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Learn Something And Have Fun With These Family Trip Ideas In Truckee

Alex Silgalis
May 8, 2023
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Truckee is known as a gateway to outdoor adventure. But it’s also a perfect destination to learn something about history, wildlife, and more. If your family is looking for a place that combines a bit of wilderness fun with a plate full of knowledge, look no further than Truckee.


Let your kid be a kid and learn something too. The only kids museum in the Tahoe region, the KidZone Museum is a place for your kiddos to build social, cognitive, physical, and creative skills through play. The KidZone Museum offers a vast array of exhibits, play areas, or both under one roof such as the Sierra Settlers play exhibit. Here children can shop at the Chinese Herb Shop for dinner, pick up their pots and pans in the blacksmith shop, and even reserve a room in the Boarding House.

Donner Memorial State Park

Become a junior ranger and understand the challenges of crossing the mighty Sierra in the 19th century. Crossing the Sierra Nevada was a challenging feat only for the bravest of settlers. Donner Memorial State Park visitor center gives you a close glimpse into that experience with interactive exhibits. Donner Memorial State Park is also one of California’s participating state parks for the Junior Ranger program. As part of the program, kids will get a logbook and a badge. They’ll also play games, hike trails, discover tracks and observe wildlife all while making friends their own age. To learn more about the junior ranger program, please call Donner Memorial State Park: 530‐582‐7892.

Old Highway 20 Mile Museum

Go back in time with an auto tour on Old Highway 40. Arguably one of the most scenic byways in the country, this bypass was part of the first ever transcontinental automobile road in history. The 20 Mile Museum is a collection of interpretive signs that runs (as you guessed it) twenty miles of the Donner Pass road. Highlights include stories about ice harvesting and seeing the famous “Rainbow Bridge.” To learn more about the 20 Mile Museum and to pick up a brochure mapping out all the signs, visit our article - Truckee’s Outdoor 20 Mile Museum A Journey Back In Time

Old Jail Museum in Historic Downtown Truckee

Truckee’s historic Old Jail Museum is one of only a few surviving 19th century jailhouses of its kind in the West and one of the few remaining original buildings in Truckee. The old Bastille was used continuously from 1875 until May 1964, and ably withstood the many fires that swept the town in its early days. Learn more about Truckee museums.

Truckee River Legacy Trail

A shining example of Trails for EveryBODY™ campaign. Truckee wants everyone to join in regardless of age, physical ability, or shape. The Truckee River Legacy Trail is a paved path that follows the southern shoreline of the Truckee River. Along the way you’ll find interpretive signs providing interesting facts about the history in the area as well as flora and fauna information. The route is a perfect one for a stroll or even a bike cruise.

Palisades Tahoe Washoe Exhibit

Dive into the indigenous culture with a bit of skiing or hiking. Before European settlers arrived, the Washoe (or Wašišiw, which means “people from here”) lived here. At the top of Aerial Tram, Palisades Tahoe has created an exhibit about the Washoe people. This includes artifacts generously on loan from the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. Throughout the summer, experience the Sierra Nevada through the eyes of the Washoe as part of a Washoe Cultural Tour. Or take in one of many cultural talks where you’ll hear stories about their history and culture from the Valley and surrounding mountains. 

Summer Camps

Get some “me” time as your kids gain confidence and create lifelong memories in a summer camp. Truckee’s roster of summer camps runs the full spectrum of activities from wilderness education to adrenaline pumping hijinx in a safe environment. Kids can learn about the plants and animals of the Sierra and return stewards of the environment with Tahoe Truckee Waldorf summer camps. They can build character and become cowboys or cowgirls at the Piping Rock Equestrian center. There are dozens of summer camps in Truckee-Tahoe!

Alex Silgalis

Born and raised as a flat lander in Chicagoland, Alex spent his summers working to save up for a season pass to the local hill along with any trips out West or beyond he could squeeze in. It was during his travels, both as a kid & an adult, Alex discovered his inspiration for Local Freshies® . His idea was to create the No. 1 Web site providing the local scoop on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer alongside the love of his life and business partner, Jaime Pirozzi.

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