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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 2019 is on Thursday, November 28.

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."

13th Annual Meet the Turkeys Open House at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park

Saturday, November 9, 2019. Celebrate the season of the turkey by bringing the family to Rancho San Rafael Regional Park for this free event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to lots of turkeys, there will be horse and pony rides provided by Lorie's Pony Express for $5, farm animals, Moolisa the milking cow, fall crafts, scavenger hunts, and activities with Discovery Room volunteers, Truckee Meadow Parks Foundation, May Arboretum Society, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, Urban Roots, lots of animals from 4-H clubs and Valley Amigos Ranching, and historic equipment from the Reno Antique Engine and Tractor Club. Washoe County librarians will have story time and activities. Bring your camera to take fall and Thanksgiving photos with the turkeys. Please bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. (775) 785-4512.

Scheels Turkey Trot

Thursday, November 28, 2019 - 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 and finish 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. Both begin at 8:30 a.m. Every runner and walker receives a commemorative long-sleeve souvenir shirt, fruit and refreshments. Proceeds benefit Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful and the City of Sparks Youth Scholarship Fund. For more information, e-mail or call (775) 353-7898. Dogs, bikes, skateboards, scooters and skates are prohibited at the event.

Wobble Before You Gobble 10K / 5K Race

Thursday, November 28, 2019. Wobble Before You Gobble is a family fun 10K/5K/1 mile run/walk/wobble on Thanksgiving morning. This event starts at the Reno City Plaza and follows the Truckee River path through Idlewild Park before heading back to the finish line. 10K run starts at 9 a.m., with the other two starting shortly thereafter. Online registration is available. Event benefits The Children's Cabinet. (775) 470-5826.

Candy Cane Express Trains on the V&T Railroad

November 29, 30 and December 7, 8, 14, 15, 2019. There will be two trains each day departing from the Virginia City depot (166 F Street), at 12 noon and 2 p.m. On the scenic 50-minute journey over the 140-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. The fare is $23 for adults, $12 for kits 2 to 12. Under 2 ride free on an adult's lap. Reservations required - buy tickets online. You can buy tickets the day of the event if any seats are available after trains are boarded, but don't count on it. For more information, call (775) 847-0380.

Reno Ice Skating Rink at The Row

Opens for the season on Monday, November 18, 2019. There will be skating sessions every day throughout the winter season (weather and ice conditions permitting). The Rink at the Row is located at the corner of Sierra and 6th Streets, across from Circus Circus Reno. This is a relocation from the previous rink at Greater Nevada Field.

Polar Express on the V&T Railroad

November 15 through December 24, 2019 - The special Polar Express™ excursions on the V&T during Thanksgiving weekend (no rides on Thanksgiving Day) 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 go fast - get advance tickets online or you may be left at the station. For information, call (775) 291-0208 or toll-free at (877) 724-5007.

"Santa's Christmas Wonderland" at The Eldorado

November 26 through December 29, 2019. Featuring glittering costumes, sensational sets, a dazzling cast and the highest kicking chorus dancers this side of the North Pole, bring the whole family to sing along to songs like "White Christmas," "Winter Wonderland," "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and many more. Tickets are available online. For more information on show times and tickets call 800-879-8879. The Eldorado is at 345 North Virginia Street in Reno.

A Christmas Story The Musical

Friday through Sunday, November 29 to December 1, 2019. A CHRISTMAS STORY THE MUSICAL, brings the classic 1983 movie to hilarious life on stage. Set in 1940s Indiana, a young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams. At the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, 100 S. Virginia Street in Reno. Visit the website to get tickets online or call (775) 434-1050. Use the code "RALPHIE" for online presale tickets.

Crafts for Christmas at The Nugget

Friday through Sunday, November 29 - December 1, 2019. Come to The Nugget in Sparks to shop among craft and gift booths at this annual marketplace. Enjoy holiday food and drink demonstrations. Santa will visit from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day and there will be activities for kids, plus holiday performances by local groups. Free admission and parking. Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 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. Of particular interest are the exhibits titled "Work Ethic in American Art: The Legacy of E. L. Wiegand" and "King of Beasts: A Study of the African Lion by John Banovich." The Museum will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Friday, November 29 through Sunday, December 1, 2019.

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 lots of 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

Travel out of this world with star shows and parties at the Fleischmann Planetarium at the University of Nevada, Reno. There are a number of new and continuing shows playing right now, plus star parties every Friday of the month at Maclean Observatory in south Reno. Show tickets are $9 for adults, $7 for children, seniors, UNR, WCSD, military. Groups are $5 each. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving Day. Call (775) 784-4812 for more information.

Thanksgiving Weekend at Animal Ark

Friday and Saturday, November 29 - 30, 2019. Bring the family to enjoy the animals in the cooler temperatures of late fall when they are active and frisky. The predators are putting on their winter coats and the bears are gorging themselves in preparation for 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 $14 for adults, $12 children (3 to 12), $13 seniors (62+), 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. 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.

Wolf Pack Football

Saturday, November 30, 2019. The Nevada Wolf Pack football team takes on the UNLV Rebels in the "Battle for the Fremont Cannon." This intra-state rivalry is always a big game. This year, it's in Reno at Mackay Stadium. Kickoff is 12 noon. Go Pack!

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