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Thanksgiving Day Weekend Activities and Events

Ways to Enjoy the Thanksgiving Day Holiday in Reno and Sparks

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Thanksgiving Day and weekend in Reno and Sparks have many options for participating in family friendly events. It's a time when activities revolve around good food and visiting with family and friends. Thanksgiving Day 2021 is on Thursday, November 25.

For Thanksgiving dinner, lots of people like to eat out. There are great places around Reno and Sparks to enjoy this special meal. Learn where from my article "Thanksgiving Day Dining in Reno and Sparks."

14th Annual Meet the Turkeys at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park

Saturday, November 13, 2021, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Get up close and personal with turkeys and other farm animals at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, next to the Wilbur D. May Museum. In addition to Rancho San Rafael's heritage turkey and chickens, the community can also enjoy story time hosted by the Washoe County Library, explore the Discovery Room, check out antique engines and tractors, and browse the booths of many local organizations. Urban Grinders will be roasting local coffee and hot chocolate to keep everyone toasty and warm. This is a free, family-friendly event, but donations of non-perishable food items for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada will be gratefully collected.

Scheels Turkey Trot

Thursday, November 25, 2021, starts at 8:30 a.m. Sign up with friends and family for a 10k, a 2 Mile Run, or a 2 Mile Walk that starts and ends in the Scheels Parking Lot at 1200 Scheels Drive in Sparks. Register now through November 22 for reduced entry fees. Every runner and walker will receive a commemorative long-sleeve souvenir shirt and refreshments. There will be age group awards for the 10k event. Proceeds support the City of Sparks Youth Scholarship Fund and Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful. Visit the website to register online. Registration ends November 21. NO PETS.

Wobble Before You Gobble 5K

Thursday, November 25, 2021, starting at 9 a.m. Join us on Thanksgiving morning for a run/ walk/ wobble that kicks off your Thanksgiving festivities. For 2021, we will only be hosting a 5K to keep the event more streamlined as we work to keep everyone safe and having fun. The 5K start is on Virginia St. next to City Plaza. Participants will make their way through downtown Reno, circle within Idlewild Park, and head back to City Plaza where they will get a finisher's medal upon completion. You can register online for this event. Cost varies depending on when you register.

Candy Cane Express Trains on the V&T Railroad

November 26, 27 and December 4 - 5, 11 - 12, 18 - 19, 2021. There will be three trains each day departing from the Virginia City depot (166 F Street), at 12 noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. On the scenic 50-minute journey over the 150-year old V&T railroad route, you will enjoy hot cocoa or cider, candy canes & cookies, and sing-a-long carols on the festively decorated train. Reservations required - buy tickets online. For more information, call (775) 847-0380.

Polar Express on the V&T Railroad

November 19 through December 24, 2021. The Polar Express™ for the 2021 Christmas holiday season will visit the North Pole on select dates The Polar Express™ sells out every year. Get tickets as soon as possible if you want to ensure the best seats, date, and time for your family and/or group. Tickets are available online from the Polar Express website and by phone at 855-724-5102.

McKeen Motor Car Rides at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City

Friday and Saturday, November 26 - 27, 2021. Ride the rare and historic McKeen Motor Car around the museum grounds and visit this outstanding museum. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and rides depart approximately every 40 minutes. The museum is at 2180 S. Carson St. in Carson City. (775) 687-6953.

Spirit of the Season with the Reno Phil

Friday, December 3, 2021, 7 p.m. Saturday, December 4, 2021, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, December 5, 2021, 2 p.m. Gather the family for a true holiday tradition. The Reno Phil, Reno Phil Chorus and conductor Jason Altieri invite you to a classic holiday celebration full of orchestral arrangements, jazzy numbers, traditional holiday tunes and carols. See the website for the latest health and safety policies. This is a popular show so get your tickets online ASAP. At the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, 100 S. Virginia St. in Reno.

Crafts for Christmas at The Nugget

Thursday through Sunday, November 25 - 28, 2021. Come to The Nugget in Sparks to shop among craft and gift booths at this annual marketplace. Enjoy holiday food and drink. Free admission and parking. In the Sierra Convention Rooms, 2nd floor. Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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 6 p.m. from Friday, November 26 through Sunday, November 28, 2021. Be sure to check the Plan Your Visit page for details about visiting the museum.

Other Museums and Shows

Many Reno / Sparks museums, and also those down in Carson City, have a variety of exhibits and activities available during the Thanksgiving holidays. Check "Museums, Culture, and Shows in Reno / Sparks, Nevada" to see what's available. Be sure to call ahead for holiday hours.

Movies during Thanksgiving Day Weekend

There will be some good movies in local 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.

Thanksgiving Day Weekend, Reno, Sparks, Nevada, NV

Star Shows at the Fleischmann Planetarium

The Fleischmann Planetarium is open for public shows on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Visit the website for details about open hours, conditions for visiting and available shows and programs.

Thanksgiving Weekend at Animal Ark

Friday and Saturday, November 26 - 27, 2021, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Celebrate the joys of the holidays with Animal Ark. This two day event is a family friendly weekend full of seasonal tidings, warm drinks, keeper chats and holiday shopping with 25% off items in the entire gift shop. A great excursion for the whole family 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 $14 for adults, $9 children (3 to 12), $12 seniors (62+), free for age 2 and under. From Reno, take U.S. 395 north, turn right on Red Rock Road, go 11.5 miles, then right onto Deerlodge Road. For more information, call (775) 970-3111 (area code required). Weather may cancel - call 1-775-970-3111 before driving out and listen to the recording for any changes due to weather.

Thanksgiving Weekend Skiing and Snowboarding

Lake Tahoe area ski resorts like to open for the big Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but snowfall generated by Mother Nature has a lot to do with it. Avid skiers and snowboarders will know if conditions are good. Everyone else can get the latest information from the websites of those resorts they are interested in visiting.

Go Play in the Snow

If there is enough snow, Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe area snow play areas and ski resorts will be ready for slipping and sliding. If the weather is nice during the break, it will be a great time to take the kids up to the mountains for some sledding, tubing, and other fun in the snow. There are some really nice places close to the Reno area. Call ahead or check the website to make sure your destination is open for the season.

Ice Skating

The big downtown Reno ice skating rink will not be open in 2021, but there are other choices. You could try the outdoor ice rink open for the winter season at the Grand Sierra Resort. We also have a new, indoor ice skating facility in south Reno called Reno Ice (officially known at the Jennifer M. O'Neal Community Ice Arena). This arena offers public skating sessions in addition to other attractions like figure skating and hockey.

Wolf Pack Football

Friday, November 19, 2021. The Nevada Wolf Pack football team takes on the Air Force Falcons at Mackay Stadium in Reno. Kickoff is 6 p.m. Go Pack!

Saturday, November 27, 2021. Nevada plays the Colorado State University Rams at Fort Collins, CO. Kickoff at 6 p.m. Go Pack!

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