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Downtown Spokane offers much more than just bars, nightclubs

Anyone who’s spent time downtown after hours knows there’s always something going on. But if bars and nightclubs aren’t your thing, the area can seem unappealing, and maybe even uninviting. A closer look, though, will reveal a few out-of-the-box options for a night on the town.

For those who love to dance but aren’t big fans of nightclubs, Satori Dance Studio (122 S. Monroe St.) is the place to go to shake your tail feathers. Satori offers classes on the Cuban and L.A. styles of salsa; the Argentine tango; bachata, a style of dance from the Dominican Republic; and the Lindy hop, a type of swing dance.

To get even further immersed in each style of dance, dancers can take one of Satori’s free language classes. In these classes, dancers study the lyrics of a song in either French, Spanish or Portuguese, then learn its grammar and structure. They then take to the floor and dance to the songs they just studied.

Reservations aren’t required for open dance or private or group language classes, but dancers should call ahead to reserve a spot in Satori’s private or group dance classes. FYI, Satori doesn’t accept credit or debit cards, so be sure to bring cash or check along with your dancing shoes.

The Inland Northwest is chock-full of natural features that cater to rock climbers of all experience levels, but sometimes weather or travel restraints make it hard to climb outside. Enter Wild Walls (202 W. Second Ave.), Spokane’s first climbing gym, which is open until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and until 7 p.m. Sunday, so climbers can get some training in no matter when they get off work.

Wild Walls offers climbers the opportunity to top rope (climbing with ropes) or boulder (climbing without ropes), and for those with no climbing experience, the gym offers a vertical introduction package (a women-only vertical introduction class is also available) and an introduction to lead climbing class for those interested in sport climbing. Rental equipment is available, and a membership includes access to Wild Walls’ yoga classes, half of which also cater to the after-work crowd (8-9 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays).

After a long day at work, a game night with friends can be a welcome reprieve. Whether you’re new to gaming or have been playing for years, Uncle’s Games Puzzles and More (404 W. Main Ave.) hosts tournaments and other ways to play seven days a week, with most weekday events happening 6-9 p.m.

No matter your game of choice, Uncle’s Games, a downtown staple since 1978, has got you covered. A glance at the store’s calendar shows events for Magic the Gathering, The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game, Pokemon, Star Wars Armada, Force of Will, Arkham Horror: The Card Game, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Runewars and more. Prizes are up for grabs at just about every event, and nearly all events are, at most, $7 to attend.

Uncle’s Games also hosts board game nights every Friday and special events like jigsaw exchange, where puzzle enthusiasts can trade a completed puzzle for one of Uncle’s Games’s opened puzzles, once a month.

If you just can’t imagine a night out without a drink of some sort, plan an evening at Pinot’s Palette (319 W. Sprague Ave.) or Paint & Pints (718 W. Riverside Ave.), as drinking while creating is an option at both studios. Both Pinot’s Palette and Paint & Pints post previews of each class’s paintings on their website so you can choose a piece of art you know you’ll love. Flowers, landscapes and animals are popular subjects in both studios.

Pinot’s Palette offers wine by the glass or bottle, as well as microbrews and nonalcoholic drinks. All of the studio’s wine and beer offerings are from either Washington or North Idaho. At Paint & Pints, painters can choose from beer – on tap or individual cans or bottles – and wine from near (Washington, Oregon and California) or far (Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Argentina), depending on availability. At the end of the night, your thirst will be quenched and you’ll have a new piece of art to bring home.


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