The skies have brought the pre-Christmas gift of snow to the ski and snowboard resorts around Lake Tahoe this year, and the resorts are ready to celebrate. From Santa on the slopes to snowman-building to the tried-and-true fireworks and torchlight parades, northern California resorts offer up plenty for those who come to the Sierra Nevada.
Here’s a look at some of the festive activities going on around the lake during the holiday season:
At Squaw Valley, you’ve got Santa on the slopes and in the village during the afternoons, and carolers each evening in the village. After the Yuletide, there’s chances to ski or ride with Olympians Jonny Moseley at both Squaw and Alpine Meadows, moonlight snowshoeing at Alpine, and the traditional fireworks and parade for New Year’s.
Heavenly Valley rolls out Santa’s workshop in an ice globe at the base village for Christmas, then puts top skaters on the ice for evening shows Dec. 28-31. The week ends with music, ice sculpting and what is reported to be on the only “gondola ball drop” in the world.
Sierra-at-Tahoe lights its Christmas tree on Dec. 20, the winter solstice, on its new base plaza, complemented with live music.
Kirkwood skiers and riders hit the frontside on New Year’s Eve for a torchlight parade ahead of a fireworks display.
Northstar’s Snowman Factory will be in full swing Dec. 20-24 for après-ski snowman construction. On Dec.3, 26 and 27, snowshoe guides take visitors on twilight and moonlight hikes Dec. 23, 26 and 27, and skaters can go retro with Turtleneck Tuesdays during the holidays.
Live music highlights the holidays at Sugar Bowl, with acoustic performances Dec. 26-28 at the Coldstream Bar.
Mt. Rose-Tahoe celebrates its 50th anniversary Dec. 31 with fireworks and a torchlight parade for the kids.
What: Holiday season events, activities and shows at Tahoe-area resorts
When: Dec. 20-Jan. 1
Cost: Free or inexpensive for adults and kids alike
Photo: Top -- Fireworks ring in the New Year at Squaw Valley (Squaw Valley); Bottom: Northstar Village is all dressed up for the holiday snow (Northstar/Facebook)