Playing in Your Neighborhood
We believe in the power of play and the fundamental benefits of fun. Imagine a world without fun … not pretty, right? But everyone has a different idea of what is fun and everyone has different preferences for how they play.
This is one of the major obstacles of family fun activities. How do you please your toddler while also engaging your pre-teen? How do you survive playing with your child when all they want to do is the same game … over and over and over? And then there are business restrictions to take into account. Some places don’t allow children under a certain age to participate or perhaps it’s the older kids who have to sit around and wait.
With all of those obstacles to overcome, it’s no wonder why many families struggle to find ways to play together.
That’s why we’ve compiled a few family fun activities, projects, or events that may be the perfect way to spend your next family day. Though some events are going to be specific to our region of the country, we’re sure you can find similar activities near you. If a quick search online doesn’t help, ask around. You may be surprised by the number of fun things happening in your neighborhood that you never knew about.
For those with green thumbs or those who just enjoy fresh food, a trip to Greenbluff just north of Spokane should definitely be on your summer bucket list. Whether you enjoy picking fresh strawberries, want to learn how to grow your own vegetables, or love picking out the perfect pumpkin, Greenbluff has plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun for people of all ages. Consider u-pick flowers for that perfect bouquet, grab some fresh berries for a delicious pie, or eat an apple picked (by your hand) off the tree. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about farming, gardening, and the importance of passing these skills from one generation to the next. Plus, you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten a strawberry picked when completely sun-ripened and ready to burst with sweet goodness.
Splash Pads and Outdoor Pools
We’re lucky to have a wide range of splash pads and outdoor pools right here in Spokane. While it may be difficult for kids of all ages to play together in a pool, most families can agree to spend some time near the water during our intense, hot summers. Consider making a day out of it by combining a trip to a local park with a visit to a pool or splash pad. Then you can spend part of your day playing a sandlot game of baseball, having a nature walk, or invent a new game to play before everyone cools off with a swim.
Some of us are lucky to have large backyards which provide ample space to play outdoors. For those who don’t have much outdoor space to call their own, a quick visit to a local park may be just the thing. If you want to enjoy the flowers, consider a trip to a local garden: Duncan, Rose Hill, Ferris, Lilac, Nishinomiya Tsutakawa, Moore-Turner, and Gaiser Conservatory. If skateboarding is more your family’s thing, check out the Dwight-Merkel or Hillyard skate park (another is coming to Riverfront Park soon). And for those looking to get some hiking in, consider walking one of our many trails that wander through various parks, recreation areas, and even urban areas. Check them out here: Spokane Hiking Trails. Let’s not forget the Centennial Trail. It spans two states and covers over 50 miles, providing excellent views of canyons, pine forests, the river, and more. And if you’re looking for a park that has everything, why not stop by Manito Park. With over 90 acres that include 5 gardens, a conservatory, and a duck pond as well as hiking trails and playgrounds that are all pet friendly, Manito Park is a great place to spend a day with family and friends.
Why did we give this is own category? Well, thanks to all of the new (and continuing) renovations, Riverfront Park offers a lot of new ways to play. Besides the classics, the Looff Carrousel and the SkyRide, there are plenty of new additions to the park. The Skate Ribbon offers a full year of fun with scootering, rollerskating, and rollerblading in the warm weather months and ice skating when winter arrives. Pedal carts are available for rent and allow families to experience the park in a whole new way. Or for those looking to get a new perspective, why not try the Spider Jump? Starting June 12, outdoor movies will be presented at the park at no cost (it’s a first come, first served sort of thing) with movies fit for the entire family.
Wonderland Family Fun Center
With so many different attractions, there is sure to be something fun for everyone in the family. Kids will love playing in the arcade, cruising on the bumper boats, or dominating in a serious round of miniature golf. There is also a new laser tag arena, go karts, batting cages, and a rock climbing wall. They offer plenty of ways to enjoy with day passes, season passes, and birthday/event rentals.
For those out in Idaho, why not stop by Triple Play? It’s a great stop for families with activities for kids of all ages (even us big kids). Why not try a family bowling tournament or test your skills in their laser tag arena. They also have bumper boats and bumper cars, a climbing wall, go karts, miniature golf, and arcade. For those with gold fever, Triple Play offers sluicing to test your luck. And if heights aren’t a problem, you can test your limits with their indoor rope course.
Silverwood Theme Park
Love speed? Crave the rush that comes with shooting down a slide into a refreshing pool? Or perhaps you’re looking for a more leisurely way to soak up some rays? Silverwood Theme Park may be just the stop for you. They offer rides and attractions for all ages, so don’t think that your younger kids can get in on the fun. Besides the typical theme park rides (like the Ferris Wheel and roller-coasters), you’ll find plenty of water fun at Boulder Beach Bay. Bring your swimming suits, sunscreen, and get up to Silverwood for a family-fun-filled day.
We are extremely lucky to have access to multiple lakes and rivers within just a few miles, many of which can provide fun for the entire family. If you’ll looking for some fun without the hassle of ownership, come and visit Fun Unlimited in either Post Falls or downtown Spokane to rent boats, SUPs, and more. If you’re looking for a nice day of swimming and beach fun, Lake Coeur d’Alene offers several public access points and beaches. If you’re headed out to Sandpoint, Lake Pend Oreille is a must stop. Sandpoint’s city beach provides ample room for families, access to playgrounds, food, and more – all within walking distance. And for anyone in the Spokane area, there are plenty of lakes nearby including the Four Lakes area near Medical Lake, Deer Lake, and Loon Lake beyond that. And, of course, there is Long Lake formed by the dam on the Spokane River, a great place to swim, boat, fish, or just explore. Just remember to check before you visit as Discover Passes (available at many stores/locations) may be required for use.