Christmas holiday lights brighten up many residential, business, and public areas around Reno and Sparks. It's a fun and cheery family activity to get out on a crisp evening and enjoy some of the colorful Christmas lights in the Truckee Meadows. If you know of others you think deserve attention, email me at renotahoe(at)aboutguide.com and I'll add them to the list.
City and Shopping Center Christmas Light Displays
Reno's Holiday Christmas Tree - Each year, the city of Reno lights up a tree through the Christmas holiday season.
Its traditional location is in downtown Reno at the corner of 1st and Virginia Streets, in the plaza between the Truckee River and City Hall. The ice rink, which used to be here, is now "Downtown Reno Ice Rink at Aces Ballpark."
Sparks Community Celebrations - The city of Sparks offers its Annual Hometowne Christmas Celebration through the holiday season. The Sparks Community Christmas Tree is at Saint Mary's Amphitheater on Victorian Avenue, and there is a tree lighting ceremony. The lighting ceremony is the evening before the Sparks Hometowne Christmas parade and celebration. For this year's times, parade applications, and other details check out the City of Sparks website.
Outlets at Sparks - through the holiday season. The Outlets at Sparks is fully decked out for the Christmas holidays. A big Christmas tree and outdoor decorations add to the displays you'll find in every store. You don't have to buy anything to enjoy Christmas cheer.
Besides the lights, there will be lots of holiday promotions and other activities. The Outlets at Sparks is at the northwest corner of I80 and Sparks Boulevard in Sparks. For more information, call (775) 358-3800.
The Summit Reno - through the holiday season. The Summit shopping center is all lit up for the holidays.
The central plaza features a big Christmas tree set next to an outdoor fire pit to keep you warm. There lights and decorations throughout this sprawling mall. The Summit is in south Reno at the corner of S. Virginia Street and the Mt. Rose Highway. To add to the winter effect, snowy Mt. Rose looms over the area just to the west. For more information, call (775) 853-7800.
More Christmas Light Displays in Reno and Sparks
Lights of Tanea - The Biggest Little Christmas Light Show in Reno - For several years, the south Reno neighborhood on Tanea Drive hosted a big light show complete with synchronized music. Non-on-perishable food items for Evelyn Mount's Outreach Program and reusable clothing and monetary donations for Friends of Multiple Sclerosis. The group running the show may or may not be continuing the tradition in years to come; check their website for details.
Hidden Valley Parade of Lights - For over 30 years, homeowners have featured Christmas light displays in the Hidden Valley neighborhood on the east side of Reno. This is actually a contest of the homeowners association, but the public is invited to come and enjoy the holiday lights. There are numerous decorated homes, so look around if you are in this neighborhood.
Take Pembroke Avenue east from E. McCarran Boulevard and go past Rosewood Lakes Golf Course to enter the neighborhood.
More Christmas Light Displays in Nearby Areas
State Christmas Tree in Carson City - The grounds of Nevada's state capitol are lit up for the holiday season with a big tree and other light displays. There are more lights to enjoy around Carson City as well.
Candy Cane Lane at the Carson Valley Inn - This is a drive-thru Christmas light display, open nightly starting around Thanksgiving. Candy Cane Lane features thousands of Christmas lights and a variety of scenes depicting traditional characters and images getting ready for and enjoying Christmas. Accompanying music can be heard by tuning your car radio to 89.9 FM. The Carson Valley Inn is located on US 395 in Minden, Nevada, near the start of State Highway 88.
In addition to these "official" displays, many individual homeowners create unique and wonderful displays in their own front and back yards. Keep your eyes on the local papers and websites for information about what to look for this year!