Friday, December 9, 2022

A Surprising Place in Reno to Get Tasty Donuts & Delicious Breakfast Sandwiches 24/7


Business Snapshot

Jelly Donut is a local donut shop in Midtown Reno that offers tasty donuts and breakfast sandwiches at affordable prices.  This shop is open 24/7 and is run by a nice family.

Their jelly donuts are the jam!

It's hard to miss this shop while making a trip to Midtown.  If you're one of the people that have been wondering about Jelly Donut, wonder no more.

Jelly Donut is legit, with friendly service, fresh and tasty donuts, and hot and tasty breakfast sandwiches.  

It's incredible that we have a donut shop that's open 24/7.  Late night/early morning cravings?  No problem!  

Why is this shop so surprising to me?  It's outdated.  You'd think you were on a movie set taking place in the 1950s.  Let's just say that this is a great "don't judge a book by its cover" example.

Outdated shop, but don't be deceived.  They have yummy food!  People are always here buying boxes of donuts to-go.

Every single donut I've tasted from here was really good and I love that they're not too big and have just the right amount of sweetness.  They have that traditional yeast flavor everyone loves from a good donut and will keep you coming back for more.

You must try their lemon-filled jelly donut.  The sweetness of the glaze with the freshness of the jelly paired with the right amount of moist dough makes for a great treat.

For an option that's not too sweet, try their Hawaiian style donuts called Malasadas: donut balls filled with jam and coated with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.  They are bit more chewy with a bread like texture and not as sweet as their traditional donuts.  Like their jelly donuts, the jelly fillings in their malasadas are super fresh tasting.  Try their guava filled with powdered sugar.  Malasadas are a great alternative for people watching their sugar intake and are the perfect treat for children.

Lemon filled jelly donut, glaze, plain old-fashion (from left to right).  All yummy.

If you're the type that doesn't accept donuts on their own as a complete breakfast, you'll have all of your traditional breakfast sandwiches to choose from.

Bread: croissant, sliced bread, bagels
Protein: bacon, sausage, egg, tuna, ham, turkey
Veggies: lettuce, onion, tomato
Condiments: mayo, mustard, black pepper

Their croissants are made in house and make the best breakfast sandwich when paired with a nice and fluffy egg, gooey cheese, and meat of your choice.   

Croissant, egg, & cheese breakfast sandwich. Yum!  They make a nice and fluffy microwaved egg.  Sandwich served hot.

I tried their bacon, egg, and cheese croissant and love that they give a decent amount of bacon that's not too salty and fatty.  

I also tried their tuna sandwich and loved it.    

Classic tuna salad with onion, lettuce, & tomato on a bagel.  Everything was fresh and yummy.


If you're looking for a great spot for donuts and breakfast sandwiches, you can depend on  Jelly Donut 24/7 to help fulfill your donut, breakfast, and lunch needs (yes, you need these foods in your life).

Friendly service and great tasting food @ great prices.

Know of any other rad hole-in-the wall places in Reno?  If so, please let me know on Instagram.  I'll make sure to check them out and show them some love.

*They have coffee, juice, milk, smoothies, and boba available.  The time I visited, they didn't have boba on hand.
*If you're looking to complete the meal with good quality coffee, head around the corner to Magpie Coffee Roasters (1-2 minute walk).
*DoughBoy's Donuts is still the best, but this is another great option around the Midtown area.  I prefer Jelly Donut over Sprinkles and Donut Bistro.

Categorized Under "Good Eats" ---> "Donut Shops"

©Katherine Fung

*All opinions are my own.  Information subject to change.  Please check in with business for latest updates.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

2022 Reno Winter Guide: Holiday Events, Local Shopping, Shows, Activities, & More

Guide Updated December 15, 2022

Aerial Tram Ride @ Palisade's Ski Resort

Snow can come in as early as the end of October.  Though winters in Reno are mild, they can still be hazardous with unexpected amounts of snow fall from time to time.  Here's my simple guide with tips and information on what to expect:

Freckled Frog @ Summit Mall has the most MAGICAL Christmas Decor.  You must check them out!

Reno is filled with so much holiday/seasonal action & cheer and so many neighboring towns are in the same club, including Lake Tahoe, Sparks, Carson City, Truckee, Virginia City, and more, making the holidays as grand as can be.

Whether you want to stay in town or venture out nearby, you'll find plenty of things to do both near and far.

Distances to Nearby Destinations

*Lake Tahoe - 40 minutes to 1.3 hours 

*Sparks is just next door

*Carson City - 30 minutes

*Truckee - 45 minutes

*Virginia City - 27 minutes

At any time of the season you may come across carolers spreading cheer with their lovely, harmonious voices, neighbors decorating their butts off towards amazing Christmas scenes, local shops offering sumptuous holiday offerings, rad, one-of-a-kind holiday events, holiday fundraisers, craft workshops, pop-up shops, entertaining holiday snows, festive marathons, outdoor adventures like snow tubing and ice skating, and so much more.

Below you'll find a list of some activities and events (some new, some annual favorites) in and around Reno to help with planning for the holidays. 

I hope you find lots of action and have the best time with your loved ones.

Please check back in as I will be updating this guide often as more information comes in.

P.S.  I make short reels & posts on Instagram on hidden gems, giveaways, events, and local businesses that I don't post here on my blog.  If you don't want to miss out on any action, you can follow me at lovingreno775.

Tips for the best holiday season:

*Book events/purchase tickets as soon as possible as many of them sell out early

*Arrive to events early to avoid traffic/lines + get first pick

*Always check hour to hour weather to dress appropriately.  Always check wind speeds. Anything higher than 10mph can be biting, especially for littles.

*Having an extra pair of clothes, an emergency kit (road and first aid), and some food in your vehicle all season long can make for a smoother winter.

Happy Holidays Everyone.  
Thanks so much for visiting.
Peace, Love, & Respect,


Cookie's with Santa - Shay Co. TBA 2022

In This Guide:

*Events with links 

*Christmas on the Comstock - A little about Virginia City and its month long holiday celebration

*Where to see Christmas lights and displays

*Where to go ice Skating

*Where to go Skiing & Snowboarding

*Suggestions for winter activities - Gondola Rides, Snow Tubing, Snowshoeing

*Information on "Elf Yourself" - elf generator app activity

*Lists - Places to Shop, Clutter Free Gifts, Experiences, Ceramic Studios, Memberships, Plants, Subscriptions, Local Bookstores

Unique ornaments from Wilbur D. May gift shop

Support Local

I highlight many of our local businesses below.  Why support local businesses?   They're our neighbors, friends, and family, and they are passionate about their businesses, creating quality products and services.  They bring diversity, passion, and so much value to our community.  

I've met so many amazing business owners and one thing I can say is that they're all amazing and inspirational.  

Follow, comment, and spread the news about your favorite local businesses to keep them strong and alive.

Please connect with me on Instagram if you'd like to share more about your local favorite business. 

For Families 

This local magazine is loaded with lots of action year-round and highlights the best in Reno for families.  Issues released quarterly with up to date seasonal information.  Follow them on Instagram to see where you can pick up a free hard copy or subscribe on their website for access to a FREE online copy.

Growing Up Reno-Tahoe

*Information subject to change.  
Please always check in with businesses to confirm details.

A Christmas Story Leg Lamp at Inclined Burgers and Brew in Northwest Reno

List of Events 
(Read further down for descriptions of each)

-November 12: 10am-2pm Holiday Family Art Festival @ Lake Mansion
-November 17: Every Thursday through Saturday 12PM-7PM & Sundays 12PM-5PM Reno Public Market Food Hall Deck the Halls Pop-Up
-November 19: 9am-1pm Holiday Bazaar @ Riverside Farmer's Market
-November 19 & 20: 10am-6pm Punk Rock Flea Market @ The Generator
-November 23: 8pm-12am Greg Golden Band Featuring Joe Retta from "Sweet" @ Rail City Casino Pit Lounge
-November 25: starts at 2:30pm Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration @ Heavenly Village, South Lake Tahoe
-November 24: 8:30am Annual Scheels Turkey Trot @ Scheels
-November 24: 10K 9am, 5K 9:10am Wobble Before you Gobble Run @ Reno City Plaza
-November 24–27: Th-Sa 10am-5pm, Su 10am-3pm Crafts for Christmas @ The Nugget
-November 26 & 27: 11am-3pm Thanksgiving Weekend @ Animal Ark
-November 25, 26, 27, December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18: Candy Cane Express Train @ Virginia City 
-November 26 through December 24: Santa's Wonderland @ Cabela's
-November 26: 11am-5pm:  Shop Small Saturday & Tree Lighting @ The Village at Rancharra
-November 26 & 27, December 2,3,4,9,10,11,16,17, 18: Magical holiday Lights at the Park  @ Sierra Exotic Animal Park
-November 30 - December 18: Th, Fr, Sa 7:30pm, Su 2:00pm How to Survive Your Family at Christmas (2hrs.) @ Reno Little Theater
-December 1: 5:30pm-7:30pm Town of Gardnerville Christmas Kickoff (1 hr away from Reno)
-December 1-4: Tahoe Film Festival @ Incline Village Cinema
-December 1,2, & 3: Hometown Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony combined with 39 North Pole Village @ Sparks Victorian Square
-December 2: Silver & Snowflakes Festival of Lights @ Nevada State Capitaol Building, Carson City
-December 2: (1-8pm), 3(9am-8pm), 4(9am-5pm) Jurassic Quest @ Reno-Sparks Convention Center
-December 2: 5th Annual Winter Wonderland (Bites and cocktail benefit @ Atlantis Ballroom
-December 2–11: A Christmas Chaos @ The Truckee Community Theater
-December 3: Holiday Ball @Atlantis Casino
-December 3: 5pm-8pm Light up the Night 2022Horizon Church, Sparks
-December 3: 3pm-4:30pm Paper Bag Snowflake Workshop @ LCDmodern
-December 3: 10, 17, 24 Breakfast with Santa @ Fire & Ice Restaurant 
-December 3: 9am-5pm & December 4, 10am-3pm Magic of Santa Craft
 Faire @ Reno-Sparks Convention Center
-December 3: 10am-2pm Doral Academy's Holiday Craft Fair
-December 7: 4-8pm Holidays on the Farm @ Urban Roots
-December 7:  2:30-6pm Handmade Holiday Faire @ Urban Roots
-December 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, & 15: Christmas Wonderland @ El Dorado Casino
-December 9: 12:30pm-1:30pm The Grinch @ Circle of Life Community Hospice
-December 9–11:  AVA Ballet's The Nutcracker @ The pioneer Center for the Performing Arts
-December 9 & 10: 4pm-8pm Festival of Winter Lights (South Lake Tahoe, 1.25 hrs. from Reno)
-December 9-12: The Nutcracker Ballet @ The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts
-December 10: 10am-12pm Photos with Santa @ The Club at Rancharra
-December 10 & 11: 10am-4pm High Dez Art & Craft @ Holland Project
-December 10, 11, 17, 18: Holidays The Village at Rancharrah
-December 16(7pm), 17(2pm), 18(2pm): Tahoe Nutcracker by Lake Tahoe Dance Collective (North Lake Tahoe)
-December 17: 5:30pm-7:30pm: Damonte Ranch Circle of Lights @ Damonte Ranch Park
-December 17: 5pm-9pm Elf Night at The Elf House
-December 17: 10am Annual Santa Ski Day @ Mt. Rose Ski Resort
-December 17: 4pm-6pm Christmas Cookie Workshop @ The Basement
-December 18 to December 31: A Christmas Rock Story @ GSR Theater
-December 18: 10:30am-12:30pm Santa's Pizza Workshop hosted by Noble Pie @ The Summit Mall
 House (Cold Springs, 30 mins.  from Reno)
-December 22: Cookies With Santa @ The Basement
-December 26: 11am-7pm Village Ice Sculpture Contest @ Heavenly Village
-December 26-31: 11am-9pm Ferris Wheel (South Lake Tahoe 1.25 hours from Reno)
-December 29 & 30: Filmstream Festival @ Heavenly Village
-December 31: Heavenly Holidays with Live Music & Fireworks (South Lake Tahoe 1.25 hrs. from Reno)

Christmas on the Comstock Virginia City (25 minutes from Reno)

Event Descriptions with Links

-November 12: 10am-2pm
Holiday Family Art Festival
Lake Mansion Arts & Cultural Center
*art stations, ornament making, free book, visit with santa, toy drive, explore history of building
*TukTuk YumYum will be there with fryo, hot cocoa, and espresso.

The Lake Mansion is a beautiful building that hosts so many fun workshops and events throughout the year. Follow them on Instagram under "Arts for All Nevada" for future events.

They always do a great job at creating fun craft stations for kids for all of their events, serving as an invaluable asset to the community.

During August, be sure to keep an eye out for their rad Artown event.

Santa will be around so this is a great opportunity to snap some early family holiday photos.

-November 17: Then every Thursday through Saturday 12PM-7PM & Sundays 12PM-5PM
Reno Public Market Food Hall Deck the Halls Pop-Up
Reno Public Market
299 E Plumb Ln.
Reno, NV 89502
*RPM website

I'm still pinching myself at the fact that we're going to have something like Reno Public Market in town.  

Wondering what this new establishment is all about? Think loads of vendors all in one huge (and beautiful) building.

The first thought that came to mind when I first saw the plans for this building on the news was - Chelsea Market - a popular marketplace attraction in New York.  

If RPM is anything like Chelsea Market, you can expect it to have tons of food options, places to shop, and have a welcoming and lively atmosphere that will beckon and awaken your adventurous spirits and bring out the true foodie in you.

I stumbled across a local artist's post about having just finished painting one of the walls in the building and his art is AMAZING.  Check out more of Bryce's work on Instragram.

The market is scheduled to officially open in January 2023.

Art by abcartattack

"You’re invited to our Deck the Halls Holiday Pop-Up! Starting 11/17, come out every Thursday through Sunday for live music, food trucks, photo booths, fire pits, cocktails, appearances by Santa, and shopping with some of our incredible retailers. Meet us there for this special sneak peek of everything Reno Public Market will be when we fully open in January of 2023." 

(Description from website)

Reno Public Market Deck The Halls Pop-Up Live Music

-November 18: 7am-12pm
Wild1029 Studios

Mo is one of the most real people in Reno and he's using his voice for good.  He is a modern day hero.  

He's already raised 320 turkeys for his 6th annual Turkey Drop Off (Thanks Walkmart on Pyramid) for those in need in our community, and he'll be taking even more donations tomorrow at the studio.

All donations will be handled by the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.

Description from his Instagram
"I’m back! The 6th Annual Drive By Turkey Drop this November, Friday 18th to help feed the less fortunate Kids & Families in our area, neighborhood, and community. Help them enjoy Thanksgiving and the power of every day necessities.

All Non Perishable Food Items, canned goods, and any monetary donations will go directly to our friends at @foodbanknn

To Donate, simply come by the @wild1029 Studios at 595 East Plumb Ln, Friday morning November 18 between 7am and 12pm."

-November 19: 9am-1pm
Holiday Bazaar @ Riverside Farmer's Market
McKinley Arts & Cultural Center

This is a Bazaar you won't want to miss.  

The holiday vibes are strong here, the atmosphere is so fresh and beautiful, there's always live music and entertainment for children, and there are tons of amazing local vendors that have so much to offer, including some of the best produce+eats and unique gift items in Reno.

-November 19: 10am-2pm
National Automobile Museum
$15 (adult), $13 (senior), $10 (youth), 5 and under free
*First photo free for members, $25 for non-members, additional poses $10
*Individual Membership to museum $45, $70 Family
*Non-members must pay admission to get in

Photo from National Automobile Museum's Website

-November 19 & 20: 10am-6pm
The Generator
*Tickets (12yrs and younger FREE)

"We've got two days of music, art and mayhem featuring over 100+ vendors, 12 bands, a skate ramp, a bounce house, possum pile clothing exchange, a kids craft area, DIY activities, food trucks, car smash, a stuffed animal gladiator pit and more!"

The Generator is a HUGE maker space in Sparks that's open to all artists, both established and new, welcoming all to exercise their creative juices.  

They have all of the tools needed to help make your visions come to life and host workshops throughout the year (for both adults and children), including their popular Punk Rock Flea Market.

The Generator is an amazing organization that brings so much to our community.  I hope you check them out and follow them on Instagram.   

2450 Oddie Blvd, Sparks NV, 89431 
-November 20: 4-5:15pm
Thanksgiving Table Arrangement Workshop by Abloom Floral Design

-November 23: 8pm-12am
Rail City Casino @ The Pit Lounge
*Live Entertainment
*Genre: Rock
*when a guest buys a $10 VIP experience and they are a new Rail City Rewards enrollment, they receive $10 in Free Slot Play

The band is a great local band that has open for groups such as Tesla, and the lead vocalist is Joe Retta from the Band Sweet.  They performed hits such as Ballroom Blitz, Fox on the Run, and Love is like Oxygen.

-November 24: 8:30am
*Location: Scheels Sparks
*Reno Races website for more information on marathons in Reno

Did you know that we have some amazing races that have become traditions for many locals in Reno because of their fun and rewarding properties?  

Dirty Wookie (Star Wars Theme), Rock Reno, and the Turkey trot, are just a few of local favorites.

I cannot describe the vibes and energy you get at these events.

So many people from all walks of life come together and race for all sorts of purposes - fundraising, health, fun, community, competition, self-improvement, to support a good cause, to be empowered, to model healthy habits, and so much more.

At the Turkey Trot, turkeys will trot around Sparks Marina, one of the biggest bodies of water you'll find around Reno, and it just so happens to be right next to the Outlets at Legends, home to Scheels.  

Scheels is the ultimate sporting goods store that has more than just goods.  Inside you'll find a huge Ferris Wheel ($1/person/ride), Fuzziwig's Candy Shop, home to my favorite apple pie caramel apple, roller ball, a mini arcade, Ginna's Cafe, and so much more.

After your race, treat yourself to great tasting local coffee at Lighthouse Coffee on the water front and Everbowl, located next to the gas station (yummy and nourishing acai bowls, all vegan).
Run/Walk Options: 10k, 2-mi run, 2-mi walk
Registration Fees:
Now - Nov 19: $30
Nov 21 - 23: $45 (During Packet Pickup at SCHEELS
Nov 24: $65 (Race Day - Cash Only)

-November 24: 10K 9am, 5K 9:10am

Reno City Plaza

10 N. Virginia St, 

Reno, NV 89501

*Register (online until capacity Nov. 23, in person morning of cash only)

"Join us on Thanksgiving Morning for a run/ walk/ wobble that kicks off your Thanksgiving Morning festivities! The race event will begin at 9am on Virginia St next to City Plaza. Participants will make their way through downtown Reno and the nearby parks before returning to the finish where they will get a finisher's medal upon completion. Reno's Wobble Before You Gobble is the best Thanksgiving family tradition for the whole family!" (Description)

-November 25: starts at 2:30pm
Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration (South Lake Tahoe 1.25 hours away from Reno)

Description from Guide

"6:30 pm. Gather ‘round as Santa lights our monstrous 70 foot, highly lighted, cut fir tree! The kick off ceremony will include: caroling, music and fun for all! Tree lightings are daily at 5:30pm with Santa after November 25th. Coffee cart will be provided. 

This year we will be celebrating the 20 year anniversary of the Heavenly Village.

Congressman Tom McClintock’s office has it on the schedule at this time.  Ohh, and of course Santa will be attending. Also in attendance Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, El Dorado county Sheriff Jeff Leikaff, City of South Lake Tahoe Fire Chief Jim Drennan.

The star will be placed on top of the tree by the ladder truck by a firefighter to light the tree.

-November 25 & 26 

-November 26 & 27: 11am-3pm
Animal Ark

"Not wild about hitting the malls for the annual holiday shopping frenzy after Thanksgiving? Why not spend the weekend at Animal Ark! 

Have family in town? You can enjoy our animals when they are active in late fall’s cooler temperatures. With warm drinks and festive tidings, this event is the perfect family gathering to make memories that will last a lifetime!" 

(Description from website)

-November 24–27: Th-Sa 10am-5pm, Su 10am-3pm
The Nugget Convention Rooms 2nd Floor

This holiday season, Crafts for Christmas returns to the Nugget Casino Resort with four days of activities, including gift booths + holiday food & drink. (Description from website)

-November 25, 26, 27, December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18
Candy Cane Express Train in Virginia City (26 minutes from South Reno)
Virginia and Truckee Railroad
166 F St, Virginia City, NV 89440
*Purchase Tickets (Purchase in shop for cheaper rates)

A friendly elf on the Candy Cane Express in Virginia City

The Candy Cane Express is a magical 45 minute out-and-back ride to Gold Hill and includes:
-happy and kind North Pole elves 
-Elf emcee on the train singing carols and telling Christmas jokes
-candy canes at the end of the ride
-hot cocoa or apple cider
-goodie bag with cookies, kisses, pen and postcard for santa (mailbox in front of gift shop)
-The Night Before Christmas read aloud
-Beautiful views of Virginia City 
-the perfect setting and atmosphere for the holidays
-Christmas decorated train
-You will find Santa's workshop at Gold Hill (first half of ride) where the train stops and you can witness elves working and hear a special message from Santa (he calls out some kids names that are on the train)
-Gift Shop
-wild mustangs (often seen)

Enjoying views of wild mustangs on the Candy Cane Express Train

Wild Mustangs are always a treat in Virginia City, NV.

V&T puts so much thought and effort into every detail of this event.  Throughout the years, it has become a beloved tradition for many families.

Visit Virginia City

Virginia City is a short and scenic 30 minute trip up the mountains from South Reno and offers unique boutique shopping, tourist attractions, restaurantssaloonsaccommodations, and tours on top of its special themed train rides throughout the year.  

Its signature "wild west" look and feel, along with its festive and fun nature, attracts so many visitors yearly.  It's one of my favorite places to visit.

Virginia City does the holidays justice.  Check out their activities and events throughout the month and have yourself a merry and jam-packed holiday season to your heart's content.  Visit their Forever Christmas Store, a store that represents its true holiday spirit. 

Have a great BBQ meal at Virginia City Jerky Company (please don't miss out on all of the yummy sides) and grab some kettle corn next door and maybe some fudge, ice cream, and caramel apples just a little down the way at Grandma's Fudge Factory

If you're a cowboy/cowgirl at heart and want the ultimate souvenir, check out Old Time Photos where you get to dress up and have a print out of your "wild west" self. 

Electric Holiday Train O' Lights

*They have a separate Electric Holiday Train O' Lights train that will also run in December
*Tickets are by reservation only and book fast
*The Polar Express Train is so popular that it sells out fast (sold out for 2022).  I announced when they dropped this year on Instagram.
*Don't forget to check the weather the day of your ride to dress appropriately, especially when traveling with smaller children.
*Small snacks available for purchase at gift shop

Inside V&T Railroad gift shop

-November 26 through December 24
*LocationCabela's in Verdi (A little ways after last exit Robb Dr. on 80W in Reno)
8650 Boomtown Garson Road, Verdi, NV 89439
*Free 4x6 photo with Santa 

This Santa is a hit among many moms that will not go to any other Santa.  They say that he's pretty fun.  This store is comparable to Scheel's, but a bit smaller. Cabela's has an amazing atmosphere with lots to see and is worth a trip out.  

If you're looking for a fun stop right after, Boomtown is right next door with an arcade and some small rides, including a fun carousel (slow but beautiful).  Mel's Diner is next door and has cool retro vibes.

Crystal Peak Park is also in the same area for those looking for a nice walk.  Read more about this park on my post.  

-November 26: 11am-5pm 
Shop Small Saturday & Tree Lighting Hosted by Wandering Wyld
7700 Rancharrah Pkwy, Reno, NV 89509

*vendors for holiday shopping, crafts for kids, photo opportunities
*The Village @ Rancharra is our newest shopping center that's an amazing place to hang out at.  There's a communal area with fire pits, corn hole, chess, and the village is home to some of the best eats in town: Perenn Bakery, Rolled Mountain Creamery, and Centro, to name a few.

Picture from Wandering Wyld Website

-November 30 - December 18: Th,Fr,Sa 7:30pm, Su 2:00pm
Reno Little Theater Main Stage

"How to Survive Your Family At Christmas is a crowd-pleasing comedy about family, love and the one thing we all need to survive the holidays, forgiveness." (Description from website)

-November 30: 5pm-8pm
Christmas Kick- Off Holiday Market
The Elm Estate

-December 1: 5:30pm-7:30pm
Town of Gardnerville Christmas Kickoff
Heritage Park

"Bring the whole family for an evening of live entertainment, carriage rides, caroling, local dancers, hot cider, cobbler, and, of course, a visit with Santa.  Live entertainment throughout the day spreads holiday cheer and will end with a fireworks show illuminating the night sky." (Description from website)

Gardnerville is a charming town that's a short and scenic one hour drive from Reno past Carson City and is home to one of my favorite annual events - Coffin Races - and one of my favorite places to get sweet treats - The Chocolate Shoppe.

If you're an adventurer at heart and want to discover a new community nearby, Gardnerville is definitely one I highly recommend, with its year-round events, beautiful scenery, and strong sense of community. 

-December 1-4
Tahoe Film Festival
*Website (with descriptions of films)

-December 1,2, & 3
*Tips: arrive early for street parking.  Otherwise, the Victorian Square Parking Garage next to the theater always has space and is walking distance to the event.  This event will likely have freezing weather so dressing up in winter gear is highly suggested.  For those looking to save money, you can bring a thermos with hot drinks and some food.

2022 Schedule

39 North Pole, 4:00 to 9:00 p.m.: Light Displays, entertainment, and outdoor bazaar

Tree Lighting Ceremony, 6:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Complimentary hot chocolate from Living Stones Church
Music by Nevada Gay Men's Chorus
39 North Pole, 4:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Parade Day Activities: 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Santa Photos at 39 North, presented by Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Sparks Hometowne Christmas Parade, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
39 North Pole, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

39 North Pole Village is a MUST see during December, with so much fun to be had, lots of comforting and delicious eats from rad, local businesses, live entertainment, and many craft vendors (in a heated tent) to shop from for all of your holiday needs.  

This event is loaded with lots of Christmas Displays, including an annual favorite - A Christmas Story, that includes the notorious leg lamp from the movie.  

If you catch the event at the right time, you'll have a chance to take photos with Mr. and Mrs. Clause against a cool Christmas backdrop.  Free holiday family photos? Yes, please, and thank you!

So Many Amazing Local Food Trucks

-December 2
Silver & Snowflakes Festival of Lights
*5:30pm - 8:30pm, Tree Lighting @ 5:30pm
*4:15pm Free E-Carriage Rides (last year's schedule) 
*Facebook page for the latest updates

This festival is an amazing way to celebrate the holidays, with a tree lighting ceremony at the capitol building, a cheerful chorus of adorable kids + Mr. & Mrs. Santa, of course, festive lighting, carriage rides full of smiling faces, hot cocoa & cider, and a huge crowd of visitors that contribute to an amazing holiday scene and atmosphere.  

If you're looking for treats and food for the family, Scoups is the place to go across the street from the event.  Tasty ice cream, sandwiches, soups, hot drinks, kid's plates, and excellent service.  It's located in a cute shopping center that has plenty of room for children to play.

*Check hour to hour weather to dress appropriately as this event takes place later in the day where temperatures can be freezing.
*Arrive early to grab a spot in front of the capitol building in front of the steps to watch Carson's adorable 5th graders Carol and light up the event

-December 2 (1-8pm), 3(9am-8pm), 4(9am-5pm)
Reno-Sparks Convention Center
*Tickets (Use AUTOMUSEUM to save $5 on each ticket)

-Decemer 2: 6pm 
Winter Wonderland
Atlantis Ballroom
*Tickets $55, $350 group of 8, $400 VIP Table of 4

"Join us for an evening of seasonal cocktails paired with gourmet bites from local restaurants at this 6th annual friendly competition event to benefit the Nevada Diabetes Association.  Who will take home Best Sweet Bite, Best Savory Bite, Best Craft Cocktail and more?"

"Take the elevator home!  Special room rates are available at $69*.  Call (800) 723-6500 and mention offer code: WONDER*Subject to promotional availability and restrictions."

-December 2, 3, 4
Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts
*Tickets (start at $20)

"Gather the family for a true holiday tradition. The Reno Phil, Reno Phil Chorus and conductor Jason Altieri invite you to the Spirit of the Season, a classic holiday celebration full of orchestral arrangements, jazzy numbers, traditional holiday tunes and carols. Choose from four showtimes wrapped in fantasy and fun for the whole family!" (description from website)


December 2 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

December 3 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

December 3 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

December 4 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Past Promotional Video for Spirit of the Season

-December 2–11
A Christmas Chaos @ The Truckee Community Theater
11260 Donner Pass Road, Ste C-1, PMB 306
Truckee, CA 96161

Truckee is an amazing nearby city to visit any time of the year.  The Truckee Theater comes out with a new play every year for the holidays.

Play Description
"When The Royal Shakespeare Company doesn't show up to perform their stirring rendition of A Christmas Carol, it's up to this intrepid band of hapless actors and technicians to pull together their own production in less than seven hours! Have you ever experienced backstage mayhem?" (Description from website)

Directed by Loren McCormac and Christopher Liedholm

Tickets on sale now. 
Purchase by November 14th for the Early Bird discount.
Adults $15
Students $10
After November 15
Adults $20
Students $15

-December 3: 10am-2pm
Doral Academy's Holiday Craft Fair
3725 Butch Cassidy Dr. Reno

-December 3 
Atlantis Casino
*$99/person, $89 if you bring an unwrapped toy = $10 in value
*Featuring live entertainment from The Platters

"Celebrate the holiday season with an evening of fine dining and live entertainment. It all begins with a magnificent plated dinner prepared by our awardwinning culinary team. After that, listen to the Platters. Join us for this special holiday celebration!" (Description from Atlantis website)

-December 3, 5pm-8pm
Light up the Night 2022 hosted by Horizon Church (Sparks)
*Pictures with Santa, Mini pony petting zoo, food trucks, character greetings with princesses, elf, and more, fire pits and smores, free hot cocoa bar and cookies, Christmas Music & Carols, Bounce house obstacle course, rock climbing wall, carnival games, prizes.

Picture from website

-December 3, 3pm-4:30pm
*Location: LCDmodern 

"Join us for a winter workshop and learn how to make 20” 3D paper bag snowflakes. These simple to create snowflakes are a fun activity and add a big impact to your holiday decor. All supplies are provided and festive refreshments will be served."

-December 3, 10, & 17
Noel Nights @ Northstar Ice Skating Rink (about 1 hr. from Reno past Truckee)
5001 Northstar Dr, Truckee, CA 96161
*Live music, photos with Santa, letters to Santa station, face paint, & balloon animals

Northstar is a beautiful ski resort that has a fun plaza with a skating rink in the center that's lined with shops and restaurants. 

In the summer, they set up mini golf courses throughout their resort and they also have their own theater.   

They finally brought back their tubing experience found right in the village.  Their course is short and sweet with two lanes.  I remember one year when my littles went up and down the slopes all day non-stop and had the time of their lives. They have sleds that you can rent.  Fire pits nearby for caretakers looking to watch from a warmer spot.

-December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18: 11am-3pm
*Visitors are free to take pictures with Santa and his elves

Scheels is a fun store to visit year-round, especially during the holidays.  

Ride their indoor ferris wheel for only $1/person.  Have some fun at their shooting gallery, play some roller ball (don't forget to bring dollar bills), mini arcade, check out their new holiday decor section, have a bite at Gina's Cafe, and munch on one of my favorite caramel apples at Fuzziwig's.  

If you're looking for an outdoor activity nearby, Scheel's is connected to Sparks Marina, where you'll find a nice walking loop with beautiful scenery.  Stop by one of my favorite local coffee shops, Lighthouse Coffee, found right on the waterfront next to the apartments buildings.  There's also a new and fun all abilities playground that just opened up at the park.

-December 3, 10, 17, 24
Breakfast with Santa @ Fire & Ice Restaurant 
Heavenly Village, South Lake Tahoe (1.3 hrs. from Reno)
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
*Tickets - $15/kids, $20/adults
*Facebook page for the latest updates
*Parking Information (see map below on directions to their on site parking garage)

Dine, chat, & take pictures with Mr. & Mrs. Claus at one of my favorite interactive restaurants, Fire & Ice, located in a fun and cozy shopping center.  Also included: build a polar bear kit with stuffing and adventure activity book with crayons. 

Lunch Buffet at Fire & Ice
If you haven't been to Fire & Ice Restaurant at Heavenly Village, they have a fun & interactive lunch buffet where the customer picks all of the ingredients and brings their concoction(s) to the grill for a chef to cook up.  

If you're lucky, you'll run into the cook that puts on a show with plates being tossed into the air and bowls being flung into bins.

About Heavenly Village
If you have not already been to Heavenly Village, it's one of the most popular ski resorts in Lake Tahoe.  It's loaded with so many shops, entertainment, and restaurants and is popular to visit year-round.  

Ride their scenic gondola ride to the top where you can dine at their lodge or grab some skates and get into the holiday spirit at their rink located in the center of the village.

I stayed at the hotel on their property, Grand Residence, and it was a treat to be able to be immersed in the middle of so much.

There were so many dining options and so much to see. 

When it came time for entertainment, the theater, gondola ride, live music, and short walk to the beach made for the perfect activities. 

Although the village can be a bit more on the pricey end overall, me and my family still love visiting because of the cozy atmosphere, cool shops, priceless views, and many events offered here throughout the year.   

What You'll Find at Heavenly Village
-Ice skating rink in the winter click link for rates
-Mini golf course in the summer
-Shops and Boutiques including: Village Toy Shop, Patagonia, and Sock City
-Heavenly Village Cinemas - (Filmstream Festival will take place here 12/29-30)
-Live Entertainment (usually at Base Camp Pizza)
-Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop
-Restaurants including: Base Camp Pizza, Fire & Ice, and Driftwood Cafe
-Across the street is another plaza, including Raley's, Starbucks, Jamba Juice & more 
-vacation vibes
-13 minute walk to Lakeside Beach (playground and restaurant on site)

Turn left at Bellamy Ct. to get to South Lake Tahoe Public Parking Garage or park across the street for a flat rate.

-December 3: 3pm-7pm
Christmas Festival hosted by Living Stones South Reno
South Creek Weddings and Events

"Lots of great vendors, treats, photo with Santa, photo booth, tree lighting and lots of fun for kids of all ages." (Description from website)

South Creek is home to one of my favorite local pizza joints, South Creek Pizza, and breakfast spots, Squeeze In.

South Creek makes one-of-a kind pizzas that screams gourmet and amazing.

Squeeze In has a super fun atmosphere and offers the widest selection of fresh, fun, and tasty omelets.

-December 3, 9am-5pm & December 4, 10am-3pm
*Location:  Reno-Sparks Convention, Reno.
*Tickets: $5/person, 5 & under free, $1 off if you bring a canned item for food drive

"The Magic of Santa Craft Faire has been running for 42 consecutive years and just keeps getting better year after year. Fine Arts and Crafts from over 80 crafters. Support your local small family owned businesses and find beautiful hand made items from tole painted snowmen and beautiful doll clothes to fine wood work and handcrafts for yourself and the ones you love".

-December 7: 4-8pm
*Location: Urban Roots 
*holiday crafts, live music, food trucks, photo opportunities, letters to santa, pop-up artisan vendors

Photo Credit: Wandering Wyld

-December 7  2:30-6pm
Handmade Holiday Faire
Urban Roots

Come on out to support our non profit teaching farm that strives in educating our children and community through hands-on workshops and experiences.  Empowering people to grow their own food and live healthy lifestyles.

-December 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, & 15
Christmas Wonderland 
Eldorado Showroom, El Dorado Casino

A dazzling Christmas spectacular complete with glittering costumes, a stunning cast, and the highest kicking Chorus Girls this side of the North Pole. Start your holiday tradition in style as Santa and his merry helpers take you on a nostalgic Christmas journey, with all your favorite Christmas songs. Perfect for the entire family." (Description from website)

-December 8: 5pm-8pm
The Club at Rancharra

I met this Santa and Mrs. Santa at the breakfast with Santa event held at Fire and Ice Grill in Heavenly Village, South Lake Tahoe, and they were so fun &  kind and made my three kids so happy. 

Not to mention, they look like the real deal. I can't imagine a more perfect venue to take pictures with them.

-December 9–11 
AVA Ballet's The Nutcracker
100 S. Virginia St.
Reno, Nv 89501
*A special Sugar Plum Fairy party will be held after the Saturday and Sunday afternoon performances where children can meet the Nutcracker characters.

-December 9-12, 5pm-8pm (Cancelled)
Washoe Lake Campground loop B

Cost:$5/vehical for Nevada residents, $10/vehical non- Nevada residents
Cash, cards, checks accepted
*Facebook for the latest updates
*Visit the Chocolate Nugget Factory (closes 6:30pm everyday) right next to Washoe Lake and pick up some goodies before your holiday drive through. 
*If you're looking for something to do nearby before the event starts, visit Bower's Mansion (no dogs allowed) for a scenic stroll or Davis Creek Regional Park for a short and scenic nature trail hike (family friendly)
*Listen to your favorite holiday songs as you drive along and enjoy a festive display of lights at the Washoe Lake Campground.  
*bring your own holiday treats & drinks to complete the experience.

December 10 @  Downtown Reno 
*Map, Participants, & Drink Specials

-December 9 & 10: 4pm-8pm
Festival of Winter Lights (South Lake Tahoe, 1.25 hrs. from Reno)
Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum
*Toy drive - unwrapped gifts welcome

-December 9: 12:30-1:30
The Grinch hosted by Circle of Life Community Hospice
*Reno Senior Center
*Free to Community

-December 10: 
Mountain Music Parlor

Mountain Music Parlor is a charming vintage house that was gutted out by owner Renee for the love of giving the gift of music to the community.  

If you're having a hard time figuring out which holiday concert to attend, you will not be sorry with any of the ones held at this house.  

Their concert hall is made of wood and has great ambiance and acoustics.  

The house is also filled with so many top-of-the line quality instruments and their gift shop with many treasures ideal for gifting year-round.

Also, you can take lessons here and take part in one of many different genres of jam sessions, like ukelele and bluegrass.  Totally the vibe.

-December 10: 10am-6pm 

"Estelle J. Kelsey Foundation Hands ON! Second Saturdays offers monthly free admission, hands-on art activities, storytelling, a docent-guided tour, live performances, and community collaborations.  “Art Investigators” provides children the opportunity to engage with Museum staff and take a closer look at current work on view. New exhibitions, community collaborations, guest performances, and monthly themes rotate in this engaging series of monthly programs." (Description from website) 


10 am – 6 pm | Free Admission for all Visitors 
10 am – 4 pm | Hands-on Art Projects
10:30 am & 1 pm | Art Expeditions with Bonnie
11 am | Public Tour (adult focus)
11 am & 12:30 pm | Storytelling with Whitney
11:30 am & 1 pm | In-Tune Tales: The Grinch 
12:30 pm, 1:30 pm & 2:30 pm | Chris Sexton Trio 
2 pm | Storytelling with Whitney 

-December 10: 4pm 
Nightmare Before Christmas Musical Parody

"TheatreWorks of Northern Nevada is excited to present the Musical Parody, Nightmare Before X-Mas </3, inspired by Tim Burton’s iconic film, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’. Writer and Director Jessica Grimaldo takes the classic story and transforms it into a unique realm of possibilities where you can see all your favorite characters with a modern twist. Come witness Jack the Emo King, and his beloved Hally, we mean, Sally… embark on an adventure unlike any other you’ve ever... "scene”." (Description from Website)

-December 10: 10am – 12pm
Photos with Santa
The Club at Rancharra

"Join Santa and his special guests for an INTIMATE MEET & GREET, including crafts, cookies and hot cocoa. Pictures will be captured for this Holiday memory as you witness first hand the magic of the season." (Description from website)

Have you seen this gorgeous club yet?  If not, just go!  Before checking it out, you'll want to first drop by The Village for some amazing shopping and good eats.

-December 10 & 11: 10am-4pm 
Holland Project

"The much anticipated Holland Project Holiday Market is back and is now called High Desert Art+ Craft (fka Rogue)! 50+ vendors, plus food trucks and snacks, will be hawking their wares and handmade goods over the weekend of December 7-8th.

High Desert Art+Craft celebrates the work of independent artists, crafters, and makers from throughout the region and is your one-stop-shop for the highest quality, one-of-a-kind, and most radical gifts each holiday season." (Description from website)

-December 10, 11, 17, 18
Holidays hosted by Wandering Wyld
*Rancharra Instagram
*Wandering Wyld Instagram

"Bring the kids down to meet Santa, then make some holiday treasures at the family-friendly craft stations. Snap a holiday photo against one of our festive backdrops, and find those last few gifts at the pop-up market. We'll also be hosting a coat drive for Eddy House, a non-profit that helps homeless and under-privileged youth develop the skills they need to become independent." (Description from website)
Photo by yours truly

The Village at Rancharrah is our most beautiful shopping center in Reno, with farmhouse style buildings and charming boutique stores.  

The Village is home to one of the best bakeries in town, Perenn (everything I've tried here is sooo good and I've tried almost everything) and one of my favorite ice cream joints, Rolled Mountain Creamery

Bring the family along, and play Harry Potter style chess, sit in a silly chair, play bocce ball, all while enjoying beautiful scenery while sitting next to a fireplace. 

Photo by yours truly

-December 11: 
Kitten in a Mitten Painting Workshop
*Tickets ($35)

-December 14: 6pm-8pm
Truck and Tree Paint and Sip hosted by Sudio 775 Reno (mobile painting parties)
Peavine Taphouse
*Tickets ($35)

-December 16: 7:30pm 
Nightingale Concert Hall 
*Tickets $25 (general), $20(Senior), $10(Student with ID)

"Do we have a Show of Shows for you! Spend it with us as we serve up that special holiday feeling with classics like The Little Drummer BoySilent Night and White Christmas, as well as adding family-friendly spice with The Christmas Can-CanHoliday Tango, and Sparklejollytwinklejingley. It is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!  With guest music director Dominique Christian Dale Gonzales, chorusography and staging by Mig O’Hara, and special choreography by Barbara Land and Missy Hill, what better way to kick off your holiday celebrations than spending a Holly Jolly evening with us." (Description from website)

-December 16(7pm), 17(2pm), 18(2pm)
Tahoe Nutcracker by Lake Tahoe Dance Collective (North Lake Tahoe)


-December 17: 5:30pm-7:30pm
*Event will be next to the bridge (facing the playground, walk towards the left and you'll run into it after about 10 minutes of walking).
*Live music, food, Santa Claus

-December 17: 4pm-6pm Christmas Cookie Workshop hosted by The Cookie Corner
*Designed for ages 12 & up

I've been following Alayna for a while now and she never ceases to amaze me with her amazing cookie creations and the person she is.  If you've been meaning to learn how to decorate cookies, this will be an amazing opportunity to check it off your bucket list.

Alayna can make magical cookies for any occasion, so make sure to save her info when you're looking for something special for life's celebrations.

"learn the basics of decorating cookies with royal icing and take home your delicious creations afterwards. Cocktails will be provided by Seven Troughs Speakeasy and light food will be provided by Freshies Reno." (Description from website)

Workshop Ticket includes:

-6 full size cookies

-All supplies for decorating (icing, sprinkles, tools for decorating, etc. provided)

-Icing practice guides


-Bakery box to take cookies home

-Goodie/swag bag

-1 drink voucher from Seven Troughs Speakeasy

-Light food provided by Freshies

-December 17: 10am
Annual Santa Ski Day
Mt. Rose Ski Resort

"Our annual Santa Ski Day festivities will return Saturday, December 17th.
Santas… or All those fully done up in Holiday Wear can get a $79 Lift Ticket!  (Note – just a Santa hat does not qualify)
10:30 – 12:30  NOG Bar at the Totem (Near the top of the Relay)
10:30 am – MASS SANTA SKI DOWN – KC Bowl  (10:15  meet Lakeview Load)
1:30 pm  Ugly Sweater Contest – TIMBERS"

(Description from website)

-December 18: 10:30am-12:30pm 

If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind holiday experience, this just may be what you're looking for.  Noble Pie has some delicious eats, including some of the best wings in town and some hearty and satisfying pies.  Make sure to not skip out on their salad because it's one of the most tastiest and most refreshing in town.  Enjoy good eats and company around their Nevada shaped fire pit.

"Eat, Drink, and Be Merry as Mr. & Mrs. Claus teach your little elves how to make their own pizzas with their favorite toppings. Tickets include (1) Personal Pizza + Beverage for (1) Child + (1) Adult. Additional tickets may be purchased at a discount for a 2nd Parent or Adult Chaperone. Complimentary Milk & Cookies will be included to enjoy with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

We have different tiered pricing and levels of privacy available for those wanting to work in family/friends groups or looking to mingle with others!


$2 Off All Drafts

$10 Crystal Basin Bubbles or Mimosas

$10 About Town Debb Red Blend

$10 "The Apple Of My Pie" - Salted Caramel, Apple Pie Sangria

Full Menu available for lunches, for our Parent Chaperones to enjoy during the event or for food to take home to the rest of the family!"

(Description from website)

-December 18 through December 31
GSR Theater
*Shows every Sunday @ 7pm. Doors open @ 6pm.

This is a circus-style, Christmas-themed show, with Christmas costumes and a story to tie everything together.  

Me and my family saw the original version of the show and had lots of fun.  

There were acrobats, couples dancing and swinging from the ceiling, scooters, clowns, and so much more.  

Our 3, 5, and 7 year old had no problem sitting through the show because it was so entertaining. 

Intermission midway and bar open for adult drinks. Eat at one of the many restaurants available on the same level or go down one level to the non-smoking section for more food options (Johnny Rocket's, Port of Subs, Round Table) and entertainment (bowling, theater, VR, escape rooms).

Picture from GSR website

-December 18: 5pm-9pm nightly
Elf Night at The Elf House (in Cold Springs, 30 minutes from Reno)
*Facebook for the latest updates

Take a tour of lights all the way up to the Elf House, a beautifully decorated house spreading cheer with its amazing display of lights and big hearts.

The elves will be collecting donations for a food bank throughout December for Ashlee's Toy Closet and SCPA of Northern Nevada.

Follow their Facebook page to find out when their two main nights will be that will feature The Grinch, Santa, and goodies.

Picture from their Facebook Page

-December 22
Cookies With Santa hosted by Shay Co 
*Location: The Basement 
50 S Virginia St. 
Reno, NV 89501
*Includes pictures with Santa & cookie kit ($15/kit)
*Shay Co has a new brick and mortar shop @ The Basement, our old post office building that's home to so many other local businesses.  Here you'll find coffee, sandwiches/acai bowls, a barber, crystal, bath & body shop, a speakeasy bar, and plenty of informational plaques and art on the walls.  This is one of my favorite places to hang around.
*Shay Co Shop website (local, handmade wood toys, kid's clothing, accessories) 
Online ordering available. 

-December 26: 11am-7pm, FREE
Village Ice Sculpture Contest  
Heavenly Village
*Facebook page for the latest updates

-December 26-31: 11am-9pm
Ferris Wheel (South Lake Tahoe 1.25 hours from Reno)
Heavenly Village  (base of gondola ride)
*Paid Parking @ Heavenly's garage & the parking lot across the street next to Raley's.  See "P" on map below  

Poster from 2021

-December 29 & 30
Filmstream Festival @ Heavenly Village
*Website (With trailers and descriptions of films)
*Heavenly Village Facebook Page for the latest updates
*3 Hour validated parking with purchase of cinema ticket (don't forget to ask)

An amazing local organization that connects filmmakers to film lovers.  They have a sweet lineup of films to show.  Please check out their site for trailers and descriptions. 

Watch these films at one of my favorite places in South Lake Tahoe, Heavenly Village, loaded with so much shopping, holiday spirit, entertainment, bars, lodging, restaurants, and more. 

-December 31
Heavenly Holidays with Live Music & Fireworks (South Lake Tahoe 1.25 hrs. from Reno)

2:00pm - DJ CashMaster 
5:00pm - Lizano - Reggae and Funk Fusion 
8:30pm - Headliner, The GIN BLOSSOMS (then largest free show ever offered on the south shore) 
9:00pm - Gondola Ball Drop & Fireworks

All Throughout December

-November 29 & 27, December 2,3,4,9,10,11,16,17, 18
Magical holiday Lights at the Park 
Sierra Exotic Animal Park

Christmas on the Comstock in Virginia City (25 minutes from Reno)
*A comprehensive list of events & happenings held throughout December in Virginia City 

Tree lighting 
Saloon crawl 
Holiday shopping
Parade of lights
Decorating Contests
V&T Railway Festive Train rides
A Comstock Christmas Carol Play

If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that Virginia City has my heart.  

It's an amazing spot to visit on a regular day, so imagine how it would be during the holidays.

Incline Village
40 minutes from Reno

Incline Village is mainly visited for one of the most popular and picturesque beaches in all Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor, but what a lot of people don't know is that it has a lot going on for itself all throughout the year, including their Northern Lights Festival.  

The alpine Holiday Atmosphere in Lake Tahoe is a vibe.  You must experience an event there during the holidays.  You'll thank me later.

Mountain Music Parlor has an amazing concert hall that has great vibes and beautiful acoustics.  

The owner, Rene and her husband put their hearts and souls into making this hall special for all.  

If you love music, Mountain Music Parlor is the place to be.  Surround yourself with amazing like-minded local musicians and be part of an amazing community.

Christmas Lights and Displays
Reno goes all out with Christmas decorations.  Here's a comprehensive list of where to see the best in town. 

Don't forget to dress warm.  Sometimes you may find yourself wanting to get out of your vehicle to get closer to the holiday action) bring your favorite warm drinks and snacks for the full experience. 

Tune into a Christmas radio station for further enjoyment. 

My Favorite house in Hidden Valley 7115 Pebble Beach Drive. 

*I love Hidden Valley's Parade of Lights.  This neighborhood throws an annual competition, which results in some of the best decorated houses in town.  Check out their archive to see lists of winners from past competitions.

Please drive slowly and watch out for children.  This is a popular attraction and their roads can easily get congested. 

  • 1st place          7155 Pebble Beach Dr (They did not participate this year, 2022)
  • 2nd place        113 Mia Vista Ct.
  • 3rd place          3735 Jagged Rock Road
  • 4th place          2960 Man of War Drive
  • 5th place          5665 W. Hidden Valley Dr.
  • 6th place          6012 E. Hidden Valley Dr. 
  • 7th place          5690 2308 Tamarisk Dr.
  • 8th place          6012 Clear Creek Dr.
  • 9th place          3425 Shawnee Cir.
  • 10th place        5300 East Hidden Valley Dr.

*The Lights of Tanea is especially fun since it's one of the only houses in Reno that has its lights synchronized to music on the radio.  It's been on break for the past few years and has recently come back.  Though on a smaller scale, it's still very entertaining and magical for many (especially kids).

Ice Skating

Skiing and Snowboarding 

Mt. Rose Ski Buds is an amazing teaching program for children at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe (45 minutes away from S. Reno)

Mt. Rose
Sky Tavern
Heavenly South Lake Tahoe
Diamond Peak
Tahoe Donner
Sugar Bowl 

More Winter Activities

*Scenic Gondola Ride @ Heavenly Village in South Lake Tahoe - Though this 2.4 mile ride can be a bit pricey, I encourage everyone to ride it at least one time.  Purchase a scenic ride ticket to incredible views of Lake Tahoe, dangling in the air, breathless with delight and adrenaline pumping through your body.  Note: the ride is not for those with fear of heights as you'll go up really high.

*Scenic Aerial Tram Ride @ Palisades in Olympic Valley (formerly Squaw) - This is an amazing ride that I've been on multiple times.  Not only does it supply stunning views, it also offers comfort in a bigger tram with clearer windows and leads up to an Olympic Museum attraction and food options.

*Open November through April 4th, weather and snow permitting

*Snow Tubing @ Tube Tahoe (follow their website for opening dates) 

*Cut your own Christmas Tree Must purchase permit.  
*Visit a sustainable tree farm in Apple Hill (2 hrs past South Lake Tahoe).  Many farms will have events and appearances by Santa.
*Purchase fresh cut trees at a local nursery - Moana Nursery  and Stone House Nursery are rad 
*Sparks Family Christmas Trees- Recommended by Andelin Farm, one of Reno's beloved farms. 
*If you're missing some fall action, BOA Vista Orchard in Apple Hill (2 hrs. from Reno) is open year-round and offers apple good and pantry items yearly. Don't forget a cooler to bring back frozen pies and fresh pressed apple cider.  I've started a guide on Apple Hill.  If someone is looking to plan a trip for next fall and would like more insight and details, you can visit my guide on Apple Hill here

Upload pictures of you and your family into this amazing app and watch yours"elves" transform into hip dancing elves.  

I cannot recommend this activity enough.  It's become a tradition for me and my family.  I remember crying from cracking up the first time me and my family did it. 

Local Places to Shop for Holiday Gifts

A local version of Amazon that provides a platform for people to shop local online and conveniently offers same day deliveries straight to your door.  

This amazing startup company was inspired by the need to help local business owners during a pandemic that stripped them of everything.  

-Follow them on Instagram for the latest updates

Musical instruments, lessons, and plenty of cool stocking stuffer-worthy items.  

I recently bought a clown whistle, mini ocarina, and penny whistles for myself and even a kalimba for myself.  

Renee, the owner is so nice and you'll feel like you're in Frontierland at Disneyland with the western decor and folk music playing in the background. 

A really fun place to shop at Mountain Music Parlor

-Follow their Instagram for the latest updates
Their store is loaded with so many unique toys and gadgets, both educational and fun.  Purchasing from our beloved museum helps support efforts in keeping it open for generations to come.  

If you haven't already been to the museum, it's an amazing place for people of all ages to learn and grow.  Check out their website and keep up to date with the latest events, camps, and workshops.  

During the winter (and all throughout the year), they set up so many kinds of  themed crafts that's included in admission. 

You can purchase from their gift shop without purchasing admission.

One of my favorite places to get unique gifts from around the world.  Instruments, music, bags, clothes, books, figurines, and other rad items for sale.  You can access the gift shop without purchasing admission to their museum.  

The Wilbur D. May Museum has so many amazing artifacts to look at from around the world and there are usually traveling exhibits throughout the year that are always fun and educational.  

*Last year, they had a fun "12 days of Christmas" discounts event where they gave out different discounts each day for 12 days straight for certain items.

-Jewelry, antiques, accessories, table settings, holiday decorations, furniture, plates, drinkware, kid's decor, home accessories, realistic artificial flower arrangements, and so much more.
-Friendly service

The freckled frog is a local shop located in Summit Mall in South Reno.  

It's without a doubt, the most whimsical shop I've seen in Reno to date.  Visiting their shop is an attraction in itself.  Spectacular is an understatement for their Christmas diplays.

They change up their scene with every holiday and have everything needed to make your house magical. 

Location (Midtown)

739 South Center St.

Reno NV,  89501


This photo lab in midtown is amazing. 

I had ten photos printed out for an exhibit and was impressed with how beautiful my prints were.  

If you're looking to print some photos out for some DIY gifts, this is definitely the place to get them.  They have top notch quality inks that will last for a long time.

The owner, David & his son helped squeeze in my prints the same day I asked for them despite them being busy, just like all of the other local photo labs that couldn't accommodate me. 

If you're a photographer, you'll probably recognize the red stripe on Canon lens (or better known as the "L Series"), which implies a higher quality of glass.  David has the equivalent, but in printer form.  Yes, he has a red stripe on his printer.  Mind-blowing. 

They have friendly service and the best quality prints.  They restore photos and do large format prints. They don't crop photos like commercial print shops do like Walmart and Walgreens.

I know parking in Midtown can be tough in general, but I always make it out to this shop for prints anyway because they're more than worth it.

*Fleischmann Planetarium @ The University of Nevada in Reno
Our planetarium has a cool space exhibit and an awesome store that has so many space- themed items for sale (toys, gadgets, clothing, stuffed animals, astronaut food), including lots of stocking-worthy stuffers. 

Watch educational documentaries in their dome on select days.
Currently Open (as of 11/14/2022)
Friday 2:30-8:30PM
Saturday 10am-1pm, 2:30-8:30pm
(stadium garage parking in designated marked spaces)

-Winter hours (October-May)
Every Saturday 9am-12pm
-Location: Mc Kinley Arts Center
-Facebook for the latest updates

Riverside Farmer's Market is the only year-round market in Reno filled with so many local passionate and talented farmers and vendors that provide fresh food, services, and unique craft items. 

Get your holiday shopping done here and enjoy some tasty local food.  Hang out in a fun and safe environment and get to know our community better. 

Lowenkind's divine organic gluten-free cakes always sell out.  Her jams and cooking sugars are also amazing.
This Pear Tart is something worth living for.
Subject to change week to week.  List from website. 

This shop just opened and is one of a kind, offering modern furniture, decor, and charming and awesome gifts.

The shop is run by a kind owner, Linda, who's nice to talk to and passionate about sharing her love of design with the community.

I recently purchased retro Halloween mask decor, mini cross-stitch and painting kits from her for my children.  She has a section with smaller items perfect for stockings.  

-Home Means Nevada
*Clothes and accessories with Nevada logos

*Bumblebee Blooms Flower Boutique (downtown Reno) 
Online ordering and delivery available
-Flower arrangements, gift baskets, chocolates, seasonal decor, candles, personal care items, and other items from local vendors, balloons, wines, stuffed animals for every occasion. 
-135 N. Sierra St. Ste. A2
Reno Nevada, 89501
-(775) 348-2799

*National Automobile Museum
-My post about this museum

We are so lucky to have this museum in our town as it is one of the best.  It's filled with so much history, cool cars, and so much charm.  I don't consider myself a car person, but I'm absolutely in love with it.  

This museum has a sweet gift shop with out-of-print books, vintage toy cars, kid's toys, clothing for adults, dishes, and so much more. 

Why I love the museum in a nutshell:
*amazing cars, including ones featured in movies
*rad gift shop
*you can play dress-up and take pictures in a model T
*There are a few charming short documentaries that play all throughout the day in their theater
*the volunteers that work there daily are kind
*It hosts of of the best Halloween trick or treating events yearly

Enjoy an awesome meal and cup of local coffee on the riverfront at The Shore after your visit 

*Nevada Museum of Art
-Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm,  Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm
-Facebook page for the latest updates
-Shop online
-To contact the shop directly @ (775) 398-7207
-Dining in the museum

This multi-level museum (with access to the roof) is beautiful and their exhibits are amazing, with some that change from time to time.

I remember buying my kid's first watch kit at their gift shop.  It included a cute watch and an instructional booklet nicely packaged in a box.  This is only one of many items you will find here. 

Other handmade items include: jewelry, clothing, bags, puzzles, books, stationery, and more one-of-a-kind items. 

Buy Nevada First @ The Reno Town Mall
-A shop 20,000 square feet supporting over 250+ local merchants. 

This nice owner was so kind to teach my kids about air plants.  She hunts down unique pieces to grow them in.  Air plants are low maintenance and look beautiful.  I'm so glad that the one we got from her last year is alive and thriving. 

I remember the days when Buy First Nevada was in a much smaller location.  It's grown so much and is filled with so many treasures.  I can honestly spend a whole day here looking at all of the items (both edible and non-edible) produced by many of our talented locals.  If you're lucky, you can even run into some of them and ask them about their story. 

They just opened a locally owned grocery store next door, Sierra Foods that's  currently under construction for remodeling and will open next year in the summer of 2023.

(Description from website)

"Give the gift of the Village this year! Our Passports are a super fun gift idea and stocking stuffer for the local Reno-Tahoe lover. These special booklets will only be sold during the holiday season and will contain a collection of promotions from all of our retailers that you'll never find anywhere else. As an added bonus, profits from booklet sales will be donated to local charities. Purchase yours now!


On sale thru 12/18 and available for pick up at any Village holiday event!

11/26 | 12/10 | 12/11 | 12/17 | 12/18"

Local Toy Shops
Learning Toys Express has a wide selection of fun and educational toys and is dedicated to serving the community, helping customers find the perfect gift for any occasion. Gift wrapping is included for those short on time and online ordering is available. 
-gift cards
-They have plenty of hands-on toys and activities that stimulate growth and foster creativity.
-Toy Shop in the same shopping center as walmart in Reno 
-They always have a themed section for the holidays
-customization - names and art for anything in their store

This toy shop is run by an incredibly helpful owner, who is also eager to help customers find the right gift for any occasion. 
-Toys geared toward fostering creativity and learning.
-gift wrapping available upon request with purchase
-shop located next to Yogurt Beach, and Eclipse Pizza.

Clutter-Free Gifts

There's so much Reno has to offer and tangible gifts aren't the only option.  For those looking for more experience type gifts, I came across this rad list of alternatives.  Read down further to find lists of local shops where you can get some of these types of gifts.

If you ask around on Nextdoor and Facebook Groups, I'm sure you can find someone with specific recommendations on where to find anything from the above list locally. 

*Buy a gift card from a comprehensive list of amazing local restaurants 

Some of my personal recommendations that come to mind:

Gardnerville (45 mins. from South Reno)
-Bordeoux, roka, turtles, truffles, gift baskets, toffee, caramels, printed cookies, holiday- themed treats, chocolate-dipped rice crispies, marshmallows, peppermint barks, ice cream sauces, peanut butter cups, old fashioned peanut brittle, sugar-free, alcohol truffles, and custom orders.
-Made from scratch in house

This shop has the best selection of Christmas-themed goodies and they can ship custom baskets and orders anywhere in the USA.  Sounds like the perfect and most convenient gift option to me.

The Chocolate Shoppe makes delicious treats from scratch.

-Next to Washoe Lake, 15 minutes from South Reno.  They also have a stand at Meadowood Mall and a second location near Virginia City/Carson City.
-Offers brittles, a wide assortment of chocolates, fudge, taffy and hard candy, sugar-free, gift boxes, and so much more.  
-Follow them on Instagram for behind-the-scenes concoctions and updates.  They pride themselves on making quality chocolates made with the freshest ingredients.
Chocolate Nugget Factory is so charming with the best service.

*Bouchee Confections 
-fine quality chocolates and desserts
-Natalie's chocolates are works of art and the best thing is that they're also delicious.
-advent calendar filled with gourmet bon bons
-The only place that does traditional high tea service with everything made from scratch.  Must make reservations ahead of time as they book out fast.

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate - Crispy Chocolate Cookie Base, Chocolate Almond Sacher Cake, 66% Ecuador Origin Dark Chocolate, Cremeux Milk Chocolate Mousse, Dark Chocolate Glaze.  This is my most favorite dessert in all of Reno that I crave and dream about constantly.  This is every chocolate lover's dream come true.  The crispy chocolate cookie base is a game changer.
Strawberry Pistacio - Pistachio Financier, Strawberry Gelee, Mascarpone Vanilla Mousse, Red White Chocolate Glaze.  This is one of my favorites.  Delicate with so many layers of flavors and textures and supreme pistachio flavor.
Try any of Natalie's Bon Bons.  They're all really yummy!

*Tandem Chocolates (online ordering available)
-craft chocolates
-new local shop

*Pangolin Cafe (Online ordering and pickup)
-Turkish delights and toffee tins perfect for special occasions
-high quality bags of coffees and loose leaf teas

-fine bags of coffees & teas and merchandise

This is hands down my favorite pasta spot in Reno.  

They hand make their noodles daily and use organic ingredients.  

Not only is their food simply delicious, this local business is run by passionate people, including Paolo, Alex, and their hardworking and kind team.  

Follow them on Facebook for updates on their latest concoctions. 

You can find them at the Riverside farmer's market at the McKinley Arts Center every Saturday in winter, 9am-12pm, or visit them at their restaurant @ The Shops at Bartley Ranch.

Fausta is the owner of this business and throughout the years I've been buying from her from all of our farmer's markets, she's been the sweetest and most giving lady.  

She is one of the most talented bakers/cooks and can cook up storms of any and everything.  Place an order to give as gifts (like her delicious cookies) or go big and get her to cater a special event.  

She knows her spices and can cook African style food (she's from Ghana in Africa).  

She also caters to different dietary needs (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free). 

You can find Fausta at the Riverside farmer's market at the McKinley Arts Center every Saturday 9am-12pm through May for the winter.

*Music lessons at our very own local music shop, Mountain Music Parlor 
-Guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, accordion, harmonica, bluegrass harmony, celtic flute & bodhran, folk harp, voice, folk dance, ukulele, songwriting, mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, & more. 

I met the owner, Renee, of Mountain Music Parlor, who I learned poured her heart and soul into the creation of a place that would later become a pillar of the community used for gathering, learning, and sharing in the joy of everything to do with music.

I was so moved by the story of how the whole community came together many years ago to throw numerous fundraisers to raise money to fuel Rene's dream of giving the gift of music to the community.  

She would use funds to build suitable rooms for music, a stage for performers to express their creativity, hire staff, and help make the place feel welcoming.  

Up until the pandemic, Mountain Music Parlor was doing great.  Sadly, it lost 90% of its students and 50% of its teachers.  As Rene told me this, I could see and hear the pain being expressed.  

I am determined to help Rene and will make every effort to help keep this precious gem open.  If you're interested in joining me on this mission, please read on to find out how you can help. 

How to Support & Help Keep our Amazing Local Music Shop Open:
*Purchase a lesson for yourself or as a gift for someone else
*Purchase an item from the store (instruments, gadgets, song books, and other fun things)
*Spread the word about the shop
*If you're a passionate music teacher, consider working for this shop.  They're currently looking for teachers
*Organize a jam session to have in their amazing back room (pay a minimal fee)
*Pass by to say hi.  A friendly face is always refreshing.
*If you're a creative person that loves planning events, you can brainstorm some ideas of how to get the business back on its feet.
*Talk to like-minded parents and gather a group of adults or kids for lessons

Mountain Parlor Music has the best quality instruments

Private Music Lessons with an Amazing Local Musician

Bijou Bell is an incredible and multi-talented musician in Reno, offering drumset, vibraphone, percussion, and songwriting lessons.

She's so passionate at what she does and has a one-of-a-kind voice that will take you to another world.  

Anyone that hires her or witnesses her talent firsthand would be so lucky.

Check out her Instagram page to hear and see all of the magic she shares with the world.

*Learn how to make pizza at one of my favorite local pizza joints- South Creek Pizza
*Axe Throwing Lessons @ Reno Axe (gift cards)
*Music Lessons @ Jampro (My kids are currently enrolled and love it here)

Jampro in South Reno

*Sewing lessons at Sierra Sewing, Quilting & Vacuums
*Sewing lessons at A-1 Vacuums & Sewing
*Canvas Painting Classes @ The Crafted Palette. Downtown Reno. (gift cards)

*Tickets to Plays @ The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts
*Tickets/Gift Cards to Movies @ Century Summit Theater in South Reno
*Tickets/Gift Cards to Movies @ Galaxy Theaters in Sparks
*Tickets/Gift Cards to Movies @ Century Riverside 12
*Treetop Adventure in Lake Tahoe (gift card option available on website)
*Escape Rooms - I completed all of the rooms at Break Through Reno @ GSR Casino and they were all so amazing.  

They had a bonus puzzle to solve in the lobby upon completion of all rooms that came full circle into a cohesive story, tying each room into an unsolved mystery.  Solve the riddle and figure out the combination to the locker that holds a mystery item.

The rooms are so well done and have the best details and the best combinations of types of puzzles.

Ceramic Painting  
I've been to all of these studios and they're all great.  My go-to is All Fired Up since they offer a wide variety of crafts in addition to ceramic painting, including pottery painting, candle making, mosaics/sign making, succulent gardens, slime station, and bath bar.  The space is so vibrant and fun, the service is always friendly, and you can't beat its location at the outlets, with a theater across the way, food, and plenty of other attractions nearby.

*All Fired Up (The Legends at Sparks)
*Color Me Mine (South Reno)


*Moana Nursery (Gift cards South Virginia location) (Custom floral and plant arrangements with delivery)

*Our Local Basket meal kits are sourced from local farms

Local Bookstores

Categorized under "Season/Holidays"---->"Yearly Seasonal Guides"