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Children's Activities in Reno, Nevada

by Jennifer Simkins

Reno, Nevada, known as the Biggest Little City in the World, has more to offer than casinos and nightlife. The city offers a variety of family friendly entertainment, attractions and special events. For outdoor enthusiasts, Reno is only 30 minutes away from the nearest ski area and less than 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe. For families wanting to explore the city, plenty of excitement awaits.

Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum

Reno's Discovery Museum features seven themed galleries with material that is constantly changing, so no visit is exactly the same. Kids learn about science, history, arts and inventions in a fun and playful environment. Exhibits such as Nevada Stories and Truckee Connects offer lessons about the surrounding area, while Cloud Climber and Spark!Lab provide hands-on experiences. The museum offers four themed six-week-long summer camps to keep kids entertained during school breaks.

The Midway at Circus Circus

As the name suggests, one of the main attractions at Circus Circus is a carnival under the big top. Carnival games such as chicken-in-a-pot and ring toss award prizes for winning. Other games include arcade games and ticket redemption games. In the center of the midway, a stage features circus shows that occur throughout the day. Face-painting and balloon animals are also available during peak times.

Rancho San Rafael Park

Ranch San Rafael Park, next to the University of Nevada, Reno, is Reno's largest park. Encompassing more than 600 acres, the park has several ecological areas and attractions for kids to enjoy. The Wilbur D. May Center includes a museum that features rare items collected during May's world travels and ever-changing traveling exhibits. The center also includes an arboretum and botanical garden, displaying a variety of trees, flowers and other plants along a winding path dotted with secluded benches. Kids will enjoy walking along the path and discovering new plants or eating a picnic beneath one of the towering trees. Rancho San Rafael is also home to the Great Reno Balloon Races, occurring annually in September. The skies become spotted as hundreds of hot air balloons participate in the race.

Reno Aces

A recent edition to the Reno skyline is Aces Stadium, home of the Reno Aces minor league baseball team. During baseball season, the stadium has theme days when food is offered at a special price, swag is handed out or kids get in for free. General admission tickets are an option for families. These tickets allow visitors to sit in a grassy area behind right field, offering a picnic-like setting. A kids play area is also included.

Grand Sierra Resort and Casino

The Grand Sierra Resort is an all-in-one entertainment center for families. This resort offers a pool with sand, a 50-lane bowling center that is open 24 hours a day, go-carts, miniature golf and a driving range. The Ultimate Rush Theme Park contains a giant swing and sling shot. Fun Quest offers 40,000 square feet of arcade games, laser tag, simulation rides and a climbing apparatus. The Grand Sierra Cinema invites families to see current movies before they are released on DVD. The resort also offers a variety of restaurants and grab-and-go convenience stores.

About the Author

Jennifer Simkins has expertise in music, travel, health and cooking. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in speech pathology and is currently pursuing her graduate degree.

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