Safe adventuring with the kiddos in Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe.

Sierra Safely
Minden Park (Sierra Safely)

By Heidi Bethel 

If your children are anything like my two, you could say we’ve started going a bit stir crazy with all the at-home togetherness. My mom brain is about spent coming up with special projects and creative snack options. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a change of scenery to inject some enthusiasm into those sweet little faces. And, I know the absolutely perfect places, no matter their ages … Get ready to spend a great day or two exploring the Sierra Safely Trail where you can get some safe adventuring with the kiddos in Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe.

Small-town fun

Our youth-focused adventure starts in Minden with a picnic from Minden Meat & Deli. We all know full bellies mean more fun, so grab a delicious kids meal where the littles can choose from a sandwich, burger, hot dog and more to go, and they have great options for mom and dad, too (definitely check out the 31 beers on tap and fill a growler for later).

Mormon Station State Historic Park and River Fork Ranch Nature Conservancy are great destinations to enjoy lunch and learn a bit about the area. Take a quick drive for some water time and belly flop into the pools at the Carson Valley Swim Center. They have water slides, a rock wall and diving boards that are sure to be a hit.

After some swim time, load the crew up and head to Lake Tahoe. While some may snooze, others will enjoy the drive where you’ll pass by farms, through quaint towns, and up the Alpine-tree lined highway to Big Blue.

Minden Meat and Deli
Minden Meat & Deli


Loving it lakeside

There’s nothing quite like the enchanting view once you cross over the mountains and get that first sight of Lake Tahoe. It’s absolutely magical. Take it all in and then venture a bit closer to the water behind a trusty steed on a carriage ride with Sleigh & Carriage Rides at Lake Tahoe. Need more lake time? A stop at Round Hill Pines Beach Resort will get you on the beach, in the water (if it’s not too chilly), and aboard a yacht, if you’d like.

For an amazing bird’s-eye view of the area, head to Heavenly Lake Tahoe. Board the Scenic Gondola Ride where it’ll feel as if you’re floating up the mountain while expansive shades of blue grow before your eyes. Up top, enjoy the sights from the Observation Deck and hit the slopes for some great skiing and riding.


Sierra Safely
Sierra Safely


Next, it’s time to challenge those minds at Puzzle Room Tahoe a.k.a. South Lake Tahoe’s escape game experience. Head Below Ground, to the Lost Cabin or inside The Bunker to see if your family has what it takes to solve the mysteries. Once you’re out, enjoy a celebratory treat at Yogurt Beach. I know my kids love to watch the frozen yogurt swirl out of the machines and pile on the chocolate and candy. Yum!

If you need a reprieve from the looming sugar crash or want to break up the kidlet adventure, book a room at Holiday Inn Club Vacations Tahoe Ridge Resort or Tahoe Summit Village. Both options offer nice rooms, comfy beds and a relaxation spot for down time.

Whether you pick a few places or enjoy the entire kiddy tour, the Sierra Safely Trail app is a great resource to find safe, entertaining things to do in Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe. Be sure to mask up and practice safe social distancing, but most of all enjoy your family while you all have a fantastic time!