Entertainment aplenty that won’t break the bank in the Sierra.

By Jason Lopez

Whether you want to catch an open mic night, do a little dancing or enjoy the arts, Reno/Tahoe is a mecca for inexpensive entertainment. Here are a few of my favorites you should definitely checkout!

Be a star

Let your wild side out at a variety of open mic nights, where you can belt out your favorite tunes, jam on instruments, wax poetic, or even become a comedian for a night!

On Tahoe’s south shore, Classic Cue Sports Bar & Grille opens their mic up to entertainers every Thursday at 9 p.m. Other cheap thrills here include pool tables, air hockey, foosball, darts, multiple TV screens and video games for the kiddies. In the Zephyr Cove neighborhood, Casey’s – An American Cantina gets rockin’ with the east side’s finest open mic entertainment every Monday at 6:30 p.m. All types of talent are welcome and Casey’s serves delish American and Mexican fare, along with the self-proclaimed “coldest beer in Tahoe.” Lake Tahoe’s west shore is lowkey when it comes to nightlife, but every Wednesday night West Shore Pizza opens their mic to talent while they cook tasty pies. tahoeclassiccue.com; caseystahoe.net; pizzatahoe.com

In Carson City, the locally legendary open mic night at A to Zen Gifts and Thrift Store goes down Fridays at 7 p.m. — catch musicians, poets, magicians and anyone in the mood for sharing their talent. It’s open to all ages and children are often among the entertainers. Centrally located in downtown Reno, Pignic Pub & Patio hosts an open mic night starting around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays that attracts a crowd. What I love about Pignic is that you can BYOG – meaning Bring Your Own Grillables. That’s right. Pignic allows patrons to barbecue their own food – as long as the food’s original supermarket packaging has not been opened. Pig out with your mic out! @a.tozen.9; pignicpubandpatio.com

Live music, line dancing and art

If you’ve never been to Genoa Bar, it’s the most archaic drinking establishment in Nevada and I highly recommend it. From May to October, their Friday Porch Parties feature the best live music in the quaint town of Genoa. Here you can enjoy great tunes while tipping one back and chatting with a stranger in the very same spot that Teddy Roosevelt or Mark Twain once did! genoabarandsaloon.com

Genoa Bar (Jeramie Lu)J

Learn to line dance for free! Slip on your cowboy boots and join the Daisy Duke Dancers at The Grand Country Music Night inside Reno’s Grand Sierra  Resort. Every Friday and Saturday at 10:30 p.m., country tunes hit the air and two Daisy Duke Dancers begin strutting various country line dancing steps on stage. Then most folks follow along, while some (like me for instance) do their best to follow along. grandsierraresort.com

When it comes to enjoying art and socializing, it doesn’t get much cooler than First Thursdays at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. Every month, from 5 to 7 p.m., folks gather to enjoy music, dancing and the museum’s impressive displays. Ten bucks gets you admission, a drink coupon for locally brewed craft beer or wine, and small bites. Now that’s some bang for your buck. nevadaart.org

Trip out on Burning Man art

I’ve never been to Burning Man but I’ve enjoyed some of the most well known art pieces ever to grace The Playa — and you can too — for free in Reno. Reno is home to the largest permanent collection of Burning Man art anywhere on the planet. The best way to see this fab art is by self-guided tour of Reno’s Playa Art Trail using online resources courtesy of Art Spot Reno. artspotreno.com

Reno Playa Park (Sydney Martinez)

While you’re here, learn some new dance moves, be a star for an audience, or enjoy an evening of art … the best part is you don’t have to fork out all of your hard-earned cash to have a good time. That’s what makes Reno/Tahoe such an outstanding place. There’s so much to do and you won’t break the bank to experience the greatness the area has to offer. So what are you waiting for? Go get some greatness!

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