10Best Free (and Fun) Things To Do in Reno

Even though it's mostly known for gaming, Reno is a very outdoors and sports oriented city. This is reflected in many of the free things you can do in The Biggest Little City. If you want to stay outdoors, visit the Truckee River for several free activities and events including tubing at the Truckee River Whitewater Park or watching the annual Reno River Festival. If you want to stay out of the water and just take a walk, stay on the River Walk and check out various Burning Man art pieces given to the city or jump on a bike to enjoy the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway that runs right through Downtown Reno. During these walks or bikes, you can see some of Reno's beautiful parks. If you are visiting in the summer and fall, don't miss Hot August Nights or the Great Reno Balloon Race, both of these popular festivals are some of the biggest in the area and most of the events are free.

The Reno area has several hiking trails that take both beginner and experienced hikers into the hills around the city. The Hunter Creek trail is one of the more popular hikes, but there's a good reason: there's a waterfall at the end. A...  Read More


Built from a former parking lot, Urban Roots is now a thriving farm and educational center for both adults and children. The farm has its own campus and demonstration area right above the Truckee River where day camps, classes and workshops and...  Read More

The Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway is a partially finished pedestrian and bike trail that runs from Lake Tahoe, along the the Truckee River through Downtown Reno and into Sparks on its way to Pyramid Lake in the Nevada desert. Along the way the trail...  Read More

During the first and second week of August, the streets of Reno, Sparks and Virginia City turn back in time for Hot August Nights. This annual celebration of the classic car has gotten bigger every year and includes free parades, show-n-shine...  Read More

Riverwalk and Arts District
Photo courtesy of Vancour/Flickr

The Reno Arts District and the Reno Riverwalk is located in the heart of Downtown Reno. This area is home to great restaurants and bars, shopping areas and a walkway along the Truckee River. Along the river you will come upon several pieces of...  Read More

Idlewild Park
Photo courtesy of AlishaV/Flickr

Built in 1927 Idlewild is located just west of downtown on the Truckee River. The park features several picnic areas, some tennis courts, a bike trail, some lakes and water features and access to the river. There is a Lions Club park for...  Read More

It's hard to miss this futuristic and interesting building on the north part of the University of Nevada, Reno campus. The Fleischmann Planetarium soars out of a lush garden like a spaceship ready to take off and hosts a variety of astronomy...  Read More

Rancho San Rafael Park is the largest park in Reno with hundreds of acres that are home to a large dog park, playgrounds, an arboretum, gym equipment, jogging areas, and special event pavilions. The Arboretum is a beautiful place to walk...  Read More

The Truckee River Whitewater Park is right in the middle of downtown Reno, just a few blocks from the casinos. It is 2,600 feet long with class 2 and 3 rapids for kayakers, canoes and boats. It is easily accessible from the shore and from the...  Read More

The Great Reno Balloon Race is actually the largest free hot air balloon event in the world. Each September nearly 100 balloons inflate at Rancho San Rafael park and fly over the Reno skyline. Many of the balloons are themed like the very...  Read More


Meet Christina Nellemann

Christina has lived in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area since she was a baby. A first-generation Nevadan, her Danish parents instilled in her an intense love of travel and the wild, rugged outdoors...  More About Christina