Snow enthusiasts in Folsom, get ready for a snow-packed adventure! The Sierra has received its snowy blessing, and it’s time to dive into some thrilling wintertime activities. While we adore the exhilaration of skiing and snowboarding at Lake Tahoe, we understand that not everyone is a downhill daredevil. Sometimes, all families want is to head up to the mountains and relish some pure snow-filled fun.

Fortunately, there’s a world of winter wonderland beyond the slopes. Many of the renowned Tahoe ski resorts like Northstar, Palisades Tahoe, and Heavenly offer a medley of snow play options, including tubing parks, ice skating, and other family-friendly winter activities. But if you’re looking to escape the resort’s hustle and bustle (and price tags), you’re in luck!

We’ve scouted out some fantastic snow play destinations in the mountainous regions, all just a short drive away from Folsom. Some of these spots provide tubes and sleds for rent, while others, like the California State Sno-Parks, offer nothing more than a convenient parking spot for your snow escapades.

For a comprehensive list of Lake Tahoe ski resorts that not only cater to skiers but also offer exciting snow play adventures, check out our article here (link coming soon).

Please note that prices and operating hours are accurate as of the time of publication. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that hours and availability are subject to change based on weather, snow conditions, and various other factors. Before you pack up and head to the mountains, be sure to check with the resorts to ensure they’re open and ready for your snowy family fun. Let the snow games begin!

Northern California Snow Play Resorts

While not as abundant as ski resorts, a handful of snow play resorts dot the Sierra landscape. These spots often offer lodge amenities, dining options, restrooms, and additional activities. Typically, you’ll need to rent a tube or sled on-site, as external equipment might not be allowed. These venues usually kick off their snow season around mid-December, but please note that their opening dates hinge on weather and snowfall.

To avoid any last minute changes be sure to call or visit their website for the latest updates before planning your visit.


South Lake Tahoe’s Adventure Mountain offers tubing and snow play as well as dining and a gift shop. 2023/2024 opening date TBA. Hours: 10 am–3 pm weekdays, 9 am–3:30 pm weekends. Rates: $40 ($45 weekends) per car entry fee; 2-hour tubing sessions cost $20 for adults and $15 for kids. Helmets are available to rent ($10). Location: 21200 Highway 50 (at Echo Summit), South Lake Tahoe CA 96150. More info: or (530) 659-7217


The cross-country ski resort at the central Sierra’s Bear Valley operates groomed sledding and tubing hills for families with children ages 3 and older. Opening day: Thursday, November 23. Two-hour sessions cost $15 per person for sledding and $20 per person for tubing ($20 and $25 peak season). There’s $5 access fee per non-sledders/tubers ($10 peak season). No outside sleds or tubes allowed. Picnic tables, park benches, are available, and hot food and drinks are available nearby at the Meadow Cafe. No lifts: sledders must hike up the hill. Projected opening day: Saturday, November 19. Hours: 9 am–4 pm daily. Location: 1 Bear Valley Road, off Highway 4, Bear Valley CA 95223. More info: (209) 753-2834 or


Granlibakken resort near Tahoe City offers a dedicated sledding hill and snow play area for family fun. Their sledding hill is scheduled to open on November 23. Sledding tickets cost $25 per person on weekdays and $35 on weekends and holidays and include saucer rental and and 90 minutes of sledding. Night sledding, starting at 5 pm, costs $45 and includes hot chocolate or mulled wine. Kids under 3 sled for free, and lodging guests get a 50% discount. Sledding tickets must be booked in advance online. Note: Granlibakken provides saucers; participants may not bring their own saucers and other sledding devices. Location: 725 Granlibakken Road, Tahoe City CA 96145.


Hansen’s Resort in South Lake Tahoe operates a snow tubing hill with a 400-foot run. 2023/2024 opening date TBA. Hours: 10 am–3 or 4 pm; times are subject to change to call before you go. Rates: $40 per person per hour; 4 and under free. Cash only. Rates include the use of a tube or saucer. Parking and restrooms available. Location: 1360 Ski Run Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe 96150. More info: (530) 544-3361


Kingvale Resort near Soda Springs offers groomed tubing and sledding runs and a snack bar. Bring your own tubes, sleds, and saucers! You can purchase an inexpensive ($26), two-person sled at the resort. Opening day TBA. Hours: Daily except for Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 am–4 pm; parking lot opens at 9 am. All-day tickets cost $25 per person; parking fee $20; children under 2 free. Location: Kingvale Exit (Exit 171) off I-80, Kingvale, 95728. More info: (916) 622-6654 or


Located in Tuolumne Country east of the Gold Country town of Sonora, Leland Snow Play offers 12 acres of groomed runs and tow-up lifts for tubing and sledding. There’s a kiddie hill for especially for little ones, mini snowmobiles for kids ages 5–12, and a 4,000-square-foot day lodge with snack bar and game room. Tentative opening date, Saturday, December 2, 2023. Location: 34033 Leland Meadow Road, Strawberry CA 95375. More info: or (209) 965-4719.


Located right off I-80 in Emigrant Gap, Nyack Snow Park offers snow play and hills to sled on. Snacks and supplies, including sleds and saucers, are available nearby at the Nyack General Store. $25 per car entry fee; do not park at the nearby Shell station unless you want your vehicle to get towed. Location: 41965 Nyack Road, Emigrant Gap CA 95715. More info: or (530) 362-4855


While Soda Springs resort near Truckee offers skiing and snowboarding, there’s a special focus on family snow play here, with tubing for everyone at Tube Town and plenty of snow play for the little ones at Planet Kids — a snow playground for ages 8 and under with tubing, snow hills to climb, ski and snowboard lessons, and more. On-site dining is available. Location: 10244 Soda Springs Road (off I-80 near Donner Summit), Soda Springs CA 95728. More info: or (530) 426-3901


The dedicated snow play area at Tahoe Donner offers sledding and tubing fun for families, and usually opens Thanksgiving weekend. The TD Eats food truck is always on hand for donuts, cookies, hot chocolate, and other treats. Reservations are recommended. Location: 12790 Northwoods Boulevard, Truckee CA 96161. More info: or (530) 587-9437.

Photo Courtesy : Tahoe Donner Press Room Photos


TubeTahoe in South Lake Tahoe has 500 feet of groomed tubing lanes — some of the longest in the area! Opening day TBA. Hours: Monday–Friday, 10 am–4 pm and Saturday–Sunday, 9 am–4 pm. Rates (for 90-minute sessions, tube rental included): $65 ages 13+, $55 ages 6–12, $35 ages 3–5 on adult’s lap in tube, $15 spectators and snowplay-only. No personal sleds or tubes allowed. Location: 3021 US-50, South Lake Tahoe CA 96150. More info: or (530) 600-2304

California Sno-Parks

Operated by the state’s department of off-highway motor vehicle recreation, California Sno-Parks are no-frills places to park the car and get out and play in the snow. While many of them cater to snowmobile enthusiasts, there are a few that are perfect for sledding, snow play, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

Keep in mind that Sno-Parks are pretty much just parking areas with access to places for winter recreation. Usually restrooms are provided, but that’s about it. It’s up to you to find a hill for sledding or saucering, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?

The best part of Sno-Parks is the price: $15 for a day-use pass or $40 for a seasonal permit. Passes and permits for the 2023/2024 season are only available online; you cannot buy permits at the parkOrder yours here. Make sure you do buy a permit, because it’s a lot cheaper than the ticket you’ll get (currently over $90). On our last visit to Echo Lake Sno-Park there were a lot of people there who did not buy a permit and the CHP did show up to issue tickets. Note that parking at Sno-Parks is on a first-come, first-served basis, and some of the more popular locations can fill up early. Also, conditions can change and parks can close, so check the Sno-Parks website before you head up to the mountains for directions and more information.

Sno-Parks that are open for snow play and sledding include:

Please double check events before showing up as there may be changes last minute that we are not aware of.

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