Skiing with kids (and babies and toddlers!) is a challenging feat, but it can be done. Here are our top 5tips for skiing Lake Tahoe with kids.
1) Pick a family-friendly ski resort
Northstar California: It has great instructors for kids, lots of off-slope activities for non-skiers and kids too young to ski, and a family-friendly vibe.
Other Tahoe resorts definitely embrace the party hard mentality, and you may not want to be bothered by drunk college kids when you are with your tots.
Northstar and Squaw Valley are probably the most family friendly of the larger resorts, but they are also very expensive.
For a more budget option, try the smaller ski hills in the area (Tahoe Donner, Diamond Peak, etc.), especially as your child is just learning to ski on the bunny slopes.
2) Lodging location is paramount
Skiing involves lots of gear. Carrying that gear is not fun. Small kids cannot carry their own gear. You will be carrying that gear for them. With that in mind, pick a lodging location that is as close to the slopes as possible. When we have hotel points to burn, we like to stay in the Ritz-Carlton slopeside at Northstar because the convenience just can’t be beat.
3) Your kids can ski earlier than you think
Most ski schools don’t start taking little ones until they are three years old and potty trained, but that doesn’t mean your child can’t ski before that. Of course, you need to know your child’s personality and tolerance for adventure. Some children are best described as “fierce,” so take a chance and enroll these type of children in their first ski lesson at about 22 months old. Other parents on the slopes may give you crazy looks, but the ski instructor will be high-fiving you. Of course, take it easy – one hour per day on the slopes for the toddlers is probably more than enough.Watch Out – Two Year Old Skier on the Loose!
4) Parent switch
If you are bringing a young child who will not be in ski school with you, the biggest question is how can you get some time on the slopes yourself. Some ski resorts offer a parent swap ski ticket that allows one parent to be with the child while the other skis. Unlike regular tickets, it is transferable and you can trade off at any time. Other ski resorts, including Northstar, offer child care for non skiers. If all else fails, bring grandma along on your ski trip!
5) Avoid Ski Week, Christmas, and New Year’s
The week of President’s Day in February, has been dubbed ski week. If you have children who are younger than school age, you should absolutely avoid Tahoe during this time. Prices are much more expensive and slopes are crowded. The same goes for the Christmas and New Year’s holiday weeks.
Just a few months until ski season… so start planning!