When it gets nippy and dark early, it’s time to find interesting things to do indoors. In Reno and Sparks, you have a big selection of entertainment from which to choose, including live plays, musicals, concerts, comedy and shows for children. These play in venues ranging from big casino showrooms to intimate small theaters. Fall is the time when lots of new shows take the stage.

The variety you find may surprise you. There are places you’ve probably heard of and maybe even been to, like the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts and Bruka Theatre. There are, however, many more that deserve your consideration, like Reno Little Theater, Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Company, TheatreWorks of Northern Nevada, UNR Department of Theatre and Dance, and TMCC Visual and Performing Arts. Go to “Where to See Live Plays and Shows in the Reno Area” for a list of venues and details about finding out what’s playing.

There are even a couple of nice venues down in Carson City – Wild Horse Theater Company and Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company.

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Bring the family to Virginia City for a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine. Meet Sir Topham Hatt, have fun in the Imagination Station, see real engines, and enjoy lots of other activities like temporary tattoos, face painting, story telling, Thomas videos and train play tables.

“Day Out With Thomas in Virginia City” will be at the Virginia & Truckee Railroad 1870 Depot, 166 F Street in Virginia City. Thomas will welcome guests on October 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 2017. Thomas train rides last about 25 minutes and there will be several trips each day starting at 10 a.m. Tickets are $19 and can be purchased online, at the Virginia City Depot, or by calling 866-468-7630. Kids 2 and under are free if sitting on a lap. No dogs (except certified service animals).

You are invited to come an hour before your departure and stay for a while after the train ride. The activities at “Day Out With Thomas in Virginia City” are for you and your children to enjoy for several hours. For more information, call the Virginia & Truckee Railroad at (775) 847-0380.

Winter is coming and Galena Creek Visitor Center will soon be switching to winter operating hours and days. Starting on Sunday, October 15, 2017, opens times and days will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday through Sunday. This schedule will continue through April 30, 2018, when summer hours will once again go into effect.

Fall and winter are great times to enjoy family fun at Galena Creek Visitor Center and the surrounding park. Here are some things going on during the rest of October, 2017.

Guided Hikes – Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Join a naturalist along one of the Galena Park trails and learn about the area. If there is snow, these hikes will be on snowshoes.

Galena Toddlers – Thursday, October 19, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Bring your toddler to the visitor center for story time, a craft/activity, and a nature walk. Specific activities may vary.

Basques in the West – Saturday, October 21, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Join Xabier Irujo, co-director of UNR’s Center for Basques Studies, as he discusses the presence of the Basques in the American West.

What Will the Weather Be? – Sunday, October 22, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Chris Smallcomb of the National Weather Service will give us an overview of what is known and the many unknowns about the coming winter.

A suggested donation of $5 for each activity is requested to help pay for programs. Galena Creek Visitor Center is at 18250 Mount Rose Highway in south Reno. For more information, call (775) 849-4948.

Source: Great Basin Institute.