Sometimes the holidays draw visiting family members or friends. Sometimes these people live in bigger cities and ask questions like, “So, what is there to do around here?”And sometimes we don’t know what to say.
In order to actively manage this type of situation, you can’t let them know you’ve wondered the same thing yourself. Make your guests believe the local activities options are wonderful and endless, which will be easier to achieve if you know what they are. To your aid, we offer a few winter options available in the Quad-Cities area:
- Skating. Both the LC Ice Arena and Palouse Ice Rink offer public ice skating hours over the winter break. This may be an especially good option for annoying guests who aren’t proficient on the ice. Hours and prices vary and are available on their websites: www.lcicearena.com and palouseicerink.com. If the comparative warmth and ease of roller skating is more appealing, the Rollaway in Lewiston might be an option for you. Visit the Rollaway Skating Rink Facebook page for hours and prices.
- Snow play. When it comes to sledding, sometimes a hill in the backyard or park will do the trick. However, when there’s no snow to be had, you’ll have to head to public land at higher elevations. Fields Spring State Park has a tubing hill and fairly reliable snow this time of year. To be sure, however, the Friends of Fields Spring State Park Facebook page often has snow condition updates or you can call the park office at (509) 256-3332. A Discover Pass is required for entrance, $10/day or $30/annual pass. Cross-country skiing is also available. Winchester State Park has snow play options, including a groomed lakeshore trail that’s ideal for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. There is a $5/vehicle entrance fee for those without a $10 Idaho State Parks Passport. Nearby downhill ski hills include Ski Bluewood near Dayton, Cottonwood Butte near Cottonwood, Snowhaven near Grangeville and Bald Mountain near Pierce. Brundage and Tamarack near McCall, Silver Mountain near Kellogg and Schweitzer near Sandpoint are also popular for downhill skiing. See respective websites for details.
- Bowling. A perennial option, bowling offers not only competitive activity, but awesome shoes and a heated environment. Check in with Zeppoz in Pullman, Orchards Lanes in Lewiston, Lancer Lanes in Clarkston, Riverside Lanes in Orofino, Wheatland Lanes in Colfax, Prairie Imperial Bowl in Craigmont for hours and prices.
- Indoor swimming. The Asotin County Family Aquatic Center in Clarkston and the Pullman Aquatic and Fitness Center provide an opportunity to swim even when the weather is cold. Check websites for hours and pricing: theaquaticcenter.org and www.pullman-wa.gov/departments/parks-a-recreation/aquatics.
- Walking paths and trails. The trail system by Hells Gate State Park is popular in the region for mountain biking and hiking because they are rarely covered in snow. Other area fitness paths include the Lewiston-Clarkston levee system in the valley, the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail between Moscow and Pullman and Latah Trail between Moscow and Troy. Both the Nature Center at the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute in Moscow and the Lewiston Wildlife Habitat Area near the Idaho Fish and Game offices in Lewiston offer nature trails ideal for wildlife viewing.
- Indoor play for kids. Bonkerz Indoor Play Center in Moscow offers a large play structure, imaginative play environments and play stations featuring trains, dinosaurs and dolls, all for younger kids: www.gobonkerz.com has hours and pricing. The Palouse Discovery Science Center provides hands-on learning and play though a number of exhibits, including ones on dinosaurs, live animals, technology and 3-D printing. Get hours and pricing at www.palousescience.net. Area libraries also provide a number of entertainment options for kids. Besides books and movie checkouts. The Lewiston City Library features “Early Literacy Play kits” for younger kids and the Moscow library has “Make Kits” that feature STEM technology making devices for older kids. Check in with these and other libraries for other activities and resources for play.