Family-Friendly Reno and the Greater Truckee Meadows

Featured image showing a family posing for a picture on a park bench in Reno, Nevada.

Family-Friendly Reno and the Greater Truckee Meadows

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Relocating to Northern Nevada comes with countless benefits. Pluses include the scenery of the stunning Eastern Sierra and ready access to a nearly infinite number of trails and outdoor activities. Commutes are minor and taxes low, and the region’s business-friendly climate means a robust job market and exciting entrepreneurial and startup opportunities.

The University of Nevada, Reno, (UNR) continues to produce highly qualified graduates, which means there’s no end to the talent pool. But if you’re considering a move with family, you may have questions about opportunities tailored to kids of various ages.

We’ve got you covered. Keep reading as we explore family-friendly Reno and beyond!

Inline image showingan active toddler boy in a yellow jacket sliding down the hill on snow tube

Adventure Awaits in the Great Outdoors

Let’s start with the obvious. Flourishing ski resorts, expansive sledding parks, and locations like Reno Ice skating rink all point to the same thing. Northern Nevada is a winter playground. The foothills and mountains of the region also invite residents to snowshoe, cross-country ski, snow bike, and much more.

Winter snow patterns vary, which means lower elevations may see a few inches most years and a bit more during others. But thanks to near year-round sunshine, the powder stays around just long enough to let your kids take advantage of snowball fights and snowman building.

At higher elevations, ski resorts welcome families on more adventures, like horse-drawn sleigh rides, sledding days, and even mushing. You’ll never run out of fun things to do, and the resorts are always ready to provide a cozy ambiance and great drinks and eats when your family decides to head indoors.

Enjoy your family’s pick of hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, watersports, and much more during the warm weather months. Whether you trek portions of the Tahoe Rim Trail or boat Lake Tahoe, you’re in for an unforgettable time. And need we mention fishing Pyramid Lake, exploring history in Virginia City, accessing offroad trails near Washoe Lake, or camping at Davis Creek? Seriously, if you love nature, this is your spot.

Inline image showing a group of young people practicing the cello on a stage

A Rich Arts Destination

The Reno-Tahoe region boasts a long history of rich artistic endeavors. An example of this? The Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, currently in its 55th year. A professional symphony employing a diverse group of musicians from Northern Nevada, the Bay Area and SoCal, expect top-notch performances.

Moreover, kids with a musical bent can participate in one of the many thriving music education programs available in private and public schools. Those interested more specifically in an orchestral immersion will find a select choice of top-quality classical music educators thanks to the Reno Phil and the Reno Chamber Orchestra. And the Reno Phil has four youth orchestras, serving more than 230 talented student musicians.

The Nevada Museum of Art, the only accredited art museum in the state, is another must-visit destination. This places it among the ranks of other nationally recognized institutions like New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and San Francisco’s Modern Art Museum. The museum contains a vast permanent collection covering notable features and artists of the West. Additionally, touring guest exhibitions mean you’ll never run out of fresh ways to introduce your kids to the visual arts. The E.L. Cord Museum School provides year-round art classes to students of various levels and ages, providing fun opportunities for the whole family.

The Reno-Tahoe area has budded into a wonderfully artistic urban area in recent years. Thanks, in part, to the Burning Man Effect. Colorful and prominent murals abound, as do impressive public works and sculptures. Hire a guide for a formal mural tour, or head out on a journey of self-discovery. Either way, you’ll find myriad features and displays to spark creative discussion and inspiration. (Along with plenty of kid-approved cafes and restaurants when it’s time to sit down and decompress as a family.)

Inline image showing a young person's hands putting together a robot on a covered table

Cutting-Edge Educational Programs

Besides winter fun and a thriving arts and entertainment scene, Northern Nevada offers a wealth of educational opportunities for families. Whether you opt for public or private schools, you’ve got fantastic options. Charter schools include Doral and the Coral Academy of Science, and the Davidson Academy provides advanced education to highly gifted students.

Extracurricular activities abound, too. Kids fascinated by robotics, engineering, automation, and computer science will thrive at the University of Nevada, Reno’s K-12 Robotics Center. The center was developed by Tesla and the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) in partnership with UNR. The center’s programs offer unique ways for children to grow, make new connections, and get plugged into the future.

UNR hosts camps through Kids University, covering a wide range of topics. The camps take place during breaks from school, so your family can double up on the fun (and learning) during the summer and winter. Themed weeklong camps incorporate STEM components artfully, allowing kids of all ages to engage in technology, science, engineering, the arts, and math in a safe and engaging environment.

Another learning hotspot is The Discovery. This hands-on science museum covers a whopping 67,000 square feet in downtown Reno and contains exhibitions designed to appeal to all ages and interests. Like the Nevada Museum of Art, it juxtaposes permanent exhibits with a wide variety of traveling displays. And there are also plenty of daily science experiments and ways for kids to get involved in learning.

Camp Discovery offers Winter and Summer programs, and LEGO BattleBots sessions allow kids to combine one of the world’s most beloved toys with real-world lessons in state-of-the-art technology. You’ll also want to put Family Science Nights on the calendar. These events bring together students, parents, and teachers for hands-on science exploration. Sierra Nevada Journeys facilitates camp experiences themed around nature and learning and has positively impacted more than 270,000 students with science-based education programs.

Family-Friendly Reno and Beyond

As you can see, family-friendly Reno and the greater Truckee Meadows represent the ideal region for raising children. Not only will you find many rich and rewarding ways to engage children within the community, but there are plenty of activities where parents are welcome, too!

Are you considering a move to Northern Nevada? Or are you interested in career opportunities in a new or existing field? We’ve got you covered. Browse hiring companies to start the journey towards your best life (and best education!) in one of the world’s most breathtaking locations.

Work Live Play Reno Tahoe is a community-wide initiative powered by EDAWN to recruit skilled workers with all levels of expertise to join the Northern Nevada workforce. Get started by submitting your resume, browse hiring companies, and connect directly with Lindsey, our Community Liaison who will help lead your quest for employment. Working Remotely? Check out our extensive list of Remote Worker Resources. Students can also participate! Visit our new Student Portal to start making connections for your future.

Engrid Barnett is an award-winning travel writer and digital content marketer based in Western Nevada. Recognized by the Nevada Press Association in 2019, her work has been featured in Nevada Magazine, Northern Nevada Business Weekly, Tahoe South, Rova, American Trails, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, and more.

Follow along with us each month for Engrid’s special “Work-Life” review – featured exclusively on

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