Summer has officially hit our house (we had early preschool release) and we are already starting to feel the pinch of having two boys cooped up in the house together, wrestling to what seems like the death every morning, afternoon and night. We LOVE summer, but definitely need some inexpensive ways to keep the kids cool and entertained and sane.
We are busy creating a bucket list so September doesn’t roll around and we are looking at each other wondering why in the world we never visited one of the parks we talked about or made it very far off the couch. There are so many great things to do with kids in this area, this list is just scratching the surface!
Here’s a round-up of our favorite local summer activities:
Libraries and Story Time
- Mid-Columbia Libraries – All the different branches in our area have tons of different story time hours, craft time, movies and other activities for kids of all ages. Be sure to check out their monthly calendar and sign up for their summer reading programs!
- Richland Library – Great story time, puppet shows and other activities, Therapy Dogs and a fun summer reading program.
- Barnes & Noble Toddler Storytime – Every Tuesday and Saturday at 11 AM in the children’s section or sign up for their Summer Reading Triathlon where kids can earn a free book!
Local Summer Camps
- Tri-Cities Summer Camps – TONS of great day camps and others that run the entire summer, ranging from theater camp to crafts and educational camps, sports, astronomy and so much more. Check out this great comprehensive list here.
- Academy of Children’s Theatre – Weekly theater classes for kindergarteners all the way up through high school seniors. Choose from improv, Harry Potter, Star Wars, princess and so much more.
- Boys & Girls Club of Benton and Franklin Counties – Camps for kids of all ages based on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Different themed camps each week. Prices includes food, snacks and field trip fees.
- Tri-City Court Club Summer Adventure Camp – Kids ages 6-13 participate in a variety of activities that include a roller rink, movie theater, miniature golf, rock climbing, bowling, and the SplashDown Cove Water Park. Camp is daily, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. and runs from June 13 through August 26.
- YMCA Summer Camps – Variety of camps offered for kids ages 5-12, with weekly themes and activities designed for each age group. Camp runs at Washington, Canyon View and Sunset Elementary in Kennewick.
- All American Gymnastics & Sports Center Summer Camp – 4 and 2-day camps for kids of all ages, centered around cheer, gymnastics, even ninja training! Camps start at just $30.
- Rackley Sports Performance Training Summer Camps – For kids ages 7-13, with team and skill-building camps centered around soccer, basketball and football. All athletic abilities welcome!
- Richland School District Sports Camps – Camps for kids of all ages in multiple sports (soccer, fast pitch, football, volleyball and more)
Other Local Activities
- Rollarena Skating Center in Richland – Their summer schedule is not released yet, but generally public skating is on Wednesdays, Fridays through Sundays with special family rate on Sunday evening and Wednesday afternoon (one parent free admission with a child’s paid admission).
- Mid-Columbia Gymnastics Indoor Gym – Two huge open gyms with activities for all ages on Fowler Street or Gage Boulevard in Kennewick. 17 months and under are free, 18 months and up $5. First visit is free w/ coupon from website.
- Garlands Gymnastics Parents Night Out – Traditionally, this has been the third Friday of every month from 6 – 10 PM (2016 dates not released yet). Drop kids 5-12 off for open gym, coloring contests and age-appropriate movie. $20 per child, $15 for siblings.
- Kids Bowl Free Program – 2 free games for all kids in your family, plus the option to purchase an inexpensive family pass. Available at most lanes in Tri-Cities and nationwide.
- Home Depot Kids’ Workshops – FREE workshops for kids age 5-12 on the first Saturday of each month
- Lowe’s Build and Grow Workshops – June’s workshops are Avengers-inspired, with more workshops to come throughout the summer.
- Local Fire Station Tours – Contact your local fire station, they are happy to arrange tours for the kids of the station and the fire trucks.
- Tri-City Dust Devils – Fabulous family-friendly event! Minor league baseball games at GESA Stadium in Pasco, inexpensive tickets, Family Feast Night and tons of fun promotions.
- Tri-Cities Live at 5 Concert Series – Thursday evenings in John Dam Plaza starting June 2nd, FREE admission. Free KidZone, restaurants, retail booths, beer and wine garden and concerts each week.
- Tagaris Winery Summer Concert Series – Tons of great bands, with performances starting June 4th and running through September. Beautiful patio, perfect for date night or a girls’ night out!
- Local Farmer’s Markets – We have markets in Kennewick, Pasco and Richland, all on different days of the week. They all have wonderful local produce, beef, eggs, honey, live music and much more! For more farmer’s markets in SE Washington and NE Oregon, check out my post here.
Pasco – http://downtownpasco.com/pfm/
Richland – http://marketattheparkway.com/
Queensgate Village in Richland – https://www.facebook.com/3eyedfishfarmersmarket/
Downtown Kennewick – https://www.facebook.com/Historic-Downtown-Kennewick-Farmers-Market-179665558754284/
- Cool Desert Nights – Classic car, street rod and motorcycle event with showings, car cruises, kid zone, pancake breakfast and more. June 23-26, 2016.
- Hogs and Dogs – Family friendly event in West Richland at the Bombing Range Sports Complex. June 16, 2016 from 4 – 10 PM. Car show, kids area, wine/beer garden, live music, vendors and food.
- Gesa Carousel of Dreams – Beautiful new carousel recently opened in Kennewick. Open Thursday through Sunday, with tokens priced as low as $2 each. Birthday parties and special events can be arranged, connected to the Southridge Sports Complex.
- Creation Fest 2016 – August 4th through 6th at the Benton County Fairgrounds with a great lineup featuring Newsboys, Crowder and much more.
- Tri-Cities Slide the City – Slide once, three times or unlimited on this 1,000 foot waterslide set up in the city! Prices start at just $15. Saturday July 23rd, 2016.
Kid-Friendly Movie Series
- Regal Summer Movie Express – Every Tuesday and Wednesday morning at 10 AM, Regal Cinemas will show a family-friendly movie for just $1. Seats are first come, first serve.
- Carmike Summer Kid Series – Kids’ movies every Monday and Thursday at 10 AM starting Monday May 30th and running through August 4th. Admission is $4 per seat and includes small popcorn and small drink.
- Fairchild Cinemas Free Summer Movies – At Pasco location off of Burden Boulevard. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, doors open at 9 AM and final movie showing is at 10 AM. List of movies throughout the summer here.
- Richland Parks and Rec Summer Movie Series – Movies shown Friday nights in John Dam Plaza in Richland, Badger Mt. Park, Columbia Point Golf Course and Columbia Point Marina Park, starting at dusk. Bring snacks or buy from local food vendors. Movies begin June 17th.
- Pixar Movie Marathon at Kennewick Library – Monday June 13th through Friday June 17th, Mid-Columbia Libraries is showing a different Pixar movie each day. Concessions provided.
- Milton-Freewater Drive-In Theater – Open Friday through Wednesday, gates open at 7:30. Kids under 11 are just $2 each! Playing all up to date movies, check out their website for current showings.
- Badger Mountain Splash Park – Great playground for all ages and splash park on Keene Road in Richland, open from Memorial Day to Labor Day
- Mid-Columbia Library Splash Park – Another fun playground and splash park at the library on Union Street in Kennewick
- Southridge Event Complex – Off of Southridge Boulevard in Kennewick, large playground and splash park
- Sturgeon Cove Playground at Howard Amon Park – Huge pirate-themed playground, toddler wading pool and zipline swing
- TRAC Sports Complex Splash Park – Behind the TRAC in Pasco near Gesa Stadium. This is a smaller playground and splash park, but not generally super busy and it’s easier to keep track of all the kiddos!
- Columbia Park Family Fishing Pond – Free warm water family fishing area at east end of Columbia Park
- Playground of Dreams and Aquatic Splash Park – 12,000 square foot playground in Columbia Park with features that represent local landmarks. Accessible to children of all ages and those that are physically challenged.
- Mushroom Pool – Free wading pool near Kennewick High School and the public pool
- Kurtzman Park in East Pasco – Off of Lewis and Wehe Avenue, nine acres and a new splash park
- Memorial Pool in Pasco – 13-acre park with a large seasonal aquatics facility, 50-meter lap pool, leisure pool, 2 slides and multiple play features. Lots of shady areas to sit!
- Bill’s Berry Farm in Grandview – Bill’s is an amazing, family-friendly farm with tons of great events. Admission is free, with a few activities costing a little $$. Great U-pick options, BBQ, play area. Their Cherry Festival is June 24th and 25th and their Blueberry Daze Festival is July 1st and 2nd.
- Hermiston Aquatic Center in Hermiston, OR – Fun for all ages! Large and small water slides, zero entry pool, splash and wading area, full-size pool with basketball hoops and more. Very inexpensive, entry starting at just $4 per person!
- Surf n’ Slide Water Park in Moses Lake – Opens May 28th, 2016.
- Pendleton Family Aquatic Center in Pendleton, OR – Two tower waterslides, over 200′ of open/covered tube slides, smaller slides for young kids, three pools including zero entry and family picnic areas. Open through Labor Day. Rates start at $4/ person with 2 years and under free or can buy family passes.
- Joe Humbert Family Aquatic Center in Milton-Freewater – Three story water slide and zero entry pool for kids, family BBQ nights and sand volleyball. Outside food and beverages allowed. Opens June 10th, 2016.
- Prosser Aquatic Center – First day of the season is June 10, 2016
I hope this list helps you plan your summer with your family and keeps everyone sane and entertained!