Within an hour’s drive of beautiful Lake Tahoe and other picturesque mountain ranges, the Reno/Sparks area has much to offer. Outdoor activities such as golf, bike trails, numerous parks, water parks, outdoor markets and much more. Shopping and gaming facilities are numerous. Not all activities and attractions cost money. Wingfield Park is located in downtown Reno near First and West Streets. Here you can relax in the shade, picnic, play and cool off in the river, and watch the kayakers take on the Truckee River. The Truckee River pathway for biking and walking passes through th Park, and goes for miles in both directions. During the summer months, free music concerts are performed at the Park. Check times and dates at www.visitrenotahoe.com.
The Sparks Marina is a large man made lake with a two-mile walking trail and swimming beaches. In August the WWA Wakeboard World Championships will be held at the Marina and will be free to watch. The Marina area also features a large/new shopping mall, other smaller shops, and eating establishments.
There are many walking and hiking trails ranging from short, easy kid friendly trails to strenuous climbs with the Sierra Nevada mountain range close by. One hiking area is Galena Creek Park on Mt. Rose Highway.
There are many other free or low cost activities such as:
Rattlesnake Mountain Skate Park, enjoyed by skateboarders and BMX riders, and rumored to be the largest skate park in the west.
Sierra Safari Zoo
Hot August Nights
Free to children with accompanying paying adults:
Nevada State Railroad Museum, in Carson City
National Automobile Museum, free to age 5 and younger
adapted from article by T. Andrew