By Jen Peng
The Reno/Tahoe area may be known as a winter wonderland, especially on a bluebird day after a snowfall. But sometimes it’s just too cold and blustery to get outdoors. Luckily, there are plenty of options, both indoors and out, to keep the whole family occupied no matter the weather outside.
Stay and play inside
A museum tour is just the ticket to explore in the comfort of central heating. See over 200 amazing automobiles, or Be the Astronaut at the National Auto Museum’s new interactive exhibit, and fly a spaceship or drive a rover in different space missions. If the arts are more your thing, be sure to visit the Nevada Museum of Art. See original exhibits by artists like Maya Lin (Tahoe Watershed) and Trevor Paglen (Orbital Reflector). From January 31 – May 5, the Wilbur D. May Museum will host The Lost World of Dragons. Delve into the legends and see dragons come to life through animatronics, interactive displays and virtual reality. The Discovery Museum offers 67,000 square feet of indoor activities. Try their new Mindbender Mansion and expand your mind with brainteasers and interactive challenges. automuseum.org; nevadaart.org; wahoecounty.us; nvdm.org
Express your creative side with fun crafting projects at Tahoe Modern Makers. They’ve got everything you need to make a variety of crafts and projects, including ceramics, wood burning, sewing, paper crafts, and much more! Even if you’ve never crafted before, they offer classes to help bring out your inner creative genius. Take-home craft supplies help extend the artistic adventures. tahoemodernmakers.com
If you like going fast, then you’ll love Reno’s Need2Speed. State-of-the-art electric carts allow you to race around an indoor track (with no emissions!) at speeds up to 45 miles per hour. To make things more interesting, you can even race under black light. Want even more thrills? Try their virtual reality roller coaster or hone your putting game with a few rounds of blacklight mini golf. need2speed.com
Channel your inner warrior and defy gravity at Reno’s latest indoor adventure park. Urban Air Adventure Park offers trampolines, ropes courses, warrior obstacle courses, beam battles, a tubes playground, and more! There’s even an indoor Sky Rider coaster. While this place is fun for all ages, after they’re done adventuring those 21 and up can enjoy an adult beverage in the lounge. urbanairtrampolinepark.com
Best of both worlds
For many people, winter is the time to lace up their skates, and practice those glides, twirls, and swirls. Get your skate on at the only indoor rink in the Reno/Tahoe area, South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena. Or combine a day on the slopes with time on the ice at Heavenly Village or the Village at Northstar. In addition to great ice skating, both offer cafes, bars, restaurants and shops in their villages, so you won’t have to go far for a drink or a bite to eat. Those closer to Reno can skate around the Reno Aces Ice Rink in downtown Reno. tahoearena.co; skiheavenly.com; northstarcalifornia.com; renoaces.com
You don’t have to make it to the crag to climb. Stay pumped through the winter at South Lake Tahoe’s Blue Granite Climbing. Featuring 42-foot-tall climbing walls and a bouldering area, they also have classes and clinics to help up your climbing game. Yoga and pilates classes keep limbs loose and limber in between sends. Want to go higher? Try scaling the “world’s tallest climbing wall” at the Basecamp at Whitney Peak Hotel in downtown Reno. There’s also an indoor bouldering gym, in addition to fitness, yoga and pilates classes. bluegraniteclimbing.com; whitneypeakhotel.com
Lake Tahoe never freezes, so there’s no reason not to get on the water in winter. Being in the middle of Big Blue with majestic snow-capped mountains all around is just spectacular. Enjoy stunning daytime vistas of Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay, or cruise under the stars on an evening dinner cruise with live entertainment on the M.S. Dixie II. Heated, multi-level, indoor cabins will keep you nice and toasty, even in frosty weather. zephyrcove.com
Did you know that winter is actually an ideal time for catching certain fish in Lake Tahoe? Find out for yourself, with the experienced crew at Tahoe Sport Fishing Co., who provide everything you need to catch your own Mackinaw, Brown or Rainbow Trout. When the temperature dips, warm up in their heated cabin and enjoy complimentary hot beverages and snacks. tahoesportfishing.com
Embrace the cold
There are plenty of activities outdoors that don’t require paying for an expensive lift ticket and long lines to actually use those tickets.
Discover peace and tranquility as you snowshoe or cross-country ski through a snow-covered paradise. Camp Richardson Historic Resort offers miles of groomed and skier-packed trails, ranging from beginner to expert, and was voted “best place to cross-coun
try ski” by Tahoe locals. Get outfitted with everything you need at their Mountain Sports Center. Or try Mountain West Sports at The Crossing at Tahoe Valley for your equipment needs. camprichardson.com; mountainwest.rentals
A snowmobile can take you to pristine locations that are otherwise unreachable in the winter. Zephyr Cove Snowmobile Tours offer 2-hour tours that will take you over 45 miles of trails and up to an elevation of 9,000 feet for jaw-dropping views. Tours are available mornings and afternoons. For a truly magical experience, try an evening tour during a full moon. zephyrcove.com
Borges Sleigh Rides have been delighting visitors for over 50 years with horse-drawn sleigh rides. Experience enchantment as you go dashing through the snow, across meadows and through the woods to a beautiful view of Lake Tahoe. Hand-made sleighs come in a variety of sizes — perfect for the whole family, or just you and your sweetheart, snuggled up under warm blankets. sleighride.com
Feel the thrill of flying down the hill on an inflatable tube at Heavenly Lake Tahoe’s 500-foot-long tubing hill. With a magic carpet to take you back up, you can save your energy for having fun. Boreal’s Playland Tubing offers groomed tubing lanes, high quality tubes and a moving carpet. All day or 90-minute sessions ensure plenty of fun and smiles. Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, enjoy sledding, tubing and other snow toys at Tahoe Donner Snowplay. A food truck offers hot drinks and food on Saturdays and Sundays. skiheavenly.com; rideboreal.com; tahoedonner.com
No matter what Mother Nature throws at you, there’s plenty of fun activities to try in Reno/Tahoe this winter. Stay warm and keep smiling!