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5 Ways To Spend Your Weekend in Reno

When the weekend hits, many people in Reno, Nevada, head to the bright neon lights of the casino district. However, there's more to Reno than just slot machines and poker chips. If you're looking for some fun weekend activities to enjoy in Reno, consider a few of these top attractions.

National Automobile Museum

Reno Auto Museum

Image via Flickr under CC BY 2.0 by aresauburn™

Even if you don't think of yourself as a car fanatic, it's worth a trip to the National Automobile Museum in Reno. Most of the vehicles in this highly rated car museum are from the collection of William F. Harrah. During his lifetime, Harrah collected around 1,450 automobiles, which he stored in warehouses in Nevada. When he passed away in 1978, Holiday Inn purchased the automobile collection. At first, the company announced it planned to sell the car collection. However, after tremendous public outcry, Holiday Inn donated 175 cars to create the museum.

Today, the museum displays more than 200 vehicles spread across four galleries. Gallery one includes cars built from the 1890s to the 1900s. In gallery two, you'll see cars from the 1910s to the 1930s. Gallery three showcases vehicles from the 1930s to the 1950s. Finally, gallery four displays cars from 1950 to the present day. Gallery four also has a special section dedicated to race cars.

Some of the popular vehicles you'll see at the museum include John Wayne's 1953 Chevrolet Corvette, Elvis Presley's 1973 Cadillac Eldorado, a 1949 Mercury Eight that James Dean drove in "Rebel Without a Cause," a one-of-a-kind Phantom Corsair, the only remaining prototype of Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion, and a 24-karat gold-plated DeLorean.

Idlewild Park

Are you looking for a great place to spend some time outside in Reno? Then you should head to Idlewild Park. This large, 49-acre community park is located on the Truckee River near downtown Reno. Here, you'll find plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun, including grassy areas for games and sports, ball fields, a basketball court, a horseshoe court, a volleyball court, and tennis courts.

Older kids will have a blast at the skate park, and younger kids will have fun playing at the playground. Plus, everyone in the family will love taking a ride on the train as it winds through a scenic part of the park and goes around one of the ponds.

When the weather is hot, the park's swimming pool is the perfect place to cool down. This big outdoor pool features eight lanes, two boards, and a tot pool. The park is also home to several yearly events, such as the Reno Earth Day celebration in April and the Food Truck Friday event in the summer.

Sierra Nevada Zoological Park

If you're looking for a fun way to entertain kids on the weekend, head to the Sierra Nevada Zoological Park. The Sierra Nevada Zoological Park first opened in 1989 as the Sierra Safari Zoo. Today, it houses more exotic animals than anywhere else in the state and is the largest zoo in Nevada. During your visit, you'll be able to see more than 40 species of animals from around the world.

The big cat exhibits are particularly popular at the zoo and include African lions, Siberian tigers, cougars, leopards, and even a liger. Some of the other popular exhibits include hyenas, ring-tailed lemurs, camels, baboons, and macaws. Plus, don't forget to spend some time at the petting zoo getting to know the goats, sheep, alpacas, llamas, miniature cows, and fallow deer.

The Discovery - Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum

The Discovery - Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum in downtown Reno has a variety of exhibits that appeal to visitors of all ages. Head to the puzzling world of Mindbender Mansion to see if you can solve the brainteasers and interactive challenges. In the Truckee Connects exhibit, you'll learn all about the Truckee River and get a little wet at the same time. You can then head to the Cloud Climber exhibit to learn about the water cycle while scaling the interactive climbing gym.

In Da Vinci's Corner, adults and kids can explore hands-on experiments that inspired Leonardo da Vinci. Budding artists will love the Art Alcove space located in Da Vinci's Corner. A unique art project is offered in this space every day the museum is open. Another popular exhibit is Inside Out: An Anatomy Experience, which takes you on an amazing journey through the human body. Using highly engaging hands-on activities, you'll discover how our bodies grow, age, heal, and work.

Nevada Museum of Art

Nevada Museum of Art is a stunning museum located in the heart of Reno. It's the only art museum in the state accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. In the museum's early days, it was operated by a small group of outdoor landscape painters. As a result, its collections and exhibitions place a special emphasis on how people interact with the land and protect nature. The museum's permanent collection consists of more than 2,000 works of art from the 19th through 21st centuries.

The largest focus collection in the museum is The Altered Landscape: Carol Franc Buck Collection, which features contemporary landscape photographs from a variety of artists. While the pieces in The Robert S. and Dorothy J. Keyser Art of the Greater West Collection are centered on the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin region, new acquisitions are also from Alaska, Australia, and Patagonia. The E.L. Wiegand Collection is another popular exhibit at the museum. This collection includes paintings that show various forms of work environments and laborers.

In addition to guided and self-guided tours, the museum also offers a variety of public programs, such as artist talks, art classes for all ages and skill levels, community conversations, scholarly introductions, and film showings.

When those of us at Wide Canvas are looking for something fun to do in Reno on the weekends, these are a few of our favorite attractions and activities. What do you enjoy doing around Reno? Please feel free to contact us and let us know so we can add it to our list.

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