We just completed our annual trip to South Lake Tahoe, and like every year, I leave feeling a little nostalgic. The memories that this beautiful place holds in our lives is irreplaceable. My in-laws have been hosting this annual family trip for over 15 years (10 that I have been a part of). Every year, as our family grows, this trip becomes even more important and memorable. This trip is always planned around 4th of July week, since Lake Tahoe has the most incredible firework show called ‘Lights on the Lake’.
While Tahoe is known for snow and winter sports, some people do not realize just how incredible it is in the summer as well. This is why I put together a list of our favorite things to do in the summer with children. This is definitely a trip worth making!
Tips for Lake Tahoe with Kids:
1. Lovers Leap
If you are driving to Tahoe, stop at Lover’s Leap. This is a beautiful spot for photos and to take in the fresh mountain air. This also happens to be the spot that Curtis proposed to me, which makes it a very special place for us.
Check out Tahoe Sport Fishing and ask for my friend Captain Paul! You will definitely have a great time taking in the view of the lake and hopefully catch a few fish in the process.
3. The Beach
4. The Ice Shack at Ski Run
Seriously the BEST shaved ice and popsicles! This place is only open in the summer and has so many flavors! My son (who is the World’s pickiest kid) said, “Mommy, this is the best thing I have ever tasted”! You can even add condensed milk to make it taste like ice-cream. AMAZING!
5. Riva Grill
This is also on Ski Run Blvd facing the lake. Get a spot on the deck and enjoy the view. The kids menu is excellent, and they can color a picture of the lake on their menu. The fish tacos are the best I have had, and their Wet Woody cocktails are delicious! We took a break from drinking alcohol this year, but this place is perfect for those who love strong, slushy cocktails. Did I mention they are 1/2 off on Wednesdays? Well, there you go. Thank me later!
6. Gondola Ride –
I did not even know this existed until a few years ago. You take the Gondola to the Adventure Park, and when you get there it is like a whole new world on top of the mountain. There is zip lining, ropes courses, tubing, a roller coaster, a climbing wall, gemstone panning and more! The Adventure passes are not cheap, so plan on going early and staying for most of the day to get your moneys worth. There are activities for children under 42″ as well, but make sure you bring extra adults so you can enjoy the grown-up adventures too!
8. The Arcade at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino
We went three times this trip and the kids talked about it constantly. This arcade has kid and adult games, a climbing area, a mini merry-go-round and some really great prizes! My husband and I would even take turns running up to the casino for some gambling while the other watched the littles.
The cutest mini golf course is in Tahoe, and is like a blast from my childhood. Each course has it’s own theme, and each hole is so exciting! Even the arcade games are old school and take actual quarters!
10. Wagon rides through the shops and street fairs
We bought the kids furry hats to wear while watching the fireworks (it gets pretty cold at night) and wheeled them around in our huge Beach Cruiser wagon. There are arts and crafts fairs on the weekends and a wagon is the best way to wheel the kiddos around in my opinion. This was also perfect for taking supplies to and from the sand. So glad we brought it!
There are so many other things to do in South Lake Tahoe during the warm summer months, these are just the things we had time for this trip. There are also some beautiful golf courses, spas for relaxation, parasailing and other water sports, hiking trails, fishing, biking, concerts, cruises and so much more! Most is family friendly but some activities are more appropriate for adults and older children for obvious safety reasons. Next year we hope to stay longer and check more off our lists.
And I have to give a shout out to my friend’s daughter, Ava, who kept us so entertained with her incredible gymnastics on the beach…
And here are some more pics from our trip…