6, non-swimmer fee $4

The new indoor pool at the Truckee Donner Recreation Center is a great place to go with kids to escape the cold this winter. The Rec Pool features a zero entry area with a small airplane slide for little ones and a water feature that sprays and dumps water! There is a water slide for older kids, a basketball hoop, rope climb and a diving board. A current channel that propels kiddos in a circle surrounds a cove with water benches to play and rest on. The best part is the pool is heated to 89 degrees! The lap pool has open lanes for swimming and there are food and beverages available at the snack hut. The locker rooms and family changing rooms provide showers and lockers and the lifeguards offer that extra sense of security, especially during busy times. Check here for pictures of the pool area and other useful information.

Woodward Tahoe  

19749 Boreal Ridge Road, Soda Springs  530-482-6032

September 6 – November 10th*
12:00pm – 8:00pm (Wednesday – Friday)
10:00am – 8:00pm (Saturday & Sunday)
(Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

November 11th – April 15th
12:00 – 8:00 (Monday – Friday)
10:00am – 8:00pm (Weekends and holidays)

MICRO TIMES (ages 5 & under): Parent must be present. 

Woodward could be considered heaven for skateboarders, snowboarders and all around acrobats! At the base of Boreal this 33,000 sq. ft facility offers a wide range of activities indoors and outdoors. The indoor facility is called the Bunker and features trampolines, skateparks, foam pits, a tumble zone and a launch pad. Check out their day camps and classes for all ages. Micro Times are special for ages 5 and under where little ones have access to the whole facility, Wednesday through Friday from 1pm to 1:45 for $12. One of our favorites is the Ninja Class on Thursdays from 4-5pm or 5-6pm for 5-8 year olds! Admission varies depending on what you want to do, but check here for prices on packages and passes.

Tahoe Donner Snow Play  

12790 Northwoods Blvd, Truckee  530-587-9400

Open when conditions permit

Fri: 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sat & Sun: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Public Admission: adults $25, juniors $19, child $14, 3 and under free, Discounts for members and guests

Many families traveling to Truckee with kids enjoy Tahoe Donner’s Snow Play! Located on the driving range of Tahoe Donner Golf Course, this spacious snow field offers sledding, tubing, snowman making, snow ball launching and more. There are picnic tables and fire pits to enjoy hot chocolate and other treats from the TD Eats food truck. Check their website for weekend events. We recommend getting there early to enjoy the tubing as lines are known to get long.

Borges Sleigh Rides  

Incline Village & South Lake Tahoe  775-588-2953

Request a Reservation, check website for walk up opportunities

$10 reservation deposit, $50/adult, $20/child for a 1 hour tour

When was the last time you went on a sleigh ride? We can’t think of a more unique and memorable family winter adventure. The Borges Family has been operating for 50 years and offers sleigh rides for all ages and group sizes. Their beautiful Belgian Draft Horses love carrots so bring some so the kids can feed them. This adventure offers majestic views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding forests. Follow their blog for updates because they sometimes offer rides to walk ups at both locations.

Ice Skating

There are many places to practice triple axels and sit spins in Lake Tahoe! There are indoor and outdoor rinks, high altitude rinks, rinks under the pine trees and rinks with music. Here are some favorites!

Northstar Village: Outdoor, 9,000 sq ft rink, free to all, rentals available for purchase

Truckee Regional Park: Outdoor, Nov 24th – Mar 4th, $7 admission, $3 rentals, local rates and passes available

South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena: Indoor, Open Daily, check calendar for open skate times, Admission w/rental $15, kids $6

High Camp at Squaw: Adventure Pass includes aerial tram ride, ice skating and pool/hot tub, $55 adults, ages 5-17 $30, 4 and under free. Discounts if you purchase 24 hours in advance online!

Skiing

We all need a quiet chair lift ride after dropping our kids off at ski school! In the end they always have fun right?! The array of mountain resorts in North Lake Tahoe accommodate every skill level and all resorts offer programs for families traveling with kids. We’re sure you have your favorites, but we’ve consolidated some information on programs and prices.

Northstar – purchase 7 days in advance for best prices

  • 4 years and under FREE
  • 1 Day – $103 adult, $84 teen, $61 kid
  • 2 Day – $202 adult, $166 teen, $120 kid
  • 3 and 4 Day passes available
  • Kids Ski Lessons
    • 1 day for $205, 2 days for $370, equipment rental and lift ticket (if applicable) not included
    • all day experience starting around 8:30 am

Sugar Bowl – purchase 2 days in advance for best prices

  • 5 and under Free
  • 1 Day – $115 adult, $94 teen, $67 kid
  • 2 Day – $216 adult, $174 teen, $120 kid
  • After 12:30 pm passes – $95 adult, $79 teen, $56 kid
  • Kids Ski Lessons- Ages 4 and 5
    • Full Day Package, $340, Class size of 3 kids, includes rental, lift ticket and lunch
    • Lessons Only $300 full day, $240 half day
  • Kids Ski Lessons – Ages 6-12
    • All day, starts at 9:45, includes rental, lift ticket and lunch
    • $240 all day, $160 half day

Squaw/Alpine

  • 4 and under ski free
  • Tahoe Super 4 Lift Ticket Pass, ski any 4 days during the season
    • $349 adult, $319 teen, $239 kid
  • Kids Ski Lessons – Ages 3 to 7
    • Saturdays, book 2 days in advance for prices below
    • Group size limited to 4 kids
    • $289, full day lesson + rental
    • $209, morning or afternoon lesson + rental
    • Take 5 lessons, get 1 free

Tahoe Donner

  • 6 and under ski free
  • Season Passes – Adult $314, Junior $209, Child $164 (member rates available)
  • Day Pass – Adult $64, Junior $49, Child $29 (member rates available)
  • Kids Ski Lessons – Ages 3 to 7
    • starts at 10 am – 3:15 pm, full and half day programs
    • Snowflakes (ages 3-6) $144 full day with lunch
    • Snow Shredders Snowboarding (ages 5-6) $144 full day with lunch

Hiking 

Whether you want to get your shoes dirty and trek through the forest or rent some bikes and scooters and ride along the lake, Tahoe has your ideal trail experience covered. Here are a few of our favorite trails to check out when traveling with your kids to Tahoe!

Euer Valley in Tahoe Donner – trail head is at the end of Alder Creek Road just past the Adventure Center. We like to pack a picnic and eat next to the creek.

Paved Trail from Tahoe Donner to Downtown Truckee – This 30 minute walk has a gentle downgrade into downtown that’s great for bikes and scooters! Grab lunch or ice cream downtown Truckee after!

Commons Beach Tahoe City – we like to park at Boatworks Mall and ride bikes to Commons Beach. There is a great playground and beach area. Stop at Mo’s Original BBQ on the way back for lunch!

Stateline Lookout Trail – this paved trail has amazing views of Lake Tahoe and is great for kids. It’s also kind of cool to cross over the border of CA and NV! Directions to the trailhead can be found here.

High Camp at Squaw Valley – the aerial tram to High Camp is an adventure in itself! Easy trails for kids with unbeatable views of the Sierras and Lake Tahoe. There is also a small playground, roller skating/ice skating and of course the pool! Make a day of it! Check packages here.

Don’t forget to check in with kidtripco.com for all your travel needs. Our families have back packs, snow boots, mittens, sleds, baby equipment and much more to share with you! We’ve also created a cheat sheet below for your reference! Cheers to snowflakes and fun this winter!