Nevada City Kid Friendly Activities

Summer vacation is days away and Nevada City offers so many great activities for things to do for kids.  So regardless of what your family likes to do, here’s a list of all sorts of ideas of things to do.  And scroll down to the bottom for our great kid-centric giveaway!

Things to do with Kids:

Water Activities:

Outdoor Adventures

Great kid friendly hikes include: Independence Trail, Buttermilk Bend and Deer Creek Tribute Trail.  Or take the kids for a mountain bike ride at Hirschman Pond.  Or maybe you and your family want to try the Bear Yuba Land Trust Junior Conservationists Program.  If you want some rock climbing practice check out the kids session at Gold Crush Climbing Gym on Friday afternoons.

Perhaps you’re looking for a summer camp, there are still lots of great programs happening, click here for a post from earlier this spring on the Summer Camp Fair, still time to check out the Food Love Project day camps, The Center for the Arts camps, Fox Walkers or Kuk Sool Adventure Camp.  Perhaps you want to be creative, try stopping by The Artist Workshop, either for a class or their drop in open session and leave with a new art project.

There are a lot of great kid friendly events during the summer season: Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival (June 14th–17th), California WorldFest: July 12 – 15th, The Children’s Festival (Friday, July 27th), The Sierra Storytelling Festival  (July 20th-22nd), Family Appreciation Day (August 4th) or the Nevada County Fair (August 8-12th). The Miners Picnic at Empire Mine (August 25th), a family picnic, gold mining demonstrations, live music and games.

Otherwise take your kids to one of the many local farmers markets, First Friday Art Walks (July 6th and August 3rd) or Nevada City Summer Nights (July 11th, 18th and 25th).  Perhaps you want to get tickets for the PAG performance of The Jungle Book (July 19th-29th) or the Sierra Stages production of James and the Giant Peach (July 12-August 4)?  Don’t forget the free Nevada County Concert Band concerts at Pioneer Park, it’s a great free family friendly outing (June 24th, July 22nd and August 26th).

And since we’re obviously huge fans of the Inn Town Campground, we think you should come camping, book a staycation, if you join us on a weekend you can join the outdoor movie screening, the outdoor themed kid craft project and jump in the pool!

And if you’ve made it this far, I’ve got tons of giveaways to help get you into the spirit of summer.  Post a comment on your favorite summer activity and throw your name into the hat for $350 worth of local prizes.  Summer Kid Activities Giveaway: a family pass to one of the Movies Under the Pines outdoor screenings ($50), 4 tickets to The Children’s Festival ($12), 4 pack to Music in the Mountains SummerFest ($99), 2 movie passes to the Del Oro Children’s movie screenings ($20), $10 gift certificate to Mountain Pastimes, $10 gift certificate to Treats, a family pack of tickets to the Nevada County Fair (2 adults and 2 children’s admission tickets and a parking pass, $34), $10 gift certificate to The Artist Workshop, a family pass to “Encounter Nature” to a BYLT Junior Conservationist outing ($10), two SUP rental gift certificate from Mountain Recreation ($40).  And last, but definitely not least, a free night of camping at the Inn Town Campground ($55 value).  Winners will be announced on Friday, June 15th.  Edited to say the winners are: Sarah Regan, Debra Brown, Chelsea, Emily Gravenstein, Debbie Campbell, Terry Elm, Thomas Breiter, Rachel, Shauna, Rachel Umphress   and MaryAnne Andersen.

© 2018 InnSide Nevada City, Photos © by Erin Thiem, Kathryn White Photography and Lenkaland Photography and Camp Del Oro

53 replies
  1. Meshawn Simmons
    Meshawn Simmons says:

    Holy moly – what a great roundup of cool kids activities! I’m bookmarking this page right now 🙂

  2. Daisy
    Daisy says:

    So much goodness here, thanks for compiling! The river is obviously a chart-topper, but I’m excited to find out more about some of these other ideas you have here.

  3. Lisa Johnson
    Lisa Johnson says:

    OMG, what a great resource for when my grandkids and others are here to play! Thanks, Erin!

  4. Emma williams
    Emma williams says:

    Everything water related! And of course hot summer nights, Smores and sleeping under the stars!

  5. Leia
    Leia says:

    As always you knock it out of the park. Thank you for compiling this list for all of us. I’ve got 3 kids to keep busy. I’ll definitely be consulting these ideas.

    • erin
      erin says:

      Thanks Leia…. seriously this would be a mission to accomplish all of them… but it’s got a few good free ideas mixed in there to help keep you entertained.

  6. Lisa Becerra
    Lisa Becerra says:

    Nevada City looks like a dream! Our favorite summertime activities involve anything in the water, listening to good music, and roasting s’mores. Hope to bring our kiddos up sometime for their first ever camping experience!

  7. Jenn Palmer
    Jenn Palmer says:

    Wow, Erin! What a fantastic resource. Thanks!

    We loved the activities at the library last summer – looking forward to their program this year.

  8. Maggie
    Maggie says:

    My favorite summer activity has been going to the Yuba river every year for the last 15 years. It started as a girls getaway trip when we were in college and has now expanded to include our significant others. And more recently 3 of us became new moms (with babies born in April/May) and we plan on bringing our little ones to experience the glory of the river.

  9. Brit
    Brit says:

    This is amazing! So glad my friend passed this along and hoping to get up to see the space and rent a tent before the summer is out! I LOVE all things summer, but my top two are paddleboarding on the American River and going backpacking!

  10. Ingrid Knox
    Ingrid Knox says:

    Thanks for pulling this list together. There certainly is a lot for kids to do this summer!

  11. Sarah Regan
    Sarah Regan says:

    Wow, Erin! What a great resource. You rock! We love our local camps – especially AsIf, Fox Walkers and Food ❤️ Farm.

  12. Denise Bryant
    Denise Bryant says:

    Lots going on for kids, big and little! I look forward to going to the fair each summer!

  13. Rachael Rogers
    Rachael Rogers says:

    We absolutely love were we live. There is so much to do all summer. 🙂 Cannot wait to get the kids on the river.

  14. Liz Carnall
    Liz Carnall says:

    Thank you for this post! It’s so nice to have all these events, and suggestions in one place. I am not sure that I can pick a favorite! The Children’s festival is high up on the list though. Being able to share some of my hometown experiences and places with my children makes me feel connected and like I belong. We recently toured the Railroad Museum and rode the Railbus. It was a great outing and introduced me to the Inntown Campground. I can’t wait to have a staycation there. It looks charming.

  15. Jessica Louis
    Jessica Louis says:

    favorite activity is swimming in kid friendly see thru swimming water holes! jumping off rocks and cooling off! anything camping related is my ultimate favorite to be honest!
    see ya soon , booking a one night stay asap

  16. Alicia Alonso
    Alicia Alonso says:

    Evening picnics with my family at any of our amazing rivers or lakes. This list is so wonderful! Thank you for all you do.

  17. Erika
    Erika says:

    Nevada County in the summer is the BEST — hard to pick a favorite, but enjoying a hot summer evening at Summer Nights or a Concert in the Park can’t be beat.

  18. Kasey Forshey
    Kasey Forshey says:

    What?!? So many fun things. We’ll probably try a ton of them this summer….but I’m a sucker for gold panning!

  19. Sue
    Sue says:

    Such an awesome list!
    Listening to music outside — whether at farmers market or festivals — tops my list.

  20. Terry Elm
    Terry Elm says:

    Some of our favorite activities: picking berries, swimming with friends until sundown, attending music events, watching movies outdoors and getting ice cream from Lazy Dog.

  21. Kate strolle
    Kate strolle says:

    Oh my gosh! So much to do in our area and summer is too short! What an awesome giveaway!!

  22. Shauna
    Shauna says:

    So many favorites here, how lucky we are! I love Summer Nights, swimming, Friday Night Art Walks, the Nevada County Fair and the Children’s Fair (the troll and dragon!). This summer, I also hope to make it to a Movie Under the Pines and James and Giant Peach. Yay for summer!

  23. Eleni
    Eleni says:

    Summer in Nevada City is awesome. Favorite activities: the Fair, Pioneer Park Pool, Children’s Festival, Yuba River, and my garden.

  24. Debbie Campbell
    Debbie Campbell says:

    I look forward to this blog post EVERY year! Thanks for taking the time to put together so much invaluable information. Our favorite activities of the summer — all things music, going to the kid-friendly swim spots, any time spent with friends and family, 4th of July community activities, camping, nature, and the NC Fair!! Thanks again. I look forward to sharing this with lots of other families.

  25. Mariah
    Mariah says:

    This is an awesome list! I’ve lived in Nevada county my whole life, but having kids here it’s nice to know what they can do, especially during summer!

  26. Debra Brown
    Debra Brown says:

    Thank you for this, so much to do, and spred out, the contest is just iceing on the cake, what a wonderful idea

  27. JoAnne Middleton
    JoAnne Middleton says:

    My grandson loves the rail bus at the railroad museum and then we usually go for an ice cream at “Treats”!

  28. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    Thank you for this awesome contest!!! Nevada County Rocks! I’m looking forward to watching some movies in the park with my kids, camping, going to the fair and being in the water in any way we can!!!

  29. Crystal Cook
    Crystal Cook says:

    Summer time is the best! My kids and I love river days (swimming anywhere really) and art walk/summer night events.

  30. Sarah Larsen
    Sarah Larsen says:

    We LOVE the free summer concerts at Pioneer Park. Thank you for compiling this great list!

  31. Billee
    Billee says:

    We always love the fair and all it has to offer. We also love going to the creek over at Western Gateway Park for the little kiddos or to Bridgeport.

  32. Laylah
    Laylah says:

    Can’t wait for all the summer activities for my family to participate in. Sierra Storytelling Festival and Children’s Festival are two we haven’t checked out yet. Thank you for posting this and the chance to win some free tickets. 😀

  33. Jen Roberts
    Jen Roberts says:

    What a resource! We love paddle boarding up at Scott’s Flat lake. It’s easy to get there and Mountain Rec has rentals right at the day-use beach. It’s fun to explore the inlet at the top of the lake.

  34. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    Our favorite summer activity has always been the fair! It’s a great way to spend time with family before school starts again.

  35. Emily Gravenstein
    Emily Gravenstein says:

    I would love to get this for my sister and her family!

    We love going to the lake on the boat and going to the river together!

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