Kidding Around with STEM Itineraries in the Tri-Cities

We've put together the perfect 3-day STEM itinerary for families!


10:30 a.m. – Arrive at the REACH Museum for a Little Explorers, ages 3-5, workshop where you will learn about the fascinating history of the Tri-Cities, as well as what an ecosystem is, specifically what the ecosystem is like in the Tri-Cities. Partake in entertaining hands-on activities, enthusiastic singing and all while learning interesting facts about the area!

11:30 a.m. – Check out the enormous aquarium and see first-hand what kind of fish swim, live and jump from the waters of the Columbia. Gaze, transfixed, at the floor-to-ceiling satellite map of the region and finally understand just how many farms are dotted across the Basin and learn about the complex irrigation system. Engage in the electronic fossil dig, piecing together a mammoth skeleton!

Don’t leave without getting a family pic in front of the outdoor steel sculpture representing the sun!

1:00 p.m. – Stop for lunch at Atomic Ale, a family-friendly pub steeped in local history, and share a Manhattan Project pizza with your family. Top off lunch with a B Reactor Brownie!

4:30 p.m. – Check into your hotel. There are a variety of options with easy access to STEM attractions in the area, along with free, hot breakfast, an indoor swimming pool or dazzling river views.

5:00 p.m. – Visit the Richland Riverfront Trail for a stroll with the entire family. Run ahead of everyone to be the first to read each Pompy’s Lesson marker. Learn about the flora and fauna of the area, wildlife and historical events as the waves lap against the shores of the Columbia River. Make a point to stop at Howard Amon Park on your riverside adventure to check out Sturgeon Cove Playground.

6:00 p.m. Admire the black-tipped wings of a flock of pelicans swooping overhead as you make your way back to your hotel.

7:00 p.m. – Pop over to the Richland Parkway for some authentic Mexican fare at Miss Tamale. Dessert can be enjoyed at Frost Me Sweet Bistro & Bakery with a variety of cupcake flavors and other baked treats.


11:00 a.m. – Arrive at iplay Experience in Kennewick and immediately run to the interactive sand area, which is the best augmented reality sandbox in the world! Designed to enhance the sensory skills of children, a sensor detects the changes of your design as you play and create in the sand. The innovative technology is state-of-the art and produces an incredible miniature world!

Stomp and Play on an interactive floor game that is a virtual playground like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Step up for an exhilarating and stimulating adventure in the Virtual Reality area by facing off in a virtual snowball fight. Stick around and attempt to escape a sinking submarine with your siblings and new friends. The intense graphics and cutting-edge technology makes every motion feel real.

1:30 p.m. – For a nearby bite, checkout GRAZE and enjoy the best grilled cheese sandwich you’ve ever tasted and delight in each dip into your steaming and delectable bowl of soup. Or if you prefer fresh tortillas and tableside guacamole, take the family to Fiesta Mexican Restaurant.

2:30 p.m. – Take time to visit a real live submarine sail. The USS Triton Sail can be found at the Port of Benton. The US Triton was the first submarine to circle the earth underwater, following the path of explorer Ferdinand Magellan. For chance to explore inside the USS Triton, submit your requests in advance.

4:30 p.m. – Swing into the Visit Tri-Cities Visitor Center and pick up maps and materials about the area. Talk your parents into your own LIGO t-shirt and ABCs of LIGO book, which is geared towards kids!

6:00 p.m. –It’s been an eventful day and nothing will taste quite as good as a delicious pasta dish. Enjoy a heaping bowl of spaghetti and meatballs at Casa Mia Italian Restaurant or check out Carmine’s Italian Restaurant for a family-style dinner.


8:00 a.m. – Begin the presentation at the Coyote Canyon Mammoth Site and learn about the history, discovery and findings from the site. Walk through a laboratory to view key specimens and panels found. Move outside to experience what it feels like to be an actual archaeologist excavating the side of a sand cliff for actual mammoth bones!

12:00 p.m. – Grab a delicious burger at Hops ‘n Drops and take advantage of the free flavored lemonade refills! Score! Or visit neighboring The Rock Wood Fired Pizza, which offers a rock music themed experience for pizza and pasta lovers.

2:00 p.m. – Pick the best seat in the entire CPCCo Planetarium, the most state-of-the-art projection system in the Northwest and spend the next hour enchanted by the magic of the Kaluoka’hina reef and the story of a young sawfish named Jake and his pal Shorty as they embark on an exhilarating adventure to save their beloved reef.

3:00 p.m. – Hang around for the next show and get to know a little star in search of planets of his own to warm and protect. Feel completely spellbound by the vast and infinite solar system.

4:00 p.m. – Start planning your next trip to the Tri-Cities!