7 Summer Family Fun Activities in Nevada County, CA

Looking for something fun to do with the kids during the rest of summer break?  Just a short drive away to the Sierra foothills is a family fun paradise, with so much to do for kids of all ages!  Whether you want to get away from it all or be in the thick of things, Nevada County, CA, has you covered.  Here are some great activities that are fun for the whole family:

1. Camping

Inn Town Campground offers tent sites, RV sites, and luxury glamping tents. Photo by Erin Thiem

An oldie but a goodie, family camping trips are making a comeback, and Nevada County has it all!  From primitive camp sites deep in Tahoe National Forest, to glamping at Inn Town Campground a short walk from historic Downtown Nevada City, you can find the camping experience of your dreams right here just a short drive away.  We also have a wide variety of Hipcamp options.  Learn more about camping opportunities in Nevada County HERE.

2. Swimming

The Yuba River has endless swimming holes to enjoy. Photo courtesy of The Union.

Nothing says summer like a day in the water, and Nevada County is filled with opportunities to swim!  Whether you prefer the crystal clear water of the South Yuba River, a day on one of the several lakes in the region, or to lounge by the pool, it’s all here and better than you could imagine.

3. The Nevada County Fair

The Nevada County Fair will take place August 11-15, 2021, at the beautiful Nevada County Fairgrounds.  The theme for 2020 is “The Fair is Back in Town!”  New this year is Outlaw Karts and Mini Truck Racing, and much more.

4. Ice Cream Tour!

Lazy Dog Chocolateria is a paradise for candy and ice cream lovers of all ages.

Nevada County has so many delicious treat options, and most are independent, family owned parlors with unique flavors.  Treats in Nevada City creates unique combinations using locally sourced ingredients, and Lazy Dog Chocolateria is a vision of our childhood fantasies, with handmade candy, ice cream gelatto, and more.  If fro yo is your thing, visit Culture Shock for a sweet treat with a huge selection of do it yourself toppings.  Up in Truckee, visit the Little Truckee Ice Creamery for some super premium all natural ice cream made on site at their quaint scoop shop near the west end of Donner Lake. They even make our own inclusions such as caramel, brownies, cookies, pralines, chocolate chips and more.

5. Spend a day in Truckee

Truckee River Regional ParkTruckee is full of wonderful places for kids to enjoy!  Spend some time floating down the mellow Truckee River in an inner tube, and head to Truckee River Regional Park for some play time.  Some Saturdays, you can bring the kids to ride the train around the park.  The train ride is open from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on some Saturdays; July 17 & 31 and August 14 & 28.

Or explore the KidZone Museum, where children up to age 7 enter a magical world of science, imagination, and discovery.  From fairy tales to nature to science and much more, this museum is filled with hands-on fun experiences that kids love.

6. Pan for Gold

Try your hand panning for gold. Photo by Valerie Costa

Grass Valley and Nevada City were built by and for the vibrant gold mining industry.  Docents at Bridgeport invite you to come try your hand and see if you, too can discover gold!  They provide step-by-step panning lessons, share stories about the history of our area, and describe other ways the precious metal was extracted during the California Gold Rush, such as hard rock mining and hydraulic mining.  Gold panning demonstrations at Bridgeport will go from 12-2 p.m. every weekend and holiday through Labor Day, Sept. 2.

7. Go Outside and Play

Bring the boat or rent one and take the kids tubing, fishing, or just cruising around the lake. Photo by Chad Wingo

It’s summer, so get outside and play!  Whether you like biking, boating, horseback riding, fishing, or just exploring the great outdoors, we have so much to do for the outdoor recreation enthusiast.  We also have endless miles of hiking trails, both urban and remote, waiting for you to discover.

So what are you waiting for?