One of the great things about living in (Northern) California is having all kinds of “nature” at your doorstep. You can head to the coast for some beach time, or hit the hills and trails for a hike….there’s also the Sierra Nevada’s which provide for some awesome SNOW PLAY!!
Personally, I’m not much of a cold weather person. I’ve been fortunate to grow up and live in places where it really doesn’t ever snow, so that has worked out well for me. I have gone skiing and tried my hand at snowboarding, but at the end of the day, I’m gonna be okay if I never do either again.
However, because I believe in doing my best to expose my kids to new experiences and trying to cultivate family time activities, I made it a point for us to enjoy the “El Nino” snow, that’s just a short drive away. Last year my boys did get to see snow for the first time while we were living in Virginia, but I must say, snow in California is something special.
I did my due diligence in researching areas which weren’t far from home, didn’t have a big price tag and could provide us with a fun day of snow play! The big thing around the Bay Area is Lake Tahoe, but if you don’t aim so far north and think more direct east….you can avoid the Tahoe traffic, and find lots of areas to enjoy too!
In our case I chose the Spicer Sno Park – I have no idea why there is no “w,” but that’s how it’s listed. The California State Park system has 18 Sno-Parks to choose from in Northern California and the only cost is a $5 parking permit you can buy online or at designated locations on the way to your destination. Here’s a link to the map >> http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24867
Since we have toddlers and didn’t want to drive more than a few hours, we chose Spicer, off Highway 4. The play area has an ample parking lot and portable restroom on site. There was plenty of room to play, and you could take your pick of smaller hills, or steeper ones to slide down. We brought our own snow Saucers that I purchased at Big 5 before we left the Bay Area. And, everyone there pretty much knew the drill to bring their own sleds, toboggans or discs. Find more snow gear here.
All in all, it was a good day. We stayed for a couple ours to play and then went right back home. I also made/edited my first ever video mash up of the day, using iMovie on my iPhone! Press play below…