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All Aboard! Bay Area Trains are Headed To Reno!

Key Holidays

If you’re looking to spice up your next trip to Reno, opt for a unique mode of transportation to get you through the Sierra Nevada Mountains!

The Reno Fun Train and Sierra Scenic Train are both easy, affordable, and special ways to get you from the San Francisco and Sacramento areas. Key Holidays understand the importance of convenient transportation, but they have taken it to the next level with these entertaining train options. The midweek Sierra Scenic Train offers historical narration, meals, a café/bar, and a Piano Lounge Car where you can relax and take in the gorgeous views of the Sierras alongside some great entertainment while cruising through the Donner Pass. The weekend Reno Fun Train is the party train complete with a performance in the Dance Car by Elvis, a Smoking Car with a Cigar Lounge, first class table dining, and more that has been serving up a good time for 52 years (for passengers 21 and older)! For some seasonal fun, the midweek Sierra Scenic Train offers wintery specials February through March that gives passengers some amazing views of the snow-covered Sierras. These trains often have themed rides, such as Soul Train, Mardi Gras, and Motown to add to the fun! Trains depart from Bay Area and Sacramento Amtrak stations and arrive in Reno (other Amtrak stops available at an extra cost). Many Reno hotels provide shuttle services to and from the station to add to the convenience of this experience. Whether you’re heading to Reno for a business trip, a family vacation, or a getaway with friends, the Reno Fun Train and Sierra Scenic Train will all get you where you need to go in style.

For more information, a complete list of amenities, themes, scheduling, and reservations visit Key Holidays’ webpage here.

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Locals are Glowing with Holiday Spirit!

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One of the best parts about the holiday season is all the decorations that people put together. Some people put Christmas lights on their houses the day after Thanksgiving and some turn their lights on even earlier. Checking out Christmas light displays is one of the most fun and easiest ways to get into the holiday spirit, and it’s a great family activity. If you’re wondering where to find the best collection of holiday lights, we’ve found some great places around town with extremely festive decorations!

Lights of Tenea is an extremely popular residential lights show that has been a local favorite since 2004. This year’s show will top those of previous years with wild decorations such as eleven animated fireworks, seven animated characters, six lasers and three special effects lights, falling snow effects, and over forty six thousand lights! All of that and more will definitely inspire you to do some decorating of your own! This local show has always been spectacular, but perhaps the best part is their involvement in charity work. The homeowners of the Tenea house started fundraising for Evelyn Mount’s Outreach Program back in 2006 and soon after added Friends of Multiple Sclerosis and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to their efforts. Visit their website for directions, show times, and more information on the Lights of Tenea history and their fundraising programs.

In Sparks on Junction Drive the Light Show Bro will be performing his synchronized musical light show now through December 31st. At this show you will see thousands of lights synchronized to a 13 minute mix of music, which you can listen to on the radio at 89.3 FM or through their website. This year donations for the Northern Nevada SPCA, so viewers are encouraged to bring item such as dog food, cat food, blankets, and cleaning supplies. For a full list of necessities and wish list items, check out the SPCA tab on their website.

A local holiday light fanatic is a finalist for USA Today’s America’s Best Private Holiday Lights competition. Jeff Kendell’s home, which is located on Solitude Drive in Galena, is decorated with over 30,000 lights that are synchronized to four festive songs. This home has been covered in holiday decorations for eight years, and Kendell has no plans of slowing down. According to the homeowner and decorator, the display takes “110 hours to put up and another 70 to take down, plus 60 to 120 hours to program each song.” Dedication like that has surely paid off, and this display is not one to miss!

The Hidden Valley Parade of Lights has been lighting up east Reno for 32 years. The Christmas light displays in the neighborhood is a contest of the homeowners association that always attracts viewers from the public. The neighborhood tradition gets many homes to participate, and it’s a great spot to go for some holiday light viewing. To enter the neighborhood take Pembroke Avenue east from McCarran Boulevard and drive past Rosewood Lakes Golf Course. Once you see the holiday lights you’ll know you’re in the right place!

Exciting “Must Do” Holiday Events Around Town

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The holidays are here, and our area has tons of winter activities for you to participate in to keep you and your family happy and full of holiday cheer. This season is always a busy one, so to make things easy we’ve made a list of events going on around town and put a few of them here for you. All you have to do is have fun!

The Reno Ice Rink is always a favorite for this month. This year it will be hosted at the Reno Aces ballpark and will be open all the way through February. It’s definitely cold out on the ice, but skating is always fun regardless of your skill level. People and children of all ages head to the rink for some holiday fun, so be sure to join them! For more information visit our blog post dedicated to the Ice Rink.

The Eldorado is ringing in the holiday season with “Christmas Wonderland”, one of London’s biggest Christmas shows. The Eldorado is calling it “a holiday extravaganza of pure Christmas magic”. The show will be filled with dancing and singing of traditional Christmas carols, such as “Winter Wonderland” and “O Holy Night”, and the audience is encouraged to sing along. There will be beautiful costumes, a gorgeous set, a skilled and entertaining cast, and “the highest kicking chorus girls this side of the North Pole.” Performances will take place Tuesday through Sunday until December 27. Tickets are on sale now.

For some grown-up fun, the Santa Crawl will be taking place on Saturday, December 13. T’is the season to dress up in your best Santa costume and crawl to over 50 local bars with your friends! This crawl is expected to draw in a whopping 15,000 festive crawlers who will take over the streets of Reno for a night. Santa, reindeer, elves, and Ms. Claus will all come together for one giant holiday party! Be sure to buy your official Santa Crawl cup at participating retailers around town and get ready to have some fun!

Reno’s Wine Walk is holiday themed this month and is encouraging walkers to dress in their ugliest Christmas sweaters for the event. Head down to the Riverwalk District on Saturday, December 20 and enjoy wine from nearly 30 local businesses in the downtown area. For $20 you will get a wine glass and access to some delicious wines and a great time, and on the 20th a portion of the proceeds will benefit Cancer Awareness of Nevada.

For some holiday fun up in Tahoe, visit the Resort at Squaw Creek for A Star Spangled Christmas where the Truckee Tahoe Community Chrous will be singing for all to hear. They will be commemorating the bicentennial of our national anthem by performing the Star Spangled Banner, a Star Medley and Star Carol. The Chorus will also perform Schubert’s Mass in G, Gaudete!, a Jolly Jingle Christmas Medley and a sing along to get in the holiday spirit. They will be performing December 13 at 7:00 pm and December 14 at 2:00 pm. Get your tickets now!

December 20 through January 3 Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows will be hosting Holiday Celebrations up on the slopes! Santa will be skiing along with Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley throughout the month, so keep an eye out for them! In the Village carolers will be singing your favorite holiday songs, so cozy up to the fire and listen while you sip on some hot chocolate. Sqauw’s Olympic Ice Pavilion and SnoVentures Activity Zone are also great spots for some family holiday fun. There will also be a kids scavenger hunt during the month-long celebration to go along with the other holiday festivities. Head up to the mountain to be a part of this winter celebration!

All Aboard The Polar Express!

The Polar Express is headed to Nevada!

Looking for a fun and unique way to celebrate this holiday season? The Polar Express is pulling through Carson city all month long to offer you and your family an unforgettable winter train ride. Rail Events Inc. is inviting you to join them for a ride inspired by the holiday book and movie, Polar Express. This trip to the North Pole will be filled with tons of holiday-related activities, such as caroling and a reading of The Polar Express with hot chocolate and cookies, followed by a meeting with Santa who will hand out sleigh bells to the children, just like in the story. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas to stay comfy and warm during the trip. This train ride is something that the entire family can enjoy together, and the story of the Polar Express is one that many people are familiar with.

The event is one hour long and will take place on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through December 22nd this year. The Polar Express departs from the Carson City Eastgate Depot. Tickets tend to sell out quickly, so be sure to get them here while you can! VIP parlor car tickets are also being offered this season.

For information on The Polar Express event or to find other train stops throughout the country, head to Rail Events Inc. to find the answer to all your questions. For information on the local stop, visit V&T Railway’s website.

Reno Aces Will Host Reno’s Ice Rink This Winter

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Reno’s popular ice skating rink is moving to a new location this winter: Reno Ace’s Ballpark! This new “Ace Skating” spot should be a positive change, as it gives skaters a fun place to go and allows the Reno Aces to stay connected to fans and locals during their off season. With 20 downtown area lots within walking distance from the ballpark, parking should be hassle-free for anybody who is heading to the rink. For pre- and post-skating indulgences, the Aces Ballpark has options such as Arroyo Mexican Grill and the Freight House District, along with the abundance of dining spots throughout Downtown Reno. The rink will open on November 25 and is said to be open through February with special times for holiday sessions. The Aces are hosting a Family Skate Day on November 28, so bring all of your relatives to the rink to continue your Thanksgiving family fun! Session prices vary by age, but you can also purchase a 10-Visit Punch Pass if you know you’ll be doing a lot of skating this winter!  Ice skating is the perfect activity for the winter/holiday season. It’s reasonably priced, convenient, and fun for people of every age, so don’t miss out on this Reno winter tradition!

Skating rink hours will vary during the week but are set for 10 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. Sundays.

Admission to the skating rink is $7.50 for ages 13-54. For children 3-12 and seniors 55 and older, the cost is $5.50. Skates can be rented for $2.50 per session.

Also, Christmas-themed movies are planned in the 250 lounge at the stadium, in addition to other special happenings.

If you’re excited about ice skating but aren’t able to to brave the cold, check out the LIVE STREAM on the City of Reno website!

For information on hours, ticket pricing, and any other stuff you can think of head to the Reno Aces website to find the answers to all of your questions!

Have You Been to Legends Outlets at Sparks lately? Here’s Why You Should!

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Legends and the Outlets at Sparks is a great destination for shopping, dining, and movie viewing and you should definitely add it to your must-go the next time you go out!

The mall is open seven days a week (Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm). The Outlets have both outlet and factory stores for popular brands at lower prices, such as Nike, COACH, Banana Republic, Levi’s, and Converse. They also have big-name stores such as Forever21, Scheels, Target, and Best Buy. The mall website even lists most store sales when they happen so that you can easily get the best savings. There is definitely something for every style, age, and budget so this mall is a one-stop shop; perfect for all the holiday shopping that needs to get done!

If you’re tired of shopping and want to relax a bit, the Galaxy IMAX Theatres are now open. This new Luxury + theater has all the components that make up a unique movie-going experience: an IMAX screen, plush reclining power seats, all digital sound and projection (with Dolby Atmos surround sound), two giant 4K screens, top-of-the-line MasterImage 3D systems, and guest service that goes above and beyond most movie theaters. For example, guests have the ability to reserve their preferred seats before they arrive at no extra cost. The theater always has the most recent and hottest movies for you to see, and we all know that this time of year brings blockbusters to the big screens! It’s things like this, and so much more, that make this theater a great place to go.

If your time at the Outlets at Sparks and Legends is making you hungry there are plenty of places to eat throughout the complex. For quick snacks check out Freshberry Frozen Yogurt Cafe or Perk Up Coffee Shop. For a more substantial meal there is Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, Fudruckers, and Subway. Or you could check out two of the newest restaurants on the property, O’Cleary’s and CBQ. With so many options at the Legends, nobody in your party will go hungry while in Sparks!

When it comes to shopping or entertainment, Legends Outlets at Sparks is a great place to go. They have everything you’ll need to get your shopping done and to have a great time while doing it, so be sure to head out to Sparks the next time you’re looking for a good time.

Thanksgiving Fun For Everyone!

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Thanksgiving is a time for family and close friends, and the long weekend gives us all plenty of time to relax and have some fun. The Reno area has quite a few events to celebrate the holiday, and whether you’re looking to bring your family along or trying to escape them for a little while, there will definitely be something that you can look forward to!

Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary will be open during Thanksgiving Weekend, both Friday and Saturday, from 11:00 to 3:00. The park is typically closed during the colder months, but they are opening during the holiday weekend to give visitors a chance to see their predators in their thick winter coats. Animal Ark staff encourages visitors to bring raw turkey necks, gizzards, and any leftover uncooked low-sodium turkey mean for the animals. The predators love raw poultry, and donations will really help the Ark throughout the winter. Be sure to layer your warm clothing because the weather this time of year tends to be fickle! Tickets are as follow: Adult $12, Seniors $11, Children $10, and children 2 and under are free.

Scheels Turkey Trot takes place on Thanksgiving morning beginning at 8:30 am. The Trot starts and ends in the Scheels parking lot at Legends. Participants have the choice between either a 10K timed race, which will take runners through city streets and bike paths or a 2-mile walk/run that will circle around the Sparks Marina Park and is not timed. Both courses are great for both runners and walkers, so participants are able to take their chosen course and their own pace. Registration costs vary between $25 and $60 depending on how and when you sign up for the race. Every participant will receive a Turkey Trot sweatshirt, fruit, and refreshments at the race. Ticket proceeds benefit Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful and the City of Sparks Scholarship Fund. For more information and how to register for the run, visit the Scheels website or call (775) 353-7898.

Grand Sierra Resort will host a Vietnamese Thanksgiving concert on Saturday, November 29. The show will take place in the Grand Theater at 8 pm and will feature 12 Vietnamese performers including: Tuan Ngoc, Huong Thoy, Manh Quynh, MC. Giang Ngoc, Hoang Thug Linh, Baovy-Boa Liem, Andy Quach, Lilian, Thien Kim, Nugyen Hong Nhung, and Mai Thanh Son. The evening will be filled with song and dance to celebrate Thanksgiving. Tickets are on sale on GSR’s events website.

Skiing is also a popular Thanksgiving event, and a great way to burn off some of those extra turkey-related calories! A few ski resorts, such as Mt. Rose, Northstar, and Heavenly Lake Tahoe are scheduled to open before Thanksgiving. Check out our ski blog to see which resorts will be open and running during the holiday weekend.

Reno Aces Ballpark is the new home of Reno’s ice rink! The rink is set to open on November 25, but they will have holiday hours for Thanksgiving (10 am to 10 pm). Admission prices are as follows: $7.50 for teens and adults (ages 13-54) and $5.50 for children (ages 3-12) and seniors (ages 55+). Skate rental costs each guest $2.50, but the rink is offering a discount for groups of 20 or more who make reservations in advance, so bring the whole family! Ice skating is perfect for family members of (almost) all ages, and it’s a great way to spend some time together during the holiday!

For special Thanksgiving menus and deals around town, read our blog on eating out for Thanksgiving 2014.

Happy Thanksgiving, Reno. We hope you have a wonderful holiday!

International Festival of Magic is looking to casts a spell on Reno

Spellbinders, the International Festival of Magic, comes to Reno for its inaugural event, Oct. 14—18, 2014, with unbelievable, mind-boggling feats of prestidigitation taking place all over town – from Washoe County Libraries to local coffee shops to the University of Nevada, Reno and the Pioneer Center. The public is invited to marvel at the talents of world champion magicians free of charge.

From the very biggest stage illusions to intimate close-up miracles, and everything in between, Spellbinders has an unbelievable line-up of award-winning magicians bringing recognition to the Biggest Little City. The lineup includes:

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Washoe County Libraries | Oct. 14th—17th  4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Featuring: Lennart Green, Bob Sheets, Shoot Ogawa, and John Carney.

Locations: Northwest Reno Library, Spanish Springs Library (no Friday show), Sparks Library, and South Valleys Library.

University of Nevada, Reno | Oct.16th  5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Featuring: Dana Daniels’ No Show.

Location: Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center (Wells Fargo Auditorium).

University of Nevada, Reno | Oct. 17th   5 p.m.

Featuring: Dana Daniels’ No Show.

Location: Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center (Wells Fargo Auditorium).

Local Coffee Houses  | Oct.15th—17th  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Featuring: Gregory Wilson’s Coffee House Conjuring

Locations: The Jungle, Swill and more to be announced.

Pioneer Center | October 18th  2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Featuring: The Gala Show with international stars of magic Joaquin Ayala, Rocco, Dan Birch, Tina Lenert, Les Arnold & Dazzle, Michael Goudeau, The Flying Cavettis, and Larry Wilson.

Location: Pioneer Center. Tickets are available from any Washoe County Library, for free.

For a full schedule of events and information, visit www.SpellbindersReno.com

Halloween Activities For The Whole Family!

For family-friendly Halloween fun, the Reno area has oodles of options to keep kids safe and entertained!

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The Wilbur D. May Museum in Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is hosting their third Great May Center Pumpkin Walk on Saturday, October 18. This new Reno tradition is a favorite for families and people of all ages, and it draws over one thousand visitors each year. Visitors line up to view hand-carved pumpkins throughout the museum and arboretum, and the May Center will have 500 pumpkins on glowing this year! Kids are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat during the walk. Fall refreshments such as hot chocolate and cider will be available to keep you warm throughout the night. Go to www.maycenter.com for prices, times, and more information.

Virginia City, one of the most haunted towns in the country, is offering safe trick-or-treating for kids at shops around town as an opportunity to celebrate both the city’s history and the spooky holiday. Later in the evening, Virginia City’s Halloween parade will coincide with the Nevada Statehood parade, which is celebrating Nevada’s 150th birthday. Parade viewers are encouraged to dress up in costume, and the event is a not-so-spooky alternative to scarier Halloween events going on in the city. For a full list of Virginia City’s Halloween events visit www.visitvirginiacitynv.com/events.

On October 26 visit Pumpkinpalooza at Sparks Victorian Square. Here, families can meet with fortune-tellers, build and race a pumpkin in the Pumpkin Derby, compete in a pumpkin seed spitting contest, and end the day with the official Lighting of the Pumpkins and more! Children are invited to wear costumes and participate in the children’s costume parade. It’s a celebration of all things pumpkin and is a fun way to get kids in the Halloween spirit. See http://www.pumpkinpalooza.org/ for more details.

Scheels is hosting two events for the holiday this year. On October 27, stop by Scheels to decorate your own pumpkin! Kids from the Reno area will be getting crafty at 6:00 that evening, hoping to make the perfect Halloween pumpkin to complete their spooky decorations. On October 31, kids are welcome to participate in a Halloween scavenger hunt throughout the store where they will trick-or-treat and have a fun time. For both Scheels events, kids will receive a free Ferris wheel ride. Scheels encourages you to email events RS@scheels.com if you have any questions.

Reno Street Food and Magic 95.5 is hosting their “Truck or Treat” event at Idlewild Park on October 30. With 25 food trucks and 20 candy stations, this is another fun, safe trick-or-treating option for families. The night will be filled with food, candy, and a children’s costume contest, so don’t miss out! See Reno Street Food’s Facebook page for more information.

To make sure your costume is the best on the block check out Faces 4 Fun face painting at Circus Circus Reno for trick-or-treating and costume parties. The team of artists has extended their hours for the Halloween season, and they all have impressive experience with painting and promise to bring your costume, whether is a zombie or a fairy, to the next level. Visit Circus Circus Reno for more information and scheduling.

Three local farms are opening their doors and sacrificing their corn for family-friendly corn mazes all month long. Corley Ranch, Andelin Family Farm, and Lattin Farms all have corn mazes and fall activities this month to enjoy the fall season! View http://blog.visitrenotahoe.com/corn-mazes for information on these farms and all they have to offer.

Nevada’s Corn Mazes: Fun For The Whole Family!

Corn Maze season is upon us! In honor of Nevada’s 150th Anniversary of Statehood many local farms are transforming their fields of corn into corn mazes. A few farms in the Reno area will host fall games and activities along with their corn mazes, and each farm offers a unique and fun experience.

Lazy P Maze

Lazy P Farm is opening up their doors for a Fall Festival during October to celebrate Nevada’s birthday. The festival will include a Nevada 150 themed corn maze, farm animals, and lessons on farming and growing fall crops. Lazy P is a little far out, located in Winnemucca, NV, but the Sesquicentennial themed festival is well worth the drive!

Lazy P Fall Farm Festival is open during various dates and times in September and October. Family activities include a Nevada 150 themed corn maze, farm animals and lessons on how to grow pumpkins and corn. Lazy P is located in Winnemucca, NV at 8280 Grass Valley Road.  For more information call (775)625-1194 or visit www.lazypfarm.com.

The Corley Ranch in Gardnerville, NV is open every day until October 31. Their property includes a hay maze, a pumpkin patch, pig races, a bounce house, and wagon rides; all sure to create a fun day for the whole family.

For something a little closer to Reno check out Andelin Family Farm, which is open until November 1st. The theme for this year’s corn maze is “Nevada Proud” as a celebration of our state’s big day. Daily activities include pumpkin picking, hay rides, pony rides, and a new game called Farm Scene Investigation. Andelin Farm is located just a quick drive from Reno in Sparks, NV.

Want a history lesson along with your fun? The Nevada Maize Maze at Lattin Farms was home to one of the first corn mazes in Nevada, which was created in 1998. This year they are open through the month of October, and their corn maze is an educational one. Throughout the maze you will find quiz trails that offer information on Nevada’s history. Lattin Farms can be found in Fallon, NV and is sure to be a great time!

For opening times and dates, as well as prices and activities on these three farms visit or call:

www.lazypfarm.com or (775)625-1194

www.corleyranch.com or (775)265-6506

www.andelinfamilyfarm.com or (775)530-8032

lattinfarmsnevada@gmail.com or (775)867-3750