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Family Friendly Fourth

IMG_0613Fourth of July is Saturday. How crazy is that?! Christmas is less than six months away, and we’ll be ringing in 2016 before you know it. Time truly flies!

I love the Fourth of July. Growing up in the Midwest, my entire extended family would get together at my aunt and uncle’s house in the country and swim all day, eat homemade ice cream, grill copious amounts of hamburgers and hot dogs, and set off fireworks at dusk. If I was lucky, I’d see the downtown Indianapolis fireworks on the drive home, but more often than not, I was sound asleep in the car. It’s one of my favorite childhood memories, and now that I have kids of my own, and am not close (in proximity) to any family, I’m always looking for new traditions to pass on to them, which led me to start researching local Fourth of July activities in Reno/Sparks. Here’s what I found:

Star Spangled Sparks is one of the more obvious choices for kids on the Fourth of July. On Saturday starting at 2 p.m., there will be face paint artists, clowns and magicians in Victorian Square,as well as rides, including a super slide and mechanical rides. We attended last year and took the park and ride from Legends, and it was great despite missing the fireworks due two tired kids who wanted to go home. An entire schedule can be found here.

The Reno Aces are playing at home on the Fourth, and are celebrating in a big way. Atlantis is a sponsor of the game, which means there will be special activities in between the innings, free Atlantis gelato, and more. The Aces fireworks are the only ones in Reno, and they don’t skimp on the quality. This is a very high contender on our list! More can be found here. The game starts at 6:35 p.m., and general admission tickets are still available. I don’t know about you, but my kids LOVE the Aces, and especially the kid zone and Archie. We can’t forget Archie! Plus, the kids get to run the bases, which my daughter really enjoys.

Lake Tahoe is also a great choice for the Fourth, and Kings Beach, our usual stop at the lake, is getting the party started on Friday with a fireworks and beach party from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. The event will feature food trucks, watermelon eating contest, sand castle building, and more. An entire schedule can be found here. This is also a top contender on our list!

If you feel like making a drive, the Fernley Fourth of July event is a lot of fun. We attended this a couple years ago, and it was a lot of fun. The parade starts at 10 a.m. on Main Street, and there events throughout the day.

There’s definitely many choices for families this long holiday weekend! What are you doing?


About Tracie Barnthouse

Tracie Barnthouse
A Midwestern girl who has laid roots in Reno, Tracie Barnthouse is the mother of two {A (4) and E (9 months)}, and wife of one (Token). Publicist by day, her job keeps her busy, and she’s still learning that tightrope walk of work/life balance. Barnthouse moved to Reno in 2012 from Sicily, Italy, where she lived for four years. Prior to that, four years were spent on the island of Guam, but she’s come to realize that home isn’t defined by a speck on a map. From overseas travel tips with infants and toddlers to glimpses of everyday life, she hopes to share stories that help us realize we’re all on this crazy ride called Motherhood together.


  1. Jamie Schnell

    King’s Beach also has fireworks the 3rd… Carson City has a pretty big celebration at Mills Park most of the day, Genoa has a craft fair and celebration, Virginia City will be hopping, and South Lake has a huge display that can be seen from several beaches 🙂 I looked at tickets for M.S. Dixie II and was so SAD they are $225! eek!

  2. Ha love that you talk about Midwest 4th of July celebrations. I grew up in Evansville and Kokomo IN, so I was probably at the same parade in Indy. Can’t wait for my first Reno 4th. Thanks for the tips.

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