We recently took our kids on a five day vacation – road trip from the desert in California to Reno, Nevada. The drive took about 8 hours there and to get home, but we left first thing in the morning. Both kids (1 year and 6 years old) had their own DVD players and movies of choice with headphones, snacks, and drinks. Luckily only one stop for food and potty before finishing the drive. Stopping in Mammoth Lakes we had an amazing breakfast with amazing service. A tiny little joint with great food and hospitality at Base Camp Café! They proved to me customer service was not dead.
With family in Reno, we still opted for a hotel stay to make it as comfortable for everyone as possible. For the second time we chose the Grand Sierra Resort, known as “GSR” to Reno locals. It is the cleanest and most kid-friendly hotel in the area. With bowling, an arcade, food options, golf, etc. it was a perfect choice. The room was very clean. We got a Sierra Suite which the room divided with a curtain. Our 6 year old slept on the pull-out couch, and they brought up a crib for our 1 year old. After getting such good customer service in Mammoth, I must have been spoiled. I felt staff was just kind-of there, going through motions. Few actually giving a you-know-what.
One day the hotel pool was not working which really sucked because that was the day we chose to go to the pool. We had already done pretty much everything else in the hotel. They gave us towels, and just said it was broken. The hot tub was packed, so we laid out by the pool. Honestly, I am completely shocked that no one walked around to apologize for the inconvenience, or even offer a bottle of water. They were completely unsure and incapable of offering any type of discount or refund, even after we went home. We got transferred at least half a dozen times to voice mails or people who couldn’t help nor transfer us back to the main desk. Last we heard someone was going to call us back about a refund, and it has been at least 24 hours with no word.
Our son got sick one night and had an accident which got the floor dirty. We cleaned it ourselves the best we could with baby wipes and tried to do the right thing and call housekeeping right away. No one came for over an hour. The café had limited and frustrating for me, not super healthy options for food. But it was the most family friendly dining option that was not a fast food. Honestly I am not sure I would go there again. The arcade was an OK size, but games were pretty outdated and the floors were disgusting. Them not giving a hoot makes me kind of not give one either. I will find other resources for that next time we go. Even if it isn’t an ideal kid-friendly option.
Outside of the hotel we found some great kid-friendly trip things to do:
Friday nights at Idlewyld park there is a food truck festival with live music. This can also be found as Reno Street Food.
Kids museum – known as The Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum was really cool, even for adults. It was a totally educational and hands-on experience that made everyone in the family happy. It was a great way to spend a few hours in the afternoon because it was nearly 90 degrees outside.
Reno Aces baseball plays in a gorgeous new stadium that has a big grassy area for seating so kids can run free, plus it is right next to the CarMax kids zone that has even more ways for kids to burn off energy during a ball game.
From an adult perspective, there are some great dining and shopping options. From outlet malls to sporting goods. Chain restaurants to one-of-a-kind brewery and distillery. Nevada is home to some great craft beers if you are into that kind of thing. The parks are also very beautiful if you want to go take a stroll down a river or other nature trails. Seems to be pet-friendly, too!
Can’t wait to go back and visit family. Just need a new hotel. What do you love about Reno that you want to share?