Family Events in Nevada

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Virginia City’s Camel and Ostrich Races have been serving up fun the whole family can relish for more than 60 years. Before the races, check out the midway with vendors and fair treats, get in on the kids duck race, then saddle up for kids camel rides around the arena in between races. For more fun and silly animal action the whole family can get a kick out of, head for Planet Hollywood’s Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, showcasing Moscow Circus vetran Gregory Popovich and the extraordinary talents of his performing pets—and by pets, we mean 30 performing animals ranging from house cats and dogs, geese, white doves, parrots and more. 

night sky during the great basin astronomy fesitval
Great Basin Astronomy Festival
Michael Okimoto

Looking to grab onto a piece of Nevada’s Wild West heritage and want the lowdown on family-friendly events near you? Slide into those chaps, cinch down that bolo tie and head straight for Elko’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Here, kids can share their own stories and jokes with other young cowboys from the West during this beloved event’s Young Buc Open Mic. Or, you and the fam can head for the Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West in Reno for Kids’ Day and the Mutton Bustin’ Championship. Aspiring cowboys and cowgirls can get in on horseback rides, snag a picture with rodeo royalty and learn about the tradition of rodeo, agriculture and the western lifestyle. 

hot air balloons during the great reno balloon races
Great Reno Balloon Race
Visit Reno Tahoe

Another family-friendly event is the slam dunk awaiting you at The Lights Fest in Mesquite. An experience where thousands of friends and families gather to listen to live music, chow down on great food, and light up the southern Nevada skies with wishes, dreams and goals. Timed together, everyone torches their personal lanterns and sends them into the sky, creating a surreal ambiance. Lookin’ for a little more magic? Head for themed Polar Express Trains, found all throughout Nevada in places like the East Ely Depot and Nevada Northern Railway, or the V&T Railway in Carson City. 

children riding a camel
International Camel & Ostrich Races

Another annual event that is sure to impress the whole fam is the Great Basin Astronomy Festival on Nevada’s eastern border. “Half the park is after dark” is the slogan at this national park, delivering ideal stargazing beneath crisp, clear skies every day of the week. Each fall, the park hosts a free astronomy festival with tons of ways to learn about constellations, planets, and nebulas from expert astronomers from all over the country. Kids can earn their deep space certificate, make special glow-in-the-sun solar bracelets, learn about Nevada’s very own star and just why Great Basin National Park is so dang special. 

horse riding at the reno rodeo
Reno Rodeo

To really see Nevada, your team can float high above the most mountainous state in the Lower 48 at one of the Silver State’s many hot air balloon events in Mesquite, Pahrump, the Rubies and in of course, Reno. Kids can get in on tethered balloon rides at all four and even sport their best bed head and fave PJs at the Great Reno Balloon Race. Other events that make for some serious fun for family time overflows with action-packed high octane at Reno’s Monster Jam. Watch each monster truck tear up the dirt (and skies) with gravity defying jumps, then head to the pits to meet your favorite drivers, see the trucks up close and more. 

santa sitting with guests on the polar express
Polar Express on the V&T Railway

Events in Nevada

Gotta See ‘Em to Believe ‘Em

Nevada has never been a stranger to a good time. And for every world-famous event anchoring Nevada’s come-as-you-are, cut-loose culture, there are dozens more that are sure to steal your heart and fill up your camera roll. From big-ticket bashes in our two big metros to community-wide celebrations in every small town in between, find out where and when to whoop it up around the Silver State.


Say cheese! Show off all the ways you’re making magical family memories in the Silver State by tagging #TravelNevada.

Nevada Day is here! We hope you enjoy the festivities, activities and fun this year. Stay safe everyone!
All aboard the Polar Express! It's time for those matching jammies, hot chocolate and a trip to the North Pole to meet Santa! Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday through Christmas Eve. Tix at #visitcarsoncity #polarexpress #christmas #train #santa #nevada
Found our favorite mural today on a walk around Reno's Midtown district! I love how walkable this city is - especially with a stroller! We spent the whole day exploring and didn't have to use our car once 🙏🏼

#freeRangeArtHighway #TravelNevada #ThatNevadaLife #NVRoadTrip
Camel Race Weekend!
Our Haunted Halloween Train rides start this Friday at 7pm. Come take a 2 hour ghostly train ride that you won't forget here in Ely, Nevada. 
#halloween #railroad #train #nevada #photooftheday #photography #travelhappy #travelphotography #trains_worldwide #train_nerds #railroad #landscapephotography #landscape #landscape_love #american #americanwest #west
Guess what day it is...Saturday! Virginia City Camel 🐪 Races day! #familyfun #vccamelraces #besttimeofyear #alltheevents
Memory from the California Trail Interpretive Center , Elko Nevada.
Standing in the sun before a performance was hot work.  Their expressions are priceless.  California Trail pioneers and their history helped form contemporary maps.  That is just the beginning of the story. #californiatrails  #nevadaheritage #elkonevada  #balletfolklorico  #folklorico #southernnevadaconservancy  #dance  #dancer  #dancersofinstagram
Eleven-year-old Marinna Mori, of Tuscarora, Nev., and her brother, Pete, 8, practice roping outside of the Elko Convention Center during the National cowboypoetrygathering
Hello Reno! carrasykes and I are on our first road trip with baby Walt! I'm so excited to have partnered with travelnevada again to explore the free range art highway! Follow us along this psychedelic, open-air odyssey across the Silver State where we will encounter awesome art, wide-open roads, and everything in between. 

#FreeRangeArtHighway #ThatNevadaLife #TravelNevada #NVRoadTrip
I'd say the 100th Candy Dance was a success yesterday.. other than we couldn't find my parents in the sea of people. I'd also say, we make some dang cute kids. 😜 #genoacandydance #candydance #homemeansnevada #momlife #auntlife #blessedlife #vscocam #vsco