Squaw Valley, Tahoe: Five Family Favorites
This winter, my family and I were guests of the The Village at Squaw Valley, a charming component of the vast Olympic Squaw Valley mountain area. Squaw Valley’s 4,000 acres is part of beautiful Lake Tahoe in California’s Sierra mountains. Visitors flock to Squaw for the snow in winter and heaps of outdoor fun in the summer. It is almost wicked to mention just five but if you find yourselves there, please include the following in your itinerary.
1. Squaw Valley Kids’ Ski school
Hubby and I pondered about whether to put our kids (age 7 and 4) into ski school. But after realizing we weren’t capable of teaching our kids to ski, we sensibly went ahead. Folks, this ski school was fabulous! Perhaps some of the best childcare I have ever experienced. Security and safety was well organized but what impressed me was the kindness, care and fun shown by these very enthusiastic ski instructors from all over the world. Book ahead, it’s popular!
Come on, who wouldn’t enjoy sitting in an inflated rubber ring, accelerating down a mountain of snow at a bookable speed? This activity is surprisingly painless (on the whole) and can be found at the Papoose Discovery Center, next to Squaw Village. It’s on the expensive side for an hour but it is great fun. Share tubes to save some money.
3. Cable Car
Catch the cable car from Squaw Village at the bottom of the mountains to reach High Camp, 2,000 feet up. The ride is only 7 minutes long and is an adventure in itself. Watch for the car swinging as you cross the pylon – your kids will scream with delight. At High Camp, as well as access to a vast amount of the mountain to ski, bike or hike, there is ice skating, swimming (in summer) and several eating places. The views are gorgeous.
4. The Skyjump
By the time my kids tried the Skyjump in the pretty Events Plaza in Squaw Village, my husband and I had realized that a ski trip is NOT for the faint of purse. So we sucked up the $12 for five minutes per child. From the kids point of view, this activity was the most fun (and they LOVED skiing, so you can imagine their glee). Jumping with elastic cords on a personal trampoline is pretty hard for a kid to resist. At least we could watch with a coffee in hand from one of the local stores, and warm our backsides on the outdoor fire.
5. Personal S’mores
While at High Camp, call in at Alexander’s Cafe & Bar (booking is advised). Never mind the (very pleasant) entrees, go straight for the dessert and order the personal smores plate. They bring you a fire to the table and you cook your marshmallows right there. Maybe not for very young children but terrific fun for 4 or older.
The video version, in which we squash a whole weekend’s worth of fun into one minute: