Apres Ski Fun

Celebrate the Holidays in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe's Squaw Valley. How to celebrate the holidays in Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe offers families the best skiing in North America along with a full calendar to celebrate the holidays. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Lake Tahoe offers a magical wonderland for the holiday season. The snow-crusted fir trees look like a holiday card so pack up the family and celebrate in Lake Tahoe. With torchlight parades, sleigh rides and Santa sightings, the resorts ringing Lake Tahoe offer loads of Christmas Cheer. Here’s what to do in Lake Tahoe for the Holidays.

What to do in Lake Tahoe for the Holidays

With more than a dozen ski resorts within an hour’s drive, resorts offer lots of holiday-themed après activities for everyone.

Squaw Valley Village Tree. How to celebrate the holidays in Lake Tahoe
Squaw Valley Ski Resort offers holiday fun for everyone on your list from little kids to adults. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Squaw Valley’s Merry Days & Holly Nights

Squaw Valley packs in the holiday fun for all with holiday performances, Santa sightings and special dinners.

Holiday Entertainment

Truckee Dance Factory

Enjoy the live performance,The Twisted Nutcracker and the Tale of the Rat King. See it on Saturday, December 14, or Sunday, December 16, at 6:30 p.m. Or see it on Friday, December 20, or Saturday, December 21, at 6:30 p.m. Adult admission is $25, kids $15 and 4 and under is free.

Celebrate the holiday in a postcard perfect landscapes with loads of outdoor winter fun. Find torchlight parades, fireworks and Santa sightings on the West and North shore of Lake Tahoe. #LakeTahoe #FamilySki #Holidays

Santa Sightings

I heard that Santa loves Squaw and spends a lot of time on-and-off the slopes.

Santa Story Time

Listen to a traditional holiday favorite then sing some carols. See him on Thursday, December 19, or Friday, December 20, at 3 p.m. Or Saturday, December 21, or December 22, at noon or 3 p.m. Free

Disco Tubing with Santa

Tubing is fun and Disco Tubing is fab! Add LED lights, lasers and a live DJ and the SnoAdventures area comes alive after 5 p.m. Timed hourly admissions at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. with 55 minutes to tube for $51. Thursday, December 19 only.

Must be 40-inches tall to participate. One person per tube with adult and kid-sized tubes available.

Santa Brunch

Enjoy everyone’s favorite meal with Santa on Sunday, December 1, 2019 at 9 a.m. and Monday, December 23, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Adults are $34, kids $24 and 4 and under free.

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Summertime in Lake Tahoe

Holiday Outdoor Fun at Squaw Valley

Sleigh Rides

Enjoy complimentary horse-drawn sleigh rides between the Village and Merry Wonderland. Everyday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. starting Thursday, December 19, 2019, to Monday, December 23, 2019. Free and first-come, first-served.

Mini Train Rides

Join the Truckee Donner Rail Society and ride the mini rail polar express through the ice garden. Everyday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. starting Thursday, December 19, 2019, to Monday, December 23, 2019. Free and first-come, first-served.

Ice Carving Demonstrations

Watch in wonder at the creations come alive. See the action on Saturday, December 21, 2019, or Sunday, December 22, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

Disco Tubing

Tubing is fun and Disco Tubing is fab! Add LED lights, lasers and a live DJ and the SnoAdventures area comes alive after 5 p.m. Timed hourly admissions at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. with 55 minutes to tube. Starting December 26 until Sunday, December 29.

Must be 40-inches tall to participate. One person per tube with adult and kid-sized tubes available.

Mountain Tour

Take a tour of the mountain with a guide. Starting at 8:45 a.m. on Friday, December 20, and held every Friday and Saturday through the winter season. Free though you must have a lift ticket and open to intermediate or advanced skiers or boarders.

Mountain Tour with Jonny Moseley

Ski or ride down the mountain with former Olympic Gold Metalist, Jonny Moseley. Find him on the Gold Coast on Thursday, December 26, Friday, December 27, Monday, December 30, and Tuesday, December 31. Freethough you must have a lift ticket and open to intermediate or advanced skiers or boarders.

Holiday Dining at Squaw Valley

Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet

In a lavish buffet, enjoy locally sourced holiday favorites. One seating available at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 24. Adults are $59, kids $29 with kids 4 and under free.

Farm to Table Dinner with Olympians

In collaboration with the Tahoe Food Hub, the chefs at Squaw Valley present a holiday favorite. As a bonus dine with the area’s legendary Olympic athletes. One seating at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 26. Adults are $56, kids $29 and 4 and under are free.

Farm to Table Dinner with Whiskey and a Movie

Sample the farm goodness then sample the High West Distillery’s collection of whiskey. Then enjoy the special screening, Winterland, a ski and snowboard movie. Adults only (21+) and tickets are $125. One seating on Friday, December 27, 2019 at 5 p.m.

Family Farm to Table Dinner

Savor the farm goodness from the Tahoe Food Hub in a family friendly buffet. Then settle in for The Lion King. One seating on Sunday, December 29 at 6 p.m. Adults are $56, kids $29 and 4 and under are free.

Sunset Happy Hour

This popular event celebrates the view from High Camp. Board the aerial tram for happy hour specials from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. starting Thursday, December 26, to Sunday, December 29. Adult admission is $21 and tram ticket and first beer or wine included. Open to first 200 guests.

Torchlight Parade. what to do in Lake Tahoe for the holidays
Ring in the New Year with a Torchlight Parade at Squaw Valley. Photo Credit: Pixaby

New Year’s Eve Family Celebration

Bring in the New Year on the mountain at Squaw Valley. The events start around 2 p.m. and run until 9 p.m. with an East Coast Ball Drop celebration.

Glow Stick Carnival Games

Grab the kids and play some classic games, glow stick style. Free and enjoy from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Funitel Plaza.

Live Music

Enjoy live music on the KT Deck from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Free

Torchlight Parade

See the world’s largest torchlight parade. Watch it starting at 5 p.m. Or better yet, participate. It’s free though advance registration is required for timed admission to the Expedition lift on Tuesday, December 31. Must be 5 and be an intermediate skier or boarder.


Enjoy some spectacular fireworks pop over the valley. 7 p.m. Free

Squaw Valley Ski Resort is located at 1960 Squaw Valley Rd. in-between Tahoe City and Truckee.

Northstar California Skating Rink. How to celebrate the holidays in Lake Tahoe
The Holiday fun at Northstar California centers around the village skating rink. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Northstar California’s Noel Nights

Northstar California’s alpine inspired village offers a charming backdrop to celebrate the holiday season.

Silent Nights

Each Thursday before Christmas in December, Northstar will ring in the season witha holiday-themed movie shown on the stage’s big screen with complimentary headsets. So the kids can watch the movie while skating and parents can enjoy some après time. Free and at starting 5 p.m. each Thursday from December 5th to December 26th.

Northstar Calfornia Ice Rink. How to celebrate the holidays in Lake Tahoe
Northstar Calfornia’s ice skating ring offers a stage for live music, fire pits and lots of dining options steps away. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Tahoe Film Festival

Catch a selection of independent films during your stay. The festivals opening Thursday, December 5 and runs through Monday, December 9.

Noel Nights

On the Fridays before Christmas, head to the Village for live music, ice skating, face painting and Santa sightings. Fun starts at 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Brunch with Santa

Start your celebration with the big man at the Brunch with Santa on Christmas Eve. Enjoy live music, holiday buffet and a photo opportunity with Santa. Tickets required.

Hard to beat a freshly roasted marshmallow at the end of a day. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker


Starting Saturday, December 21, and held several Saturdays through the season, the chef’s will have offer creative twists on the classic fireside treat. Complimentary and starts at 4 p.m.

New Years Eve

Celebrate the New Year with fireworks popping overhead. Centered around the ice skating rink with a fireworks show at 9 p.m.

Northstar California Ski Resort is located at 5001 Northstar Drive in-between Tahoe City and Truckee.

Mt Rose Ski Tahoe

A locals favorite for the large range of terrain, Mt Rose Ski Tahoe offers a signature event for the holiday season. Ring in the season with some Santa Cheer.

Come dressed in a full Santa suit, or anything Christmas related, to ski or snowboard in unison down the mountain. Kick off the holiday season on Saturday, December 14.

Celebrate an early New Years Eve at Mt. Rose. See the Snow Cat Parade at 5 p.m. then there’s the kids torchlight parade at 5:30 p.m. finishing up with fireworks at 5:50 p.m.

Mt Rose Ski Tahoe is located at 22222 Mt Rose Highway between Reno and Incline Village.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Another favorite among local families, Diamond Peak Ski Resort offers family discounts. And Diamond Peak even offers interchangeable lift tickets for parents and kids under 6 ski free.

To celebrate the season, Santa will be visiting on December 24 and December 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Take a picture with Santa and then see his moves on the slopes.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort is located at 1210 Ski Way in Incline Village on the north shore.

Granlibakken Tahoe

Granlibakken Tahoe is a intimate resort on the western shore and minutes from Tahoe City. Offering a secluded property rich in Tahoe history and it hosted the 1932 Olympic ski jumps trails.

For Christmas Eve, Granlibakken hosts a torchlight parade starting at at 4 p.m. followed by hot chocolate and mulled cider with visits with Santa. A perfect end if the kids spent the day sledding at Granlibakken.

Located at 725 Granlibakken Rd. in Tahoe City.

Horse-drawn sleigh ride.
A horse-drawn carriage ride through the evergreens is a must for families. Photo Credit: Pixaby

Sleigh Rides at Sand Harbor State Park

A holiday tradition since the 1960s, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the postcard perfect scenery at Sand Harbor State Park on the north shore with Borges Sleigh Rides.

Available Fridays and Sundays for the first two weeks in December and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for the last two weeks of the year. Reservations are recommended. Adults are $50, students $45 and kids 2 to 10 are $20. Located at 2005 Nevada Highway 28, outside of Incline Village. State park admission required.

Snow Mobile Tours

Celebrate the beauty of nature with a snowmobile tour through the pristine forests surrounding Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe Snowmobile Tours arranges 2-hour tours through Lake Tahoe’s national forests at Brockaway summit.

Lake Tahoe Snowmobile Tours is located on Highway 267 Brockway Summit in Tahoe Vista. Must be 16-years-old to drive and 5-years-old to participate. Reservations recommended and clothing available for rent. Tours depart everyday in December at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Tahoe City

Support a local business this season by purchasing a unique gift in Tahoe City, along the western shores of Lake Tahoe.

Or take the kids ice skating at Tahoe City Winter Sports Park. It’s open everyday in December from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Located at 251 N. Lake Blvd.

For Family Fun at Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe offers world-class skiing all season long. Here’s a sampling of my favorites for over 20 years.

Squaw Valley Ski Resort

Mt Rose Ski Tahoe

Northstar Ski Tahoe

Diamond Peak

Guide to Tahoe City

Sledding in Tahoe Meadows

Sledding at Spooner Lake


Consideration for brands mentioned.

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