Snuggle Up, Buttercup! Exploring Truckee's Great IN-doors

Snuggle Up, Buttercup! Exploring Truckee's Great IN-doors

November 25, 2023

From An Insider’s Guide, Winter 2023-24

There are two sides to Truckee in the winter: one that takes place outside—playing in the gifts of winter storms, skiing, riding, sledding, and making snowmen, and one that takes place inside. Whether it’s fierce mountain weather, a need to escape the crowds, or you just want a break from the cold, local businesses have a diverse range of options to keep your hands, bodies, and minds busy all winter long. Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy the flip side of Truckee’s winter. 


Learning how to make something with your own two hands creates a feeling of accomplishment and provides you with the building blocks to develop new, relevant skills. Imagine slicing apples on a cutting board you created, closing the curtains you sewed, or lighting a candle you poured.  

Take advantage of one of Truckee’s most creative spaces and learn something new at Truckee Roundhouse. Their five workshops include woodworking, metalworking, textiles, technology, and ceramics, spread out in a 4,600-square-foot hangar at Truckee Tahoe Airport. As a community-centered nonprofit, the Roundhouse offers classes, materials, space, and connections to learn, create, and meet other local artisans. 

Even if you’ve never worked with one of those mediums, their non-intimidating courses will give you the confidence to work with various tools on various projects. Create a chair, a table, a frame, a ceramic bowl, upcycle clothes, and more. Once you’ve demonstrated you can use the tools safely, become a member and begin working on your own projects. Prefer to work at home? Check out their sock monkey, clock, or wallflower weaving take-home kits!

Want to try making candles for yourself or to give as gifts? Our Rustic Heart Candle Shop recently opened a new store in the Pioneer Center. The owner, Christine, is fun and creative and only carries natural ingredients. They offer affordable candle-making classes with beautiful vessels, with guidance and everything you need to make your own custom candles. It’s a fun group activity as well. Check for class schedules and information, or just stop by their lovely shop in the Pioneer Center. 


With the sun dipping down so early, it might be a good time to try out those elaborate recipes you’ve been shelving. Connect with your partner, kids, or yourself and explore recipes that fit the season. Winter produce includes citrus, potatoes, garlic, onion, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and so much more. 

Support local farms by purchasing locally grown produce at Tahoe Food Hub and New Moon. Not sure how to cook with a particular squash or need some fresh ideas? Try a recipe from Tahoe Food Hub’s website (, like the Crispy Potatoes and Kale with Chimichurri Sauce; Leek, Onion, and Broccoli Quiche; or Pasta with Charred Lemon, Broccoli, and Spring Onions. 

If you’re downtown, grab a new cookbook from Word After Books and explore a new cuisine! Whether vegan, Indian, or you want to try your chef’s mitt at baking, cooking warms the home and the soul. Need kitchen gadgets or just want to drool over some beautiful dining linens and accessories? Stop in to The Cooking Gallery downtown.

Need more direction in the kitchen? Check out the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District (TDRPD) for cooking classes. They’ve offered Italian Cooking classes for adults and a Playing With Food course for kids. Find their schedule and current offerings online at 


Stay active at the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District Fitness Track and indoor aquatics center, open seven days a week. Fitness and pool memberships are affordable and have tiered pricing for residents, nonresidents, youth, adults, and seniors. 

For adults that like group sports, consider joining one of TDRPD’s adult sports leagues, like basketball, hockey, volleyball, futsal, and cornhole. Or, consider taking a fitness class, Qi Gong class, or learning how to play the newly popular game pickleball.  

There’s nothing like a calm yoga class during a snowstorm. Check out Namaste Holistic Healing and Yoga Center for classes like Prenatal Yoga, Alignment Focused Vinyasa, Self Care and Meditation, and more. They also offer community classes at half the rate of regular classes, making yoga an affordable option. Stretch and strengthen those ski legs to avoid injury!

For more hard-hitting classes that increase your heart rate, Tahoe Mountain Fitness offers boxing, strength training, HITT (High Intensity Interval Training), Pilates, and more. For in-depth and personalized workouts, sign up for personal training and get one-on-one guidance with an expert trainer. Round-out your healthy lifestyle with nutrition coaching to get your dietary needs on track. And if you get overwhelmed by all their offerings, they also offer progress tracking and planning to map out your road to success. It’s like a one-stop-shop to get your body and mind clear and fit! 


If you’re looking to pass the time in a creative way with your young children, head over to the KidZone Museum, where the littlest of the littles through grade schoolers can explore, learn, and keep their hands and bodies busy. Drop in during their winter hours, available online, or buy a tax-deductible membership. This winter, the playroom theme is Winnie-the-Pooh! They also have clothes for dress-up, an art room with paints and brushes, a science room, and a soft area for crawling babies. 

Keep your mind sharp with a lively game of Monopoly, Battleship, or Yahtzee! If you’re looking for a new (or old) board game, head over to the Variety Store in downtown Truckee; they’ve got all kinds of fun games in stock for your next game night. 

Need a break from competition? The Truckee Library has a jigsaw puzzle exchange program; bring in a puzzle and take another one home. Keep up the exchange to see how many you can complete over the winter. 


Maybe you have a business idea that you’ve always wanted to explore. Or you want to learn more about Truckee’s history or ecology. The Truckee Library and Word After Word Books offer extensive selections of books that will make you an expert on various interesting topics like the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, the Donner Party, writing a business plan, building out a camper van, songbirds of the Sierra, and more. 

To dive deep in local history, take a trip to the Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center at Donner Lake. They’re open all winter from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except for major holidays. Travel through time and meander through engaging exhibits that highlight the Washoe people, the emigrant experience, the Donner Party, the Chinese workers, and the construction of the railroad.

Continue your journey through Truckee’s history by visiting the Truckee-Donner Historical Society’s museums. The Museum of Truckee History, near the California Welcome Center in downtown, features several well-preserved artifacts from our town’s rich past. Don’t miss the ski exhibit, which tells the story of Truckee’s first skiers and outlines the path to hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics. Across the street, near the Coffee Bar, the Historical Society offers tours of the old jail. Docents love to tell the stories of the many artifacts stored on the second floor. To deepen your appreciation of the railroad and its significance, head over to Truckee Donner Railroad Society’s Railroad Museum, housed in a former Southern Pacific Railroad bay-window caboose next to the historic railroad depot in downtown Truckee. Because these museums rely on volunteers to operate, you may have to make an appointment for your visit, making the tour that much more intimate! Visit to book a museum and jail tour. Visit to inquire about the railroad museum. 

And then there’s your cliché indoor winter activity—snuggling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea or cocoa. Consider setting up a dedicated reading nook at home—find a small space, like a rarely used corner, string up a strand of twinkle lights, grab a few comfy pillows and a warm blanket, and enjoy some downtime. A great place to look for supplies is Mountain Hardware and Sports and the new Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe’s thrift store—Thrifty Tails Boutique in the West Truckee Shopping Center.  

When the sun sets early, and darkness covers our natural playground, or when a blizzard keeps us from the resorts, opportunities for exploration, connection, and growth burst behind Truckee’s closed doors.