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December 2019 Events and Activities in the Reno Region

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Big events during December, 2019 include...

Northern Lights Tahoe - November 29 hrough December 31, 2019. This festival of lights features the north Tahoe communities of Incline Village and Crystal Bay. There will be many special activities at various venues during the festival, including holiday concerts, a Santa crawl, opening day at Diamond Peak ski resort, Tahoe Film Fest, holiday craft fair, holiday sing-a-long, and lots more. Note that many activities are adults only. Check the website for a complete schedule of events.

Christmas on the Comstock - Starting on December 1, 2019. Go up to Virginia City for Christmas celebrations that include Candy Cane Express trains, photos with Father Christmas, the Parade of Lights, Christmas craft fair, St. Mary's Art Center Holiday Faire, children's art program, A Comstock Christmas Carol at Piper's Opera House, The Grinch Made Me Do It Saloon Crawl and Christmas in the Sierra Concert.

Celebrate #GivingTuesday with Note-Able Music Therapy Services & Sierra Arts - Tuesday, December 3, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Come join us for an afternoon celebration of #GivingTuesday, the international day of giving, with The Note-Ables, musicians of the Sierra Arts' Eldercare Concert Series. Come sip some wine, enjoy some delicious nibbles, enjoy the music, and get started on holiday shopping. All #GivingTuesday donations at this event with be shared between Sierra Arts Foundation and Note-Able Music Therapy Services. This free event is at the Sierra Arts Gallery, 17 S. Virginia St. #120 in Reno.

Son of a... Buttcracker 9 - December 5 - 7, 11 - 14, 18 - 21, 2019. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Matinees on December 8 and 18 start at 2 p.m. What began as a Brüka parody of "The Nutcracker" has evolved into a regional cult classic, offering a different underbelly to the original ballet each year it is performed. This years theme explores re-creation with a wink to Mary Shelly and an observance of neologisms that dynamically flavor a new holiday conversation for the millennium. Advance tickets are $26 for students/seniors/military, $28 general admission. All tickets are $30 at the door. Reservations are available through the box office at (775) 323-3221. Tickets (with service fee) are available online.

Tahoe Film Fest - Thursday through Sunday, December 5 - 8, 2019. Over 20 films will be shown at various venues around north Lake Tahoe and Truckee. They range from movies by the Coen Brothers to National Geographic. Features include some classics as well. See the full line-up of what is playing when and where at the Tahoe Film Fest schedule. All proceeds benefit UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC).

Sparks Annual Hometowne Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting - Friday and Saturday, December 6 - 7, 2019. Come to Victorian Square on December 7 for the traditional Christmas parade festivities from 10:30 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m., along with entertainment, photos with Santa, and arts and crafts. The parade begins at 1 p.m. This year's theme is "Christmas Around the World." Get a picture with Santa and check out the Community Faire with information on how you can give back to your community this holiday season. The tree lighting ceremony will be the night of December 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Event includes live music entertainment.

Spirit of the Season - Friday through Sunday, December 6 - 8, 2019. The Reno Phil and conductor Jason Altieri invite you to a classic holiday celebration full of orchestral arrangements, jazzy numbers, traditional holiday tunes and carols. Performances at the Pioneer Center will be at 7 p.m. on December 6, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on December 7 and at 2 p.m. on December 8. Tickets start at $16 and are available online. The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts is in downtown Reno at 100 S. Virginia Street.

Magic Theater Circus - Winter Dreams - December 6 - 22, 2019. Enter a world where you leave your worries outside and your senses are filled with magic and wonder. That's the world of Winter Dreams, a world of imagination where the impossible surrounds you, an extravaganza of visual delights for young and old alike, presented in the European tradition of Cirque. Under the big top tent in the Sierra Marketplace parking area, corner of Virginia Street and W. Moana Lane, next to the Atlantis Casino Resort. Advance tickets are available online. Go to the website to choose tickets for either day or evening shows.

Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble - Friday through Sunday, December 6 - 8, 2019. Tintabulations will be performing handbell music as part of Spirit of the Season at the Pioneer Center. Also during the December 2019 holidays, they will perform at the following venues...

  • December 8 - 7 p.m. - Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 357 Clay St., Reno.
  • December 13 - 6 p.m. - Victorian Square, 764 - 794 Victorian Ave., Sparks.
  • December 14 - 2 p.m. - Squaw Valley Chapel, 444 Squaw Peak Rd., Olympic Valley, CA.
  • December 14 - 7 p.m. - Truckee Veteran's Hall, Truckee, CA.
  • December 15 - 1 p.m. - Churchill County Museum, 1050 S. Maine St., Fallon.
  • December 15 - 7 p.m. - First Baptist Church Fernley, 485 E. Main St., Fernley.
  • December 16 - 7 p.m. - South Tahoe High School, 1735 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, CA.
  • December 20 - 7 p.m. - Nightingale Concert Hall (UNR campus), 133 N. Virginia St., Reno.
  • December 21 - 1 p.m. - Portola UMC, 396 2nd Ave., Portola, CA.
  • December 21 - 7 p.m. - Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church, 955 W. Peckham Ln., Reno.
  • December 22 - 1 p.m. - Carson Valley United Methodist Church, 1375 Centerville Ln., Gardnerville.
  • December 22 - 7 p.m. - Brewery Arts Center, 449 W. King St., Carson City.

Tuba Christmas Concert - Saturday, December 7, 2019, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. This free, family-friendly event features holiday carols arranged in four-part harmony and performed by local tuba, baritone, and euphonium players. The Wilbur May Museum will have festive decorations on display and offer free admission all day long. Hot cocoa, cider, and cookies will also be available for purchase. The May Museum is inside Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, 1595 N. Sierra Street in Reno.

Light Up The Night Community Christmas Event - Saturday, December 7, 2019, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Light Up The Night is an event open to all families and individuals in Reno-Sparks. The event was created to usher in the Christmas season, and provide a free and fun Christmas event for the Reno / Sparks community. Come and enjoy pony rides, pictures with Santa, Christmas carols, bounce houses, fire pits and s'mores, and more. Canned food donations welcome. The event is at Horizon Church, 2025 E. Prater Way in Sparks.

Pet Photos with Santa Paws - Friday and Saturday, December 6 - 7, 2019. Santa Paws will be available for photos on both days. Bring your pet to sit on Santa's lap for a photo you will cherish this holiday season. Susan Koppel, owner and photographer at Susan Koppel Photography, will be offering digitally retouched images for a donation that benefits homeless pets at Nevada Humane Society. Santa Paws will be available on December 6 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on December 7. Nevada Humane Society is at 2825 Longley Lane in Reno.

Polar Express on the V&T Railroad - Trips to the North Pole continue on the V&T Railroad through December 24, 2019. Plan ahead - getting advance tickets is a must for those wanting to ride the Polar Express to the North Pole this holiday season.

City of Reno Annual Tree Lighting - Saturday, December 7, 2019, 5:30 p.m. The event begins at noon in City Plaza (between City Hall and the Truckee River) with a makers/artisan fair, food trucks, and live music. Tree lighting festivities begin at 5 p.m. with several different entertaining groups such as the Kennelly Irish Dancers, Gospel Choir and "Santa's Christmas Wonderland" from the Eldorado. Santa will be on site from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. for free photos with the kids. At 6 p.m., Mayor Hillary Schieve and City of Reno Council members will start the official countdown to the tree lighting. Following this, enjoy free ice skating at Rink at The Row.

Reno Winter Light Festival - December 7 - 14, 2019. This event begins with the Reno tree lighting on Saturday. Temporary public art pieces will be on display through the duration of the Winter Light Festival. They will be at Harrah's Outdoor Event Plaza on Virginia Street and at Wingfield Park. On closing night (Dec. 14) from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., come to City Plaza for the Fire & Ice Show, featuring an ice carving competition and fire art and dancers. It's all free and open to the public.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day - Saturday, December 7, 2019. Each year on December 7, Pearl Harbor Survivors, veterans, and visitors from all over the world come together to honor and remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. On August 23, 1994, the United States Congress designated December 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

One Day Play Festival from Reno Little Theater - Saturday, December 7, 2019, 7:30 p.m. Here's your chance to see plays that didn’t exist the night before. Local writers, writing about our times – because they're writing it overnight. The next day, actors and directors learn, rehearse, and prepare for a performance that night. This is a Pay What You Can event (suggested donation $15). Tickets are available online. 147 E. Pueblo Street in Reno.

Family Paint and Snack: Snowman by Roland Gurrhorn - Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Explore a winter wonderland by recreating the artwork, Snowman, by Roland Gurrhorn. This Family Paint and Snack is a great opportunity for a child to make a holiday gift or contribute to the holiday decor at home. This class is perfect for all levels of artistic talent and a great shared experience for the whole family (age 8+). $20 per person. Presented by Arts for All Nevada at the Lake Mansion, 250 Court St. and Arlington Ave. in Reno.

RTC Stuff A Bus with Food for the Community - Thursday, December 12, 2019. The RTC will have a bus at Sam's Club at 4835 Kietzke Lane from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to collect non-perishable food items. Donations will be given to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. Visit the website for a list of suggested food items.

39 North Pole Village Holiday Lights Festival - Thursday through Saturday, December 12 - 14, 2019. Victorian Square in downtown Sparks becomes a sparkling winter wonderland with thousands of lights in celebration of the holidays. Stroll through the holiday lights, enjoy photos with Santa, kids activities, decorating contests and vendors. You can take part in The Griswold Challenge, where local families and businesses compete in a light display contest inspired by Clark Griswold from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. This is a People's Choice contest, so people attending the event will determine the winning team. Hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Annual Share Your Christmas Drive-By Food Drive - Friday, December 13, 2019, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. KTVN 2 News and other community sponsors will be collecting food donations at 3 different locations - Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Governor's Mansion in Carson City and Carson Valley Inn in Minden. Volunteers will be on hand to unload donations for you.

"Home for the Holidays" by Reno Jazz Orchestra - Friday and Saturday, December 13 - 14, 2019. Friday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 14 at 2 p.m. Headlining the performance this year are world-renowned trombone soloist Bob McChesney and dynamic entertainer and GRAMMY nominee vocalist Calabria Foti. The whole family will enjoy over two-hours of music and songs that will include The Christmas Song, Let It Snow, White Christmas, and many other classics that will rekindle the magical memories of being home for the holidays. At Cargo Concert Hall at the Whitney Peak Hotel in Reno. Tickets start at $25 for general seating (plus processing fee), $10 for students (with I.D.) and can be purchased online or by calling (775) 372-6160.

The Nutcracker Ballet - Friday through Sunday, December 13 - 15, 2019. A.V.A. Ballet Theatre presents its annual production at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Reno, with music by the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra. Friday's performance is at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Visit the website to get tickets for the performance you prefer.

The Nugget in Sparks and Reno Dance Company will present "The Nutcracker" in the Celebrity Showroom. Performances will be on Friday through Tuesday, December 20 - 24, 2019. Showtime on December 20 is 7 p.m. On December 21 - 23, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. December 24, 3 p.m. Tickets are available online.

Magic of Santa Arts and Crafts Faire - Saturday and Sunday, December 14 - 15, 2019. This big show is in its 40th 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. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Location is the Reno Sparks Convention Center, 4590 S. Virginia Street in Reno. Free parking.

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, free for persons under age 23. Preferred seating is $40 and $15 for youth/students. (775) 313-9697.

  • Sunday, December 8, 2019, 3 p.m. - Trinity Lutheran Church, Gardnerville
  • Saturday, December 14, 2019, 3 p.m. - Harrah's Showroom, Stateline / South Lake Tahoe
  • Sunday, December 15, 2019, 3 p.m. - Genoa Lakes Golf Club
  • Saturday, December 21, 2019, 3 p.m. - The Chateau, Incline Village
  • Sunday, December 22, 2019, 4 p.m. - St. John's Presbyterian Church, Reno

Hands ON! Second Saturdays - Saturday, December 14, 2019. 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 theme. There will be performances of "The Grinch" by In-Tune Tales and you'll be able to meet Santa and friends. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Science Saturdays at the National Automobile Museum - Saturday, December 14, 2019. Join in on adventures that are out of this world. 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.

Reno Santa Pub Crawl - Saturday, December 14, 2019. 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 Day 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."

11th Annual Gingerbread Festival and Gingerbread House Competition - Saturday, December 14, 2019, 12 noon to 4 p.m. This is a holly, jolly fun event for those young and old. Listen and sing along with local choral groups and musicians to get into the holiday spirit. Enjoy a unique display of gingerbread houses and other creations and vote for your favorite as "People's Choice." Visit with Santa Claus and share your holiday wishes. Fee of $10 to enter the competition. Children may create their own gingerbread house to take home ($5 fee). Unique holiday gifts and holiday fairy garden accessories will be available on Wilbur's Garden Cart. At the May Museum in Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno.

Reno Wind Symphony: Holiday Celebration - Saturday and Sunday, December 14 - 15, 2019. 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 "Grinch that Stole Christmas." Tickets are free, but you must pick them up at MacLean Financial Group or Heritage Bank of Nevada. 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.

"Elf Jr. The Musical" from Reno Little Theater - Friday through Sunday, December 20 - 22, 2019. Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. Showtimes are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Visit the website for online tickets or call (775) 813-8900. Reno Little Theater is at 147 E. Pueblo Street.

Ugly Sweater Wine Walk - Saturday, December 21, 2019. 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 23, 2019 to January 3, 2020. Winter break activities for children and families around Reno and Sparks include camps and other things to do from several area organizations.

Christmas Day - Wednesday, December 25, 2019.

Christmas Tree Recycling - Thursday, December 26, 2019 through Monday, January 7, 2020. 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 on our public lands and open spaces.

Nevada Chamber Music Festival - Thursday through Wednesday, December 26, 2019 - January 1, 2020. The series of concerts will culminate with a New Year's Day concert at Trinity Episopal Cathedral in Reno. Tickets are available online from the website.

Monthly Reno Beer Crawl - Saturday, December 28, 2019. 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.

New Year's Eve Parties - Tuesday, December 31, 2019. Enjoy lots of parties and fireworks while bringing in 2019. There will be celebrations in Reno, Sparks, and up at Lake Tahoe.

New Year's Eve Dining - Tuesday, December 31, 2019. Here are some dining spots for satisfying your appetite while bringing in the New Year in the Reno / Sparks area.

Snowglobe Music Festival - Sunday through Tuesday, December 29 - 31, 2019. This frigid festival features hot music from many bands. It is for all ages and held at Lake Tahoe Community Playfields and Bijou Park, 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.

Reno-Tahoe Senior Winter Games - January 28 through February 14, 2020. Registration is now open to sign up for this series of Olympic-style competitions. The Games are open to citizens 50+.

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