It may not feel like it with recent snow flurries and hail in parts of Spokane, but spring really is here. There are always plenty of beautiful, sunny days in the spring to get outside, and there are plenty of indoor great spring events for the not-so-pleasant days. Here are a few fun things to do in the Spokane area this season.
Race with 50,000 of Your Closest Friends at Bloomsday, May 1
If you want to register for the huge footrace/festival in downtown Spokane known as Bloomsday, which winds through some beautiful scenery, you can register online through April 17 ($15 plus an online processing fee of $1.49) or you can register by mail by April 12 using a Bloomsday form, available at numerous locations. If you miss those deadlines, you still have the opportunity to register late for $30 at Bloomsday check-in on Friday, April 29 from 11:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 30 from 9:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m. at the Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. The race is open to runners, walkers, strollers, wheelchairs, and assisted wheelchairs. If you’d rather get in on the fun without actually walking or running 7.46 miles, stake out a place to watch early in the morning, or just go walk around and hang out downtown and in Riverfront Park, soaking up the festive atmosphere and enjoying the on-site entertainment.
Visit the River in Full Glory
Spokane River during the very high water spring of 2008. Posted by John Davies on ADVrider.com.
A simple pleasure for Spokane residents, the river that runs through the heart of our city never fails to impress visitors. During the spring, the Spokane River swells with runoff, and water rises to its highest point all year, creating an incredible sight of roaring, rushing water. Photographers are frequently seen with tripods at various viewing points, trying to catch the perfect Spokane River shot. Riverside State Park, especially around the Bowl and Pitcher area, is a beautiful natural environment to view the river in. Although many hiking areas are still muddy during the spring, there are plenty of great places to walk along and view the river that are paved. Riverfront Park downtown offers plenty of paved trails and walking bridges to view the falls area, and you can easily make a day out of it with an IMAX movie, a ride on the Spokane Falls Skyride, and a go–around on the historic Looff Carousel. The paved Spokane River Centennial Trail follows the river from the Idaho state line to Nine Mile Falls and also makes for a scenic spring bike ride. Or, you can pack a picnic lunch and head to one of the many Spokane parks that are right on the river. Click here for a map of the city park system.
Custer’s 36th Annual Spring Antique & Collector’s Sale, April 29–May 1
If you like browsing antique shops, here is a show that is the equivalent of dozens of antique shops put together, with over 300 dealers from all over the U.S. to answer your questions and chat with you about the joy of collecting really old stuff. The 75,000 square feet of merchandise will be on display at the Spokane Fair & Expo Center (corner of Broadway & Havana) Friday through Sunday, April 29–May 1. Admission is $6 for the entire weekend, and parking is free. Appraisers will be on hand Saturday and Sunday to put a price on your treasures; the $5 per item fee benefits the MAC Museum.
Spring Barrel Tasting, May 6–8 On Mother’s Day weekend, all 17 of the Spokane Winery Association wineries open their doors to the public to celebrate the traditional end of one winemaking season and the beginning of another. You can sample new and current vintages, talk to the winemakers, and enjoy the company of other wine lovers at this fun and popular event. Some of the wineries will even offer samples of wine still in the wine-making process, directly from barrels or tanks. The wineries will offer snacks, and many will be featuring food and wine specials. Reasonable tasting fees may apply; tasting fees are usually credited to a wine bottle purchase. Plan your trip with a map of the wineries. Tasting hours are Friday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Silverwood Opens May 7!
The Northwest’s largest theme park, located on Highway 95 just minutes north of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, opens May 7. While the Boulder Beach Water Park does not open until June 4, spring is a great time to experience the rides and attractions of Silverwood with less crowds and less time spent waiting in line. The rainy season usually clears up in May, and there will be plenty of sunny, warm days that are perfect for screaming on roller coasters. General admission is $41.99 for adults and $21.99 for ages 3–7 and 65+, so if you pay general admission and plan on going to the park at least four times this year, you will save by purchasing a season pass for $139.99, which also gives you free parking, additional discounts, and the ability to load up your card with money and use it anywhere in the park. A tip for spring Silverwood visits: as the weather can be unpredictable, bring an extra change of clothes in the car so you have something to change into if being soaked by Thunder Canyon leaves you cold.
Drag Racing at Spokane County Raceway
Do you like watching car and motorcycle races? How about racing your own cars? You can catch both local and national drag racing at Spokane County Raceway this spring. April 30–May 1, the Western Motorcycle Drag Racing Association will hold its Spring Nationals. The Team Spokane Summit Series begins May 7, and ROCKSTAR Friday Night Drags begins May 13. You can see the NHRDA Diesel Drag Race Nationals on May 21, and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series will be here June 17–19.
Gardening as Entertainment: 13th Annual Spokane Garden Expo, May 14, 2011
Gardening is a favorite spring activity for many Spokane area residents, and this is your chance to meet other gardeners, check out the newest and coolest plants, and learn tips and techniques for all kinds of gardening, including indoor gardens and organic practices. The Inland Empire Gardeners host the fair, which has over 250 booths, a lecture series, door prizes, and children’s activities. If you are new or just interested in starting to grow plants at all, don’t be intimidated, as this show focuses on “real gardens, by real people” and “down-to-earth ideas that inspire rather than intimidate.” The Spokane Garden Expo is May 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Spokane Community College Lair, 1810 N. Green St. Admission and parking are free!