Free Activities for your Trip to Spokane

From scenic outdoor activities to historical sites ready to explore, Jerry has compiled a list of the best free activities to do in Spokane, Washington.
Written by Lindsey Muszkiewicz
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
background
A scenic city located in the eastern half of the Evergreen State,
Spokane
attracts both outdoor lovers and art enthusiasts. As a visitor or resident, you can find all sorts of things to do nearby, from hiking to enjoying tasty treats during the city’s iconic food festivals.
We know you'd rather make the most of your trip than spend all your time planning it, so super app
Jerry
has compiled a list of all the best things to do in this handy guide. Dedicated to saving you money on your
home
,
car
, or
renters insurance
, we've ensured that these activities won’t break your bank and will still be an experience you won't forget. 
Located close to the mountains and one of only a handful of towns in the US with a river running right through it, here’s an ultimate guide to making your say in Spokane,
Washington
magical.
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Spokane’s best free outdoor activities

#1. Riverfront Park

Address: 507 N. Howard St, Spokane, WA, 99201
The
Riverfront Park
sits in the heart of Spokane right on the river. From the historic 1909
Looff Carrousel
, the
Numerica Skate Ribbon
, and wheelchair-accessible
Providence Playscape
, this park packs it all! With walking paths connecting to other nearby parks and trails, Riverfront doesn’t leave a lot to be desired in terms of providing a day full of fun. 
Check out the world’s biggest
Radio Flyer Wagon
while you’re there, or the playground’s
splash pads
during the hot summer months! After working up an appetite, the 40-year-old Spokane landmark
Clinkerdagger
is nearby, serving classic American grilled meals with views of the river.

#2. Manito Park and Botanical Gardens

Address: 1702 S. Grand Blvd, Spokane, WA, 99203
Featuring 90 acres of lawns, playgrounds, and a duck pond,
Monito Park
is another beautiful outdoor location to spend your day. Home to
Duncan Garden
, the
Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden
, and
Lilac Garden
, Manito Park has several cultivated gardens over a century old. It also has biking and walking paths, user-friendly for those who aren’t looking for hard-core hiking but still want to enjoy the great outdoors. You can even visit the
Gaiser Conservatory
, open to the public free of charge throughout the year.
Between Manito and Riverfront Park lies historic train car restaurant
Frank’s Diner
, having operated since 1906 and the champion holder of “best breakfast and diner” for decades!

#3. John A. Finch Arboretum

Address: 3404 W Woodland Blvd, Spokane, WA, 99224
A bit more rural in feel is the
John A. Finch Arboretum
—65 acres of varied landscapes that range from native pines to shady glens filled with rhododendrons. The Arboretum is a botanical collection for field study, so pets are not allowed, but the grounds are open to the public daily and free of admission. 
Download a
self-guided tour
to explore some of the Arboretum's specimen trees, enjoy a picnic in the open grass, or visit the little creek that runs through the park.

#4. Mt. Spokane State Park

Address: N. 26107 Mt. Spokane Park Dr, Mead, WA, 99021
At 13,919-acres in the Selkirk Mountains,
Mt. Spokane
is one of Washington's largest state parks, with over 100 miles of trails and 79 open to mountain bikers (although keep an eye out for moose). This park is the place for hikers and adventurers alike. Made up of old-growth forests and granite rock outcroppings, Mt. Spokane State Park is beautiful at all times of the year. 
If you’re in town during the right season, there’s plenty of open snowy space for skiing, snowboarding, or other
recreational winter activities
!

#5. Centennial Trail

Address: Multiple
trailhead entries
Centennial Trail
is one of many paths accessible from Riverfront Park. This paved trail is fully ADA accessible and branches out to the east and west, reaching the state line between Washington and Idaho. For a total of 37 miles, you can get to the famed
Nine Mile Falls
, with the trail leaving ample opportunities to go running, hiking, biking, and even canoeing on its various courses.

#6. Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens

Address: 507 W 7th Ave, Spokane, WA, 99201
Step back in time in this
unique garden
first established in 1889, this landscape has remained unchanged since 1915. With
self-guided and group tours
available, you can admire one of Spokane’s many historical landmarks and spend time outdoors. Keep in mind, though, that these gardens don’t allow pets and have limited ADA access.

Free events and festivals in Spokane

#7. Green Bluff Growers

Founded in 1902, the
Green Bluff Growers
is a collection of over 30 local farms, food stands, and more. There’s something for everyone on the Bluff, whether it’s a live music festival during the summer or a fall harvest you-pick orchard event. Not looking to work during your visit? Grab some pre-picked fruits and veggies, homemade cider, or freshly baked pie—
every farm
offers something different!
Check out each of the Growers’ websites to see what fun events and festivals they host throughout the year!

#8. Gathering at the Falls Powwow

Address: Riverfront Park, 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201
The
Gathering at the Falls Powwow (GATF)
is a celebration of the Indigenous people in Spokane, where native nations gather to pray, drum, sing, and dance. The Powwow was originally an annual gathering at Spokane Falls, where Pacific Northwest nations traveled for salmon fishing and inter-tribe events.
Unfortunately, salmon no longer pass through the Falls, but people still gather at Riverfront Park to appreciate the vibrant tribal culture alive today. Organizers welcome anyone to the event to participate or to watch.

#9. Clear Lake Trout Derby

Address: 14824 S Clear Lake Rd, Cheney, WA, 99004
Spokane County is full of beautiful rivers, creeks, and lakes, which means—you guessed it—fish! Fishing season opens in late April and goes through the end of October. Try your hand at catching a variety of fish at
Clear Lake
and see if you can reel in the grand prize. And don’t worry, all fish are part of the
catch and release documentation
, so you won’t be harming them.

#10. Pig Out in the Park

Address: Riverfront Park - 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA, 99201
Firing up from August 31 to September 5, 2022, Spokane’s
Pig Out in the Park
is one of Washington State’s most popular annual events. Celebrate Labor Day with over 50 delicious food booths and free music at the festival—a family-friendly event, Pig Out in the Park sponsored 1,655 free carousel rides in 2019. Be sure not to miss it this year!

#11. Riverfront Eats

Address: W North River Dr, Spokane, WA, 99201
Riverfront Eats
is another can’t-miss for foodies—a series of parked food trucks gather every Tuesday, June through August from 11 am to 2 pm near Riverfront Park. With featured musicians that provide free mini-concerts while you pick up some tasty local food, what’s not to like about this annual summer event?
Pro Tip Bring your own water to wash down all the finger-licking food you’re sure to indulge in at these festivals. And don’t forget the sunscreen!
MORE: 8 pro tips for long car rides with kids

Spokane’s greatest free museums, monuments, and more

#12. Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture

Address: 2316 W 1st Ave, Spokane, WA, 99201
One of five Smithsonian affiliates in Washington state, the
Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
is host to several engaging exhibits of varying mediums. From a “Sketch to Screen” display featuring DreamWorks Animation movies to canoe models and the history of Indigenous people of the Columbia Plateau, this museum has it all.
You can also tour the nearby
Campbell House
, a fully furnished pioneer house full of original items and artifacts.
AAA members
receive $1 off admissions with walk-in tickets, and the main museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm.

Address: 127 E 12th Ave, Spokane, WA, 99202
You can stop by this architectural wonder and visit the outside grounds or take a free indoor tour of one of the few classic Gothic-inspired buildings in Washington state. The church is a rare structure of solid masonry, with stone from near Tacoma, Washington, Idaho, and Indiana—no structural wood or steel was used in its construction! 
St. John’s Cathedral
is historically significant to the city of Spokane and is open to anyone wanting to admire the grand architecture that now reaches close to a century old.

#14. Bing Crosby House Museum

Address: 508 E Sharp Ave, Spokane, WA, 99258
A native of Spokane and
alumn of Gonzaga
, the University houses a large collection of material from singer and actor Harry “Bing” Crosby. His
original home
from 1911 now houses more than 200 items, including gold records, trophies, awards, and an official Academy Award. 
The main floor is open free of charge to the public, so if you’re just in the area or touring the campus as a potential college, check out some memorabilia of one of the kings of Christmas classics. Doors are open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 1 - 4 pm.

Address: 200 E Desmet Ave, Spokane, WA, 99258
The
Jundt Art Museum
is a space for traveling and permanent exhibitions, housing Gonzaga University's ever-growing collection that is nearly 5,000 items strong. It even includes pieces from famous artists such as Rembrandt, Picasso, Warhol, and Chihuly. 
The museum has multiple upcoming exhibitions that include works never before put on display, including one called the Arcade Gallery. Open May 21 to August 13, 2022, it will showcase some of the most important printmakers in Western art history. Check out other
upcoming exhibits on their website
and see what’ll be on display during your trip!

#16. Mobius Discovery Center

Address: 331 N Post St, Spokane, WA, 99201
The
Mobius Discovery Center
is fun for the whole family! With already reasonable admission prices, you can show your hotel key card and receive $1 off daily admission per person. Open Wednesday to Sunday 10 am to 5 pm, there are several
hands-on exhibits
and activities to learn, explore, and create during your time there. 
Check out special events hosted throughout the year on
their calendar page
to see what exciting activities might be happening during your visit!

Unique things to do in Spokane

#17. Spokane Falls

Address: 901 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA, 99201
Spokane Falls
is the real star of the show—the city named after this iconic waterfall. You can admire its beauty up close and personal from paths alongside it, either through
Huntington Park
in the soak zone or by a
Place of Truths
, located near City Hall. 
There’re also several pedestrian suspension bridges—the north end of the Monroe Street Bridge provides a perfect view of the upper and lower falls. Or take a trip on the
Spokane Falls Skyride
for a panoramic experience of the downtown skyline.

#18. Farmer’s Markets

There’s no better way to spend a summer day in Spokane than by shopping for local, farm-grown produce. Here are the details for Farmer’s Markets in the city:

#19. Garbage Goat 

Address: 507 N Howard St, Spokane, WA, 99201
The Spokane
Garbage Goat
has been eating trash since the mid-70s, which makes him one of the world's hardest-working pieces of public art.
This metal sculpture contains a vacuum in its mouth, allowing the goat “eat” small pieces of garbage and will inhale just about anything. After visiting the Garbage Goat, you can go get some grub yourself at
The Flying Goat
, just a short drive away.

#20. Heritage Walk of Downtown Spokane

Address: Multiple locations (see below)
As you’ve probably seen by now, Spokane is an old and notable city in Washington. You can learn more about it in an in-depth self-guided walking tour, with PDFs available for download for
East Spokane
,
West Spokane
, and
Central Spokane
. You won’t want to miss out on the rich history surrounding you while in town!

How to get cheap, customized car insurance

Before you start planning your vacation or day trip with all these free and affordable things to do in Spokane, take a couple more minutes for
Jerry
! While you’re saving so much with this great itinerary, we can also find you fast and easy savings on
car insurance
.
To get started, download the Jerry app, sign up in just 45 seconds, and let Jerry compare quotes on the best rates in the market from over 50+ top insurance providers. Then, select your favorite, and our support team can even help you switch—no phone calls, no paperwork, no hassle.
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FAQs

There’s a host of wonderful events and activities to enjoy year-round, but as anyone from Washington can tell you, summer is the best time of year to take advantage of the outdoor scenery when the weather dries out. Unless you don’t mind a little rain, fall can also be a beautiful time of year and allows you to take advantage of harvesting some of the delicious local farm-fresh produce nearby!
With Mt. Spokane State Park so close, you can be shredding powder with just a short one-hour drive to
Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park Resort
. If you’re a newbie, this resort is rated the number one best beginner terrain in Washington, so whether you’re visiting as a pro or to practice, this place is for everyone!
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