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Riding the M.S. Dixie II in Tahoe with Young Kids

You’d think by now I’d learn, but I haven’t.

Most every time I plan an outing for the wee ones, I imagine it being the most magical day ever. Often, my excitement clearly outweighs theirs and at some point, someone will have a meltdown (myself included).

Our day on the M.S. Dixie II  was, in my mind, the best way to show my mom around the Lake.

What I didn’t account for were the insane crowds over Memorial Day weekend, nor the winds that can kick up in the late afternoons here.

We took the 3 pm tour to allow for naps in the morning. It’s a great time to go for the sheer fact that the sun isn’t as strong as during the earlier cruise; and there  isn’t much shading if you choose to bask on the top deck.

Of the various tours Lake Tahoe Cruises offer, M.S. Dixie II is one of the longest – 2.5 hours to be exact – due to the fact it’s powered by a paddle wheel. This is a critical bit of information as you plan your day with the kids.

My daughters are 1 and the older nearly 4 years old.

Was it fun for a while? Yes. Did it capture their attention the entire time? No.

As you would with any other trip with kids, pack snacks and alternate methods of entertainment. Also be sure to take hats and sweaters as the afternoon winds can make it quite chilly.

The M.S. Dixie II has meals and drinks on board. Arrive early to grab a seat indoors – otherwise you’ll be stuck drinking your hot cocoa while standing.

I can’t believe it’s taken me six years to ride the Dixie. Will I do it again? Not anytime soon with my girls. Perhaps when they’re older, or on a calmer day.

If you’ve never seen Emerald Bay from a boat, it’s completely worth it. And if your kid loves water or boats, it’s a great way to explore our beautiful area, especially since they can walk around the boat and see the paddle wheel in action.

To book a cruise, check out the schedule on Lake Tahoe Cruises.

Have you done any other tours on the water (successfully) with kids?


About Vanessa Vancour

Vanessa is no stranger to blogging; in fact, she’s the mastermind behind Reno Tahoe Bloggers. Of course, that’s in addition to being a full-time working mom of two girls and one stylish, crafty lady. Follow Vanessa at VanessaVancour.com.