Tyrone and I whisked the kids away for our very first ski weekend to Incline Village, Nevada. It was just a 3-4 hour drive from the city which meant we’d be hitting snowy slopes shortly after leaving a wet, Bay Area springtime.
Whenever there is a big family project or trip, planning is required. Hopefully this post will provide you with some tips for planning your own ski getaway!
When planning this trip, I started a Google Spreadsheet and got busy pricing lodging, ski rental equipment, snowsuits, and lift tickets. Here are my final choices for each category:
- Lodging: Vacasa.com – I used this website to find a wonderful vacation home located near the ski resort with enough bedrooms to accommodate our family of seven. The home was lovely, rustic, and well maintained. Everything we needed and more was available from garage parking, a mudroom, laundry, modern kitchen, and a spectacular street view.
- Ski Rental Equipment: I researched renting equipment from Sports Basement or the ski resort to find the cheapest option. Though Sports Basement was cheaper, the price difference wasn’t worth the hassle after realizing the inconvenience of properly lugging it to Lake Tahoe and carrying ski gear for 7 people from the parking lot to the slopes!
- Snow Suits: In order to properly dressed for snow, you need a base layer, fleece jacket (optional), and proper snow pants or bibs, and a jacket. Since none of the children had snow clothes, I looked on Ebay and Facebook Marketplace for deals. I was only able to find a complete snow bib and matching jacket for my toddler for $18 with expedited free shipping! After a few days of continued searches, I finally decided renting snow bibs/pants, gloves, jacket, googles, boots, and caps from Sports Basement (on Bryant Street in San Francisco) was the way to go! The clothes were amazing and I was able to walk in the day before we left without a reservation (mind you…it wan’t peak season) and got everything we needed. It only took one hour to make the order and fit my four children. I think that’s pretty good!
- Lift Tickets: I found out about a cool site called Liftopia that offers amazing discounts for lift tickets purchased in advance. I skipped this option for several reasons. 1) I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to ski on Thursday due to driving into a storm. 2) Diamond Peak was having a special deal on Friday, March 23 for free lift tickets to everyone with a birthday that fell outside of ski season! 3) I wasn’t sure if Tyrone or I would even be able to ski because of the 4 children in ski classes, plus a tempermental toddler.
- Pinterest Board: And what’s a project without a Pinterest Board to give you some inspiration!
Thursday: We left at 5:00AM and arrived safely up the mountain (note to self: buy a vehicle with all wheel drive) and got settled into our vacation home for the weekend.
We had just enough time to drive to Diamond Peak (the ski resort) before it closed to check out where to park, get acclimated to the base lodge, ticket counter, and where to drop off Abigail for Children’s Ski School. We even had a late lunch of chicken tenders, fries, sliders, nachos, and hot chocolate right there in the food court, also known as Base Lodge Provisions. Even though we didn’t ski, just hanging out at the resort got us excited for the next day!
Friday: The snow had stopped and it was perfect ski weather for beginners! Nothing could have been more picturesque as we drove through Incline Village on our way to Diamond Peak. As we passed rooftops covered in snow, viewing the beautiful great mountain architecture typical of Old Tahoe style was a storybook sight.
Breakfast was simply fruit, yogurt, granola, and cereal that we ate tailgate style in the parking lot of the ski resort. By 10am, the kids were fitted with skis and ready to have fun all day long.
- My 5 year-old was enrolled in the Child Ski Center for a two hour lesson from
- My 7 and 9 year-olds were enrolled in the Sierra Scout All Day Adventure from 10am-4pm. This program included lunch and had both ski or snowboarding options available.
- My husband and I shared an Interchangeable Parent’s Pass that allowed us to take turns skiing all day, while the other watched the kids who were hanging out in the lodge on a break.
- Kids 6 and under ski for free, so we were able to skip a lift ticket for our toddler and just rented her ski equipment
And this is how we do dinner while on vacation! I just picked up a few prepared entrees from Raley’s and popped them in the oven for a no fuss meal.
Earlier this year, I had just finished reading The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. According to Wiking:
Hygge is a term that doesn’t have a literal translation in many languages, but it is a concept that everyone is familiar with: that sense of warmth, comfort, cosiness, belonging, safety.
This little book spoke directly to my vision and values for my family life and I was excited to finally have a word to describe the atmosphere I’ve always tried to create for my home.
And then it happened.
After dinner. After the cookies came out of the oven. After marshmallows floated in mugs of hot chocolate. After everyone found a spot and a blanket and we watched our favorite family show, AFV. After the fireplace was lit. We had it. We had hygge. And hygge definitely had us.
Saturday: Waking up to gentle snow falling outside our window was a dream. I did two loads of laundry the night before and was ready to pack clean clothes in the morning.
With bags packed, the dishwasher turned on, and our minivan loaded, we headed out for breakfast to Tunnel Creek Cafe, a little restaurant with a big menu.
Once we were fueled with oatmeal pancakes and tea, it was time to say farewell to the best weekend ever!
Have you ever been skiing before? What tips would you offer a large family planning their first ski trip? Comment below!