What becomes of an ice ribbon when spring hits? Find out downtown Spokane, where Riverfront Park’s Ice Ribbon has transitioned to its spring and summer mode: Skate Ribbon, open for daily wheel use during all open park hours (5 a.m. to midnight). The best part? If you bring your own wheels, it’s free. Pack along those personal roller skates, in-line skates, skateboards, and non-motorized scooters. Balance bikes are welcome for the toddler/preschooler set, but bikes with pedals are not allowed. All wheels in use at the ribbon must be clean and in good repair, with proper safety brakes, and helmets are required for all participants. For those who’d like to rent skate gear, rentals are $6.50 an hour for skate rentals, and $8.50 an hour for scooter rentals. Helmets and safety gear can be borrowed free of charge. Rental hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The park is also offering series of free workout classes; jazzercise was offered through April and May, giving those for whom roller skating brought back memories of school skate nights a chance to further channel the ‘80s (or experience them for the first time). In June, tote along your yoga mat and come for “River Flow Yoga”; these classes, sponsored by Athleta, meet Saturday mornings from 9-10 a.m. on the new Howard Street South Channel Bridge, right next to the newly-renovated carrousel.
New and Improved Sky Ride
Another fun new Riverfront Park offering for spring and summer? Taking the sky ride—which already offers stellar views of downtown and the Spokane River—to a new level. “This year we’re kicking off Friday Night Flights, packaging local beer and wine flights with the sky ride,” says Amy Lindsey, Riverfront Park programming manager. For the most impressive river views, make plans to check out the sky ride sooner than later; spring melt means more epic waterfall action. These evenings will be accompanied by live entertainment, “which adds an element of fun for moms and dads and park tourists,” says Lindsey. Upcoming Friday Night Flight dates are June 1 and 15 from 5-8 p.m.
Food Trucks and Music
Also kicking off in Riverfront Park this summer is “Riverfront Eats,” a weekly food truck and music series, which Lindsey says is intended to draw downtown employees, residents, and visitors outside to enjoy a local lunch outdoors. “A portion of the proceeds will benefit free and low-cost community programming,” she adds. Upcoming dates are set for Tuesdays, June 5, 12, and 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Magic, Crafts, & Games
And for more family-friendly fun, check out “Magical Mondays with Cecil the Magician,” scheduled for June 4 and June 25 at 4 p.m. (bonus: hot dogs are just $1 at the Sky Ribbon Café on Mondays) and “Sunday Fundays” at the Ribbon, with crafts, inflatables, and sidewalk games happening regularly on Sunday afternoons from 1-3 p.m.
Lindsey hints that there are more surprise activities yet to be announced for the summer. For the latest on dates, times, and new happenings, go to my.spokanecity.org/riverfrontpark or follow “Spokane Riverfront Park” on Facebook. //
Sarah Hauge is a writer and editor who lives in Spokane with her husband and two daughters and is currently training for a summer half marathon or two. She wrote about the best Inland Northwest bike trails in the May issue.
[Feature photo: “Photo courtesy of Downtown Spokane Partnership from the 2017 Numerica Summer Workout Series”]