The weather is cooling down, but family fun activities in the Reno/Sparks area are heating up as the holidays approach. Plenty of arts, music and family-friendly activities are going on in November, including a Dia De Los Muertos concert at the Pioneer Center and the V&T Candy Cane Express in Virginia City.
This list of 10 mostly-cultural family activities to do in November includes events at the Pioneer Center, Andelin Farms, the Lake Mansion and other sites. Pull out your calendar or open your phone app to schedule these in before November passes by.
- Enjoy a free family concert celebrating El Dia De Los Muertos at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, 100 S. Virginia St., on Nov. 4. The concert, beginning at 10 a.m., features music from Mexico that will be performed by The Reno Philharmonic. The event, sponsored by the Nell J. Redfield Foundation, includes preconcert events that begin at 9 a.m. Although the event is free, registration is required for seating. Details: pioneercenter.com.
- The Punkin' Chunkin' STEM Showcase on Nov. 4 is a chance to see kid creations at their best as pumpkins are sent flying through the air. The event takes place at Andelin Farms, 8100 Pyramid Way, with pumpkin-capulting machines showcased from 9 to 10 a.m., followed by the main pumpkin-chunking event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Games will be available for kids throughout and food trucks will be on site for the whole family. Details: washoeschools.net.
- Anyone can head out to acknowledge our veterans at the City of Reno's Veterans Day Parade, scheduled Nov. 11 along Virginia Street from First through Fifth streets. The parade starts at 11:20 a.m. following a commemorative opening ceremony scheduled for a 11:11 a.m. start time at the Virginia Street Bridge. Families be sure to get there early, as this year's parade theme is "Reno 150 - Celebrating Reno's Sesquicentennial." Details: reno.gov
- Let your kids dig their hands into clay during Nevada Museum of Art's Kid Play in Clay: Christmas Ornaments. This clay-oriented event is scheduled for Nov. 12 and features two activity times: from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and again from 3 to 4 p.m. The cost is $22 for museum members and $25 for nonmembers. The event is geared toward 2- to-6 year-olds and youngsters will make a keepsake ornament during the event. Details: nevadaart.org.
- Take a tour of an historic mansion in downtown Reno during the Lake Mansion Jingles Family Art Festival. Local author Patty Cafferata will be at the mansion to answer questions and to sign books she has written about historical buildings. The festival, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 18, also features activities for children, including a visit with Santa, face-painting and eight different arts centers. Details: artsforallnevada.org.
- "Buttcracker: 8"opens at the Bruka Theatre, 99 N. Virginia St., on Nov. 24 and runs specific days through Dec. 23. Recommended for those ages 12 and older, "Buttcracker" is a comedic parody of the well-known "Nutcracker." This year's version features a historical time-travel adventure. Ticket prices vary, but start at $22 for students. Details: www.bruka.org.
- Pick up local gifts and let your kids or grandkids get their pictures taken with Saint Nick at the Crafts for Christmas event scheduled Nov. 24, 25 and 26 at John Ascuaga's Nugget. Saint Nick appears from noon to 4 p.m. each day, but kids also can catch holiday performances by local groups and find other activities to do. There also will be a wide variety of crafts for sale, including many that may catch the eyes of kids -– just tell them to wait for Santa or someone else to bring that gift instead! Admission and parking for this event are free at the Nugget. Details: nuggetcasinoresort.com.
- The V&T Candy Cane Express is a must-do for children of all ages. Open for rides beginning Nov. 24, 25 and 26, the express includes a 50-minute journey on a railroad route that is 140 years old in the Virginia City area. Kids can enjoy hot cocoa or cider on the train, sing Christmas carols and even munch on cookies or candy canes. Train rides are available at noon and 2 p.m. on the November dates and leave from the Virginia City depot. Tickets are $19 for those 12 and older, and $9 for children ages 2-12. Details: virginiatruckee.com.
- The Holiday Book Drive and Build-A-Story eventat Barnes & Noble Bookstore on Nov. 25 starts at 11 a.m. and includes a new book drive to benefit children in Northern Nevada followed by story time and an activity known as Build-A-Story. All of this fun takes place near the stage in the Kids' Department. Pick up a new book for your kid or kids while there. Details: barnesandnoble.com.
- The Reno Philharmonic Youth Orchestra performs 7 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, showcasing the skill of talented youth musicians in the area. The performance starts with the Youth Strings Symphonia, followed by the Youth Concert Orchestra and the Youth Symphony Orchestra. Expect to hear pieces by Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Copland and other composers. Tickets cost $5 for children 18 and younger and $10 for adults. Details: renophil.com.