South Lake Tahoe with kids?


DIS Veteran
Aug 29, 2013
My husband usually travels a couple of times a year for work conferences and the kids and I tag along. Usually it’s in the same areas so I know what to expect and if it’s worth tagging along. He has a conference coming up in October that’s in South Lake Tahoe. My husband lived in North Lake Tahoe and loves it there. We’ve visited there a few times but it wasn’t the best trip for little kids. It’s a very long drive from where we live with no good fun stops to break it up. Unfortunately it’s going to be before snow which my kids would be thrilled to play in. I’m trying to decide if it’s worth tagging along. I would need to occupy the kids all day and sometimes at night too. North Lake seemed very quiet and not much going on. South Lake is dominated by casinos. What is there for kids? In LA they loved the museums and just going out to eat. In San Diego my oldest who can be a grump hated the heat and was bored stiff by the zoo. We don’t live that far from the beach so they won’t be wowed or interested in spending all day walking around the lake. He has a trip coming up to Palm Springs and it looks like I can take them ice skating, rock climbing, and to a mall with movies. Is there a mix of stuff I can do to occupy them for a few days?


Apr 16, 2012
We love South Lake Tahoe and visit for a few weeks every summer. But we're a very outdoorsy family. Cool things to do:

Hike Echo Lake in the Desolation Wilderness Area and then take the water taxi back to the car.
Fishing at Sawmill pond (it's stocked with fish and only kids can fish)
Frisbee golf at Bijou Community Park
Skate park at Bijou Community Park
Magic Carpet mini golf
Rent kayaks and paddle through the marsh at Kiva Beach watching eagles dive for fish five feet from you
Rent mountain bikes and explore the flat and glorious trails around Camp Richardson
Ice cream at Camp Richardson.

All these are more in South Lake Tahoe proper, and not Stateline where the casinos are. Never actually been over there, except to drive through on my way to/from San Diego.


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Mar 12, 2007
We lived in South Lake Tahoe for years. Both of our girls were born there. October is an awesome time of year at the lake! The weather is still usually wonderful, but the summer crowds are gone. Some of our favorites activities with kids...

Oktoberfest at Camp Rich - Lots of fun to be had (face painting, pumpkin patch, etc) plus the ice cream parlor and general store
The salmon are running Taylor Creek that time of year too. The visitors center has a wonderful trail and interpretive center.
If you have a car, the Vikingsholm in Emerald Bay is a fun mile walk and they have tours of the home.
Tahoe Pizza Company is a mini museum unto itself and by far the best pizza in town. The pesto chips are to die for.
Although the casinos are geared towards adults, most have arcades and other family friendly activities. We haven't done that i n a while, but probably worth checking out.
The area around there has tons of shopping and dining too.
Heavenly has a gondola that loads down there and can take you up the mountain. Heavenly probably has some of their summer stuff going on over the weekends. Check their website. Many of the ski resorts have ziplines, tree obstacle courses, and mountain roller coasters.
There is a movie theater too.

I remember 12 well with my kids. Now they will admit, even when they were being grumpy (we called puberty the dark years, ha!) they appreciated being taken places and doing fun things.


Have earned one ear!
Jun 28, 2016
Spent several summer vacations in South Lake Tahoe...mostly beach time with older kids. One thing to watch out for is the altitude and sun. You can be roasted and burned in half an hour...if you see that your skin is red, it's too late. If you venture there (perhaps you are aware of this from your North Lake Tahoe experience), take plenty of sun screen and ration your time outside.


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