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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!

Time to go Wild… Animal Ark is Now Open

Animal Ark is now open after winter hibernation! With 18 special events, free educational lectures by local wildlife professionals, keeper talks, and interactions with  animals and raptors, it’s a great year to visit the sanctuary.

Animal Ark is about a 25 minute drive from Reno, and definitely worth the drive. The staff of volunteers is extremely helpful and knowledgeable about every species that call Reno home. Ever see a black bear playing tether ball? How about two gray wolves wrestling? And for the major thrill seekers, staring a jaguar in the eyes will surely get your heart racing. If you come to the animal ark on a Thursday, you will get to see the cheetahs run around the track at speeds up to 70 mph!

Animal Ark Reno
Admission: $9.50 for Adults, $8 for Seniors, $6.50 for Children (3-12), free for 2 & under

Opening hours: April 1 through Nov. 2, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday

Directions
: From Reno, take Highway 395 North, right on Red Rock Road, go 11.5 miles, then right onto Deerlodge Road to our driveway at 1265 Deerlodge Rd.

Catch me if you can: Last Chance Cheetah Run

Reward yourself with an incredible experience: this event gives you the chance to watch cheetahs running off-leash, across the desert, at speeds over 50 mph as part of their enrichment program.   Learn about the behavior, habitat, conservation and diet of these extraordinary animals, as you watch them at very close proximity.  Enjoy these purring, powerful predators as they run for you prior to the Ark’s seasonal closure.  This opportunity won’t come again until Spring of 2012, so don’t wait!

cheetah

PLEASE RSVP:  reservations are required due to limited seating.  Children must be at least ten years old to attend.

When: Sunday October 16th, promptly at 4:30 PM

Where: Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary & Nature Center

Directions:  From Reno: Take US 395 North to Red Rock Road (Exit 78). Turn right and drive 11.5 miles to Deerlodge Road.  Turn right on Deerlodge Road, drive 1 mile and turn right into signed driveway.

Admission: $40 for Adults, $25 for Children & Seniors

Phone: 1-775-970-3431 (area code required)

Websites: www.AnimalArk.org or www.facebook.com/AnimalArk.Nevada

Two Injured Black Bear Cubs Find Refuge in North Reno

Bear Cub 1The Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary & Nature Center, north of Reno, Nevada, will rehabilitate two injured black bear cubs rescued from the wild in late November. One of the orphaned cubs is a 46-pound male with a broken rear leg. The other is a 16-pound male, rescued by the Bear League, and is extremely malnourished, weighing nearly one third his normal weight and has frostbitten ears. Their recovery will depend on daily monitoring, isolation from humans and attentive veterinary care. The Animal Ark has successfully rehabilitated 13 bears for release back into the wild, and have worked with the Nevada Department of Wildlife on bear issues for the past 21 years.

“Rehabilitating these bears and still giving them a chance to be successfully released back into the wild is not easy,” says Carl Lackey, Nevada Department of Wildlife Black Bear Biologist. “Despite the high odds, Animal Ark has had many successes over the years in cases like these. Only time will tell if these bears can successfully be released successfully in the wild.”

“These cubs lack the survival skills and body weight necessary to make it through the winter,” said Aaron Hiibel, co-founder of the Animal Ark. “We will provide food and veterinary care for them for as long as they require it to get healthy.”

Bear Cub 2The cubs will be nursed back to health in an isolated enclosure at the facility. The Ark lacks the necessary funding to construct a wild black bear rehabilitation facility which would cost nearly $25,000. This enclosure would include dens, an exercise yard, a pond, and security from keepers to prevent the bears from becoming comfortable with human contact.

“A fully functioning rehabilitation facility would be ideal in this case, but we have had success rehabbing bears in the past with the tools and the enclosures at hand,” said Hiibel. “We are committed to nursing these cubs back to health for release back into the wild, but due to the extreme nature of their condition we might have to house them for five to eight months before they are healthy enough and have the proper survival skills to make it in the wild.”

 

Aside from a new rehabilitation enclosure, feeding and housing these cubs is a costly endeavor for the Ark. As a non-profit organization the Animal Ark depends on donors to support large projects such as this. If you are interested in donating funds please contact Animal Ark founders, Aaron or Diana Hiibel at (1-775) 970-3111, or mail donations to Animal Ark, P.O. Box 60057, Reno, NV 89506. You may also donate online at www.AnimalArk.org

About the Animal Ark Animal Ark is a 38-acre wildlife sanctuary and nature center founded in 1981. This facility’s rural setting provides an ideal place to house non-releasable wildlife and allows the public a unique opportunity to view these animals in natural habitat exhibits through glass viewing areas. In addition to the Nevada Department of Wildlife this organization partners with conservation organizations in Africa and is a member of the American Sanctuary Association.

- Diana Hiibel

Giving Thanks in Reno Tahoe: Holiday Feasts, Donating Gizzards & SNOW

Fall leavesCan you believe 2011 is only seven weeks away?! Where has 2010 gone? Each year I find myself asking the same question. I’m sure  it doesn’t help that in Reno Tahoe there are at least 260 days of special events each year – helping the year just whiz by.

But the year is not over yet! With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to dust off those ski boots, dig out the winter gear from the basement and prepare to feast! If you’re in Reno Tahoe over Thanksgiving, the area has LOTS to offer. We’ve compiled a list of happenings in the area – enjoy! (Just a friendly reminder – as you’re digging for your winter duds, be sure to unpack the “comfy” pants for a more pleasant feasting experience.)

Let someone else slave over the stove: Don’t feel like whipping up a fabulous Thanksgiving Feast this year? DON’T! You’ve earned it! Let the chefs of Reno Tahoe do the work for you.

John Ascuaga’s Nugget: Give thanks with family and friends at the Nugget, where chefs will prepare Thanksgiving feasts to satisfy every taste. Holiday menus will be served on Thursday, November 25 only. 

Thanksgiving_BallroomFeast on limitless options at The Rotisserie and Convention Centerbuffets. From the salad bar, start with Peel and Eat Shrimp, Smoked Seafood Platter, Nugget’s Caesar Salad and Roasted Vegetable Salad, as well as tossed green salad and Asparagus Artichoke Salad. Entrees include Roasted Tom Turkey, Beef Sauté Hunter Style and Seafood Medley Sauté Rigatoni Alfredo. The Carving Station will serve up the Nugget’s Famous Rock Salt Roasted Prime Rib of Beef and Honey Glazed Ham. For dessert, choose from an array of pies, cobblers, fruit tarts, mousses, ice cream with toppings and options with no sugar added. The Rotisserie will be serving 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and again from 3:30 pm. to 9 p.m., while the Convention Center buffet runs from Noon to 7 p.m. The price at both locations is $22.95 for adults and $11.95 for children ages 5-11.

A gourmet buffet at the impeccableRestaurante Orozkooffers a salad station which includes King Crab on Ice, Gulf Prawns, Marinated Grilled Vegetable Salad and Exotic Tropical Fruit Platter. The hot entree selections include Fresh Roast Tom Turkey with Sausage Cran-Raisin Stuffing & Giblet Gravy, Armagnac Glazed Short Ribs of Beef, Pistachio Crusted Lamb Loin with Mango Chutney, Sautéed Seafood ala Newburg and Grilled Medallions of Salmon with Plum Tomato Kalamata Olive Relish. There is a carving station and extensive desert selection as well. This special buffet will be served from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The price is $29.95 for adults and $18.95 for children ages 5-11.

The Steakhouse Grill will serve a limited specialty three-course menu, featuring Roasted Free Range Turkey, Crushed Pepper Crusted Elk Loin or Broiled Pacific Salmon Steak. The price is $34.95 for adults and $17.95 for children. The Steakhouse Grill will serve from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Trader Dick’s specialty three-course menu will feature an entree choice of Roasted Tom Turkey, New York Strip Loin Cantonese or King Crab Legs with Ginger Scallions. The price is $31.95 for adults and $15.95 for children ages 5-11. Dinner will be served from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Rosie’s Café will serve a three-course selection as well, featuring Roasted Tom Turkey, Honey Cured Glazed Ham or Seared Salmon Filet. The price will be $11.95 for adults and $6.95 for children ages 5-11. Rosie’s Café is open 24 hours, but the special holiday menu will be offered from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The regular menu will also be available.

Silver LegacySilver Legacy Resort: Chefs at the Silver Legacy are working overtime to make sure every guest enjoys a hassle-free holiday meal this November 25. Special menus have been created at Sterling’s Seafood Steakhouse, Flavors! the Buffet and the Silver Baron Ballroom Buffet to appeal to every table.  Silver Legacy provides both casual and fine dining options serving traditional Turkey Day favorites as well as delectable specialty dishes prepared for those looking to truly treat themselves this Thanksgiving.

From 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day the Silver Baron Ballroom will be filled for a Thanksgiving feast featuring classics like oven roasted turkey, candied sweet potatoes and holiday ambrosia and specialty dishes such as steamed snow crab legs, tortellini carbonara and honey stung chicken.  Don’t forget dessert!  A huge dessert spread will include Gran Mariner mousse, apple cranberry cobbler, chocolate fudge cake and of course, pumpkin pie.  Adults dine for $19.99 and children 6 to 12 eat for $9.99 in the Silver Baron Ballroom this Thanksgiving. 

Fine dining doesn’t have to wait, make reservations at Sterling’s Seafood Steakhouse to experience an elegant Thanksgiving dining experience.  This four course menu starts with carpaccio of filet mignon or a shrimp cocktail and a holiday salad with fresh pomegranate or fall pumpkin bisque.  Enjoy a classic platter of turkey, dressing, yams, mashed potatoes and vegetables with homemade gravy and cranberry sauce.  A special dessert of pumpkin cheesecake with cinnamon sour cream crust and warm fresh cranberry compote concludes the meal, served for $46 per person beginning at 5 p.m.

Flavors! the Buffet will serve Thanksgiving dinner from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.  Fill your plate with favorites from the carving station and special dishes such as fresh seafood ravioli, steamed clams, autumn squash bisque and pork Milanese.  Keep to tradition with a platter of roasted turkey and honey ham, cranberry sauce and grandma’s apple sage dressing.  Save room for desserts like peach cobbler, bread pudding with rum sauce, brownies, chocolate fudge cake, pumpkin pie and more!   The whole family can enjoy this feast, just $19.99 for adults and $9.99 for children ages 6 to 12.

EldoradoEldorado Hotel Casino: From traditional dishes to dinners that put a new spin on everyone’s old favorites, the Eldorado Hotel Casino is the place to fill your plate this Thanksgiving.  Special menus and pricing will be available in The Buffet, Tivoli Gardens, The Prime Rib Grill and Roxy on Thursday, November 25.  Giving thanks never tasted so good!

For a creative take on a Thanksgiving feast visit Tivoli Gardens, where diners can enjoy a choice of Caesar salad or butternut squash and pear soup, turkey scaloppine a’la La Strada with roasted rosemary potatoes, acorn squash and a slice of pumpkin pie or tiramisu all for just $14.99 per person from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

The Buffet is serving all your traditional American favorites this Thanksgiving in addition to our popular peel and eat shrimp, mushroom ravioli and top class carving station.  The Buffet is your spot whether you’re in the mood for a classic turkey dinner with all the delicious fixings or something new like Dungeness crab, orange rosemary lamb, lobster bolognaise or roasted duck.  The chefs are also putting a new spin on some Thanksgiving favorites; with turkey chili, turkey pozole or a turkey pot pie The Buffet has everyone’s favorite flavors of the season.  Adults enjoy for only $22.95 and kids for just $11.50 on Thanksgiving from 11:30 a.m. until close.  Club Eldorado Gold members and above pay just $17.95 for this amazing feast.

An unforgettable four course Thanksgiving masterpiece awaits guests at Roxy, where guests will enjoy cinnamon squash soup with cream fraiche, a butter leaf salad with blue cheese, persimmon, candied walnuts and a cranberry vinaigrette, house smoked ham and roasted Diestel turkey, sweet potato pie, mashed potatoes, crispy green beans and pumpkin pie with vanilla bean ice cream for dessert for $35 per adult or $17 for children 12 and under.

At The Prime Rib Grill chefs have created a delicious Thanksgiving menu with extra flair for just $22.95 per person beginning at 4 p.m.  Start with a butternut squash and pear soup and a trip to the famous salad bar.  Then enjoy roasted turkey carved to order and topped with fixings including apple-sage dressing, homemade gravy, yam and sweet potato mash, green bean casserole and fresh cranberry sauce.  A special holiday dessert will also be presented by the Eldorado’s expert bakers. 

KhanDonate your gizzard: If waiting in ungodly long lines before the sun rises the day after Thanksgiving isn’t your thing, pack up the family and head north to the Animal Ark to see Mother Nature in all her natural glory. Plus, if you have any raw turkey necks and gizzards left over from your holiday meal, the critters at the Ark will be very grateful for the donation. Check out the coyotes and bobcats as they put on their gorgeous winter coats and witness as the bears prepare for their long winter hibernation.

Tap into your creative side: Let’s be honest. For some of us, the day after Thanksgiving is meant to be a day of recovery. Rather than stay at home tempted by the lure of leftovers, why not explore Reno’s arts and culture? There is less than one week remaining to check out Pablo Picasso’s Musical Instruments exhibit at the Nevada Museum of Art. Or jump right into the next holiday with the Eldorado Hotel Casino’s newest musical production – Christmas on Broadway.  Shop for unique gifts at John Ascuaga’s Nugget and Williams LTD ”Crafts for Christmas event November 26-28 at the Nugget’s Rose Ballroom. The event is free and will feature more than 100 Christmas craft and gift booths.  Had enough arts? Watch the Nevada Wolfpack as they take on Boise St, or catch the Reno Bighorns in action against Bakersfield. The leftovers will always be there, these exhibits and sporting events won’t.

Snow BranchLet is snow, let is snow! This weekend the daytime highs in Reno are falling into the mid-30s and the National Weather Service is calling for a 70% chance of snow Saturday and Sunday! Skiers and boarders across Reno Tahoe will be donning a permagrin in anticipation. A handful of ski resorts are preparing to open for the 2010-2011 season! After loading up on a delicious Thanksgiving feast, you’ll be sufficiently fed to shred the slopes!

Alpine Meadows – opening December 10

Boreal Mountain Resort – open to the top

Diamond Peak – opening December 16

Homewood Mountain Resort – opening TBA

Mt. Rose – Ski Tahoe – opening November 19

Northstar-at-Tahoe – opening November 19

Royal Gorge Cross Country  – opening TBA 

Soda Springs – opening TBA

Spooner Lake Cross Country – opening TBA

Squaw Valley USA – opening November 20

Sugar Bowl – opening TBA

Tahoe Cross Country – opening TBA

Tahoe Donner Cross Country – opening TBA

Tahoe Donner Downhill – opening December 10

Happy holidays from all of us here at Visit Reno Tahoe!