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Family getaway to Lake Tahoe with a 3 yr old

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My husband and I are planning a Lake Tahoe trip with our 3 yr old son and 15 yr old stepdaughter this upcoming March. My step daughter lives out of state and really wants to go to Tahoe for her spring break. This would be our first family trip with our son and I've found a few nice homes around south shore close to Heavenly Ski Resort. Staying in a home seems more comfortable for our family. None of us have skiing experience and are just looking forward to enjoying the snow and making memories. In researching the cost of ski lessons and tickets for lifts, it all seems overwhelmingly expensive. The drive to Lake Tahoe is an 8 hour drive for which we were planning on staying four days. I was wondering what other activities/sightseeing there is to do in Lake Tahoe. My daughter insists that it would be fun just to get away. She was very excited about the home we are thinking of selecting to stay in which has a huge backyard right off of the lake, private pier, a bonfire pit, and is really beautiful throughout. My husband worries about the kids getting bored and my daughter and I think playing outside in the snow and enjoying the outdoors would be entertaining enough. Any thoughts, ideas or opinions? I suggested Yosemite but my daughter is set on Tahoe.

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    I only go there to ski (and gamble a little), so not that sure about all the other activities. There is a small ice skating rink right near the gondola, but I don't suppose that's a big deal. I think there are some boat cruises from the west side of the lake. And you could visit Carson City, it has some historic interest.

    Skiing is an expensive sport, unfortunately, no way around it. I like to go to Tahoe as it is cheaper than some other places, actually (especially hotels, as the gambling business kind of subsidizes the skiers). But lift tickets and lessons aren't cheap. If there isn't any likelihood your stepdaughter is going to continue skiing, I'm not sure it would be worth the expense for rental and lessons, but their packages aren't bad (relatively). I mean, if you buy the ski lesson package that includes the lift ticket and equipment, you are basically getting the lesson for about free. It is a good deal in that regard.

    You can go up the mountain and see the views regardless, though, a lot of people do who don't ski. Much cheaper. YOu could go up and have lunch up there or something.

    YOu might want to try snowshoeing instead of skiing, if you are at all athletic. Equipment rental is very cheap, of course (be sure you bring some good waterproof boots, though), and it's not hard to learn. They have some places around there where you can do that.

    They do have various kinds of entertainment in Tahoe at the Harrah's on weekends, but that would be for adults in the evening (singers, bands, etc.). I'm sure you probably have seen their tourism website, it shows various kinds of activities http://www.skilaketahoe.com/area/ski-south-shore

    This is one of the boat cruise companies http://www.zephyrcove.com/cruises.aspx

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