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Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend Family Activities in Reno

Things to Do for Families During the Thanksgiving Day Holiday


Thanksgiving Day and Harvest Time, Reno, Nevada

Thanksgiving Day and Harvest Time, Reno, Nevada.

Photo © Stan White

Thanksgiving Day and weekend in Reno has lots of options for participating in a variety of family friendly events. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it's a time when activities revolve around good food and visiting with family and friends.

Ice Fantasy - Where Cirque Meets Ice

November 19, 2013 through January 26, 2014 - This holiday season, you can experience the magic of "Ice Fantasy" – Where Cirque Meets Ice, on stage at the Eldorado Hotel Casino. This original production combines the beauty and athleticism of figure skating with the wonder and excitement of world-class specialty acts, all delivered within a humorous Cirque-style storyline.

Tickets for "Ice Fantasy" start at $24.95 for adults, $19.95 for children ages 3 to 12. Dinner and show packages available from $38.95, and room and show packages from $49.90. Performances nightly except Monday. For more information, visit the website or call (800) 879-8879.

Rink on the River

November 26, 2013 - Rink on the River opens on Tuesday evening, November 26, for the 2013 - 2014 winter season. Skating begins immediately after the Holiday Tree lighting ceremony, which begins at 5 p.m. Bring the whole family to downtown Reno and enjoy ice skating by the Truckee River. Not knowing how to skate is no excuse - lessons and skate rentals are available.

Rink on the River is at the corner of First and Virginia Streets. ATM and credit cards are not accepted - bring cash or a check. For additional information, call (775) 334-2262.

Reno Holiday Tree Lighting

November 26, 2013 - Reno's 2013 Holiday Tree will be ceremonially lit in the City Plaza, across from the City Hall in downtown Reno. The tree is at the corner of S. Virginia and First Streets, next to the skating rink. The lighting ceremony starts at 5 p.m. and will include holiday carols sung by the Billinghurst Middle School Choir. Rink on the River will open for ice skating immediately after the tree is lit. Those in attendance will get free skate rental if they bring a donation of new gloves, socks, hats, or scarves, which will go to support the work of the Salvation Army.

Thanksgiving Eve Interfaith Service

November 27, 2013 - Leaders with the Nevada Clergy Association will hold a Thanksgiving Eve Service at 7 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1095 Golconda Drive in Reno. The service will include prayers, readings, and music from different faith traditions. Donations will go to support the Family Shelter in Reno and the Restart Food Pantry. For more information, call (775) 786-1800.

Scheels Turkey Trot

November 28, 2013 - Bring the family to the Scheels Turkey Trot and work up an appetite for that big meal later in the day. Participants can choose from a fun 2 mile walk or run, or a timed 10K run. Races start by Scheels in the Outlets at Sparks, 1200 Scheels Drive. The 2 miler circles around Sparks Marina Park and the 10K course takes the local bike path and nearby city streets. The 10K starts at 8:30 a.m. and the 2 mile fun run shortly thereafter. Proceeds benefit Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful and the City of Sparks Youth Scholarship Fund.

You can register online. Registration is $25 per person until November 21, $40 from November 25 through 27, and $60 on race day. For more information, call (775) 353-7898. Dogs, bikes, skateboards, scooters, and skates are prohibited at this event. For more information, call (775) 353-7898.

Thanksgiving Weekend at the Movies

Lots of new movies have been recently released or will hit theaters during this holiday season. You can lessen the holiday hassle and avoid lines at the theater by buying advance tickets online. And don't forget to consider movie tickets as gifts, something just about everyone enjoys.

Polar Express™ on the V&T Railroad

November 23 through December 23, 2013 - The special Polar Express™ excursions on the V&T during Thanksgiving weekend give families and kids a chance to experience the holiday spirit just like in the movie of the same name. There are three runs per day and tickets are going fast - get advance tickets online or you may be left at the station. For information, call (775) 687-7410 or toll-free at (800) NEVADA-1. (Note: Polar Express tickets for 2013 are sold out. To be placed on a waiting list, call (877) 724-5007 or email candy@vtrailway.com.)

Visit the National Automobile Museum in Reno

The National Automobile Museum in Reno is among the best of its kind in the world. The Museum features cars from the dawn of the automobile age through the present day. Daily audio tours and guided tours are available. The Museum is open every day except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Hours are Monday - Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $4 ages 6 to 18, 5 and under free. There is free parking next to the Museum. The Museum Store has great gifts for auto buffs. You can get a jump on your holiday shopping by attending the Buy Local Marketplace at the Museum on November 23 and 24, 2013. Call (775) 333-9300 for information.

Visit the Nevada Museum of Art

This Thanksgiving weekend, the Nevada Museum of Art has a number of on-going exhibits suitable for family visits. The Museum will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Friday, November 29 through Sunday, December 1, 2013.

The Discovery Museum in Reno

The Discovery will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but there are activities to entertain the kids leading up to the holiday weekend. If you must shop on the day after Thanksgiving, the Museum store will be having a Blue Friday sale with 30% off on its big selection of the best educational toys, gifts, games and gadgets (members only, but you can join). And, you don't pay sales tax when buying from this non-profit organization. The Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum is at 490 S. Center Street in Reno. Friday and Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. On Wednesdays, admission is $4 after 4 p.m. Call (775) 786-1000 for more information.

See a Show at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts

November 29 through December 1, 2013 - The Broadway Comes to Reno! series will be presenting "The Addams Family" on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy this magnificently macabre new musical comedy from the writers of Jersey Boys. Tickets for each performance can be purchased online. For more information, contact the Pioneer Center box office at (775) 686-6616.

Thanksgiving Weekend Skiing

Despite little snow from Mother Nature so far in 2013, most of our Lake Tahoe area ski resorts will be trying to open in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. That includes Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, the resort closest to Reno. For the latest information, go to the websites of those resorts you are interested in visiting.

Thanksgiving Weekend at Animal Ark

November 29 and 30, 2013 - Animal Ark will be open during the Thanksgiving weekend so that you can enjoy our animals in the cooler temperatures of late fall when they are active and frisky. The furry predators are putting on their gorgeous winter coats, while the bears are gorging themselves in preparation for their long winter hibernation. If you aren't wild about the annual holiday shopping frenzy after Thanksgiving, come out to the Animal Ark and get wild with the animals.

Admission is $12 for adults, $10 children, $11 seniors, free for age 2 and under. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. From Reno, take U.S. 395 north, turn right on Red Rock Road, go 11.5 miles, then right onto Deerlodge Road to 1265. Donations of turkey necks and gizzards or uncooked, low-sodium turkeys to supplement the big cats diets would be appreciated. For more information, call (775) 970-3111 (area code required).

Wolf Pack Football vs. BYU

November 30, 2013 - The Wolf Pack takes on BYU at Mackay Stadium in this last game of the regular season. The game kicks off at 12:05 p.m. The weather is forecast to be partly sunny and mild, just right for football. Get ticket and Mackay Stadium information from my "Nevada Wolf Pack Football" article. Go Pack!

Pink Martini Holiday Show

December 1, 2013 - Pink Martini plays at 8 p.m. at the Grand Sierra Resort. The show is part of the Artown Encore series, presented by the organization that brings us Artown in Reno every July.

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