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Winter Break Camps and Activities in Reno and Sparks

Fun for Kids during Winter Break at Washoe County Schools

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Winter break activities for children and families around Reno and Sparks include camps and other things to do from several area organizations. According to the "Washoe County School District Calendar: 2016-2017 School Year," winter break is December 19, 2016 to January 6, 2017. Add in weekends on each end and you get lots of days to fill while the kids are out of school.

Vacation Station Winter Break Camp from Reno Parks & Rec

December 19, 2016 to January 7, 2017. During winter break, the City of Reno Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department is presenting Vacation Station Winter Break Camp for kids ages 6 to 14. These camps will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each weekday and are offered in weekly sessions. Activities will include sports, games, field trips, and arts and crafts. The fee is $100 per week or $30 a day at either location. No camp on December 26 and January 2.

  • Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center, 1301 Valley Road (EMNECC)
  • Plumas Park and Gym, 475 Monroe Street
  • Alice Smith Elementary School, 1070 Beckwourth Drive
  • Double Diamond Elementary School, 1200 South Meadows Parkway

For more information, call (775) 334-4280. Kids should bring a lunch. A waiver of liability for is required for field trips to various local fun spots. Scholarships are available. You can now register online.

Winter Camp Discovery at The Discovery Museum

December 19 - 23, 2016 and January 2 - 6, 2017. The Discovery Museum winter break camps are popular and the number of kids is limited, so sign up as soon as you can to ensure your child a spot. Online registration is available at the Winter Camp Discovery web page. The information phone number is (775) 786-1000. Each camp goes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $200 to $225, depending on whether or not you are a member. There are camps for different age groups, from 1st through 7th grade. During the first week - Seuss on the Loose (grades 1 - 2), Wizarding World (grades 3 - 4), and Tinkering Studio (grades 5 - 7). During the second week - Build It! (grades 1 - 2, Can You Dig It? (grades 3 - 4), and Inside Out (grades 5 - 7). Early drop off and lake pick up are available for an additional fee. Financial assistance is available.

Arts for All Nevada Winter Art Camps

A series of one day Holiday Art Camps will be held at the Lake Mansion in Reno and the Larry D. Johnson Community Center in Sparks each day on December 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 28, and 29, 2016. Camps run from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The cost is $20 per day (all supplies included) and kids can come to as many as they like. There will be different art, theater, and creative movement/music activities at each session. Each camp has its own online signup page, so navigate to the date of interest on the calendar page to enroll your child.

Art Camps will be held at the Lake Mansion in Reno and at the Larry D. Johnson Community Center in Sparks. The information number is (775) 826-6100 x2.

January 2 - 6, 2017. Lake Mansion, 250 Court Street in Reno. For kids ages 6 to 10. Teaching artists will provide an hour of art, theater, and creative movement/music each day in a small group setting. The cost is $100 with supplies included. Hours are 9 a.m. to 12 noon each day.

January 3 - 6, 2017. Larry D. Johnson Community Center, 1200 12th Street in Sparks. For kids ages 6 to 10. Teaching artists will provide an hour of art, theater, and creative movement each day. The cost is $80 with supplies included. Hours are 9 a.m. to 12 noon each day.

Winter Break Camp at the Nevada Museum of Art

January 2 - 6, 2017. Kids ages 7 – 12 will have fun exploring the tactile nature of clay at the Nevada Museum of Art. Instruction will include basic hand building, throwing on the wheel, and sculpture. Students will learn about the basics of pottery, glazing and the transformation of their pieces from the heat of the museum's kiln. Snack and materials are included. "Winter Break Clay Camp" is for kids ages 7 to 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon each day. "High Art: Clay Intensive" is for ages 13 to 18, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. The cost is $185 or $165 for museum members. You can register online.

Christmas Capers with Sparks Parks and Recreation

December 16, 19 - 23, and 26 - 30, 2016 and January 3 - 6, 2017. Looking for festive holiday activities for your children (Kindergarten through 6th grade) during the winter break? This program offers field trips, sports, games, crafts and more. Registration is limited to 180. Drop-ins will be taken on a space available basis only beginning the Thursday before the week of desired attendance. Anything less than a full section is considered drop in. For details on costs and location, go to the "Sparks Recreation Activity Guide."

Winter Break Camps at the University of Nevada, Reno

January 3 - 6, 2017. KIDS University at UNR offers themed camps combining the academic STEAM components - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math - with a healthy dose of fun. There are themed camps for grades 4 to 6 (Chain Reactions, Ghost Ships, It's All Greek to Me!) and 5 to 8 (Like a Pro: Web Design and Computer Logic, Paint It!). Camps are daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Before and after care is offered at no additional cost. Drop off is 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. and pick up is 3:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day. The fee is $220 per camp. Visit the website for camp descriptions and online registration. (775) 784-4062.

Winter Day Camp by Grea Basin Outdoor School

January 2 - 6, 2017. This camp, for 1st through 6th graders, will be at the River School Farm. Kids will be discovering topics based on snow science, winter safety, wildlife, and geology. Every morning a professional from each field will share a hands-on presentation about the subject where the children will play games, get crafty, and even go snowshoeing. Camps are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day and cost for the week is $195. The River School Farm is at 7777 White Fir Street in west Reno. (775) 324-0936.

Skating at the Reno Ice Rink

The Downtown Reno Ice Rink at Greater Nevada Field will be open daily throughout winter break (weather and ice conditions permitting). There will be several sessions per day during the winter break holidays, starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 10 p.m. For more information about times and dates, refer to "Reno Ice Skating Rink Schedule."

Go Play in the Snow

There are some excellent snow play places near Reno and Sparks. Many of these areas, like Tahoe Meadows off the Mt. Rose Highway, are on public land and free for snow play. Many of the Lake Tahoe area ski resorts have sledding and tubing hills with lifts. These aren't free, but they can be lots of fun and are way cheaper than lift tickets.

Go to the Movies

The Reno metro area offers four multi-screen theaters, a low-cost cinema at the Grand Sierra Resort, feature films and star shows at the Fleischmann Planetarium, and an IMAX theater in Sparks.

Activities for Kids and Families at the Washoe County Library

You'll find fun activities at your local library branch during winter break. The Washoe County Library System offers many free events, activities, and presentations. Children of all ages, families, and adults will find something of interest at every library branch in Washoe County.

Reno Bighorns Basketball

Wednesday, December 21, 2016. Reno Bighorns games are fun and family-oriented. Everyone will enjoy watching the Bighorns take on the Austin Spurs at 7 p.m. Games are downtown at the Reno Events Center, 400 N. Center Street.

Blue sky after winter snow in Reno, Nevada, NV
Blue sky after winter snow in Reno, Nevada. Photo © Stan White

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