Thanksgiving Day Weekend Activities and EventsWays to Enjoy the Thanksgiving Day Holiday in Reno and Sparks
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 2023 is on Thursday, November 23.
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."
Meet the Turkeys at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
Sunday, November 5, 2023, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Take pictures with the turkeys, meet farm animals, enjoy story time, explore the Discovery Room, and much more. We will also be collecting non-perishable food items for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. This event is free and fun for the entire family. At Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, 1595 N. Sierra St. in Reno.
Steam Train Rides at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City
Saturday and Sunday, November 11 - 12, 2023. Ride behind a steam locomotive 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. It's a little before Thanksgiving, but this is the only chance during November to ride the steam train. The museum is at 2180 S. Carson St. in Carson City. (775) 687-6953.
25th Annual Scheels Turkey Trot
Thursday, November 23, 2023, 8:30 a.m. Sign up with friends or family for the 10k, 2-mile run, and 2-mile walk that starts and ends in the Scheels Parking lot, located at 1200 Scheels Drive in Sparks. Registration ends November 18. NO DOGS (except for registered and licensed service dogs). A portion of all entry fees will benefit Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB).
Wobble Before You Gobble 5K / 1 Mile Walk
Thursday, November 23, 2023, starting at 9 a.m. Join us on Thanksgiving morning for a run/ walk/ wobble that kicks off your Thanksgiving festivities. There will be a 5K and 1 mile walk. The race event will begin at 9 a.m. in Wingfield Park. Participants will make their way through downtown Reno and the nearby parks before returning to the finish where they will get a finisher's medal upon completion. Strollers and walkers allowed, but NO DOGS except registered service animals. You can register online for this event. Cost varies depending on when you register.
Candy Cane Express Trains on the V&T Railroad
November 24 - 25 and December 2 - 3, 9 - 10, 16 - 17, 2023. Grand Finale December 23 - 24, 2023. 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 and cookies, and listening to songs of the season and taking in the beautifully lit Christmas scenes along the way. A gift bag and light stick will be presented to every passenger. Reservations required - buy tickets online. For more information, call (775) 847-0380.
Polar Express on the V&T Railroad
Select dates from November 17 through December 23, 2023. 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.
"Spirit of the Season" with the Reno Phil
December 8 - 10, 2023. Celebrate the magic and warmth of the holiday season with your favorite festive movie music. Back by popular demand, the Reno Phil Orchestra and Chorus will take the stage for beloved classics and holiday concert must-haves. Sit back and enjoy "Holiday Music from the Movies." At the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. Choose from four showtimes and purchase tickets online.
Crafts for Christmas at The Nugget
Thursday through Sunday, November 24 - 27, 2022. 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. Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. At 1100 Nugget Avenue in Sparks.
Tree Lighting and Holiday Lights Festival
Friday and Saturday, November 24 - 25, 2023. 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Join us for the City of Reno's Christmas Tree Lighting (at sunset on Friday). Shop locally made holiday gifts, relax to the sounds of live music, grab a bite at the food truck plaza and enjoy the lights. There's something for everyone in the family at the Holiday Lights Festival. Festivities are free to the public. At downtown City Plaza, between City Hall and the Truckee River.
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 24 through Sunday, November 26, 2022. 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.
Star Shows at the Fleischmann Planetarium
The Fleischmann Planetarium is open for public shows on Fridays from 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Visit the website for details about open hours, other things to do while visiting and available shows and programs.
Thanksgiving Weekend at Animal Ark
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 24 - 26, 2023, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can enjoy our animals when they are active in late fall's cooler temperatures. With warm drinks and festive tidings, this event is the perfect family gathering to make memories that will last a lifetime. Admission is $18 for adults, $10 children (3 to 12), $15 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.
Try the outdoor ice rink when it opens 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
Saturday, November 25, 2023. The Nevada Wolf Pack football team takes on the University of Wyoming Cowboys at Mackay Stadium in Reno. Kickoff is 6 p.m. Go Pack!
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