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December 2016 Events and Activities in the Reno Region

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Snow Play Areas

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Big events during December, 2016 include...

Reno Bighorns Basketball - Thursday, December 1, 2016. The Reno Bighorns play the Rio Grande Valley Vipers at the Reno Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. This Charity of the Night game supports the Washoe County Library System's "Give the Gift of Reading" program. Other December, 2016 home games will be on December 3, 9, and 21.

Polar Express on the V&T Railroad - Trips to the North Pole continue on the V&T Railroad through December 23, 2016. Plan ahead - getting advance tickets is a must for those wanting to ride the Polar Express to the North Pole this holiday season.

Buttcracker 7 - Ozmosis - December 1 - 3, 7 - 10, 14 - 17, 21 - 23, 2016. Shows start at 8 p.m. Matinees on December 4 and 18 start at 2 p.m. Brüka Theatre presents the ridiculous parody: "Buttcracker 7 – Ozmosis," based on the holiday favorite "The Nutcracker." Suggested for ages 8 and up. Advance tickets are $20 for students, seniors and military, $22 general admission. All tickets are $25 at the door. Reservations are available through the box office at (775) 323-3221. Tickets available online from Brown Paper Tickets.

Lake Mansion Jingles Family Art Festival - Saturday, December 3, 2016, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jingles is a free, family-friendly art festival with 8 art stations for kids, free visits with Santa, historic tours, a free book for each child, art for sale and more. Bring your own camera for Santa photos. The Lake Mansion is at 250 Court Street in Reno. There is free parking at the event and more parking nearby.

The Nutcracker Ballet - There will be two venues performing "The Nutcracker" during the holiday season. From Friday through Sunday, December 9 - 11, 2016, A.V.A. Ballet Theatre presents the annual production at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Reno, with music by the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Grand Sierra Resort will be hosting "The Nutcracker" in the newly renovated Grand Theatre for two matinee performances. Shows will be Saturday and Sunday, December 3 and 4, 2016, both at 2 p.m.

Sparks 30th Annual Hometowne Christmas Parade and Celebration - Friday and Saturday, December 2 - 3, 2016. Come downtown on December 3 for a traditional Christmas parade from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., along with entertainment, photos with Santa, and arts and crafts. This year's theme is "A Season of Giving." Make sure to get a picture with Santa, and check out the Community Faire to learn how you can celebrate a Season of Giving through our local non-profit organizations. The tree lighting ceremony will be the night of December 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Gather 'round the tree as Mayor Martini turns on the lights. Event includes live music.

Home 4 the Holidays Cupcake Day - Saturday, December 3, 2016. Hundreds of cupcakes in different styles and flavors will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Nevada Humane Society, 2825 Longley Lane in Reno. Visitors can sample and/or take some home to share with family and friends for a small donation. Santa Paws will be available for photos. Whether dog, cat, or other small creature, your pets are welcome to sit on Santa's lap for a holiday season photo. Susan Koppel, owner and photographer at Susan Koppel Photography, will be offering digitally retouched images for a $5 donation. Donations for Santa Paws also benefits homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society. (775) 856-2000.

Magic of Santa Arts and Crafts Faire - Saturday and Sunday, December 3 - 4, 2016. This big show is in its 36th year. You can get arts and crafts from over 80 vendors while supporting local businesses. Find beautiful hand made items from toll painted snowmen and beautiful doll clothes to fine wood work. Admission is $4, kids under 12 are free. Get $1 off admission by donating a can of food to support the Evelyn Mount or a toy for Casey's Project. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Location is the Reno Livestock Events Center Exhibition Hall, 1350 N. Wells Avenue.

Spirit of the Season - Saturday and Sunday, December 3 - 4, 2016. The Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Dr. Jason Altieri welcome special guests with a variety-style combination of singers, dancers, performers, students, Santa Tappers, Santa Claus and more. Performances at the Pioneer Center will be at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $16 to $70 and available online. The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts is in downtown Reno at 100 S. Virginia Street.

Christmas on the Comstock - Saturday and Sunday, December 3 - 4, 2016. Go up to Virginia City for Christmas celebrations that include Candy Cane Express trains, photos with Father Christmas, the Parade of Lights, Christmas in the Sierra concert, St. Mary's Art Center Christmas Art Faire, Grinch Made Me Do It Saloon Crawl, and more holiday fun during December.

City of Reno Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony - Wednesday, December 7, 2016, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Come to City Plaza in downtown Reno (across from City Hall) to enjoy this festive event with fellow citizens and local officials. Entertainment will include No Labels Jazz Ensemble, Swope Middle School Choir, and the cast of Miracle on 34th Street the Musical. After the tree lighting, the Reno Police and Fire Departments will lead a procession from the event to Greater Nevada Field for skating at the Reno Ice Rink.

TOCCATA presents "Messiah" - Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus brings its annual production of Handel's "Messiah" to five Reno - Tahoe area locations. Tickets are available at the door 30 minutes prior to the concert, or can be purchased online. General admission is $30 adults, $25 seniors, $5 students aged 19 to 23 with valid ID. Preferred seating is $40 and $15 for youth/students.

  • December 10, 2016, 3 p.m. - Cornerstone Church in Incline Village, 300 Country Club Dr.
  • December 11, 2016, 3:30 p.m. - Women of St. Rose in Reno, 100 Bishop Manogue Dr.
  • December 16, 2016, 7 p.m. - Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Carson City, 3597 N. Sunridge Dr.
  • December 18, 2016, 3 p.m. - St. Theresa Catholic Church in South Lake Tahoe, 1041 Lyons Ave.
  • December 23, 2016, 5:30 p.m. - Squaw Valley Conference Center, Olympic Valley, CA

A Christmas Carol - December 8 - 10, 14 - 17, 21 - 23, 2016, 7:30 p.m. There will be two matinee shows at 2 p.m. on December 11 and 18. Laughing Owl Productions of Reno is presenting this classic story, dramatized with flair and wit in a version first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. This adaptation of the ageless story captures Dicken's ironic point of view while it creates a panaoramic view of Victorian London. Advance tickets online are $16.50. It will be $22 at the door. The venue is at 75 S. Wells Avenue in Reno. (775) 384-9967.

Hands ON! Second Saturdays - Saturday, December 10, 2016. Come to the Nevada Museum of Art for a day of fun family activities and free admission for all. Participate in hands-on art projects and storytelling. The Museum School will be having an open house and the art projects will have a holiday "Winter Wonderland" theme with ornament and card making. There will be performances by the Van Gorder Honor Choir and spoken and sung stories inspired by Dr. Seuss's "The Grinch." Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Reno Santa Crawl - Saturday, December 10, 2016. The Reno Santa Crawl draws thousands of Santas and Mrs. Santas to the largest event of its kind in the country. The main event is in downtown Reno, but there are other related activities during the weekend, like the Santa Ski Crawl at Mt. Rose. The list of participating bars and restaurants is extensive. Buy a cup, get your Santa on and join the fun. The Reno Santa Crawl supports local schools through If you like this sort of thing, learn about more crawls from "Beer Crawls in Reno."

Home 4 the Holidays - through January 1, 2017. There's no place like Home for the Holidays and Nevada Humane Society is asking for your help in finding homes for 1,200 dogs and cats during the Home 4 the Holidays Pet Adoption Drive. Adoptions are available at Nevada Humane Society shelters in both Reno and Carson City. (775) 856-2000.

Science Saturdays at the National Automobile Museum - Saturday, December 10, 2016. Join in on adventures that are out of this world, with "Imaging Space Targets." Admission is $12 per person for children and adults, which also includes admission to the Museum. For participants age 8 and up. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required approximately two days before the event. Call the Museum at (775) 333-9300 for more information.

9th Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Festival - Saturday, December 10, 2016. The Gingerbread Festival is a fun family event and holiday tradition. Listen to holiday music performed by area choral groups and musicians, create your own mini-gingerbread house to take home, have your face painted and even enjoy a visit with Santa Claus. Admission is free and the event will be from 12 noon to 3:30 p.m. There are 9 different categories for the Gingerbread House Contest (you don't have to enter to come enjoy the festival). Judging will take place on Saturday morning. All entries will be on display at the Gingerbread Festival at Wilbur D. May Museum (1595 North Sierra Street, Reno) later that day. Only the first 100 entries will be accepted due to limited space. The entry fee is $10. You can register online or mail the form and fee to the May Arboretum Society. Entry deadline is December 5, 2016.

Reno Wind Symphony: Holiday Celebration - Saturday and Sunday, December 10 - 11, 2016. Truly one of the highlights of this concert is the recitation of the poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by KOH Radio personality Ross Mitchell, accompanied by the Reno Wind Symphony. Ross also will be the vocal soloist, once again, on "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." It's a perfect musical beginning to your holiday season. Tickets are $5, free for students with ID. The Saturday performance is at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. Both will be in the Nightingale Concert Hall, Church Fine Arts Building on campus at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Great Santa Dash - Saturday, December 17, 2016, 11 a.m. The Great Santa Dash is a festive 5k fun run through downtown Reno, where hundreds of costumed participants will get a chance to experience the real spirit of Christmas. Start at Wingfield Park and run along the Truckee River, enjoying aid stations with cocoa and cookies and then hot cocoa after the race. Register online - the sooner the cheaper. A portion of the proceeds go to support Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful.

Ugly Sweater Wine Walk - Saturday, December 17, 2016. Join the monthly wine walk from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. when the Riverwalk Merchants Association hosts the popular event along the Truckee River and neighboring streets in downtown Reno. Go to any of the participating merchants with $20 and receive your wine glass and hand stamp (with photo ID), then make the rounds sampling wines at numerous businesses in the area. This is a 21+ event. Pets and strollers are not advised. For more information, call 775-825-WALK(9255).

Winter Break Camps and Activities - December 19, 2016 to January 6, 2017. Winter break activities for children and families around Reno and Sparks include camps and other things to do from several area organizations.

Christmas Day - Sunday, December 25, 2016.

Monthly Reno Beer Crawl - Saturday, December 24, 2016. This event is in downtown Reno where all of the participating bars, pubs, and restaurants are within walking (or crawling) distance. It costs $5 to participate and you can just show up at one of the start bars - advance tickets not required. Crawling is from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Nevada Chamber Music Festival - Monday through Sunday, December 26, 2016 - January 1, 2017. The series of concerts will culminate with a New Year's Day dinner and program at The Grove. Along with local performers will be world renowned musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, and the Berlin Philharmonic. Tickets are available online.

Winter Break Camps and Activities - December 19, 2016 - January 6, 2017. While school is out for winter break, there are a whole bunch of camps and other activities for both kids and adults to enjoy. Check out "Winter Break Camps and Activities in Reno and Sparks" for a big list of things to do.

New Year's Eve Parties - Saturday, December 31, 2016. Enjoy lots of parties and fireworks while bringing in 2017. There will be celebrations in Reno, Sparks, and up at Lake Tahoe.

New Year's Eve Dining - Saturday, December 31, 2016. Here are some dining spots for satisfying your appetite while bringing in the New Year in the Reno / Sparks area.

Christmas Tree Recycling - December 26, 2016 through January 16, 2017. This program is an excellent way to give your Christmas tree a new purpose while keeping it out of the landfill or letting it be illegally dumped in our open spaces.

Snowglobe Music Festival - Thursday through Saturday, December 29 - 31, 2016. This frigid festival features hot music from several bands. It is for all ages and held at Lake Tahoe Community College, One College Drive in South Lake Tahoe. It is best to visit the website for all the information about tickets, attending, nearby facilities, etc. There is a good FAQ that will answer most questions.

Restless Artists' Theatre presents "The Velocity of Autumn" - December 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17 at 7:30 p.m., and December 4, 11, and 18 at 2 p.m. The play centers around Alexandra, an 80-year-old artist in a showdown with her family over where she'll spend her remaining years. It is a wickedly funny and wonderfully touching discovery of the fragility and ferocity of life. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for students/seniors/military, and $20 at the door. Tickets are available online or call (775) 525-3074. The theater is at 295 20th Street in Sparks.

Reno-Tahoe Senior Winter Games - January 28 through February 14, 2017. Registration is now open to sign up for this series of Olympic-style competitions. The Games are open to citizens 50+. The deadline for all entries is Monday, January 23, 2017.

Erika Paul Trio - "All That Jazz" - Thursday, December 29, 2016. Over a century of American Jazz comes alive with these local entertaining and educational musicians as they invite everyone to clap, tap, and stomp their way through "All That Jazz". This free show will be at 10:30 a.m. at the Washoe County Senior Center Library, 1155 East Ninth Street, Building E, Reno.

PTSD Discussion Group Meetings - December 14 and 28, 2016, 6 p.m. VFW Post 9211 is sponsoring a PTSD discussion group that meets at the historic "Battle Born" bunker post every 2nd and 4th Wednesday. All individuals with a diagnosis of PTSD are invited to join this group. This is NOT restricted to veterans or VFW members. Any member of the community is invited, including civilians and service persons such police, firefighters, and medical personnel. VFW Post 9211 is located a block west of the Virginia Street / Moana lane intersection. The Post number is (775) 825-7007. Direct questions to the Post Surgeon, Dr. Schwartz, at (775) 409-4561.

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