Family-Friendly Summer Events

Courtesy Mike Dawson

Warm summer days usually find most of us soaking up the rays on the beach or engaging in one of many summer sports. But summer in the Tahoe Sierra is also the time to enjoy outdoor concerts, festivals and family-friendly events.


The region is jam packed with family activities that cover a broad spectrum of interests. These events are the best way to make the most of the long, summer days. Below are a few recommendations for maximizing summer fun with your family.

The kids enjoy the puppet show at Truckee Thursdays. | Michelle Allen

Truckee Thursdays

Truckee Thursdays is a weekly street fair in historic downtown Truckee, sponsored by the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association, held every Thursday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. through Aug. 29 (excluding July 4). This local favorite is a lively festival featuring vendors, food trucks, a beer garden, kids’ activities and music. Some of the downtown merchants participate with specials and sidewalk sales.

A good thing to know is that you can park your car in any one of Truckee’s neighborhoods — Prosser, Tahoe Donner, Glenshire, Sierra Meadows, Donner Lake — and get a free bus ride to the event and back to your car. The downtown area is cordoned off during the event; you don’t want to have to drive and park there. A full bus schedule is available at There are several ice-cream vendors serving delicious desserts that are hard to resist. The last time we went to Truckee Thursdays, my son Anikin and his friend Kayl Climenhaga somehow convinced me and Kayl’s mom, Laurie, to get ice cream from two vendors. It did help distract them from the seven-minute wait for their turn in the bounce house — and what could be better than ice cream twice on a hot summer evening.

Some of the best kids’ activities include two bounce houses, one for toddlers and one for slightly older kids; a face painter, although Anikin got a super cool spider painted on his arm so placement is the kid’s choice; a balloon artist who made Anikin a light saber, of course, and Kayl a pirate sword and a red parrot; and a puppeteer who performed a live show and taught Kayl how to maneuver the puppets. |

Concerts at Commons Beach

Concerts at Commons Beach in downtown Tahoe City is every Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. through Sept. 1. This popular free concert series is sponsored by the Tahoe City Downtown Association and is on a beautiful beach on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. It features music, local food trucks, including ice cream and adult beverages such as Alibi Ale Works, a playground and picnic areas. Families come every week to connect with old friends, meet new ones and dance to great music. |

Music on the Beach

Music on the Beach at Kings Beach State Recreation Area is a free concert series sponsored by the North Tahoe Business Association. It is every Friday 6 to 8:30 p.m. through Aug. 30 (excluding Aug. 9). The music includes a wide variety of genres. Move to the beat and enjoy food from local vendors, beer from local brewers and the smiles on the kids’ faces as they play on the beach and the playground. Expect lots of summer fun in one of the world’s most amazing natural landscapes. |

Here are some other family friendly events not to be missed this summer:

  • Bluesdays in the Village at Squaw Valley | Tuesdays until Sept. 3 |
  • Kirkwood Summer Festival | July 6 |
  • Beerfest & Bluegrass at Northstar California | July 6 |
  • Truckee Tahoe Air Show & Family Festival | July 13 |
  • Carson City Fair in Fuji Park | July 26-28 | Facebook Carson City Fair
  • Fresh Tracks Festival at The Hangar in South Lake Tahoe | Aug. 3 |

For more information and a full list of events, check out the Events Calendar at