When you’ve got kids, having time (and money) for travel can be quite a challenge. It’s much harder to see the world when you have one or two extra people to wrangle and corral. But family travel doesn’t have to be so elusive and difficult. In fact, it can be a lot easier than you think. For us, even short trips to towns like Spokane, WA is a good opportunity for family travel. And we recently discovered that there are so many fun things to do in Spokane for families!
Our travel goal this year for our family is to incorporate as much travel as we can each month. For our little family of five, it’s not always easy to plan for travel. Our weekends are often filled with play dates, family outings, and catching up on chores. But for us, having a bit of travel in our lives is a necessity to maintain our sanity and connection to the world. This year, we have twelve trips planned, ranging from weekend getaways to multi-week road trips, and a few weekends ago, we completed our first trip of the year with a visit to Spokane, WA.
Discovering fun things to do in Spokane
I grew up in Spokane, and we go there quite often throughout the year to visit with my parents. But this time around, we decided to be tourists in my hometown. I’ve always thought Spokane was a great place to raise kids. For this visit, we sought out to do as many family friendly activities as possible and discover all the fun things to do in Spokane.
Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
Our trip started off with a visit to the Museum of Arts and Culture. The locals call it the MAC, and it’s a pretty interesting place to learn about local art and history.
When we were there, they had an exhibit showcasing sculptures made from Legos. It was quite amazing the kinds of sculptures people can make just out of Lego bricks. Our kids even had a chance to create their own Lego sculptures. Some of the more permanent exhibits we saw was a collection of local historical photography. It was interesting to see how life was like a couple hundred years ago.
Next to the main MAC building is a Victorian era mansion called the Campbell House. I have a slight affinity to old mansions, perhaps because it almost makes me feel like a time traveler when I visit them. Visiting the Campbell House was always one of my favorite fun things to do in Spokane when I was a kid.
The Campbell House was occupied by one of Spokane’s wealthy mining families in the late 1800s and early 1900s. During its heyday, the Campbell family lived in the house with a coachman, a cook, two maids, and a gardener. In 1924, the house was donated to the Eastern Washington Historical Society, and since then, it has remained available to the public and managed by the MAC.
We loved visiting the Campbell House, which was decked out exactly like it would have been when the Campbells lived there. The house is open for private tours only, except on Saturdays when the MAC hosts open houses for the public. The house has three levels, two of which are available for viewing. Next door to the main house is the carriage house, which also has exhibits where you can learn about what life was like in Spokane during the Victorian era.
Mobius Children’s Museum
Our weekend continued with a visit to the Mobius Children’s Museum the next day. We enjoy visiting children’s museums because they give our kids a chance to play AND learn. For fun things to do in Spokane, the Mobius Children’s Museum is an easy option for little kids, and also quite easy to get to. The museum is located in the basement level of River Park Square Mall in downtown Spokane.
Although the museum space was pretty small, there were a lot of interactive and educational activities for the kids to play with. My kids made rings fly with magnetic coils, sent scarves shooting through tubes, played dress-up, banged on drums, and played house. It was a nice place to spend an afternoon.
The last stop before heading back to Seattle was Frank’s Diner for a nice brunch with my parents. Voted “Best Breakfast” in Spokane, Frank’s Diner is a cute little restaurant set in a train caboose. I had a yummy breakfast of eggs, but my favorite part of the meal was our waitress, who was fun and quirky, and even had a cheesy joke to share with us at the end of the meal.
All in all, we had a great visit to Spokane. Sometimes being a tourist in your hometown can be a fun and exciting experience. With one trip under our belt, we can’t wait for what the rest of 2016 has in store for us.
Do you like playing tourist in your home town? What’s your favorite thing to do or place to visit? Share them with me in the comments!
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