10 things to do outside with your kids this summer in Reno
Nothing may create a better summer experience than the opportunity to be outside to enjoy the outdoors. Kids loves the feel of grass on their toes and the smell of fresh air just as much as any adults does.
Here is a list of 10 ideas to get the kids outdoors this summer without actually having to head out of town.
1. Enjoy the night sky
You don't need your own telescope to get kids looking upward at the night-time sky. Public telescope viewing occurs the second Friday of each month in 2018 at the Redfield Campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, 18600 Wedge Parkway between 8 and 10 p.m. It also occurs the fourth Friday through October from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Fleischmann Planetarium, 1664 N. Virginia St.
2. Go on a Discover Your Parks walk
The Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation features walks through various parks that start at 6 p.m. and run every Thursday through the end of September. The walks are approximately 1 mile long, which is not too much for a kiddo. Upcoming hikes are scheduled at Hidden Valley Regional Park and Bartley Ranch Regional Park, among other areas.
This under-appreciated nature study area, off the north end of Lear Boulevard, features a floating dock, tall reeds and lots and lots of birds. If your kiddo has never seen a yellow-headed blackbird this is the place to look for the male of the species, which has bright yellow on its chest and head. A bird blind close to the start of the walking path provides a place to watch for bird of prey.
4. Kick up sand at the Sparks Marina
Some people like to visit the water at the Sparks Marina for a swim, but equally delightful is letting the kids run in the sand in the evening, particularly when there is a back drop of a setting sun. There are plenty of birds at the park to enjoy and sometimes it's easy to see a fish jumping up out of the water. In fact, a variety of trout and bass live in the lake.
5. Visit a city or county park
This one may seem obvious, but taking the kids to a park can be a great way to get them outside, running around with other kids and joining the beauty of the area. Damonte Ranch Park, 1899 Steamboat Parkway, is one choice that offers separate pieces of playground equipment for younger and older kids, including a three-tiered one that is truly a delight. Lazy 5 Regional Park, 7100 Pyramid Way, Sparks, also has fun playgrounds of its own. For a list of Reno's parks, visit here.
6. Go for a swim
There may not be that many community pools in the area, but there are quite a few city pools to choose from. Entry fees vary, but usually punch cards or passes are available to make admission even more reasonable than it usually is. Idlewild Pool, 1805 Idlewild Drive, is just one of the pool choices for the summer, and features a low-diving board as well as a separate toddler pool for youngsters.
7. Enjoy an evening meal outside
This can be easily done by going to a Food Truck Friday or Feed the Camel event to buy food and sitting on a lawn to enjoy. Food Truck Fridays run from 4 to 9 p.m. every Friday at Idlewild Park, 1800 Idlewild Park, through the end of September. Feed the Camel events occur under the Keystone Bridge every Wednesday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sometimes nothing compares to sitting outside with family for a meal.
8. Head to a campfire program at Galena Creek Regional Park
Washoe County Regional Parks & Open Space features campfire programs every Friday in July at Galena Creek Regional Park. A $4 per person donation is recommended for this event which begins at 8 p.m. every Friday. Enter at the north entrance of the park, 18250 Mount Rose Highway. Lawn chairs, blankets and jackets are a must.
9. Hang out at the Whitewater Park
Take a tube or kayak down to the Truckee River Whitewater Park or just sit on the edges of the river to watch swimmers, put your feet in the water, spread out a towel or climb on the rocks. Take a picnic lunch with you and make it all the more fun or pick up snacks or lunch from a nearby restaurant. A short pedestrian parkway gives visitors access under Arlington Avenue to enjoy both sides of Wingfield Park.
10. Visit the Sensory Garden at Idlewild Park
This little garden provides young ones with opportunity to look for bugs, butterflies, birds and flowers and whatever else their garden-hearts might desire. The park is located next to the miniature train, which gives kiddos the chance to take a trip around a pond at the park, with a $2 ticket. Anyone heading to the sensory garden on July 13 can take advantage of a free Artown event there called "Fingerprint Nature Art" planned from 5:30 to 7 p.m.