The 8 Best Family-Friendly Summer Activities in Lake Tahoe

Plan a perfect family summer in Lake Tahoe with activities for kids and toddlers at beaches, on hikes, and at resorts like Northstar and Heavenly.

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The 8 Best Family-Friendly Summer Activities in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a vibrant destination known for its breathtaking natural beauty and family-friendly atmosphere. Summers here are especially magical, offering a plethora of activities that cater to families with kids and toddlers. From serene beaches and easy hikes to thrilling mountain resorts like Northstar, Heavenly, and Kirkwood, there’s no shortage of things to do in the area. The activities shown here will help you plan the perfect Lake Tahoe summer vacation with kids, ensuring every family member has a memorable experience. 

1. Discover the Joy of Easy Hikes

One of the best ways to explore Lake Tahoe’s stunning landscapes is on foot. The region boasts a range of family-friendly trails that are perfect for little legs. The Eagle Rock Hiking Trail is an excellent option, providing a relatively easy hike with an extraordinary view of the lake from the top. Another great choice is the Stateline Lookout trail, which offers a short walk to a scenic overlook featuring jaw-dropping views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains. 

2. Relax at Kid-Friendly Beaches

Lake Tahoe’s shores are dotted with numerous beaches perfect for families. Kings Beach is a favorite for its shallow waters and ample amenities, including picnic areas and playgrounds, making it ideal for a Lake Tahoe summer family activity. Another must-visit is Sand Harbor Beach, where the clear, shallow waters and gentle waves make it a safe swimming spot for toddlers and young children. The beach also hosts children’s programs during the summer, adding an educational twist to a fun day in the sun. 

3. Enjoy the Waters of Lake Tahoe

What is there to do in Lake Tahoe for families who love water sports? Try kayaking or paddle boarding! Several rental locations offer child-friendly gear and life jackets to ensure safety for all ages. For a unique experience, take a guided family canoe trip to explore hidden coves and the shoreline’s natural beauty. 

4. Visit Family-Friendly Mountain Resorts

Lake Tahoe is renowned for its beautiful mountain resorts, which transform into family-friendly havens each summer. Each resort offers a unique blend of activities designed to delight children and adults alike. Here’s a closer look at family-friendly activities available at several notable resorts: 


Northstar is particularly well-suited for families. This resort goes beyond the typical mountain activities to offer a comprehensive, family-oriented experience. During the summer months, the Village at Northstar comes alive with a roller skating rink that doubles as an ice skating rink in the winter. Northstar also offers a kid’s Summer Camp, which includes hikes, crafts, and nature activities that teach children about the local flora and fauna in an engaging way. 

Northstar also offers a roller rink and bocce courts for other family-friendly activities for everyone to enjoy together.


Heavenly stands out with its incredible scenic gondola rides. This ride takes you from the heart of South Lake Tahoe up to the summit, with unbeatable views of the lake and surrounding mountains. At the top, you’ll find a variety of activities for the family. These include the Mountain Coaster, where riders can control their own speed down the mountain and a zip line for even more thrills. 

The resort also has plenty of hiking and has a climbing wall designed for all ages. Heavenly frequently hosts a Kid's Day Camp and events during the summer, making it a dynamic place to visit. 


Kirkwood provides a more rugged and nature-focused experience, ideal for families who love adventure and the great outdoors. Unlike the more commercial resorts, Kirkwood’s charm lies in its natural landscape and smaller crowds, which makes it a peaceful retreat for families. The resort offers a variety of guided hikes, where families can learn about the local ecosystem and perhaps even spot some wildlife. 

For biking enthusiasts, Kirkwood features several mountain biking trails that are suitable for beginners and families. These trails offer beautiful views and a chance to explore the area at your own pace. 

5. Explore Interactive Learning Experiences

Incorporate some learning into your summer trip with a visit to the KidZone Museum in Truckee. This museum is specifically designed for young children and features a variety of exhibits that encourage hands-on learning and creative play. Another education stop is the Tahoe Environmental Research Center, which offers insights into the local ecosystem through interactive displays and guided tours. 

6. Engage in Family Fun Events

Throughout the summer, Lake Tahoe brims with family-oriented events and festivals. From outdoor concerts by the lake to magic shows and children’s theaters, these events are fantastic for family bonding and entertainment. Check the local event calendars to catch the many activities that happen throughout the season. 

7. Picnic at Scenic Spots

Pack a picnic and head to one of the many scenic spots around Lake Tahoe. D.L. Bliss State Park offers not only beautiful beaches but also picnic areas with stunning lake views, perfect for a family lunch. Another scenic spot ideal for a family picnic is Emerald Bay State Park, where you can enjoy your meal with one of the most photographed views in the world as your backdrop. 

8. Cycling Around the Lake

For families with older children, biking around Lake Tahoe might be the perfect activity. The bike path from Sugar Point to Tahoe City is especially scenic and mostly flat, which is great for younger riders. Bike rentals are available across the region, including tandem bikes and trailers for the little ones. 

Final Thoughts

Lake Tahoe in the summer is a dream destination for families seeking a mix of relaxation, adventure, and bonding activities. Whether it’s enjoying the tranquility of a beach day, exploring easy trails, or experiencing the thrill of mountain resorts, Lake Tahoe summer family activities are sure to create lasting memories. Pack your bags, grab some sunscreen, and prepare for an unforgettable Lake Tahoe summer vacation with the kids!