Fall in Tahoe full of festivals and family-friendly outings

Tahoe Donner Fall Festival | Oct. 14

Tahoe comes alive with a vibrant array of festivals and family-friendly activities. It’s a wonderful opportunity for families to bond, create cherished memories and savor the magic of this captivating destination.

Read the 2023 Tahoe Music, Events & Festival Fall Guide

Cool Car Cruizen Fridays
Fridays through Oct. | Shops at Heavenly | South Lake Tahoe

All cool vehicles welcome. Open to all cars, trucks, and motorcycles from 5 to 8 p.m. | goodsamsaferide.com

V&T Historic Railway train rides
Through Oct. 22 | Eastgate Depot | Carson City, Nev.

Nevada’s rich history in mining and mills comes alive on the Carson City-Virginia City route through tunnels, canyons and mining towns aboard a restored Pullman coach led by a Baldwin steam locomotive. | vtrailway.com

STIHL National Championship Air Races
Sept. 13-17 | Reno Stead Airport | Reno, Nev.

Held every September north of Reno, the air races have become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world. For one week, the high desert north becomes home to hundreds of aircraft, their pilots and crews. The event features seven racing classes, a large display of static aircraft with military and civil flight demonstrations. | airrace.org

Snaffle Bit Futurity
Sept. 13-17 | Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center | Reno, Nev.

This is a showcase for the Spanish vaquero’s horse-training methods dating back to the early American West. The competition is a family-friendly sports event for all horse enthusiasts. Shoppers will enjoy a Western trade show and horse sales. | renosnafflebitfuturity.com

Mexican Independence Party
Sept. 15 | Shops at Heavenly | South Lake Tahoe

Celebrate Mexican Independence with a performance by Ballet Folclorico de South Lake Tahoe and a live mariachi from 4 to 7 p.m. | theshopsatheavenly.com

Sierra City Big City Rod Run
Sept. 15 | Sierra City

This family-friendly event in downtown Sierra City offers a show, food, music, awards and raffle prizes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | sierracountychamber.com

Night at the Museum
Sept. 15 | The Virgil | Reno, Nev.

Enjoy a night of cocktails, food, fun and hands-on exhibits in this fundraiser for the ROC Foundation. | renoorthofoundation.org

Cool September Car Days
Sept. 15-17 | Shops at Heavenly | South Lake Tahoe

Car, truck and M/C show with cash and prizes awarded, 25 trophies and poker walk. Open to all cars, trucks and motorcycles. | goodsamsaferide.com

Mexican Heritage Festival
Sept. 16 | Truckee River Regional Park | Truckee

Fox Cultural Hall (formerly Arts for the Schools) presents the third annual Mexican Heritage Festival with a celebration of LatinX culture, live music, dance, art, food and drinks. | foxchall.org

Sassabration | Carson City Pride
Sept. 16 | Carson City venues

Support equality, diversity and community Sassabration, for local organizations that support the LGBTQ community. This family-friendly event features music, performance artists, food and vendors. | sassabration.com

Mayhem at the Ranch Murder Mystery
Sept. 16 | Danberg Home Ranch | Minden, Nev.

At this fun 1920s murder mystery, witness the crime and solve the who-dun-it. Enjoy a light meal from Coco “N” Moe’s Catering, plus no-host beer and wine and a prize raffle. Dress in period clothing for a 1920s party. | dangberg.org

Virginia City Hill Climb
Sept. 16-17 | Virginia City. Nev.

This annual event sponsored and hosted by the Ferrari Club of America is open to any high-performance car. Spectators might catch a glimpse of Tigers, Vipers, BMWs, Corvettes, Camaros and Ferraris. | virginiacityhillclimb.com

Family Farm Festival
Sept. 17 | KidZone Museum | Truckee

KidZone Museum hosts the Family Farm Festival with face painting, art and crafts, a petting zoo, bulb planting, bilingual singalongs and play in the museum. Truckee Donner Railroad Society will have activities, as well. | kidzonemuseum.org

Street Vibrations Fall Rally
Sept. 21-24 | Downtown | Reno, Nev.

This event is the conclusion of the motorcycle rally season and features live music, more than 100 vendors, food and beverages, a poker run and more. There are additional venues in Virginia City and Carson City. | roadshowsreno.com

Washo Cultural Gathering
Sept. 23-24 | Grover Hot Springs | Markleeville

Enjoy pinon pine planting, traditional dancing, arts and crafts booths, food and drink, and educational demonstrations. On Sept. 23, from 9 to 11 a.m. the Washo will join Alpine Watershed Group for Markleeville Creek Day. | Alpine County CA on Facebook

Lake Tahoe Comic Con
Sept. 23-24 | Tahoe Blue Event Center | Stateline, Nev.

The inaugural Lake Tahoe Comic will have celebrity guests on hand both days. There will also be an amateur cosplay contest with cash prizes and vendors. | laketahoecon.com

Wild & Free
Sept. 26 | Valhalla Tahoe | South Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care’s annual fundraiser features a meal catered by The Cork & More and custom cocktails. Proceeds from the event and a live auction go directly to feeding, delivering medical care and providing support to the hundreds of wild animals and birds that pass through its doors each year. | ltwc.org

Water Lantern Festival
Sept. 30 | Sparks Marina Park | Sparks, Nev.

Experience the magic at the Water Lantern Festival and enjoy food trucks, music and the sight of thousands of floating lanterns that reflect messages of love, hope and happiness. | waterlanternfestival.com

Community Health Fair
Sept. 30 | Community Recreation Center | Truckee

Truckee Lions hosts a free health fair with child safety seat inspections and installation; free dental checks and fluoride treatments; free health and vision screenings, free flu shots; free glasses and more from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. | e-clubhouse.org/sites/truckee

Bonanza Kennel Club AKC Dog Shows
Sept. 30-Oct. 1 | Fuji Park | Carson City, Nev.

Come out and enjoy the annual AKC Dog Shows, Obedience and Rally Trials held at Fuji Park and Hall. | bonanzakc.com

Fire Fest
Sept. 30 | Hard Rock Lake Tahoe | Stateline, Nev.

This Lake Tahoe Basin interagency extravaganza will be held in the Hard Rock Lake Tahoe parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is hosted by local fire agencies. | facebook.com/tahoercd

Fire Ball
Oct. 4 | Olympic Valley Event Center | Olympic Valley

This fundraiser for the Olympic Valley Fire Department will include live music, a DJ and fire performers, as well as a silent auction, small plate dinner and cash bar. Attire is black and white with a splash of red to honor firefighters. | ovpsd.org

Liar’s Cruise
Oct. 7 | Lake Tahoe

Celebrate autumn with a cruise on Lake Tahoe. Enjoy stories, a feast of never-ending hors d’oeuvres and bottomless bubbly while traveling along Tahoe’s West Shore on the “Tahoe Gal.” Proceeds benefit Sierra State Parks Foundation. | sierrastateparks.org

All Together Now-A Magical Evening
Oct. 7 | Carson Valley Inn | Minden, Nev.

The Friends of the Douglas County Library present this gala fundraising from 5 to 9 p.m. The evening will include a no-host cocktail hour, dinner, magic show with magician Robert Hall and live and silent auctions. | douglascountynv.gov

World Championship Outhouse Races
Oct. 7-8 | Virginia City

The races pit teams of costumed outhouse racers against each other. One person rides and the remaining team members push, pull or drag the decorated outhouses down the racetrack. | visitvirginiacitynv.com

Fastest Gun Alive World Championship
Oct. 12-15 | Churchill County Fairgrounds | Fallon, Nev.

More than 250 gunslingers will be vying for the title at this 18th year of competition. Relive the spirit of the Wild West with a craft fair, car show, comfort food and more. | cowboyfastdraw.com

Classic Car Show & Old Car Giveaway
Oct. 13-15 | Heavenly Village | South Lake Tahoe

South Shore-based nonprofit Good Sam Safe Ride presents this event, free for both participants and attendees. True to its name, the event is an appreciation of old, classic automobiles. | goodsamsaferide.com

Fall Bulb Festival
Oct. 14 | Wilbur D. May Arboretum | Reno, Nev.

More than 100 varieties of Dutch-grown bulbs are for sale and garden professionals will be on hand to answer questions and offer bulb-planting demos. | mayarboretumsociety.org

Envision Tahoe Venture Summit
Oct. 20 | Tahoe Blue Event Center | Stateline, Nev.

Envision Tahoe Venture Summit is an opportunity to catalyze change and take action to benefit the regional economy and community. This year’s focus is on Tahoe Inc. – organizing and accelerating Tahoe’s innovation ecosystem. | tahoeprosperity.org

Big Truck Day
Oct. 21 | Town Corporation Yard | Truckee

Kids of any age will enjoy a hands-on, up-close day with heavy equipment. Meet Smokey Bear and visit Humane Society/Town of Truckee Animal Shelter. Big Trucks will be on display along with the CHP helicopter. | tdrpd.org

Wrangler/Professional’s Choice National Finals
Oct. 21-28 | Reno-Sparks Livestock Event Center | Sparks, Nev.

American Cowboys Team Roping Association attracts competitors from across the country. Young and old, men and women compete in the hopes of capturing the national title. | actra.org

Fall Wedding Show
Oct. 22 | Lake Tahoe Golf Course | South Lake Tahoe

Mingle with some of Tahoe’s best wedding and event vendors. Free swag bags for the first 50 couples. | facebook.com/laketahoegc

Reno Bridal & Beauty Expo/Greater Reno Women’s Expo
Oct. 22 | Grand Sierra Resort | Reno, Nev.

If you’re a bride-to- be, you might want to attend Reno’s largest, most diverse and elegant wedding events for couples planning their special day. | lockettshows.com

Go Local Business Expo
Oct. 26 | Tahoe Blue Event Center | Stateline, Nev.

Meet more than 80 local businesses and explore the diversity of offerings that are available on the South Shore. Connect to all that the community has to offer while enjoying bites and beverages. | tahoechamber.org

Nevada Day Weekend
Oct. 27-28 | area venues | Carson City, Nev.

Nevada Day commemorates the 36th state’s entry into the Union on Oct. 31, 1864. Entries include floats, marching bands, horses, entertainers, youth groups and celebrity guests. Events include the parade, the World Championship Single Jack Rock Drill Competition, the Beard Contest and the Balloon Launch. | nevadaday.com

Veterans’ Day Parade
Nov. 11 | C Street | Virginia City, Nev.

Honor America’s veterans at the annual Veterans’ Day Parade starting at 11 a.m. | visitvirginiacitynv.com

Downtown Bud Fish Tree Lighting & Holiday Celebration
Nov. 17 | downtown Truckee

Come together with the rest of the community to light the giant Christmas tree. The festivities commence with elementary-school children decorating the Christmas trees lining Donner Pass Road. Enjoy a visit from Santa, the lighting of the tree in the Train Depot Courtyard and hot chocolate and cookies. | truckeerotary.org

Jurassic Quest
Nov. 17-19 | Reno Sparks Convention Center | Reno, Nev.

This dinosaur experience features dinosaur exhibits, rides, baby dinosaurs, raptor training, Dino House, bungee pull and more. | jurassicquest.com

The Polar Express
Nov. 17-Dec. 23 | V&T Railway | Carson City, Nev.

Experience the magic of the famed holiday story come to life. Riders can wear pajamas and partake in caroling and a reading of the classic story on their way to the North Pole. Santa and his helpers board the train to give each rider a silver sleigh bell. | vtrailway.com

Trees & Lights Gala
Nov. 18 | Grand Sierra Resort | Reno, Nev.

The annual Trees & Lights Gala serves as a fundraising effort for Safe Embrace to support local victims of domestic and sexual violence. The black-tie event offers a VIP cocktail reception, remarks from key leaders, videos from survivors and an auction of decorated Christmas trees, wreaths and gift baskets. | safeembrace.org

39 North Pole Village
Nov. 30-Dec. 2 | Victorian Square | Sparks, Nev.

Come to Victorian Square Plaza for the eighth annual 39 North Pole Village Holiday Festival. Enjoy free Santa photos, live music, vendor tent, lighting displays, free train rides, food trucks and more. | 39northdowntown.com

Christmas in Geno
Dec. 1-2 | area venues | Genoa, Nev.

Enjoy caroling at Genoa Town Church before heading to “Hope’s Tree” at the corner of Genoa and Main St. for the official lighting of the tree and refreshments. On Dec. 2, have breakfast with Santa at Town Hall. | genoanevada.org

Festive Fridays
Dec. 1-23 (Fri.) | Downtown Truckee

Historical tours, holiday sip & shop and free downtown parking from 4 to 6 p.m. | historictruckee.com

Let It Glow
Dec. 1-31 | area venues | Reno, Nev.

Strolling down lit-up streets and enjoy all that the local community has to offer, while voting for your favorite lights. | pineapplepedicabs.com

Christmas on the Comstock
Dec. 1-31 | C Street | Virginia City, Nev.

This Victorian-style holiday celebration features city-wide holiday decorations, tree lighting, fireworks shows, arts and crafts fairs, the V&T Candy Cane Express and more. |  visitvirginiacitynv.com

Holiday Festival
Dec. 2 | Graeagle

All events are free at this old-fashioned Christmas festival and tree lighting. Enjoy the spirit of Christmas, visit the little red shops, enjoy refreshments, have your picture taken with Santa and take a ride through town in a decorated Christmas themed trolly. | graeagle.com