October Family-Friendly Activities in Reno

October Family-Friendly Activities in Reno, Sparks, and Beyond

October is here which means the fall season is in full swing and there is so much going on around us.  We are sharing October Family-Friendly Activities in Reno, Sparks, and Beyond. If you’re a mom, dad, or caregiver and you’re looking for the ultimate guide to Nevada, Nevada Moms is the spot.

We are the #1 family guide to Nevada experiences and activities. From upcoming events, kid-friendly activities, local businesses to check out, and more – you don’t want to miss it.

By local moms for local families.

Don’t forget to bookmark our website and follow along with us on Instagram @northernnevadamoms and Facebook @northernnevadamoms. As always thank you for supporting our locally owned and operated small business.

Ongoing Activities in Our Area

You can also check out any of these family-friendly activities on those days you aren’t looking for a specific event to attend:

Looking for local discounts for Nevada Moms readers to enjoy? Check all of our active offers and promo codes over here.

pumpkin patches in reno

Halloween Events (CLICK HERE!)

For a complete list of Halloween-related events, please visit the link above. You’ll find all Halloween events for our area here!

Pumpkin Patches (CLICK HERE)

For a complete list of pumpkin patches in our area click the link above.  There is so much fun to be had at one of these farms!

October Family-Friendly Activities in Reno, Sparks, and Beyond


Thanksgiving Play


  • Evening Performances: Oct. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 @ 7:30pm
  • Matinee Performances: Oct. 3, 10, 17 @ 2pm
  • Understudy Performances: Oct. 3 & 8th
  • Name Your Price Performance: Oct. 9th
  • Post-Show Talkback: Oct. 10th

Location: 147 East Pueblo Street, Reno, NV 89502

Cost: Regular: $30, Senior: $25, Student: $15

Play synopsis: Good intentions collide with absurd assumptions in Larissa FastHorse’s wickedly funny satire, as a troupe of four earnestly progressive theatre-makers scramble to devise a play that is historically accurate, avoids all stereotypes, and doesn’t offend anyone. Glorious chaos ensues in this script which skewers both its characters’ pretensions and the traditional “Thanksgiving Story.”

Brett Young

Date: Oct. 8 at 7:00pm

Location: Grand Sierra Resort

People can’t stop raving about Brett Young!  A concert you won’t want to miss and won’t be disappointed.


Date: Oct. 9 from 11am-5pm

Location: The Summit, 13925 S. Virginia St.

The Summit Reno for the inaugural Barktoberfest, a free family and dog-friendly fall festival supporting the SPCA of Northern Nevada.

Activities include: 5K and 1 mile fun run hosted by Reno Running Company (9am). Click below to sign up! Beer garden, Food trucks, Three man polka band, Live DJ, TapSnap photo booth, Face painting, and more.

Fall Bulb Festival

Date: Oct. 9-10 from 9am-4pm

Location: May Arboretum Society

Enjoy autumn at the Arboretum, while planning for a blooming spring garden! Join us in Saint Patrick’s Grove for the Fall Bulb Festival! More than 19,000 spring bulbs – 140 different varieties for sale!

Garden professionals will be on hand to answer questions and offer bulb planting demos.

Eldorado Great Italian Festival

Date: Oct. 9-10th, 10am – 5pm

Location: Eldorado Resort Casino, 345 N Virginia St, Reno, NV

A crowd favorite year after year, the Great Italian Festival Sauce Cook-off challenges.

Galena Creek Regional Park Presents: Star Gazing with the Astronomical Society of Nevada

Date: Oct. 9 at 7:30pm

Location: Galena Creek Regional Park

Flashlights or headlamps with red filters, folding chairs and blankets are highly recommended, maybe even a thermos of hot cocoa! Tour of the night sky! Binoculars will be available, but feel free to bring your own.

Using “Electronically-assisted Astronomy” – live images provided in real-time by a high-powered telescope projected to a big screen, we’ll be able to see and learn about many objects throughout the night sky without the need to stand in long lines to look through a telescope. This is a family-friendly event, and all ages are welcome, but please leave pets at home.

Nevada Wolf Pack Football

Date: Oct. 9, 16, 29

Location: 1664 N Virginia St, Reno, NV 89557

Go support and cheer on your local Wolf Pack!  Enjoy the game with the family!

Date: Oct. 9th, Doors open at 5pm

Location:  Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater, Bartley Ranch, Reno, NV

Black Rock – High Rock for an evening of inspiring, thought-provoking and fun films under the stars at the beautiful Bartley Ranch Regional Park in Reno. There will be a partner expo, silent auction, food trucks, beverages and more.

McQueen Craft Faire


  • Oct. 15 from 5pm – 9pm
  • Oct. 16 from 10am – 5pm
  • Oct. 17 from 10-3pm

Location: Robert McQueen High School

Shop local this year and enjoy this craft faire. With tons of local vendors, this is a craft faire you won’t want to miss!

Open Studios at Reno Art Works

Date: Oct. 16 from 12-4pm

Location: Reno Art Works; 1995 Dickerson Road

This month we open our doors and our studios letting you experience us making our art!
Check out the latest show in the Gallery. See what’s happening in the Side Yard and see artists in their natural habitat.

All ages. Always Free.

Grand Sierra Beer and Chili Festival 

Date: Oct. 16 from Noon – 6pm

Location: Grand Sierra Resort and Casino Lot

Cost: Tickets required

Featuring over two dozen local, regional, and national craft beer favorites, stop by and try them all. Pair your favorite craft beers with succulent chili’s for the best combinations.

Last Chance Cheetah Dash

Date: Oct. 16-17 from 4:30-6pm

Location: Animal Ark; 1265 Deerlodge Road, Reno, NV 89508

Cost: Adults $45; Seniors $40; Children (8-12 years old) $35. Children must be at least 8 years old to attend.

Journey with us as our cheetah cubs Amani, Jabari and Tambo learn the ropes of our high-speed runs in the cheetah yard!

This event will feature a Keeper Talk, a video presentation, and biofacts, all for a more intimate setting followed by a yard demonstration of a training session with each cheetah cub.

Reservations required due to limited seating. RSVP by emailing animalarkrenoevents@gmail.com

ACTRA National Finals

Date: Oct. 16 – 23

Location: Reno-Sparks Livestock Event Center

The Wrangler/Professional’s Choice ACTRA National Finals 2021 will be held in Reno, Nevada October 16th through October 23rd at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Event Center.  Free to the public to come watch the team roping!

Harvest Festival

Date: Oct. 23-24 from 10am-4:30pm

Location: Animal Ark; 1265 Deerlodge Road, Reno, NV 89508

Cost: Adults $20; Seniors $19; Children $16; children 2 and under are free. Standard Members are 50% off for this event. No golf carts are available at this event!

As part of our enrichment program, most of the animals will receive pumpkins filled with their favorite treats. Watch the enjoyment experienced by our predators when presented with these unique and delicious meals. Throughout the day, pumpkins will be delivered to different animals. Come for the fun and bring the camcorder! This is animal viewing at its finest and is now extended to two days!

For this event, there is an AM and PM time slot for signing up.

Educator Appreciation Day 2021

Date: Oct. 23 from 10am-5pm

Location: Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum

Local and regional educators and administrators receive FREE admission to The Discovery on Saturday, October 23.

Explore the museum, take part in hands-on programming (available 11:00am – 2:00pm), learn more about our field trip program, save 20% on Museum Store purchases, and much more!

*Free museum admission for all K-12 public and private school teachers and administrators and home school educators.

Darci Lynne: My Lips are Sealed (Except When They’re Not)

Date: Oct. 23

Location: Grand Sierra Resort Casino

Ventriloquist, Darci Lynne is the youngest contestant to ever win “America’s Got Talent.” Doors open at 6:30.

Monster Jam

Date: Oct. 29-31, Times Vary

Location: Reno-Sparks Livestock Event Center

Cost: Tickets start at $25,  Ages 2 and older need a ticket

Monster Jam® is action-packed motorsport with world-class athletes locked in intense competitions of speed and skill.  Check out your favorite monster trucks!  Recommended bringing noise-canceling headphones.

Nashville Live!

Date: Oct. 29

Location: Atlantis Resort Casino

As a member of CMT’s Next Women of Country, Stephanie Quayle is an undeniable force on the country music scene. Her magnetic energy and booming personality grabs hold of audiences wherever she goes.


Maker Family Meet-Up

Date: Every Thursday from 3:30-5:30pm

Location: The Generator, 2450 Oddie Blvd Sparks, NV 89431

Cost: $5-$10 donation suggested

Drop-in every Thursday afternoon from 3:30-5:30 for the Maker Family Meetup! This is a pay-what-you-can drop-in art experience for kids and their families. Each week will be a different art activity as well as fun art activation stations for your child(ren) to explore! This is a fun, hands-on, and lowkey place for kids to express their creativity and check out our maker space.

sparks marina lantern

Water Lantern Festival 

Date: Oct. 9th from 5-10pm

Location: Sparks Marina Park, 300 Howard Dr, Sparks, NV 89434

A family-friendly event that can be shared with everyone.  Enjoy food trucks and local vendors.  Your ticket includes an entry, floating lantern kit, led candle, and more!

Kid Rock

Date: Oct. 15 at 6pm

Location: Nugget Event Center Enjoy Kid Rock at the outdoor event center!


Date: Oct. 21 from 4-9pm (third Thursday of every month)

Location: Victorian Square

This includes good food, cold drinks, live entertainment, crafts, chef demos, movies on the big screen and all the art you can handle! Downtown Sparks is the place to be this and every 3rd Thursday of the month, all year round!

Pumpkin Palooza

Date: Oct. 23-24

Location: Victorian Square in Sparks

Head to Victorian Square for a full day of good old-fashioned fun!  Have fun engaging in a Pumpkin Derby, more than 20 homemade carnival-style games, storytelling, pumpkin decorating, contests, live music, food and more. Want to be in the derby? Reserve your spot here.

Carson City

Fall Tot Trot 

Date: Oct. 9 at 10am

Location: Riverview Park located at the East end of 5th St. and Marsh Rd.

Cost: Tickets required for entry.

Join the Carson City Park Ranger for an easy 1.5 mile loop Tot Trot!  Explore the Carson River area with a Carson City Park Ranger and learn about the fall habitats, the local wildlife, and the best way to explore using Leave No Trace principles. We will also be going on a scavenger hunt, so bring along your excitement for adventure.

carson city hike

Fall Colors Hike

Date: Oct.16 from 10am-12pm (noon)

Location: Carson River Park off of Carson River Rd.

Online registration is required.  Kids 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Join the Carson City Park Rangers for a relaxing stroll through the cottonwood groves of the Carson River! Learn why the leaves change colors, what our animal friends are doing in preparation for winter, and everything you wanted to know about the Carson River. The trail is considered “easy” and is roughly three miles long.

Nevada Day + Nevada Day Parade

Date: Oct. 30-31 from 8am – 5pm

Location: Carson City

Celebrate Nevada Day at Carson City! Festivities include art exhibits, Grand Ball Dinner & Dance, Pancake Breakfast and the Nevada Day Parade with its more than 200 floats representing schools and organizations from around the state. Downtown saloons provide inexpensive libations and a respite from the hustle and bustle. Admission is free. Bring money for food, drink and other purchases.

Virginia City

Credit: Virginia Truckee Railroad

Pumpkin Patch Steam Trains


  • Dusk Trains at 5:15pm: Friday & Saturday Oct. 15 & 16, 22 & 23
  • Days Trains: Saturday & Sunday Oct. 16 & 17, 23 & 24

Location: Virginia Truckee Railroad

Cost: Adults $20, Kids $15, Toddlers $8, Toddlers sitting on parents with no pumpkin are free.

The pumpkin patch is fall’s ultimate playground, so it’s the perfect time to catch a train to the Gold Hill pumpkin patch and pick your special pumpkin to carve or cook in the fall sunshine. And for kids who like a little more of scare, check out our Pumpkin Patch dusk trains.

Virginia City Grand Prix

Date: Oct. 23

Location: Virginia City, 86 S C Street

“C Street” gets loud as the roar of motorcycles hits full throttle during the Virginia City Grand Prix, one of the largest and most competitive off-road motorcycle races in the west. For more information or to register, visit VCGP.com.


Made in Tahoe Festival

Date: Oct. 9-10 from 11am-5pm

Location: The Village at Palisades Tahoe

Made in Tahoe celebrates all things LOCAL. The Village at Palisades Tahoe will host a wide array of offerings that are made in or inspired by the Lake Tahoe Basin and Truckee areas: local artisans, businesses, chefs, organizations, and entertainers. Discover, explore, and experience our rich community full of talented creators.  Admission is FREE!


What events and activities are you looking forward to attending with your family this month?

Have travel plans to the Las Vegas area? Check out upcoming events in Southern Nevada for the month of October.


Kacey Queen is a co-founder of Nevada Moms

Kacey received her bachelor's in Psychology while cheering for the University of Oregon. They moved to Reno in 2014 and have loved it ever since. She is a dedicated homeschooling mother to her three children.

She serves on the hospital board for Northern Nevada Health Systems and is passionate about her community.

Kacey loves exploring with her family and finding family-friendly events and activities! A few of her favorite things include family adventures, traveling, working out, coffee, and dessert!

Leanna Carson is an expecting mama via IVF and a serial entrepreneur.

Born and raised in Las Vegas, she loves sharing all things family-friendly as well as local spots most don’t even know about! She co-founded Nevada Moms in 2018 and it has become the #1 Family Guide to Nevada experiences, activities, happenings, and more.

Connect with her on social media or IRL @mrsleannacarson on Instagram.