El Dorado County, nestled along the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, is known historically for being part of Gold Country, where people flocked for their chance at striking it rich during the Gold Rush. In modern times, visitors go to enjoy the breathtaking lake and mountain views, as well as the abundance of activities available. Whether you're thinking about moving to area, or planning a family vacation to El Dorado County, you're sure to find plenty of exciting things to do with the kids in this area.
Learn more about El Dorado County history by visiting one of the area museums with your children. At Hangtown's Gold Bug Park and Mine museum (goldbugpark.org) in Placerville, your family can step back in time and experience what a real gold mine was like years ago. You can take a guided tour, do some panning of your own, take a hike or visit the Joshua Hendy Stamp Mill. Or, you can go to the El Dorado County Historical Museum (museum.edcgov.us), also in Placerville. Tour the museum, where you'll find an array of historical artifacts that provide information about the history of the county. Attend some of the special events at the museum, like one of the Mining History Days.
Get outside with your kids to enjoy nature. You'll find a wide variety of outdoor adventures in El Dorado County. Plan a camping trip for your kids at one of the many campgrounds in the area, such as the American River Resort (americanriverresort.com) in Coloma or Camp Richardson (camprichardson.com) in South Lake Tahoe. El Dorado County (eldoradocounty.org) also maintains numerous parks throughout the county, offering recreational opportunities including rafting, hiking and picnicking. You can also take the kids sledding, tubing or skiing in the Eldorado National Forest at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort (sierraattahoe.com) in Twin Bridges.
Make plans to attend some of the annual events that are held in El Dorado county throughout the year, like the Fourth of July Fireworks in South Lake Tahoe (southlaketahoe.com/events/annual/fireworks) or the El Dorado County Fair (eldoradocountyfair.org). The fair is held in June and includes carnival rides, livestock exhibits, competitions, live entertainment and car shows. In August, take your kids to Lake Tahoe's Annual Air Show (no website; 1901 Airport Rd., South Lake Tahoe; no phone) to watch a spectacular air show, with vintage and military aircraft performing amazing stunts.
Your family can enjoy a fun, friendly game of bowling at Tahoe Bowl (tahoebowl.com), a family fun center in South Lake Tahoe with 16 bowling lanes, bumpers for the kids and arcade games. You can even grab a pizza while you're there. Or, take your children over to Tahoe Sports and Entertainment (tahoearena.com), also in South Lake Tahoe, for some family activities. Stop by during one of the public skating times to do some ice skating or sign your kids up for youth hockey, figure skating lessons or skate school. You can also take your children to Bouncetown (bouncetown.org) in El Dorado Hills to expel some energy. Here, you'll find 7,000 square feet of bounce houses, obstacle courses, slides and climbing walls.