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Boomtown Celebrates 50 Years

Boomtown Casino Hotel celebrates its 50th birthday in April and showcases a multi-million dollar casino remodel while reflecting upon the history that started as a small café on I-80.

Get excited for new twists to the famous “All-You-Can-Eat” Lobster Buffet, the new Bistro 2100, Market Fresh Deli, Baja Mexican and Peet’s Coffee. Plus, additional features will be debuted, including:

  • New Guitar Bar: Featuring live entertainment every night
  • New Carpet: In the 40,000 square-foot casino
  • New Slots: Featuring a variety of your favorite games
  • New VIP Area: Featuring new machines and private bathrooms
  • New Arcade Games: In the Fun Center, a kid & family friendly zone
  • New Sports Book: Wall-to-wall TVs with improved soft and comfortable seating

“This is a fun and friendly casino,” said Boomtown Chief Executive Officer Dean DiLullo. “The improvements we have made to the property are exciting; however, they are not as important as the fabulous guest service our team provides each and every day at Boomtown.”


Reno’s Family Friendly Halloween 2012

If you’re looking for family friendly Halloween excitement, you’re in luck. Reno Tahoe USA has a calendar packed with unique tricks and treats that you and your family won’t soon forget.

Free Trick or Treat Street – Circus Circus Reno 1_jackolanterns-300x225

October 26, 5-8pm

Dive into Halloween fun for the whole family at Circus Circus Reno’s fifth annual Free Trick or Treat Street, where everyone will enjoy free candy, treats, games and giveaways! Witness the thrills and chills on the Midway as international circus stars take the stage for a dazzling show of acrobatics, talented K-9s and Russian contortionists. Costumes are encouraged, so get creative and have a spooky family picture taken in front of the Halloween back drop.

Halloween Hollow – Riverwalk District

October 27, 4-7pm

Halloween excitement is soaring to new levels with free family games, live music, bounce houses, a doggie costume contest and free trick-or-treating. But this trick or treating isn’t just for the costumed candy seeking youngsters – bring your pets along too! Grab a “treasure map” and venture to the participating Riverwalk District merchants, collecting candy for your ghosts and goblins, and dog treats your furry friends.

Halloween Trick or Treat – Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum

October 27, 5:30-9:30pm

Bring the kids and join the second annual Halloween Trick or Treat at the The Discovery, featuring Halloween themed art projects, spooky science demonstrations, a cardboard maze and trick or treating form gallery to gallery. Admission is only $2 for children and adults, and children under the age of 1 are free.

Safe Zone for Trick or Treating – Legends at Sparks Marina

October 31, 5-7pm

Offering parents some peace of mind, Legends at Sparks Marian is hosting a FREE trick or treat throughout the mall, ensuring a safe environment for little ones. In addition to candy, kids will have a blast with bounce houses and facing painting as well. Costumes are required, but Legends asks that you leave the masks at home. Be sure to stop by Scheels in your costume and receive a FREE             ride on the Ferris wheel.

Here’s a few more family friendly Halloween events to look forward to:

Thrill the World – October 27

V&T Pumpkin Express Trains – October 27

Goblin Parade in Virginia City – October 31

V&T Haunted Halloween Evening Train – October 31

Looking for some Halloween fun for adults? Check out our Reno’s Haunted Nightlife blog.

Costume Contests, Mayhem and a Hoedown?… An Unforgettable 2011 Halloween Weekend

If you’re looking for a place to take the kids, dog, or that costume you’ve been meticulously planning since last year, you’ve clicked to the right spot.

1_jackolanterns-300x225Friday, Oct 28

Trick or Treat Street

  • Bring your trick or treaters to the Circus Circus midway for our free and safe Trick or Treat Street where kids of all ages will enjoy free candy, prizes, and complimentary child ID.

Saturday, Oct 29

Monsters and Mayhem

  • Guys, ghouls and ghosts will scare up some wicked fun in downtown Reno’s Riverwalk District during the 5th annual Riverwalk Merchants Halloween Hollow event. This year’s theme is “Monsters and Mayhem” and costumes are heavily encouraged. Halloween fun is kicked up a notch with free family games, trick-or-treating, live music, a doggie costume contest and more at the West Street Plaza Halloween Weekend. This year we have also included a special trick-or-treat route for your pets. Maps can be downloaded from renoriver.org/halloween the week of the event or picked up the day of the event at the Riverwalk booth.

Halloween Hoedown

  • Make the Nugget your place for Halloween fun this year! Join us in the Casino Cabaret  for our Halloween Hoedown featuring:$1,000 costume contest: $500 1st place, $300 2nd place, and $200 3rd place, FREE live music with Rick Hays & American Steel, $1 Coors, Coors Light, Margarita or Bloody Mary for patrons in costume and KBUL 98 FM live radio remote.

1_hh_web_graphicSpooky Slots Tournament

  • Don’t chicken out of this slot tournament at Harrah’s Reno, $25,000 is one the line!

Atlantis’ Frighteningly Fun Costume Contest

  • Show off your spooky, spunky and spirited side at Atlantis’ Frighteningly Fun Costume Contest! Come dressed in your best Halloween digs for our FREE Costume Contest and you could win your share of $1,000 in Cash & Prizes! Themes include: Most Original, Funniest, Best Casino Theme, Scariest, Best Couple and Best Overall.

Sunday, Oct 30

Atlantis Fun Center’s Spooktacular Halloween Party

  • Reveal your funky, funny and frightening side at the Atlantis Fun Center’s Spooktacular Halloween Party on Sunday, October 30, 2011.  Bring your kids, dressed in their best Halloween costumes, for an all-day safe Trick-or-Treating event and FREE Costume Contest.

Atlantis’ Frighteningly Fun Costume Contest

  • Show off your spooky, spunky and spirited side at Atlantis’ Frighteningly Fun Costume Contest! Come dressed in your best Halloween digs for our FREE Costume Contest and you could win your share of $1,000 in Cash & Prizes! Themes include: Most Original, Funniest, Best Casino Theme, Scariest, Best Couple and Best Overall.

Monday, Oct 31

Atlantis’ Frighteningly Fun Costume Contest

  • Show off your spooky, spunky and spirited side at Atlantis’ Frighteningly Fun Costume Contest! Come dressed in your best Halloween digs for our FREE Costume Contest and you could win your share of $1,000 in Cash & Prizes! Themes include: Most Original, Funniest, Best Casino Theme, Scariest, Best Couple and Best Overall.

Looking for a night out on the town with your crew? Check out our list of 2011 Halloween Hotspots.

One Giant Leap Forward for the Sparks Heritage Museum

sparks in spaceThe Sparks Heritage Museum became the first Museum in Nevada to incorporate I-pad technology into their exhibits.  Thanks to a grant from the Ben Snow Foundation, the Museum has been working to create a more interactive experience which will appeal to patrons of all ages.   The first exhibit, the I-pads, will appear in the new Sparks in Space exhibit. 

It is a little know fact that the rockets that got the first man on and off the moon were developed and tested right here in Spanish Springs, at the Nevada Field Laboratory, a facility operated by Rocket dyne.  In partnership with the Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada, the Sparks in Space exhibit presents an in-depth look at the US space program with an emphasis on manned space flight and the role the City of Sparks has played.   The three major topics include: “From Railroads to Rockets,” “Animals in Space,” and “The Next Generation.” 

 From Railroads to Rockets

Most people know Sparks began as a railroad town. Now, thanks to an oral history project conducted by Dick Dreiling, a Museum Board Member, the important role Sparks played in the development of space transportation systems is documented and on exhibit for all to learn.   Fun interactive bonuses include the new I-pads kiosks in the Space exhibit, as well as in the Museum’s Railroad Room.  Children can learn about outer space on apps astroresearched and selected by the Sparks High School Astronomy students. Visitors can have their picture taken looking like an astronaut, or try their hand at piloting a space craft and landing on the moon using the “Return to Camelot” simulator.

Animals in Space

It just so happened that the Museum Docent is the Veterinarian who supervised the mice that went to the Moon on the Apollo 17 mission –  Dr. Richard Simmonds.  Not only does he volunteer at the museum teaching visitors about Truckee Meadows history, but he is also a Challenger Center Board Member.  His passion for teaching is evident in the exhibit. Visitors can learn about various animal astronauts including dogs, mice, fish and primates, and see first-hand the prototype of the “mouse hotel” that Dr. Simmonds helped develop to care for the mice on their journey into outer space.   Interestingly, the species of mice that travelled into space exist in the deserts of Nevada and were chosen as they require very little water to survive.

Over the next six months, the Museum will offer a series of activities focusing on the different topics featured in the Sparks in Space exhibit, including dome programs, movies, poetry readings and lectures.     Blast off with your family at the Sparks Heritage Museum! 

The Sparks Heritage Museum is located at 814 Victorian Avenue, Sparks on the corner of Pyramid Way. 

The Museum is open  Saturdays and Sundays 1 pm to 4 pm, Tuesday to Friday 11 am to 4 pm

ADMISSION:  $5 for Adults, Children 12 and under Free.  Active Military and their families are FREE.   

For more details please call (775) 355-1144.

Winter Family Nature Days at Galena Creek

Galena CreekBirds are amazing, beautiful creatures. Their elegant plumage, lovely song, and graceful flight make them welcome in nearly any garden. The first of the Winter Family Nature Days series at Galena Creek Visitor Center will look at some of the astounding adaptations and behaviors of birds and ways to help local bird populations.

 

Bring the whole family to Galena Creek Visitor Center to help us kick off the first event in our Winter Family Nature Days series! A staff naturalist will be discussing some of the fascinating abilities of birds and how to boost birds in your backyard. After the talk, visitor center staff will guide you as you create your own pine cone bird feeder, and be available to answer questions on bird adaptations, behavior and local species. While you’re here, you may also want to take in our new exhibits, do a bit of shopping at our gift store, or go for a quick snow stroll on our nature trail.

 

This event is free, with a suggested donation of $5. Supplies for bird feeders will be provided. For more information, please call (775) 849-4948 or email visitorcenter@thegreatbasininstitute.org.

-Stefanie Givens

The Galena Creek Visitor Center is managed by Washoe County Regional Parks & Open Space under a special use permit from the US Forest Service. Great Basin Institute operates the Visitor Center, provides volunteers and staff, and offers educational programming for visitors of all ages. The mission of the GCVC is to encourage understanding, appreciation and appropriate use of the natural, cultural and historical resources of the Galena Canyon Area and the Mount Rose Scenic Byway.  To learn more about the Visitor Center, upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and more, please call the number below or visit our website at www.thegreatbasininstitute.org. Beginning October 15th, through April 30th, the Galena Creek Visitor Center is open Friday – Sunday from 9am – 4pm.  (775) 849-4948.

It’s a Wild Celebration! Predators Tear through Piñatas

animals_canids-coyoteIt’s not your typical way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but by now you’ve learned that Reno is far from expected. Grab the kids and head over to the Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary and Nature Center to watch wild animals stalk, pounce and chase piñatas. (It’s only 25 miles north of downtown Reno.)

Here’s a quick cultural lesson for you – piñatas are brightly-colored papier-mâché covered cardboard shapes believed to have originated among the Aztecs, Mayans and other native peoples of Mexico. Back then, they made clay pots in the shape of their gods. The story goes that they broke the pots with poles and sticks to spill the favors from the gods. We don’t know what kind of goodies will be used to entice the critters at the Ark, but we’re sure it will be a spectacle worth catching.

Tigers, mountain lions, and bears (oh my!) are just a few of the animals on hand for the big event. It’s all going down on Saturday, May 1 from 10am to 4pm. Admission is $6 for children and seniors, $8 for adults and free for kids 2 and under.

Call (775) 970 – 3111 or visit the Animal Ark Website for more information.

Freezing our Feathers Off!

FREE Family Fun Snowshoe Hike

Birds of a feather flock together and fly south for the winter, right?
Well…almost right. Did you know that there are actually some birds that stick around and tough out the cold, sierra winters? Are they a bit cuckoo or do they actually like snowstorms and frigid temperatures? You will learn the answers to this question, and more when you convince your parents to join you on a FREE family snowshoe hike sponsored by the Tahoe Rim Trail Association! We will explore the amazing world of winter and try to determine how birds and other animals survive the winter months, all while practicing our snowshoe skills. And…after playing and having fun in the snow, there will be some hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and treats waiting for you at the end.

This hike will wind through the trees and flat meadow. This program will go from 10 am – noon. Families with children, ages six and up, are encouraged to sign up for this hike. Please leave your cute puppies at home! Because it can be so cold and windy in the meadows, it is a good idea to leave very small children and infants at home with a family member or caretaker. The hike will not be strenuous, and will be broken up with games, stories, and other hands-on activities. Please be prepared for the temperamental weather of the  Lake Tahoe Meadows. Please do not dress yourselves or your children in cotton, as it will leave all of you damp and cold. Gloves, beanies, mittens, long underwear, warm socks, waterproof boots and winter jackets are necessary. Each person in your group should have a couple water bottles, because walking and active games work up a good thirst! If you are bringing your own snowshoes or are renting snowshoes, please practice putting them on before the hike, so you know how the bindings work! Note that the high elevation level (8740 ft.) can be a challenge, especially for those of you who live at sea level.

Date: Saturday, February 27th, 10am – noon
Meeting Place/Time: Tahoe Meadows non-motorized side, down by the tree-line, 9:45 am, meeting time
Distance: 3 miles, approximately
Level: Easy
Hours: approximately 2

More Information: 775-298-0012 or programs@tahoerimtrail.org

Animal Grossology – the name says it all

Dogs - Animal GrossologyYou can get the poop on why GROSS is GOOD during this fun, highly interactive family exhibit that just dropped into the Wilbur May Museum to help kids get the poop on why gross is good.

Oozing with disgusting science and interactive learning games, the all-new “Animal Grossology” exhibit is sure to provide a unique perspective on the animal kingdom for you and your family members.

This highly interactive family exhibit mixes education with giggles to help introduce kids to natural science. Animal Grossology is sure to provide a unique perspective on the least-loved, slimiest, stinkiest and downright yuckiest creatures on earth. For example:

  • Leeches are pretty gross, but are also important to the healing process after some surgeries
  • Dung beetles are nature’s living pooper scooper
  • Animal Grossology Bird MalcolmFlies taste with their feet, as well as their mouths
  • Studying slime production by slugs and snails actually helps to treat cystic fibrosis
  • The official name for snail slime is ectoplasm
  • Cows produce almost 200 liters of saliva a day
  • A single frog can devour over 10,000 flies in one summer

What: Animal Grossology
Where: Wilbur D. May Museum, Rancho San Rafael Regional Park – 1595 N. Sierra Street, Reno
When: Now through April 18, 2010
Hours: Wednesdays – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $8.00 adults, $7.00 children under 18 and seniors 62 and over
Phone: (775) 823-6500

Click Here for a PDF version of the complete Parents & Teacher’s Guide for Animal Grossology

Not too late to take your baby camping

Enjoying breakfast in our camping spotSome people say it’s the end of the summer but I don’t buy that. In Reno-Tahoe America’s Adventure Place summer is here until the end of September so we still have another month of summer activities!

We’ve really enjoyed this summer with 2 little ones (we have a 2 year old and a 5 month old baby) — lots of camping, hiking, beach volleyball, bike-riding… the kids love the outdoors, they play with each other and learn to enjoy nature from a young age. I couldn’t think of a better area to grow up in!

Riding bikes with little kids
Our favorite camping spot for families with young kids is Fallen Leaf Lake Campground. We took our German friends tent camping for the first time a couple of weeks ago and they absolutely loved it! The weather was perfect, we had a fire and roasted Marshmallows, checked out Fallen Leaf and took our kite to Baldwin beach.

Check out what the US Forest Services has to say:
Fallen Leaf Lake Campground is uniquely situated 1/4 mile away from Fallen Leaf Lake and offers easy hiking around the lake. The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is directly across Hwy 89 and has interpretive programs, guided walks on the Rainbow Trail and to the Stream Profile Chamber. The first weekend in October, the annual Kokanee Salmon Festival is held at the Visitor Center.
Camping with the family
Also near by are:

  • Pope and Baldwin Beaches for water recreation,
  • Tallac Historic Site has tours of its historic buildings and grounds,
  • Water Craft Rentals or Horseback Riding at Camp Richardson,
  • Family oriented, paved bike trail runs 3 miles along Hwy 89 and can be used to access all of the above,
  • Access to excellent hiking in Desolation Wilderness via the Glen Alpine or the Mt. Tallac trailheads.
  • Tele Girl