Tickets for the 2017 Polar Express™ are now on sale. If you want to ride the Polar Express™ to the North Pole this holiday season, get your tickets soon or you’ll be left out in the cold.

The Polar Express™ excursion train on the V & T Railroad has sold out in all past seasons, making early ticket purchases imperative. Tickets must be purchased in advance – you can’t buy them at the depot. Polar Express™ tickets are available online and by phone.

There will be three types of tickets in 2017 – regular coach, VIP and Twilight Trains. The trips are on the same train, but VIPs ride on a separate parlor car that includes additional entertainment, extra time with Santa, a special holiday treat, and more. Everyone, however, receives the special Christmas gift of a silver sleigh bell from Santa, hot chocolate and cookies, and a reading of the Polar Express™ story by Chris Van Allsburg.

During the 2017 holiday season, the Polar Express™ will provide service to the North Pole on select dates starting on November 18 and running through December 30.

4th of July fireworks, Reno, Lake Tahoe, Nevada
The 4th of July is on a Tuesday in 2017. There is lots of family fun to be had during the 4th of July holiday in Reno and Sparks. The big fireworks show in the Truckee Meadows is the Star Spangled Sparks extravaganza in Victorian Square, accompanied by a variety of activities before the sky lights up. This is a huge show is well worth seeing and will shoot off fireworks on two days – Saturday, July 1 and Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

Another local fireworks show will be after the 4th of July Reno Aces game at Greater Nevada Field. The game is against the Tacoma Rainiers and it starts at 6:35 p.m.

With July being Artown in Reno, there will be a free evening concert of patriotic and classical music in Wingfield Park on the 4th of July starting at 7:30 p.m. The Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus will end the performance with a choreographed fireworks show.

Up at South Lake Tahoe, “Lights on the Lake” will be particularly spectacular. The fireworks are launched from a barge out on the lake, with good vantage points all around the shoreline. Other locations around Lake Tahoe will be having fireworks shows and other activities as well, including Incline Village, Kings Beach, and Tahoe City. There will be a big party and fireworks up in Virginia City. For details about these and more, refer to “Fourth of July Fireworks in Reno, Sparks, Lake Tahoe.”

Fireworks are illegal in Washoe County – Firing off your own fireworks is illegal in Washoe County, at Lake Tahoe, and just about every other place in the surrounding region. With the hot, dry weather, this is a no brainer. Please, don’t even think about it.

The only exception to the no fireworks rule is at Pyramid Lake, where you can buy fireworks and shoot them off at designated locations within the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Reservation and according to the rules set forth by the tribe.

There are a bunch of 2017 summer camps for kids available in the Reno / Sparks area. Choices range from outdoor adventures with Great Basin Naturalists to art-centered camps at Arts for All Nevada and the Nevada Museum of Art. Many camps fill fast, so now is the time to register for the best selection.

There are plenty of other options as well. UNR offers a diverse selection of summer fun for kids of all ages with Wolf Pack sports camps, KIDS University and Lake Tahoe Music Camp. More possibilities include Girl Scout camps, backcountry camps, acting and theater camps, rockclimbing camps, camps for disabled kids and adults, city recreation department camps and lots more.

Learn about available summer camp opportunities from “Summer Camps and Recreation for Reno / Tahoe Kids.” Some summer camps offer sessions on a daily basis, so if you miss the initial registration, you still have chances to get you kids into several summer camp experiences.