South Lake Tahoe with Kids

Well we did it! We made it back from a 3 day, 2 night trip to the “snow”. Well there was no snow this past weekend but it was still fun. Yes fun!

Almost every year members of my extended family stay in a cabin in South Lake Tahoe. This year only our family of 5 could make it so we decided to stay in a hotel. It was completely kid centered weekend. We did all the things the kids wanted to do. We were all in the same room, with 2 beds and a playpen so bedtime was a little rough. But when you’re 4 year old says “I sleep really good”, and your oldest says “I want to live in this city”, I think we did something right.

Mcdonalds at South Lake Tahoe

We got there on Friday for a super late lunch. Of course the kids picked McDonalds. This one in particular was the nicest McDonalds I have ever been in! Plus they had this little kids corner. There were touch screen monitors with games and this wall area that lit up in different colors when touched. Yes there may have been diaper blowouts with no changing table and kids that refused to eat what they ordered. But overall I’m glad this was our first stop.

Our hotel had an arcade. Now this could be a good things or bad thing depending on the kids. The good thing is it was an activity that they can do. They had fun. Earned tickets and prizes. It kept them entertained while it was too cold outside and we didn’t have to leave anywhere.

The bad part is if you have a child like my middle one, T, it is hard to leave the arcade. We went twice. Once on the first day and once on the second. Played everything he wanted and stayed for a while. We talked to him about leaving before we even got to the arcade. We talked him through how it will happen and what we will say when it’s time to go. And once it was time to go, T forgot everything and had the worse tantrum. I mean yelling, screaming, and throwing himself on the floor. He turned bright red and got all stiff, and DID NOT MOVE! He was so loud. It was embarrassing! And I felt so helpless honestly. I thought I did all the right things, and planned the right way, and prepared for it. I had my husband right there helping me. Our oldest C was fine leaving the arcade (so glad I didn’t have to worry about him). Eventually T calmed down and forgot all about it and had a great time. But those few minutes of the tantrum were rough.

In the Heavenly Village they have an outdoor ice rink. C loves to ice skate so it was a must for us. I went with my two boys. C got his skates and off he went. All on his own, totally comfortable. I put on T’s skates, too tight, switched to different size…got to the ice…too scared. So we paid $15 for T to try on 2 different pairs of skates! Oh the things we do for out kids.


Overall it was a good trip. It had it’s up’s and down’s of course. I was surprised that T had a more difficult time. I was so sure C was going to shut down and ask for phone and do nothing else. It’s common with him around large crowds and loud noises. He surprised me, as he always seems to do, and participated to the fullest. He was so exited during the whole trip. He wanted to do everything! He was patient when we had to wait for something. He was calm when his brother picked on him and bothered him. He did well with transitions. Of course there were lots of reminders and talking through about whats about to happen and what will happen next. There were some outbursts. But overall it was better than I expected.

I want to get out into the public with my kids. I want to go on trips and enjoy them. But honestly I have a fear that everything is going to go wrong. Or C will just shut down and want to be on a device the whole time. I realize anything can happen and sometimes C even surprises me.  I learned that I need to take risks. My advice? Take small steps. Practice trips maybe just for a day or even just a few hours. Figure out what works what doesn’t. Have a plan.

C enjoyed the trip! All 3 kids enjoyed it I think. That is what makes me happy.


“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19






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