It’s barely summer in Northern Nevada and I’m already anxious thinking about more cheese ball and Otter Pop covered fingers destroying, err… exploring, the messy depths of my house. My current laundry situation is overwhelming at best and I find that just closing the door to the chaos that is our home is the ideal way to handle our “cabin fever”. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Something about the long days and hot weather makes even the smallest humans eager to get out of the house and find something to do. This is typically where the local pool comes to the rescue, but my kids are 2 and 4 and both are not strong swimmers. Basically, the thought of being outnumbered by non-swimmers in a crowded place brings on a wave of panic. We avoid water of any depth because if I wanted to spend an afternoon running around behind my children, I would have stayed home and cleaned their messes up all day.
Reno’s Art Town events provide a welcome list of activities for all ages. One of these events is Urban Roots’ Art, Food, and Roots event this Saturday, July 8th. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Urban Roots and what they do, please take a minute to take a look! Nestled just off of West 4th Street is the Urban Roots Farm. I literally missed it the first few times I went there. They transformed an old bar into a beautiful urban oasis where local kids can attend field trips and camps and kids and adults alike can attend workshops to learn about gardening, beekeeping, composting, growing and where our food comes from. They also work with Renown to bring garden education to low-income schools and are building a brand new teaching farm down by Renown Regional.
This weekend’s free-entrance event is pretty much a dream come true for a mama like me. They will have local food trucks, a local reggae band, free art projects and activities for the kids, local beer compliments of Six Four Growlers and Great Basin Brewery, a Paint and Sip (tickets are just $30), and a local farmer’s market. Did I mention this is FREE? I don’t know about anyone else, but if I pay an exurbanite amount of money to attend any event with my children, it pretty much guarantees that my kids will melt down before I get that first beer down and after I’ve spent 35 minutes waiting in line for something they had to have, but don’t really want (you know, the $16 corndog at every event you’ve ever gone to). My kiddos love to shake it to some live music and love getting messy even more. They can do both of these things, sitting amongst the corn and kale of Urban Root’s farm. And I can sit on my blanket in the grass and maybe drink my beer with only mild interruptions. Did I mention this is FREE? And that you don’t have to clean up after the art projects? And Beer? WIN!
On top of the ease of this family friendly event, I am in love with the educational aspect. Gardening is one of the activities I really enjoy doing with my kids. They will eat a spinach leaf for the sole reason that I allowed them to pick it out of the dirt and put it in their mouth. They get to play in the dirt and spray things with a hose. And they get to enjoy the pride that comes with watching something you planted grow. At Urban Roots they get the real gardening experience, not my half dead container gardens begging for some plant food and regular watering, but real gardens and hoop houses filled with lush vegetables and flowers. Urban Roots fills in what I can’t do at home and both my children and I love it.
So, pack up your picnic baskets, bring a blanket and come to Urban Roots this Saturday from 4:00-8:00 P.M. for nice summer evening that require little effort and will keep your kiddos busy while you enjoy some local treats!
Amanda English is a Southern California transplant who grew up in Virginia City, NV. She loves the closeness of Nevada’s smaller communities and the wild and diverse recreational activities Northern Nevada and California have to offer. She is the proud wife to a wildland firefighter and the mama of two spicy little girls who currently occupy most of her free time. When she isn’t momming, she is working part time for local non-profit Urban Roots or taking classes to obtain her teaching credentials. Amanda is an avid gardener, baker, photographer, local food connoisseur, hiker, road-tripper, beach lounger and loves to shamelessly binge on novels when time permits. Amanda is new to blogging, but finds great joy in pointing out all the absurd realities of parenting and connecting with other like-minded mamas out there.