When the sun comes out and the temperatures move into the 70s and above, a collective cheer rises up all over Eastern Washington - summer is finally here, hooray! And if you want to make the most of those sunny summer months this year, then look no further. Here are 10 ideas that take full advantage of the warm, beautiful weather and create a family friendly “Spokane area Summer Bucket List."
While Spokane plays host to numerous events throughout the summer like Hoopfest and Pig Out in the Park, these 10 items are ideas you can do at anytime. So grab the kids and get ready for some fun in the sun.
Ride the Looff Carousel in Riverfront Park
Learn some Spokane history while choosing which of the 54 horses to ride on. Charles I. D. Looff built the carousel in 1909 and sent it to Spokane as a wedding gift for his daughter. The carousel was later moved to its current location at Riverfront Park.
CONNECT: History of Looff Carousel
Take a gondola ride over the Spokane Falls
The Spokane Falls SkyRide was named one of the top 12 scenic cable rides in the world in 2013. The 15-minute ride is in an enclosed cabin and can hold up to six passengers. You cross the Spokane River in front of raging falls.
CONNECT: Hours of Operation
Bike the Hiawatha Trail
The Old Milwaukee Railroad was transformed into one of the most scenic bike rides in the country, called the Hiawatha Trail. It is five miles east from Lookout Pass but it is well worth the drive there. On the 15-mile ride, you go through a series of tunnels and over high trestle bridges.
CONNECT: Directions to Hiawatha Trail
Visit Cat Tales Zoological Park
Guests can walk within eight-feet of the animal at Cat Tales Zoological Park. Children eight-years-old and up even have the option to hand feed a lion, tiger or bear alongside a zookeeper.
CONNECT: Hours of Operation
Picnic at Manito Park
Visit Duncan Garden at Manito Park on Spokane's South Hill. The garden is a classical European Renaissance-style garden including vast displays of colorful annual bedding plants. Take a picnic and enjoy the flowers before heading over to the Rose Hill, Lilac Garden and Japanese Garden.
Check out Huntington Park
At the heart of the Spokane River is Huntington Park. The park opened in 2014 after Avista redeveloped it to give residents and visitors a close-up look at the power of the river.
CONNECT: More information on Huntington Park
Visit Bowl and Pitcher for a day hike
Start the hike by crossing a swinging bridge and then choose an upstream or downstream destination. Pass rapids on the Spokane River or peek at basalt formations.
CONNECT: Directions to Bowl and Pitcher
Visit a reading nature trail
Go for a hike on the Saint George's School Story Trail. The trail was built and maintained by students and is free to the public.
CONNECT: Directions to reading trail
Cool off with a swim at Lake Coeur d'Alene
It is hard to find a lake more scenic and full of activities than Lake Coeur d'Alene. Spend the day on the lake, and then grab dinner at one of Coeur d'Alene's many restaurants on Sherman Avenue.
Enjoy an outdoor movie in Riverfront Park
Catch one of Spokane's outdoor movie events at Riverfront Park. The movies are on Wednesday evenings. You can watch one of your favorite films on a 40-foot outdoor movie screen.