Ok well maybe Tahoe does have snow this winter, but it sure doesn’t compare to this time last year. It’s become a tradition (two years in a row signals a tradition, right?) for us to visit our family’s West Shore Tahoe cabin on Valentine’s weekend. Last year we brought another couple with us and went skiing. This year we brought our 4 year old, 13 year old and her friend. With so little snow on the slopes this year, skiing did NOT look safe to us. A few thousand feet higher may be a different story, but the ones near us looked icy and bare. So…what do you do for fun with a pre-schooler and two teenagers?
Find a Snow Park and Attempt Sledding. We drove past Emerald Bay and found an area with parking and great hills for sledding. Despite little snowfall, we managed to have a blast and steered clear of trees. With the odd winter weather, the teenagers sled the hills wearing just leggings and tank tops, while we stayed bundled up. Be sure to bring your own sleds and have your camera phones ready to capture any first-time sledding experiences and other adventurous sledding endeavors!
Go Ice Skating at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena. It seems that this ice skating rink is lesser known and we were thrilled to have found it as opposed to the smaller Heavenly Village outdoor rink. Heavenly Village looked tiny and crowded and for some reason it was covered with a large tarp-like canopy. The large South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena was indoor (perfect all year round!), not crowded at all, and affordable at $12.50 per person including rentals (for non-locals) and even less for children under 6. Their local minor hockey team hosts matches there so I’m sure it’s closed from time to time, but definitely worth checking out. www.tahoearena.com
Go Bowling. We drove out to Bowl Incline in Incline Village one evening. Despite lane technical troubles we still had a blast. Bowling is a sport that people of all ages can enjoy no matter what level of bowler they consider themselves. www.bowlincline.com
Stay in and relax. The kids may complain that they are bored of doing the same thing they would be doing back home anyway, but enjoy the time and use it to catch up on what makes you happy – a good book, blogging, tackling a to-do list, napping, or just doing a fun and quiet craft with your child. I brought a Perler bead craft kit for my 4 year old to try out and it turned out that the 13 year olds secretly loved it too (apparently reminded them of their “childhoods”). It actually pulled them away from their phones for at least an hour. If I had known, I would have bought extras so that there was more to go around!
Let us know if you head to Tahoe and how you fill your time in the Winter when skiing isn’t an option. Or try out our ideas and let us know what you think!
I’d like to leave you with our 4 year old’s revelation as she sobbed in the back seat that she no longer wants to make snowmen because they just end up as “snowman pieces in the [Lake Tahoe] water”. It took us awhile to figure out that she saw from the car window, white buoys floating like a flock of sad snowmen heads and bodies in the water, as well as a few pointed orange buoys that resembled discarded carrot noses. These snowmen carcasses were enough to change any little snow dreamer’s mind.