Skiing and Snow – Trekaroo Family Travel Blog kids. trips. tips. Thu, 16 Sep 2021 07:17:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Skiing and Snow – Trekaroo Family Travel Blog 32 32 9953755 Top 10 Things to do in Banff with Kids Thu, 25 Feb 2021 16:16:00 +0000 The top 10 Banff attractions for families include cultural and historic attractions, family fun, and amazingly beautiful lakes, waterfalls, and valleys.

The post Top 10 Things to do in Banff with Kids appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.

Are you dreaming of a Canadian Rocky Mountain escape with your family? Then head to Banff! There are so many great things to do in Banff with kids, making it an ideal vacation destination who love the great outdoors with a touch of luxury.

So where is Banff? It is situated 60 miles west of Calgary near the border of British Columbia and Alberta. The city of Banff is home to Banff National Park, a Canadian Rocky Mountain paradise.

Things to do in Banff with Kids

1. Stroll through Downtown Banff

things to do in Banff with KidsPhoto by Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Families can begin their Banff National Park exploration by walking the quaint downtown streets of Banff.

Situated right in the middle of the city, the Banff Visitor Info Center is a fantastic place to get oriented with the area. Commercial tourism information and Parks Canada, representing Banff National Park, are located within the doors of this historic building.

A myriad of shopping and dining opportunities are offered on the streets of downtown Banff, with plentiful souvenir possibilities around every corner.

The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies and Banff Park Museum are located just off the main drag if you are looking for more downtown activities.

Trekaroo Tip: Don’t forget to snag a copy of the Parks Canada Xplorers booklet while in the visitor center. Similar to the Junior Ranger program in the United States, this activity guide will help orient your children to the park’s wonders.

2. Golf at the Fairmont Banff Springs

things to do in Banff national park golfPhoto provided by Fairmont Banff Springs

The scenic wonderland of Banff provides the perfect backdrop for the game of golf. Mix this with the grandeur of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel & Resort, the historic hotel built in 1888, and golf-loving families have a veritable paradise.

Golf packages are available for the whole family at the internationally acclaimed Banff Springs Golf Course, including CPGA lessons for children 4-18 years old.

Families can also play the way the course was intended, with the Heritage Golf Experience that lets golfers utilize antique and replica equipment from nearly 100 years ago.

Tip: Green fees are significantly cheaper, albeit without the worldwide golfer hype and following, down the road at Brewster’s Kananaskis Ranch Golf Course.

4. Explore Cave and Basin National Historic Site

things to do in Banff national park cavePhoto by Montgomery

The official starting point of Canada’s national park system, Cave and Basin National Historic Site is an ideal starting place for your Banff adventure.

Kids can secure an Xplorer certificate and dog tag while completing a scavenger hunt through this landmark that takes families through the history of the region, the cave and water basin of its namesake, and Canada’s national park system.

Trekaroo Tip: Got a kiddo afraid of caves? This small, well-lit cave provides ample peace of mind for frightened little ones, and the assortment of other activities and offerings onsite will keep them entertained if the cave still scares them away.

4. Ride The Banff Gondola

things to do in banff national park gondolaPhoto by Banff Gondola by Pursuit

Taking a trip to the top of Sulphur Mountain on the Banff Gondola offers not only some of the best views of the surrounding area and its gorgeous six mountain ranges in every direction but also an exciting ride on the one-mile gondola ride to the top.

While we visited in mid-June, we happened upon a variety of weather experiences during our tour including rain, hail, snow, and sunny skies. A gift shop, restaurant, and lookout area, as well as numerous hiking trails (you can even hike up if you want!), greet you at the top of the mountain.

An easy 1km, self-guided, interpretive boardwalk is a great way to enjoy your time at the top of Sulphur Mountain. The path also leads to the Cosmic Ray Station National Historic Site and the Sanson’s Peak Meteorological Station.

For families who are prepared for more intense hiking experiences, check out this guide to first summits for families in the Canadian Rockies.

5. Take a Dip at Banff Upper Hot Springs

Things to do in banff national park hot springsPhoto by Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Noel Hendrickson

The lake and rivers in and around Banff are filled with freezing glacial water making swimming an option only for the very hardy. The mineral water temperatures at Banff Upper Hot Springs, however, range between 98ºF and 104ºF, making a dip in these natural, albeit modernized, pools a must while visiting Banff.

Trekaroo families recommend arriving early (when the college crowd is sleeping) and renting the old-timey bathing ‘costumes’ for a fun twist on your typical pool experience.

Check for hotel availability in Banff.

Trekaroo Tip: Radium Hot Springs and Miette Hot Springs offer similar water experiences, all within a short drive from Banff National Park.

6. Ride Horseback through the Park

things to do in Banff National Park horseback ridingPhoto by Sarah Pittard

Although hiking trails abound in and around Banff, a great way to take in the sights of the backcountry without breaking a sweat is by taking a horseback ride.

At the Warner Stables, operated by Banff Trail Riders, families with kids 6 and up can take guided horseback rides through the mountain trails that surround the city, offering incredible views and the chance to spot wildlife in their natural habitat.

Consider taking a Western dinner cookout ride that stops midpoint for a hearty cowboy meal; little ones can ride a wagon making it convenient for the whole family to enjoy the step back in time.

7. Hit the Slopes 

things to do in Banff national park skiingPhoto by Reuben Krabbe

We would be remiss to not mention the numerous possibilities for family fun during the wintertime in Banff. Just as busy around Christmas as it is during Canada Day, the region comes alive if there is a chance of powder in the forecast.

Lake Louise Ski Resort boasts killer views and a kids’ ski program that is top notch. It is steep and deep, definitely a good option for those who want the wow factor of the scenery.

Sunshine Village, part of our 2014 best family ski resort poll, has almost a cult following. Family-friendly Mt. Norquay, just minutes from the heart of Banff proper, offers some of the same great slopeside experiences while avoiding the ski snob attitudes of popular mountains elsewhere.

8. Enjoy the Views & Wildlife from the Lake Louise Gondola 

things to do in Banff National park Lake LouisePhoto by  Lake Louise Ski Resort / Jason Macqueen

Take an open-air or closed gondola to the top of the Lake Louise Ski Resort aboard the Lake Louise Gondola for one of the region’s best chances to see wildlife.

During your 14-minute journey to the top of the mountain, the 6,850-foot altitude gives you ample opportunity to see Lake Louise, glaciers, majestic mountain peaks, wildflower meadows, and plenty of wildlife.

In fact, this gondola is one of the region’s best chances to see grizzly bears, with sightings almost daily in the spring and summer months.

Once at the top of the mountain take the short walk to the Interpretive Centre for self-guided natural heritage presentations, guided talks, and guided hikes and tours.

9. Take a Hike 

things to do in Banff National Park hikingPhoto by Sarah Pittard

One of the best ways to explore Banff National Park is by hitting one of the numerous trails that take visitors out of the tourist stops and into the heart of this beautiful country.

Great trail options from Banff proper include the Fenland Trail, a mostly shaded 2.1km self-guided loop; Silverton Falls, an easy 1km trail; and the hikes to the Upper and Lower Falls of Johnston Canyon (both of which can be seen in under 3 hours round trip).

From the Lake Louise area, consider the hike to the Lake Agnes Treehouse, a moderate 6.8km hike that rewards travelers with tea, pie, and a beautiful waterfall view. The Bow River Loop & Interpretive Trail, and Lake Louise & Lake Moraine Shoreline trails are also best bets.

Families will also enjoy taking the gondola to the top of Sunshine Meadows in Summer and hiking back down.

Trekaroo Tip: Be sure to chat with a Parks Canada Ranger before beginning your hike to get trail suggestions based on your family’s ability. Whenever you hike in Banff, be ready to encounter wildlife, including bears, and take proper precautions. 

10. Enjoy the Glacial Lakes

things to do in Banff National park lakesPhoto by Sarah Pittard

Little compares to your first glimpse of a glacial lake. The stunning aquamarine color supplied by the glacier as it slowly glides down the mountainside produces some of the most vibrant blues and greens on earth.

Lake Louise is one of the world’s most famous, and the Fairmont Lake Louise, situated on the shoreline, boasts pristine views.

Moraine Lake, a very short drive off the main road, features similarly stunning views with a bit less of a crowd and a fun rock pile trail that kids will love scampering up to explore the fantastic views.

Families can rent canoes and kayaks at most of these glacial lakes to experience the beauty of these marvels from a unique vantage point. Explore the history of the region and its lakes on board the Banff Lake Cruise on Lake Minnewanka.

Look for the best hotel prices in Banff.

Where to Eat in Banff

Families won’t be short on dining options while visiting Banff National Park. The well-developed town of Banff boasts plentiful dining options from familiar chains to fine dining experiences for every budget.

Trekaroo families recommend dining at the Bear Street Tavern and Elk and Oarsman, or for a special treat, consider ice cream at Cow’s or even High Tea at the Fairmont.

Where to Stay in Banff

things to do in Banff National park Fairmont Lake LouisePhoto provided by Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Lodging opportunities abound in Banff National Park. For the ultimate splurge, consider staying at the historic Fairmont Banff Springs or Chateau Lake Louise, both of which made our top list for ultimate hotel splurges in North America.

Trekaroo families also recommend the Douglas Fir Resort and the Hidden Ridge Resort, where families can spread out in a massive three-story condo with full kitchen for making those budget meals.

Day Trips from Banff

Columbia Icefields

things to do in Banff National Park Columbia IcefieldsPhoto by Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure by Pursuit

Located a 3-hours from Banff, a trip to the Columbia Icefields along the Icefields Parkway is a must-do day trip while in the area.

Along the gorgeous drive, you’ll pass a seemingly never-ending array of postcard-ready backdrops and destinations including the Crowfoot Glacier, Peyto Lake, the Saskatchewan River Crossing, Bow Lake, Bridal Veil Falls, and the Weeping Wall.

The “end” of this tour, which is really the start of Jasper National Park (another national park jewel), is the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefield, the most accessible glacier in North America.

Kids and adults alike will love taking the impressive 6-wheeled Ice Explorer vehicles that transport you on to the glacier where you can get out, walk on, and take pictures of this natural marvel.

Don’t want to drive? Discover Banff Tours will take you and your family via coach to all these stops along the way!


things to do in Banff national Park calgaryPhoto Provide by Tourism Calgary

Just east of the rocky crags, glacial lakes, and tree-lined forests of Banff National Park, the great plains stretch out in mass leading the way to Calgary.

Families visiting this city will enjoy the TELUS Spark Science Centre, Heritage Park Historical Village, and Fort Calgary, in addition to the world-famous Calgary Stampede.

Disclosure: I received complimentary or discounted admission at some of the above-referenced activities while researching for this article. I was not required to state any particular view; all opinions remain my own.

Lead Photo by:

The post Top 10 Things to do in Banff with Kids appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.

Best Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts for Families [And the Best Season Pass!] Mon, 30 Nov 2020 09:30:24 +0000 When the first big winter storm hit the California coastline, our family clapped for joy because it meant that the High Sierras were getting their first serious snowfall of the winter season.

The post Best Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts for Families [And the Best Season Pass!] appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.

What are the best ski resorts in Lake Tahoe for families? What is the best Lake Tahoe season pass is for your family? We have the answers you are looking for! Updated for the 2021/2022 ski season!

There is nothing quite like a Lake Tahoe ski vacation. This is California’s premier ski destination and one of our favorite places in the U.S. for a family ski vacation.

Lake Tahoe boasts epic scenery, world-class ski resorts, proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area, comfortable ski conditions, lots of activities for kids, and good restaurants that are welcoming to families.

Every year, when the first big winter storm hits the San Francisco Bay Area, our family claps for joy because it means that Lake Tahoe is getting its first serious snowfall of the winter season.

Ski and snowboard Lake Tahoe with kids
Shredding it in Tahoe | Photo by Brennan Pang

The Best Ski Resorts in Lake Tahoe for Families

Just about every ski resort in Lake Tahoe welcomes families with open arms. However, all ski resorts are not created equal.

Our guide to the best resorts for families will help you decide where to hit the slopes with your kids in tow! Depending on what’s important to your family, here are our recommendations for the best ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area.

Check out our Ultimate Family Ski Vacation Planning Guide. It’s an incredible resource to prepare families for an ultimate ski vacation.

1. Heavenly Ski Resort – Best All-Around Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe for Families

Heavenly Ski Resort is one of the best Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts for families
Heavenly Ski Resort | Photo by Flickr/Brenrub

There are lots of reasons why Heavenly Ski Resort consistently gets rave reviews from Trekaroo families. This large ski resort features lots of intermediate runs so families are able to ski together happily for a large part of the day.

In addition, families with young children love Heavenly’s exceptional ski school. We particularly love how easy the drop-off and pick up experience is. Thoughtful touches like having ski instructors take care of fitting your children with rental equipment and very friendly staff make all the difference at drop off.

Heavenly’s Day Care offers care for wee ones as young as 2-months old in their CA licensed nursery. It is the only ski resort offering this service. Heavenly Day Care even offers unique ski-play programs for 3 and 4-year-olds who are ready to be eased onto the slopes but prefer to play.

We also love Heavenly’s delicious on-mountain dining options serving heart-warming favorites like burgers and chili, but also healthy options like fresh salads and gourmet meals for those who like to dine well.

Numerous lodges throughout the vast mountain makes it easy for families to take frequent breaks and rendezvous for meals mid-mountain.

World class skiing and the awesome ski school do come at a price. One day lift tickets at Heavenly aren’t cheap, but the season pass is an incredible value. See our comparison of Tahoe ski passes below.

NOTE: For the 2020/2021 season, day care is unavailable at Heavenly.

Additional Activities for Non-Skiers

Ice Skating at Heavely
Ice Skating in Heavenly Village | Photo by Flickr/NSObject

But, that’s not all! Heavenly Village and Adventure Peak offer lots of non-skiing activities from an extreme tubing hill, snowshoeing, and ice-skating. These activities are accessible via a scenic gondola ride offering panoramic views of Lake Tahoe.

Trekaroo families rave about the friendly and attentive staff at Heavenly who are eager to help families find their way around, stay safe and have an unforgettably happy day.

See more of the Golden State. Here are the best things to do in California with kids

Accommodation Options

Although Heavenly does not offer their own accommodations, there are a variety of family-friendly accommodations in South Lake Tahoe.

Here’s our list of Kid-friendly Hotels Near Heavenly Ski Resorts in South Lake Tahoe.

Check for hotel availability in Lake Tahoe

2. Palisades Tahoe – Lake Tahoe’s Best “All-in-One” Ski Resort for Families

Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Tahoe
Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort | Photo by Flickr/RenoTahoe

Palisades Tahoe is another favorite ski resort with Trekaroo families. Palisades Tahoe comprises the Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows base areas. There is so much to do in Palisades Tahoe, you could easily spend the entire weekend here and not leave.

Palisade’s lodging is luxury all the way. Upscale stores and restaurants abound in the village and a shuttle runs between the two ski areas. The staff at Palisades and their partner establishments located in Olympic Village sure seem to understand how to welcome their guests. We have reviews of the Lodge at Squaw and Village at Palisades Tahoe.

The ski school is fully equipped to accommodate kids ages three and up at all levels of skiing, and the facilities have fun play areas. For a quieter experience, head to the Alpine Meadows ski school instead. Check out our review of the Alpine Meadows Kids Camp Ski School.

The cable car ride up to High Camp is a big hit, offering stunning views of Olympic Valley as well as ice-skating, hot tubs, and a heated pool. There is lots of space for little ones to build a snow man while down at the base of the Gondola, as well as a climbing wall and other amusements.

Palisades Tahoe also boasts a popular tubing hill and throws disco tubing events featuring DJs and lasers. All in all, Trekaroo families agree that for the premium you pay to stay and ski at Palisades Tahoe, you’ll won’t be wanting for much.

3. Northstar- Lake Tahoe Ski Resort with the Best On-Site Childcare

Northstar Tahoe View
View of Lake Tahoe from Northstar | Photo by Flickr/ Kwilms

Northstar is Heavenly’s sister resort on the North Shore, offering luxury accommodations and amenities. While there are lots of family-friendly touches at Northstar, their Minor’s Camp gets big kudos from Trekaroo families.

There are just a handful of ski resorts at Lake Tahoe that offer on-site child care. Minor’s Camp accepts children ages two to six years old. Located at the golf course base, the large and spacious facility is cheerful and filled with fun activities. Your child will perk up the moment you enter.

This is a CA state licensed facility with a low adult to child ratio of 1:5. The set up and staff were so welcoming that even little ones who usually have difficulty separating will feel very comfortable at Minor’s Camp.

NOTE: For the 2020/2021 season, day care is unavailable at Northstar.

In addition to great downhill skiing and snowboarding, Northstar also offers cross country skiing and tubing.


4. Sierra-at-Tahoe- Best Value Ski Resort for Families in Lake Tahoe

Sierra at Tahoe Snowboarding
Catching Air at Sierra-at-Tahoe | Photo by Flickr/HowISeeLife

What kid doesn’t want to learn to snowboard using Star Wars props? At family-friendly Sierra-at-Tahoe, that’s what they get in the Burton Star Wars Experience. Plus, you’ll find great instructors in a low-key environment.

Sierra-at-Tahoe is closer to Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area via Hwy 50, and vacation homes and motels in the area are generally less expensive.

This ski resort is a popular ‘commuter’ mountain. There are fewer crowds, less night life, and more focus on what people actually come for: the snow.

Sierra’s lessons are adjusted this year with private lessons continuing to be offered and smaller group lessons starting on November 29th. Daycare is not offered during the 2020/2021 season. For the latest details, check the Sierra FAQ site.

The instructors here know that the best way for kids to learn is to come often. Older kids who are accomplished skiers and riders will love Sierra’s chutes, and as parents, we love that all runs funnel into a single bowl making it easier for everyone to find their way down at the end of the day.

Sierra-at-Tahoe resort also offers a tubing hill.

Which Lake Tahoe Season Pass Should Families Get?

Updated for 2021/2022 ski and snowboard season.


Every year, the season pass wars wage fiercer, but the competition is great for skiing families. There are basically two top contenders. Keep in mind that things are different this year, as some passes require reservations so that the resorts can keep tabs on capacity on the mountains.

The Epic Local Pass for Tahoe gives you access to the three Vail Resort’s Tahoe mountains – Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood.

The Ikon Pass for Lake Tahoe Resorts gives you access to Palisades Tahoe (Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows).

Sierra-at-Tahoe also offers a season pass of exceptional value for families with kids 12 and under.

Furthermore, each of these passes differentiates by restrictions and benefits at different price points. In order to make a proper comparison, you’ve got to read the fine print and take into consideration what’s most important to your family in deciding which season pass is right for your family.

The below comparison takes into account some of the most important factors families will consider – value, blackout dates and restrictions, and quality of skiable terrain.

Value Comparison of Season Passes for a family of 4 (2 adults, 1 teen, 1 kid)

Keep in mind that if you plan to have your children take lessons most of the season, purchasing a season pass for them may not be the best option. Lift tickets bundled with full day group lessons are often a better deal.

If you are buying season passes for children under 13, both the Epic Tahoe Value Pass and Epic Tahoe Local Pass definitely offer the best value of any season pass. For individual season pass ticket prices, check the respective websites. Kids four and younger will cost even less.

Epic Pass
Tahoe Value Pass *Top Recommended
Epic Pass
Tahoe Local Pass
Ikon Base PassIkon Pass
11 blackout dates11 blackout dates12 blackout datesNo blackout dates
Saturday skiing only at Heavenly. No access on Saturday to Kirkwood, Northstar. Daily reservations required.Unlimited weekend access to Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood. Daily reservations required.Unlimited weekend access. Daily reservations not required at this time.Unlimited weekend access. Daily reservations not required at this time.
Sierra-at-Tahoe Unlimited Season Pass
No blackout dates
Unlimited weekend access. Daily reservations not required at this time.

Number of Blackout Dates and Restricted Days

The blackout dates for both passes are mostly during the holidays (between Christmas and New Years, MLK weekend, and President’s Day Weekend). If you plan on skiing during these times, both offer the option of purchasing discounted tickets during blackout dates.

If skiing on Saturdays is important to you, you’ll get the most value from the Tahoe Value Pass because you can still ski at Heavenly.

The Ikon passes have unlimited weekend access to Palisades Tahoe. Sierra-at-Tahoe also has some additional inexpensive pass options which do include blackout dates.

Recommended Unlimited Access Season Pass

If you are looking for unlimited skiing everyday especially during the holidays, the Vail Resorts Epic Pass is comparable to the Ikon Pass for Palisades Tahoe.

Both offer unrestricted access to all their Tahoe resorts. Both passes this year offer additional access and perks at resorts outside Tahoe in the United States and internationally.

Quality of Skiing Offered

Combined, Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood have almost double the skiable terrain of Palisades Tahoe.

Considering that snow fall can be variable around the Lake Tahoe area, it’s important to consider that Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood are in very different locations. You have the luxury of choosing where you want to ski depending on snow conditions.

On the other hand, it’s nice that Palisades Tahoe includes Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows. The two base areas are close together so you can easily ski at both in a single day if you choose to.

Additional Things for Families to Consider

Will your children learn to ski? Do you prefer full or half day lessons? Your answers to these questions should factor in which season pass is the right purchase for your family. The cost of lessons add up quickly for families.

Keep in mind that at Heavenly and Northstar they only offer full day lessons, and they are the most expensive ski schools in Lake Tahoe.

Kirkwood offers half day lessons. Kids ski lessons start at $115/half day.

At Palisades Tahoe, you have a variety of choices for lessons including an option starting at $150 for a half day midweek beginner lesson for ages 8+.

Now, go forth and shred the gnar!

Look for the best hotel prices in Lake Tahoe.

Visiting Lake Tahoe in summer? Check out these 24 spectacular things to do in Lake Tahoe this summer.

Featured photo by: Shutterstock

The post Best Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts for Families [And the Best Season Pass!] appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.

Snow Tubing for Toddlers and Kids on the East Coast Fri, 13 Nov 2020 08:46:48 +0000 Snow tubing can be a lot of fun for the whole family. But what about families with toddlers or preschoolers in tow? Fortunately, there are several East Coast resorts and tubing parks that have carved out winter play and kiddie tubing areas to the delight of parents up and down the coast.

The post Snow Tubing for Toddlers and Kids on the East Coast appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.

Snow tubing for kids can be a lot of fun for the whole family. But what about families with toddlers or preschoolers in tow?

Fortunately, there are several East Coast resorts and tubing parks that have carved out winter play and kiddie tubing areas especially for young children to the delight of parents up and down the coast. Here are our favorite spot with snow tubing for toddlers on the East Coast. 

Snow Tubing for Toddlers | Snow Tubing for Kids on the East Coast

Wintergreen Resort – Ridgely’s Fun Park

Snow tubing for toddlers on the East Coast can be found at Wintergreen Resort

Photo Courtesy of Wintergreen Resort

Many little ones see and touch snow for the very first time when they take their first winter vacation to the mountains. Wintergreen Resort, located in Virginia about an hour north of Lynchburg, has a special area set aside for these young children.

Ridgely’s Fun Park is best for toddlers and preschoolers that are too young for the big thrills of Wintergreen’s popular tubing park, The Plunge. In fact, Ridgely’s Fun Park has its own tot-sized tube run complete with a slow-moving magic carpet to reach the top; perfect for kids 5 and under .

There’s also a tube merry-go-round for the littlest ones who just want to sit back and enjoy. With soft blocks, snow tunnels, toys and more, Ridgely’s Fun Park is the perfect introduction to winter fun.

Rigdely the Bear also makes appearances at the park, which is typically open on weekends and holidays in reservable one-hour time slots.

Check out Trekaroo’s full guide to Wintergreen Resort.

Cataloochee Ski Area – Wee Bowl Snowplay Area

sledding with kids toddlers

The snow in North Carolina is not as far away as you think! Catalooche Ski Area is one of most southern areas in the east to enjoy winter fun, and it is less than four hours from Atlanta.

Just four miles from the ski area, Tube World in Maggie Valley offers tubing for adults and children at least 42 inches tall. There is also an adjacent tubing area, the Wee Bowl Snowplay Area, with a shorter tube run for tots not quite tall enough for the big hill.

Maggie Valley’s Wee Bowl Snowplay area is first come, first served and is only open when snowmaking allows — so it’s best to call ahead before suiting up your little ones.

Find more snow tubing parks in North Carolina.

Liberty Mountain Resort – Pebble Ridge Kiddie Tubing

Snow tubing for toddlers

Photo by Melissa Moore

Roundtop Mountain Resort, Whitetail Resort, and Liberty Mountain Resort are three sister ski areas located across southern Pennsylvania that offer plenty of opportunities for snowy winter thrills to Mid-Atlantic families.

Liberty Mountain Resort, the closest to Washington DC, is arguably the most popular ski area in the region due to its convenient location near Gettysburg.

However, all three ski areas have similar features including fast tubing runs open to children age five and up as well as adjacent kiddie tubing areas especially for tots too small for the big hill.

At Liberty Mountain, Pebble Ridge Kiddie Tubing caters to children under 5, and affordable day passes to the area allow families to come back again and again all day long.

Check out more family-friendly ski resorts in Pennsylvania.

Killington Resort

Skiing with toddlers

Photo Courtesy of Killington Resort

Does your little one want to ski like mom and dad? Killington Resort has ski and snow play programs available for children as young as two years old. Children ages 2-3 can participate in Killington’s First Tracks Slide & Play lessons, which include a 1-hour small group lesson inserted into the regular day at the Friendly Penguins Child Care Center. The equipment is all included! First Tracks private lessons are also available for 2-3 year old tots excited about learning the skills to join their families out on the slopes.

Check out Trekaroo’s full guides to Kid-Friendly Fun at Killington Resort and Pico Mountain. 

Explore more places to play in the snow in New England.

Thanks to Erin Gifford of who wrote the original version of this article.

Social & Lead Images by Bigstock/famveldman

Featured photo by: Shutterstock

The post Snow Tubing for Toddlers and Kids on the East Coast appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.

Christmas Events in Columbus, Ohio 2020 | Your Guide to the Holidays Sat, 07 Nov 2020 08:30:13 +0000 Come check out the top Christmas events in Columbus that are worth sharing with the entire family.

The post Christmas Events in Columbus, Ohio 2020 | Your Guide to the Holidays appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.

Columbus, conveniently located in central Ohio, is an easy destination for all Ohio residents to visit during the holidays. Tons of holiday events in Columbus give parents and kids an excuse to get out of the house and soak up the spirit of the season.

Looking for fun spots to take the kids this holiday season? We have a list of tried and true, kid-approved holiday events like breakfast with Santa that are guaranteed to warm your hearts! Come check out the top Christmas events in Columbus, Ohio that are worth sharing with the entire family. Updated for 2020!

Christmas Events in Columbus, Ohio

WinterFest at Bicentennial Park

Christmas Events Columbus Ohio

Bicentennial Park | Photo by Wikimedia Commons/Kevin Payravi

Note: Winterfest has been cancelled for 2020 due to Covid-19.

The Scioto Mile is a network of parks and promenades connecting downtown Columbus to the Scioto River. Each year, it lights up magnificently with thousands of twinkling lights for the entire holiday season.

WinterFest takes place in early December in Bicentennial Park along this urban oasis. It’s an annual festival that invites families to come out and celebrate the spirit of giving with live music and local food trucks. A portion of all food and drink sales goes to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

German Village

 Columbus Ohio German Village

German Village | Photo by Flickr/Photographer

This event has been cancelled for 2020 due to Covid-19.

Follow over 10,000 luminaries that line the historic streets of Columbus’ German Village during Village Lights. Shop to your heart’s content with special deals, discounts, and treats.

Carolers, live music, and an authentic Striezelmarkt are sure to make the evening feel extra special. Don’t forget to bundle up, as most of the fun is outside!

Breakfast with Santa

Christmas Events Columbus Ohio include Breakfast with Santa

Breakfast with Santa | Photo by Flickr/NEPA Scene

Note: Many traditional events at the Franklin Park Conservatory have been adjusted due to Covid-19. Check their website for an amended schedule. 

On select weekends in December, Franklin Park Conservatory hosts Breakfast with Santa. At this festive event, families enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast surrounded by poinsettia trees in the Grand Atrium. Santa stops by each table for a personal visit before making his way to pose for pictures with the kids. After eating, kids can visit the craft table to write letters to Santa.

The Conservatory also hosts various kid-friendly events such as gingerbread house building, cookie decorating, carol performances by local choirs, science demonstrations, and more throughout the month of December.

 Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo

Christmas Events Columbus Ohio

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo | Photo by Flickr/Sam Howzit

Can you imagine what one million twinkling lights would look like? How about three million? Families can get wild in winter with Columbus Zoo and Aquarium‘s Wildlights! It is one of the most popular Christmas events in Columbus, Ohio. 

A nighttime spectacular filled with three million Christmas lights, the zoo illuminates everything that stands still using energy-saving LED lights. Rudolph, Santa, and several animated light shows will have your wee one’s eyes all aglow.

Check for deals on family-friendly hotels in Columbus.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk

Christmas Events Columbus Ohio

Genoa Park | Photo by Flickr/Andy Karmy

Dress up in as much Christmas garb as you can, tie on a few jingle bells, and help support a great cause while feeling healthier about yourself and your family. Every year, the Jingle Bell Run/Walk at Genoa Park helps support a great cause, The Arthritis Foundation.

Kids and adults can choose whether to walk or run, and children 10 and under can participate in the Kids Snowflake Dash. Note: This event will be a virtual event in 2020 due to Covid-19.

Dickens of a Christmas

Christmas Events Columbus Ohio

Ohio Village | Photo by Flickr/OZinOH

Note: Dickens of a Christmas at Ohio Village will be a drive-thru event in 2020 due to Covid-19. Advance tickets are available for purchase. 

Ohio Village turns into an eighteenth-century town filled with shows, activities, and crafts geared toward families and kids of all ages for the holiday season. From Christmas Carol Puppets in the School House to a visit with St. Nicholas in the Church, Dickens of a Christmas treats families to fun holiday traditions in a festive setting.

In the Farm House, parents and kids can stop in and grab a tasty treat and check out the daily holiday meal. Meet Santa, say hello to Jacob Marley, and learn how the residents of Ohio Village celebrate Christmas. Make sure to dress warmly as many of the events, including carolers and other actors, are outside.

Ohio Statehouse Holiday Festival

Christmas Events Columbus Ohio

Tree Lighting | Photo by Ohio Statehouse Archives

Note: This event has been cancelled for 2020 due to Covid-19 but there will be holiday ornaments from the past  displayed in the Ohio Statehouse Map Room and the 2020 Ohio State ornament available for purchase. 

The Ohio Statehouse hosts an annual holiday festival and tree lighting ceremony at the beginning of December. Enjoy carolers, refreshments, and historical figures.

Then throughout the month, free holiday performances by local musical groups give families a great reason to visit midday. Santa and Mrs. Claus have even been known to make an appearance, so keep your eyes peeled for the jolly old elf.

Check for the best hotel prices in Columbus.

Pin this to bookmark all the holiday fun; we update it yearly:

Christmas and holiday fun in Columbus Ohio

Featured photo by: Shutterstock

The post Christmas Events in Columbus, Ohio 2020 | Your Guide to the Holidays appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.

Christmas Events Bay Area, Sacramento, and Northern California 2020 Thu, 05 Nov 2020 08:01:08 +0000 In the spirit of holiday sharing here are Trekaroo’s top picks for holiday activities in Northern California that are perfect for creating special days that make for wonderful memories.

The post Christmas Events Bay Area, Sacramento, and Northern California 2020 appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.

The Christmas season is upon us, and Northern California is filled with a plethora of family-friendly activities. This is your guide to Sacramento Christmas events, Bay Area holiday fun, and many more Northern California Christmas events in 2020. 

Whether you’re among the bustle in San Francisco, waving at surfing Santa from the shores of Capitola, or meandering through the historic Christmas Villages of Nevada City, Northern California offers something for everyone.

Northern California Christmas Events 2020

Train Rides with Santa in Northern California

Christmas events in Northern California include train rides with Santa
Photo by: Flickr/ProComKelly

Northern California Christmas train rides are popular events that sell out quickly. During the months of November and December, numerous train companies offer young guests the opportunity to meet Santa in vintage passenger cars decked with dazzling lights and holiday swag.

1. Napa Valley Wine Train’s Santa Train

Note: Napa Valley Wine Train does not have this tour listed on their website for 2020, indicated it may have been cancelled. 

Napa Valley Wine Train’s Santa Train combines the best of worlds, a mother’s love of wine and a child’s love of Santa. Hot chocolate and cookies are part of the fun, along with a Jolly the Bear ornament to take home. It runs November 18- December 26, often with two rides daily.

2. Polar Express Sacramento

Cancelled for 2020

The Polar Express is one of the most popular Sacramento Christmas events. Should you be lucky enough to have already secured tickets for the often sold-out event,  be given the “first gift of Christmas” — a sleigh bell. On the return trip, all join in and sing Christmas carols when pulling into the station at the California State Railroad Museum. There are four departures a day on most dates Wednesday through Sunday beginning November 29 and carrying through the month of December until the 22nd. Tickets go on sale October  1, 2019 at 9am.

3. River Fox Train’s Magical Christmas Train

The River Fox Train in West Sacramento offers great excursions year round, but during the holiday season they will host the Magical Christmas Train.

This 1-hour train ride includes activities for the kids, a visit with Santa, treats, and play time at the a private park. Open-air cars will be used, along with weather curtains and heaters. This experience is available on select days from November 27 through December 23, 2020. 

4. Niles Canyon Railway Train of Lights

Cancelled for 2020

The Niles Canyon Railway Train of Lights features 15 train cars draped in holiday lights. The Christmas Train to Willits is a 90-minute merry treat for pajama-clad passengers.

5. Roaring Camp Railroads in Santa Cruz

Note: Their holiday trains are cancelled for 2020 but Roaring Camp Railroads is still open in a limited capacity.

Roaring Camp Railroads offers the children of Santa Cruz, not just one, but two holiday trains departing directly from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk: Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train and Chanukah Train. Given its location, this is a nice South Bay Area Christmas option.

Explore where to catch the Polar Express.

Sacramento Christmas Events

On two weekends in December Fairytale Town in Sacramento is decorated with festive trimmings and lit up with dazzling lights, starting at dusk.

Winter Wonderland features kid-friendly Christmas-themed activities, strolling Victorian Christmas carolers, items for purchase from local vendors, and a nightly snow flurry.

In nearby Old Sacramento, celebrate the annual Theatre of Lights performance. This state-of-the-art sound and light display is shown on Thursdays through Sundays beginning the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through December 23rd at 6:00pm  and 7:30 p.m.

There will be a special tree lighting on November 21 and a special performance on Christmas Eve at 6:00 pm. Cancelled for 2020

Be sure to check Trekaroo’s lists for Fun Holiday Activities for Kids in Sacramento, CA.

Check for deals on family-friendly hotels in Sacramento

Christmas Events Bay Area

The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco - teddy bear tea

San Francisco

The legendary Teddy Bear Tea at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco runs from November through December, with seatings at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. This event appears to be cancelled for 2020. 

Children and their beloved stuffed animals are invited to assemble in The Terrace Courtyard Tent for a glamorous tea service featuring the giant Ritz-Carlton Teddy Bear. Holiday entertainment is dished along with hot chocolate, holiday confections, and assorted sandwiches.

Union Square is the center of San Francisco’s bustling Christmas shopping scene. An elegant outdoor plaza is rimmed by upscale stores.

There is an ice rink, menorah, Christmas tree, and so much more! From Pier 39 to the brink of the Golden Gate, read the details on everything Christmas in San Francisco in our comprehensive guide to San Francisco Christmas Events.  The ice rink at Union Square has been cancelled for 2020.

While you are in the city, learn Where to Enjoy Holiday Lights in San Francisco.


In Oakland, Children’s Fairyland celebrates the winter holidays for 11 exciting days with a salute to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Diwali, and Chinese New Year! Enjoy crafts, a festival of lights, and a visit from Santa in December.

This event will be held December 18-23 and 26-30, 2020. It will be a ticket event and will sell out. 

Children’s Fairyland is now closed from December 7 to January 4 due to a new Stay at Home order. 

Visit Oakland Zoo for their new holiday event, Glowfari. Glowing lanterns shaped as animals will light up the Zoo and night sky to celebrate the holiday season. There will be a mile-long path that wanders past these stunning lanterns.

This event will take place November 20, 2020 through January 17, 2021. The Oakland Zoo is is now closed from December 7 to January 4 due to a new Stay at Home order. 

Find amazing deals on hotels in Oakland.


Also in Berkeley, The Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley makes the last day of the year one to remember at their New Year’s Eve Day Party!

Countdown in the Science on a Sphere exhibit while observing what happens as the clock strikes midnight in different time zones around the world.

No need to worry about forcing the kids to stay up until midnight — at 2:00 p.m. cheer with fellow families as hundreds of balloons mark the celebration of the New Year. December 31, 12:00–2:00 p.m. Note: This event has been cancelled for 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

Check for amazing hotel deals in Berkeley.

San Jose

The biggest Christmas event in San Jose is Christmas in the Park. During this holiday traditions, the plaza transforms into a forest of holiday delights with acres of Christmas trees decorated by local schools, community groups, and businesses.

Over 60 animated exhibits, glittering lights and the 60-foot Community Giving Tree add to the fun. You can read all about Christmas in the Park and other San Jose Christmas events in our comprehensive guide.

Note: This event is a drive-thru event in 2020 and advance tickets are required. 

Santa Cruz

Christmas events in Northern California

Enjoy 50 decorated boats parading throughout Santa Cruz Harbor, rain or shine. This family-oriented festival is free and held Dec 5, 2020 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Santa Cruz Harbor.

Also in December, attend the Scotts Valley Christmas Tree Lighting Festival with music and Santa at 5:00 p.m. This event appears to be cancelled for 2020. 

On  December 15, pay a visit to the Jingle Shells Arts and Crafts Festival. Ocean-inspired gifts from local artists, live musical performances, kids crafts, and other festivities from 12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. Cancelled for 2020. 

Check for hotel deals in Santa Cruz.

Monterey Bay

Monterey’s signature holiday event is Christmas in Adobes. This event appears to have been cancelled for 2020. 

On Dec 13 and 14 from 5-9PM, stroll through the streets of Historic Downtown Monterey and enjoy live performances as volunteers in period attire welcome you into 19th Century homes decorated in historical style. Refreshments, games, history, and merriment await the entire family.

Welcome the New Year with the entire family (ages 5 and older) at the Monterey Bay Aquarium! Note: Monterey Bay Aquarium is closed at least through January 4 due to Covid-19. 

The evening will feature a sparkling cider toast at 9:00 p.m. and a Pinkberry sundae bar to celebrate the countdown to the New Year on East Coast time. Fun family oriented activities and programs are planned for this unique night of celebration.

The Holiday Parade of Lights  is an annual tradition in Pacific Grove and includes floats, marching bands, dance troupes, performing horses, and Santa Claus.

Afterward, carolers will walk through the streets of downtown as local shops stay open well into the evening for the holiday celebration. Cancelled for 2020. 

Tomales Bay

Santa Claus arrives by boat at Tomales Bay with treats and holiday wishes. Santa will dock at the Boat Shack at Nick’s Cove Restaurant on Dec 8 for his annual visit. This event looks to have been cancelled for 2020.

Children can sit and chat with Santa in the Boat Shack, which is illuminated for the holiday season, and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and sweets.


Christmas events in Northern California

Le Cirque de Boheme

Cancelled for 2020

A 1920’s style circus based on the French tradition Le Cirque de Boheme will transport you into a surreal dream filled with enchantment, wonder, and discovery.

A Magician, Contortionist, Hat Juggling, Ball Spinning, Unicycle, Mime, an eccentric Clown, Knife-Thrower and other assorted performers of Paris of the 1920’s can be seen. The circus takes place on select dates in November and December.

Lighting of the Snowmen Festival

Cancelled for 2020

See what the snowmen are up to this year at Cornerstone Sonoma! Music and entertainment, pictures with Santa on the big blue chair, and the annual lighting of the snowmen around the Cornerstone Gardens. Available to view through December.

Christmas at the Mission

This event appears for be cancelled for 2020.

Join in a candlelight procession from Sonoma Barracks to Mission San Francisco Solano followed by a non-denominational service. The Mission will host holiday festivities which include history demonstrations, crafts, snacks, and Santa. Don’t miss the three Las Posadas pageants in the chapel.

Look for hotel deals in Sonoma


Christmas Events in Northern California

Santa’s Riverboat Arrival

Rudolph and his reindeer pals get the day off when Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive in Petaluma on a Jerico tugboat on November 28, 2020.

Their trusty tug chugs up the Petaluma River and arrives at noon at River Plaza shopping center where the waiting crowd has been entertained by a variety of festive performers at this free event.

After Santa and Mrs. Claus disembark, they are greeted by costumed dancers from Petaluma City Ballet’s “Nutcracker” and are escorted to a Santa’s workshop for photos with children and lots of Christmas wishes.


Christmas events in Northern California Headlsburg

Dickens Dinners at Madrona Manor

Step back in time at Madrona Manor, this charming, historic wine country inn will be decorated in Victorian Splendor for the holiday season. Enjoy an evening of fine dining along with carols.

Insider Tip: Many children attend this dinner, but keep in mind that the price is the same for adults and children and the dinner service lasts a little over two hours.


Cancelled for 2020

Mendocino’s Annual Festival of Lights at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens promises to impress visitors with thousands of glittering lights to create a fantastical coastal garden full of sparkling whimsy. It takes place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from Nov 29 – Dec 22.

Northern California Christmas Events Celebrating the Past

Northern California Christmas events
Photo by Tina Buell

Evoke the spirit of Christmas past amidst the delightful backdrop of historic downtown Grass Valley during their yearly Cornish Christmas Celebration. Cancelled for 2020. 

The event takes place on Friday evenings beginning November 29rd and runs through December 20. Mill and West Main Streets are blocked to traffic and packed with the resonances of an old-fashioned Christmas. 

The Grass Valley Cornish Carol Choir croons Christmas carols on the steps of the historic Union Building. Delight your senses with the aromas of your favorite foods while you stroll down the bustling historic streets of Downtown Grass Valley. Listen to musicians play Christmas music as shops bathed in Christmas lights twinkle in the night air.

In Nevada City, at the Victorian Christmas you’ll see kids and adults dressed in period costumes. Delicious food and drink can be purchased from a number of specialty food vendors.

This event takes place on select Sundays and Wednesdays in December. Visit the Victorian Christmas website for more details.

In Paso Robles, Vine Street Victorian Showcase features Ebenezer Scrooge, the Snow Queen, and Mr. & Mrs. Claus. Bring the kids to Vine Street for the festive sounds of caroling, illuminated floats, entertainers, live music, cotton candy, and free cookies and hot chocolate! Cancelled for 2020.

More Northern California Christmas Events

christmas events in Northern California
Photo by Paul Cockrell

Apple Hill

Apple Hill, located just northeast of Placerville, is a beautiful destination to pick and chop a Christmas tree. Several full-sized Christmas tree farms open the day after Thanksgiving and remain open until Christmas Eve. Visiting Apple Hill is a memorable experience any time of year, especially over Christmas!

Some of the more popular Christmas Tree Farms include High Sierra Iris Gardens, Hillside Tree Farm, and McGee Christmas Tree Farm. Christmas at Apple Hill isn’t just about picking a Christmas tree; many farms offer great family-oriented activities for the kids and have steaming cups of hot chocolate or homemade apple cider waiting for you.

Be sure to check Trekaroo’s list for Apple Hill Christmas Tree Farms.


In Copperopolis, the community will light its Holiday Tree, traditionally a 40-foot fir with more than 1,000 lights, in Town Square in November. Festivities will include music, an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus, and carriage rides.


In Windsor, stroll through Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Grove, a joyful and inspiring grove of decorative Charlie Brown Christmas Trees on Windsor Town Green. Snow falls each evening at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p..m., December 3-31, 2020.

In Big Trees State Park, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the giant sequoias and warm up with hot cocoa, hot apple cider and cookies, hot dogs and chili plus many more surprises! Cancelled for 2020.

El Dorado County

Historic Holiday Houses

Cancelled for 2020. 

Dec 7-8, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Thirteen of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park buildings that are normally closed will be open and decorated for the holidays. Docents will be at each house to tell the history of the building, and refreshments will be served at certain houses to get you in the holiday mood!

Wristbands to visit the houses will be sold for $5.00 per person (5 and under is free). Enjoy wreath making, wagon rides, music, and of course Santa. There is a parking/park day use fee of $8.00 per car.  For more information please call (530) 622-3470.

Free Stagecoach Rides

On select days in December, Davy “Doc” Wiser and his crew will be providing FREE stagecoach rides in in Placerville good weather. If you’ve never taken a ride in a real stagecoach, this is a treat for the whole family!

Holiday entertainment is featured at the Bell Tower on weekends in December, in good weather too.

The schedule and offerings have been altered in 2020 due to Covid-19 but there is still shopping and lights to enjoy.

Christmas Fun In and Around Lake Tahoe

Christmas events in lake tahoe
Photo by: Bigstock/RomanticStudio

Magical Memories at Resort at Squaw Creek

Appears to have been cancelled for 2020. 

Thanksgiving weekend brings the much-anticipated start to Resort at Squaw Creek‘s Magical Memories holiday celebration. The event begins with the Gingerbread Village Unveiling and Grand Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Magical Memories include a turkey hunt, snow fort building contest, caroling, ice rink games, winter wonderland stories with Mrs. Claus, elf tuck-ins, family movies, breakfast with Santa, or Hanukkah menorah lighting.

The Village at Squaw Valley will transform into Olde World Christmas, complete with frosted vignette windows, horse-drawn sleigh rides, storytelling with Santa, and farm-to-table dinners with Olympians and legends. They’ll also have an ice garden, train rides, orchestra performances, and Grinch look-alike contests.

Heavenly Holidays

Cancelled for 2020

Celebrate nearly two weeks of Christmas at Heavenly Holidays. This elaborate 13-day family-friendly festival at the Heavenly Village features professional ice skating shows, ice sculptors, and carolers.

Santa’s Workshop will be recreated inside of a 16-foot interactive snow globe where families can get their photos taken with Santa! Festivities conclude on December 31 with A Heavenly New Year’s Celebration featuring a 9 p.m. ball drop and fireworks show!

Holiday Feasts

Granlibakken Conference Center & Lodge offers a hearty Thanksgiving feast that celebrates family and friends around the dinner table. Before dinner, work up an appetite outdoors at Granlibakken’s Treetop Adventure Park. Set 30 feet off the ground, the ropes course and zip line will be open Thanksgiving week (weather permitting) and throughout the winter season.

Camp Richardson Historic Resort and Marina is an all-season resort with lodging in cabins and hotel rooms. The Beacon Bar and Grill, situated on the scenic shore of Lake Tahoe, is offering special menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.

Enjoy Winter Holiday Activities for Kids in Lake Tahoe & Nevada.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Christmas Trek to the Tree

Wuksachi Lodge

On December 13, 2020, the annual Trek to the Nation’s Christmas Tree (the General Grant Tree), is a tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces who have sacrificed their lives for their country. A memorial wreath placed is placed at the base, and an NPS representative will speak on the tree’s role as a national shrine.

Attendees can park at the Grant Tree Trail entrance lot, take a free shuttle from the Kings Canyon Visitors Center, or a paid shuttle from the Sanger Chamber of Commerce offices. In addition, Kings Canyon Park admission is free from 2 to 4 p.m. on the day of the event.

Find hotel deals for the holiday season near  Sequoia National Park.

Central Coast Christmas Events

Paso Robles

Christmas events in Northern California

Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony

Lights will illuminate the way to this year’s holiday festivities in City Park on November 27, 2020. Mrs. Claus will arrive and light the downtown, sharing her merriment with all. Enjoy music, candlelight caroling, free cookies, and hot chocolate. Admission is free.

Christmas Light Parade

On December 5, 2020 at 7pm, relish the sights of the holiday spirit with a brilliant parade featuring an array of lighted spectacles from local businesses. Awards will be given for best in show. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus and witness downtown light up with holiday spirit!

Teddy Bear Tea

The Downtown Paso Robles’ Annual Victorian Teddy Bear Tea (December 19 from 2-4pm) invites kids to bring their teddy bear for tea, stories, gingerbread cookie decorating, arts and crafts, and visits with the Snow Queen and King, Mrs. Claus, Santa Claus, lovable elves and Victorian friends.

San Luis Obispo County

Christmas events in Northern California

The Apple Farm Inn and Restaurant in San Luis Obispo welcomes you to its annual Holidays at the Apple Farm.  This  is classic celebration of the season’s most time-honored traditions, with several free activities for families. This event may be cancelled for 2020.

Madonna Inn, a historic landmark hotel with themed rooms, offers a succulent holiday meal and New Year’s Eve Celebration.

Hearst Castle

Cancelled for 2020

Hearst Castle is an unforgettable experience on any given day, but during the holidays you’ll be awestruck. From December 1-31 (except Dec. 25), the Castle decks the halls generously, giving guests the sense they’ve traveled back through time and are celebrating the holidays with Hearst’s iconic roisterers.

The Great American Melodrama

Cancelled for 2020

For over 40 years residents have looked forward to The Holiday Extravaganza, presented by The Great American Melodrama. The show features a matchless holiday performance, including an uplifting one-act rendition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a heartwarming splintered fairy-tale opera and a well-known Holiday Vaudeville Revue.


Downtown San Luis Obispo’s Annual Holiday Parade takes place on Dec 6. It dazzles partygoers with nearly 100 decorative floats, jammin’ musical acts, and dancers. The next day, Mr. and Mrs. Claus will ride a train to the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum, which will be outfitted in holiday cheer. Cancelled for 2020.

Morro Bay sponsors a free Lighted Boat Parade on Dec 6. Spectators can peer out into the bay at ornamented Christmas skiffs, yachts, fishing boats, cutters, sailboats, and kayaks. Website has not been updated for 2020 as of 11/5/20.

Look for family-friendly hotels in San Luis Obispo.

Special thanks to Tina Buell who wrote the original version of this article. 

Find more Christmas events near you! Trekaroo has guides for dozens of cities across the country.

Pin this- we update it yearly:


Leas Image by: Shutterstock/fotorutkowscy

The post Christmas Events Bay Area, Sacramento, and Northern California 2020 appeared first on Trekaroo Family Travel Blog.