Camping at Inn Town Campground

Nevada County Fair

Nevada County Narrow Gauge Museum

Ice Cream

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:

Stand Up Paddling Boarding

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.  Check out the Bear Yuba Land Trust’s Trails Portal for more online resources.

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 Gravity Camp, Fox Walkers, Stitch Vixens, Yoga for Girls or a lego camp through the City of Nevada City.  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 (check out their new location later this summer for more space and larger birthday parties).

Fire Breathing Dragon

There are a lot of great kid friendly events during the summer season: Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival (June 13 – 16),  Music in the Mountains SummerFest (June 15- July 3),  4th of July parade, California WorldFest (July 11 – 14), The Children’s Festival (Friday, July 19), The Sierra Storytelling Festival (July 19-22) or the Nevada County Fair (August 7-11) and the Miners Picnic at Empire Mine (August 31).

Otherwise take your kids to one of the many local farmers markets, First Friday Art Walks (June 7, July 5 and August 2) or Nevada City Summer Nights (July 17, 24 and 31).   Don’t forget the free Nevada County Concert Band concerts at Pioneer Park, it’s a great free family friendly outing (June 23, July 28 and August 25) or the Music in the Mountains Patriotic Pops Concerts (July 3).

Camping at Inn Town Campground

And since we’re obviously huge fans of the Inn Town Campground we think you should come camping. Whether you’re booking a staycation or coming to the area to visit the South Yuba River, the kids will love the outdoor movie screening, kids craft project on Saturday afternoon and 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 over $400 worth of local prizes (all ages welcome).  Summer Kid Activities Giveaway: 2 series passes to the Del Oro Children’s movie screenings ($32), $5 gift certificate to Treats, 2 tickets to the Nevada County Fair plus a one day parking pass, and four carnival rides ($50), $25 gift certificate to Riverhill Farm Upick, 4 tickets to The Children’s Festival at Pioneer Park ($12), 2 day passes to Gold Crush Climbing Gym ($20), family pass to Music in the Mountain Patriotic Pops concert ($100), 4 tickets to the Movies Under the Pines outdoor movie screening ($20), 4 tickets to the Sunday’s Sierra Storytelling Festival including the Children’s Concert ($20), $15 gift certificate to The Artist Workshop paint your own pottery and SUP rental gift certificate from Mountain Recreation, Trails Card, field lens and shirt from Bear Yuba Land Trust ($50).  And last, but definitely not least, a free night of camping at the Inn Town Campground ($55 value).  Winners will be announced on Monday, June 10th.  *Edited to say the winners are:  Vanessa, Kelly Liebert, Jenn P, Julie Goldman, Kathy Hart, Daisy, Alex, Jeff, April Holland, Marlene Stine, Cathleen Parsons, Josie and Monica Conkle.

© 2019 InnSide Nevada City, Photos © by Erin Thiem, Megan Michelson and Lenkaland Photography

131 replies
  1. Barbara H
    Barbara H says:

    Thank you, Erin! I love your blog and the wonderful way you put together and remind us of all there is to do in our wonderful community!

    Reply
  2. Meshawn
    Meshawn says:

    This is one of my favorite posts of the year – thank you for all of the time and creative ideas you bring to us to beat summer boredom! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Ingrid Knox
    Ingrid Knox says:

    Firstly, can I say WOW!!! That’s amazing.

    I love the Story Telling Festival. It is nice to sit under the stars and listen to stories as the heat of the day cools. But it’s also great to just be able be outside enjoying out lovely area.

    Thanks for giving us a great list of events and activities to consider.

    Reply
    • erin
      erin says:

      Thanks Ingrid, it is amazing how many special venues we have in Nevada County and you’re right, sitting outside and listening to stories is a perfect summer activity no mater what age you are.

      Reply
  4. Rachel C.
    Rachel C. says:

    My favorite summer activities to do with my daughter are, going to the children’s festival at pioneer park, going on hikes at tribute trail, edwards crossing river spot and of course the fair. My daughters birthday always lands during the fair, so we take her every year for her birthday! I would love to take her to an outdoor movie! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  5. Chelsea Lynch
    Chelsea Lynch says:

    The libraries have awesome summer programming for kids and it’s all free! We love our libraries!!! Pick up a summer program guide.

    Reply
  6. Kelly O'Neil
    Kelly O'Neil says:

    Yet another informative and exciting post! As the seasons change, there are so many new things that look forward to in this special town. My favorite that I have experienced so far is Summer Nights in Nevada City. It is so much fun! Great local vendors and an abundance of entertainment. Such a great way to spend a Wednesday evening with loved ones. Thanks again for another great post, I know I’ll be looking back on this one many times for activity ideas!

    Reply
    • erin
      erin says:

      Good to put those on your calendar now– and unlike Victorian Christmas where you just never know what the weather will be, at least with Summer Nights you know it’ll be warm! Happy Summer Adventuring.

      Reply
    • erin
      erin says:

      Have fun! I’m fairly confident you can do half a dozen of these, but good to look at the calendar and see if their visit falls into any of these fun events.

      Reply
  7. Valerie Costa
    Valerie Costa says:

    WorldFest is my absolute favorite summer activity in Nevada County, followed closely by Nevada City Summer Nights.

    Reply
  8. Vanessa
    Vanessa says:

    What a great collection of ideas, Thank you!! We love the Children’s Festival, 4th of July Parade, swimming at the lakes, and hope to check out some Inn Town Camp ground action this year with Auntie Courtney!!
    Cheers to a fun summer!

    Reply
  9. Denise Bryant
    Denise Bryant says:

    Lots of fun things to do in our area for summer! I love taking in a matinee at one of our movie theaters on a hot day!

    Reply
  10. Mike
    Mike says:

    Our family loves the Music in the Mountains Patriotic Pops concert & as many nights of camping as we can fit in! Thanks for the great reminders and new ideas about what our area has to offer!

    Reply
    • erin
      erin says:

      Lazy days… ahh…. (not something in my world at this time of the year, but I can appreciate that others get to enjoy them)– happy summer.

      Reply
  11. cathleen parsons
    cathleen parsons says:

    One of many of my favorite summer activities is the State Fair! Eat and play and lots of vendors! Love our active community!

    Reply
  12. Eleni Rodgers
    Eleni Rodgers says:

    Favorite summer activities: The Children’s Fair, Pioneer Park pool, Camping, Ice cream and whatever interesting event you post that I didn’t know about yet…

    Reply
    • erin
      erin says:

      Oh… now that’s pressure… b/c I think you’re fairly up to date on many things Nevada County… guess I’ll have to go find something new and exciting 🙂

      Reply
  13. Diane Richards
    Diane Richards says:

    Thank you for the awesome blog article on all the incredible things to do all around beautiful Nevada County!

    My favorite thing to do is going on day hikes on the weekends.

    Reply
    • erin
      erin says:

      There are so many hiking options, you really could spend all summer on that activity. We just got in the Gold Country Day Hikes book by Mary West (at both the Outside Inn & Inn Town Campground) if you want a resource for more options.

      Reply
  14. Debbie Campbell
    Debbie Campbell says:

    Hands down, our favorite activity is camping with the family or any activity with family and friends. AND of the many activities you shared, we LOVE the Children’s Festival, the NC Fair, swimming, hiking, (don’t forget kayaking), and many other family activities.

    Reply
    • erin
      erin says:

      Kayaking is a good option (we’ve braved the road to Lower Scotts Flat on a few occasions, but man, that’s not an easy option), but camping is a great summer activity.

      Reply
    • erin
      erin says:

      We just had some campers at the Inn Town Campground who went and enjoyed the gold panning demo at Bridgeport yesterday and they loved it….. so good tip to time your visit between 12-2 on weekends in the summer if you can.

      Reply
  15. Katharine
    Katharine says:

    Our favorite summer activity is definitely Bridgeport, and I’m happy to say that we already do a bunch of things on your list. I’m excited to have so many ideas in one place to refer to, with links even! Thank you! We have teens and a toddler so fresh ideas are really helpful!

    Reply
    • erin
      erin says:

      I would love more teen suggestions, my teenager went to First Friday Art Walk and came back and was like, “There’s nothing to do.” Which obviously isn’t the case, but useful to visit these events through the eyes of different ages. So feel free to share more suggestions for older kids.

      Reply
  16. Julie
    Julie says:

    So many favorites and you have hit them all! We love pioneer park pool, gold crush climbing gym, and movies at Del Oro to name a few. We can’t wait for the summer!!!

    Reply
  17. Marlene Stine
    Marlene Stine says:

    I love to watch the Fourth of July fireworks. Also, taking a trip to Bridgeport. The water is beautiful there. Anything outdoors with the kids always ends up being a great day! ♥️♥️♥️

    Reply
  18. Julie Goldman
    Julie Goldman says:

    Your blog is such an ode to how special this town is- I love it! I love the children’s festival, enough to do both the morning and afternoon sessions:)

    Reply
    • erin
      erin says:

      Ode…. I like that word… but there really are that many fun things to do– and we all need reminders (including me) of fun ways to celebrate the summer.

      Reply
  19. Alice Blandy
    Alice Blandy says:

    My daughter and grandson would enjoy the In Town Camp Grounds, when they come to visit me, among the many local activities.

    Reply
  20. Mallory Airey
    Mallory Airey says:

    Our favorite summer activity has been staying with the kids at the outside inn! Haha we’ve also enjoyed the independence trail and Collins lake (huge ice creams!)

    Reply
  21. April Holland
    April Holland says:

    We love everything about our little town – as a family with little ones, the farmer’s market, our beautiful NID trails, the river, the library, and Pioneer Park are our favorite spots. Thanks for the great post, Erin!

    Reply
  22. Monica Conkle
    Monica Conkle says:

    Thank you for this list!! We love summer and so many fun family events! We love the beautiful nature hikes, swimming and our festivals.

    Reply
    • erin
      erin says:

      Agreed! Definitely not swim season yet at the Yuba, but Scott’s Flat is great and the Pioneer Park pool is open, or you can come camping at the Inn Town Campground (pool is perfect temperature).

      Reply
  23. Carla
    Carla says:

    I’ve never heard of the Mountain soft swimming hole, I’m gonna have to look into that one! Thanks for all the great info.

    Reply
  24. Heather
    Heather says:

    So looking forward to taking my son camping and getting in the water! Thanks for all the great activities!

    Reply
  25. Shiree
    Shiree says:

    River!! Now that we have little ones we’ve expanded our summer horizons but the Yuba will always be my favorite summer activity. Another cool thing we like is the summer reading program at the library. Wild things came last year and my little man got to pet an alligator. Pretty rad!

    Reply
  26. Leeann McMahon
    Leeann McMahon says:

    A few of our family favorites are the library summer reading program and activities, hiking on trails all over Nevada county, camping and paddle boarding at Scott’s flat lake!

    Reply
  27. Cynthia Levesque
    Cynthia Levesque says:

    Our favorite outdoor activities as a family are; attending the First Friday Artwalk in Nevada City, swimming in the local lakes and river, and camping at our favorite local spots (including the InnTown Campground…the pool is a lifesaver on those hot Summer Days)!

    Reply
  28. Donna Cobb
    Donna Cobb says:

    I love doing art projects with my grandchildren during the summer when I babysit them. Also, playing in the water is key to keeping them cool. I want to take them to the summer movies as well. So many fun things to choose from in beautiful Nevada County!

    Reply
  29. Rebecca Ahmadi
    Rebecca Ahmadi says:

    We always love music and ice cream at Hot Summer Nights, swimming in the Yuba and the Children’s Festival!!! Thanks for the great summary of local events!

    Reply
  30. Laurie Rabo
    Laurie Rabo says:

    What a great list of things to do! We’ll have to check out as many as possible! We will be spending a lot of time at the pool and going to the library.

    Reply
  31. Jeannie Nyberg
    Jeannie Nyberg says:

    Favorite summer fun. Kayaking at Fuller Lake, then early dinner at Northridge before we head back to home in Alta. Someday hopefully this year we will stay at The Outside Inn, bucket list., or the beautiful campground

    Reply
  32. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    For the kids, it has to be the children’s festival. They love it so much they always want to do both sessions.

    Reply
  33. Jennie
    Jennie says:

    Thank you for this comprehensive list! There are so many things we love to do in the summer time! Swimming at Pioneer Park (or Dutch Flat Pool) is fun! I just learned that we can ride bikes at the Nevada County Fairgrounds (enter Gate 4; it’s free), so we are going to try that this summer.

    Reply
  34. Wendy H
    Wendy H says:

    Wow! Thanks for all the info! I’ve lived here for 38 years and there is always more to see and do. My favorite summer activity is, of course, going to the river!

    Reply
  35. Candace
    Candace says:

    We are new to the area so your list is so valuable to us. Thank you so much for putting this together! So many new things to try! But I’m a big fan of Nevada City’s Farmers Market and I can’t wait to see about the Friday Night Art Walks.

    Reply
  36. Brian
    Brian says:

    Some favorites are swimming at the river and pool, lots of hikes throughout the area, and of course the fair!!!

    Reply
  37. Deanna Reardon
    Deanna Reardon says:

    All of the above…swimming and playing at the river, scotts flat for paddle boarding, treats for cooling kids down, Three Forks for cooling grown ups down! Yeah summer!

    Reply
  38. Lydia Clarke
    Lydia Clarke says:

    We love the NC area! Camping at the Inn Town Campground is glorious, and hiking and swimming in the river is the best!!! I like all the other ideas too, can’t wait to come back with the kids and try some out.

    Reply
  39. Danielle Noble
    Danielle Noble says:

    Love this list! So many good options that are reoccurring favorites or new ideas we haven’t done yet. We decided to write all these down on popsicle sticks and put them in a jar. Each day we are going to pick one and just go! Each day will be a fun adventure!! Thank you ☺️

    Reply
  40. Amber Benso
    Amber Benso says:

    Thank you for the info and reminder of things to do with the kids for summer in our awesome community!

    Reply
  41. Vickie
    Vickie says:

    This is a tough one !. All these activities are so cool and fun for kids, parents and grandparents.
    . The river is always a fav in my world!

    Reply
  42. Colette Clark
    Colette Clark says:

    I love being in the water with my daughter. Either river swimming or lessons at Pioneer Park pool. Last year we really enjoyed the concert series at the library on Monday mornings, and we are looking forward to the concerts this year.

    Reply
  43. Megan
    Megan says:

    One of my favorite summer activities is going to the band concerts and watching the little tykes dance along to the music.

    Reply
  44. Ann
    Ann says:

    We live in the most wonderful area! We raised our kids here, and now our grandkids are growing up here! The amount of activities to do in the summer with kids is fantastic!
    We love summer and so many fun family events! Beautiful nature hikes, swimming, festivals, art activities, rock climbing, Del Oro summer kids movie, okay, there’s just too many wonderful things to list! And, thank you for making and explaining all these wonderful things in a list for all of us! Hurray for summer!

    Reply
  45. Sarah Whittaker
    Sarah Whittaker says:

    Our family favorites are the Nevada County Fair, the Summer kid’s movies, and the Children’s Festival!!

    Reply
  46. Gecille
    Gecille says:

    In the summers in Nevada County we love dancing to outdoor concerts and eating Lazy Dog & Treats ice cream!

    Reply
  47. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    Theres sooo much to do in Nevada City and Grass Valley! I’ve been wanting to try out the Artist Workshop the next time we come up! Cant wait for our next camping trip!

    Reply
  48. Rebecca Jackson
    Rebecca Jackson says:

    Such good ideas here! My favorite local summer activity is LAKE DAY. I’ve never tried a SUP, but I’m dying to! We usually gather some friends, borrow a ski or pontoon boat, and stay out on the water until the sun goes down and the chill sets in. We are blessed with water activities here!

    Reply
  49. Maggie
    Maggie says:

    We love making memories at the fair. We live in Sonoma County and look forward to the Nevada county fair each year! Thank you for such a wonderful and family friendly place to stay when we come up!

    Reply
  50. Renee Herrenkohl
    Renee Herrenkohl says:

    Thank you for this Erin, there’s a few new spots I’ll be checking out this summer with Lyric. My favorite summer activities are camping and going to the Nevada county fair. Both bring back so many childhood memories and I love making new ones with Lyric.

    Reply
  51. Rachael Rogers
    Rachael Rogers says:

    We love summertime in Nevada City. Our kids love swimming at Pioneer Park and the Yuba River. The Children’s Festival is so much fun. Taking a walk to Treats is also a fun trip. There are so many things to do in our county.

    Reply

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