The holidays in Reno, Sparks, and the greater Northern Nevada region are here, which means our community—nestled in the eastern slope of the Sierras—is bustling with exciting events and festivities for you and yours to enjoy.
And if you’re looking for ideas on what to do and how to plan, why not ask those who know the community best? I interviewed three Dickson Realty REALTORS to find out what they love most about living in Northern Nevada during the holiday season. They also provided a guide for how to spend your time like a true local:
- Chris Galli, Broker/Salesperson and Vice President of Relocation, Dickson Realty, Downtown Reno
- Bekah Patton, REALTOR at Dickson Realty, Caughlin Ranch
- Kylie Keenan, REALTOR at Dickson Realty, Caughlin Ranch
“My favorite part about Northern Nevada during the holidays is the weather. Some years we get a lot of snow, some years we don’t, but the weather is always beautiful. I also love having the ability to drive just 30 minutes to cut our very own Christmas Tree down,” said Bekah about what she loves most about living in Northern Nevada.
With their combined years of real estate experience and knowledge about local hot spots, Chris, Bekah, and Kylie are here to help you plan the best and most festive 48 hours in the Reno-Sparks and Truckee-Tahoe areas.
So, in no particular order, use these tips as a guideline for having an unforgettable time. And remember that most of these activities can be done throughout the week, too.
Celebrate The Holidays In Reno-Sparks Like One Of Our Neighborhood Experts
Whether you’re flying solo during the holidays in Reno-Sparks, entertaining guests, or you just want to know what’s happening in the community, our neighborhood experts know all the best activities in Reno-Sparks to do. Here’s what you need to know:
We’re sharing a Friday-to-Sunday itinerary as an example of what to do, but many of these things can be done throughout the week. It’s up to you, your schedule, and how you want to experience Northern Nevada during the holiday and winter seasons.
- Chris says: Why not start the night off with a pre-dinner cocktail? I suggest having a Sazerac (or two) at Amari, an Italian-inspired cocktail bar specializing in an array of traditional Italian spirits, including a selection of Italian wine and beer.
- Kylie says: My husband and I like going to Bighorn Tavern for dinner. I will typically order the Buddha salad, which includes quinoa, pickled carrot, cucumber, radish, cilantro, mixed greens, and a spicy peanut dressing. I also love going to Johnny’s Ristorante Italiano for the vodka penne pasta.
- Bekah says: Head down to see the Christmas lights in Galena called the Lights of Tanea. Located at 16180 Tanea Drive, you can listen to a synchronized light show (tune to 106.1 FM). So, pack your friends and loved ones in the car, take some hot cocoa, and enjoy one of our town’s best holiday light displays happening during Christmas in Reno.
- Chris says: Whether you want to entertain your guests or unwind after a long day, Forest St. Station is the perfect neighborhood bar. With an open and comfortable space, this place is definitely worth checking out.
- Kylie says: If you’re looking for a nightcap, Midtown has some cool bars to check out. Some of the local favorites are Death & Taxes, Rum Sugar Lime, and Chapel Tavern. Chapel (as the locals know it) is great for hosting larger groups.
- Bekah says: Squeeze Inn or Two Chicks are my two favorite places for breakfast and brunch. Pro tip: get there early, as both places fill up quickly.
- Kylie says: Before a full and long day of holiday fun, stop by Walden’s Coffee House located on Mayberry Drive. This is my go-to breakfast spot for coffee and an overall cool atmosphere. Walden’s also has a killer signature breakfast dish: a breakfast burrito.
- Bekah says: No matter the time of year, one of my favorite activities in Reno is spending time with my dogs outside. Depending on the weather, my favorite place to hike is on the Tahoe Pyramid Trail, which starts in Verdi and follows the Truckee River. Some other awesome hiking trails include Hunter Creek, Steamboat Ditch, and Tom Cooke near Mayberry Park. Chickadee Ridge is also fun for snowshoeing and seeing some amazing views of Lake Tahoe. If you bring bird seed or food with you, the chickadees will actually land in your hand.
- Kylie says: I love to explore the surrounding areas of Reno. So, I usually end up hiking or snowshoeing in my free time. Thomas Creek and Galena Creek are some of my favorite trails. I also enjoy the Hidden Valley area, where you can see amazing views of downtown Reno, Mount Rose, and a 360-degree view of the surrounding Sierra Nevada.
- Chris says: One of the biggest perks of living in the Reno-Spark area is the many unforgettable day trips you can take within just a few hours’ drive. Head to Truckee, Incline Village, or Virginia City for lunch and show off the incredible surrounding areas where we live.
- Kylie says: I almost always have to plan a trip to Lake Tahoe and have lunch on the beach at Garwood Grill & Pier. With an outdoor patio looking over the shore and heaters to keep you nice and warm, you really can’t go wrong. Their infamous cocktail is the Wet Woody, a must-try for those 21 and older.
- Kylie says: If you made your way up to Lake Tahoe for lunch and the weather is nice, check out the East Shore Trail. It’s new, and the views will take your breath away. Chickadee Ridge is also a great spot. I agree with what Bekah said above, it is an amazing trail, and having the birds eat from your hand is a super cool experience.
- Bekah says: Save the pot roasts and gourmet meals for home and go eat at Tokyo Sushi. This place offers some of the best sushi in town.
- Kylie says: Every year, Hidden Valley celebrates the holidays in Reno with its annual Parade of Lights contest, where residents and neighbors compete for a spot in the top ten houses and most festive street. This year it goes from December 2 to New Year’s day. So, be sure to add it to your list of things to see.
- Bekah says: If you like beer and spirits, there are some excellent breweries in town to enjoy during the holidays in Reno-Sparks. Some popular ones include Depot Craft Brewery & Distillery, 10Torr, and IMBIB. And that’s only naming a few!
- Chris says: Check out one of the many Reno holiday events, such as a UNR Apex Concert or a performance by the Reno Phil at the Pioneer Center.
- Chris says: Royce, located in downtown Reno, is a great place for a nightcap. You can choose whatever vibe you want, whether in the back dining room area or on a couch next to a fireplace.
- Chris says: My top three places to go and enjoy a cup of joe include Bibo Coffee Company, Old World Coffee Lab, or Hub Coffee Roasters.
- Bekah says: My favorite wintertime activity is skiing. There are several nearby ski resorts, including Mt Rose Ski Tahoe, Northstar California Resort, Palisades Tahoe, and Diamond Peak Ski Resort.
- Chris says: If you’re looking for a unique and special dining experience, I suggest going to a Sunday brunch at the Cafe at the Nevada Museum of Art.
- Kylie says: Perenn Bakery is the perfect hang-out spot for coffee, breakfast, and lunch. Located at The Village at Rancharrah, there are many cute shops and boutiques to check out afterward.
- Chris says: If you’re a sports fan, then you know the holiday season in Reno is also football season. My favorite place to watch the game is the new Bighorn Tavern location on Lakeside Avenue.
- Bekah says: Before your 48 hours are up, plan a walk around the Sparks Marina and then head to the Sparks Water Bar for some appetizers and refreshments.
- Chris says: Whether you go to brunch at the cafe or not, the Nevada Museum of Art is one of the best attractions in Reno. Tour the exhibitions, learn about the featured artists and speakers, or even attend an event.
- Bekah says: Ice skating is a great activity to do, especially if you’re entertaining guests or little ones. There’s one in Northstar Village and one at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino.
- Chris says: My go-to dinner place is probably The Kitchen Table. You can’t go wrong with anything you order at this restaurant. The last time we shared the mushroom pizza and tagliatelle—it was amazing! It’s all amazing.
At Dickson Realty, we believe the holidays in Reno and Sparks are a significant part of what makes living in Northern Nevada so great. For more information about why we love living here, contact one of our neighborhood experts today.