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North Lake Tahoe is For Families

Last updated: December 2023

Is Lake Tahoe Family-Friendly?

Yes! Lake Tahoe is very family-friendly. There are many activities for kids of all ages to enjoy year-round, making a family vacation in Lake Tahoe a great choice. Below are just a few of the top reasons why Lake Tahoe is the all-ages getaway.

Which Side of Lake Tahoe is Best for Families?

Whether you’re in North or South Lake Tahoe, or on its East or West Shore, you’ll find that all sides of Lake Tahoe are great for families.

Sand Harbor (on the East side of the lake) and Meeks Bay (on Lake Tahoe’s western side) both offer amazing beaches for all ages to swim, jump and splash around in, as well as nearby campgrounds with all the amenities a family could need.

In southern Lake Tahoe, the National Natural Landmark-designated Emerald Bay State Park provides easy hiking and postcard-worthy lookout points that everyone can enjoy. Also nearby, kids love discovering Lake Tahoe’s hidden castle — Vikingsholm Mansion. Adventurous teens and parents can try snorkeling or even scuba diving around Emerald Bay’s Underwater Trail to explore the local marine live and several historic recreational watercraft and barges that now rest below the surface.

North Lake Tahoe may be best known for its world-renowned ski resorts and the likes of Jonny Moseley and Shaun White tearing up the mountain. However, it isn’t just for the pros. There are no shortage of activities for kids and parents to enjoy together, from learning to ski, tubing, ice skating and more. And that’s just in the winter!

For example:

Tubing, Sledding and Snow Play!

Granlilbakken TahoeArea is open daily (weather permitting) and features a groomed snow play area with rental saucers for sledding. You can also find sledding and tubing fun at Soda Springs Winter Resort, which offers sledding lanes, tubing lanes and even a Little Dipper children’s area. For bigger kids, and big kids at heart, Tubing Hill at Northstar provides two separate tow lifts at mid-mountain just above the Gondola.

Ice Skating

Ice Skating Rink at Northstar is a 9,000 square foot rink that sees family skating fun day and night. Rentals and skating lessons are available. Truckee Ice Rink features skate rentals, a snack bar, broomball leagues, and group and private lessons for all age groups taught by experienced instructors.

Lake Tahoe Resorts for Families

There are no shortage of Lake Tahoe resorts for families. Each offer a scenic spot for a family vacation that can be as peaceful or action-packed as you want. Here are just a few:

Be sure to check each resort for their special discounts and deals, which often are tailored specifically for families traveling to Lake Tahoe. For instance, Boreal Mountain provides a kid 12 and under free season pass with the purchase of any unlimited pass.

Kid-Friendly Eating in Lake Tahoe

We totally get it. It can be hard to find a place to eat the whole family can enjoy. Fortunately, there are several around the lake that specifically cater to both kids and adults alike.

Young girl enjoys hot coco at Squeeze In during family vacation in Lake Tahoe

The Squeeze In has been pleasing kids since 1974 with toy baskets, letting kids write on the walls, and a special kids menu. Order their rockin’ hot cocoa piled high with whipped cream and sprinkles. It’s a winner every time, along with the signature Teddy Bear Pancake! A bear shaped smile for every kid, young and old!

At the Tahoe House,  kids feel right at home by the cozy fire, with loaner crayons, colorings books, and plastic and wooden toys –- all of which keeps them busy as they wolf down their bagel. Family owned and operated since 1977, the Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet features baked breads and pastries, the “best coffee on the lake,” sandwiches and much more!