Kirkwood Mountain Resort goes big with epic runs and expedition adventure series

Known for its deep snow, spectacular Sierra scenery and some of the best and steepest ski terrain in the west, Kirkwood Mountain Resort is a resort that stands apart from all the rest.

Less than an hour’s drive from The Ridge Tahoe, Kirkwood Mountain Resort sits on the northern edge of the high Sierra, has a base elevation of 7,800 feet and is directly in the path of the huge Pacific storms that roll across Northern California every winter.

Rare Earth. Photo: Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

Rare Earth.
Photo: Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

The resort straddles three counties: El Dorado, Amador and Alpine. Kirkwood consistently receives the most snowfall in the Tahoe region averaging 600 inches of snow annually, more than 40 feet. Because of its terrain and location it is less reliant on snowmaking machines, and is usually the first resort to see significant accumulation and the last resort to see all the snow melt off in the spring. Snowmaking accounts for 5% of mountain trails.

Kirkwood has a summit elevation of 9,800 feet, a vertical rise of 2,000 feet, has 2,300 acres of skiable terrain and 80-plus trails. It is known as the skier’s ski resort because of its epic runs. Twenty percent of the terrain at Kirkwood is considered expert, 38% advanced, 30% intermediate and 12% beginning.

The resort has 15 lifts, including two high speed quads, six triple chairs, three surface lifts, two magic carpets and one fixed grip quad. It has two terrain parks, Bandit Park with eight features, and the larger Outlaw Park, with 10 features. Kirkwood offers two zones of cross country skiing at its Cross Country and Snowshoe Center. There are 80 kilometers of skating and snowshoe lanes, beginner to expert.

Kirkwood’s signature mountain adventure series, Expedition: Kirkwood (or E:K), invites skiers and riders to experience the mountain’s legendary terrain in a variety of clinics, camps and guided tours. Offered exclusively at Kirkwood, E:K Beyond Boundaries offers guests the opportunity to explore the mountain’s famous ridgelines, chutes and bowls with one of Kirkwood’s professional private guides.

Explore steeps of lore such as Cliff Chutes, Lost Cabin and Lightning, as well as a few secret descents which remain off the map, known only by Kirkwood’s veteran skiers and riders.  E:K Beyond Boundaries offers skiers and riders the “inside scoop” of Kirkwood – all while benefitting from professional coaching of tenured expert guides.

Kirkwood offers you a range of dining options with restaurants at the Red Cliffs Cafe, Kirkwood Inn, The Wall Bar and Grill, The Cornice Grill, Monte Wolfe’s Mountain Kitchen, Mountain Burger and Barbecue, Timber Creek Cafe/Snowshoe Thompson’s, the K-Bar, Outback Mountain Grill and the Kirkwood General Store.

See the latest mountain action on its live resort cam at Kirkwood Base and Cornice. The new snow stake cam offers still images of the snow stake which are updated within minutes.

Do your winter or spring ski plans include a trip to the Kirkwood?

Tahoe Mountain Action On and Off the Slopes during MLK Weekend

Whether you’re returning to Tahoe after the holidays or making your first ski trip of the year over the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, there’s plenty of action for when you arrive.

Have you booked your room yet? The Ridge Tahoe has deluxe hotel rooms, one or two bedroom condominium suites available for your holiday stay. After you’ve checked in, you’ll want to check out the on-property activities lined up and, when you’re ready, head to the mountain for high altitude adventure, both on and off the slopes.

Special events at nearby resorts include a Ripperoo Parade Saturday, 4:30 p.m. at Heavenly Village, the Little Groover’s Challenge Series for children 12 and under Sunday, Jan. 18 at Heavenly Mountain Resort.

In what has become a popular Martin Luther King Jr., holiday tradition, Sierra-at-Tahoe hosts members of UC Berkeley’s Cal Band on the slopes and in the base area Friday and Saturday. Ski, board and rock out big time with the big, big band. Play times both days are:

  • 9 to 9:30 a.m. – The Solstice Plaza
  • 12:30 – 1 p.m. – Broadway
  • 3:30 to 4 p.m. – The Solstice Plaza
UC Berkley's Cal Band performs for the guests at Sierra-at-Tahoe last year. Photo: Brian Walker.

UC Berkley’s Cal Band performs for the guests at Sierra-at-Tahoe last year.
Photo: Brian Walker.

Meanwhile, Sunday is Sierra Game Day. In addition to broadcasting the NFL Championship games in The Sierra Pub & Solstice Eatery, Sierra play host to loads of games for the family including races, a field goal competition and a bubble wrap dance party.

At Kirkwood Mountain Resort, National Safety Week has been combined with Martin Luther King Jr. weekend with several activities planned including a scavenger hunt, ski patrol open house, a lift snow sculpture contest, a barbecue plus helmet and equipment checks.

The holiday weekend activities at Squaw Valley feature a Friday moonlit snowshoe tour and dinner, a Mighty Mites Race for children, the Squaw Cup competition open to free ride and freestyle teams, and Après ski music live in the Village Events Plaza.

Here are some events going around Tahoe South for the weekend:

Friday, Jan. 16, internationally acclaimed psychic medium, lecturer, and author of several New York Times best sellers, John Edward will hold a one-night-only seminar at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. Edward is known for his popular internationally syndicated television shows, Crossing Over with John Edward and John Edward Cross Country.

Skiing and boarding will be the big attraction during the day, but what about outdoor activities at night? Camp Richardson’s first Snowshoe Cocktail Race of the season is Saturday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. Racers run with cocktail trays in hand through obstacles and up and down the beach. The winner is the fastest and cleanest at the finish. Spilling drinks is not a winning strategy. Signups start at 5 p.m. at the  Beacon Bar and Grill. Snowshoes will be provided. All levels welcome.

R&B mega-band Kool & The Gang returns to Lake Tahoe’s MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa bringing their bullet proof fresh funk sound and high-energy guitar and jazzy horn section, Saturday, Jan. 17 for a one-night only concert.

San Francisco’s best 80′s cover band Tainted Love will be at the Harrah’s South Shore Room Saturday to take you back to the 80’s. Show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Do your Martin Luther King Jr. weekend plans include a weekend getaway at The Ridge Tahoe?

Sierra Resort is Tahoe’s top-to-bottom winter sport experience

Home resort to Olympic champions Jamie Anderson, Maddie Bowman and Hannah Teter, Sierra-at-Tahoe is known for its wind-protected slopes, incredible tree skiing, and 320 acres of backcountry terrain out the Huckleberry Gates. Sierra is South Lake Tahoe’s winter sport playground that embraces skiers and snowboarders by providing a full top-to-bottom winter sport experience.

A short drive from The Ridge Tahoe up Highway 50, Sierra-at-Tahoe expands over 2,000 acres, has 46 trails, holding a vertical rise of 2,212 feet with a bottom elevation of 6,640 feet and top elevation of 8,852 feet.

Sierra offers something for everyone, whether it be long runs, terrain parks or backcountry. Photo: Matt Bombino Photography.

Sierra offers something for everyone, whether it be long runs, terrain parks or backcountry.
Photo: Matt Bombino Photography.

Sierra-at-Tahoe invested $5 million in a new 30,000 square foot deck and 9,000 square foot base area facility that offers a new après scene and enhanced guest services as well as a new retail shop, demo center and restaurant, the Solstice Eatery, featuring internationally flavored ancient grains bowls. Along with Solstice Eatery, Sierra introduces the new indoor/outdoor Corkscrew Bar with full liquor license and the Golden Bear Terrace featuring California-centric barbecue flavors based on California lifestyle and attitude, highlighting craft beers from California. Guests can enjoy delectable new options while relaxing around fire pits on a large outdoor deck overlooking the action on the mountain and enjoying live music and events throughout the course of the season.

Sierra has five gates to access its popular backcountry Huckleberry Canyon. Sierra also offers three express quad chair lifts, five double chair lifts, one triple chair lift and five surface lifts. Beginning skiers have 25% of the mountain to themselves, while 50% is considered intermediate and 25% advanced. Sierra’s longest run is Sugar n’ Spice, a 2.5 miles from the top of the mountain experience.

When it comes to terrain parks, Sierra offers some of the world’s best. Each terrain park is designed for all levels to encourage freestyle riding improvement. Small tables to large booters, on-the-ground boxes to urban stairsets- Sierra’s park crew builds and maintains each feature with a love for the sport. For freestylers, a commitment to innovative terrain parks has led to Sierra Resort being recognized by TransWorld SNOWboarding as a Top 10 Overall Resort as well as among the Top 10 Best Parks and Pipes in the nation.

Committed to helping the snow sports industry grow and retain first-time skiers and riders, Sierra-at-Tahoe offers lessons in a hassle-free environment, where guests will feel comfortable trying the sport and most importantly, enjoying it. An entire area is dedicated to learning, including two magic carpets, a high-speed quad and a Learn To Ride center.

For the kids, The Burton Star Wars™ Experience builds off of the success of Yoda’s Riglet Park, and the Burton Star Wars™ Echo Base now offers a snowboarding program for kids ages 7-12. The new Burton Star Wars™ Echo Base gives kids the opportunity to learn how to snowboard using terrain-based teaching, iconic Star Wars™ characters and Burton Learn to Ride technology and techniques. Young snowboarders will get the chance to “defeat the dark side” and become Jedi Knights by conquering their fears of sliding on snow.  Kids will learn to snowboard in a one-of-a-kind environment unlike any other in the universe.

Does your next ski weekend at The Ridge Tahoe include a trip to Sierra?

Exploring Lake Tahoe beyond the slopes

With breathtaking views and a backyard that stretches across Lake Tahoe and beyond, a vacation stay at The Ridge Tahoe provides for a virtual winter wonderland of activities where you don’t necessarily have to strap on downhill skis or a snowboard to have a good time.

Snuggle up and enjoy a sleigh ride through Tahoe South.

Snuggle up and enjoy a sleigh ride through Tahoe South.

From snowmobiling, ice skating and sleigh rides to spectacular helicopter tours over the Sierra, Lake Tahoe’s epic boundaries can be explored on the water, from the air and on a sled, sleigh or snowshoes.

Hikers looking for trails to traverse in snow can strap on a pair of snow shoes and head out in the backcountry. Guided tours are available in and around Lake Tahoe or if you want to stick closer to your room, The Ridge Tahoe offers guided snowshoe tours in winter. (Check with The Ridge Tahoe concierge.)

Winter thrills throughout Tahoe South include cross country skiing at historic Camp Richardson Resort. Voted “Best Place to Cross Country Ski” by Tahoe locals, the Mountain Sports Center at Camp Richardson offers cross country ski and snow shoe equipment for beginners and experts and when the moon is high and wide, moonlight night adventures.

Mount a sled and venture into the depths of Lake Tahoe’s wilderness with the wind in your face and your hands on the throttle. Be sure to follow all posted signs that detail private property and wilderness boundaries. Check out this list snowmobile rental and tour outfits, as well as directions to trails you can explore on your own.

What could be more fun than enjoying the snow on a sled, saucer or snowtube? Bring back childhood memories and introduce your children to the thrill of coasting down a hill. There’s plenty of sledding options around Tahoe South.

When it comes to sweeping helicopter tours across deep blue water, over towering snow-capped mountain canyons and above pristine waterfalls, there’s nothing quite like being 3,000 feet above Lake Tahoe. Climbing through the sky by way of South Lake Tahoe-based Reno Tahoe Helicopters is like riding sideways in an elevator with dramatic 180 degree views of Sierra’s crown jewel. Famed landmarks like Emerald Bay, Zephyr Cove, Sand Harbor and Cave Rock are traversed, with all of Lake Tahoe’s brilliant hues of blue popping picturesque and unobstructed.

Nothing else defines winter more than a one or two-horse open sleigh. Since 1967 Borges Sleigh Rides has been in the business of providing families rides across the snowy, frosty countryside of South Shore. Take an hour and 30 minute ride dashing through the snow, enjoy picturesque views and listen to stories of times long gone by.

The Tahoe Queen, an authentic Mississippi paddlewheeler, is one of the best ways to explore Lake Tahoe in winter. Enjoy a sightseeing tour or dinner cruise aboard the Tahoe Queen and M.S. Dixie II. Tickets can be bought at The Ridge Tahoe Market Place. (Ask the Ridge Tahoe concierge for a brochure.)

Grab a pair of skates and head down the hill in to South Shore, where there’s skating at Heavenly Village and indoors at the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena.

Do your winter recreation plans include a stay at The Ridge Tahoe?

SnowGlobe Music Festival celebrates music, mountains and the arrival of 2015

Bringing all the bass from today’s hottest electronic dance music acts to Lake Tahoe, the fourth annual SnowGlobe Music Festival arrives at South Lake Tahoe, Dec. 29-31.

Combining some of today’s biggest EDM stars with the West Coast snow, the SnowGlobe festival is an exhilarating, all-ages, mind-body-sound experience that offers the ultimate fusion: music and mountains.

Yes, the music will be great, but don't miss the art, live painting, fire dancers and "big air" demos.  Photo: Brian Walker.

Yes, the music will be great, but don’t miss the art, live painting, fire dancers and “big air” demos.
Photo: Brian Walker.

If you’re looking to celebrate the festival by day and want a warm and cozy place for your friends and family to stay overnight, consider checking into The Ridge Tahoe with a choice of one and two-bedroom suites or deluxe hotel rooms. You can board a shuttle from The Ridge that will take you straight to where the concert action is, Lake Tahoe Community College, and then return to The Ridge for overnight lodging, a relaxing spa, clubhouse and dining opportunities.

With multiple stages of world-class musicians, SnowGlobe Music Festival is sure to satisfy thousands of music fans. Skiers, snowboarders and music lovers will find the ultimate escape for New Year’s Eve. With Heavenly, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Kirkwood, Northstar and Squaw Valley ski resorts nearby, the opportunity to escape to the slopes is inevitable. SnowGlobe will also feature on-site art installations, live painting, dynamic fireworks displays and “big air” snowboarding and skiing demos between main stage sets.

Our suggestion? Get there before the performance you really want to see so you have time to walk around and visit the food trucks. Unsure which up and coming artists to see? Live Music Blog has some advice.

Among the headliners this year are Zedd, Skrillex, Disclosure along with Porter Robinson, Flume, Phantogram and Flux Pavilion, with Minneapolis rap stalwarts Atmosphere. Here’s a video of the lineup.

While three-day passes are sold out, single day tickets and VIP passes are still available for the first two days. New Year’s Eve is sold out. The music continues each night at after-parties planned at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa, aboard the M.S. Dixie II, Tep’s Villa Roma and the American Legion.

Get pumped up for this year’s show by watching last year’s recap.

Do your New Year’s plans include a stay at The Ridge Tahoe while attending SnowGlobe 2014?

Ring in 2015 with fireworks, fire dancers at Tahoe South

While the run up to Christmas is sleigh-packed with excitement and thrills, the holiday spirit continues after Christmas Day and into the New Year around Tahoe South.

Extend the family stay and check into The Ridge Tahoe with a ski vacation to ring in the New Year. And welcome to a memorable start to 2015.

Catch the fireworks at Heavenly Holidays this New Year's Eve. Photo: Heavenly Mountain Resort.

Catch the fireworks at Heavenly Holidays this New Year’s Eve.
Photo: Heavenly Mountain Resort.

Heavenly Holidays at Heavenly Village continues after Christmas through the Dec. 31 with ice skating and ice sculpting demonstrations and its New Year’s Eve celebration, the pinnacle of Heavenly Holidays as it ushers in 2015.

The event features fire dancers who will spin flames to a live performance by Wes Quave. The energy of anticipation continues with games, face-painting and a photo booth to archive all the amusement of the night.

The “Fear-No-Ice” sculptors will bust out their saws to carve their crowning glory for the New Year. Heavenly’s Gondola Drop will descend over the crowd at 9 p.m., when families celebrate in concurrence with the midnight Ball Drop in New York City’s Time Square.

The brightly lit gondola cabin soars over the crowd while the fireworks dazzle in the sky above, capturing the wonder of kids and adults alike. Guests looking to go all in on New Year’s Eve can gear up for a full night in the variety of clubs, bars and casinos that South Lake Tahoe is famous for.

High-spirited New Year’s Eve revelry is amplified at PEEK Nightclub inside Harrah’s Lake Tahoe as well as throughout MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa across multiple venues, including Opal Ultra Lounge, BLU Nightclub and the 16,000 sq. ft. convention center.

The drumbeat to New Year’s will deck the halls and stretch the outer limits of music and imagination with the return of SnowGlobe Music Festival, a three-day dance party at Lake Tahoe Community College, Dec. 29-31.

This year’s lineup features electronic dance music heavyweights Skrillex, Zedd, Porter Robinson, Disclosure, Phantogram and Flux Pavilion, as well as Minnesota hip-hop veterans Atmosphere. It will also feature dynamic fireworks displays and “big air” snowboarding and skiing demos between main stage sets. SnowGlobe is expected to sell out in advance.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with dinner and dancing on the lake aboard the M.S. Dixie II or Tahoe Queen. Ring in the New Year on the water with party favors and take a stroll on deck to see the stars at midnight. The M.S. Dixie II departs from Zephyr Cove Marina in Nevada at 9 p.m. and the Tahoe Queen, 9:30 p.m. Ask The Ridge Tahoe concierge about how you can get tickets for this special night on the lake under the stars.

On New Year’s Day, treat your body right inside the clubhouse, with indoor tennis courts, basketball at the gym, swimming, weightlifting, steam room and jacuzzi and then head over to the Elevation Spa for a relaxing massage.

After you’ve worked up a good sweat and relaxing massage, prepare yourself for a New Year’s Day dinner at the Hungry Bear Restaurant or something on the lighter side at Mountain Side Eatery.

Do your New Year’s celebration plans include a stay at The Ridge Tahoe?

Celebrate Christmas at The Ridge Tahoe

Have yourself a merry little Christmas at Lake Tahoe with a holiday stay and ski vacation at The Ridge Tahoe. Reserve your accommodations now and bring the family to Tahoe, where Christmas magic is celebrated with a festival of lights, music, slope-side adventure and plenty of opportunities to see Santa Claus.

The Ridge Tahoe is ready for the holidays. How about you?

The Ridge Tahoe is ready for the holidays. How about you?

The Ridge Tahoe offers three ski packages that include choices of either a Deluxe King Room, or one or two bedroom condominium suites. Ski packages include two interchangeable ski lift tickets to Heavenly, Kirkwood, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Northstar and Squaw Valley Resorts, two hot breakfasts, and full access to clubhouse amenities at the resort.

Cheer and excitement are in the air with Heavenly Holidays. This annual run-up to Christmas and New Year’s features professional ice skaters, live music, jugglers, magicians, chainsaw-sculpted ice displays, and world-class fireworks. Co-produced by Tahoe South, the fourth annual event at Heavenly Village features 12 days of festivities, including Santa’s Workshop Snow Globe that runs from Dec. 20-24, 2 to 7 p.m. Enter Santa’s 16 foot snow globe at Heavenly Village to share your holiday wish list and snap a photo with the man himself.

At nearby Sierra-at-Tahoe, the Sierra Solstice Celebration includes a Christmas tree lighting on the Plaza Deck, Sat. Dec. 20 at 4 p.m. Santa will visit the Plaza from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m., Sunday Dec. 21. On Christmas Day, he will be shredding the slopes throughout the day. Guests are encouraged to ask St. Nick to take a selfie or give a high five if you spot him in the lift line.

At Squaw Valley guests can enjoy skiing and snowboarding with Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley. In the Village, cozy up around fire pits while you listen to carolers and sip hot cocoa. Squaw’s Olympic Ice Pavilion at High Camp, and SnoVentures Activity Zone are a perfect place to spend the holidays with family.

Returning to The Ridge Tahoe from a day of holiday skiing and boarding? You’ll want to stop in for a beverage at the Bear Trap Bar. The lounge is set in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Daily drink specials are a great way to unwind after a day in nature’s playground.

Make your plans, then take in dinner at the Hungry Bear Restaurant. Their Christmas dinner on Dec. 25 includes a crab and organic beet root salad with basil micro greens and a pomegranate vinaigrette; your choice of pan roasted Chilean sea bass with tarragon parsnip puree, sautéed wild mushrooms and artichoke hearts and a charred tomato fennel fondant; honey maple glazed roast turkey with cornbread sausage stuffing, mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, Brussel sprouts and a citrus cranberry relish; or slow roasted prime rib with a twice baked potato, asparagus and cauliflower, au jus and creamy horseradish; and a yuletide log with eggnog pastry cream and peppermint bark. Christmas dinner is served from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. and reservations are recommended.

On the lighter side, there’s the Mountain Side Eatery, open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner where you can eat-in or take back to your room.

On-site activities are in abundance at The Ridge Tahoe’s Clubhouse and Resort Center for adults and teens while the little ones can be entertained at The Ridge’s complimentary Kids Club day camp. Families can pull together their collective skills with a number of video and table games featured in the Family Game Room.

Do your Christmas plans include a vacation stay at The Ridge Tahoe?

Heavenly Mountain Resort is a high-energy ski and snowboard experience

Out the front door and steps away from The Ridge Tahoe, a winter wonderland of outdoor adventure awaits. You could even say it is Heavenly.

Straddling the border of California and Nevada, Heavenly Mountain Resort is one of the most unique winter playgrounds in the U.S. Combining 4,800 acres of terrain, 360 inches of snowfall a year and a vertical rise that provides jaw-dropping views of Lake Tahoe, Heavenly is a high-energy ski and snowboard experience.

We have snow and more is coming! Photo: Heavenly Mountain Resort.

We have snow and more is coming!
Photo: Heavenly Mountain Resort.

Heavenly’s extensive snowmaking system, the West Coast’s largest, is capable, under optimum conditions, of producing three-and-a-half feet of snow across one acre in an hour and can cover 73% of the resort’s 97 trails in machine-made snow.

More terrain at Heavenly will open as soon as it’s ready. Combined with storms earlier this fall and the past weeks’ storms, the West Coast’s largest snowmaking system continues to prep the mountain for the full visitor experience. Want to know where to ski? Check out the trail maps.

Want to learn how to ski or grab air on a snowboard? Heavenly Ski & Ride School offers lessons for all ages and abilities.

Like terrain parks? Heavenly’s got them, offering some of the most-exciting, challenging, unique and well-maintained terrain parks at Lake Tahoe from beginner to expert.

Winter at Heavenly Mountain Resort begins with the most skiable terrain at Lake Tahoe and ends with the widest variety of on mountain experiences you’ll find anywhere at Adventure Peak. You can ride the Heavenly Gondola, sit out on the observation deck, eat at Tamarack Lodge, or rush down the mountain at the Heavenly Tubing Hill.

Heavenly is the go-to ski destination for those looking for a high-energy experience, and this season, Heavenly’s not making you wait until après to join in on the party. Heavenly has rolled out a mid-day party, on the deck at East Peak Lodge on Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Select holiday weekends will feature live music. Unbuckle, an apres party, also runs at Tamarack Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. The party continues throughout the week, however, with drink and food specials.

Winter Ignite is Heavenly’s annual season kickoff. West Coast rock band Young The Giant highlights the early season celebration with a free show in Heavenly Village on Dec 13, 7 p.m.

Festivities kick into high gear with Heavenly Holidays, Dec. 20-31. The event features live music, magicians, jugglers, professional ice skaters, live ice sculpting, photos with Santa and a Ripperoo Parade at the Heavenly Village. “A Heavenly New Year Celebration,” welcomes 2015 with a concert, brightly-lit Gondola that descends over the crowd, signaling the start of the New Year, and a 9 p.m. fireworks show, Dec. 31.

Whether you’re looking to bring your spouse, significant other or packing up the family for a ski trip, The Ridge offers six ski getaway packages with stays in either a deluxe hotel room, one or two bedroom condominiums. Three of the six packages also offer a spa option.

With the excitement building around the opening of the Stagecoach lift, Ridge guests will be able to be whisked along the Hilltrac Skier Express, a self-operated, gondola-type car that transports skiers from the Resort to Heavenly’s Stagecoach chairlift.

The eight-passenger car sits on a track and with the swipe of a room key, will move passengers down the slope in less than 3 minutes. The Ridge also has the Resort Sports Ski Shop which provides on-site ski, snowboard and accessory rentals and tune-ups, apparel, gear and Heavenly lift tickets.

Do your winter ski and snowboard plans include a stay at The Ridge Tahoe and adventure at Heavenly Mountain Resort?

Lake Tahoe offers and abundance of entertainment opportunities through the holidays

Holiday cheer at The Ridge Tahoe begins when snow meets adventure with a winter wonderland of entertainment lined up now through the holidays and beyond.

Check into The Ridge Tahoe and check out the many holiday and snow activities around Tahoe South. If you need a ride, The Ridge Tahoe Shuttle and BlueGo, will take you to and from the resort into South Shore.

SnowGlobe Music Festival returns to Tahoe South for the fourth year and will sell out prior to the New Year's week event. Photo: Brian Walker.

SnowGlobe Music Festival returns to Tahoe South for the fourth year and will sell out prior to the New Year’s week event.
Photo: Brian Walker.

The Christmas season begins early with a spectacular celebration of lights, sound and motion during Barton Health’s Festival of Trees and Lights, Dec. 3-7 at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Convention Center. This five-day family celebration showcases Christmas trees and decorations in all their creatively illuminated glory.

The third annual Light Up South Lake Tahoe is a Dec. 6 procession led by decorated fire trucks and snowplows along Highway 50 beginning at Stateline and concluding with a Christmas tree lighting celebration at the “Y” (intersection of Highway 50 and 89). Hosted by the City of South Lake Tahoe, the evening features a visit by Santa Claus, hot chocolate and cookies. The event begins at 6 p.m.

Snow sports and entertainment combine with Winter Ignite at Heavenly Mountain Resort for two weekends, Dec. 5-6 and 12-13. The amplified, snow-fueled festival jumpstarts the 2014-15 ski and ride season with on-mountain activities such as a DJ Cat and Unbuckle après parties. It culminates with “Pretty Faces,” an all-women ski and adventure sports film at Harrah’s South Shore room, Friday, Dec. 12. Young the Giant, wildly-popular indie rock band, will headline a free concert in the Heavenly Village, Saturday, Dec. 13.

Madcap on-screen adventure films and non-stop on-stage party action arrives with the 13th annual Tahoe Adventure Film Festival, Saturday, Dec. 13 at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa. Designed to capture the intensity and passion of free-spirited outdoor adventure, the film festival provides mountaintop cliffhangers and enough high-energy entertainment between showings to ignite fervor for the New Year. The night includes guest speakers, action photo displays, break-dancers, DJs and a handful of surprises.

Festivities kick into high gear with Heavenly Holidays, Dec. 20-31, featuring caroling, live music, magicians, jugglers, professional ice skaters, live ice sculpting, photos with Santa and a Ripperoo Parade at the Heavenly Village. “A Heavenly New Year Celebration,” welcomes 2015 with a concert, brightly-lit Gondola that descends over the crowd, signaling the start of the New Year, and a 9 p.m. fireworks show, Dec. 31.

The Sierra Solstice Celebration at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort includes a visit from Santa 1:30 – 4:30 and Christmas tree lighting on the Plaza Deck, Sat. Dec. 20 at 4 p.m. On Christmas Day, Old St. Nick will be shredding the slopes throughout the day. Guests are encouraged to ask him to take a selfie or give a high five if you spot him in the lift line.

The drumbeat to New Year’s will deck the halls and stretch the outer limits of music and imagination with the return of SnowGlobe Music Festival, a three-day dance party at Lake Tahoe Community College, Dec. 29-31. This year’s lineup features electronic dance music heavyweights Skrillex, Zedd, Porter Robinson, Disclosure, Flume, Phantogram and Flux Pavilion, as well as Minnesota hip-hop veterans Atmosphere. Don’t miss the dynamic fireworks displays and “big air” snowboarding and skiing demos between main stage sets. SnowGlobe is expected to sell out well in advance. Only single day tickets remain.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with dinner and dancing on the lake aboard the M.S. Dixie II or Tahoe Queen. Ring in the New Year on the water with party favors and take a stroll on deck to see the stars at midnight. The M.S. Dixie II departs from Zephyr Cove Marina in Nevada at 9 p.m. and the Tahoe Queen, 9:30 p.m.

High-spirited New Year’s Eve revelry is amplified at PEEK Nightclub inside Harrah’s Lake Tahoe as well as throughout MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa across multiple venues, including Opal Ultra Lounge, BLU nightclub and the 16,000 sq. ft. convention center.

Music and shows lined up for the holidays at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe South Shore Room include Tower of Power, Nov. 29; The Sun Kings, Dec. 13; Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, Dec. 20; Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Dec. 27; Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout, Jan. 3; Tainted Love, Jan. 17.

MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa’s concert, film and comedy lineup features Bret Michaels, Nov. 29; Daniel Tosh, Dec. 12 (sold out); Tahoe Adventure Film Festival, Dec. 13; Kool and The Gang, Jan. 17; The Guess Who, Jan. 31.

Make plans for a return trip to the Ridge Tahoe in January when food is the highlight with Tahoe South Restaurant Week, Jan. 9-16, 2015. The “Made with Altitude” culinary celebration gives visitors the opportunity to experience some of the best wine and food pairings value at any time throughout.

Do your holiday and winter plans include a stay at The Ridge Tahoe?

Thanksgiving a family tradition at The Ridge Tahoe

Family holiday traditions run deep at Lake Tahoe. With this weekend’s openings of Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood make plans now to spend the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at The Ridge Tahoe.

Reserve your choice of lodging, and make reservations for dinner prepared by executive chef Stephen J. Moises and staff. The full course traditional Thanksgiving spread will be served from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. at The Ridge Tahoe’s Hungry Bear Restaurant and features its long-standing traditional feast and a few surprise dishes too.

Enjoy pumpkin pie and other Thanksgiving favorites at The Hungry Bear Restaurant this year.

Enjoy pumpkin pie and other Thanksgiving favorites at The Hungry Bear Restaurant this year.

Start off with a roasted butternut squash soup with toasted walnut cream and served in a baby pumpkin before moving to the second course with your choice of honey maple glazed turkey with cornbread stuffing, mushroom gravy, creamy whipped potatoes, brussel sprouts and a citrus cranberry relish; brown sugar glazed Virginia ham with sweet potato mash, glazed carrots and ginger-pineapple chutney; pan-seared Alaskan halibut with herbed spaghetti squash and wild mushroom jus; or slow roasted prime rib with grilled asparagus, twice baked potatoes, au jus and creamy horseradish. Finally, save room for dessert – homemade pumpkin pie with caramel sauce, vanilla scented whip cream and seasonal berries.

Once you’ve gotten your fill on Thanksgiving favorites, it’s time to explore Lake Tahoe.

Well known as an iconic favorite at Tahoe South, The Ridge Tahoe’s family appeal and stunning panoramic views make for an ideal Thanksgiving vacation with the comfort and convenience of home. Skiing at Heavenly is part of the Thanksgiving weekend tradition. Heavenly opens Nov. 21 with a combination of Mother Nature’s own and machine-made snow.

Guests can hop aboard the complimentary Ridge Shuttle and the South Shore area coordinated transit system and be taken to the Heavenly Gondola.

Left the skis and snowboards at home? The Ridge Tahoe has you covered with on-site ski rentals and tune-ups, apparel, gear and Heavenly lift tickets at the Resort Sports Ski and Snowboard Shop. Returning from a day on the mountain, there’s a 45,000 square-foot clubhouse with an indoor sports complex, full spa, heated swimming pool, hot tubs, indoor tennis, racquetball and basketball courts, athletic instructors, complimentary laundry facilities and full-service lounge.

Guests can pamper themselves through the holiday weekend at the Elevation Spa which offers facials, massages, body treatments and rejuvenation packages from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

On-site activities are in abundance at The Ridge Tahoe’s Clubhouse and Resort Center for adults and teens while the little ones can be entertained at The Ridge’s complimentary Kids Club day camp. Families can pull together their collective skills with a number of video and table venues featured in the Family Game Room.

Do your Thanksgiving plans include a holiday weekend at The Ridge Tahoe?