20 Best Things to Do in Sparks, NV

Sparks, NV
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Strategically located just east of Reno, Nevada, Sparks is the ideal place to stay if you want to be close to the party yet still experience a laid-back, small-town atmosphere.

While away the hours exploring Victorian Square, playing a round of golf, or hiking through one of the many scenic trails.

Enjoy some of the best live entertainment and gaming in Northern Nevada when night falls.

Founded in 1904, Sparks City is in Washoe County.

The Southern Pacific Railroad moved its facilities from Wadsworth to Sparks City, requiring a new town.

The city derives its name from the famous Civil War General John C. Sparks.

Nugget Casino Resort is the first high-rise casino hotel in the area, just minutes from Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

The property features 1,400 slots, video poker machines, and 38 gaming tables.

Here are the best things to do in Sparks, NV:

Shop and Dine at Victorian Square

Daytime view of Victorian Square
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Victorian Square is the historical and cultural center of Sparks.

The pedestrian-friendly area is home to various shops, restaurants, businesses, and the Sparks Heritage Museum.

Victoria Square is a great place to spend an afternoon with wide sidewalks and benches where you can rest.

Welcome sign of Victorian Square
Ken Lund from Reno, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The summer season is especially lively in the square with the addition of a farmers market and various events.

You can also stroll and admire the stunning Victorian homes in the neighborhood.

Check out the murals that depict the city's history, and take a selfie in front of the giant model of the Victorian Square.

A gazebo on the grounds of Victorian Square
Ken Lund from Reno, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Try Your Luck at the Nugget Casino Resort

Entrance to the Nugget Casino Resort
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The Nugget Casino Resort is the perfect place to stay if you want to stay close to all the action in Reno but still enjoy a relaxed, small-town feel.

The property features 1,400 slots and video poker machines, as well as more than three dozen gaming tables.

The Nugget Casino Resort is the largest and most popular casino in Sparks.

Night view of the Nugget Casino Resort building
Dominic Gentilcore PhD / Shutterstock.com

There are also a variety of restaurants on-site, as well as a spa, fitness center, and live entertainment.

The resort has pools inside and outside the facility.

It also has a wedding chapel.

If you're feeling lucky, the Nugget Casino Resort is the perfect place to see for yourself.

Bring Your Family and Friends to the Wild Island Family Adventure Park - Waterpark

The Wild Island Family Adventure Park is the perfect place to take the family for a fun day.

The Waterpark has a wave pool, slides, a lazy river, and a Kiddie Area with smaller slides and a spray ground.

You can go bowling at the Lanes, which have 46 competition-level lanes.

You can also watch Glow Bowling, a spectacular laser light and music show, every 5:30 p.m.

For refreshments, you can grab a bite at the Coconut Bowls or a drink at its two full-service bars.

The Adventure Park also has an arcade, ropes course, and bumper cars.

You can even celebrate your birthday at the Waterpark by renting the shaded pavilion or the private cabana.

There is something for everyone at the Wild Island Family Adventure Park.

Explore the Great Outdoors at the Sparks Marina Park

Gazebo near the waters of Sparks Marina Park
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The Sparks Marina Park is an artificial lake created in 1996 after a water test revealed that it was free of all chemical products.

The 109-acre part is ADA-accessible and features a two-mile walking trail.

It is also the home of the 77-acre Helms Lake, which boasts a fishing pier and two beaches.

Boats docked at Sparks Marina Park
salders / Shutterstock.com

Visitors can enjoy windsurfing, sailing, scuba diving, and fishing.

Those who love sports can also have a blast at the park, with its volleyball courts, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

Dogs are also allowed at the Sparks Marina Park, as they have their own Dog Park to chill at.

Concession stands are also available during the summer months.

Paved trail at Sparks Marina Park
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Wildcreek Golf Course is an 18-hole, par 72 course located just minutes from downtown Reno.

The Golf Course is known for its gorgeous views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and its challenging layout.

Wildcreek Golf Course is an excellent place for both beginner and experienced golfers.

There is also a full-service pro shop on-site and a snack bar and grill.

You can take a couple of lessons if you want to improve your game as the course employs teaching pros.

Wildcreek Golf Course also has chipping and putting greens and a driving range.

Take a Stroll through the Sparks Heritage Museum

Exterior of Sparks Heritage Museum
Ken Lund from Reno, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You will never miss Sparks Heritage Museum when you go to Downtown Sparks.

This is because the museum is housed in a beautiful Victorian building that used to be the city's first post office and courthouse.

The Sparks Heritage Museum is dedicated to preserving and displaying the city's rich history through taking care of various artifacts, pictures, and official documents.

Some exhibits include a replica of the old railroad town, giving you a feel of how they work in the dispatcher's old office.

Some toys are a century-old; an extensive collection of photographs captures the city's history.

You can also purchase souvenirs at the museum's gift shop.

Enjoy the Festivities at the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off

The Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off is an annual event in the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks.

It is one of the country's largest and most popular rib cook-offs.

USA Today once named the festival the Best BBQ Festival in the country.

The West Nugget Rib Cook-Off competition, which started in 1989, uses pork ribs cooked in the St. Louis style.

The event, scheduled every Labor Day Weekend, features some of the country's best rib cooks, live entertainment, and a Kid's Zone.

The six-day festival features sellers of various arts and crafts, and there is also a beer garden for the adults.

Visitors can also enjoy eating all the ribs they want, as an All-You-Can-Eat Rib Pass is available.

Explore the Par Rah Mountain Park

Par Rah Mountain Park is a hidden gem just minutes from downtown Reno.

Visitors can also hike at the Pah Rah Interpretive Trail, a 1.5-mile loop that takes you through the park's different ecosystems.

Par Rah Mountain Park has a playground, picnic tables, and a basketball court.

More than a dozen picnic tables and five play areas are perfect for kids and kids at heart.

Along with a few enclosed tennis courts and basketball courts, there are two horseshoe pits for those who want to play a game or two.

Dogs are also welcome in the park, as long as they are on a leash.

Watch a Softball Game at the Golden Eagle Regional Park

The Golden Eagle Regional Park is a softball complex located in Sparks.

The park is home to six softball fields, two baseball fields, bocce ball courts, and a Wiffle ball court.

A beach volleyball area with four courts and a climbing wall is also available for visitors.

Golden Eagle Regional Park is a 1.4-million-square-foot facility that opened in 2008.

Its Sports Complex became the venue for the 2014 national events.

The park is also home to the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, as well as the Sparks Marina.

The Golden Eagle Regional Park features a solar energy system, which supplies power for the stadium's lighting.

The park also has a playground, picnic tables, and a pavilion.

Spend a Day Shopping at the Outlets at Legends

IMAX building at Outlets at Legends
Gchapel / Shutterstock.com

The Outlets at Legends is an open-air shopping center located in Sparks.

The center is home to over 100 stores, including some of the most popular brands such as Nike, Adidas, Gap, and Old Navy.

The Outlets at Legends has a food court with a variety of different cuisines, as well as a movie theater.

For those who wish to blow off steam, you can visit the Axe and Throw range, where you can throw axes at targets.

Tower at Outlets at Legends
Little Mountain 5, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visitors can also exercise their creative juices at All Fired Up, where you can paint your pottery.

The shopping center is just off the I-80, making it easily accessible for visitors.

The best time to visit the Outlets at Legends is during the weekends, as there are a lot of sales and discounts at the stores.

The Outlets at Legends is the perfect place to go for a day of shopping, as it has something for everyone.

Head Out to the Revision Brewing Company

A craft brewery in Sparks, the Revision Brewing Company is a must-visit for beer lovers.

The brewery offers a variety of different beers, as well as a rotating list of seasonal and special release brews.

The Revision Brewing Company also has a taproom where visitors can sample the different beers.

The taproom is also a great place to relax and unwind, as it has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Located in the commercial Sparks area, Revision Brewing Company boasts its barrel-aged program, which stores and ages different beers in oak barrels.

Visitors to the Revision Brewing Company can try various beer styles in the temperature-controlled taproom or the brewery's warehouse.

Tour the Rail City Casino

One of Sparks City's well-known casinos, Rail City Casino, is a great place to visit if you want to try gambling.

The casino has hundreds of slot machines, video poker machines, and table games.

The Rail City Casino also has a bingo hall that offers bingo games daily.

You can try the Rail City Ale House if you're feeling hungry and get their refreshing signature beer, the Rail City Amber.

The casino features a buffet and steakhouse restaurants, and a Mexican restaurant.

A visit to the Rail City Casino is not complete without checking out their famous circus clown-themed statue, which is located in front of the casino.

Throw Your Stress Away at the Axe and Throw

The Axe and Throw are one of the most famous destinations in Sparks.

Located in the Outlets at Legends, the Axe and Throw offer visitors the chance to throw axes at targets safely.

The best time to visit the Axe and Throw is during the weekends, as there are many people.

The staff will teach you how to throw an ax before you start correctly.

Don't have to worry about injuring yourself or anybody else.

You can also avail of its digital lanes that project digital-based targets and other interactive games.

Ax-throwing experts will guide you on the proper techniques to throw an ax.

The Axe and Throw is a great place to relieve stress, as it is a lot of fun.

Paint Your Pottery at All Fired Up

All Fired Up is one of the best places to go if you want to be creative.

Located in the Outlets at Legends, All Fired Up offers visitors the chance to paint their pottery.

You can choose from various pottery items, such as mugs, plates, bowls, and vases.

After painting your pottery, the staff will glaze and fire it in the kiln.

You can then pick it up after a few days.

Other activities available are scented candle-making, succulent garden-making, and glass fusing.

All Fired Up is a great place to spend time with family and friends.

Take a Walk through the Sparks Downtown District

You cannot miss the chance to walk around the Sparks Downtown District while you're in the city.

It is home to businesses, including restaurants, cafes, shops, and more.

You can also find some art galleries in the district, including the Depot Gallery and The Frame Shop off Disc.

The Sparks Heritage Museum and the Nevada State Railroad Museum are also in the district.

The Sparks Downtown District is also home to events, including the Hot August Nights and the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off.

The Sparks Downtown District is also home to the Truckee River, a great place to take a stroll or have a picnic.

You can discover parks in the district, such as Victorian Square and Centennial Park.

Savor the Adventure at Rock Park & Whitewater Rafting

Rock Park and Whitewater Rafting are one of the most popular destinations in Sparks due to the number of adventures on the river.

The 30-year-old park, initially constructed with grant money for land and water conservation, is today a popular recreation area.

You can try rafting, tubing, and kayaking pools.

These activities are also suitable for people of all skill levels.

Rock Park and Whitewater Rafting also have different hiking trails, perfect for those who want to explore the area.

It also has a whitewater rafting course that is perfect for those who want to get their adrenaline pumping.

The course is located on the Truckee River and is open to beginners and experts.

If you are looking for a place to have an adventure, then Rock Park and Whitewater Rafting is the perfect place for you.

Spend a Day at Lazy 5 Regional Park

Located along Pyramid Way, Lazy 5 Regional Park is a fantastic place to spend a whole day or afternoon with friends and family.

It’s famous for its size as a park, giving you a lot of places to explore and a lot of activities to do.

One of the most exciting parts about Lazy 5 Regional Park is its skatepark and library.

The library inside here is called the Spanish Springs Library—it’s a great place to do some reading because of its collection of books and overall ambiance.

The skatepark is spacious as well, and lots of locals go here which is a perfect opportunity to meet new friends.

Other things to expect at Lazy 5 Regional Park are picnic areas, pavilions, and a splash pad for the little ones.

Take the Kids to Fly High Trampoline Park

Fly High Trampoline Park is one of the best places to bring children if you want to dedicate a whole day to kiddie fun.

A reputable brand, Fly High Trampoline Park is both a safe and exhilarating place where kids can run, jump, and meet new friends along the way.

Kids can play extreme dodgeball here, utilizing the state-of-the-art trampolines as they play the game.

What’s even more exciting is that the center has an obstacle course inspired from American Ninja Warrior.

Located conveniently along Greg Street, Fly High Trampoline Park is a great addition to any kind of itinerary.

Watch a Movie at West Wind El Rancho 4 Drive-In Theater

West Wind El Rancho 4 Drive-In Theater is a great place to experience something vintage in American culture: drive-in movies.

There’s only a few left in the United States when it comes to drive-in theaters, so this is a can’t-miss opportunity if you have yet to experience the retro vibes of pulling up and watching a movie in your car.

The selection of movies is great and there’s even concessionaires here, making this place well-loved by the locals.

Another great thing about West Wind El Rancho 4 Drive-In Theater is that it’s conveniently along El Rancho Drive.

Whether you love movies or you want a new experience, this is a great late-night inclusion in your travel plans.

Trek Along Wedekind Regional Park

Wedekind Regional Park takes you to the more rural areas of Sparks, giving you the classic Nevada-California desert vibe.

Sprawling with numerous trails, this park is a haven for biking, especially if you want to explore much of the area quickly.

But even if you don’t have a bike, Wedekind Regional Park can be appreciated on foot; it’s also a great place to bring your dogs.

You’ll find all sorts of rock formations here—overall, it’s a great place for those who love the desert or badland aesthetic.

You can access Wedekind Regional Park along Disc Drive, at the northernmost tip of Sparks.

Take a Breather at Poulakidas Park

Poulakidas Park is a great place to bring the little ones for some fresh air.

Equipped with a playground and plenty of greenery, Poulakidas Park is an underrated spot to just take a breather.

Plenty of locals go here too if they want a break from the hustle and bustle of Sparks, so it’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself with the community.

Lots of dogs are also found here, so if you’re bringing your pooch, this is an excellent place to socialize them.

You can access Poulakidas Park along 4th Street.

Final Thoughts

Sparks, a suburb neighboring Reno, Nevada, is a great destination to explore.

You may engage in various outdoor activities, taking advantage of the sun and water in the summer.

Visit the museums and other indoor attractions in the colder seasons.

Everyone should find something entertaining to do in Sparks, Nevada, from joining outdoor activities to trying their luck at a casino.

Whether you want to discover the hidden gems in the area or relax, Sparks is a great place.

Book your trip today!

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