By Shannon Smith
Sacramento families know how lucky they are to be able to jump in the car, take a short road trip and within a few hours find themselves exploring the beautiful Tahoe region. Who doesn’t love the snowcapped mountains, whether it’s just to play in the snow, ski, tube or snowboard.
I just returned from an amazing weekend camping trip at Fallen Leaf Campground in South Lake Tahoe and wanted to share some Tahoe fun in the sun ideas that you can squeeze in before the snow season begins.
Heavenly, South Lake Tahoe
If you haven’t heard, Heavenly has added a new adventure feature to their Adventure Park this past summer and like its name, it’s epic! Epic Discovery is a unique, connected, on-mountain summer experience, with activities that provide big-time thrills and lifelong memories. The Epic Discovery’s newest attraction is the Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster. Riders will descend down the mountain on a raised track through the forest on a gravity propelled coaster that’s 3400’ long and has a 300’ vertical drop.
Thrill seekers of all levels will be amazed as they experience this one of a kind adventure that includes a scenic gondola ride leading to the coaster, zip lines, mountain tours, rock climbing walls, summer tubing, ropes courses, and more! It’s not too late to experience Epic Discovery, which will remain open on the weekends from 10am-4pm until September 25th (weather permitting).
Donner Equestrian Center, Truckee
Equestrian enthusiasts should be excited to hear that the Tahoe Donner Equestrian Center has made some awesome upgrades. Now that this equestrian operation has never looked better, you can still get out in the month of September to experience trail rides and pony rides every Wednesday through Sunday from 9am to 4pm (last ride at 3pm).
There are also some special events that would be perfect for a date night, or family outing:
Cowgirls & Cocktails, which features an early evening trail ride followed by beer, wine and appetizers is scheduled for September 2nd and 23rd.
Pancakes & Ponies, a family event that includes a pancake breakfast and a pony ride for children, scheduled for September 3rd and 17th.
Try the Tahoe Apex Adventure Bungy + Ropes Challenge: bungy trampoline for kids and adults between 20-210 pounds. Then visit the Villager Candle Shop, where children of all ages can make candles and paint pottery. Children can also create stuffed animals inside Villager Candle Shop.
North Tahoe Adventures
Treetop ropes course and tours in Aerial Adventure Park, the #1 Tahoe activity on TripAdvisor, in partnership with Granlibakken, with 50+ platforms and bridges and team bonding exercises. There are also smaller courses for kids, including the Flying Squirrel for children ages 5+ and the Monkey Courses for older children.
Baby zone for 0-18 months of age that includes a nature and aquatic-themed area to practice rolling, crawling, and exploration play. There is also an art studio for parents and children to paint, draw, color, use clay to sculpt, and take art classes like Messy Art and Messy Science together. Plus, an indoor Play Structure with slide and climbing wall, custom train table, and magnetic building tiles and an exploration station with science lab that includes hands-on activities and tools.
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
The Aerial Tram is one of most popular year-round attractions, featuring a 2000 vertical feet ride with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe as well as a mountaintop pool, roller skating, hiking, dining, and the Olympic Museum. Skyjump is another popular place for all ages to learn to do a front or back somersault.
Take an aerial sightseeing tour called “helitour” with shuttle pickup from any local hotel, all seats are by the window for maximizing the scenic view. There is also a photographic expedition tour that picks up visitors straight from their hotels and provides opportunities to take intense contrasting photographs of the complicated geological structures of the mountains, desert, and surrounding cities.
Squaw Valley Adventure Center, part of North Tahoe Adventures
Featuring a ropes course, skyjump bungee trampoline, climbing wall, and mini golf course for family fun.
Sugar Pine State Park: Features 11 miles of cross country ski and snowshoe trails for families to explore together. Guided tours such as the “Snowshoe through History” and “Full Moon Snowshoe Tours” offering families a majestic journey through history.