The Best Things to Do in Winter in Tri-Cities
You can find things to do in the Tri-Cities area in any season, even in winter. The hills and plains of central Washington have an added sparkle after a fresh dusting of snow, and the mountains become a winter wonderland.
Learn about all the things to do in the Tri-Cities during the colder season, including outdoor and indoor activities and a few special winter events.
Outdoor Winter Activities in Tri-Cities
Get out from under that blanket! Don’t let the colder weather keep you from exploring the outdoors. The Tri-cities landscapes can be breathtaking after a snowfall, and the trails and preserves are less crowded. If you would like to go for a winter walk, run, or bike ride, here are a few beautiful spots to check out:
- In Richland, go to Howard Amon Park for your nature fix on a sunny winter day. This little gem is situated on the Columbia River, with lovely scenery, a playground, and a picnic area. From the park, you can access the Riverfront Trail, a paved 4-mile stretch of trail with scenic views of the only free-flowing section of the Columbia River. Highly recommended as a place for a winter stroll!
- For more variety in terrain and trails, head to Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve. The preserve is just outside Richland offers a decent network of trails and impressive views of the river and distant mountains. It's a wonderful place to watch sunrise and sunset, especially in winter when the fiery colors are quite intense against the pale landscape.
- Chamna Nature Preserve is 276 acres of shrub-step habitat with more than 11 miles of trails along the Yakima River near Richland. The preserve is home to migratory birds, beaver, river otter, deer and other species. Equestrians, cyclists, hikers, bird-watchers and other outdoor lovers use the trails year-round.
Indoor Activities in Tri-Cities
For those blustery cold days when you just want to be indoors, you don't have to resort to sitting on the couch! Go expand your mind at a local museum or head to a sporting event to cheer on a local team.
- REACH Museum: The REACH Museum, one of the Tri-Cities most famous attractions, features striking exhibits on the Manhattan Project and Cold War. Its outdoor learning area consists of samples of shrub steppe and riparian ecosystems, with hands-on, interactive activities to teach visitors about irrigated agriculture, hops cultivation, local animals, native plants, and land formation. For information on visiting the museum, please click here.
- LIGO Hanford Observatory: This is one of two premier places in the US for studying gravitational waves. The facility is open to the public with the aim of promoting public interest in and passion for science. For information on tours and events, click here.
- East Benton County Historical Society & Museum: This museum has over 5,000 square feet of exhibition space dedicated to showcasing the rich history of peoples and settlements along the Columbia River, including Native Americans, explorers, and pioneers.For more information on visiting the museum, please click here.
If you want to get your blood pumping, try a new sport or attend a local sporting event.
- Try something brand new to break up the monotony of winter days. A sport whose popularity is growing around the country is axe throwing, and you can try it out right here in Tri-Cities at AXE KPR Hatchet Range. Not only is it a great core exercise, it's also fun and a great form of stress relief. There's just something deeply satisfying about throwing this primal tool and hearing it "thud" as it makes contact with the wood.
- If you'd rather watch a sport than play one, head to Toyota Arena to watch a Tri-City Americans hockey team play a home game. The Tri-City Americans are a major junior ice hockey team of the Western Hockey League, based right here in Kennefick. Click here for a schedule of games.
Kid-Friendly Winter Activities
Kids deserve to have some fun in winter too, and video games don't count. Children will love these indoor attractions and activities in Tri-Cities:
- GESA Carousel of Dreams: Create magical memories riding on a restored 108-year old carousel with your family. The GESA Carousel of Dreams is a restored 108-year-old Charles Carmel hand-carved wooden carousel that is open to the public. It is located in the Southridge Sports and Events Complex in Kennewick. After riding the carousel, you can nosh on concessions like burgers, hotdogs, nachos, pretzels, beverages, and sweets that are sold at a nearby stand.
- Atomic Escape Rooms: Kids can also get mentally and physically active in Tri-Cities in winter by playing challenging, interactive "escape" games at Atomic Escape Rooms in Richland.
- Rollarena Skating Center: Zooming around the Rollarena Skating Center, also in Richland, will thrill any kid, even on the gloomiest of winter days.
Winter Special Events in Tri-Cities
During the winter months, special events are held throughout the Tri-Cities.
Brighten your December with these magical holiday light displays!
- Christmas Lighted Boat Parade in Kennewick
- Desert Plateau Luminaria in West Pasco
- Senske Christmas Light Show with more than 500,000 lights
January & February
Attend the Tri-Cities Family Expo in January, a fun, interactive event featuring family activities designed to bring the community together. If all else fails and your winter is still blah, find a sure cure wiht some cured meat at the Craft Brew & Bacon Fest, also in February.