While Lake Tahoe resonates with travelers year-round, this destination is exceptionally charming over the holiday season. There are so many heartwarming holiday events in Lake Tahoe.
Christmas magic prevails at every turn – from ice carving demonstrations to breakfasts with Santa and ornament workshops; ice skating, sleigh rides and world-renowned skiing are just a few of the holiday activities for visitors and locals alike to enjoy. The scenic landscape is out of a storybook – snow-capped mountains, twinkling lights, cozy fireplaces and holiday feasts will mark family memories for years to come.
Here’s our roundup of not-to-miss Christmas week activities happening during the holidays in Lake Tahoe. Prefer to join us for New Year’s Eve celebrations? We’ve got you covered there too. Check out our top recommendations for New Year’s in Lake Tahoe.
Santa Ski Day – Dec 9, 2023
Deck yourself out in full holiday wear and get a $99 lift ticket at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. Just a Santa hat won’t do, so you’ll need to go full-on festive at this event, which is all part of the fun. It starts at 10:30 am with a NOG Bar and a Mass Santa Ski Down, ending with an Ugly Sweater Contest at The Timbers restaurant.
Ski with Santa Christmas Week – Dec 24 & 25, 2023
Santa will be making an appearance at Diamond Peak. There he’ll join Penguin Pete to hand out candy canes and take photos with children on Dec 24-25.
Family Fun Activities off the Slopes
Northern Lights Festival – Nov 6 – Dec 23, 2023
Soak up the season in charming Incline Village and Crystal Bay, Nevada at this holiday celebration. The Candy Cane Lane & Village, Sip and Shops, Tahoe Film Fest and the fun Tahoe Family Solutions (TFS) Brunch with Santa will all be back, plus lots more.
Holiday Maker’s Market – Dec 2, 2023
Shop from a dozen local vendors while you listen to holiday carolers. Then enjoy fresh food from Mountain Lotus Preserves, sip free hot cocoa at Chickadee Art Collective, get beer specials at Bear Belly Brewing Co. and so much more.
Kids Ornament Workshop – Dec 11, 2023
Create Christmas treasures with children ages 4+ among several DIY ornament stations at this 2-hour event from 4 to 6 pm at Bear Belly Brewing Co. (Note: children ages 10 and under will need an adult present.) Then from 6 to 8 pm, the Adult Ornament Workshop starts with a free beer and supplies to make a few ornaments.
Northstar Winter Wonders – Dec 15 – Dec 31, 2023
Head to The Village at Northstar for treasured moments. All day, from 9 am to 8 pm, the area will be full of festive offerings, including ice skating in their outdoor rink, activities, shopping and dining.
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Festive Program – Dec 22, 2023 – Jan 1, 2024
The lakeside Lake Tahoe resort will be transformed for the season and alive with activities for all ages. Families can enjoy edible Christmas crafts, story time with Mrs. Claus, cookie decorating, a family New Year’s Eve party and so much more. Adults may also enjoy events like a mixology class, a polar bear plunge, DJ glamping, pool parties and so much more.
Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade – Dec 24, 2023
Celebrate Lake Tahoe’s rich Olympic history with Granlibakken Tahoe on Christmas Eve. They will be hosting a Christmas Torchlight Parade on Dec 24 starting at 5 pm, followed by hot chocolate, s’mores and pictures with Santa.
Take in the Cinema of Lake Tahoe
This 9th annual international film festival benefits the preservation of Lake Tahoe and the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) and features a wide variety of independent films. Highlights from this year include:
- MAESTRO directed by Bradley Cooper – (Incline Village Cinema – November 30 @ 5:30 pm) Stars Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan and tells the story of Leonard Bernstein and his wife, actress Felicia Montealegre and their 25-year marriage.
- May December directed by Todd Haynes (Incline Village Cinema – Dec 1 @ 6:00 pm) Stars Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore in a romantic drama about an actress (Natalie Portman) who spends time with the housewife (Julianne Moore) who’s been hired to portray: a former tabloid queen whose shocking affair with an underage schoolboy made headlines 20 years earlier.
Listen to Tales From Lake Tahoe’s Famous Athletes
Alpenglow Winter Speaker Series – Nov 30 – Mar 7, 2024
Come and sit at the feet of five world-famous athletes and hear about their inspirational mountain adventures at Palisades Tahoe’s Olympic Village Events Center. Put on by Alpenglow Sports and sponsored by the North Tahoe Community Alliance, the event is free and welcomes 3,000 in-person and 50,000 online attendees.
Each event benefits a local Tahoe area charity and to date has raised $1.35 million through giveaways, bar proceeds and anonymous donations. This year’s event includes the following speakers:
- Michelle Parker – Nov 30, 2023
- Jim and John Morrison – Jan 4, 2024
- Elyse Saugstad – Jan 17, 2024
- Jess Kimura – Feb 15, 2024
- Dave Nettle – Mar 7, 2024
Keep it Classic with Live Music Performances
Holiday Jazz: Music of the Season – Dec 3, 2023
The Reno Jazz Orchestra turns Christmas jazzy on Dec 3 when a 17-piece jazz orchestra performs soulful takes on holiday favorites, including Carol of the Bells and Little Drummer Boy.
Handel’s Messiah TOCCATA Christmas Performances – Dec 9 – 23, 2023
Join renowned vocalists and musicians from the TOCCATA-Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at any of their five performances in December as they present Handel’s Messiah. This elegant event will bring the holiday spirit to life. All the events will occur at different churches around Lake Tahoe and welcome children.
Performances at the Crystal Bay Club Casino – Dec 9, 29, 30 and 31, 2023
The Crystal Bay Club Casino is one of the most popular music venues in Lake Tahoe. Between the Crown Room and Red Room, a wide range of artists have performed at this lively casino hotspot. Enjoy a festive event calendar that features group and solo artists, comedians and local musicians.
Tahoe Live @ Palisades Tahoe with REZZ and Diesel – Dec 15 & 16, 2023
Join us on the mountain for an exciting night featuring the performances of REZZ and Diesel (Shaquille O’Neal) at The Village at Palisades Tahoe.
Indulge in Homestyle Christmas Dinners Away from Home
Christmas Eve Dinner at Palisades Tahoe – Dec 24, 2023
Settle in for a grand buffet full of carving stations, favorite Christmas dishes and desserts. It includes a free glass of champagne with a full bar available for purchase.
Christmas Eve and Christmas at The Ritz-Carlton – Dec 24 & 25, 2023
Chefs at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe will be creating exquisite holiday-inspired dishes to be featured in feasts Dec 24-25, in their signature restaurant, Manzanita on Christmas Eve and the Grand Ballroom on Christmas Day. Guests can choose from an a la carte meal, or holiday buffet. Visit online to book.
Holiday Banquet and Buffet at the Everline Resort & Spa – Dec 24 & 25, 2023
Enjoy a holiday banquet and buffet at Cascades Restaurant and Six Peaks Grille, located at the Everline Resort & Spa. Call 530-412-7034 to make your reservations.
Christmas Dinner at Granlibakken – Dec 25, 2023
Spend Christmas day surrounded by your loved ones and feast on a handcrafted buffet at Granlibakken Tahoe. Hotel guests will enjoy a complimentary dinner, non-guests can purchase tickets for $88 with a 50% discount for kids. Reserve your seat by calling 530-583-4242.
Snowshoe Tour & Bavarian-Inspired Dinner at Palisades Tahoe – Dec 27, 2023
After Christmas, take in the awe-inspiring sites of Lake Tahoe with a snowshoe tour to the mid-mountain Chalet and then settle in for a four-course, Bavarian-inspired feast. Guests will receive a complimentary drink at the bar before heading up to receive a glass of champagne upon arrival at the Chalet.
Stay in Lake Tahoe this Christmas Season
The beauty of Lake Tahoe is all the more memorable in the warmth of the Christmas season. Enjoy and be sure to come take a moment to take it all in. For more fun things to do this winter in Lake Tahoe, check out more winter activities.