Your mission on this spring break weekend, if you choose to accept it, is to spend 54 hours in the Lake Tahoe area and cram in as much fun and entertainment as possible from noon today until 6 p.m. Easter Sunday.
If the beauty and proximity of those crystal-blue waters don't provide enough of an answer, then take a look at your fellow travelers as you drive east along Highway 50. At the summit above Lake Tahoe, it's not uncommon to see one car carrying snowboards pass another vehicle pulling a boat.
Chances are very good that both these examples of recreational sports will take place the very same day.
Easter weekend in Lake Tahoe is seen as the traditional transition from the cold, snowy winter into the warmer weather of spring. Locals and visitors alike embrace this transition skiing in the morning, going for a bike ride in the afternoon and ending the day at a casino or simply lounging on a deck gazing at another gorgeous sunset and the subsequent clear, starry sky.
"The spirits are really high right now. It's so nice to have warm weather after that long winter," said Carol Chaplin, executive director of the Lake Tahoe Visitor's Authority. "I challenge everyone to take advantage of every one of those 54 hours."
With so many dining and entertainment venues to choose from, we suggest you start by going online to www.visitinglaketahoe.com.
Then let us give you ideas to take on the road toward 54 hours of fun:
TOT EGG HUNT AT KAHLE COMMUNITY CENTER
What: This free special event is for the little ones up to age 6. The Easter Bunny will hide eggs outside, and the children can climb on firetrucks and enjoy a bounce house, indoor playground and refreshments.
When: 11 a.m. (Get there by 10:30 a.m., because this event goes off on time.)
Where: 236 Kingsbury Grade, Stateline, Nev.
Phone: (775) 586-7271
TOCCATA-TAHOE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS PRESENTS ST. MATTHEW PASSION SERIES
What: Experience the passion of Christ through music and words with selections from Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion. The performance will be at St. Patrick's Church in Incline Village. Tickets available at the door or online.
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: 341 Village Blvd., Incline Village, Nev.
Cost: $25 general; $20 for seniors 62 and up; $5 for students (under 25) with ID; $35 preferred seating
Phone: (775) 831-1418
WINE TASTING AND LIVE FLAMENCO MUSIC
What: Wine tasting and world-class flamenco music will be featured inside the Cabaret Showroom Lounge. Wines will be served in 6-ounce wine glasses, and light appetizers will be available.
When: 5-8 p.m.
Where: Horizon Resort Casino Cabaret Bar, 50 Highway 50, Stateline, Nev.
Phone: (775) 588-6211
HEAVENLY SLUSH POND SKIMMING
What: See who can make it across Adventure Peak's Lake Heavenly without getting wet. This annual event marks the end of the ski season as 50 to 60 participants bravely attempt to gain enough momentum to make it across the "lake." In addition to distance, competitors also are judged on style, appearance and crowd appeal. Costumes are highly encouraged.
Where: Heavenly Ski Resort Top of the Gondola, corner of Wildwood and Saddle drives, South Lake Tahoe
Phone: (775) 586-7000
Cost: Registrants will need lift tickets or season passes, and audience members will need a sightseer ticket, lift ticket or season pass.
TAHOE TRUCKEE EARTH DAY
What: More than 6,000 people attended this community-sponsored event in 2010. Participants can learn about recycling and composting, alternative energy, sustainability, watershed and forest health, and reducing ecological footprints. This is the largest eco-event in the North Lake Tahoe-Truckee area.
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: The Village at Squaw Valley USA, 1750 Village E, Squaw Valley
Cost: Admission is free, but some merchandise and food will be sold.
Phone: (866) 818-6963
KIDS NIGHT OUT AT TAHOE GYMNASTICS
What: The kids wore you out at Tahoe Truckee Earth Day, so let them wear themselves out climbing, tumbling, jumping on trampolines, playing games, running through obstacle courses and having a great time. Pizza and refreshments are provided. Moms and dads get a chance to recharge or to go gamble in peace. (This service is also available on Friday nights.)
When: 6-11 p.m.
Where: Tahoe Gymnastics, 867 Eloise Ave., South Lake Tahoe
Cost: $35 for the first child, $25 for each sibling
Phone: (530) 544-7314
What: If you're trying to be one of two less-lonely people in the world, or even if you're all out of love, the Australian duo who tore up the charts in the 1980s with eight top-10 hits will help you get your mojo back by performing one show Easter eve. See why Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock still have plenty of fans, affectionately known as "Airheads."
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Harrah's Lake Tahoe South Shore Room, 15 Highway 50, Stateline, Nev.
Cost: $49.50, plus taxes and fees
Phone: (800) 786-8208
What: Come meet the Easter Bunny and stay for the brunch buffet. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Note that there are many other Easter brunches at casinos, restaurants and resorts. There's a list of places to dine at www.visitinglaketahoe.com.
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Riva Grill, 900 Ski Run Blvd., South Lake Tahoe
Cost: Adults, $39.90; children under 12, $18.90; children in high chairs, free
Phone: (530) 542-2600
KIDS' EASTER EGG HUNT AND ADULT ALL-MOUNTAIN EASTER EGG HUNT
What: The Alpine Meadows Ski School will host the children's Easter egg hunt while parents can comb the mountain for the golden egg containing a midweek and Sunday season pass. There will be plenty of Easter candy for all.
Where: Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, Tiegel Terrain Park, 2600 Alpine Meadows Road, Tahoe City
Phone: (800) 441-4423
What: More than 200 churches are listed in the Lake Tahoe area. Only a few conduct sunrise Easter services on beaches of Lake Tahoe. One such church is Calvary Chapel South Lake Tahoe, which will start its service at 6:30 a.m. on Regan Beach.
A 6 a.m. interdenominational service sponsored by the Tahoe City Ministerial Association will be on Commons Beach in Tahoe City (west shore).
Mark Billingsley is a Carmichael-based freelance writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.