Family fun at Bowl Incline

The bowling lanes at Bowl Incline | Courtesy Michelle Allen

The Tahoe Truckee region is, without a doubt, one of the greatest outdoor playgrounds. Whatever the season, this area offers many activities for all ages to explore. And if you love Tahoe in the winter, then you love playing in the snow.

Family indoor outings

Bowling at Bowl Incline in Incline Village & Tahoe Bowl in South Lake
Indoor swimming pools in Incline Village, South Lake & Truckee
Indoor ice skating at Tahoe Arena in South Lake
Indoor climbing walls in Incline Village, South Lake, Squaw Valley & Truckee
Tahoe Tot Spot play center in South Lake
KidZone Museum in Truckee

But the storms that bring the snow can also prevent us from enjoying the snow. Snowstorms bring gusty winds, rain and heavy, wet snow (Sierra cement), all of which are not the best conditions for travel or for playing outside.

On a recent Saturday morning, during a wet snowstorm, my family was debating what to do for the day. Usually this conversation involves options like snowmobiling, skiing, sledding or ice skating. But it was raining outside, and the weather forecast called for heavy, wet snow by afternoon. It was not appealing to venture outside.

My husband, Luke, had the idea to go to Bowl Incline in Incline Village, Nev. A great place for family fun any day, Bowl Incline is especially inviting on a stormy day. With 16 wooden bowling lanes, 10 billiard tables, a variety of arcade games, video poker machines and a golf simulator, Bowl Incline has something for every member of the family.

As we arrive, I notice the bowling lanes are almost full and there are several families playing arcade games. My son Anikin hops on the motorcycle racing game, moving side to side to navigate the turns in the race. He races for a while but has more fun crashing into the sides of the course and into other racers, “just to see what happens.”

Luke and Anikin make their way around the arcade playing pinball and other games like Pac-Man and car racing. They eventually run out of quarters and move onto a few rounds of air hockey. Getting annoyed that Luke keeps winning, Anikin gets bored and they decide to play pool.

Playing pool in the billiards room | Courtesy Michelle Allen

On the other side of the bar from the arcade area is Bowl Incline’s billiard room. The billiard room is equipped with beautiful, professional pool tables and all the necessary equipment. It also includes an electronic jukebox that is easy to use and has a wide variety of music.

We put on Anikin’s favorite song, AC/DC’s “T-N-T” (at the age of 3, Anikin swapped T-N-T for D-A-D). I watch as Luke teaches Anikin how to hold the cue stick and hit the ball properly. As they play, Luke gives him pointers on how to aim and sink a shot. Not long after, Anikin’s attention waivers and he tries to roll the balls by hand into the ball return. We collect the balls and return them to the staff. We debate whether we should bowl or not but instead decide to get lunch. We will come back for bowling some other time.

We choose Jason’s Beachside Grille in Kings Beach, which features American traditional food in a beautiful lakeside location. The wood details throughout the restaurant remind me of an old Tahoe cabin. There is even a sunken waiting area that wraps around a gas firepit which adds to the charm and warmth.

We sit down in a cozy booth close to the firepit and order burgers and chicken strips for Anikin. In my opinion, a meal at Jason’s is not complete without a trip to their delicious salad bar. Stocked with lots of fresh vegetables, salad toppings and a variety of pasta and potato salads, the salad bar can be added to a meal or be a meal by itself.

At the end of the day, we feel grateful for the time we got out of the house and spent time together as a family. We head home ready to hunker down before the impending blizzard arrives.

Bowl Incline is also a fun and inexpensive place for a party. They operate on a first-come, first-served basis take reservations for parties of 20 or more. There is no food service (other than a vending machine) but they allow outside food and have a full bar. Check online for information on bowling leagues, the Pro Shop and specials (look for the coupon for Bowl Incline in this edition). | bowlincline.com