Outdoor Events for Kids & Families

Get outside more this spring and summer with these upcoming family events, activities, and recreational venues located throughout the Inland Northwest. Some are close to home and others are worthy of a road-trip.  

Washington State Parks Free Admission Days (select dates, April-Sept):No Discover Pass required on April 20 (Spring Day), April 22 (Earth Day), June 1 (National Trails Day), June 8 (National Get Outdoors Day), June 9 (Fishing Day), August 25 (National Park Service 102ndBirthday), and Sept. 28 (National Public Lands Day). 

National Park Week – Free Admission Day (April 20):No entrance fees at select national monuments, historical parks, recreational areas, and national parks. April 20this also National Junior Ranger Day with activities for all ages.

Junior Bloomsday (April 20):For kids in grades 3-7 to run 1.25 miles. 

Spring Dash 5-mile Kids’ Run & Tot Trot (April 27):Free to participate in the quarter-mile Tot Trot, at McEuen Park in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Family Fun Ride at Lilac Century (April 28):15-mile family ride with the start/finish at Spokane Falls Community College.

Disc Golf Family Field Trips (April 30, May 1 & 2):Free events organized by the regional U.S. Youth Disc Golf Association—April 30 (Greenacres Park, Spokane Valley), May 1 (Comstock Park, south Spokane), and May 2 (Loma Vista Park, north Spokane).

Silverwood Theme Park – opening day (May 4): Boulder Beach water park opens June 8. 

Lilac Bloomsday 12k Run/Walk (May 5):Run or walk 7.46 miles with your kids or push the little ones in a stroller at this 43rdannual community event, celebrating spring and fitness.

Kidical Mass (May 11):Family 3-mile bike ride, 1-3 p.m., starting from Chief Garry Park in east Spokane. Decorated bikes are encouraged. 

Animal Carnival – West Valley Outdoor Learning Center (May 18)Enjoy old-school carnival games like a ring toss around the snake or “fish” for a prize in the turtle pond ($5/person suggested donation);10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Route of the Hiawatha – opening day (May 25): Bike trail, trailheads, and facilities open daily through Sept. 22. 

Scenic Gondola Rides at Silver Mountain (tentatively begin May 25):3.1-mile ride from the resort village to Kellogg Peak’s Mountain House. Activities include a children’s play structure, interpretative nature trail, and fire lookout. Children age 3 and younger ride free. 

ArtFest (May 31-June 2): Make it Art Kids Fair, art vendors, and live music performances at Coeur d’Alene Park in Spokane.

Wednesdays in the Woods – Riverside State Park (begin June 5): REI Spokane hosts weekly educational, interactive presentations at the Bowl & Pitcher outdoor amphitheater. Topics include kids in the outdoors, camping; cycling; watersport adventures; regional wildlife; and Inland NW hiking, geology, and botany.

Free Fishing Weekend (June 8-9): No licenses required, for all ages, in Idaho on June 8 (Saturday only) and all weekend long in Washington.

Camp Dart-Lo Family Night (June 14):Tour Camp Fire’s day-camp location in north Spokane, meet the summer staff, and participate in games, crafts, bouldering, and more, 5:30-8 p.m. Optional BBQ dinner 6-7 p.m. RSVP at campfireinc.org.

Summer Parkways (June 20): 4-mile car-free route through the Manito and Comstock neighborhoods, 6-9 p.m.

Summer Solstice – West Valley Outdoor Learning Center (June 22): Open house celebration, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., for families to make a sun weave, create bubble wands, and build sun crowns ($5/person suggested donation). 

Inland Northwest SkyFest Air Show (June 22):Free event at Fairchild Air Force Base, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., that includes F-22 Demonstration Flight Team, U.S. Army Golden Knights, and U.S. Air Force Academy Wings of Blue Parachute Team. 

Summer Chairlift Rides at Schweitzer Mountain (begin June 28): Quad-chairlift rides to/from the summit; activity Center open daily, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., through Sept. 2.

Spokatopia Outdoor Adventure Festival (July 13-14): Try bikes, kid-friendly rock climbing, slacklining, stand-up paddleboards, and kayaks with your kids, and enjoy s’more making, a water-soaker area, live music, and more at Spokane’s Camp Sekani Park. Free general admission although many activities have a cost ranging from $5 and up.

Cherry Pickers Trot (July 18): Annual festival at Beck’s Harvest House at Green Bluff includes a Cherry Pit Spit contest, Tot Trot, and 4-mile fun run/walk. 

Paddle, Splash, and Play (July 20):Free kids’ event hosted by Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club, at Riverside State Park’s Nine Mile Recreation Area, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Discover Pass required). 

Blue Goose Chase (July 20):11-mile family bike ride in the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge.

Spokenya 7k Run/Walk for Clean Water (July 20):Carry a 5-gallon bucket of water on your head (optional)—like families do in rural Kenya—to finish the last quarter-mile; smaller buckets available for kids.

Spokane Valley Cycle Celebration (July 28):Valleyfest 10-mile family ride.

North Idaho State Fair (August 21-25)Funtastic Kids Zone, carnival rides, youth 4-H, and Gem State Stampede rodeo at Kootenai County Fairgrounds, in Coeur d’Alene. Free bleacher seating for Sunday’s family matinee rodeo. 

[Feature Photo by Emily Gwinn]

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