Family with Bicycles

Family Friendly Activities in South Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is filled with unlimited activities year round.  The spring and summer months offer lots of warm sunshine and mild temperatures, beautiful for taking advantage of many available outdoor activities, so you’ll find many family friendly activities in South Lake Tahoe for everyone in your group to enjoy!

Bike Rentals/Paths

One of the most popular family activities here in Lake Tahoe is bike riding, and the south shore is filled with bike rental shops.  The most popular among families is Anderson’s Bicycle Rental located on Emerald Bay Road.  The outdoor rental shop is also the beginning of a scenic forested trail that has a paved, and mostly level path, taking you parallel to the highway along the Pope, Camp Richardson, Kiva, and Baldwin beach entrances, an even the Taylor Creek Visitor Center.  Centrally located in town is another rental shop called Tahoe Bike Company.  This shop sits just a block from the lake and the El Dorado Beach Commons area, which has BBQ’s, picnic tables, and a food shack.  Adjacent to the shop is the quaint Al Tahoe neighborhood, which contains the Regan Beach area.  The beach has a taco food shack and a large playground as well.

Taylor Creek Visitor CenterTaylor Creek Stream Observatory

The visitor center serves as a hub where four fascinating self-guided trails depart from.  Within a short walk from the visitor center, you will find a large meadow lookout with a description of wildlife, as well as their famed Stream Profile Chamber.  This chamber is an underground area with large aquarium-like windows providing a cross-section of the moving stream where visitors can watch fish and other stream creatures, and there are also creative informational signs throughout the chamber.  The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is open Memorial Day through October, and offers a large gift shop with lots of souvenir items like stuffed animals for the kids to take home and remember their visit to Tahoe.

Ice Cream!

Richardson's Ice Cream ParlorDefinitely the most popular ice cream spot in South Lake Tahoe is Richardson’s Ice Cream Parlor located in the Camp Richardson area.  The old-fashioned ice cream parlor offers large scoops, delicious flavors, and has seating areas inside and out for visitors to enjoy their cones.  Over the weekends during the summer months, the line can get quite long (around the building!), so I recommend going on a weekday, or getting there early in the day.  Centrally located in town across the street from the lake is Aloha Ice Cream.  Aloha offers a wide variety of classic flavors, and a beautiful view of the lake.  In the heart of downtown, adjacent to the Heavenly Village is Baked Bear, which offers homemade ice cream sandwiches.  Visitors can select a fresh baked cooking, ice cream flavor, and topping to create a sando of their choice! Take a short stroll over to the village and enjoy your cool ice cream sandwich next to the waterfall watching the Heavenly Gondolas departing to take visitors up the mountain for sightseeing.

Mini Golf

Magic Carpet Golf, South Lake TahoeThere are two miniature golf courses in town, the most notable (and larger) of the two is Magic Carpet Golf, which is centrally located on Highway 50.  The course features large sculptures like dinosaurs, giant gold fish, and even a volcano, for children’s imaginations to go wild.  The other course is smaller in size, located in the heart of the Heavenly Village — a great course to take the younger children to.

Rainy Day Activities

Harrah's Lake Tahoe ArcadeEven though we are blessed with almost 300 sunny days per year here, it does rain in Tahoe!  Should the rain hinder your outdoor activities, fear not, there are plenty of indoor activities to keep the whole family enjoying their Tahoe vacation.  Tahoe Bowl offers 16 lanes, the 11th Frame Diner, and some arcade games.  On the subject of arcade games, both Harrah’s and Harveys have huge arcades.  From video games to more classic games like Skee-Ball, air hockey, and pinball, there are games for all ages.  The Harrah’s acrade also offers a large “jungle gym” for children to explore around in.  Looking for something more relaxing?  Take in a movie at the Heavenly Village Cinema, located downtown in the Heavenly Village.

Parks with Playgrounds

Regan Beach PlaygroundThe Bijou Park offers a plethora of activities for the whole family.  Set in the forest, there is a large playground, dirt track for bicycles (with multiple tracks for different experience levels), basketball court, cement skate park, dog park, grassy area, and a famous 27-hole disc golf course.  Another notable playground (mentioned above under bike rentals) is located in the Regan Beach park area.  The park is located on the lake with large grassy areas, large playground, and snack shack.

Last, But Certainly Not Least: Beaches!

Nevada Beach, Lake TahoeThe entire south shore is rimmed with beaches, so there are really too many to name.  But my two favorite family-friendly picks would have to be Nevada Beach (located on the Nevada side, just a couple of miles passed the casinos), and Baldwin Beach.  These beaches are typically filled with families and smaller groups, and less of the “party crowd”, so you and your little ones can enjoy a nice relaxing day at the beach.  They both fill up quite quickly, especially on weekends, so it is advisable to arrive early.  There is a parking fee at both beaches.

These are just a handful of suggestions for activities the whole family can enjoy while renting a South Lake Tahoe vacation rental, but there are many more activities available! What are your favorite activities that your family loves to do while visiting the Tahoe area?  I would love to hear about your experiences!

About Devon Fennessy

I am a long time local of South Lake Tahoe, CA, and have worked in the tourist industry (namely vacation rentals) since 1998. I have experience blogging for two of my own websites: a health blog, and culinary blog with recipes, how-to's, and kitchen must-haves. I also have an Associate of Science Degree in Culinary Arts from the International Culinary School at the Art Institute in Las Vegas. I am currently the Communications Director for Buckingham Properties Lake Tahoe, located in the heart of South Lake Tahoe, and love living the Tahoe mountain life!

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