Hot days, hotter nights

A day-by-day calendar for your summer

Summer is right around the corner, and we've put together a calendar with something for you to do every day in the Reno/Tahoe area. Most of these suggestions don't actually need to be done on the day they're listed. Try as many as you can and have a great summer.

June 21

Float down the Truckee River

A local tradition—but, geez, the water level is looking low. You'll probably end up bruising your backside on a rock or two.

June 22

Apply for a medical marijuana prescription

You know what can really put a cramp in your summer? Actual physical cramps. Or cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, or any medical condition that causes significant weight loss, persistent muscle spasms, seizures, severe nausea or pain. Don't let physical ailments debilitate your summer. You know what will make your summer more enjoyable? Weed.

June 23

Read a Nevada book

Visiting our area is all well and good, but read about it, too. Start with some recent Nevada titles available at Sundance Books at the corner of Sierra Street and California Avenue: Atomic Comics by Ferenc Morton Szasz, At Pyramid Lake by Bernard Mergen, Seeing Underground by Eric C. Nystrom, Saving Lake Tahoe by Michael J. Makley, The Main Event by Richard O. Davies.

June 24

More books

If there are Nevada book titles you can't find at Sundance, turn to the Nevada Historical Society at 1650 N. Virginia St., whose store includes a lot of Nevada books. While there, take in the museum's current and permanent exhibits. State government budget cuts have reduced its hours, but it's still open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

June 25

Go to the Black Rock Desert

If you've only ever been to the Black Rock Desert during Burning Man, you've missed how amazing the place is the rest of the year. Also, it makes the bright insanity of Burning Man seem more impressive when you've also experienced the desert as an empty canvas.

June 26

Have a laugh

Humorist David Sedaris will speak and sign his book Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls at Sundance Books, 121 California Avenue, Thursday, June 26 at 6:30 p.m.

June 27

Go to the rodeo

Reno's rodeo runs from June 19 to 28 this year with rodeo events, drinking and carnival fun throughout the day and evening each day. It starts at 4 p.m. throughout the week and 12 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

June 28

Visit Safe Embrace

Safe Embrace, a program for domestic abuse victims, holds an open house at its headquarters at 1570 Linda Way on Sat. June 28 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. See the unveiling of Safe Embrace's new logo, enjoy appetizers and activities, and enter a raffle.

June 29

Mow the lawn

But you live in an apartment, you say? You have no lawn to mow? Well, there are fat and lazy folks among us—even here at the RN&R headquarters—who would love it if you just called us up and said, “Hey man, I'm in the mood to do some yard work. Think I can come over to your place and do some chores?” Yep, that's a phone call we'd love to receive.

June 30

Learn about Sparks History

The Sparks Museum & Cultural Center—formerly the Sparks Heritage Museum at the corner of Victorian and Pyramid—celebrates the rail city. Its current exhibit is “One Is Silver, the Other Is Gold: Celebrating 25 Years of Nevada Folklife Apprenticeships,” but its permanent exhibits are also interesting.

July 1

Go to an Artown event

Artown takes over the Reno/Sparks area for the entire month of July. It's become a huge event with hundreds of thousands of attendees each year. For a complete listing of this year's events, visit

July 2

Take a hike

For a real hike, try walking the Jumbo Grade from New Washoe City to Virginia City. If you make it to the top, before starting down into VC, you'll be able to see a panorama of nearly all the Comstock Lode communities.

July 3

Listen to local music

Every once in a while, we'll bump into some jackass who can't name a single local musical artist or band. These people say dumb things like, “There's a music scene here?” If this is you, you need to get down and get with it. No matter what kind of music you like—hip-hop, punk rock, dubstep, folk, jazz, whatever—there are top-notch groups in the local scene. Just poke around on the internet a bit on sites like Facebook and Bandcamp to discover stuff. Or, you know, read the RN&R.

July 4

Set off some fireworks

It's the Fourth of July, and shooting off colorful explosions into the sky is super fun. It's illegal to set off unsanctioned fireworks in Washoe County, so head elsewhere. Or be careful.

July 5

Walking tours

The Historic Reno Preservation Society has 28 walking tours, dealing with topics from the city's mob past to its churches to the notable works of prominent architects. Info is at

July 6

Take a drive

If you're into “Sunday drive”-type outings, one of the most gorgeous drives is a less familiar route to Lake Tahoe from Minden to Woodfords to Meyers. Take a camera.

July 7

Go to Pyramid Lake

Tahoe is for poseurs. Real Nevadans love Tahoe's weirder, spookier sister lake at the other end of the Truckee River. It's on tribal land, so you help out the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe with every day use pass ($6) or fishing license ($9 for one day). Visit for more info.

July 8

Go to a farmers' market

Sparks stakes its claim with several. The Sparks United Methodist Church farmers' markets started on June 4 and will run every Tuesday morning through September 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The downtown farmers' market is held every Thursday evening during the summer starting June 12, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

July 9

Go to an Aces game

No-brainer. It's become an essential Reno summer activity. Side question: Is it weird to love the Aces but hate their Major League affiliate, the Diamondbacks?

July 10

Wander around Midtown

Midtown boasts good restaurants, like Süp, good retail spots, like Recycled Records, and good watering holes, like Chapel Tavern—all in walking distance. It's an area of town to just wander around and have a good time. Way better than a trip out to one of those hellish suburban malls.

July 11

Eat in the street

Hit up the food trucks at Reno Street Food and grab some quick, yummy local grub. They're at Idlewild Park every Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

July 12

Walk the Truckee

There is an unbroken—well, perhaps that's too strong a word; there are a few jogs and shimmies—walk along the Truckee River from west Reno to east Sparks. If you walk with a friend, it may involve arranging car placement at each end of the route. As an alternative, take municipal bus routes 16 or 3 from downtown Reno to their westernmost points and start your hikes from there—McCarran Boulevard in the case of 3, Idlewild Park on 16. Then walk along the river to McCarran in Sparks, where you will be near route 18, which can take you back to downtown Reno. Bus schedules and maps are at

July 13

Go to the flea market

If you want to find some fun weird stuff—black velvet paintings of Elvis, back issues of Penthouse, or stereo systems with built-in 8-track players—then El Rancho Drive-In, 555 El Rancho Drive, Sparks, is the spot. You can find great bargains: 20 steak knifes for $2, or a microwave for $5, or an unopened Region 4 DVD copy of Iron Man 3 for $1. And come back in the evening for a double bill of movies. But the best thing about this flea market is that, with its international ambiance, you'll swear you're actually somewhere far and distant from Reno. And you know what? You'll be right. Sparks, son!

July 14

Go to the water park

Head over to Wild Island Family Adventure Park for a day of fun with the family. The water park is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at this time—as long as the weather doesn't turn. There's also bowling inside, indoor and outdoor mini golf, a lazer maze and other activities.

July 15

Go to the Gold Hill Hotel

For an overnight on the Comstock, you could stay at the Gold Hill Hotel, which puts you smack in the middle—Silver City on one side of you, Virginia City on the other. Even if you don't stay at the hotel, its restaurant and longtime lecture and entertainment series make for nice evening trips. The schedule of the lecture series is at

July 16

Adopt a pet

There's an overabundance of homeless pets at shelters and otherwise in the area. Visit the Nevada Humane Society, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or another shelter or rescue and take home your own furry family member.

July 17

Try a new food

It's all too easy to get set in your ways as far as food goes, consistently eating the same dishes, dining out at the same handful of restaurants, ordering the same things, never attempting anything more exotic than adding cheese to your burger. But there's a whole world of food out there, and there is a surprising number of options here in Reno. For example, did you know that Reno has an Ethiopian restaurant? Yep, it's Zagol, 855 E. Fourth St., 786-9020.

July 18

Try an Awful Awful

Since we have a regionally well-known burger, take advantage of it. The Awful Awful is available at four locations—Carson Nugget, Reno Nugget, Sparks Nugget, and the Wolf Den in Reno. For a guide to the Awful Awful, see “The Awful Awful truth” at

July 19

Attend a Wine Walk

The Riverwalk District puts on Wine Walks every third Saturday of each month. Get out and get tipsy with your friends. For dates and more information, visit

July 20

Go to Virginia City

There are wacky events, like camel races, outhouse races, and Civil War reenactments, at Virginia City throughout the summer, but it's a fun place to visit even when there's not an event. Take the kids and stroll the boardwalk, eating fudge and cotton candy, and explaining the dumb jokes on the tacky T-shirts at the tourist trap shops. That's actually really fun. Or rally a posse to go day drinking at the local watering holes and then pose for Wild West dress-up pictures. Plus, it's usually about 10 degrees cooler up at V.C.

July 21 [

Power off

It's a great day to be outside. Power off the cell phone and other electronics, take a hike, ride your bike, lay out—just get out and away from the constant ring ring.

July 22

Get naked

It's going to be hot outside. Is there really any reason to wear clothes?

July 23

Visit Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley was the site of a Winter Olympics back in the day when those events could be held without destroying the environment, so on a trip there for lunch, you'll find that it is a beautiful valley. There are special events during the summer, plus a scenic tram, tennis, hiking.

July 24

Eat at Campo

Grab some Italian grub here and then meander around the Riverwalk. It's lively and fun this time of year. Campo is at 50 N. Sierra St., 737-9555.

July 25

Take some photos

Pick up a camera—any one you've got lying around will do, even if it's just your phone—and take pictures. Life looks different through the lens.

July 26

See The Basque monument

Not all the art in Reno is in museums. A notable sculpture is the Basque monument “Bakardade” (“Solitude”) north of the McCarran ring road, and northwest of the intersection of McCarran Boulevard and Virginia Street. The rendering of a Basque shepherd and his lamb by Nestor Basterrechea was dedicated on August 29, 1989 after a public fundraising campaign in the U.S. and Europe. Some folks have lunch in the area. For a look at another piece of Basterrechea's work, head down the hill to the library at the University of Nevada, Reno, where his “Orreaga” sits.

July 27

Go to the library

There's something calming about being in a library. Take a break, read some books you normally wouldn't or just people-watch.

July 28

Skate it out

If you're looking to skate, arguably the best skate park in Nevada is located at 1324 Waterloo Lane in Gardnerville. It's just about an hour outside of Reno.

July 29

Play in the children's fountain

A gem in downtown Sparks is the Children's Fountain in front of the downtown Century Sparks 14 movie theaters. If you have children, they'll love playing in the streams of water that shoot up out of the ground.

July 30

Visit Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park

Go hang around Nevada's state fossil—the ichthyosaur. The highest concentration of them is at this park.

July 31

Take a nap

Go outside. Put on the sunscreen, flop down in a hammock or on a picnic blanket, and just doze off.

August 1

Read in the quad

If you're craving a more relaxing day, grab a good book and take a seat in the big green quad at the University of Nevada, Reno. You can make a day of it with a friend and pack a picnic, too.

August 2

Go to the drive-in

Start the evening by stopping down the street at 1356 Prater Way for dinner at the drive-in. Scoopers Drive-In started its life as an A&W but for almost 30 years it has been locally owned.

August 3

Get married!

Reno's been known for quick and easy “I dos” for many years, and there are still a number of chapels in town and up at Lake Tahoe that are great for inexpensive nuptials.

August 4

…Or toss the ring

And if your marriage didn't quite work out, you can toss your ring to the fish of the Truckee from the Virginia Street Bridge on Virginia Street between Court and First streets. There's a legend that women used to throw their rings into the river after getting a divorce at the courthouse down the street.

August 5

Visit the mining museum

The Mackay School of Mines at UNR has a mining museum that will show you more than rocks. There are antique maps, vintage photos, actual mining equipment. And if you DO like rocks, well, there are surely plenty of them.

August 6

Climb Mount Rose

Because it's there. If that seems too strenuous, you might try Rattlesnake.

August 7

Visit the tribal museum in Nixon

Learn about Western Nevada history at the tribal museum at Nixon. There are exhibits on archeology, natural history, Native American women, heroic tribal members. Arts and crafts are available for sale.

August 8

Get a tan

It's summer, so it's time to work on that tan. There are tons of beaches, balconies, roofs and lawns that are great for just hanging out and getting bronzed in the area.

August 9

Eat at T's Mesquite Rotisserie

Go swimming in Tahoe, work up a healthy appetite, and then stop off at this place for a burrito. It's at 901 Tahoe Blvd, Incline Village.

August 10

Let the dogs out

The Reno area is full of great dog parks and trails for your four-legged friend. Summer is a great time to get them out of them out to see the world behind your neighborhood. For a guide to some of these parks and trials, read “Fun with Fido” at

August 11

Eat at Jack's Café

A Sparks landmark is Jack's Café, 2200 Victorian Ave., which we like to keep mentioning because it's one of the few places in the valley that offers a fried egg sandwich.

August 12

Go wakeboarding or skiing

We can't think of a better place to be than out on the water when the temperature climbs. Wakeboarding and skiing are good ways to have fun—and stay in shape—during your summer days.

August 13

Visit an adult store

We talk a lot about supporting local businesses, but don't talk enough about supporting the sexy establishments. Suzie's, 195 Kietzke Lane, 786-8557, is a perennial favorite among RN&R readers. Now's as good a time as ever to buy a new vibrator or a porno movie. Spend the rest of the day masturbating. You've earned it.

August 14

Set new goals

While you have some time to reflect in the summer sun, think about what you want to do in the next weeks, months, years, etc. Write it down to keep yourself accountable.

August 15

Visit Virginia Lake Park

In 1937, the New Deal built Virginia Lake, 1980 Lakeside Drive, in south Reno. It was made five-and-a-half feet deep for safe swimming and wading, which officialdom now bans, but it serves nicely for round-the-lake walks, feeding the ducks—another thing the city disapproves of—and fishing.

August 16

Watch a movie under the stars

Drive out to the middle of nowhere with a blanket and some friends or a lover, pull out a laptop and watch an old favorite.

August 17

Write something

A sonnet is 14 lines of 10 syllables each, usually alternating stressed and unstressed syllables. A haiku is a line of five syllables, a line of seven syllables and a line of five syllables. Or write a good, old fashioned handwritten letter to your grandmother or to a prison pen pal, or to your friendly neighborhood weekly newspaper. Just put pen to paper.

August 18

Host a beer pong tournament

Summer is a great time to be in the sun and drinking beer. Get your family or friends together for some drunken bonding.

August 19

Donate clothing

We've all heard of spring cleaning, but why not some summer cleaning? Go through your closet and donate some of your duds to a local charity.

August 20

Visit Zephyr Cove Resort

On the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, visit the Zephyr Cove Resort for lunch and swimming. If you're up for an overnight, there are 28 cabins for rent, which will make it easier to take an evening cruise to Emerald Bay aboard the Tahoe Queen or the M.S. Dixie II, which dock at the resort.

August 21

Visit Sugar Pine Point State Park

On the California side of Lake Tahoe, the Hellman-Ehrman estate was built in the days when rich folks created graceful summer homes with broad lawns, outlying buildings, boats and other trappings like tennis courts. Today it is Sugar Pine Point State Park and there are campsites, a picnic area, beach and dock. One caution: Bears have recently been frequenting the place, so use of the sealable food lockers provided is required. Details at

August 22

Learn a new language

Maybe learning a whole language is a bit much, but pick up a book on the language you've been meaning to learn and just start learning.

August 23

Go to children's railroads

There are children's railroads in Mills Park in Carson City and Idlewild Park in Reno. In both cases, while you're at the parks, there are also other facilities available—a skateboard park in Carson, for instance, and a rose garden in Idlewild. In Reno, the railroad adjoins a Lions Club children's park.

August 24

And the railroad museum

Of course, if you want to get really serious about railroads, there's the Nevada Railroad Museum in Carson City. There are 65 pieces of rolling stock in the collection, many of which appeared in movies and television series.

August 25

Eat at Mom & Pop's Diner

While in Carson City, stop in at Mom & Pop's Diner, the kind of restaurant that the term diner suggests. The eggs Benedict is highly recommended. 224 S. Carson St., Carson City, 884-4411.

August 26

Go to Deer Park

Deer Park at the corner of Prater and Rock is one of the gems of downtown Sparks. There are picnic tables, tall trees, grills, and a swimming pool.

August 27

Play Frisbee

There's a Frisbee golf course up at Rancho San Rafael. Or, you can play Ultimate Frisbee just about anywhere. There's a cabbie in Reno, Russ Lopez, who has developed a new Frisbee game played on a baseball diamond. Give him a call at 240-7454 next time you need a lift and let him explain the rules on the way to the airport. Or you can just toss a Frisbee to your son, your dad, your labradoodle or whatever.

August 28

Go on a local brewery tour

If you haven't been paying attention, the beer scene in Reno has really blown up in the last couple of years. Longstanding staples like Silver Peak and Great Basin have been joined by upstarts like Brewer's Cabinet, Brasserie St. James and Under the Rose. At least one other new brewery, Pigeon Head, is opening sometime this summer. Track down some poor sap to be your DD and try to sample all the local brews. Remember to drink water as well as beer.

August 29

Visit Sand Mountain

It's really kind of amazing—you're driving along Highway 50 in Churchill County and suddenly there's a mountain of sand alongside the road. If you happened to drive back past it a few hours later, you discover that it has shifted shape dramatically in just that period of time. Sand Mountain is about 600 feet high and a couple of miles long. It's a federal recreation area. Details at

August 30

Go to Sierra Hot Springs

Fun day trip if you're in the mood for some hippie New Age restoration. Nice place to soak your bones in some hot and powerful spring water. You might have to make small talk about crystals, vegetarian food or Buddhism, but worth it. Visit for more info.

August 31

Picnic downtown

Pack a lunch or grab some pizza from Pizano's downtown. Then make your way to the park and people watch while you enjoy your meal and the weather.

September 1

Go to a park

Sure, you've been to Wingfield. You know all about Rancho San Rafael and Idelwild Park. But have you been to Manzanita Park? Whitaker Park? Pah Rah Mountain Park? There are a bunch of great parks in the valley. Today's a good day to visit one you've never been to before.

September 2

See a film with Artemesia Moviehouse

The Great Basin Film Society, now called Artemesia Moviehouse, has for many years entertained locals with fine films. While they seem to have reduced revivals on their schedule, there are still plenty of current serious movies. See the schedule at

September 3


For some of us, summer is all about smoke and meat. For others, it's vegetarian shish kebab.

September 4

Visit the last Reno arch

Take a trip to Willits, a lumber town in northern California and see the Willits arch, which once read “BIGGEST LITTLE CITY IN THE WORLD” and now reads “GATEWAY TO THE REDWOODS”. It was featured in the Hilary Swank/Jason Robards movie Heartwood. While in Willits, you can ride the Skunk Train from the 1915 depot through redwood forests to the coast and back, visit the ranch where Seabiscuit spent his retirement, and—should a Nevadan feel the need—visit a casino.

September 5

Read City of Trembling Leaves

You live in Reno but you've never read by Walter Van Tilburg Clark's famous book about the city?

September 6

Watch The Misfits

You live in Reno but you've never seen John Huston's famous movie set in the city?

September 7

Listen to “Folsom Prison Blues”

You live in Reno but you've never heard Johnny Cash's famous song that briefly mentions the city? That seems unlikely, but ponder one of life's great mysteries: If he shot a man in Reno, then why is he serving time in a California prison?

September 8

Visit a used book store

The valley has suffered a loss of some of its used bookstores lately (Dharma Books, Zephyr Books, Subject Matter Books, and the Paperback Exchange), which makes those that remain all the more important. Check out the Book Gallery at 1203 Rock Blvd, Sparks, and, in Reno, Five Dog Books at 906 Holcomb Ave., and Grassroots Books at 660 E. Grove St.

September 9

Learn to play an instrument

What better time is there to learn than now? Figure it out for yourself, grab a friend or catch some lessons.

September 10

Throw a house party

Don't forget to invite the editors of the RN&R. We're great at parties. Especially Dennis.

September 11

Cook a full meal

Take the time to plan out an entire meal to cook from scratch. It might sound like a lot of work, but food sure tastes better when you've spent your own time on it.

September 12

Visit Carson Hot Springs

Carson Hot Springs, formerly Shaw's Hot Springs, is on the north side of Carson City (1500 Hot Springs Road) and features a large outdoor pool and patio plus private rooms, the temperature of each room's pool different. Massage is available. Details at

September 13

Jump out of a plane

Skydiving is one of those things that's on most of our bucket lists. Cross that item off today. A quick Google search will turn up tons of companies and locations nearby that will help you set this up.

September 14

Sing karaoke

There are multiple places to show off your Elton John in downtown Reno on any given night. But here's a tip: You might practice at home before you sing to a crowded bar. There's nothing worse than on-a-whim deciding that you want to sing, say, Springsteen's “Dancing in the Dark” and then getting up there and realizing that a.) you don't really remember how it goes, and b.) you're too drunk to read the teleprompter.

September 15

Visit the planetarium

The Fleischmann Planetarium on the UNR campus shows star shows and full-dome movies, great for a fun day under the stars.

September 16

Take a day trip to a gold rush community

Grass Valley and Nevada City are among the most common daytrips for western Nevadans. The two gold rush communities offer upscale shopping and lodging. Restaurants, used book and record stores, wine tasting, art galleries, entertainment, are among the things offered.

September 17

Play hide-and-seek

Grab some friends and play one of those games you haven't played since you were a kid. Hide-and-seek, sardines, capture the flag and tag games are great ways to treat your inner child.

September 18

Buy a stranger a drink

And not because you want to bang them. Just to be friendly.

September 19

Ride your bike

If you don't have one already the Reno Bike Project can help you out. They're located at 541 E. Fourth St.

September 20

Make some art

Paint a plein art landscape, or assemble a found object sculpture, or coordinate a dance performance, or write a song. No artistic ambitions or creativity? Then buy a local artist's work.

September 21

Eat at Pneumatic Diner

This little vegetarian haunt has been around for so long now that it's easy to take it for granted. Back when it opened, back in 10 million BC or 1849 or 1988 or something, the idea of a mostly vegetarian restaurant was totally novel. It's still worth a visit, especially when it's hot outside and a cool drink is required. 501 W. First St., 786-8888.

September 22

Try crack cocaine

Or maybe just get an ice cream cone. It's up to you. It's your life. It's your summer.