Nestled among a forested mountain setting dusted with snow, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is a picture perfect holiday getaway complete with all the makings for magical seasonal fun. This AAA Four-Diamond Yosemite winter wonder lodge delights visitors with festive décor and a range of activities from epic gingerbread house decorating sessions, to twirling around an outdoor ice rink next to a crackling fire, ensuring that ever every visit is truly wrapped up with a bow.
Kids Dinner with Santa
Offered exclusively on Nov. 25 and Dec. 21-22, the beloved Kids Dinner with Santa brings little ones aged 4 to 12 face-to-face with the hero of the holiday season – Santa Claus himself. Available as an event or as part of an overnight package, kids will have the chance to spend a special dinner with Santa and his elves and participate in holiday games, crafts, and fun Christmas activities. With great popularity and limited openings, this program sells out each year, so be sure to book early.
Sustainable Holiday Tree
The biggest holiday tree in Central California is the centerpiece of Tenaya’s holiday celebration and greets visitors in the lobby from Nov. 24 through the end of December. This giant, 35-foot fir tree is sustainably harvested each year and set aglow in a grand tree lighting ceremony on the evening of Nov. 24. The event starts at 6 p.m. and is open to the public. Cookies, cocoa, and photos with Santa are all part of the evening fun.
Gingerbread House Workshops
On Nov. 23 and 24, guests and locals alike are invited to test their DIY skills– and resist the urge to snack on their masterpieces – at the lodge’s wildly popular Gingerbread House Workshops. Cookie and candy architects get all the fixings to build the ultimate dream house, as well as expert guidance from Tenaya’s culinary team, while onlookers are welcome to browse the “neighborhood” free of charge.
To deck the halls at home, crafty visitors are invited to an Ornament Decorating Workshop on Nov. 19 and 24 and Dec. 21 and 23. Holiday lovers of all ages can take part in this two-hour session, during which participants can customize a set of six ornaments or personal stockings with a store of festive décor worthy of Santa’s workshop.
Outdoor Ice-Skating and More
Tenaya’s popular outdoor ice-skating rink opens for the season on Nov. 21 with a grand celebration complete with complimentary hot chocolate. Weather and snow permitting, families can also opt to slide down the lodge’s sledding hill, explore the forest on a snowshoe hike or even tour the area on a horse-drawn sleigh ride.
Tenaya has the holidays covered with sumptuous Thanksgiving and Christmas Buffets complete with all the savory and sweet fixings to appeal to kids and adults. There’s also a special holiday menu in Jackalope’s Bar and Grill for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. Live music and no dishes to clean up afterward make for a grand experience for all.
New Year’s Celebrations
Finally, celebrators can ‘get down’ and ring in 2019 on a High Sierra note at Tenaya’s Boogie and Groove New Year’s Eve Bash! The evening begins with groovy hors-d’oeuvres and a cocktail reception, then progresses to a gourmet dinner with live entertainment. The evening heats up with The Valley Cats taking the stage for a far-out dance party after dinner and a midnight champagne toast and balloon drop. The property also has a two-night package that includes the two tickets to the New Year’s Eve party, breakfast each day and a late check-out at noon.
Kids can also join the New Year’s Eve fun with separate, supervised and age-appropriate costume themed parties, and childcare is available for little ones under age 4. Full New Year’s packages can be booked online. For more information contact Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite.
About Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is an all-season resort framed by noble evergreen forest and a rich range of Sierra recreation. The lodge, set adjacent to Yosemite National Park’s South Gate at an elevation of 5,288 feet, offers 302 rooms, suites and mountain cottage accommodations. Tenaya Lodge offers easy access to Yosemite’s iconic attractions and many guests savor the alpine serenity of Ascent Spa at Tenaya Lodge. Resort dining options run the table from casual to candlelit at Sierra, Jackalope’s, Timberloft and Embers restaurants.
Locally curated and financially supported by the community, the Northern Mariposa County History Center shows what it was like to live in Coulterville during the gold-mining boom of the late 19th century through the lives of the pioneer families who still call it home today.
Who is John Muir? Known fondly as “John of the Mountains” and the “Father of National Parks,” John Muir was a naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and adventurer that spent much of his time in the Sierra Nevada wilderness.