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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Fall family activities line up for getting out and on the move

September ushers in a time when family calendars get packed, but it’s also a good time to be active. This fall, the region’s family and youth events are ramping up after two years on hold. It’s a season ripe for being on the move.

Here are some new or returning options that promote fall activity:

Free STA youth fare. Starting early October, youth 18 and under in the Spokane area can ride Spokane Transit Authority buses with a free pass. This can help youth needing to get to activities, sports or choice schools. On July 21, the STA board approved a new fare policy that creates the zero-fare pass for youth, after a recent state transportation funding package the Washington State Legislature approved in March. Funding comes from the new Transit Support Grant program, which is part of the Move Ahead Washington legislation.

The ability to submit applications began Sept. 1, but cards won’t be available by mail or STA Plaza pick-up until after Oct 1. Information on how to apply online or in-person are at The page includes details on a zero-fare rider’s license and new unlimited free rides for connect card holders ages 6-18.

Valleyfest. After two canceled years, this longtime family-friendly event is scheduled to return Sept. 23-25 at Mirabeau Point Park, Plantes Ferry Sports Complex and CenterPlace Regional Event Center in Spokane Valley. Options include a parade, juggling school, toy-building, petting zoo, a fishing event and live entertainment.

Valleyfest’s newest event is the Multicultural Festival to run 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 25 at Center Place Regional Center, West Lawn, 2426 Discovery Place. The festival is scheduled with entertainment and booths on local cultures. For more information on all three days of activities, go to

Hooptown Youth League. The new league is designed to give more Spokane-area children the chance to play basketball, from kindergarten to sixth grade. Play kicks off this fall, with a registration deadline of Sept. 22 on first-come and first-serve, school-by-school basis. Some registration spots may be limited or closed by that date.

Costs range from $30 to $125, depending on levels or if there’s a qualified discounted fee. Hooptown plans three levels: recreational, competitive, and advanced competitive. Important dates include Sept.25 skills clinic for competitive and advanced players, Oct. 9 coaching conference, and Oct.17 practices begin. More details are at

Fire Department Open Houses. Families can visit 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 24 at Coeur d’Alene Fire Station 3, 1500 N. 15th St. The event has free hot dogs and drinks, while parents and children can see ID Disaster Dogs, CdA Firefighter Pipes & Drums, fire equipment, a fire extinguisher demo, Sparky the Fire Dog and Life Flight.

On Oct. 1, the Spokane Valley Fire Department plans a free family open house 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 2411 N. Pioneer Lane with hot dogs, drinks and David’s Pizza. Activities include getting to sit in fire apparatus, seeing a medic helicopter, running a fire hose, trying on gear, blood pressure checks and meeting the comfort dog, Pierce. For event info, call (509) 928-1700 or go to

HUB-apalooza. The HUB Sports Center will host a free HUB-apalooza Family Fun Festival, 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 30. In Liberty Lake at 19619 E. Cataldo, the facility will offer activities and games to mark its 15 years, including information on activities offered there and what the center does for the community.

The festival will include activities for basketball, volleyball, pickleball, futsal/soccer, corn hole, table tennis and martial arts. For questions, contact the HUB at (509) 927-0602 or go to its website.

WSECU Fall Fest. Organizers plan multiple family activities described as fall fun of the farm in downtown Spokane, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 1 and Oct. 2, sponsored by Washington State Employees Credit Union. The event’s locations extend from the Pavilion Amphitheater to River Park Square and Wall Street.

Each day at 11 a.m., the events include an artist fair hosted by Spokane Arts, a fall photo station and food trucks. At 11:30 a.m., families can watch Cecil’s Magic Show at the Rotary Fountain. Free horse and carriage rides go from noon to 5 p.m. Other activities are face-painting, kids carnival, urban pumpkin patch and dancing. There’s even a 2 p.m. Shakespeare in the Park skit at the Central Plaza. Go to the event page for more information.