Give the kids a taste of the wild west at Reno Rodeo
Traveling to Reno June 15-24 so that you can hit up the Reno Rodeo with the kids? While the Reno Rodeo runs for 10 days, a short weekend trip promises plenty of things to do and tons of fun.
Planning a trip, even if it's from Sacramento or another nearby location, takes some organization, particularly when kids are involved. As a first step, be sure to check out the Reno Rodeo website. There, you can find information on events, news and ways to get involved.
“The Reno Rodeo website is a great resource for folks coming in from out of town," said Scott Peterson, president of the Reno Rodeo. "In fact, we have a whole family events tab just for kid-friendly events offered at the rodeo."
This list can be found under the events tab on the website. You also can find information about other Reno Rodeo happenings, like special events and rodeo theme nights. If you need help planning things to do that weekend, including places to stay or where to eat, here are some ideas:
What to see at the rodeo
The Reno Rodeo Parade can be enjoyed from 10-11 a.m. June 17. It travels on Virginia Street from Arroyo Street to California Avenue and includes an hour of eye-popping fun, featuring plenty of horses, cowboys and cowgirls, and more than likely the return of the Paws 4 Love Therapy Dogs. The route gives families the opportunity to explore and check out many of the interesting shops in Midtown afterward.
Kids' Day runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 18 at the indoor arena with free activities and events for kids of all ages.
Of course, the rodeo carnival is a must-do for any family. The carnival runs from 4 p.m. to midnight June 15-16 and 19-23, and noon to midnight June 17, 18, 24. To make it affordable for older kids who want hours of fun, a $30 all-you-can ride armband can be purchased. However, armband sales stop two hours before closing time. Individual ride tickets also can be purchased at $1.25 a pop or $24 for a book of 24 passes. There are restrictions on some rides.
Check out the Junior Roping challenge from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 19 in the indoor pavilion at the fairgrounds. The event includes three rounds of competitions, culminating in a top round with the final contestants, as well as competitors broken up into three different age groups, up to age 12. Never seen a child 5 or younger try to do a neck catch or half head on a dummy steer? Here's your chance!
The Special Kids Rodeo is Sunday, June 18 at the indoor pavilion of the fairgrounds. Registration is required, but it gives children with special needs the opportunity to sign up for a 1 p.m., 1:45 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. slot and personally experience the rodeo, such as by roping steer dummies. Space is limited to 40 participants during each session.
What to eat at the rodeo, around town
If you are hitting up the parade Saturday morning along Virginia Street, you might want to try Peg's Glorified Ham and Eggs at 420 S. Sierra St. — not too far from the parade route. A children's menu is available for Lil' Peglets, but the regular menu features an array of breakfast items, such as eggs, pancakes and omelets, as well as salads, specialty sandwiches and burgers. Peg's opens at 6:30 a.m.
Of course, the Reno Rodeo itself has a variety of food options, with some of those selections available carnival side. Just think corn dogs, cotton candy, funnel cakes, curly fries, lemonade, popcorn and peanuts. The food court, located just outside the rodeo arena, will have even more options, including barbecue plates and fries topped with pulled pork, cheddar cheese, sour cream and more at BJ's BBQ. Expect to find at least a dozen vendors offering everything from hamburgers to Mexican fare.
Two Chicks Reno is in Midtown and features a variety of breakfast foods as well as daily specials. Local products, such as duck eggs and sausage, are incorporated into the menu, but the real kicker may be the menu's melts and sandwiches. If anyone in your family is into grilled cheese, Two Chicks Reno may be the place to try, offering items like a caprese melt or bumble brie.
Other things to do
The Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum, 490 S. Center St., is too fun to pass up. It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday (as well as other times during the week) and includes hands-on activities, experiences and opportunities. Nine permanent exhibits are available, and kids could literally spend hours engrossed in exhibit rooms, such as Build It, The Shop and DaVinci's Corner. The current featured exhibit is "A T. rex Named Sue." Admission costs $10-12 per person.
Of course, shopping in Midtown always can be fun. The store Happy Happy Joy Joy, 23 Martin St., is full of excitement, whether that's artsy items, unique toys for the kids or eye-popping merchandise. The large cat mural on the outside will let you know you're there. The store is opened 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. When you are done, you can head right next door to Sippees New and Used Clothes for more unique shopping fun.
The Nevada Museum of Art is accessible for children because of its small size and ease to walk through and enjoy. You can catch a free guided tour of the museum at 1 p.m. Saturday (free with admission, that is). General admission costs $10 for adults and $1 for children 6 through 12. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Where to stay
Boomtown Reno is a hard place to pass up, whether you are headed into or out of town. Located on Interstate 80 west of Reno, this hotel casino features a fun center for children. The 30,000-square-foot center includes an antique carousel, mini golf course, a covered-wagon Ferris wheel and more. A max pass is available for $15, and the center is open until 10 p.m. on weekends. With its nostalgic bend, Mels Diner at Boomtown is a fun place to eat.
Looking for a place to cool off during your visit to town? Then you may want to try the Peppermill Resort Hotel. Its pools are build into a Tuscan-like setting and lifeguards keep an eye on swimmers. Both the lower deck and upper deck pools are geothermally heated and open until 10 p.m. You can even rent a private cabana. If you have a center-facing room, you may have a poolside view so you can see the illumination of the pool at night.
The Grand Sierra Resort and Casino is another place to think about staying. It offers an in-house movie theater that screens films for $4 a ticket. Popcorn is also a good deal at the concession stand. Additionally, you will find a 50-lane bowling alley, a laser tag arena and a video arcade, FunQuest. Consider heading to the resort's pool or stopping in at any of its kid-friendly restaurants, such as Round Table Pizza, Yogurt Beach, Johnny Rockets or Port of Subs.