It's hot. The days are long. The kids are home for the Summer. Every day they say the same thing by about 2 p.m. "I'm bored". In the Tri-Cities we're very lucky. There are parks in almost every neighborhood and huge mature trees for shade to escape from the relentless rays of sunshine. Summer in the Tri-Cities is never dull or boring with so many parks to visit and so many activities to attend.
The Playground of Dreams, on the East end of the 400 acre Columbia Park, is a monument to the can-do spirit of the Tri-Cities and a testament to the value we place on the upcoming generations. Originally built in September of 1999 by mostly volunteers the park was an instant favorite of Tri-Citians. Near the playground now is an Aquatic Playground, family fishing pond and a stage for performances. In the park you'll find an Audubon Natural Area, barbeque facilities, an 18 hole frisbee golf course, rope course, several boat launches and during the summer the Dreamland J&S Express train.
In Richland's Howard Amon Park you can find another fixture of family fun. You'll find Sturgeon Cove Playground and its signature 16 foot metal sturgeon. There are a couple of rock wall structures totry your hand at climbing. Swings galore, a tot-lot and even a zip-line round out the fun for this huge structure and will be fun for people of all ages. Through the summer there is also a small wading pool for the little ones. Besides boat docks and miles of walking and riding paths you'll find gazebos, barbeque grills and tons of shade. When the kids are done with the playground you can inject a little education into their summer break byvisiting the CHREST Museum which is nearby.
Smaller, but just as fun, is the water feature of theKennewick Grange Park on Union. The kids will have fun turning on the water from the palm trees and other features and they'll have a play structure that has slides, monkey bars and other apparatus to keep their imaginations running. You can even add a little nature hike to their visit by strolling the demonstration gardens produced by Washington State University Master Gardeners. When the kids are running out of energy and need some more quiet activity the Mid-Columbia Library is ready to give them a chance to keep up with their summer reading.
Many neighborhoods across the area have smaller parks that welcome kids, teens, adults and a dog or two. You'll find enough to keep you busy and perhaps you won't have to hear the kids saying "I'm bored" even once this summer.