It finally feels like summer here in the Inland Northwest. Kids are out of school and looking for some summer fun activities, and grown-ups love summer outdoor fun, too, so it’s time for splashing, playing, and sliding through the water in the sun. Here is a list of some of the best water park and pool options in the Spokane, WA area, whether you just want to spend an hour or two at a city facility or would like to make a full day’s trip to one of the bigger parks. Most are open daily, but check the websites for specific hours. Note: Wild Waters in Coeur d’Alene, ID is closed for the season.
New Ricochet Rapids slide at Boulder Beach
Boulder Beach at Silverwood Theme Park in North Idaho
A brand new slide just opened today at Boulder Beach! Ricochet Rapids is a family raft ride that includes side-to-side sliding through a 20-foot diameter tube and sharp turns and drops aboard a raft with five other people. The park also offers two large wave pools, a 650-foot raft slide, tube sliding, high speed water slide towers, a slow-moving tube creek ride, and two play areas just for smaller children. Ticket price includes admission to the many attractions at Silverwood: $41.99 general admission and $21.99 youth 3–7 and seniors over 65. Keep in mind that Silverwood does not allow outside food and drink in the park. Restaurants and concessions are on site. Silverwood and Boulder Beach are located in the same large complex just north of Coeur d’Alene on Highway 95 in North Idaho.
Money-saving tips: Buy your admission tickets before you go at Costco. As of this writing, they were $34.99 for general admission. If you want to make a weekend of your trip, stay in the area (Stay in Coeur d’Alene or, if you want to stay in Spokane, Stratford Suites, near the Spokane airport with easy freeway access, offers beautiful one- or two-bedroom suites with full kitchens for families) and go to the Silverwood side of the park one day and the Boulder Beach park one day. Silverwood offers a 20% discount for two-day passes, but they must be used on consecutive days.
Spash Down in Spokane Valley
A long-time local favorite, Splash Down (11127 E. Mission) has been a fun place for families for 26 years. New this year is “Splashketball” basketball competition in which the loser gets soaked, new barbeques (you can bring your own picnic food and drink!), and Frisbee golf. You can also soak your friends in “Water Wars” with water balloon launchers. Several different water slides provide plenty of thrills, including the “Fast Ball,” which clocks your speed as you freefall down six stories. Splash Down also features an area just for small children with kiddie pools and small slides. Bonus: Thursday evenings, there is live music! Local reports indicate that the lines at Splash Down move quickly, so you won’t be standing around in a wet bathing suit waiting for each slide.
Admission is $13.99 for juniors 48” and under, $16.99 for those over 48”, and free for seniors 65+ and little ones 3 and under. Chaperones who just want to watch can turn in their dry admission wristbands at the end of the day for a $7 refund. Concessions are on site.
Southside Aquatic Center on Spokane’s South Hill
This water park has just one big slide, but it has plenty of interactive play structures (like playgrounds for pool areas and VERY fun), plus water cannons, spray tubes, a lazy “river” with geysers and rapids, and a heated swimming pool to keep kids of all ages happy all day. In addition to having a blast playing in the water, the surrounding 8-acre Prairie View Park gives you more things to do, with a playground, a BBQ and picnic area, and a basketball court.
Admission is only $2 for kids 3–5, $4 for 6 and over, and free for 2 and under. The water park center is located at 3724 E. 61st on Spokane’s South Hill. Note: If you are looking for a water park on the north side of Spokane, check out the Northside Aquatics Center (18120 N. Hatch Road in Colbert). This water park has a smaller slide and less activities than the Southside center, but it does have fun amenities that put it head and shoulders above a standard pool.
Liberty Aquatic Center
Extra Cool Spokane City Pools Made for Play [insert picture with caption “”]
In addition to large water parks, Spokane has several great aquatic centers throughout the city that feature fast water slides, play features, and separate pools for lap swimming and recreation swimming that are great for families and kids who need a place to hang out with friends for the afternoon. Here are the locations with great play facilities:
- A.M. Cannon at 1900 W. Mission
- Shadle at 2005 W. Wellesley
- Hillyard at 2600 E. Columbia
- Comstock at 600 W. 29th
- Liberty at 1300 E. 5th
Admission is $2 for youth (4–17) and seniors (65+) and $4 for adults.
Now, go play! Don’t forget your sunscreen!