Lake Tahoe holidays present a wonderful opportunity to participate in Incline Village’s heralded annual events and patronize the community’s long-standing businesses and restaurants.

While there are many opportunities to celebrate holidays throughout the year, there’s arguably no better time than Christmas time in Lake Tahoe to get into the spirit and get ready to ring in the new year.

Lake Tahoe Holidays: Starts With Diverse Shopping Options

Are you looking to support Incline Village-Crystal Bay businesses this holiday season? One must-stop shop is The Potlatch, an Incline Village mainstay serving up Lake Tahoe Christmas memories for over 50 years.

The Potlatch opened in 1970 and has been in the Raley’s Shopping Center in the heart of Incline Village since 1997. The shop’s name comes from the eponymous Native American word for traditional ceremonial gift-giving feasts observed by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest.

Now operated by third-generation owners Lisa and Aaron Nelson, The Potlatch is one of North Lake Tahoe’s best shopping destinations, offering everything from Native American-inspired jewelry to fantastic fashion apparel, locally designed home décor products, and much more.

Head a few blocks west on Highway 28 to the appropriately named Christmas Tree Village, a locals’ haven for shopping and dining. One of the newer shops in the center, KARMA Tahoe, is a consignment boutique that carries clothing, shoes, and accessories for all ages, including an expansive seasonal selection of snow pants, jackets, boots, sweaters, gloves, and scarves — everything you need for Christmas in Tahoe.

You can spend an entire afternoon (or a full day) at Christmas Tree Village, which is home to Santa’s workshop and several other long-standing shops and eateries. The strip mall includes Village Interiors, an innovative design firm that offers creative concepts for residential, commercial, and office spaces, Crosby’s Kitchen & Cocktail, an all-ages bar-restaurant known for its Tahoe-famous hot wings, and Mofo’s Pizza & Pasta, an Incline mainstay since 1986 that features market-fresh ingredients, honest cooking, and an enjoyable atmosphere.

These centers are just two of many locales loaded with Tahoe Christmas shopping adventures and dining options. From Crystal Bay to the Country Club Centre to the Village Center and beyond, here’s a helpful map created by the Incline Village Crystal Bay Community and Business Association (IVCBA) that breaks down everywhere to explore.

Snowy beach

Tahoe Christmas Is All About Food And Friendship

Experience a true Tahoe Christmas by spending a few nights out on the town to celebrate friendship and family at any number of Incline Village-Crystal Bay’s wonderful restaurants. Here are just a few of our favorites, whether you’re a long-time homeowner or in town for your first Lake Tahoe Christmas vacation:

  • Azzara’s: Family-owned and operated since 1978, this eatery in the Raley’s Shopping Center prides itself on using fresh ingredients to create authentic Italian cuisine that will fill your belly and warm your heart on a cozy winter afternoon or evening. Azzara’s offers affordable entrees for adults and a special menu for kids to ensure everyone goes home happy.
  • Big Water Grille: Offering a higher-end culinary experience for sophisticated palates, this restaurant bills itself as Lake Tahoe’s premier fine-dining restaurant — where both the view and food will take your breath away. Located near the base of Diamond Peak Ski Resort, Big Water Grille is the perfect destination both for après ski and Tahoe Christmas cuisine.
  • La Fondue: A hidden gem tucked away in the Country Club Centre, La Fondue is famously known as Tahoe’s most romantic spot for special occasions—or no occasion—for all. From curious cheeses to elegant oils to healthy broths, this alpine-themed restaurant has served residents and visitors from across the world with European cuisine for more than 40 years.

Lake Tahoe Holidays Filled With Festive Activities

While Lake Tahoe holidays are packed with special things to do for people of all ages, Incline Village-Crystal Bay is truly a festive destination to enjoy bright Tahoe Christmas lights, wonderful Tahoe Christmas weather, and unique Tahoe Christmas activities.

Led by the IVCBA, the annual Northern Lights Festival runs through the end of December, featuring several events that celebrate the Lake Tahoe holidays by promoting businesses and family-friendly events for locals and visitors.

Lake Tahoe holidays: Handel's Messiah

Handel’s “Messiah”

One of Tahoe’s most cherished holiday traditions is the production of Handel’s “Messiah” by the Toccata-Tahoe Orchestra and Chorus. This Baroque masterwork showcases the magnificent artistry and skill of the nonprofit orchestra through joyous refrains and exultant arias, including the iconic “Hallelujah” Chorus. The “Messiah” performances conclude Toccata’s 17th season, and final productions are slated for December 11 at Cornerstone Community Church in Incline Village, as well as December 16 and 18 in Reno and South Lake Tahoe, respectively.

Christmas Lights

When it comes to Tahoe Christmas lights, why travel down the hill to Reno when you can scoot over to 972 Jennifer Street to experience a nightly festive 40-minute music-and-light show from December 17-27. More than 20,000 lights are displayed during the Jennifer Street Parade of Lights Christmas Show, highlighted by a 30-foot-tall tree blanketed in 4800-pixel LED lights.

Hanukkah Too

Of course, Lake Tahoe holidays stretch beyond Christmas. This year, Hanukkah begins December 18; here are a couple events planned this month for those who observe:

  • The University of Nevada, Reno’s Incline Village campus, Sierra Nevada University, will host a Hannukah Celebration on December 21. The event begins at 5 p.m. at Prim Library and will include a Menorah lighting, donuts, latkes, dreidels, and music.
  • Located a few miles east in Tahoe Vista, the North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation provides a framework for connection to Jewish heritage, tradition, learning, and living. The synagogue’s annual Hannukah Party is December 23 at 6 p.m. Bring your most creative, crispy, and traditional latke for a fun contest to celebrate the Shabbat of Hannukah.

Lake Tahoe holiday: Winter Skiing

Skiing In The Sierra Nevadas

No Tahoe Christmas vacation would be complete without skiing at Diamond Peak Ski Resort, which offers breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe and a solid mix of beginner, intermediate and expert terrain. One of Diamond Peak’s greatest traditions returns Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when the resort’s lovable mascot, Diamond Pete, is joined by Santa himself to ski with visitors and locals, hand out stickers and treats, and take photos with the kids.

End The Year With A Pop

The Lake Tahoe holidays wrap up with a variety of New Year’s Eve parties at several venues, including special-themed parties at the Hyatt & Grand Lodge Casino, Alibi Ale Works, and Glasses Wine Bar, to name a few. But the biggest bash in North Lake Tahoe takes place at the Crystal Bay Casino. Ring in the new year with an epic concert featuring funk, soul, and the jazz-influenced group The Motet inside the casino’s renowned Crown Room.

It’s the perfect way to pop some bubbles, put a pin in 2022, and say hello to new beginnings and renewed energy for 2023.

If you’re looking to celebrate the Lake Tahoe holidays and you’d like to stay up to date on prices of Incline Village homes and selling real estate and living in Incline-Crystal Bay, email with the subject line, “Give me the Incline Village Inside Scoop!”

Whether you are buying or selling, Dickson Realty agents have the experience and innovative technology to help you. For more information, contact a neighborhood real estate expert at Dickson Realty today.