Seven fun things to do with kids in downtown Spokane

We are re-publishing this post on the interesting downtown area of Spokane since many Lady Vol fans are headed to Spokane, Washington, for the weekend.  The Lady Vols Basketball Team will play Gonzaga in the NCAA Regionals on Saturday, March 28th at 7:00 PM ET.  Go, Vols!  (For more information:  Lady Vols Basketball.) And enjoy Spokane!

Sculpture, Spokane

The Joy of Running Together, Spokane

If you’re lucky enough to be in downtown Spokane, Washington, (to paraphrase an old saying), then you’re lucky enough.  And indeed you are.  Because if you have kids in tow, there’s more than enough to see and do — all in Riverfront Park downtown.

1.  Slide down the Red Wagon.

Who wouldn’t want to climb this 27-foot tall Radio Flyer and slide down the handle? Kids love it, but some grown-ups have been known to take the challenge, too! Designed by Ken Spiering, this Radio Flyer wagon is nine times the size of the original little one you may have owned as a kid — and way more fun.

   2.  Feed the ducks.

When you’ve had enough of the Red Wagon, go to water’s edge to feed the ducks.  Don’t be surprised if they come “atcha” all at once.  Ducks love food from kids and adults , and some of us love “honkin” back at those quackers! Be sure to take a look at the sculpture across the way and admire the bridge.  It’s just part of the prettiness of Riverfront Park. Feeding ducks -- Riverfront Park

3.  Ride the Looff Carousel.

In operation since 1909, the Looff Carousel has offered adults and kids the opportunity to ride colorfully painted horses, fierce tigers, and proud lions (oh, my), while a recording of the original Ruth & Sohn Band Organ plays in the background.  If you’re a teen or adult with long arms, try reaching out to grab the gold ring as you go by.  And maybe you’ll win a prize for that little one who wanted to ride this thing in the first place!

4.  Take pictures in City Hall Plaza

OK.  So your kid looks great today.  Having fun.  Happy and contented after a ride on the Carousel.  So what could be a better time than now to snap pics on the steps of City Hall Plaza?  Nice background, pretty flowers, lovely setting — don’t you agree? Taking pictures on City Hall Plaza

5.  Stare at the falls.  (Or be daring — ride a gondola!)

Keep walking down the steps to Huntington Park where staring at the falls is all you’ll want to do.  Get close but not too close that the spray messes with your camera lens.  If you’ve got audio to put with your video, turn it on.  You don’t want to miss the roar of the falls and the joy of being right there with the action.  Or, if you dare, take a Gondola Ride lasting about 15 minutes for only seven bucks or so.  It’s a thrill your kids will write about in their back-to-school essay, “What I Did Last Summer” — for real!!

6.  Act like a kid in The Joy of Running Together

If you come back up through City Hall Plaza and look right, you just might see The Joy of Running Together, a sculpture of 40 life-size runners by David Govedare commemorating the annual Spokane Bloomsday Run.  (Click here for a previous post.) And if you look closely, you’ll see a kid or two lining up among the runners in imitation of their swing-arm, foot-raising action.  Oh, wait a minute.  Is that an adult doing that, too?  Wait another minute.  I want in.

The Joy of Running Together

An adult mimics the form of The Joy of Running Together

7.  Get wet in the Riverfront Park Rotary Fountain!

If you’ve waited this long to get wet, you may have waited too long.  No matter how hard you try to resist, you just may have to let your kids go.  Didn’t bring a towel you say?  Well, save this treat for last and just let ’em run dripping to the car.   Kids of all ages love toe-dipping, arm-waving, and full-fledged, body-soaking action in the Rotary Fountain!

Have fun in Spokane — either with kids or as a kid yourself.  What a great place to visit! For more information: Visit Spokane: Facebook For more on our travels through Idaho and Washington, click on the Inland Northwest page at the top of this blog.  Thanks!

About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
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16 Responses to Seven fun things to do with kids in downtown Spokane

  1. Thank you so much for featuring Spokane, you did Riverfront Park justice! Thank you also for mentioning Visit Spokane (where I work). Even though we’ll be rivals on Saturday (Go Zags!), I would love to talk to you more about Spokane if you ever make it back this way.

    • Spokane is one of our favorite cities — so clean, full of art, and fun for all. We wish we could have been able to go to the game to cheer on the Lady Vols, but getting airline tickets only a week ahead is costly. We’ll be watching it in our living room and wishing we could be strolling downtown afterward and finding a great place to eat in your city. Thanks for the reply. Maybe some day we’ll get back there.

  2. Oh I’d love to jump in! 🙂

  3. I saw that huge slide/wagon in the book The Great American Road Trip. Good to see it is still in use!

    • It’s REALLY in use, Carol! We saw mostly children but even some adults enjoying the Radio Flyer. A lot of cities could take cues from Spokane — there’s so much for families, visitors, etc. to do when downtown.

  4. What a wonderful place for a family outing! I have family who recently moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, who I will recommend this lovely park to, as I am sure they would love this! Thank you for sharing, Rusha. 🙂

    • Rusha Sams says:

      You’re quite welcome. From Coeur d’Alene, it’s not far to Spokane — and both cities offer lots of fun things for little and big kids to do! Thanks for reading!

  5. Looks like you had a wonderful time!

    • Rusha Sams says:

      We definitely did! As you can see, some of the activities aren’t just for little kids. Big kids love downtown Spokane, too! Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you get there sometime.

  6. Amy says:

    Lots of fun there 🙂 Love the water fountain.

    • Rusha Sams says:

      We did, too! Sometimes I just want to be a kid and run through those things. We have splash pads in Knoxville, and my granddaughter can hardly pass one up!! Thanks for reading!

  7. I’ll actually be in Spokane in a couple of weeks but I’ll be on the run I’m afraid. The park has been recommended to me before. Sometime. Thanks for the overview. 🙂 –Curt

  8. freebutfun says:

    Perfect! Now I really want to visit the place!

    • Rusha Sams says:

      Great! It really does have a lot to offer. I am hoping some of the Knoxville folks will read this and want to beef up our downtown. Spokane’s is so kid-friendly! Thanks for reading.

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