Summertime is picnic time.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. Sometimes it’s just a couple PB&Js, some fruit and a water bottle. Other times it’s gazpacho, baguettes, fancy cheeses and glasses of wine.
No matter what’s on the menu, what matters is the company and the outdoor setting. Here are 7 of our favorite places to spread our picnic blankets.
Manito Park. This 90-acre park on Spokane’s South Hill offers variety to picnickers. Families can head to one of two playgrounds, both with tables and plenty of lawn to spread out on nearby – as well as restrooms. The playground near 25th Avenue and Tekoa Street also has a splash pad. There are gardens – rose, perennial, lilac and more – as well as Mirror Pond (aka the duck pond) and plenty of shady spots. 1702 S. Grand Blvd. Info: my.spokanecity.org/parks/major/manito/
Riverfront Park. Sure, there’s construction. But this is a big park, so there are still plenty of places to picnic. And, it’s ideal for office workers who want a little break during the work day. 507 N. Howard St. Info: my.spokanecity.org/riverfrontpark/
Finch Arboretum. Find a shady spot under the giant willow, next to Garden Springs Creek, or under your favorite tree. Need to work up an appetite? Check out the Touch and See Nature Trail or use a city map to take a self-guided tour. Just don’t bring the dog, no pets are allowed at the arboretum. 3404 W. Woodland Blvd. Info: my.spokanecity.org/urbanforestry/programs/finch-arboretum/
Discovery Playground. This Spokane Valley playground at Mirabeau Point Park was built to be accessible for all ages and abilities. It gets crowded, but the Northwest-themed play areas are worth it, including the Big Horn Sheep Challenge Steps, Eagle’s Nest Observation Deck and Steelhead Trout River Bed Splash Pad. There’s also a sensory garden, sculptures for climbing, slides, spinners and swings. 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. Info: www.spokanevalley.org/Parks
Falls Park. For great views of the Spokane River dam and gorge, head to this 22-acre park in Post Falls. It has a playground, picnic shelters and barbecues, but the highlight of this park is its fishing pond. Anglers can set up on a fishing bridge, the shore or on fishing platforms to catch fish stocked by the Department of Fish and Game. Anyone older than 14 must have a fishing license, and children who aren’t Idaho residents must be accompanied by a licensed fisherman. 305 W. Fourth Ave., Post Falls. Info: www.postfallsidaho.org/departments/parks-recreation/parks/falls-park/
Arbor Crest Cliff House. For an adults-only picnic, head to the old Riblet Mansion. There are terraced gardens with rock walls, an oversized checkerboard, vineyards and views of the Spokane Valley and downtown Spokane. The estate is open noon to 5 p.m. daily during the summer, open later for concerts on Sunday ($10 admission) and Thursdays ($5) through September. You can buy wine to accompany your picnic, plus the winery has a limited food menu. 4705 N. Fruit Hill Road. Info: www.arborcrest.com
Your neighborhood park. Spokane residents are lucky. More than 100 years ago, city planners were looking out for us. Thanks to their foresight, most neighborhoods have at least one park, sometimes more. So, load up the red wagon with lunch or dinner and head on over.
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