Fresh air and out of your hair: These July events are a win-win for parents and kids
Mix these pantry staples into ground beef to take your burgers, for July 4 and beyond, from basic to brilliant. Johnathan L. Wright, RGJ
The best time to appreciate the outdoors is often during the hot summer days and lovely evenings of July. Water and sunscreen are necessary during the day, but a jacket and appreciative spirit are usually more than enough at night. Consider one -- or all – of these outdoors-related events as fun activities to do with family and friends in mid-to-late July.
1. Star Party
Head to Fort Churchill State Historic Park, 10000 Highway 95A, Silver Springs, on July 14 to check out the nighttime stars. This "Star Party" event, scheduled from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m., features high-powered telescopes set up by the Northern Nevada Astronomy Group. The evening starts with a short presentation followed by a look at planets and stars through the telescopes. Be sure to wear a jacket and bring a lawn chair. A $5 admission fee per vehicle is required for entry into the park.
2. Galena Creek Regional Park Campfire
Enjoy roasted marshmallows and a campfire program at Galena Creek Regional Park, 18250 Mount Rose Highway, on July 20. Marshmallow roasting begins at 7:30 p.m. with the campfire program, featuring live bluegrass music, kicking off at 8 p.m. Flashlights, bug spray, low-backed chairs and blankets are not only recommended, but probably essential. No fee is charged for the event, but a $4 per person donation is recommended.
3. Family Summer Event at Cabela's
Cabela's is where it's at on July 21 from noon to 4 p.m. when kids have the opportunity to learn about a variety of things out-of-doors. At noon, area fishing spots and the kind of equipment needed for fishing is the theme. At 1 p.m., the topic is shooting sports, including slingshots, and how safety is important. The 2 p.m. hour lends kids the chance to learn about conservation and become a Young Conservationist while 3 p.m. focuses on fire safety and how to successfully build a fire. Just head to Cabela's, 8650 Boomtown Road, Verdi, to participate.
4. Bees of Nevada
Learn about the many native bee species of Northern Nevada and why they make this area their home. A talk on these amazing creatures is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. July 21 at the Galena Creek Visitor Center, 18250 Mount Rose Highway. Find out more about bee biology and ecology and how the high desert environment plays an important part in bee diversity. The event is completely free. Just be sure to enjoy the visitor's center and a short hike afterward.
5. Evening on the Ranch
Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road, features an "Evening on the Ranch" on July 25 that should be an all-around good time for families. The event begins at 6 p.m. with an historic ranch tour followed at 7 p.m. by live music. On July 25, enjoy bluegrass performed by the Northern Nevada Bluegrass Association Monday Night Volunteers. A $3 donation is requested.
6. Walk at Bowers Mansion
Explore the grounds of Bowers Mansion, 4005 Bowers Mansion Road, Washoe Valley, on July 26 with a Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation-sponsored hike that starts at 6 p.m. Learn about the native people who lived in the area, gold prospecting and even Mark Twain. Restrooms are available on this hike, but no dogs are allowed. Meet directly next to the mansion.
7. Telescope Viewing
Look through telescopes set up at The Fleischmann Planetarium at UNR between 8 and 10 p.m. on July 27. Enjoy the stars and a hopefully a clear-night sky. No fee is charged for this event, but be sure to bring a jacket for cooler late-evening temps. Public telescope viewing is regularly scheduled at the planetarium on the fourth Friday of the month from 8 to 10 p.m.
8. Full Moon Hike
Participate in a full-moon hike, scheduled from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on July 26 at Washoe Lake State Park. Hiking boots, water and a flashlight are a must. This three-mile adventure travels along the South Loop Equestrian Trail and leaves from the Equestrian Pavilion. To get to the park, take exit 44 from I-580 and then head four miles north on Eastlake Boulevard. Turn in to the park on the left. Make a reservation in advance by calling 775-687-4319. Admission into the park is $5 per vehicle, but there is no additional fee for the hike.
9. Morning Walk to Carriage Square Park
Sponsored by Muscled-Powered in Carson City, this morning walk starts at 8 a.m. on July 27 and features a one- to two-mile adventure that should be completed within an hour. No worries – there will be little elevation gain. Meet at the corner for Cabrolet Drive and Victoria Lane in Carson City to prepare to head to the park and then along Winnie Lane. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and bring water.
10. Last Friday in Downtown Sparks
Enjoy all that the city of Sparks has to offer on the last Friday of the month. In fact, the "Art of Food" is the theme of the "Last Friday" event scheduled on July 27 in Downtown Sparks. Storyteller and actress Karen Vuranch will share stories about the oh-so-famous chef known as Julia Child. The fun starts at 6 p.m. in the Victorian Square Amphitheatre and includes a cooking demonstration. Free tours also will be available of the train display, Glendale Schoolhouse and Sparks Museum, providing families a chance to discover more along Victorian Avenue. A free showing of "Fried Green Tomatoes" kicks off at 8 p.m. in the amphitheater.