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14+ Summer Activities and Events in Reno and Sparks (Updated 2024)

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Schools out for summer and you might be like me, looking for fun ways to keep your little(s) busy. 

You might know all about the go-to summer activities that everyone talks about – Tahoe, Aces ball games, and visiting Virginia City, but there is SO MUCH MORE that northern Nevada has to offer.

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Summer Activities in Reno and Sparks

I’ve scoped out these amazing summer activities that you may not have heard about and I am sharing some of our favorite summer activities with you!

Here’s our list of summer activities and events happening in northern Nevada in no particular order. 

Lazy 5 Summer Music Series

Located in Spanish Springs, the Lazy 5 concerts series kicks off June 12th and runs through August 14th. Look forward to 10 concerts featuring 10 quality local artists to entertain families, friends, and neighbors in the Spanish Springs/Sparks area.

Food trucks and mobile pub present at every show. Arrive early and bring a blanket/chairs. Only trained service animals will be permitted.

Location: 7100 Pyramid Way, Sparks, NV 89436

Dates/Times: June 12th – August 14th, 2021, Wednesdays from 6:30-8pm

Cost: Free

Reno River Festival

The Reno River Festival returns June 7th – 9th in the heart of Downtown Reno. It’ll feature local craft beer, food, craft vendors, and musical acts. 

Location: Downtown Reno along the river

Dates/Times: Friday 11am – 9pm, Saturday 10am – 9pm, Sunday 10am – 7pm

Cost: $10 for both days and can be purchased here. Kids under 17 and dogs are free.

Kids Kits & Activities at The Home Depot

Join Home Depot on the first Saturdays of each month between 9am – 12pm for free in-person Kids Workshops.

Location: Local Home Depot

Dates/Times: First Saturday of each month

Cost: FREE, monthly – simply show up and ask for one.


Location: Behind Meadowood Mall in Reno
Cost: Online pricing: $15 general admission, $24 VIP, Seniors $10, 2 and under free. Book online to save, tickets are more in person.
Discount: NevadaMom20 for 20% off

Have fun at the largest bounce house! Funbox is here in Reno, just through the 30th so make sure you check it out before it is gone!

Farmers Markets 

Support local growers while shopping for fresh fruits and veggies. There are a number of markets to choose from in the Reno-Sparks area.  Check websites for official opening dates and schedule changes before visiting.

For the best selection and fewer crowds, get to the market early.

You can check out the full list of farmer’s markets from Nevada Moms here. Here are a few markets that I like.

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Animal Ark 

See the animals in action – from cheetahs running at top speeds to wolves howling! Consider enjoying a trip to Animal Ark during one of their special events. Coming up there will be ‘Summer Stargazing’ and ‘Summer Fesival’ events! Browse their events calendar here, either as a list or by month.

Location: 1265 Deerlodge Rd Reno, Nevada 89508

Dates/Times: Mondays: Closed, Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00am – 4:30pm

Cost: $18.00 for adults, $15.00 for seniors (62+), $10.00 for children (3-12), Free for children 2 and under

Enjoy Animal Ark’s Discount Days! 25% off general admission on June 1st and 2nd, July 6th and 7th, and August 3rd and 4th.

Give yourself about 3 hours to explore the Animal Ark. Reservations required for special events due to limited availability. Check their website for details 

Taylor Creek Visitors Center

Three miles north of South Lake Tahoe you’ll find a number of self-guided tours and a viewing chamber to see an underwater view of fish in the lake. 

Take the Rainbow Trail for the viewing chamber. It’s an easy 1/2-mile paved walk.

Location: Visitor Center Rd. CA-89 (3 miles N of South Lake Tahoe), South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Dates/Times: Visitor Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00am-4:30pm, guided tours available at anytime

Cost: Free

Wilderness permits for backcountry access are also available at the visitor’s center. 

Reno Chalk Art & Music Festival at the Atlantis – NOT UPDATED FOR 2024

This is one of my favorite events of the summer. More than 70 artists gather to create incredible artwork with chalk. Friday – Sunday, July 9 – 11, 2021 in the Atlantis West Parking Lot.

Location: Atlantis West Parking Lot

Dates/Times: July 9-11th

Cost: Free

Attend on the final day for the best photos / to see the completed projects. 

Feed the Camel 

Reno’s hump day food truck event featuring local eats and craft beer is back.

Location: Mckinley Arts and Culture Center, 925 Riverside Dr.

Dates/Times: Wednesdays 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Cost: Free

Fleischmann Planetarium at UNR 

Location: North of Lawlor Events Center on North Virginia and 16th Street

Dates/Times: Fridays from 2:30pm to 8pm, Saturdays from 10am to 1pm and 2:30pm to 8:30pm

Cost: General Admission $15, Student/Senior/Service Member

You must purchase your show tickets online in advance. No cash sales can be accommodated at the Planetarium. 

Free permit parking is available in the West Stadium Parking Complex, level 3, just east of the planetarium. Park between designated Planetarium parking signs.

Summer Movie Deals

Throughout Nevada, you can enjoy $1.50 and $2 movies throughout the summer months depending on where you live. Check out our complete article here for full details!

El Rancho Drive-In Movie Theater

There’s always something exciting going on at West Wind Drive-In. Sparks’ retro drive-in movie theater offers a family fun night on Tuesdays with admission prices just $6 for adults. 

Showtimes and ticket info here.

Location: 555 El Rancho Dr.

Dates/Times: Daily

Cost: $8.50 for adults, $2 for children ages 5 to 11, Ages 4 and under free, Tuesdays, $6 per person, $2 per child

Save some cash and bring your own snacks.

Roller Kingdom

Dates/Times: Monday-Friday, 1pm-4pm from June 11-August 9

Cost: $7

During the summer Roller Kingdom offers more skate time for families during the week!

Petting Farm at Andelin Farm

Location: 8100 Pyramid Way, Sparks, NV 89436

Dates/Times: June 5th – July 27th, Wednesday- Saturday 9am-2pm

Cost: $10/person (2 and under are free)

Included in the petting farm are hands-on-experiences like petting and brushing the animals.  You can purchase goat food to feed some animals.  And daily education talks about our porcupines & capybara.  Ask for a schedule when arriving.  Please note that festival activities like the hayride, barrel train, mini zips, express train and others are not operating during the petting farm.

The National Automobile Museum

Families can check out the cars and displays while creating their own automotive adventures. 

The Nevada Space Center is a must-see exhibit at the museum. Kids can be astronauts, fly a spaceship and drive a surface rover.

Location: 10 South Lake Street, Reno, NV 89501

Dates/Times: Monday – Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm, Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm

Cost: Admission varies

Adult: $15 / Senior (62 and older): $13 / Youth (6 to 18 years old): $10 / Children (5 and younger): FREE / Memberships also available.

What Summer Activities Will You Be Enjoying?

Summer is here and we cannot wait! Hope you will be enjoying these summer activities in Reno and Sparks just as much as my family will be.

See you out there, Nevada Moms!

nevada moms contributor shannon
Shannon Bonetti

Shannon Bonetti is a former TV news anchor turned PR consultant expecting her first child in July 2020. She’s originally from the Bay Area but has lived in Nevada for the last 10 years.When she’s not managing clients, Shannon is usually hanging with her hubby Brett and their two pups Timber and Bentley. Her hobbies are cooking, reading and volunteering with local nonprofits. Her favorite weekend activities include day-tripping to Tahoe or scouring the internet for good deals!