Winter is upon us and the snowy mountains are calling. Mammoth Lakes are a perfect gateway to Eastern Sierra Nevada and much more than that.
The mountain town is located 8,000 feet above sea level, which is 1,600 feet higher than Lake Tahoe, and boasts plenty of skiing, sledding, tubing, activities below the mountains, and kid-friendly restaurants and hotels.
What can you do at Mammoth Lakes with kids?
First of all, there are activities year round, but we feel that the best time is winter and spring. In winter you will enjoy all kinds of snow activities and cool weather, while spring brings sunny skies and still plenty of snow for fun.
Skiing at Mammoth Mountain
Kids under 4 ski free here and can enjoy plenty of beginner slopes. The mountain is so big that even during busy periods visitors spread out and you will never feel crowded. There are skiing lessons available from 3 years old to adult.
Woolly’s Tube Park invites all kids and adults above 42” for some serious sleek snow lane fun. There is a snow area for play and a heated deck for hot chocolate and adult beverages – perfect spot to take a break.
Kids above 5 can enjoy various adventures with rented snowmobiles together with parents or guided tours.
Snowshoeing or cross country skiing
Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center is a perfect place for snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and hiking in spring. There are 19 miles of trails to explore with kids. Most of them are pretty flat and very doable for young kids and even with dogs.
Where can you eat with kids?
Mammoth Lakes is a small town, but the variety of eateries will surprise you. Most places, even high end ones, have high chairs, kids’ menus, and crayons handy, so don’t be afraid to walk in at 7 pm with a nice group of kids. Here are some great options:
Old New York Deli
This classic bagel place is always full of people enjoying bagels, sandwiches, and baked delicacies. It is very popular for breakfast before the day filled with snowy fun.
If you love Mexican food, you will be in heaven here – tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, and more. Portions are huge and adults can enjoy 600+ types of tequila. People especially love tables outside by the fire pits on a nice day.
Not much description is needed here. Simply stop by for some caffeine and enjoy a break in a large room with plenty of places for strollers.
The name says it all, and who doesn’t love burgers after a day of skiing or in between tube runs? Comfort food comes in big portions and besides beef burgers you can choose veggie burger, buffalo burger, pork baby back ribs, and more tasty options.
Customers come here to relax and enjoy delicious food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Menu options include coconut mascarpone pancakes, fish tacos, and traditional options for kids.
Yoddler Restaurant and Bar
This traditional German restaurant is located at the Main Lodge next to Mammoth Mountain Inn and serves brats, schnitzels, and pretzels. Eating there is like taking a mini trip to Europe.
Mammoth Rock ‘N’ Bowl
The main focus here is bowling for young and old, but the food is good too – pizza, salads, poutine, and tacos, so you have it all in one place for a perfect evening of entertainment. You can eat while bowling or have a sit down dinner. There is also a full bar and arcade, in addition to fancy Brasserie upstairs.
This café boasts spectacular views from the top of 11,000 feet mountain and can be reached via scenic gondolas. Meals here are grab-and-go while kids can enjoy interpretive center with area’s flora and fauna, geography and history artifacts and exhibitions.
A heaven for sugar addicts – daily fresh pastries, bread, breakfast, sandwiches, candies, and coffee treats.
Good Life Café
Families come here for healthy breakfast and are never disappointed.
This pizza delivery service features pies that are bound to satisfy every member of the family with their decadent options and toppings.
If you can, leave the kids with a baby sitter, an older sibling, or a grandparent and come for a date night to this upscale place with modern American kitchen and beautiful wine.
Broadway Marketplace and McCoy Marketplace
This is a perfect spot for a quick stop mid skiing run for a nice burger, sandwich, pizza, or salad. It is located at the Main Lodge.
Where can you stay with family?
The small town of Mammoth Lakes mostly survives on tourism, so there are hotels and condos for rent galore. You can stay pretty much anywhere because of free public transportation, especially if you are traveling without kids. If you have family with you, take a look at those conveniently located places:
The Village Lodge Mammoth
This lodge has all kinds of condos for rent, so you can vacation with comforts of home. You can choose between studio apartments and up to three bedroom condos. All condos have at least kitchenettes and some feature full kitchens, which are great when traveling with small kids. You can request a crib and enjoy heated pool every day of the year. The Village Lodge has free shuttle service and is located just steps from dining and shopping. The famous gondolas go right above the lodge and are unanimously loved by all kids.
Mammoth Mountain Inn
You can stay here and enjoy the lifts to slopes just a few steps away. The Inn has hotel-style rooms and condos with kitchenettes for rent. Many dining options are walking distance away and the area is very quiet in the evenings when the slopes close.
Westin Monache Resort Mammoth
You can see mountains from every room and stay in the center of the Village, close to all the entertainment. Every room has a small fridge, kitchenette, and microwave. Gondolas start right there and are very convenient. The resort offers ski valets and free shuttle service.
What can you do with small children?
- Ride free gondolas and take in the views
- Ride free buses and let kids relax and enjoy the 4 mile long wintery town
- Take a walk around the Village , browse, shop, and get a drink or coffee on one of plentiful patios
- Set up camp mid-slopes and enjoy the views
- Join Woolly and friends for a parade every Saturday in winter in the Village or find out about other events happening every month
How to best prepare for traveling with babies and kids?
The one thing that can make or break the trip is proper winter clothes. We can’t stress enough the importance of good winter appropriate clothing and shoes. You should definitely have waterproof pants, jackets, thermal underwear, gloves, and shoes for the entire family. Always have multiple layers for dressing up or down.
- 30% Off Your Order and Free Shipping with Code SHIP89
- Free Shipping on Your Purchase of $89+ when use code HONEY89
- Up to 90% OFF Ski Gear
If you are driving, don’t forget to take your favorite board games and movies. Many cabins are stocked with various options, so check with the host in advance.
If you have a long road trip to tackle, make it fun for kids and stop along the way to get their wriggles out and refuel.