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Christmas - New Year at Lake Tahoe for non-skiiers

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Planning a visit to Lake Tahoe towards the last week of December with family (4 + newborn). ~5 days between Dec 23 - Jan 2.

Here are things we would like to do -
- Take rest/family time
- Visit casinos in Reno
- Hit some slopes for a day (Green/easy Blue)
- Home cook with 1 restaurant visit everyday
- Want a vacation where I am not tired at the end of it

Some contraints -
- Not everybody in the group is a skiier
- have a 3 month old, so will be fairly slow and plan to do no more than 5-6 hours of things every day (preferably split into 2 slots of 3 hours each)

Here are a few initial questions for fellow fodorites -
1. Are most vacation rentals available at that time for the week only, and is vrbo the best choice to look for one in the Tahoe area
2. Should I stick to South Lake Tahoe
3. Do I need to rent a 4 wheel drive to avoid chains (live in SF, so would prefer to drive my FWD SUV)
4. How many days is the ideal trip (would 4-5 days be good; or do I need to plan a week).

Any other suggestions welcome.

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