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Exciting “Must Do” Holiday Events Around Town


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!

The Nutcracker Returns to Reno

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without everyone’s favorite tale of the Nutcracker. The whole family will enjoy this classic ballet as sugar plumb fairies and mice dance through a young girl’s dream to the beautiful music of Tchaikovsky. Enjoy this favorite, showing every weekend leading up to the holidays, at one of the many performances here in Reno.

1_nutcrackerDecember 3 – 4

The Nutcracker – Peninsula Ballet Theatre Of San Mateo California

Grand Sierra Resort & Casino

December 9 – 11

The Nutcracker – A.V.A. Ballet Theatre

Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts

December 17 – 24

The Nutcracker – RDC Nutcracker Performance Tour

John Ascuaga’s Nugget, Celebrity Showroom

Written by, Cody Haener

Locals Review the Nutcracker

The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts graciously provided me 10 pairs of tickets to give away for the A.V.A. Ballet Theatre and Reno Philharmonic Orchestra’s “The Nutcracker” performances on Friday, December 10 and Saturday, December 11.

Below is a review of the performance and roundup of the winners’ experiences. I, for one, saw the Friday night show. While I had seen “The Nutcracker” at the Pioneer Center in 2007, I felt as if I were watching it for the very first time. The costumes seemed more elaborate than before, and the dancers are absolutely amazing. I am personally more drawn to the second Act of the performance, but the entire night was perfectly delightful!

I’ve enjoyed reading the responses from our contest winners, particularly Bob’s account. Enjoy and happy holidays!

Nutcracker Mother GingerDaddy/son outing: I think like most people here in Reno we just kind of know “The Nutcracker” is going to be performed.  But, I guess technically, it was a TV spot (I think) and/or a Twitter post from you guys [that I heard about the show]. I went with my eight-year-old, Andrew.

It was my first time at the Pioneer Center.  I’ve always admired the architecture of the building, even from way back as a kid visiting Reno.  So it was nice to finally go inside.  It’s an impressive building.

The thing of it is, I was vaguely familiar with “The Nutcracker,” having seen bits and pieces of it on PBS and so on, but as I sat there I quickly began to realize why I was just “vaguely” familiar with it — I always had changed the channel after about five minutes.

But perhaps I’m not the targeted audience.  When I looked around I noticed a curious lack of males in the audience.  Oh there was a family man here and there, and a few guys trying to impress their dates (note: many furs on display that night), but that was about it.  I was going to joke that my son and I were probably the only straight male couple there when I remembered that there were no other male couples there (which probably was a sign).  The pair of older ladies to our left seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.  The “veteran” gave a running commentary on what was happening for her friend.  I would say her friend enjoyed the performance as much as she did, but it might have been the whiskey and cokes she was downing.  So who knows.

The funny thing is, in the beginning Andrew was pretty interested.  He was wondering about how an actually Nutcracker would work and what they looked like in miniature.  And he was even holding up at halftime.  But the second act took it out of him and myself.

That’s not to say there weren’t some good performances. Kate Crews-Linsley was quite impressive in her solo, and the two guys did yeoman’s work.  And the acrobatics of Natalya Beneschott were a crowd favorite, as were the little mice.  But, ultimately, that couldn’t save the night. 

At curtains end, I asked Andrew if he wanted to see the Nutcrackers they had for sale and he said no and just wanted to go.  When we had escaped into the brisk night air, he turned to me and said “Daddy, I never want to have to watch something like that ever again.”

Thanks again though. -Bob

Nutcracker WaltzGetting into the holiday spirit: The show was fantastic. I’d seen various versions in the past of “ The Nutcracker”, but this A.V.A. Ballet version was elegant, special and their interpretation was very enjoyable; the sets, costumes, dancing, etc. It was also nice to see that the family tradition of attending it together was alive and well (we used to do that as kids too) with everyone dressed up and out on the town for a holiday night. Afterwards, we walked around downtown [Reno] and looked at the skating rink, all the lights and Christmas tree. It really put us in the holiday spirit and was a great way to kick it off. Thanks again, it was wonderful. Happy Holidays to you and yours. – Linda Graff

Breathtaking ballet: I searched the Internet for all Nutcracker performances in Reno/Sparks area. I loved the show at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts! The orchestra was excellent; live music always adds so much!  The costumes were particularly beautiful, and the ballet was breathtaking. We took the whole family and everyone loved it. – Judy

Spectacular: I saw the advertisement for “The Nutcracker” on Facebook, and that is how I entered and won! The show was GREAT as usual. I have been  “almost” every year but wasn’t planning on going this year until I won the tickets! As far as the show, I LOVED it, as well as my girlfriend who went with me. The show was wonderful and entertaining as usual, and I loved the fact the Reno Philharmonic was doing the music.  All in all, it was GREAT and the ballet was spectacular! – Genelle Hanneman

Absolutely Stunning! I had seen “Don Giovanni” at the Pioneer Center several years ago, and I loved it! Although at the time I was too young to understand what was going on in the opera, I really enjoyed it and it was a great first-impression of Reno theater.

“The Nutcracker” was absolutely stunning. The costumes, the music, the dancing, the stage…all beautiful! I didn’t know Reno had so much talent, and I was surprised when I read in the program that the girl who played Clara went to my high school alma mater (McQueen High School). She, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Mother Ginger were my favorites. The Reno Philharmonic Orchestra was lovely and brought Tchaikovsky’s music to life. -FreGenet

The Nutcracker at the Pioneer Center Center for Performing Arts

Nutcracker WaltzThe stage at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts will be alive with a sugar plum fairy and dancing mice as A.V.A. Ballet Theatre presents its 15th annual Nutcracker Ballet December 10-12, 2010.  A.V.A. Ballet Theatre’s artistic director Alexander Van Alstyne has choreographed an exciting rendition of the popular holiday ballet and the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s moving score. This will be conductor Laura Jackson’s debut Nutcracker.

Principal dancers from professional ballet companies such as the San Francisco Ballet, Ballet West, and the Diablo Ballet will perform the leading roles along side a large cast of local talent.

Nutcracker performances will be held Friday December 10th at 8pm, December 11th at 2pm and 8pm and Sunday December 12th at 2pm at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Reno. Ticket prices for adults are from $26 to $51. Ticket prices for children 12 and under and seniors 65 and older are from $21 to $41.

Nutcracker Mother GingerA special Sugar Plum party will be held after the Sunday afternoon performance where children can meet the Nutcracker characters.

A.V.A. Ballet Theatre is the resident ballet company of the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. They are northern Nevada’s largest company under the instruction of a professional faculty with years of performing experience in renowned metropolitan ballet and production companies across the United States and Europe.

Mark your calendars now for this spectacular holiday tradition. For tickets call the Pioneer Center box office at 775-686-6600 or on-line at Box office hours are Monday through Friday 11am to 6pm.

For more information call A.V.A. Ballet Theatre at 775-762-5165 or on-line at or call the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts at 775-686-6600.

- Alexander Van Alstyne