What to do in Tahoe City with Kids
A day on the mountain can’t be beat, but Mom needs a break after a couple of days. That’s why I plan a day to sled and ice skate with the kids. Tahoe City offers 9 activities perfect for families that scream fun like sledding, ice skating and snowshoeing, all within walking distance. Then answer the question, what to do in Tahoe City with kids.
Tops for Sledding Granlibakken Tahoe
Nestled in the evergreens, Granlibakken Tahoe offers lodging and a small ski operation, although my kids love their crazy fast sledding hill. For nearly half what other ski resorts charge for an hour of snow tubing, Granlibakken offers a full day of sledding fun.
For $16 per person ($17 during holidays), kids get unlimited rides down their monitored hill and a saucer sled for the day. Kids can climb Granlibakken’s hill over and over, racing each other and even Mom.
After a few sledding runs, time for s’mores! The ski hut at Granlibakken sells s’mores packages with enough chocolate, grahams, and marshmallows for a family of four to toast at the fire pit. Or bring your own in your snack bag. The ski hut also features hot drinks, soups and Mexican favorites in an authentic log cabin with a pot belly stove.
Find Granlibakken Tahoe at 725 Granlibakken Road. It features a small ski hill with a rope tow and inexpensive lift tickets ($30 – $35 per person for a full day).
Tahoe City Winter Sports Park
First on my kids list, the Tahoe City Winter Sports Park, to ice skate. All the winter sports activities are conveniently located next to each other and rental equipment is available.
TAHOE CITY ICE RINK
Tahoe City features an ice rink with jamming tunes and festive lights, perfect for kids of all ages. Located in the center of town (251 North Lake Blvd), this rink offers families a place to strap on their skates for some outdoor fun.
We laced up our skates and hit the ice under a canopy of twinkling lights. My kids grabbed the seals that beginners use to push around the ice for confidence and stability.
Rental skates are available or bring your own. Admission for skaters and tables for non-skaters.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKI TRAILS IN TAHOE CITY
For outdoor enthusiasts, Tahoe City Winter Sports Park offers 4 km of groomed trails. Meander through a meadow in the center of Tahoe City enjoying the sights and scents of the season.
The Tahoe City Winter Sports Park offers ski rental. And trail passes required.
Tip: Teens enjoy cross-country skiing though not suited for the youngest kids.
TAHOE CITY SLEDDING HILL
Looking for more outdoor kid fun? Tahoe City Winter Sports Park offers a small sledding hill steps away from the ice skating rink. Admission based on age.
SNOWSHOE TRAIL IN TAHOE CITY
Snowshoeing requires no new skills, just strap on snowshoes and walk with a couple of poles. I found a snowshoe loop that’s dog-friendly at the Tahoe City Winter Sports Park. Grab a toboggan and pull the littles for family fun.
Special shoes aren’t required and the Tahoe City Winter Sports Park offers snowshoe rental. I just strap them to my snow boots. Admission for the snowshoe loop pass.
Tip: Want to do it all? Buy a Sports Park All Day Fun Pass.
After a couple of hours on the ice, we needed to eat. Steps away from the ice rink at Tahoe City Winter Sport Park I found Café Zenon. With a large menu of upscale comfort food offerings, I found entrees that satisfied my palate and the kids.
The mac-and-cheese is not just for the kids. Adults can order it with pride. The chicken tenders with fries are cheat-worthy. Don’t tell the kids! But the fries are really frites–yummy.
Café Zenon offers a full bar with inventive and signature cocktails. For the kids, order a hot chocolate.
THE TAHOE ART HAUS AND CINEMA
Evening comes early in the winter so escape to the movies. Sit in the cozy couch seating or rock away in a leather seat, the Tahoe Art Haus Cinema shows latest blockbusters.
As Lake Tahoe’s only cinema draft house, order a local draft beer or coffee drink. Don’t miss the popcorn spice bar and I found hotdogs and cheese pizza too.
COMMONS BEACH PARK AND PLAYGROUND
If the snow isn’t too deep then let the kids play along one of most picturesque walking paths at Lake Tahoe. The Common Beach Park features open spaces for running, a walking path and a playground.
The divided path offers a lane for cyclists and walkers along with interpretive signs. My kids found playground gold at Commons Beach Park. Even my 14-year-old scrambled over the climbing wall.
Since I found plenty of seating, a few picnic tables and a restroom located next to the playground, families congregate here year-round. Even the little kids have a separate play structure. Free
Where to Shop in Tahoe City
Quaint, locally owned shops line the streets of Tahoe City. As a bonus, you can walk between all the shopping in Tahoe City.
Skiing and Sledding Near Tahoe City
Lake Tahoe offers world-class skiing for families, including some of the best ski schools around. And Tahoe City is minutes from several top resorts.
Squaw Valley Ski Resort offers families Olympic skiing and history with lots of mountaintop green runs served by a large gondola.
Northstar Ski Resort offers families a luxury ski getaway with a premier kids learning center.
Diamond Peak Ski Resort has been a locals favorite for years.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe boasts lots of green runs just for kids along in the Enchanted Forest.
Then I’ve got a couple of FREE sledding hills nearby too.
First Time Skiing?
What do you need to pack for family ski trip? I’ve been there. And here’s a list to prep and pack.
Need some advice on picking a ski school for your kids? I’ve got some tips for families to find the best program.
My family was hosted for part of our visit to Tahoe City. Consideration for locations listed.
Know Before You Go:
- The ice rink is open everyday throughout the winter season though check after a heavy snowfall when snow removal temporarily closes the rink.
- Outdoor ice skating rinks have faster ice than indoor rinks. Bring a helmet for kids learning since falls are common.
- Park at the Tahoe City Winter Sports Park and walk to the park, movie theatre and shopping.
- Before heading out check out road conditions at NVroads.com for tire chain requirements. I use Nevada’s website for the Lake Tahoe region since it’s easier to use on a mobile device than California’s website.