Experience Tahoe’s Family-Friendly Ski Resorts

Lake Tahoe is beautiful any time of the year, but nothing compares to visiting during ski season, when the mountains transform into a winter wonderland of family-fun. The picturesque scenery alone is enough to draw people in, while some of the world’s best ski terrain is what keeps families coming back year after year. All-ages excitement is a staple in Lake Tahoe, so grab your snow gear and prepare for a winter family vacation like no other!

There are several resorts that offer direct access to the slopes, and many provide opportunities for sledding, snowmobiling, and other fun snow activities. Stay at any of the following and experience the best of Lake Tahoe:

Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Located in Northern Lake Tahoe, the Diamond Peak Ski Resort is known for catering to families, and is less crowded than some of the other resorts in the area. It has a Child Ski Center for kids ages 3 to 8 that provides a fun environment where little ones can improve their skills. There is also a ski and snowboard school for ages 7 and up that offers group lessons. You can always expect the terrain at Diamond Peak to be skier-friendly thanks to its snowmaking system that keeps the slopes powdery all winter long.

The resort is situated in Incline Village, which has plenty of shops and restaurants to browse through after a long day on the slopes. Take advantage of the free ski shuttle that makes various stops around the village, and will transport passengers to the resort.

Kids ages 6 and under ski free! The resort also has a number of specials to help families save money on lift tickets, equipment rentals, and food.

Heavenly Mountain Resort

If you’re staying in South Tahoe, Heavenly Ski Resort has everything families need for a winter vacation. The Heavenly Village has an outdoor ice rink visitors can enjoy. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants in the village, so get ready to indulge!

A ride on the Heavenly Gondola is sure to leave an impression as you take in panoramic views while ascending more than two miles up the mountain. You can choose to stop at the observation deck for a gorgeous view of the lake. Ride the gondola all the way, and a world of wintertime fun awaits!

Get your tiny ones out on the slopes at the Heavenly Children’s Ski School, which has fun lessons for all ages and skill levels. If the kids are taller than 42 inches, head to the Heavenly Tubing Hill and ride inflatable inner tubes down a 65 foot vertical drop. The hill is located at the Adventure Peak play area, where families can also try snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Before heading down the mountain, eat at the Tammarack Lodge and enjoy panoramic views of the mountain from your table.

Northstar California Resort

Travelers will have no problem staying busy at Northstar California Resort, which offers an endless list of winter activities for families. The Northstar Ski & Snowboard School is committed to supporting children as they improve their skills. There is a Big Easy area for beginners and “progression parks” that are specially designed to speed up the learning process without overwhelming tiny skiers.

The Cross Country, Telemark, and Snowshoe Center offers cross country skiing lessons and family snowshoe tours of the mountain. There are also opportunities for snow tubing on the mountain at the tubing hill just above the gondola. Spend some time at the ice skating rink before sitting down at one of the nearby fire pits — a relaxing way to end the day!

Families can catch live music and DJ’s at The Village at Northwood every weekend during winter when the weather allows!

Squaw Valley / Alpine Meadows

Squaw Valley USA is best known for being the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and has plenty of ski terrain and winter activities for families to enjoy. It recently merged with the nearby Alpine Meadows Resort and now has even more to offer travelers.

The resort’s aerial tram takes you up 2,000 feet and offers uninhibited views of the mountain during the ride. Once up the mountain, families can ice skate at the Olympic Ice Pavilion or head straight to the SnoVentures Activity Zone, which has kid-sized snowmobiles, tubing lanes, and a lodge where visitors can purchase food and drinks. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and dog sledding are also offered by Squaw Valley Resort.

If your kids are looking for some thrills off the mountain, the Squaw Valley Adventure Center in the Village at Squaw Valley has a Skyjump Trampoline. Youngsters will love strapping on the bungees and somersaulting high in the air.

Any history or sports fans in the family? Check out the Olympic Museum to see memorabilia from the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Ever visited Lake Tahoe? What did you like best about your winter vacation!

Heavenly Resort Gondolas by Karin Hildebrand Lau/shutterstock.

Tags : travel   ski   Tahoe   California   winter holidays   

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