Inexpensive Things to do in the Tri-Cities, Washington

A view of the Columbia River and the "Blue" bridge, taken from Columbia park in Kennewick, Washington.
A view of the Columbia River and the "Blue" bridge, taken from Columbia park in Kennewick, Washington. | Source

Bored, are we?

It's okay, I spent the first 18 years of my life and then some in the Tri-Cities. I am all to familiar with the phrase, "there's nothing to do here!" Though the Tri-Cities may look like the wasteland to some, there are actually quite a few fun and unique things to do in the area.

It is funny how you don't realize how much there is to do and how much you love your hometown until you leave. So to drive the point "home", here is a list things you simply must do while living or visiting the Tri-Cities, and best of all, they require relatively little or no money.

A markerTri-Cities, Washington -
Tri-Cities Airport (PSC), Pasco, WA 99301, USA
[get directions]

Where is the Tri-Cities, Washington?

For those of you unfamiliar with the location or what the Tri-Cities are, they are located in the more south eastern part of Washington state, bordering Oregon. The Tri-Cities is in a pocket of desert, unlike the western side of the state where Washington gets its stereotype of pine trees and rain. One of the defining characteristics of the Tri-Cities is that it is where three major rivers converge: The Columbia, Snake, and Yakima.

The Tri-Cities is comprised of Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland. Locals also incorporate small outlying towns into the mix with places like Finley, Benton City, Burbank, and West Richland, (which is actually its own entity separate of Richland). The population from the 2010 census puts the Tri-Cities at a little over 250,000 residents. This only includes the three major cities.

Did I mention that the Tri-Cities have also garnered the attention of the nation as being voted by MSN and Forbes as one of the best places to live? Well, it has! It is also a place rich with national history within its Hanford project (part of the Manhattan Project). Because of this, the Tri-Cities is also bustling with engineers and scientists, and ranks as the 11th Geekiest by Forbes. I am proud of that. Check out more accolades and boasting of my hometown here: Tri-City Accolades.

Things to do in West Kennewick

show route and directions
A markerThe Playground of Dreams -
Columbia Park Trail, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

The Playground of Dreams offers an immense play structure, including a small water play area!

B markerThe Family Fishing Pond -
Columbia Park Trail, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

With a focus on family activities, the fishing pond stocks bluegill, walleye, large mouth bass, and catfish. Located next to the Playground of Dreams.

C markerColumbia Park Skate/Bike Park -
Columbia Park Trail, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

A skate and bike park with a few halfpipes and some street transitions. Basketball courts are located nearby as well.

D markerThe Duck Pond -
Columbia Park East Pond, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

Though signs tell you not to, this place is notorious for people feeding the waterfowl. Watch out, they can get aggressive. These ducks are not shy!

E markerThe Fever Arena Football -
Toyota Center, 7000 W Grandridge Blvd, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

Arena football at its finest, the Tri-Cities Fever gives you a chance to watch some hard hits and big wins.

F markerAtomic City Roller Girls -
Toyota Center, 7000 W Grandridge Blvd, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

That's right, the Tri-Cities has a roller girl team. This non-profit organization is definitely a must see.

G markerTri-City American Hockey -
Toyota Center, 7000 W Grandridge Blvd, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

When I was a lad I was able to watch Oly the Goalie play here as a Tri-City American. Check out the team the produces some tough NHL brutes.

H markerToyota Arena Ice Skating and Youth Hockey -
Toyota Center, 7000 W Grandridge Blvd, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

A building to the side of the Toyota Center, here you can participate in hockey or a family ice skating night.

I markerFrisbee Golf -
6515 Columbia Park Trail, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

Also known as disc golf, the Columbia Park offers a nice course with a few holes embedded in difficult terrain.

J markerGolf Universe - Miniature Golf -
6311 W Clearwater Ave, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

Come get your mini golf game on! Oh, and they also have an interesting variation with basketballs and different shaped backboards. Very cool!

Things to do in East Kennewick

show route and directions
A markerZintel Canyon - Spirit of America Trail -
Zintel Canyon, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

Whether walking or biking, the Zintel Canyon trail gives you a chance to feel farther from civilization than you are.

B markerKennewick Coffee - Downtown Kennewick -
101 W Kennewick Ave, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

Great food and great company. This gem also offers a beautiful selection of art and music as well!

C markerKennewick Skate Park -
739 S Dayton St, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

Nestled between a community pool and the police station, this park is a fun place to surf some concrete.

D markerEast Benton County Historical Museum -
Park Dr, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

Learn about what makes your city great, including exhibits of Kennewick Man, petrified wood, Native American artifacts, and much more.

E markerThe Finley Ghost -
Finley, WA, USA
[get directions]

A fun spot for locals to pull a paranormal prank by telling a ghost story and then watching a portion of the Columbia River bubble up (a pump station)

F markerBenton-Franklin County Fair -
1500 S Oak St, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

Usually held at the end of August, the county fair is an awesome place to catch live entertainment, check out local talents, and throw up on the rides

G markerClover Island Lighthouse -
Clover Island Lighthouse, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA
[get directions]

Things to do in Richland

show route and directions
A markerRichland Skate Park -
1131 Goethals Dr, Richland, WA 99352, USA
[get directions]

A large park with bowls, stairs, rails, and much more! Bathrooms are nearby and vending machines. Definitely the best skate park in the Tri-Cities.

B markerThe Spudnut Shop -
228 Williams Blvd, Richland, WA 99354, USA
[get directions]

Located in the historic Uptown Center, the Spudnut is a variation of doughnuts made out of potato flour. Come early for the best pickings.

C markerAdventure's Underground -
1391 George Washington Way, Richland, WA 99354, USA
[get directions]

Get all your board or card games, anime, books, vinyls, toys here! A huge store with an awesome variety, as well as a back room for D&D and MTG.

D markerLeslie Groves Park -
Leslie Groves Park, Richland, WA 99354, USA
[get directions]

Relax at this small sandy beach, float the river on a tube down to Howard Amon, or swim out to the small island, or even play beach volleyball!

E markerHike Badger Mountain -
Colley Dr, Richland, WA 99352, USA
[get directions]

A great workout, awesome trails, and an amazing view. A local favorite!

F markerBateman Island -
Bateman Island, Richland, WA 99352, USA
[get directions]

Come here for some cool little nature trails around the island, or to fish!

G markerCHREST Museum -
95 Lee Blvd, Richland, WA 99352, USA
[get directions]

Columbia River Exhibition of History, Science, & Technology. An awesome museum based around the history and science of Hanford.

H markerHanford Site Tours -
Hanford Site, Sunnyside, WA 98944, USA
[get directions]

The B-reactor was the world's first production scaled reactor. The plutonium for the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan was developed here.

I markerHoward Amon Park Festivals -
Howard Amon Park, Richland, WA, USA
[get directions]

Ye Merry Greenwood Renaissance fair in June/July, and the Tumbleweed Music Festival in September!

J markerAllied Arts -
89 Lee Blvd, Richland, WA 99352, USA
[get directions]

A non-profit art gallery with a focus on educating and encouraging all to find the beauty in viewing and creating art.

Things to do in Pasco, WA

show route and directions
A markerThe Country Mercantile -
232 Crestloch Rd, Pasco, WA 99301, USA
[get directions]

Gourmet chocolates, jams, produce, events and rides! You can even do a chocolate factory tour. You have to check this out!

B markerAinsworth Ghost Town -
2503 Sacajawea Park Rd, Pasco, WA 99301, USA
[get directions]

The only remnants of this late 1800's town are foundations, many of which are found buried in the Snake River. This was the town that started it all.

C markerIce Harbor Dam -
Ice Harbor Lock and Dam, Washington, USA
[get directions]

Take a tour of one of the many dams in Washington state. See the fish ladder in action, and watch hydro power in action.

D markerMcnary National Wildlife Refuge -
McNary National Wildlife Refuge, 64 Maple St, Burbank, WA 99323, USA
[get directions]

Enjoy the wildlife found in the Columbia basin here.

E markerSacajawea Park -
2503 Sacajawea Park Rd, Pasco, WA 99301, USA
[get directions]

It is here where the Snake and Columbia rivers collide! Historical in regards to Lewis and Clark's expedition passed through this area.

F markerThe Cable Bridge and Bike Path -
698 Benton-Franklin Intercounty Bridge, Pasco, WA 99301, USA
[get directions]

There is a bike path that runs along the Columbia river in each city. Pasco has a large bike path that runs you past the "Cable" Bridge.

G markerWashington State Railroads Historical Society Museum -
122 N Tacoma St, Pasco, WA 99301, USA
[get directions]

The railroad is what allowed the Tri-Cities to become what it has become. Learn more about the history involved in creating the Tri-Cities using rail.

H markerTri-Cities Dust Devils -
6200 Burden Blvd, Pasco, WA 99301, USA
[get directions]

The farm team for the Colorado Rockies, the Dust Devils dazzle crowds at GESA Stadium. Take me out to the ballgame!

I markerTrac Center -
6600 Burden Blvd, Pasco, WA 99301, USA
[get directions]

This huge complex houses many events ranging from home shows, concerts, and rodeos. You can also get some ice skating in during open hours!

J markerThe Mesa Haunted House -
Manton Way, Mesa, WA 99343, USA
[get directions]

Though north of Pasco, and seasonal, the Mesa haunted house is worth mentioning as it is the spookiest Halloween spectacle you will ever encounter!

What inexpensive things have you done in the Tri-Cities?

The list goes on and on for cool and inexpensive things to do in the Tri-Cities. If you have experienced something fun and relatively inexpensive in the Tri-Cities, shout it out in the comments below and we can amend this list, giving visitors and locals a chance to experience Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland to its fullest!

More by this Author


Comments 2 comments

Melody 3 years ago

Square dancing is a fun. There are square dance clubs in the Tri-cities; Columbia River Squares, Shufflers


Dianemae profile image

Dianemae 17 months ago

What a great list of things to see and do. If I ever get out there...I'm taking your article with me.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working