It’s summer in Northern Nevada, which means temperatures can reach 100°F, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fun things to do in Reno and Sparks. From water parks to art exhibits to scenic overlooks, you can beat the heat and get away from routine. Whether you’re looking for adventure, excitement, relaxation, or all of the above, here are some of our favorite summertime activities for keeping cool.

Sun’s Out, Fun’s Out: Here Are The Best Places To…

Fun things to do in Reno-Sparks -Stay Cool

Discover The Magic Of A Water Park

  • Melio Gaspari Water Play Park at Lazy 5 Regional Park in Spanish Springs offers a variety of fun water features to keep cool. There are also reservable party pavilions for those celebrating a special occasion. To reserve a space, call Parks Reservations at 775-823-6501 or email
  • Located at North Valleys Regional Park, North Valley Water Splash Park features more than 20 water features, ​​including a rare bear model of a restored F8F 1940s military aircraft and over 60 spray heads. You can also reserve pavilions by calling Parks Reservations at 775-823-6501 or emailing
  • Wild Island Family Adventure Park opened as a small, locally-owned water park more than 30 years ago. Today, it offers fun in the sun activities for all ages, including a wave pool, slow river, kiddie pool and slides, sand castle station, water slides, private cabanas, and group facilities.

Fill Your Mug With Craft Beer

  • REVISION Brewing Company, located in Sparks, was founded on the principle of creating an evolutionary spirit. This local craft brewery is best known for hop bombs, but it also produces non-hoppy seasonals, barrel-aged brews, and sours. So, prepare your tastebuds to explode in the best possible way. 
  • Brasserie Saint James in Reno is an old-world-style craft brewery and restaurant in the historic Crystal Springs Ice and Water building. The brewery specializes in complex, delicate, and nuanced beers.
  • Lead Dog Brewing Co. is located in the heart of Reno’s Brewery District on Fourth Street. If you’re craving a cold brew and dessert, you can get both with a local favorite—the Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout. 
  • IMBĪB specializes in old-world barrel-aged beers and has a variety of sour, malty, hoppy, and easy-drinking brews. This Reno brewery offers a membership club, custom recipe project, and educational experiences.
  • Depot Craft Brewery & Distillery pays homage to traditional beer styles while exploring new frontiers. Housed in a historic three-story brick building, this eclectic brewery makes almost 30 different types of beers and spirits, from ales to IPAs and whiskey and gin.

Go On A Scenic Drive

  • In Geiger Lookout Wayside Park, you can find near panoramic views of the valley floor. Located near the Virginia Highlands, you can get to this scenic overlook by heading south on Alt Highway 395. To get to Geiger Lookout point, take Highway 341 toward Virginia City. The road will snake through spectacular mountain ranges and a rocky landscape. Then, at the A 4.6-mile point, there’s a turnout where you can see stunning views of the Sierra and the Biggest Little City.
  • Arguably Reno’s favorite scenic overlook spot, Windy Hill, offers spectacular views of downtown Reno and the surrounding valley. Simply drive south on Lakeside Drive past South McCarran Boulevard near Southwest Reno. At the turnout for Windy Hill, there are about 15 parking spaces and four semi-covered benches.
  • For one of the best panoramic views of Lake Tahoe, you can travel from South Reno to the Mount Rose Scenic Overlook in about 30 minutes. As one of the most incredible places to take photos, this picturesque overlook is located on Nevada Highway 431 at 7,562 feet and is not one to miss.

Practice Your Golf Swing

Dine With Friends Outside

  • Perenn Bakery’s new location in the luxurious Village at Rancharrah is a modern space with a classic French feel. As a one-stop shop for all your baked goods, grocery, and coffee needs, the menu features specialty pastries, fresh salads such as Fattoush and Nicoise, breakfast sandwiches, toasts, granola, and grits, breakfast dishes such as Brulee croissant, French toast and more. No matter what you order, it’s almost guaranteed to be mouth-watering. 
  • Von Bismarck has an expansive patio with misters and umbrellas in the summer. Some menu items include grilled cabbage with buttermilk dressing, fire-roasted carrots, fermented garlic oil and fresh horseradish, schnitzel, and grilled wurst. This European-inspired eatery also offers a modern beer garden feel with an expansive German beer and wine list. 
  • Another Reno restaurant with great outdoor seating is Wild River Grille. Situated along the Truckee River in downtown Reno, Wild River offers plenty of outdoor dining, an excellent place for a glass of wine and people watching.
  • Mari Chuy’s has two locations, one on Victorian Square in Sparks and the other in Midtown Reno—both have outdoor patios and feature fresh, seasonal Mexican dishes. From housemade salsa to queso fundido to Camarones a la Diabla (spicy shrimp), you won’t be disappointed with this traditional Mexican food restaurant.

Burning Man Art in Reno

Get A Closer Look At Art

  • This summer, you can find art exhibitions, guided tours, virtual art discussions, live music, and more at the Nevada Museum of Art. As the only art museum in Nevada accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, this 70,000-square-foot building offers unlimited opportunities for you to immerse yourself in art. 
  • As the gateway to Black Rock City, there is an abundance of Burning Man art in Reno and the surrounding areas to see. You can experience a piece of the playa all year long, no matter where you are in the city.
  • A nationally recognized, premier art festival, Artown brings dozens of events, activities, and shows to the region every day from July 1 to 31, 2022. There’s something for everyone to enjoy, from artist workshops to comedy shows to dancing by the river.

Experience The Hiking Trails

  • Brown’s Creek Loop Trail is the perfect trail for you if you’re looking for hiking and fun things to do in Reno. From incredible viewpoints to bird watching to forest bathing, there are activities for everyone to enjoy. So, grab your hiking boots and four-legged friends. Dogs and horses are welcome.
  • Located at the base of Mount Rose, Galena Creek Trail is perfect for a leisurely morning or afternoon hike. This 4.7-mile trail is heavily trafficked and features whispering aspen and pine trees, manzanita bushes, and a snow-fed creek. You can also experience what it’s like to live in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest as the route travels west through local neighborhoods and borders the Montreux Golf Course.
  • A popular destination for hiking near Reno, Hunter Creek Trail is a 6.4-mile trail that is well-maintained and suitable for the whole family that features a diverse range of Northern Nevada vegetation. With a 1,240-foot elevation gain, this moderate to advanced route runs alongside a canyon and ends at a 30-foot waterfall. So, start early, bring sunscreen and plenty of water, as there isn’t much shade until you reach the top.

At Dickson Realty, we know about all the fun things to do in Reno and Sparks, including the best events, activities, and places to live. To learn more about how to enjoy the Northern Nevada region, contact one of our realtors today.