May 2017’s Top 15 Things to Do in Reno

April showers bring May flowers – and lots of local events for your calendars. This month, monster trucks come to town, Food Truck Fridays return, and Reno turns 149, in addition to so much more. 

Nevada Museum of Art – No matter when you visit the Nevada Museum of Art, there is always something exciting and thought-provoking to see. Numerous current exhibitions are set to wrap up this month, so find time to see them before new galleries take their place – “A Place in the Country: Aboriginal Australian Paintings” is showing through May 21, and “Peter Stichbury: Anatomy of a Phenomenon” features painting of and related to UFO sightings until May 28. 

Animal Ark’s Piñatas & Predators – Bears, mountain lions, and more will bust open treat-filled piñatas on May 6 at Animal Ark wildlife sanctuary.  Bring the whole family for a one-of-a-kind experience. 

Coppelia – The A.V.A. Ballet Theatre and the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra tell the story of Coppelia, a doll created for companionship that many come to believe is truly alive. Filled with captivating dance and intrigue, the show holds two performances May 6-7 at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. 

Reno’s 149th Birthday at the Lake Mansion – The Biggest Little City turns 149 on May 9, and Lake Mansion – “Reno’s First Address” – is celebrating accordingly. Free to attend, birthday cake will be served at noon and a portrait of Major General Jesse Lee Reno, the city’s namesake, will be unveiled. Each child in attendance will receive a free book and guided mansion tours will be available. 

Reno Sculpture Fest – Larger-than-life sculptures take over 12 city blocks during Reno Sculpture Fest, May 12-14. Free to the public and family friendly, guests can view works of art from around the world in addition to live painters and muralists, aerial and street performers, concerts, food trucks, and a silent disco. Learn more at  

grave digger monster truckMonster Jam – The world’s largest and most famous monster trucks come to the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center May 12-14 to race, pop wheelies, drive donuts, and freestyle their way to victory. Cheer on favorites like Grave Digger, Monster Mutt, Nitro Menace, and El Toro Loco. 

Murder in Green Meadows – Two married couples become fast friends in the small suburb of Green Meadows, but a whirlwind of confessions and betrayals leaves one of them dead. See how the three pick up (or cover up) the pieces in this play performed by the Reno Little Theater from May 12-27. 

5th Annual Spring Horse Expo – Comstock Equine Hospital hosts the 5th Annual Spring Horse Expo on May 13, inviting animal lovers to join them and other local horse organizations for breed and discipline demonstrations, a vendor fair, and tasty bites. See the beauty and talent of Clydesdales, Friesian and Andalusian stallions, and Scottish Highland ponies up close. 

Reno River Festival – It’s a party on the Truckee River all weekend long when the Reno River Festival comes to Wingfield Park May 13-14. Watch freestyle kayaking competitions, tackle zip lines and rock walls inside the Adventure Park, or kick back and relax in the Craft Beer and Summer Wine Villages. Cyclists of all ages won’t want to miss the costumed yet casual seven-mile River Roll, which will be led by a live, mobile band. Purchase tickets at 

Reno Street Food's Food Truck Fridays – Peruse more than 30 local food, dessert, beer, and wine trucks at Food Truck Fridays, held every Friday night at Idlewild Park. The first event of the year takes place May 19, with an updated list of each week’s vendors found on the organization’s Facebook page.  

Spring Wings Bird Festival – Less than an hour outside of Reno, the Lahontan Valley Wetlands and Stillwater Wildlife Refuge are home to hundreds of species of birds. Experience their beauty and learn more about our local fauna at the Spring Wings Bird Festival from May 19-20, which will include field trips lead by experts, keynote speakers, raptors on display, and an insect petting zoo. 

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella – A contemporary take on the classic tale, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” includes the pumpkin carriage, glass slipper, and masked ball, as well as surprising new twists. Rediscover a childhood favorite as this Tony Award-winning Broadway musical comes to the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts May 19-21. 

Hot August Nights Spring Fever Revival – Classic car enthusiasts won’t want to miss Hot August Nights Spring Fever Revival, taking place May 19-20 in downtown Reno. More than 600 vintage vehicles will compete for grand prizes, and take part in show-n-shines along the way. The event, which is free to attend, will also include live music, memorabilia and merchandise booths, and food and drink options. 

Reno 1868 FC – Join Reno 1868 FC for a match or two during the team’s inaugural soccer season at Greater Nevada Field. Reno 1868 FC will face Seattle Sounders FC 2 on May 20 and follow with a contest against Tulsa Roughnecks FC on May 24. Become a member of the Battle Born Brigade to sit with the team’s loudest fans, or purchase tickets starting at $13.  

Chili on the Comstock – More than 30 of the best chili cooks in the West compete for a spot in the International Chili Society World Finals at the 34th Annual Chili on the Comstock, taking place May 20-21 in Virginia City. Taste testers can also partake in the Fun with the Runs 5K or Fireball Saloon Crawl, both of which will introduce you to the historical landmarks and beautiful mountainside of the old mining town.