Let's Do Something Different this Year in Tahoe
By Kathy Chin Leong

For the non-skiiers out there, what is there to do other than play in the snow and go skiiing?  There are non-cold weather activities you can enjoy at hotels and restaurants this winter. Check out these activities and see what sticks!

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe (www.ritzcarlton.com/LakeTahoe)
*Santa appearance: December 19, 5-7 p.m. Special appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus are scheduled as the Christmas holiday nears. On Saturday, December 19, the couple will be available for photos from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in The Living Room, followed by story time with Mrs. Claus from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 
*Craft making: December 21-23, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Kids are also invited to participate in Ritz Kids crafts. A cost is required to  participate which includes craft-making materials.
*Santa’s Gingerbread Workshop: December 18 through December 22; 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Kids and kids at heart are invited to work alongside a Ritz-Carlton pastry chef in this one-of-a-kind workshop. Holiday beverages included. Advance reservations are limited and required 48-hours in advance with restaurant reservations at 530-562-3035. $195 per family of four
*Treat making at Café Gourmand in Café Blue: Daily from December 18 through January 3; 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. From candy popcorn to chocolate fondue to shave ice, join the resort’s pastry chefs in Café Blue for an interactive, create-your-own treat hour. Pricing is a la carte.
*Holiday-Inspired Painted Vine Event (adults only);  December 24; 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe will join with The Painted Vine, a local business based in Truckee, Calif. to offer a special evening of wine tasting and painting a vintner-inspired picture. The session will include a painting class, wine, champagne and beverages. Reservations required 72-hours in advance with the Hotel Concierge. Cost: $75.
*Atelier Holiday Workshops; December 13 and 19; 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe will join with Atelier, a local business based in Truckee, Calif. to offer creative workshops designed for kids and adults alike. On December 13, guests are invited to learn to make hand-crafted wrapping paper. Learn the basics of creating seamless patterns and different techniques for design layout. $35. On December 19, learn to make unique, hand-made holiday cards through collage and stamping techniques. Cost: $25.  

Downtown Truckee (www.truckee.com)
*Art Workshops: Handmade gift wrap, Dec. 2;  IPhone Images to Encaustic Display, Dec. 3;  Spoon carving, Dec. 15. Check out the entire roster of fun classes.  See www.atliertruckee.com.
*Art gallery hopping: North Tahoe Arts, La Galleria, JoAnne's Stained Glass & Gallery, Carole Sesko contemporary Art, Carmel Gallery, Riverside Studios
*Kid's Shops: Jerky Junction & Candy Caboose, Echo Blue Consignment/Mountain Kids, Bookshelf Stores. 
*Outlets: Leggs-Hanes-Bali Outlet Store, Cabona's Outlet, Bass Shoe Factory Outlet. 
*Community Theater: See a show with local performers at their best. Dec. 4 - 6 offers Magical Holiday One-Act Plays. See www.truckeecommunitytheater.com.

Northstar Village, Truckee (www.northstarcalifornia.com
*Northern Lights Festival: Dec. 12. Fireworks at 7 p.m., music, and a day of family activities.
 *Candle making, pottery painting, bear making: Villager Candle Shop, Pottery Painting, and more daily.
 *Bungee jumping trampoline: Available daily with minimal fee.*Ice skating: Ppen daily with free skate time.
*Live music: Free. 
*Open firepits.
*Free s'mores: Daily at 3:30 p.m.

Heavenly Village, South Lake Tahoe (www.skiheavenly.com; )www.theshopsatheavenly.com
*Winter Ignite Festival: Dec. 4-5, Dec. 11-12.  Concerts and more.*Heavenly Holidays: Dec. 19-24, Dec. 31. Get photo ops with Santa until Dec. 24 and on Dec. 31 enjoy large ice sculptures being created by the pros.
*Cinema: See a current movie during your stay at Heavenly Village Cinema.*Ice skating: Skates available to rent.
*Shopping: Clothing, souvenirs, fine art, gourmet goodies.
*Heavenly Gondola: Take this up for sightseeing and viewing of the entire mountain. range.

Squaw Valley Village, North Lake Tahoe (www.squawalpine.com)
*Holidays at Squaw Alpine: Dec. 19 to Jan. 3. Celebrate holidays at these resorts with Santa, carolers, games, and live music. 
*Fireworks: Dec. 31.
 *Olympic Museum: Open daily at the resort
*Trilogy Spa: Open daily with all types of massages and facial treatments.
*Moonlit Showshoe Tour and Dinner: Only available Dec. 26, 27, Jan. 2, Jan. 16. Reservations 800/403-0206.
*Winter Film Series: Offered Dec. 17, Jan. 28, Feb. 25, and March 17 at 7 p.m.
*Aerial tram: Open for sightseeing daily.
*Indoor and outdoor climbing walls: Rates start at $12 per person.
*Shopping: Includes Dorinda's Chocolates, Gallery Keoki, Mind Play toys and games, Lather & Fizz Bath Boutique.
*Firepits: For chilling out until 9:30 p.m.


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