Only one hour from Lake Tahoe and surrounded by the beautiful Sierra Mountains, Reno, Nevada is the perfect budget-friendly family summer vacation. Reno is no longer that sketchy casino ridden town, although there are casinos still around, Reno has become a destination for art and outdoor fun.
I always love doing a staycation in Reno because it’s fun and extremely affordable. Reno offers a ton of free to cheap activities that everyone in the family can enjoy during the summer months.
The Discovery Museum offers daily hands on workshops and family friendly learning opportunities about science and tech. While the kids climb jungle gyms and learn about Nevada’s water cycle, the parents can take pictures and feel good about taking the kids to a fun learning environment. The cost varies from $12 per parent and $10 per child.
Every July, Artown offers free concerts, performances, art exhibitions, dance classes, and more. Artown is about highlighting artist in Northern Nevada and engaging the local community in the arts. Most events are free or low cost. With classes for the kids and the parents, everyone in the family will have fun. More info at: http://www.renoisartown.com/
Free movies at The Joe Crowley Student Union
The University of Nevada, Reno offers free-for-all outdoor movies on campus during the summer. Past family friendly movies screened included: Inside Out, Minions, and Moana. Bring a blanket and lawn chair and enjoy free popcorn offered by the student union staff.
Food Truck Friday
If you’re hungry for some unique local food, take the family to Food Truck Friday at Idlewild Park for dinner. Every Friday, May 19 – Sept 29 about 35 food truck vendors park and serve. The kids will love eating pulled pork fries and ice cream cones and the parents can enjoy cold draft beer and margaritas. Don’t forget to bring your blankets and lawn chairs, tables are limited but there is plenty of grass space to watch live music.
Being surrounded by the most beautiful mountains has its perks. There are many breathtaking hikes for the family to take together. Bring plenty of water and snacks and the whole family will enjoy exploring nature and getting daily exercise.
Picnic by Truckee River
The Truckee River flows through most of Reno and there are plenty of parks that are
perfect for dipping your feet and having a picnic. Pack up some sandwiches or buy from a local business and sit in the grass. Just make sure you watch the kids, the rough winter has caused high tides that could get dangerous.