Here are some cool ways to get in, on, or around the water during these final days of summer. Whether it’s frozen into a cube and clinks in your glass, falling over your head in a rush, or surrounding you with blessed coolness, water is on everyone’s mind during the hottest parts of the summer. Where can you go to get relief from the heat, make a big splash, or just rejuvenate your mind and body? Fortunately, plenty of places — as close as your backyard — in the Inlander Northwest, which benefits from an abundance of aquatic opportunities.
Silverwood Theme Park’s Boulder Beach waterpark is open daily from June 12 - Sept. 6. Ride, slide, and glide your way to cool summer fun with nine different-intensity rides for all sizes and ages. Tickets range from a one-day reservation ($36 children and seniors, $59 general, valid for a reserved date only, although cancellations/changes are allowed) to multiday “any day” passes ($76-125). Tickets include access to both Boulder Beach and the main park. Visit silverwoodthemepark.com for special events, ticketing, and other information.
KEEP IT CLEAN
On the theme of environmental protection, join the Spokane River Forum for one of three possible ways to keep Spokane’s waterways clean. Get your group together — school kids, church groups, co-workers, families — and either schedule a private cleanup or get an assist from Spokane River Forum, which provides supplies and basic operational guidance. Or sign up for a regularly scheduled public cleanup and join like-minded others in picking up trash. Last year, that amounted to more than 12,000 pounds of junk kept out of the Spokane River over the course of the season. Visit spokaneriver.net to sign up and learn more.
Spokane’s extensive park system includes six municipal swim facilities in various neighborhoods — Cannon, Comstock, Hillyard, Liberty, Shadle, and Witter — opened June 21, and open swim (reservations required) began July 5. Register for a no-cost Splashpass, which allows you (again, free) access to all Spokane aquatic centers, and stay tuned for reopening of select splash pads later in June. Learn to swim, save a life with American Red Cross courses, get or stay fit with water workouts, or just hang out by the pool and keep it cool this summer. City of Spokane pools are also available for private rental — how cool is that?! — and, yes, there’s even a time for Fido. The last day of the swim season (dates TBA) is reserved for the dogs, whose owners need to bring $10 and proof of current rabies vaccination the day of. Visit my.spokanecity.org/recreation/aquatics.
Spokane’s aquatic parks are only part of the big picture when it comes to getting and staying cool. The Lilac City boasts more than 100 landscaped parks, all of which require watering, including the venerated Manito Park, which inspired this suggestion for water fun. On the next very hot day, pop over to the park earlier in the day and plan on participating in the massive undertaking keeping the park hydrated. Meander through the lilac grove and enjoy the fragrance, the beauty of the blooms, and the likelihood of getting doused by the sprinklers. Or wait until one passes and stand under a nearby evergreen to emulate rainforest mist. You can even re-create the experience at home, although maybe not with the same picture-perfect garden backdrop. Next time the lawn or bushes need watering, make a time of it and set up your lawn chair to catch the intermittent sprinkle, then close your eyes and imagine yourself cool and refreshed.