‘Tis the season to be jolly and busy with this December calendar of events in Reno and Sparks. Many of our favorite holiday events are back, including tree lightings, craft markets, entertaining shows, and more! So, get your list and check it twice to make sure you’ve got all these fun activities, shows, and more on your calendar.

Have Yourself a Happy Holiday With This December Calendar Of Events In Reno

Holiday Creativity Kits - December Calendar Of Events In RenoHoliday Creativity Kits

  • When: Now through Friday, December 17, 2021
  • Where: Lake Mansion, 250 Court St., Reno
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Holiday Creativity Kits are back to keep kids busy during the holiday break!

All art supplies are included, and exclusive access to videos with Art for All’s talented Teaching Artists that will instruct each activity. These are projects that kids can do while following along with the video instruction, but they are also great projects for families to do together. Designed for kids 6-11 years old.

Santa’s Christmas Wonderland

  • When: Now through Sunday, December 26, 2021
  • Where: Eldorado Resort Casino, 345 N. Virginia St., Reno
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Santa’s Christmas Wonderland will be in the Eldorado Showroom through December 26.

This is quite simply one of the most delightful and enchanting Christmas shows ever. Complete with glittering costumes, a dazzling cast, classic Christmas songs, and the highest kicking chorus girls this side of the North Pole!

Start Christmas in style as Santa and his merry helpers take the audience on an unforgettable nostalgic Christmas journey. Songs include: “White Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and many more.

Christmas Wonderland is pure Christmas magic. It’s perfect for all the family and radiates so much fun and festive cheer; it could turn on all the Christmas lights in town!

Electric Holiday Train O Lights - December Calendar Of Events In RenoElectric Holiday Train O’ Lights!

  • When: Now through Saturday, December 18, 2021
  • Where: Virginia & Truckee Railroad Depot, 165 F. St., Virginia City
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It’s Christmas on the Comstock with thousands of LED lights!

What better place to be than in Virginia City for the Holiday steam extravaganza of Lights? After a stroll down the boardwalk shopping and enjoying some merry carols, head on down to the 1870 Virginia & Truckee depot at 5 and 6:30 p.m. to catch the spectacular Holiday Train O’ Lights steam train. The V&T staff overlooks no details to bring the best in holiday cheer. The 40-minute narrated steam train ride to Gold Hill is decorated with thousands of lights and sure to make memories for all.

V&T Candy Cane Express

  • When: Now through Sunday, December 19, 2021
  • Where: Virginia & Truckee Railroad Depot, 165 F St., Virginia City
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If the kids and grandma have been good all year (okay, most of the year)… add a little magic to the season and bring them to Virginia City to ride the V&T Candy Cane Express. Steeped in the holiday spirit, this whimsical train has become a cherished local tradition for families of all ages.

On the scenic 45-minute journey over the original 150-year old V&T railroad route, participants will enjoy hot cocoa or cider, candy canes, and cookies on the festively decorated train. Watch little faces light up while riding through the enchanting Candy Cane tunnel. Listen to a reading of the 1823 classic “T’was the Night Before Christmas” and see wild horses along the way! Whether the V&T Candy Cane Express is a new experience or one cherished over the years, it’s a magical event the family will never forget.

Christmas on the Comstock - December Calendar Of Events In RenoChristmas on the Comstock

  • When: Wednesday, December 1, 2021–Friday, December 31, 2021
  • Where: Virginia City, 85 S. C St., Virginia City
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This December will have everyone believing again with three weekends of events and a month-long celebration for the entire family surrounded by a historic Victorian setting. Festivities include a parade, concerts, tours, A Comstock Christmas Carole original production, Father Christmas, carriage rides, Christmas trains, letters to Santa, a Christmas Challenge town-wide activity, a shopping spree worth $1,000, and much more.

It’s a real-life vintage Christmas celebration embracing the slower pace and filled with lights and local shops decorated to the hilt all month long. There’s no place like historic Virginia City for that warm and fuzzy, traditional Christmas vibe. This year the town is going all out, all month long.

Get the ultimate Christmas experience in Virginia City with a sleigh ride to meet Santa Claus! Hop on the sleigh in this Victorian wonderland and ride through town on a journey to the Historic Fourth Ward School Museum & Archives and meet the star himself.

39 North Pole Village - December Calendar Of Events In Reno39 North Pole Village

  • When: Thursday, December 2, 2021–Saturday, December 4, 2021
  • Where: Downtown Sparks
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The 6th Annual 39 North Pole Village holiday light festival returns to Downtown Sparks. This free holiday light festival will feature thousands of twinkling lights, holiday shopping booths, great food, family fun, and holiday cheer.

This year’s event will have more vendors, double the entertainment, and the plaza will be saturated in holiday light displays. The heated vendor tent provides an excellent opportunity to shop this holiday season locally. Santa will also be there for free photos and to listen to Christmas wish lists.

7th Tahoe Film Fest

  • When: Thursday, December 2, 2021–Sunday, December 5, 2021
  • Where: Various Locations
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Tahoe Film Fest is a welcome addition to the cultural atmosphere in one of the most spectacular places to visit. Those who live in and around Lake Tahoe respect their environment, and countless organizations exist to protect beautiful Lake Tahoe. The premiere section of the programming is environmental films that educate and celebrate the efforts of everyone who helps to maintain the beauty of such a pristine lake and its surroundings. Tahoe Film Fest also celebrates influential American independent films, new films from Latin America, and award-winning music documentaries. All proceeds from Tahoe Film Fest benefit UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC).

First Thursday

  • When: Thursday, December 2, 2021
  • Where: Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St., Reno
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First Thursday looks a little different, but the mix of friends and Members remains the same. The event returns with live music, specialty refreshments, and plenty of fun. Powered by Tesla, sponsored by Bank of America, and hosted by Great Basin Brewing Company and The X 100.1 FM Radio. Additional support by Whispering Vine Wine Co.

Skip the long lines! Join or renew online before First Thursday and use the “Members” check-in line on the event night.

Holiday Pop Up Card Class - December Calendar Of Events In RenoHoliday Pop Up Card Class

  • When: Thursday, December 2, 2021
  • Where: Lake Mansion, 250 Court St., Reno
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The Holidays are near, and what better gift to give a loved one than a handcrafted 5″ x 7″ Holiday card! The teaching artist will show attendees how to make a unique holiday card that pops up when opened. This could be the perfect gift for a loved one! Students are encouraged to bring photos to add a personalized touch to their cards. All supplies are included in this class that’s recommended for anyone age 8 and older.

MidTown Reno First Thursday’s

Make a plan to enjoy the places that make MidTown the Heart of Reno the first Thursday of each month! Local businesses plan exciting in-store events, including food and beverage tastings, local art exhibits, live music, and more. Each merchant creatively plans their own event so check each listing for individual hours and details.

Holiday Sip and Paint Classes

  • When: Friday, December 3, 2021— Sunday, December 19, 2021
  • Where: Picasso & Wine Midtown, 148 Vassar St., Reno
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‘Tis the season to be jolly and creative! With these classes at Picasso & Wine, anyone can paint festive frescos while enjoying a glass of something delicious. Holiday-themed classes include:

  • Friday, December 3, 2021: Drink Up Grinches
  • Saturday, December 4, 2021: Christmas Gnome
  • Friday, December 10, 2021: Holiday Deer
  • Sunday, December 12, 2021: Holiday Horseshoe
  • Thursday, December 16, 2021: Tis The Season
  • Saturday, December 18, 2021: Cozy Christmas
  • Sunday, December 19, 2021: Gnome For The Holidays and Folk Art Tree
  • Thursday, December 23, 2021: Charlie Brown Christmas Party!

Each event includes art supplies and aprons for each participant. Adults can enjoy drinks from the full bar, and everyone is welcome to bring snacks. Please register in advance for events, as walk-ins will not be accepted.

‘A Christmas Carol’

  • When: Friday, December 3, 2021–Saturday, December 18, 2021
  • Where: Brüka Theatre, 99 N. Virginia St., Reno
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Brüka Theatre presents “A Christmas Carol,” written by Charles Dickens and is adapted and directed for three actors by Michael Grimm. Brüka’s second show of the 29th season, “Onward,” is a story of redemption and the power of the Christmas spirit that has become an unrivaled holiday tradition in the English-speaking world. The revival of Brüka Theatre’s original adaptation of Dickens’ masterpiece casts three actors, Mary Bennett, Michael Grimm, and Ryan Kelly, to portray more than 20 characters on a minimalist set, with an original soundtrack by Gary Kephart. This production gives the audience the unique opportunity to experience the story with the much-neglected narration of Dickens as its centerpiece. Much like the original storytelling that Dickens used to perform, this production is a hybrid of a staged reading and a performance piece. A theatrical experience that is equivalent to cracking open an ancient tome and telling Christmas stories by the light of a yule log, it’s sure to give everyone a healthy dose of the Christmas spirit.

Sparks 34th Tree Lighting and Hometowne Christmas Celebration: The ART of Christmas

Sparks is back and celebrating the season with the new art installations and a culturally infused Victorian Square!

The Sparks annual tree lighting ceremony will be held the night before the yearly Sparks Hometowne Christmas Parade, from 6:30-7 p.m., next to the large gazebo on the corner of Victorian Avenue and Victorian Plaza Circle. The ceremony will include live music. Mayor Ed Lawson will flip the switch to light the city’s permanent living Christmas tree, a blue spruce. As part of the tree lighting, the Sparks Rotary Club will be pulling winning tickets for their Mad Money Raffle, with a grand prize of $10,000, $1,000 for first place, plus other prizes.

Tickets will be sold through the Rotarians for $100. Those who wish to purchase tickets can inquire via info@sparksrotary.org for more information. The proceeds of the raffle go to Kids Free Fishing Day, Sparks Police Explorers, youth rotary programs, and Diedrichsen and Lincoln Park Elementary Schools.

Land Art Generator Initiative at Fly Ranch

  • When: Friday, December 3, 2021
  • Where: Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St., Reno
  • More Information

Welcome the founders of the Land Art Generator Initiative, Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian for a talk on the release of their new book, Land Art of the 21st Century: Land Art Generator Initiative at Fly Ranch. The creativity of Burning Man and the design innovation of the Land Art Generator Initiative responds to the climate crisis with a catalog of radical experiments in post-carbon living.

Set in the remote corner of Northern Nevada lies a magical stretch of land called Fly Ranch. With no access to the electrical grid or other public utilities, the Burning Man Project-owned site provides an opportunity to reinvent what human settlement can aspire to be in a world that has awakened to the impacts of anthropogenic climate

Reno Phil Spirit of the Season - December Calendar Of Events In RenoReno Phil’s Spirit of the Season

  • When: Friday, December 3, 2021–Sunday, December 5, 2021
  • Where: Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, 100 S. Virginia St., Reno
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Gather the family for a true holiday tradition with The Reno Phil, Reno Phil Chorus, and conductor Jason Altieri invite in the Spirit of the Season, a classic holiday celebration full of orchestral arrangements, jazzy numbers, traditional holiday tunes, and carols. Choose from four showtimes wrapped in fantasy and fun for the whole family!

A Holiday Tradition. Tickets start at $20.

  • Friday, December 3 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 4 at 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 4 at 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 5 at 2 p.m.

Hand Painted Ornaments - December Calendar Of Events In RenoHand Painted Ornaments

  • When: Saturday, December 4, 2021
  • Where: Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St., Reno
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Inspired by her Czechoslovakian heritage, instructor Iva Neveux will introduce students to basic painting techniques to create beautiful holiday ornaments. Each student will make two hand-painted ornaments using combinations of dots, lines, dashes, and curves. All materials included with registration.

Magic of Santa Arts and Crafts Faire

  • When: Saturday, December 4, 2021–Sunday, December 5, 2021
  • Where: Reno-Sparks Convention Center, 4590 S. Virginia St., Reno
  • More Information

Running for 42 consecutive years, the Annual Magic of Santa Christmas in July Craft Faire will be held at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center December 4-5, 2021. The show features handmade crafts from more than 80 artisans, including painted snowmen, doll clothes, fine woodwork, and more.

Siamsa: A Celtic Christmas

  • When: Wednesday, December 8, 2021
  • Where: Grand Sierra Resort, 2500 E. 2nd St., Reno
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An enchanting holiday musical for the entire family featuring stunning dance and music, “Siamsa” tells the story of three young orphans searching for the candle in the window, which represents the true meaning of Christmas. Their search takes them on an eventful journey from Celtic village to village, where they encounter traditions, superstitions, customs, and amusing antics along the way. This year’s production of “Siamsa” features exciting Irish dance champions, vocalists, musicians, and local actors and actresses.

AVA Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’

  • When: Saturday, December 11, 2021–Sunday, December 12, 2021
  • Where: Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, 100 S. Virginia St., Reno
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The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts stage will be alive with a sugar plum fairy and dancing mice as A.V.A. Ballet Theatre presents the annual Nutcracker Ballet. A.V.A. Ballet Theatre’s artistic director Alexander Van Alstyne has choreographed an exciting rendition of the famous holiday ballet, and the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s moving score. Laura Jackson will conduct the orchestra. Principal dancers who have performed with professional ballet companies such as Ballet West, Kansas City Ballet, and the Diablo Ballet will perform the leading roles alongside a large cast of local talent.

Blast Off on Science Saturdays at the National Automobile Museum

  • When: Saturday, December 11, 2021
  • Where: National Automobile Association, 10 S Lake St, Reno
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Experience the excitement of simulated journeys throughout the solar system during “Blast Off on Science Saturdays” at the National Automobile Museum. On the second Saturday of each month, attendees can participate in exclusive activities from the Nevada Space Center, home of the Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada, including full-dome planetarium programs, hands-on workshops, live presentations, virtual reality headsets, iPad interactive stations, and more. These events are designed for participants ages 8-12, accompanied by an adult who will join the children for fun and exploration. One parent per family or a group of up to six friends is ideal.

Reno Santa Pub Crawl

It’s the Hap, Hap, Happiest Time of the Year in Downtown Reno!

It’s the largest Santa Pub Crawl in the country as thousands of merry-makers descend on downtown to enjoy good spirits and yule-tide cheer! The event has drawn nationwide attention, and more than 15,000 holiday-clad revelers are expected each year!

The event gives all proceeds to local schools because educated kids make better elves. So, help support the Claus, buy a cup, book a hotel room and attend this weekend of charitable, holiday fun!

For a complete guide to making the most of the Santa Crawl, check out the Guide to the Reno Santa Pub Crawl, complete with where to buy cups, hotel deals, and local shops selling costumes.

Sunday Jazz: Dallas Smith & Susan Mazer-Smith

  • When: Sunday, December 12, 2021
  • Where: Reno Little Theater, 147 E. Pueblo St., Reno
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Enjoy an evening of jazz with and support Reno Little Theater & For the Love of Jazz. Dallas Smith is a woodwinds master who is a skilled performer of Western classical and jazz styles and a disciple of Ali Akbar Khan and G. S. Sachdev in Hindustani classical music. His instruments include silver flute, clarinet, saxophones, Electric Wind Instrument (EWI), and bansuri. Susan E. Mazer, Ph.D., is recognized as one of the world’s outstanding jazz harpists. She has performed with jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal at the Village Vanguard club in New York City, with Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra, Jr., and other well-known musicians. Entry is suggested at $20 per person. For health and safety protocols, visit renolittletheater.org/features/safety-protocols.

3rd Thursday Downtown Sparks - December Calendar Of Events In Reno3rd Thursday Downtown Sparks

Downtown Sparks is the place to be this and every 3rd Thursday of the month — ​all year round. 3rd Thursday is back, and Downtown Sparks is excited to offer a great night out, including good food, cold drinks, live entertainment, crafts, chef demos, movies on the big screen, and more! Part of 3rd Thursday is the art walk​, including all walkable​,​ guided, or self-guided tours. Meet some of the best local artists and engage in some free workshops and interactive performances.

Majestic Displays: Big Galaxy Sky by Kathryn Tewson

  • When: Thursday, December 16, 2021
  • Where: Lake Mansion, 250 Court St., Reno
  • More Information

Often stunning and vibrant, Northern lights and galaxies form the subject of this class. Participants will learn layering and brush techniques and receive one-on-one creative guidance to paint their own 16″ x 20″ canvas masterpiece in a fun, social environment. This class is perfect for all levels of artistic talent. The course will be taught by Karen Hayes.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: Time Bubble Tour

  • When: Thursday, December 16, 2021
  • Where: Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, 100 S. Virginia St., Reno
  • More Information

Following the wildly successful “Watch Out for Snakes! Tour” in 2017, the “30th Anniversary Tour” in 2018, and “The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour” in 2019, Mystery Science Theater 3000 LIVE is launching the next all-new production to hit the road! Join host Emily Connor (Emily Marsh) and the world’s greatest—and only—movie riffing robots, Tom Servo (Conor McGiffin), Crow (Nate Begle), and GPC (Yvonne Freese), as they take audiences on an exhilarating rollercoaster ride through the film Making Contact, imposed by Mad Scientist, Mega-Synthia (Yvonne Freese). Experience this long-running comedy phenomenon in a universally-acclaimed live event.

Ho Ho Ho: The Santa Claus Chronicles

  • When: Friday, December 17, 2021–Sunday, December 19, 2021
  • Where: Reno Little Theater, 147 E. Pueblo St., Reno
  • More Information

Ever wonder what is happening at the North Pole in the days leading up to the Big Day? Find out during this special live edition of Ho, Ho, Ho, The Santa Claus Chronicles! Audiences start off with a press conference where St. Nick’s press secretary will answer questions about the jolly guy. They will also meet the elves Eeny, Meeny, Miney, and Sol, who take care of the reindeer and hear from the elves working the gift suggestion hotline. Then, they’ll meet Gladys Snowing and Joy Fully, editors of The Snow News. But the biggest question on everyone’s minds is, “Where is Mrs. Claus?” Join this show for a surprise ending that’s sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Holiday Dreams - December Calendar Of Events In RenoHoliday Dreams

  • When: Saturday, December 18, 2021–Saturday, January 1, 2022
  • Where: Grand Sierra Resort, 2500 E. 2nd St., Reno
  • More Information

Celebrate the magic of the holiday season with a high-energy magical show for the whole family! Holiday Dreams combines traditional holiday elements such as music, decorations, and the Christmas spirit with computer animation and projection mapping to create a modern, up-to-date holiday show.

Winter Creativity Camp

  • When: Monday, December 20, 2021–Thursday, December 23, 2021
  • Where: Lake Mansion, 250 Court St., Reno
  • More Information

Get the kids off the couch and into the studio with this four-day morning camp. Talented teaching artists will provide a morning of visual art and creative movement for kids 6-10 years of age with a snack break in between. The camp’s theme is Winter Olympics! Students will spend four days creating their own version of the event. Supplies are included in the cost. A mid-morning snack will be provided. Please note any dietary restrictions.

At Dickson Realty, our team of local experts knows all about the best events, activities, and places to live in Northern Nevada. Contact one of our REALTORS today to learn more about this December calendar of events in Reno and how to enjoy the Reno/Sparks region.