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While we have a long list of wonderful structured activities to do with kids in the winter here at Tahoe, I rediscovered on a short walk through the Sunnyside neighborhood that, for many kids, it is just having the chance to get outside and play in the snow that makes Tahoe so precious for children.
It was sunny and crisp as I set out on my mid-morning walk. Most of the folks who were going to ski were already at the slope, so the neighborhood was pretty quiet. After about ten minutes of walking, however, I heard the beautiful sound of singing. As I got closer, I realized it was coming from a young girl, probably just ten years old, who was slowly tromping through the snow while belting out a great version of “This girl is on fire!”. I was impressed with the power of her young voice, and equally impressed with the lack of self-consciousness and simple joy in living that it took to be ringing the cold sky with her voice.
Next, I turned onto another street and began to see a series of unique snowman. One looking quite debonair with his red scarf and fancy hat. The next, a few doors down, a Hawaiian hula girl with a big smile and hula skirt. A few doors further I saw a rather large igloo that must have taken a whole passel of kids much of a day to create.
As I made my way down to the beach next to Sunnyside Lodge, I could hear the banter of children issuing instructions on how to create their little snowy masterpieces in the front yard of an enormous cabin. Then at the beach, there were kids sitting along the shore playing in the snow or calmly throwing rocks into the lake.
All of these little bits of Tahoe life made me smile. Especially since I’m one of those old guys who bemoans the fact that kids don’t just go outside and play every day like we did when we were kids. It turns out that Tahoe over the holidays gives children from around the world that special opportunity to use their imaginations, go out into the snow, and revel in the simple joys of being a child. Which I think is awesome.