Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Step back in History at The Lake Mansion, One of Reno's Oldest Buildings (1877)

250 Court St. Reno, NV 89501


Every summer, Reno holds a month-long art festival called Artown, which is held throughout the whole month of July.  The festival features many events produced by many organizations and businesses all around town.  Arts for all Nevada- The Lake Mansion was only one of many participants and held a Summer Sizzles Art Festival.  I knew I had to check it out with my kids because 1: I had to get a bite of history and check out the 1877 Victorian/Italianate mansion and 2: the kids would have eight stations of art enrichment.

This event, open to all ages and free of charge, turned out to be a huge hit with the whole family.  Some art included shaping clay, art with pastels, assembling paper birds, making stick bumble bees, paper butterflies, and more.  They even had books and face paint for all.

It was priceless for the kids to work on multiple art projects, exercising their creativity while building their skill set.  It was also nice having guidance available when needed.  Only one knows the endless influence these art projects will have on their future selves.  

Upon arrival, I immediately felt the excitement of all the kids.  All the volunteers and workers were happy to be there, teaching.

I love that they kept track of which schools kids were coming in from so that they can have a better picture and make arrangements for funding.  

They hold kids' birthday parties(outside food and decorations allowed), special events, legit tea parties (tea and food available for purchase), and weddings.  I've seen pictures of their events on their website and they looked amazing.  I'm definitely going to do tea and throw a birthday party here one day, especially knowing that I'll be in good hands and the funds will go toward maintaining the beautiful property.

Check out their website for events details for rentals, tours, lessons, camps, and volunteer opportunities (they're always looking for art people to teach).  Also be on the lookout for their three amazing art festivals they host throughout the year (summer, spring, fall).

Thank you Lake Mansion for having a passionate, artistic heart and thank you Reno, for hosting art town for the betterment and enjoyment of the whole community.

Categorized under "Artown and Birthday/Event Venues"

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Get your Play on and Take a Short and Scenic Hike at Huffaker Park

South Reno
1160 E Huffaker Ln, Reno, NV 89511

Huffaker park is a park that has it all.  I was so glad when I found this sweet park nicely tucked away in a nice neighborhood.  My kids enjoy the structures/running on the grass and the trail is the perfect distance for my family and I to get the right amount of exercise. Plenty of street parking is available and the trail is completely exposed, so don't forget to protect yourself against the elements. I plan on throwing a party here in the future and know that it will not disappoint.

What you will find:
-a short and sweet looped trail (1.4 miles) with a bit of a challenging upward slope at the beginning (once you start feeling a little burn, it will be over and you will be rewarded with nice views of Reno). From there on out, the trail is easy and enjoyable
-a gazebo at the top of the hill
-basketball court
-two playgrounds with big trees nearby
-a huge covered pavilion right next to one of the play structures and a BBQ grill
-baseball field
-tennis court
-exercise area with lots of bars
-wide open areas of grass ideal for sports and running around with your dog
-water fountain and restroom
-amphitheater at the top of the trail
-beautiful tall trees around the park area (lots of shade)
-path ideal for jogging and mountain biking
-a small creek that runs through the park
-a few interpretive signs about nature
-flowers in spring
-lots of people walking their dogs
-dirt/rocky path on the trail
-benches laid out around the trail and park. You can have a picnic up on the mountain.
-view of mt. Rose

Reccomended Gear
-Sunscreen (after trying so many options, this is my family's favorite)
-Water Bottle (definitely a must in Reno's dry climate + earth friendly)
-Portable potty Liners (priceless gadget that makes any hike with kids a breeze)

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Take a Ride into History at the Virginia & Truckee Railroad

166 F Street
Virginia City, NV 89440
(775) 847-0380

Throughout the year, Virginia & Truckee Railroad has so many awesome event trains, including the very popular and well-known:

A Day Out With Thomas (Held late October)
The Polar Express (December)
Pumpkin Patch Trains (October)
Father Day Trains (June)
Polar Express (December)
V & T Candy Cane Express (December)

Along with A Day Out With Thomas, my family has also been on the Candy Cane Express train twice and the everyday 35 min round-trip ride up to Gold Hill.

The people that work the events are so kind and work so hard to make everyone feel the magic.

Virginia City (where you'll find V&T) is a charming little city that really makes you feel like you're in the "Wild Wild West," with its wooden pathways, saloons, history and ranchers.  I fell in love with this small city the first time I visited and the railroad became the cherry on top.  

Visit Virginia City's Website to get more tourist information. 
They also have a visitor's center where you can find out everything you need to know to make the most out of your trip, including lodging, attractions, restaurants, tours, shopping, event information, and more. 

Virginia City's Visitor Center
86 South C Street
Virginia City, NV 89440
(775) 847-7500

*A Day Out With Thomas
-Be on the lookout for tickets long before the event.  They sell out fast due to popular demand.
-35-min round trip to Gold Hill (views are amazing and sometimes you can see wild mustangs and other wild life)
-you get a certificate at the end of the trip
-Photo opportunities with Thomas (who talks and moves his eyes) and Sir Topham Hatt (you can take photos with your phone or  purchase the ones taken by them)
-free gift (wheel with names of trains) after completing stamps on passport
-eating station inside a train (pizza, hot dogs, snacks). The pizza was nice, hot, and good.
-face paint, balloons for sale
-gift shop
-lots of fun carnival games including ring and bean bag toss
-kids get to ride miniature trains
-mini golf set up
-mini train tables for play
-coloring/stamp/temp tatts sections
-cartoon viewing inside one of the trains
-free bounce house
-ride a hand car

-Before your trip, check Accuweather for hour to hour weather so that you can plan accordingly. 40 degrees F temperature with wind makes for biting weather.
-Arriving 15 minutes early is generally enough time for check-in at the gift shop
-Trains operate according to season. Call in for schedule.

*Candy Cane Express Train
-50 min. round trip to Gold Hill where you will take a brief stop halfway and witness Santa and his elves at work in the "North Pole"
-during the trip they read T'was the Night Before Christmas
-hot cocoa or apple cider
-cookies, candy canes
-pictures with candy cane sisters
-at the end of the ride Santa comes out for pictures
-sing-a-long Christmas carols
-greet people with Dec. birthdays
-nicely decorated train cars and depot
-heated indoor train cars
-Throughout the years, they changed things up to keep the ride interesting

We LOVE the Candy Cane Express train because it's pure magic.  The candy cane sisters that hand everything out are always full of cheer along with Santa, and the whimsical train and depot is hard to skip out on during the Holidays.  Growing up in San Diego, I've never experienced anything remotely close to this event, which makes it even more special.

On the everyday ride, the (nice) conductor narrates throughout the ride. You will learn about the history of V&T and pass by some mines to Gold Hill. The views are always amazing.

There's also a 1.5-hr ride to Carson City. Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for reviews on Yelp
Lots of parking next to church when their lot fills up