Friday, July 7, 2017

Food Truck Friday : Taco Loco

I texted my friend J:

"We are going food truck hunting tonight in the heat. I have a pretty good lead on where to go. Want to come? It will be hot and I can't guarantee that the food will be good. But it will be an adventure!"

And do you know what she said? She said, "Yes we want to!" With an exclamation point at the end! That right there is a good friend.

So was the food good? Did she choose wisely? Let's find out.

Food Truck Friday : Taco Loco Redding, California  www.northincali.com

Food trucks have been a little tricky to hunt down. So when I heard the advertisement on the radio for Friday Night In The Park in Shasta Lake City, I figured that there had to be at least one food truck there. We may have missed something but from what we saw, there was Taco Loco food truck, a snow cone truck that also sold hot dogs and the Old Mill Eatery and Smokehouse had a tent selling tri-tip sliders.  We tried Taco Loco and the Old Mill Eatery, but for now we will stick to reviewing Taco Loco.

We all walked up a little timidly, unsure of what we should order. But I think in the end, we thought that if the truck had "taco" in the name, we best try the tacos.

Our friends J & T ordered a plate of 5 street tacos for $10, (2 beef, 2 chicken & 1 pork) all with mild green chili salsa. They later ordered a 2nd plate of tacos, this time trying the spicier red sauce. (After they declared the beef with green salsa their favorite.)

Q and I ordered similar, except for that our 5 street tacos were 2 beef, 1 chicken, 1 pork, 1 fried pork. Also all with the mild salsa. Also $10.

Luckily we found a picnic table in the shade, enabling us to sit in relative comfort even though it was quite warm out.

Food Truck Friday : Taco Loco, Redding, California www.northincali.com

So back to the question of whether or not our friends made the right choice to come on this food truck adventure. Here's their reviews...

J's review, "In my mind I have a preconceived notion of what "street tacos" should be. When the plate came out, it was exactly what I was hoping for in look and more importantly taste. I would eat it again for sure!"

T's review, "I didn't know what to expect, but I really liked it. Food was great and just like J said, it was just what I thought a street taco should be. Fun to experience something new."

What did Q and I think? Well, we are getting more and more comfortable eating at food trucks and our expectations are becoming higher as we quickly learn that we should expect excellence from them. And once again, we were not disappointed. Taco Loco, we will be back for more tacos and to try some different menu items!

The Stats: Taco Loco
Contact Info: (530) 227-0581
Payments Type Accepted: Cash or Card (via Square)
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/Tacolocoromo/

Location & Schedule: (Summer 2017) 
Northern Roots parking lot: Mon-Fri 11:00am - 4:30pm
Mosquito Serenade (Anderson River Park): Wednesdays, 6:00pm through Aug 23
Sunset River Jam (Anderson River Park): Wednesdays, 5pm, Aug 30 - Oct 4, 2017

Taco Loco is getting a new truck! Check out their new truck below (photo credit: Signarama). Look for it very soon (if they aren't using it already).


Have you had Taco Loco's food yet? What did you think?  Be sure to leave a comment if you know of another food truck we should try.

Check out our other food truck reviews:
Tango Tacos
What The Truck
Yellow Lunch Box 
Roadrunner Grill

**Just in case anyone is wondering, in this review we paid for all our own food and did not receive any compensation of any kind for our honest opinion.**

Friday, June 30, 2017

Food Truck Friday : What The Truck, Road Runner Grill & Yellow Lunch Box

Man, you guys love your food trucks! Thanks for all the love and visiting Way Up North In Cali! Are you following us on social media?

Facebook: facebook.com/northincali
Instragram: @northincali
Twitter: @northincali

If you are a local resident you have probably heard that Todd Franklin is trying to bring "The Park - Patio & Bar" to downtown Redding and Anderson River Park.  To get people revved up and excited about the idea of a food truck park, Todd has been hosting food truck tastings at his home. We were out of town when he did the first one, but I was determined to get to the next one.

Food Truck Fridays : What The Truck, Road Runner Grill, & Yellow Lunch Box  Redding, California  www.northincali.com


Last Saturday, three food trucks were hosted. I was going to review each of them in individual posts, but because we only tried one thing from each truck, I didn't feel like it would be a fair review. So I'm going to take a look at all three trucks in this post.

**Let me remind you that last Saturday saw temperature highs over 110 degrees. And while we are used to high summer temps here in Redding, it's still HOT. No matter how you look at it, 113 degrees is too hot. Too hot to stand out in the sun and order from a food truck. Too hot to wait for the food and too hot to eat it once you get it. (Although, Todd did a very nice job of offering shaded seating near his pool, which is where we sat to eat our food.) But the people need to know if the food truck food is good. So my dear husband indulged me and we braved the fiery furnace of the Redding Sun.**

What The Truck (food truck) Redding, California   www.northincali.com

What The Truck

We ordered the "BrieBQ Burger" with caramelized onions ($10) thinking, "We love brie cheese. We've never had it on a burger before, we should try that." The burger was very good. It tasted fresh and the onions were good. However, there was no brie or cheese of any kind on the burger. Q said, "They must have forgotten the cheese." Later I noticed on the side of the truck that "Brie" is not a cheese but rather the co-owner.  In their defense it did not say "cheese burger". But if I were to make a suggestion, it would be to add brie cheese to that burger. It would be delicious! Had I not thought there was supposed to be cheese on the burger, I wouldn't have any complaints. It was served with a side of potato salad, which was excellent. Definitely home made.

Bottom Line: The misunderstanding of the "BrieBQ Burger" was minor. I can't wait to try more things on their menu! I've heard great reviews from other people about their Blue Cheese and Bacon Jam Burger.

Road Runner Grill food truck  Redding, California  www.northincali.com
Road Runner Grill

Because we were trying to get food from each truck, we ordered a smaller item at The Road Runner Grill. I wish we had ordered more because the Chicken Mango Taco ($4) was delicious. It was sweet and fresh, perfect for a hot summer day. We opted for the grilled chicken rather than the chipotle chicken because I am wimpy when it comes to spices, but I bet the sweet mixed with a little spicy would be great! I would have gotten the shrimp taco if I wasn't sharing with Q, but he won't eat anything that lived in the water...

Bottom Line: Don't share this taco with anyone, you'll want it all to yourself. There are more things I want to try on the menu, so I'll definitely be stopping by for a bite the next time I see them.

Yellow Lunch Box food truck   Redding, California  www.northincali.com


Yellow Lunch Box

This was the truck I was most excited to try. The truck only does special events, but they are the same owners that run the Ma Der Ma Der Sap House & Grill in downtown Redding (which we have not been to). Q really wanted to order the Redding Rib Eye Cheese Steak sandwich, but I wanted to try something "new" and ordered the Hawaiian Chicken Adobo with Lumpia and Rice ($9).  Q was ok with this because he lived in the Philippines for two years where he ate chicken adobo and lumpia often. The lumpia (similar to an egg roll) was very good. I could have eaten a whole plate full of just lumpia. The sauce they served for the lumpia was sweet but with just a hint of spice, but didn't leave your mouth burning.  The rice was sufficiently sticky. The chicken, I'm sad to say was not my favorite. It was a bit dry and I mentioned to Q that I felt like it needed a sauce. He told me that Filipino adobo has a sauce and maybe they forgot to give it to us. (Or maybe Hawaiian adobo doesn't have sauce.)

Bottom Line: I would give this truck a 2nd try. That Redding Rib Eye Cheese Steak sandwich is calling my name!

Well, there you have it. No sugar coating it, just giving you our honest opinion. We spent $23 total for a meal for two people (we shared everything we got), so no complaints about the price. While we may not have loved everything we tried, if I saw any of these trucks serving food I would stop and grab a bite.

Check out our other food truck reviews:
Tango Taco
Taco Loco

Have you tried any of these three food trucks? What was your opinion? What should we order next time? Leave your comments below.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Exit Strategies : A Local Business Review (Spoiler Free)

I began seeing pictures on social media of people holding signs that said things like "We stopped the bomb!" and "We Escaped" and a few that said "We Failed".  A little bit of clicking on pictures and reading comments told me that there was a new trend in the entertainment business called "Escape Rooms". It looked fun, but all these pictures seemed to be of my friends that lived in other cities or were visiting other places, so I forgot about it. Until one night, a few months ago, when a friend texted asking if we wanted to do an escape room here in town. Sure! I'm always up for a good time. And the best part was the experience was being gifted to them, so we would get to try it out for free!

But lets back up for just a minute. Some of you may be saying, "What is an escape room?" Oasis Fun Center states on their Exit Strategies website, "The latest entertainment phenomenon, live escape rooms, make their debut in Shasta County! An escape room is a themed environment where teams made up of 4-8 players attempt to solve mind-bending puzzles and conundrums to accomplish a specific assignment, all in a one-hour time frame."


There were 6 of us. Three couples between the ages of...well let's just say we are fully fledged adults. We arrived at Oasis Fun Center. (Who knew they had an escape room? Not me. But they actually have two!) We were taken upstairs and placed in front of a door. We were offered a few key instructions about time, hints, and what our task was. Then we were told that most people fail.

We were led into a room, the door shut behind us and the timer started. We had exactly 1 hour to find and deactivate a bomb. Anything and everything in the room could be a hint or clue. Some clues were obvious, some were subtle and some were riddles or puzzles.

You guys, I'm a pretty smart person, but I've decided I'm no detective. I started looking for clues in obscure places. I found a couple, but most of the time, I just kept looking at things that were not clues at all. I messed around with one prop for a good 15 minutes, determined that I was supposed to find some meaning in it. I was wrong.  But others in our group, looked in different places. My friend Shelli said one thing she loved about the experience was that she liked working together and seeing each others strengths. It literally took ALL of us finding and decoding clues to solve the puzzle.  Our team mate Marci said she loved how the escape room involved a variety of different interests. There seemed to be something for every type of mind.  We all had a great time! It was really fun to do something so different from our normal date night.

Pro Tips: 

  • Choose your team wisely. You're gonna need some smart friends! Mine are THE SMARTEST!
  • Not interested in deactivating a bomb? You get to pick from 2 escape rooms. You can also prevent a terrorist attack!

So, did we beat the clock? Did we disarm the bomb? We cut it close, but with less than 5 minutes to spare, YES, we Escaped!

Exit Strategies escape room. Shasta Lake, California www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com
Blurry Picture Alert! Sorry!

The Stats: Exit Strategies
Location: 3330 Cascade Blvd, Shasta Lake (Co-Located with Oasis Fun Center)
Cost: $25/person or $125 for the entire room
MENTION WayUpNorthInCali Blog and receive 20% off per person making it only $20 each!
Contact: (530) 275-3042 or exitstrategiesredding@gmail.com
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/escaperoomsredding/

This is not a game for children. In fact Oasis reminds us that Exit Strategies was designed for adults. Anyone under 14 has to be accompanied by an adult.

One last question. Just like in my blog posts about Mt. Shasta Ski Park season passes and Disneyland, I always try to answer: Is it worth the cost?  Because let's be honest, $25 is a lot. And I'm not going alone, so now it's $50.  Is it a $50 date? Yes, I think it is WORTH the cost. Do I always HAVE $50 to spend on date night? No. BUT never fear. Terry & Marilyn at Oasis Fun Center are offering North In Cali readers an EXCLUSIVE discount! If you mention that you saw this review on Way Up North In Cali blog, they will give you a 20% discount per person, making it only $20 each. And I almost always have $40 to spend on date night!

Have you done an escape room before? Did you escape? Have you tried Exit Strategies yet? Leave your comments below!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Food Truck Friday : Tango Taco

There's been a lot of talk about food trucks lately. Redding and Anderson are both looking at putting in food truck parks. One of my daughter's favorite shows is "Food Truck Face Off". Even my neighbor had a food truck in her driveway when she had a party. They are everywhere, and yet I can't ever find one when I want something good to eat. Does Redding have any "real" food trucks? And if we do, where are they? Well, folks that's my quest; to find food trucks and bring them to you every week (well...most weeks) this summer in what I (not so originally) named "Food Truck Friday"

I used to think food trucks were SK.ET.CH.Y. And probably some of them still are, but what I've learned over the recent years is that some of the best foods are produced in a truck (or trailer). But so many questions come up when eating at a food truck. Will they only take cash? Where do I sit and eat my food? Do I want to stand in line outside when its 100 million degrees this summer?  What if the food isn't any good? Will my kids eat there? Well, over the next several weeks, I hope to answer all of these questions. 

First up for Food Truck Friday is "Tango Tacos"


Food Truck Friday: Tango Tacos  Redding, California www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com


Tango Taco's Facebook Page states, "Tango Tacos is a family owned and operated business made with fresh ingredients from start to finish. From the homemade tortillas to the signature "Sassy Salsas," your mouth will savor the "Tango!"


The Stats: Tango Tacos
Location: 1200 E. Cypress, Redding (In front of Lowe's)
Hours: 7:30am - 3:00pm, Monday -  Friday (They cater events too!)
Payment Type Accepted: Cash or Card (via square, extra fee applies)
Contact Info: (530) 776-7681 tangotacos5@aol.com

Now that I'm off work for the summer, I'm taking full advantage of being able to go to lunch with my husband. So I picked Q up from work and we headed over to Lowe's shopping center for our very fancy food truck lunch date.

Food Truck Friday: Tango Tacos  Redding, California www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com
Sorry, terrible picture. I'm going to get better at this, I promise.

We ordered and from the menu posted on the side of the truck and waited about 6-7 minutes for our food. In the mean time, we scoped out a place to eat. You see that picnic table that guy is sitting at in the first picture? Well, those are actually tables that Lowes is selling, and that guy and his two friends got there first, so we needed to find a different place to sit. But that's the problem with food trucks in a parking lot...there isn't anywhere to sit. So I imagine most people take it "to go". But, I was on a fancy food truck lunch date with my hubby, so we found a planter (that didn't have any plants in it) next to a motorcycle with a tiny bit of shade.  After checking to make sure there were no bums hiding behind the planter (sigh...) we took our seats.  

Food Truck Friday: Tango Tacos  Redding, California www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com

Q ordered:  The Taco Meal. It comes with 3 tacos, rice and beans. Q decided on two beef tacos (one with mild salsa and one with spicy) and once chicken taco (with mild salsa). The guy taking our order promised the spicy salsa was "extremely spicy" so Q went conservative and ordered just one spicy, but he said it wasn't "that" spicy (meaning it would have burned my mouth off, but is just fine for Q).

Food Truck Friday: Tango Tacos  Redding, California www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com


I ordered: 2 tacos, one chicken, one beef, both with mild salsa. And we each ordered a bottle water. Total cost for both meals: $16 (I paid with cash to avoid the card fee).

Food Truck Friday: Tango Tacos  Redding, California www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com

I was definitely satisfied with my meal. The tacos were very juice and little messy (the best kind always are) and of course DELICIOUS! If I had to pick, I think I liked the beef better, but would probably still get one of each when I order again. We will have to try the pork next time too. 

Two tacos filled me up, and Q decided that while he liked the rice and beans, he could have just ordered the tacos and been filled, but bigger appetites will definitely want the meal.  The people ahead of us ordered burritos and they looked hefty! And someday when we are starting a home improvement project early in the morning, I definitely want to try out one of those breakfast burritos!

Bottom Line: You should definitely check out Tango Tacos!

Well, there you have it. Our first Food Truck Friday post. 

Do you have a favorite food truck in Redding I should try. Leave me info in the comments!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

FREE & Nearly Free Summer Activities in Redding 2017

Free & Nearly Free Summer Activities in Northern California! Update for Summer 2017  www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com

UPDATED for Summer 2017 with new activities & Google Calendar!

My children would love to screen hop all day long during the summer.  You know how it goes.  They hop from the TV, to the tablet, and then to the computer. But that leads to cranky children and an even crankier mom.  How do we keep them busy without it breaking the bank? Well...I did a little digging. Look at some of the great activities I found!

Let's try to avoid too much of this.
(But hey...if you're going to play video games, you might as well do it in style.)


Ranger Programs @ Whiskeytown Lake, FREE (May 30-Sept 5) 
  • I am amazed at the variety of FREE programs offered by the Rangers. Stand Up Paddle Board, Kayak Tours (Daylight & Moonlit), Junior Rangers, Junior Firefighters and Evening Astronomy Programs are just a few.

Fantasy Fountain @ Enterprise Park, Open Daily June 6 - Sept 4, 10am-8pm, FREE
  • Splash Zone has multiple "water spray features for kids of all ages to enjoy with a volcano that rumbles and erupts with a torrent of water whenever kids want it to." 

Barnes & Noble Story Time, FREE, Saturdays @ 11am, geared toward Preschool age children

Family Evening Splash, Redding Aquatic Center, Mon - Thurs, 6:45pm - 8:00pm, 0-2 Years FREE, 3-15 Years $2.25, Adults $2.75
  • There are other times for public swim, swim lessons and classes, but if you're on a budget, this is the time to go swimming!

Movies In The Park, FREE, Fridays @ Dusk (June 3 - Aug 27) 

  • Caldwell Park, Bring blanket or lawn chairs.  Watch some great movies with your family; The Secret Life Of Pets, The Legend of Tarzan, Ghostbusters, Kung Fu Panda 3, Charolette's Web, Twister, and many more.

Cinemark Movie Clubhouse, $1 per movie or $5 for 10 movies.  Tues & Weds @ 10am (June 6-Aug 9) 

  • This is now at Movies 14  NOT  Movies 8 aka The Dollar Theater

  • FREE Program that involves over 450 youth participants 

Shasta County Farmers' Market, Saturdays, April 1 - Dec 16, 7:30 am - 12:00 pm.  Behind Redding City Hall @ 777 Cypress Ave.


Shasta Public Library, FREE
  • Story time for different ages on different days of the week. 
  • Video Game & Movie hour; in case your children need more screen time...
  • More events sponsored by the Library, check with the calendar for more info

Sunset River Jam, FREE, Wednesday evenings (Aug 30 - Oct 4)
  • This concert series at Anderson River Park entertains and brings professional talent to the North State.

Kids Summer Movie Club @ Cascade Theatre, FREE, Sundays in July, 2pm. There will be games, prizes, costumed characters and chances to win tickets to Cascade Theatre events.

I have created a Google Calendar called "Summer Fun - Redding, CA and Surrounding Areas" with most of these activities on it. I have added some one time events to the calendar too. Check it out. 

Shasta Dam Tours (FREE!) Tours daily from 9am-3:30pm. Tours take 1 hour. 


Free and Nearly Free 2015 Summer Activities in Redding, CA www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com
















Do you know of any other FREE or Nearly Free Summer activities in the Redding area? Tell us about them in the Comments below.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Salt Creek Beach (Dana Point, California)

It was a whirlwind of a weekend. 20 hours of driving, for one day in paradise. Just beyond the concrete jungle and bumper to bumper traffic of Los Angeles are some of the cutest cities and most gorgeous beaches California has to offer.

My goal for the weekend was to attend my cousin's wedding, (Which by the way, was lovely. If only all brides could be so stunningly beautiful...) But how can you drive 10 hours each way and not go to the beach?

Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point, California www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com


I picked up my sister in law on the way down (because 10 hours in a car by myself is not really my idea of fun...). My niece and her husband live in San Juan Capistrano and were the best tour guides you could ask for. They took us to one of their favorite spots, Salt Creek Beach Park in Dana Park.

It was very clear why they love this beach. My pictures of it don't do it justice, but even so my unfiltered, unaltered pictures taken with my phone give you some idea of what it was like.

The Stats: Salt Creek Beach Park
Location: 33333 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA
Cost: Parking $1/hr
Hours: 5am - 12am
Amenities: Grassy Area with: restrooms, picnic tables, water fountains, BBQ's, & basketball court




There are A LOT of steps down to the beach, but don't worry too much, there is a little tram to help those that don't want to or can't walk down/up the stairs. We tried to get my 6 month pregnant niece to use the tram but she was a trooper and hiked it all the way down and back up!

Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point, California  www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com


I love all the plants and flowers that grow near the ocean. (Oh how I wish plants like that would grow up here in the fiery furnace of Shasta County! But that 115 degree heat is brutal on vegetation.)

I'm not a surfer, but my nephew-in-law is and he said this was a great beach for surfing. The ocparks.com website says, "Salt Creek Beach Park is a popular surfing location. A small, offshore reef creates some of the best left swells along the entire coastline. Swimming, body surfing, sunbathing, and tide pool exploration (all tide pool inhabitants are protected) are other beach activities."



The houses along the beach were incredible. We imagined what it would be like to live there and what type of jobs people must have to be able to afford a house on the beach in Dana Point. <sigh>

We definitely will be back next month for a day of relaxing on the beach after we take the kids to Disneyland.

Have you been to Salt Creek Beach? What's your favorite beach in Southern California?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Houseboating on Shasta Lake (WITH KIDS!)

It's raining. Again. I know...I'll be so glad the lakes are full and we are out of the drought this summer, but right now, I'm DONE with the rain. It just makes me long for summer.

Speaking of lakes...I thought I'd throw-back to summer time at Shasta Lake. I haven't posted much about Shasta Lake yet. Mostly because we generally use Whiskeytown Lake more in the summer, due to our close proximity to it. But we have spent some considerable time on Shasta Lake throughout the years.

Top 10 Tips for Houseboating with kids! Shasta Lake, California www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com GREAT BLOG ABOUT NORTHERN CALIFORNIA!


For many years, we spent a week in the summer with my parents on their houseboat at Shasta Lake. It was so fun! We swam, used paddle boats, went tubing and water skiing, played games and ate great food. In the beginning it FREAKED ME OUT to have little kids on a house boat 24/7. Maybe you've thought the same thing and it's been keeping you from taking your family on a houseboat vacation. I thought I'd give some tips on how we took 7 kids (3 mine, 4 my brother's) ages 10 and under on a houseboat every year.

TOP 10 TIPS FOR HOUSEBOATING WITH KIDS!

1. RULES. Tell all children (and adults) what the rules of the boat are BEFORE they step foot on the boat. If the rules are explained up front, then there is less confusion and less accidents.

2. LIFE JACKETS are an absolute must! We had a rule that if kids were on the boat (any boat, even the house boat) they had to have their life jackets on. Even if they knew how to swim. Even if the boat wasn't moving.  Yep, that's right, if we were docked at shore, but kids were on the boat, then a life jacket had to be worn. If they were on shore, they could take their life jacket off. The kids hated this rule! They didn't understand why when they were inside the house boat they had to wear a life jacket. However, we had two incidents that I can remember of kids falling off the side of the boat (while docked). They just weren't paying attention. While they could swim, I was so thankful for the life jackets so that when they found themselves unexpectedly in the water, they didn't have to worry, they could just float! Having comfortable jackets really cut down on the whining from kids. (The older they got, the more lenient we were on this rule. So you will see some pics of our older kids without life jackets on.) If you can, try to get jackets that don't rub their skin (especially under the arm).  We found that having kids wear rash-guard shirts helped with this as well. But what about sleeping, you say? Well because there were so many of us, we made a choice to pitch tents on the shore. Kids (and some adults) slept in tents. (See more about sleeping on the boat in Tip #3)

3. LOCK THE DOORS. If you all will be sleeping inside the boat, give your self some peace of mind and lock the doors at night. I was never worried about someone coming in, but I always feared that my child would pick the houseboating trip to start sleep walking!  We locked the door the year I had a toddler and he slept with me on the boat. It just helped me sleep better knowing he was safe.

4. ADULTS must be with them whenever kids are on they are on the boat. This may seem redundant. Aren't you on the boat the whole time? Well, not really, many times we were docked at the shore and people were on and off the boat constantly. My mom was on the boat most of the time (cooking, relaxing, reading, etc.) so it wasn't hard to follow this one.  On those couple of times we did have a child fall off the boat, there was always an adult there and scooped them up out of the water immediately.

5. COUNT. Know how many kids are with you and do a head count every so often. I found just counting the number of kids was easier than trying to find each kids individually every time I turned around.  Then if I didn't come up with the right number on my count, I would name off all the kids and look for the one I couldn't see.

Houseboating on Shasta Lake WITH KIDS!! Top 10 Tips for Houseboating with KIDS! www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com
Look how little my kids are! They're babies! 

6. DOCK THE BOAT. Spend most of your houseboating time docked in a cove or protected place. Unless you're traveling from one spot to another, keep your boat in one place. It's really hard to do anything when the boat is moving or out in the middle of the lake. Swimmers are safer in smaller, more confined areas where there aren't a lot of other boats around. One of the great things about Shasta Lake is that there are so many "arms" that there are plenty of coves and secluded areas where you can park and have a more private area.

7. GAMES. Sometimes you and your kids will need a break from the sun. Bring some card games (leave Jenga behind...you know...because of the waves and boat rocking...) so the kids can come in out of the sun and still be entertained.  We also brought some crafts for them to do. Decorating foam visors and drink cozies were a great way to keep them entertained and solve the problem of "whose drink is whose"

8. WATER ACTIVITIES. We could be on the most amazing trip and at least one of my kids will tell me they are bored. Rather than get mad about it, bring along some water activities to keep them busy. Squirt guns, kick boards, sand toys (a bucket and shovel can keep a kid entertained for hours), fishing poles and water floaties are all great. Kayaks and paddle boats are a great way to keep everyone entertained. If you don't have them, you can always rent them. We bought a child sized kayak (that holds up to 150 lbs) from Costco one year for about $80. My brother brought his fishing boat that also pulled water skiers and tubers. This was a big hit with kids and adults!

9. RAHSGUARDS & SUNSCREEN!! You will be in the hot, summer sun most of the time. We preferred to have the kids wear rashguard shirts so we didn't have to apply new sunscreen to at least part of their body the whole time. But even with rashguards and hats, make sure to apply sunscreen every couple hours. The kids are in and out of the water all day and the sunscreen wears of quickly. We find that while it takes longer to apply, the lotion type of sunscreen provides better coverage and lasts longer than the spray kind. But we certainly use both!

10. WATER SHOES or outdoor sandals. Flip flops are ok, but Shasta Lake has steep, rocky, red soil on the shores and having shoes that could go in and out of the water helped keep the kids feet clean and safe from cuts on rocks.

10 Tips for Houseboating WITH KIDS on Shasta Lake! www.wayupnorthincali.blogspot.com



Well, there's 10 ways to help make your family houseboating vacation amazing! Do you have any others to add? Leave your ideas and suggestions in the comments.


Shasta Lake is the perfect lake for houseboating. It's beautiful! I'd choose Shasta Lake over Lake Powell any day. People come from all over the country to our amazing lake every year. If you haven't taken advantage of all the incredible activities Shasta Lake has to offer, you are missing out!

Summer can't come soon enough!