Here are 10 events to do with your kids this fall in Northern Nevada. Laura Longero/RGJ
Summer is fading away and cold morning and evenings are shouldering their way in. That said, there are plenty of opportunities that remain for families and kids to get outdoors during the upcoming weeks. That could mean a short hike, viewing the stars through telescopes or competing in a skate and scooter competition (kids only!).
Here are 10 things that families and kids can do over the next several weeks.
10. Take a stroll at May Arboretum
The 13-acre Wilbur D. May Arboretum has more than 4,000 native and adaptive-plant species. Additionally, visitors can find beautiful outdoor courtyards, specialty gardens, tree groves and wetland habitats to explore. Just keep in mind that the arboretum is a dog-free public area. The arboretum is open to the public during open hours at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, 1595 N. Sierra St. Any adults wanting to celebrate the autumnal equinox can head to the arboretum on Sept. 22 for a labyrinth walk. The walk begins at 10 a.m. and is a polite way to show summer the door and welcome the sights and sounds of autumn.
9. See the stars
Head to Washoe Lake State Park on the evening of Sept. 23 to take in a view of the stars and planets through telescopes set up by the Northern Nevada Astronomy Group. The telescopes will be available for viewing from 8 to 11 p.m. in the Maze Parking Lot, at the south entrance of the park, 4855 Eastlake Blvd., Carson City. Be sure to head out with cash (or check!) in hand, as the event is $7 per car, although a $2 discount is available for Nevada residents.
Details: Kim Zuch at 775-687-4319 or email washoelake@hdissnet.
8. Skating, scooting
Kids can show off their best moves and tricks at Mills Park Skate Park, 1111 E. William Street, Carson City, at 10 a.m. Sept. 23. The entry fees are $3 to enter the best trick contest and $7 to enter the skate and scooter competition. Entrants in the skate and scooter contest will be judged on three 40-second runs, and there are three competition categories: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Medals and prizes will be awarded. Don't come without a helmet, however, and consider bringing those knee and elbow pads along, too.
7. Walk the Lockwood Trailhead
This trailhead and surrounding area is often underappreciated, but provides opportunities to see kestrels (which are small falcons), kingfishers, frogs, long-tailed weasels and more. Meet at the Lockwood Trailhead at 6 p.m. Sept. 28 to head off on a one-mile walk. Learn about the geology of the area and the different plant and animal species that live there. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome. Just be sure to know how to get to the trailhead.
Directions are here.
6. Get a new view of Sand Harbor
Participate in a four-mile loop hike that provides breathtaking views down along the shores of Sand Harbor State Park at Lake Tahoe. Don't head to the park, however. The hike starts at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30 at Spooner Lake State Park, a quarter mile north of Highway 50 on State Route 28. A ranger will drive hikers up to Marlette Peak Campground to start the hike. Be sure to bring water, a lunch and sunscreen. The hike is moderately difficult. Wear hiking boots and a hat. Although the hike is free, a park entrance fee of $10 per car applies with a $2 discount for Nevada residents.
Register by calling Jay Howard at 775-831-0494 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Clean up the Truckee River
Why not enjoy the outdoors while helping to make it clean? Sign up for Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful Truckee River Clean-up, scheduled to for the morning of Sept. 30. This is a chance to get involved in a community event that occurs the last Saturday of September each year. Volunteers remove trash from along the banks of the Truckee River and its tributaries at the Oxbow Nature Study Area, Rock Park, Mayberry Park and other sites. A volunteer appreciation picnic is held afterward and includes a cookout, prizes and more. Sign up in advance here.
4. Bike-riding class for kids
Some kids need help learning how to ride a bike and that's A-OK. Bike-riding skills are the focus of this class running from 8 to 10 a.m. Oct. 1 at REI, 2225 Harvard Way. The class, "How to Ride a Bike for Kids," is only for children age 4 to 11, so don't try to get in on this game, parents. Instructors will help children learn how to stop and start, maneuver around obstacles and conquer any fears. Kids do need to have their own bikes on hand, with the training wheels removed. The class costs $59 for members and $69 for nonmembers. Registration and details are here.
3. Walk interpretive trail at Golden Eagle park
Head to Golden Eagle Regional Park on Oct. 3 to get out on the trail with Washoe County regional staff. The half-mile Pah Rah Interpretive Trail at Golden Eagle Regional Park, 6400 Vista Blvd., is the focus of this walk. The event is part of the "Walk with Washoe" series, which also includes an Oct. 17 one-mile hike at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road. The walks at both parks are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. Details are here.
2. Discover bighorn sheep
Although there will not be any actual bighorn sheep on hand at this event on Oct. 7 at Galena Creek Regional Park, children and adults alike will be able to learn about this iconic state species. Entitled "Hooves and Horns," this talk takes place from 2 to 3 p.m. at the park and is led by researcher Virginia Chadwick, who is a board member of the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Foundation. Galena Creek Regional Park, 18350 Mount Rose Highway, also hosts guided hikes every Saturday starting at 10 a.m. throughout the year.
1. Run for pancakes
What's a run without pancakes? Registrants get both at the Sparks Fire fourth annual First Alarm 5K Walk/Run scheduled to start at 8 a.m. Oct. 14 at Sparks Station One, 1605 Victorian Ave. While it's the fourth annual run, it's the 28th annual pancake breakfast, which means these people know how to do things right. Why get the kids involved? The event includes a tour of the fire station, kids' activities, safety demonstrations and more.
Call Chris McCubbins at 775-353-1658 to register.