From train rides to monster fish, Reno and the surrounding area offers a large array of family activities with something for every member of the family to enjoy. We’ve rounded up some of the highlights to make vacation planning easy and crowd pleasing.
Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum
Although we promise our children that monsters aren’t real, some mysterious giants lurk beneath the surface of the world’s rivers. Join University of Nevada, Reno Professor Dr. Zeb Hogan, host of the Nat Geo WILD series “Monster Fish,” on his journey to discover and protect the world’s largest freshwater fish. “Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants,” on exhibit at The Discovery from November through mid-April, features life-size sculptures, video installations and hands-on interactive exhibits of more than 20 species that measure at least 6 feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds. The museum is located in downtown Reno at 490 S. Center St. For hours and information, visit The Discovery or call 775-786-1000.
Nothing says fall like a trip to the pumpkin patch. Lattin Farms, an easy drive from Reno to Fallon, takes it one step further by providing a corn maze, hay rides, pedal cars, a “cow train,” petting zoo and a produce stand. The 2015 festival runs Fridays and Saturdays through October with a special moonlight maze Sept. 25 and Oct. 23-24. Visitors can also visit the “scarecrow factory” to create their own scarecrow Oct. 10, 17 and 24. The farm is located at 1955 McLean Road in Fallon. Visit Lattin Farms or call 775-864-3750 for hours and information.
Nevada Museum of Art
Take a deeper look into the history and aesthetic of Lake Tahoe, Reno’s beloved neighbor. “Tahoe: A Visual History” provides a glimpse into Tahoe’s famous landscape through the vision of more than 175 painters, photographers, basket weavers, architects and sculptors. This marks the first comprehensive exhibition to survey artwork related to Lake Tahoe, Donner Pass and the surrounding Sierra Nevada region. You’ll leave knowing more about the area than you ever did before. The museum is located in downtown Reno at 160 W. Liberty St. Visit the museum online or call 775-329-3333 for hours and information.
Historic Virginia and Truckee Railroad
Pumpkin patch trains, Halloween-themed rides and a day out with Thomas & Friends add to the already destination-worthy Virginia and Truckee Railroad. Board from the original 1870 V & T passenger depot and museum in downtown Virginia City and enjoy a 35-minute round-tip featuring Comstock mines, Gold Hill and the story of the area’s boom and bust. The V &T offers seven departures daily through Oct. 31. The depot and museum are located at 165 F. St. in Virginia City. Call 775-847-0380 or click here.
University of Nevada, Reno District Museums
Catch a star show, hold a wiggly creature and view a priceless silver collection at one of the many stops of the University District Museums, which include 12 diverse galleries and attractions that celebrate Northern Nevada and beyond. Popular stops include the W.M. Keck Earth Science and Mineral Engineering Museum, home to an Ichthoysaur fossil and the Mackay Silver Collection; the Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center, which offers star shows in the Dome Theater and free exhibits; and the newly opened Museum of Natural History, which houses the university’s teaching collection of plants, local and tropical insects, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and some of the oldest collections in Nevada dating back to the 1850s. To learn more, click this link.