The Tri-Cities is full of outdoor activities for children. With classic parks, including the Playground of Dreams and Howard Ammon Park, hikes like Badger Mountain, Candy Mountain, and The Chamna Wildlife Preserve, there is plenty for kids to do. With all the riverbanks surrounding the area, families can make a day of it by skipping rocks, feeding geese and watching boats. Here are ten lesser-known activities (and three bonus events) to get outside with children in the Tri-Cities.
Ninja Warrior Challenge Course
The exciting Ninja Warrior Challenge Course, located near Desert Hills Middle School, just off Bob Olson Pkwy, is an excellent park to visit. Built like an obstacle course, kids can run and jump through the play structures and live out their ninja fantasies.
Volunteer Park has all the classic park features with picnic shelters, playground equipment, and paths to wander about on. In addition, Volunteer Park has a full-size, historic train engine on one end of the park.
Goethals Nature Park
Goethals Nature Park in Richland is a unique area. Its natural colors and woodland look make this park different from most. Kids can climb wood structures, explore tunnels, run through the grass, and ride a zipline.
USS Triton Sail Park
The USS Triton was the first submarine to circumnavigate the globe submerged. The top of this submarine is a historic landmark along the Columbia River. Visiting this submarine is an excellent opportunity to learn a little history in a fun way. While there, enjoy a walk on the Richland Riverfront Trail.
Geocaching is a location-based treasure hunt. Each cache will have an item, sometimes a container filled with small toys or trinkets, that you search for at given coordinates. Using a smartphone or another GPS device, go out into the world and see what you can find. Bring along your own small treasures to trade out with ones you take home with you.
A Bit of Happiness Farm
Established in 2020, A Bit of Happiness Farm is a new, family-friendly outing in West Richland. This one-acre park provides a simple, relaxing farm experience. The backyard farm features sheep, goats, chickens, and ducks. Reserving your visit is required, and admittance is $8 per person.
Sandollar Farm Alpacas
Sandollar Farms Alpacas is a local farm that breeds Suri Alpacas and Great Pyrenees dogs. Private tours are available for $25 (up to five people in a group), including interacting with alpacas, seeing Great Pyrenees dogs, experiencing many of the farm’s features, learning about leatherwork and alpaca fibers and more.
Northwest School of Falconry
Burbank’s Northwest School of Falconry offers several interactive options, but an introductory experience is just $10 a person. Make reservations online or through their Facebook page. Schedule a visit today and learn about this exciting sport.
Red Mountain Trails
Red Mountain is a vineyard in Benton City. This year they began offering family-friendly wagon rides. For just $10 a person, enjoy a 20-minute tour of the vineyard in a horse-drawn wagon. Add on an hourlong cozy firepit reservation at the end for an additional $10 per group. Red Mountain also offers horseback trail rides. Make reservations here.
Bonus Outdoor Events Coming Up
Kids! Fishing Day
On April 24, Kennewick hosts Kids! Fishing Day at Columbia Park Pond for children ages 5-14. The registration fee is $10 and includes a fishing rod, reel and a t-shirt. Bait and rigging are included. Time slots are limited, so register soon.
The Springtime Open Horse Show
On May 1 and 2, The Springtime Open Horse Show will be free to the public. The Franklin County Saddle Club puts on this event. The first day will be the most kid-friendly, giving children the opportunity to watch and possibly pet horses. This would be an exciting outing for a family, but older children may enjoy the event more with watching and sitting involved. Parental discretion should be used when deciding if this activity is a good fit for your family.
Tri-Cities Water Lantern Festival
On May 22 is the Tri-Cities Water Lantern Festival. Starting at 5 p.m., the evening promises fun with local food trucks, music, and the release of lanterns into the river. Adult tickets are $25 and increase in price as the event draws closer. Youth tickets start at $11.99. All tickets include a wristband for entry, one floating lantern kit, marker, drawstring bag, and a scavenger hunt giveaway entry. Children 7 and younger have free admission but do not receive a lantern kit. Get tickets to this event here.
With warmer weather on the way, there is so much to do with kids in the great outdoors. Give one (or more) of these ideas a try as you enjoy the sunny spring weather as a family.