Home #WHERETONEXT USA Kick off the New Year with prime family time in Tahoe’s Winter Wonderland

Kick off the New Year with prime family time in Tahoe’s Winter Wonderland

Lake Tahoe Winter

The arrival of a new year often fills us with complicated emotions and a search for perspective. This year as we stand on the precipice of an unknown 2023, why not resolve to just … be?

 Instead of distracting ourselves with ruminations on the past or worries about the future, why not become centered in the here and now with your entire family around you.

 Is there really a better place to do this than Lake Tahoe? Our winter playground sits at more than a mile above sea level, a snowy landscape bathed in frequent sunshine. Every breath of clean, crisp air takes you closer to any resolution you may make for yourself.

 South Tahoe’s outdoor adventure wonderland is perfect for families who have more on their wish list than skiing and snowboarding. RnR Vacation Rentals offers the following suggestions:

Time to lace up: Lake Tahoe may not freeze over, but there is plenty of frozen action for ice skaters of all skill levels. Take in the sights while gliding along the ice from the picturesque rink at Heavenly Village or Edgewood on Ice. The views aren’t as good, but South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena offers public skating on a well-groomed surface.

Old-fashioned gravity sport: Does flying down a snowy hill on a sled ever get old? Bring your own sled, or just pick one for cheap at most grocery stores or sporting goods stores. Find a snow-play area just behind Heavenly Village, or discover more sledding areas around the city and lake. On the Nevada side of the lake, there is free sledding and snow play at the large park at Spooner Summit. , Adventure Mountain (Highway 50 at Echo Summit) On the California side look for SNO-PARK areas that are usually well marked. Taylor Creek SNO-Park in South Tahoe is the gentlest and least-crowded location for small children and beginners. Remember, a SNO-PARK permit is required for each vehicle from Nov. 1 through May 30. Day permits are $5 and season permits ($25) are valid all season. To find out where to buy a permit, call the SNO-PARK Hotline at 916-324-1222.

Take a heavenly gondola ride: Heavenly Ski resort offers so many wintery things to do for non-skiers. Purchase the non-skier gondola pass and head up to the top for the 2.4 mile trip! About two-thirds of the way up is a viewing platform with panoramic vistas that will take your breath away. There is also a small cafe that sells warm drinks (and adult add-ons). The gondola runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday and tickets are: adults ages 19-64 ($63); children ages 5-12 ($32); teens ages 13-18 and seniors 65-over ($49). Once at the top the resort offers a banquet of activities for families.

Enjoy apres-ski without the skis: With so many restaurants in South Lake Tahoe, from family-style to fine dining, it’s pretty easy to find something to match everyone’s tastes and budgets. And many offer up views of the lake. If the adults in the group love craft beer, Tahoe boasts many breweries, along with a dozen or so taverns and tap houses. There are larger venues, such as Stateline Brewery & Restaurant (at the bottom of the Heavenly Gondola), and others with a more neighborhood feel. Try the dog-friendly and family-friendly pub Sidellis Brewery, South Lake Brewing (a community-focused taproom), or South of North Brewing (an adorable little spot near Heavenly Village that’s perfect for an apres ski beer (complete with an outdoor playspace with chairs, fire pits and bocce ball).

See the eagles: No, we aren’t talking about the rock band, but Tahoe’s eagles are still a sight to see. Find your way to Carson Valley and experience the stunning sights during the winter calving season. The annual Eagles & Agriculture event takes place Jan. 26-29 and includes tours with expert birders and historians, the popular Owl Prowl, a wildlife photography class, and opportunities to get close to a variety of raptors. Complete details and reservations are at www.carsonvalleynv.org or call the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce at (775) 782-8144.

Enjoy a drive around the lake: No one will ask, “are we there yet?” on this beautiful ride. It takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes (without stops, lunch or snowy conditions). Don’t be in a hurry. Take the time to stop at various viewpoints, such as the Memorial Point (east side) and Emerald Bay Viewpoint (west side). Check out the beaches on Zephyr Cove, Lakeside and Incline Village (east side) or Patton Beach, Tahoe City or Meeks Bay (west side).  As you can see, there is much to do in wintry January. Why not make just one resolution — BEFORE the holidays arrive. Book your own vacation rental at one of RnR’s spacious and comfy vacation homes, right at the doorstep to the unifying power of Lake Tahoe!