While those living in the Bay Area enjoy the luxury of year-round mild weather, just a few hours’ drive puts residents in reach of world-class skiing. The Lake Tahoe area offers a number of family-friendly ski resorts, for everyone from the first timer to the pros. Skiing offers the perfect combination of family time and fitness, building as all day fun in the snow. Pack up the cold weather gear and the little ones and head out for a day at one of these five best ski slopes for kids near the Bay Area.

Diamond Peak
1210 Ski Way
Incline Village, NV 89451
(775) 831-3211
www.diamondpeak.com

Diamond Peak is an affordable family-friendly ski resort in northern Lake Tahoe. Located in Incline Village, the resort has a ski school that caters to beginners, and kids ages three and up. There are a number of both gentle beginner as well as more advanced runs for the experienced skiers. Kids ages six and under ski free. Rental equipment and overnight lockers are available.

Heavenly Ski Resort
4080 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(775) 586-7000
www.skiheavenly.com

Heavenly Ski Resort boasts both the largest skiable acreage as well as the highest elevation of Lake Tahoe. Bring the kids to learn from the pros while mom and dad put in some quality runs down the mountain. The resort’s ski school offers group and private lessons for kids ages four and up. For kids too young to ski, the resort also has a wide array of child care options for kids aged six weeks to six years. Choose from supervised snow play to ski lessons accompanied by a nanny-for-hire. Lift tickets are available for children five and older, and the resort even has a specialized tubing hill with multiple sliding lanes.

Squaw Valley
1960 Squaw Valley Road
Olympic Valley, CA 96146
(800) 403-0206
www.squawalpine.com

Host to the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley is the second largest ski resort in Tahoe, with over 4,000 skiable acres. Lift tickets are available for ages five and up, and beginning on January 30, include ice skating. In addition to regular and family lessons for ages three and up, the Squaw Valley ski school has a Mommy/Daddy and me lesson option in which parents learn how to make a first-time skiing experience safe and enjoyable for the smaller ones.

Related: Best Ski Lodges In America

Alpine Meadows
2600 Alpine Meadows Road
Tahoe City, CA 94146
(800) 403-0206
www.squawalpine.com

Now under the same ownership as Squaw Valley since 2012, Alpine Meadows offers a more laid-back ski environment. Perfect for families that like to ski together, many of Alpine Meadows’ runs are geared towards intermediate skiers. Crowds tend to be less dense here, making for more time skiing. Since the merger with Squaw Valley, lift tickets purchased for Alpine are good at both resorts, and there is a quick shuttle that runs between the properties.

Soda Springs
10244 Soda Springs Road
Soda Springs, CA 95728
(530) 426-3901
www.skisodasprings.com

Located closer to the Bay Area than some of the major Tahoe ski resorts, Soda Springs has one of the best kids programs around. Planet Kids tickets include a tubing area, snow volcanoes and ski and snowboard learning areas. This program for kids under eight is an affordable $34 for the entire day, and includes helmet and equipment rentals. Private lessons for the same age group are 30 minutes long and are an unheard-of steal at $34. Alternatively, get lift tickets for the whole family and enjoy skiing 15 mixed-level trails.

Related: Bay Area Ski And Snow Guide

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.