December 2018’s Top 15 Things to Do in Reno

The holiday season is upon us, and the Reno/Tahoe area is filled to the brim with festive activities! 

32nd Annual Hometowne Christmas Parade

Sparks will kick off the Christmas season with a Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 30, from 6:30-7 p.m. Watch the Victorian Square light up while enjoying sing-along live music and hot cocoa. Come back the next day to join in the Home Towne Christmas Parade where you can marvel at marching bands, Christmas costumes, animals, and festive floats! 

Nightmare before Christmas Ornament Class

Looking to spruce up your Christmas tree this year? Create, A Space for Arts and Crafts, is welcoming all to create one-of-a-kind ornaments that are bound to wow all of your holiday visitors. Brush up on your Nightmare before Christmas knowledge before December 1! You’ll be put to the test with trivia during the class and one lucky winner will walk away with more than just their ornament! 

Spirit of the Season  

Ring in the holiday cheer with the Reno Philharmonic on December 1-2!  Rejoice in classic holiday tunes and Christmas carols, jazzy numbers, and orchestral arrangements that are bound to get you in the holiday spirit. 

39 North Pole Village

Overnight, Downtown Sparks will become a Winter Wonderland from December 6-8 with magical lights, Christmas decorating contests and vendors.  Make sure to be on your best behavior because the big man in the red suit will be there for photo opportunities! While you’re there, have the hap, hap, happiest time voting on decorations presented by local families and businesses’ during The Griswold Challenge. 

Tahoe Film Fest

Curling up to a great movie while avoiding the chilly winter weather is great, but watching almost thirty new feature films is even better! Pick a part the plots with other film lovers at the Tahoe Film Festival happening at Incline Village Cinema, Northstar California Theaters, and the Truckee Community Arts Center during December 6-9.  Films range from a fictional western tale featuring award-winning stars, Liam Neeson and James Franco, to a documentary about the world’s vanishing coral reefs. 

The Nutcracker: Presented by A.V.A. Ballet Theatre and Reno Philharmonic Orchestra

It’s hard to imagine Christmas without a visit from the Sugar Plum Fairy and dancing mice. Watch the A.V.A. Ballet Theater gracefully glide across the dance floor to Tchaikovsky’s moving score presented by the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra from December 7-9.  After performances on December 8 and 9, meet the performers who make holiday magic happen during a special Sugar Plum party. The Nutcracker will be performed at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. 

Reno Santa Pub Crawl santa crawl

Come dressed in holiday cheer for the largest Santa Pub Crawl in the U.S.A! Over 50 bars are participating in this twinkling tour happening on December 15. Raise money for local schools, avoid covers, get all of the best photo opportunities, and participate in Christmas contests by buying a Santa Pub Crawl cup. 

Ugly Sweater Wine Walk

Christmas cat, Santa drinking beer, 3D Christmas tree…the uglier the better at the Ugly Sweater Wine Walk! No, seriously, there is even an Instagram Ugly Sweater Contest with prizes. On December 15, from 2-5pm, sample wines from various vendors and strut your best sweater!

Holiday Hounds Social

Humans aren’t the only ones who enjoy a good Christmas party! Dogs get holiday pumpkin lattes, owners get something a little stronger, and the Nevada Humane Society gets a donation. It’s a win, win, win! Tell your pup to come dressed in their ugliest sweater to compete for a $100 gift certificate. On top of all the fun, Natural Paws will raffle a pet gift basket with $200 of toys and goodies. A perfect treat for your good boy/girl! This event is also a great opportunity to adopt a furever friend!    

Every Christmas Story Ever Told  

This is not your average Charles Dickens’ holiday tale, but it does start out that way. Three actors decide while performing A Christmas Carol for the millionth time to shake things up and perform every Christmas story ever told. Experience the ultimate Christmas tale through December 16. 


All aboard this magical train! During this hour-long trip, listen to the popular Christmas tale of the POLAR EXPRESSwhile indulging in hot cocoa and cookies. Pajamas are encouraged, just like in the book, and everyone will receive a keepsake silver bell to remember their journey. Book your ride through December 24. 

SnowGlobe Music Festival

Christmas may be over, but it’s still snowing in South Lake Tahoe! Warm up to the beats of artists like Rezz, Diplo, and RL Grime on December 29-January 1. Good times are bound to keep rolling with SnowGlobe specialties like spiked hot cocoa and hotty toddys. 

New Year’s Eve Peppermill  

Party all the way to 2019 at Peppermill Reno’s New Year’s Eve celebration! On December 31, enjoy live music, drinks, desserts, and party favors all night long. When the clock strikes 12, grab a class of champagne and toast with your partner, best friend, or the closest person next to you! Purchase your tickets now at 

Christmas on the Comstock

Through the entire month of December, travel to many Christmases before with this Victorian-style holiday celebration. From holiday arts and crafts shopping to a lighted Christmas Parade to the Grinch Made Me Do It Saloon Crawl, there will be fun for all ages! 

Reno Ice Skating Rink

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the rink! Visit the Greater Nevada Field throughout the month of December all the way to January 21, to get your ice skating fix in (weather permitting). Make a plan to visit on Thirsty Thursday or Frosty Friday to take advantage of delicious drink specials! Or, have a taste of nostalgia at the 90s Themed Dance Party. There are activities for all at the Reno Ice Skating Rink!