While winter’s late arrival makes it feel as though the season is just getting warmed up, we’re already starting to dream of spring and all the fun that comes with it. In Tahoe, springtime means it’s time for one thing: WinterWonderGrass!

Every year, this three-day musical celebration takes over Palisades Tahoe and transforms the resort from a ski area to a full-on music festival. Folks come from all over to soak in the sounds of groovy tunes set against the majestic backdrop of the Sierra Nevada at Palisades Tahoe. From free shows off the main stage and food trucks to craft brew, seltzer, cider, and wine tastings, there is something for everyone in addition to the main event. And when the organizers say there’s something for everyone, they really mean it!

WinterWonderGrass bills itself as a family-friend event. And over the years, the number of kids attending the festival with their music-loving parents has grown by leaps and bounds, so much that this year, organizers have begun to charge admission for kids under 13. “Due to the abundance of kids and the need to enlarge facilities, staff, and offerings, we will be charging $20 for kids under 13,” reads a disclosure on the WinterWonderGrass website. “Ages 13-17 need a kids[general admission] or VIP ticket to enter.

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For some parents, the thought of bringing littler ones to such a venue brings visions of overstimulated children in meltdown mode — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Mom Jenny Goldberg is a seasoned pro when it comes to hitting the festival with kids.

I have been WinterWonderGrassing since 2015, and my son has been since a month before he was born,” she told Moonshine. “He also went at the ages of 1, 2, and 3 until Covid.

Another local mom, Cirra Mason, suggests packing an assortment of items that will help make for a pleasant experience both for parents and their kiddos. “Headphones or ear protection, lots of snacks, bubbles, glow sticks, streamer wands, etc. can make it more fun,” she said.

Each day of the festival, the Kids’ Zone is open from 2 to 9 p.m. Kids can enjoy face painting, hula-hooping, and lots of other age-appropriate activities. The best part? It all takes place in a heated tent, which means no chilly little ones. The Kids’ Zone tent is located next to the entrance of the VIP tent. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Over the years we have had a blast in all of the elements.From sunny bluebird days enjoying Peter Rowan on a blanket, to a blizzard to catch our friends, Shook Twins,” Goldberg said. It can be challenging on those rainy cold days; it is in a small asphalt parking lot with porta pottiesbut if you are prepared with the wagon, chairs, umbrella, snacks, and warm gear, it’s a blast! Makes you feel like a tough mountain mama when your kid is happy dancing to your favorite band in the snow and the rain.

For those gorgeous Tahoeblue-sky days, Goldberg recommends bringing a blanket, snacks, sunscreen, hats, and just enjoying amazing music in the sunshine. We go early, post up till dark, then head home,” she said. This year, we hope to stay a little later to catch our favorite these days, Sierra Ferrell.”

Single-day general admission tickets are still available, ranging in price from $109 for Friday, $149 for Saturday, and $119 for Sunday. These tickets include admission to the selected day’s festival, complimentary beer and spiked seltzer tastings from 2 to 5 p.m. for those age 21 and older, a free 8thannual WWG commemorative mug, and a free show on Thursday, April 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the base area.

Info: winterwondergrass.com

 

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  • Juliana Demarest

    Juliana Demarest is a Jersey girl with ink in her blood. She fell in love with print journalism at a young age in the '80s when her Uncle Tony would take her to "work" at his weekly paper. In 1997, she co-founded a weekly newspaper in North Jersey. One day, she went to photograph a local farmer for a news story. She ended up marrying him and leaving journalism to become a farmer's wife. In 2010, they packed up their two children and headed to Truckee in pursuit of the outdoor life. She didn't realize just how much she missed journalism until she joined Moonshine in 2018 after taking time off to be mom. Connect with Juliana juliana@moonshineink.com

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