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Inexpensive Things to do in the Tri-Cities, Washington

Updated on July 7, 2016
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
Tri-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

A
The 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
The 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
Columbia 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
The 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
Frisbee 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.

F
The Fever Arena Football:
Toyota Center, 7000 W Grandridge Blvd, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA

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

G
Atomic 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.

H
Tri-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.

I
Toyota 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.

J
Golf 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

A
Zintel Canyon - Spirit of America Trail:
Zintel Canyon, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA

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

B
Kennewick Skate Park:
739 S Dayton St, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA

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

C
East Benton County Historical Museum:
Park Dr, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA

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

D
Kennewick 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!

E
Clover Island Lighthouse:
Clover Island Lighthouse, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA

get directions

F
Benton-Franklin County Fair:
1500 S Oak St, Kennewick, WA 99336, USA

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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
The Finley Ghost:
Finley, WA, USA

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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)

Things to do in Richland

A
Hike Badger Mountain:
Colley Dr, Richland, WA 99352, USA

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

B
Bateman Island:
Bateman Island, Richland, WA 99352, USA

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

C
Allied Arts:
89 Lee Blvd, Richland, WA 99352, USA

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

D
CHREST 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.

E
Richland 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.

F
The 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.

G
Adventure'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.

H
Leslie 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!

I
Hanford 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.

J
Howard 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!

Things to do in Pasco, WA

A
Ice 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.

B
Mcnary 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.

C
Sacajawea 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.

D
Ainsworth 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.

E
The 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.

F
Washington 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.

G
Tri-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!

H
Trac 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!

I
The 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!

J
The 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!

Comments

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    • Dianemae profile image

      Dianemae 

      3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Melody 

      5 years ago

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

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