In South Shore Lake Tahoe, the winter season seems to be evident everywhere and the fun all around, including things to do with kids of all ages. Whether it's ice-skating, tubing, breakfast with Santa or heading indoors for a meal and hot chocolate, there are plenty of South Shore options to do with family for the holidays.
Here are 12 suggestions for winter fun to put you in the mood to enjoy that which is wonderful about the holidays.
- Enjoy the "White Christmas" musical at South Tahoe High School. This Irving Berlin special is brought to you courtesy of the school's drama department and includes some of Berlin's popular tunes such as "Sisters," "Snow," and, of course, "White Christmas." Performance dates include 7 p.m. Dec. 16-17 and 2 p.m. Dec. 18. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for children 18 or younger.
- If sports is a favorite family activity, check out the Tahoe Icemen playing ice hockey at the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena Dec. 15-21. Single game prices are $6, but two games can be caught for $10. Enjoy snacks from the snack bar while watching the smooth moves of these junior hockey members.
- And, if you want to get on that ice yourself, why not take the family skating at the ice arena for fun? Founded in 2003, the arena features a retail store, private party room, a snack bar and more. There are numerous programs available too, but you can enjoy public skate at a $15 general admission cost, which includes the cost of skate rental. For those 5 and younger, the cost is $8.
- If you're staying in South Lake Tahoe any time in December, then you may be lucky enough to catch Santa on a fire engine. That's right, through Dec. 24, Santa Claus heads out at 5 p.m. on a decorated fire engine from Fire Station 3 and goes into SLT neighborhoods handing out candy canes. A full schedule of stops is listed on the Lake Tahoe Visitor's Authority website, with upcoming visits including Stateline, Heavenly Valley and Highway 50.
- Looking for a fantastic holiday light show along the beach? Then head to Tahoe Beach Retreat & Lodge, where the lodge and outdoors is transformed into a beautiful, festive show. You also can pop in for any special events, including pictures with Santa on Dec. 18, s'mores in the tavern on Dec. 19 and gingerbread house building on Dec. 21. Events are free, but consider taking along a clothing donation for the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless' Warm Room.
- Head to Heavenly Village from 2 to 7 p.m. Dec. 19-24 to get your photograph taken with Santa near the 16-foot interactive snow globe. Festivities at Heavenly Village actually run from Dec. 19-31, and include more than just pictures hanging with Santa. Find outdoor fire pits, holiday carolers, ice-sculpting, and more.
- Get out and take part in the South Lake Tahoe Christmas Bird Count, scheduled to start at 8 a.m. Dec. 17. The annual bird count is considered one of the most wide spread science projects in the world, and has helped contribute to a large database of information about bird populations. Meet at Alpina Coffee Cafe at 8 a.m., and then split off into groups to go and look for birds. To register for the event, click here.
- Looking for a more classical experience? Then head to St. Theresa's Catholic Church at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 18 to hear the Tahoe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus perform holiday favorites as well as selections from Handel's "Messiah." This is the 18th annual performance from the orchestra and chorus, and tickets cost $30 for adults and $15 for students. Children and youths younger than 18 are admitted free.
- There may be nothing as fun as a sleigh ride, and the Borges family does sleigh rides in style in South Lake Tahoe. Just be sure to wrap up warm in the sleigh, as you get pulled along the old Pony Express Trail. The Borges family knows how to do it right, since they have been providing rides since 1967.
- Hansens' Resort is just one place in South Lake Tahoe to go to for some outdoor fun, like downhill tubing. Their snow tube run is about 400 feet in length and is groomed daily. Use the walkway on the side to head back up to the top. The tubing hill is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, weather permitting, and costs $20 for the first hour and $15 per hour thereafter.
- You also can take a 2.4-mile winter gondola ride up to the top of Heavenly Ski Resort, providing your kids with views they may long remember. Once up top, you can enjoy activities such as tubing, snow-shoeing, sledding and more. Prices vary, but if you get cold, just head back inside for warmth or to enjoy pizza, salad, the grill or more.
- Finally, enjoy breakfast with Santa at the South Lake Tahoe Golf Course from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 18. Eat a hearty breakfast, make a holiday ornament and get your picture taken, of course. Cost for breakfast is $20 for adults and $10 for kids. Also, if you donate a piece of winter clothing for the winter clothing drive, you'll get $5 off your breakfast ticket price.