Free Things to Do in Spokane

From river strolls and botanical gardens to fine art displays and live music, the savvy traveler can have a blast in Spokane without spending a dime.

Explore the Spokane Falls

Spokane’s pride and joy, the Spokane Falls roar right through downtown and cascade over a series of waterfalls. That makes it a top choice if you’re looking for a picturesque walk, unique photo, or a sensory afternoon of classic northwest scenery.
 
Head down into Huntington Park to get right next to the falls and the soak zone. Or drop down to the falls overlook area on the north end of the Monroe Street Bridge for the perfect view of the upper and lower falls, Spokane Falls Skyride, and downtown skyline. Then, be sure to walk along the Centennial Trail and discover the dozens of walking bridges that cross between the islands of Riverfront Park and the upper falls.

Centennial Trail

Walk, jog, bike, and sightsee! Like the Spokane River it traces, the 40-mile paved Centennial Trail provides something for everyone. Start from downtown and take the trail west through the Kendall Yards community, along the high bluff above the river, and all the way out through the massive Riverside State Park. Or, start by heading east through Riverfront Park, towards Gonzaga University, and all the way out to the Idaho border on your way to Coeur d’Alene. Whether you're lacing up your shoes, renting a bike, or bringing your binoculars, there's a pocket of the Centennial Trail waiting just for you.

Riverfront Park

The spectacular 100-acre Riverfront Park was created for the Expo of 1974, the first environmentally themed World’s Fair. The park features breathtaking views of the roaring Spokane Falls, the historic Great Northern Clocktower, and dozens of public art installments. In the summer, the rotary fountain is the perfect place to let the kids cool off.  From traditional to zany, visitors can spend a day touring the many attractions at Riverfront Park without dipping into their pocket.
 
The world’s largest radio flyer can also be seen at Riverfront Park. Spokane’s Red Wagon was created by local artist Ken Spiering in 1990. It is a 26-ton, 12-foot-high sculpture made of reinforced concrete and steel. It’s rumored that the wagon can fit up to 300 people on it, but we don’t suggest testing that out. Don’t miss your chance to climb the stairs and snap a picture as you relive your childhood on the wagon’s slide.

Spokane Sculpture Walk

After you visit the famous Red Wagon, you can continue onto one of Spokane’s best tours, the Sculpture Walk. The free, self-guided walking tour meanders through Riverfront Park where you can meet Spokane’s Garbage Eating Goat—yes, it really eats your garbage. Then walk by the river on the Centennial Trail towards the University District for dozens of other art installations.

Heritage Walk

With over 50 locations in three distinct districts, this free downtown walking tour is the perfect way to get some exercise and experience the history of the Intermountain Northwest. Many historic buildings, homes, and monuments have been beautifully restored and are available to see in this self-guided tour. To take the tour, visit the Historic Preservation Office’s website or stop by one of our visitor information centers to pick up a printed brochure.

Free Art Galleries

Gonzaga University’s 2,800-square-foot Jundt Art Museum features an eclectic mix of traveling exhibits, as well as a notable collection of glass from Northwest artist Dale Chihuly. Art enthusiasts should also take note of the Chase Gallery located in Spokane’s City Hall. The public exhibits there serve up a wide range of contemporary and traditional works.

Farmers Markets

Spokane has 260 annual days of sunshine. That means our local farmers have a fabulous growing season and lots of produce to show you. Spokane farmers markets are more than a place to buy produce; they are the best neighborhood events of the summer. With live music, artisan goods, and delicious locally grown food, the markets guarantee good times.

Spokane City Drive

The Spokane City Drive is a self-guided driving tour showcasing many of the city’s most iconic spots. It starts in Riverfront Park and proceeds through the arts district, Browne’s Addition, historic South Hill, Riverside State Park, and ends after the University District. The tour is free, but you will need a car, unless you’re a very tenacious cyclist!

Parks

You could spend a whole trip touring the region’s beautiful public parks. Manito Park, established in 1904, features 20 acres of world-class botanical gardens. The Finch Arboretum provides a walking tour to guide visitors through landscapes such as a native pine forest and a shady glen filled with rhododendrons. Spokane Valley’s Mirabeau Point Park features a waterfall and pond filled with turtles.
 
The two largest Washington state parks, Riverside State Park and Mount Spokane State Park, are both conveniently located in the Spokane region. Grab a map to find trails for exploration, or make your own way through the forests and see what wildlife and plants you might encounter.

First Friday

On the First Friday of each month, venues open up throughout the city for an evening of visual art and live music. First Friday is the ideal time to check out downtown wineries, take in local music, and tune into the arts culture in Spokane. The events are free and there’s always something different to experience every month.

Splash Pads

When the summer heat hits Spokane, there are an abundance of splash pads offering instant family fun. All your kids need is a swimsuit—wild jets and geysers will take care of the rest. Two popular spots are at Manito Park and Discovery Playground in the Spokane Valley.

Outdoor Entertainment

Downtown Spokane’s Riverfront Park, Liberty Lake’s Pavilion Park, and Spokane Valley’s Mirabeau Point Park all feature free outdoor movies and concerts throughout the summer. Check out our events calendar to see when the next timeless film, Spokane Symphony performance, or parade is coming your way.

Lakes and Rivers

With 76 lakes within 50 miles of Spokane, and hundreds of miles of pristine rivers and creeks, it’s easy to see why these locations become a hotspot as the weather heats up. Grab your swim suits, a towel, and a few cold drinks because the list of places to relax with your feet in the water is extensive.
 
As a diverse and growing city, Spokane takes pride in providing spaces and activities for the public to enjoy at no cost. With a little bit of planning, you can make the most of your trip to Spokane on any budget.

Spokane Spotlights