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  • Truckee Skiing - 10 World Class Resorts:
    Fun for the Whole Family

    By Tammie Thompson

    Photo courtesy Boreal Are the kids bugging you for an adventure? Are you craving a vacation that exudes excitement without the hassle factor? Think about Truckee, CA for a winter family vacation.

    The Truckee area boasts ten world-class mountain resorts to choose from. That's top ski schools (times ten), extraordinary terrain (times ten), excellent family amenities (times ten), awesome snow (times ten), and tons of non-ski family activities (times ten). That's a lot of arithmetic, but what it boils down to is that Truckee makes for one awesome family fun center.

    Start with the children's program at Sugar Bowl. The famed Sugar Bears program offers your little darling a day of adventure. The Summit Adventure Camp for older kids offers a session in the terrain park or some top coaching on the steeps. Top off your day with a bit of ice-skating.

    Just down the road at Donner Ski Ranch, a family can get max value at affordable prices. The Ranch boasts of a "one of the best" Sports Schools in the area and offers a killer learning package for kids at just $30 including lifts, lesson and rentals.

    Photo courtesy Soda Springs You won't need to go far to explore all that Soda Springs has to offer. The ultimate in family fun, you can get the kids on snow for little or no money. Kids under seven ride the lift for free! The big draw at Soda is the awesome tubing, and with the addition of mini-snowmobiles, you'll be dragging them home.

    Over at Boreal, Playland Park gets high marks, with sledding and the mini-snowmobiles as well. The Kid's Club is guaranteed to send your child home with a smile. Of interest at Boreal is the parent shared lift ticket so you can take turns hanging out with the baby while the other parent carves it up.

    At family friendly Tahoe Donner , you can ski, cross country ski, snowshoe, or sled. Tahoe Donner caters to the family, with a great base lodge with plenty of picnic area, lots of other families, and a small enough resort where older kids can cruise on their own.

    On the West Shore of Lake Tahoe, Homewood Mountain Resort perches on the edge of Lake Tahoe. It feels as if you will ski right off into the lake. Great kid's Snowstars program plus less crowds and wonderful terrain.

    Alpine Meadows also has a parent interchangeable ticket, and a great Parent's Lounge to hang out in while the other parent plays on the mountain. Kids love the Adventure Map, with directions straight to Hot Wheels Gully, a longtime favorite.

    At Squaw Valley, the family fun factor goes on in to the night. Ski or board all day, and keep going on one ticket! Or trade in the boards for ice skates for a spin at the top of the mountain. Dare devils can bungee jump at 8200 feet while the rest of the family takes a dip at the heated pool and spa. The best part? Kids 12 and under ski or board for just $5.

    Over at Photo courtesy NorthstarNorthstar-at-Tahoe, the adventures are marked as Paw Parks on the map, with special trails just for kids. Northstar has got adventure all over the mountain including tubing, Polaris Park, snowtoys, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Their Starkids program is one of the best and they even offer childcare through their Minor's Camp program.

    Traversing the lake, at Diamond Peak, the scenery can't be beat. Pete the Penguin is a big hit with kids. Diamond Peak also has a top-notch children's ski school and includes lessons for three-year olds.

    So much fun. So little time. Other Truckee adventures include a bunch of family friendly museums (Kidzone Museum, Emigrant Trail Museum, Ski Museum), lots of pizza parlors, and lots of sledding hills. Then there's the plus of Truckee's Old West ambiance, complete with authentic bullet holes in historic buildings and the Old Jail for those wild gunslingers. For more on Truckee see or call 530-587-2757 for info.

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