Friday, January 25, 2013


Snow. And lots of it.

Last weekend, we went to Tahoe for an overnight stay.  Let me start by saying winter is my least favorite season and the end of January is a. Complete. Drag. (ED: yes, I know I said previously that I love January. It's more like the idea of January and new beginnings, not the actual time of year.) I do not like being cold. I don't particularly like snow. I like looking at the snow. Preferably in a cozy cabin, with a warm fireplace roaring, unhealthy snacks, and a good book. I do not however, particularly love being out in it. It's cold and wet and I am not a fan of winter sports.  I can't imagine living somewhere where it snows for 4 months out the year. But I do love getting up to Tahoe in the winter. I know. This isn't making any sense. It's the-end-of-January-madness, bear with me, please.

So without further ado, my dos and don'ts for visiting Tahoe in the winter with children. Also, lots of photos.


 Adventure Mountain. $20 per car to park, free use of the hills. Various cost to rent sledding equipment (we brought our own disk).

Adventure Mountain was my son's favorite activity, hands down. It's a snow park at Echo Summit, with several acres of groomed hills for sledding and tubing. They have tons of sledding hills, and it's pretty much a free for all. There were a ton of people there, but the lines move pretty fast. There's also a "lodge" to take a break in. Which is where my daughter and I hung out for the majority of the time:

Not impressed with the snow.
This is an improvement. Sorta.

But mama kisses and a binky inside are where it's at. That's Mama's girl.
The "lodge" was a little shabby (and not in a chic way) but warm and clean as it could be after a long day of people coming in there in wet, winter clothes. There was plenty of seating and a fireplace (but no fire). There was also some sort of concession stand (we didn't buy anything) and some sort of gift shop (which we didn't go in). All in all a good experience and a ton of fun for my oldest. Twenty dollars well spent.
We went to the Red Hut Cafe for dinner. Simple, good diner food. They also had a fun soda fountain next door. Where my children ordered cupcakes instead of sundaes. What the what.
Cabela's (because we can't be that close to a Cabelas' store without stopping. And when I say we, I mean, my husband, the outdoors man).
Places like Cabela's always amuse me because I get to laugh about people who not only shoot a skunk but then have it stuffed for a trophy. My husband hunts and fishes, but I just don't get something like a skunk "trophy."

We don't need this.

One of my favorite little towns. They have a great downtown with fun shops and good places to eat. Two of our favorites for the kiddos are:
The Truckee Variety Company Full of fun toys and gifts. It's often super crowded though, and pushing a stroller through there is tight. But it's the place my son always asks to visit in Truckee.
The Treehouse A child's clothing and toy store. Super cute clothes and nice toys (lots of Melissa and Doug, that type of thing).
Heavenly Village. Look. There is nothing wrong with Heavenly Village, a bunch of shops that are an extension of Heavenly Ski Resort. It's just not our thing. It's crowded and loud and expensive. We'd rather be in the snow. Some of us, at least. We originally went here for lunch, because it was fairly close to our hotel. But the restaurant we ate at, while the food was good, was entirely too loud and expensive (like everything in Tahoe). Also, we had wanted to use the ice skating rink, but it was super small and cost $20 per person! Pass.

Altitude Sickness.
Avoid this if you can, as it makes you feel like dying. Trust me, I KNOW.

And finally....


-Renting a cabin is much better then a hotel, especially if you are staying more than one night. Being able to make your lunch, and have the room to lounge about make a huge difference. We have done both ways, and a cabin is highly preferable. And by the time you add up the costs of all your meals, the cost is about the same.

-The North Shore of Tahoe is much more family friendly.

-Snow clothes on kids under two: good luck to you. If you plan to play in the snow, take your gear with you, in a big bin or bag. That way, you can peel it all off and store it right there, instead of trying to strap wet, bundle up kids into car seats.

I promise, something with actual content soon. January is almost over, real thoughts will return. I hope. Thank you for bearing with me.

ED: I changed "bare with me" to "bear with me." Because I don't actually want to get naked with all of you. Sorry. Curse you spell check. You too, January.


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