Category Archives: Pullman Washington

Children’s Matinee Movie Series (Pullman)

Pullman Village Center Cinemas does a very cool ongoing matinee series that is an amazing bargain. For $5 you get 8 movie tickets.  There are 8 movies in each series, but the tickets are not designated for any movie – so you can use the tickets for whichever of the movies you think your kids will like.

This year the Summer 2010 Children’s Matinee Series started on June 22 and runs to August 12. We went to the first movie, and it is very popular, so I would suggest going at least 15 minutes early to get a good seat.

The movies are recent movies, but ones which are not in the theaters any longer.  (For example, this series includes The Lightning Thief, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Furry Vengeance, Kung Fu Panda, Night at the Museum 2, Barnyard, Madagasgar 2, and a surprise film.)

The theater does a winter series, too.

http://www.pullmanmovies.com/

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R.B. Tukey Orchard: Fruit Picking

The boys with their cherry haul, July 2009, Tukey Orchard

One of the best summer things to do here is to go fruit picking at Washington State University’s organic orchard, the R.B. Tukey Horticultural Orchard.  Today was the first day of the year it was open for picking (strawberries) so I know summer is finally here!

Cherry picking

Look around campus for signs that say “WSU Fruit Sale” and you will know the orchard is allowing people to pick.  You can also get on an e-mail list that will inform you of additional opportunities to pick – I think there are some times when there is not a lot of fruit, so they only send out an e-mail  and do not post a sign.

My favorite time of year is cherry season (these photos are from cherry season last year).  Any of the tree fruit picking days are excellent for kids, too. (Not so much with the berries, which are delicate.)

The fruit is amazing! It is organic, fresh, and really flavorful.  It is generally priced at about the same or slightly less than you would pay for conventional fruit at Safeway.

The orchard is located by the Moscow-Pullman airport and Palouse Ridge golf course.

http://hortla.wsu.edu/orchard/index.html

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Living in the Garden (Pullman, WA)

We made our first trip to a wonderful Pullman spot today: Living in the Garden.  It is a nursery, garden center, gift shop, art space… just all-around cool place.

The plants and baskets are amazingly beautiful.  Truly inspiring (even for a person like me who doesn’t have a garden!)

The gift shop/art space was full of lovely and unique items.

I am glad we made it today, because their season ends on June 27! They only stay open for a few months a year (March through June).  There are a number of special events, such as live music, still yet to come this year, though.

As far as kid-friendliness, it is not a place for running around, as you can imagine.  However, I think it would be a magical place for a slightly older kid to come and choose plants for the garden.  (Note the bathrooms are limited to a port-o-potty.) We made it through our visit without any mishaps, though it took some close monitoring!

Living in the Garden is another of those great places in this area that you can just feel are labors of love- the kind of business you daydream about owning.  Get there soon!

To get there:

Living in the Garden is 2 miles north of Pullman off of Highway 27.  Look for the Reid Road sign and the blue truck with the Living in the Garden sign.

You cannot see Living in the Garden itself from the road, but you see this road:

http://www.livinginthegardens.com/index.html

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Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute

I am going to start doing some entries on places I want to go but haven’t gone yet due to a lack of time (a constant problem!)  This is the first one.

The Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute (PCEI) is a local organization that seeks to “increase citizen involvement in decisions that affect our region’s environment. Through community organizing and education, PCEI assists members of our communities in making environmentally sound and economically viable decisions that promote a sustainable future.”  (From their website http://www.pcei.org/mission.htm.)

Its website describes a handful of “Special Places” which I am very much looking forward to exploring this summer.  The Special Places include Rose Creek, Magpie Forest, Smoot Hill, Moscow Mountain Cedars, Idler’s Rest and PCEI’s stream restoration sites. These sites are all close to Pullman.

From the PCEI website, here is some information about each Special Place (note there is a lot more info on the PCEI website -these are just small excerpts):

ROSE CREEK:  “The Rose Creek Nature Preserve (RCNP) is a special place located only 7.5 miles northwest of Pullman, Washington, near Albion Rose Creek Preserve is the best example of the distinct quaking aspen-black hawthorn-cow parsnip community type of its kind remaining in the endangered Palouse meadow steppe ecosystem. The twelve-acre preserve is bisected by Rose Creek with a plant community of native bunchgrass species in the upland, and a lush community of species such as Fendler’s waterleaf, and purple trillium in the wet meadow.”  (http://www.pcei.org/rosecreek/)

THE MAGPIE FOREST:  “The Magpie Forest is important because it provides wildlife habitat and represents one of the last remnants of native Palouse shrub-steppe vegetation. Pullman’s Environmental Quality Commission has designated the Magpie Forest as one of city’s most important and endangered “critical areas” in anticipation of its eventually becoming part of Pullman, Washington. [P] The Magpie Forest provides an opportunity to explore native plants, wildlife habitat, invasive species and conservation issues.”  (http://www.pcei.org/magpie.htm)

SMOOT HILL:  “This 730 acre farm, located 12 miles from the Pullman campus, was purchased by the WSU in 1972 for research and educational use. Over 300 acres of this property are in the Conservation Reserve Program because it one of the largest intact remnants of the native Palouse plant community. Smoot Hill’s natural diversity and beauty make it popular for ecology and botany field trips.”  (http://www.pcei.org/smoot_hill.htm)

MOSCOW MOUNTAIN CEDARS:  “Largely spared from disturbance by its location on top of a steep 4700’ ridge, this 269-acre parcel of state school trust land is home to an ancient grove of western red cedars estimated to be 1000 years old. Nurtured by the headwater springs of Felton Creek and Hatter Creek, this stand of trees was nominated in 1974 to be a National Natural Landmark as the best extant example of western red cedar/larch habitat.”  (http://www.pcei.org/mm_cedars.htm)

IDLER’S REST:  “Idler’s Rest in managed by the Palouse Land Trust. The site has several trails, one easy along the creek with towering fir and cedar, one middle that goes through a grassland, and one longer and harder that climbs out of the valley floor.”  (http://www.pcei.org/idlers_rest.htm)

The PCEI website http://www.pcei.org/ has a lot more information about its activities, which include all sorts of things regarding environmental education, restoration and preservation.  Of course, it encourages donations and membership and provides volunteer opportunities.

As I visit the Special Places, I will do complete entries.  Another reason to look forward to summer!

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Filed under Moscow Idaho, Nature and Outdoors, Pullman Washington, Things to Do, Uncategorized

Palouse Discovery Science Center (Pullman, WA)

When I moved here I was pleasantly surprised that Pullman has its own children’s science museum:  The Palouse Discovery Science Center.  It is the type of facility you would think you could not find in a small town.  Yet another positive thing about Pullman!

From its website:

The Palouse Discovery Science Center (PDSC) promotes science, math, and technology literacy through educational programs, exhibits, teaching collections, and activities emphasizing hands-on learning.

Experience a full spectrum of programs that include live science demonstrations, hands-on lessons, films, lectures, classes, field trips, summer camps, laboratory experiences, teacher workshops, science birthdays, and outreach services. The center has a wonderful science store, the Curiosity Shop, filled with cool science toys, party favors, and gifts. Stop by and see for yourself what science is all about.”


The PDSC has age appropriate areas and activities for all ages of young kids.

It is a wonderful place to spend a snowy day (or a hot one) and it is a great place to have a birthday party.

It has family friendly bathrooms, a place to nurse a baby, and a place to have sit and have a snack (but no food available for purchase).

It also has a nice gift shop that carries science-oriented kid’s items.

The website :

http://www.palousescience.org/

The PDSC is open Tuesday 10am to 5pm, and Wednesday-Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm.

Admission:
$6 for Adults (12 to 54)
$5 for Seniors (55 and over)
$4 for Children (2 to 12)
Children under 2 are free
Seniors are free on Friday



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Filed under Culture, Inside Activities, Pullman Washington, Things to Do, Uncategorized, What to do if it is snowing

Pullman Page Turners (Book Club): Grown-Up Time

One of my favorite non-kid activities is book club.  I am in the Pullman Page Turners, sponsored by the Neill Public Library.  Once a month we meet at a member’s home to discuss a book, drink wine and socialize.

For information, see the Pullman Page Turners page on the library website:

http://www.neill-lib.org/Departments/Library/DrawOnePage.aspx?PageID=777

Neill Public Library also hosts another book club, The Grand Avenue Book Club.  I have not attended that one, but its reading list looks similar to the Pullman Page Turners.  Their meetings are held in the library.

The library website has a GAB page:

http://www.neill-lib.org/Departments/Library/DrawOnePage.aspx?PageID=1146

and they have their own site/blog:

http://grandavenuebookclub.wetpaint.com/

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Zeppoz (Pullman, Washington)

It is really, really adorable to see kids bowl.  And it is good to have things to do when it is too hot or too cold to be outside.  Enter Zeppoz.  In case you don’t know, Zeppoz is bowling alley, arcade and casino located in Pullman.

Lots of lanes at Zeppoz

Zeppos is very kid friendly.  It has racks for assisting the kids to bowl, and you can put bumpers on the lanes to prevent gutter balls.

Strike! (Assisted)

It also has an arcade, which of course my boys love.  It is a struggle to keep them away from the forbidden games…..

Kids, can we do "Dance Dance Revolution????"

The bowling is fairly inexpensive for kids – we can only do one game max – and there are often specials.  They also take part in kidsbowlfree.com during the summer, which is a very cool program to check out.

The vitals:

http://www.zeppoz.com/

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday 11:30AM – 2:00AM
Saturday-Sunday 9:30AM – 2:00AM

Happy Hour 4-7 PM Weekdays

Dinner Served 4-10 PM Everyday
780 SE Bishop Blvd. Pullman WA 99163
509.334.7101 main
509.332.3352 fax

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Conservation Park (Pullman, WA)

Path, Conservation park

I love to get the boys outside, especially when it is close and easy.  Today we went to Conservation Park, and it was both.

Conservation Park Entrance

Pullman’s website gives the story of Conservation Park:

“The City’s ‘old nursery’ site having outgrown it’s initial purpose made it’s transformation into the Conservation Park as a result of WSU student Angie Kenney’s Master Thesis; Environmental and Societal Benefits of Conserving Open Space: An in Depth Analysis and formal Park Proposal for Pullman, Washington. The Boy Scouts have improved trails and made the initial improvements to the entrance site at the western terminus of Darrow Street, Park staff added a pergola and volunteers from Windermere Realty installed the landscape. Cub Scouts have added plantings and a bench site overlooking the Palouse River. The future vision includes pedestrian connections to Cooper  Basin, Military Hill and Grand Avenue Greenway.”

A new friend

The park is basically just open space with a rough trail.  The trail is probably about a half mile, winding downhill to the road where the water treatment plant is(!)  It took us about 45 minutes to go all the way down and back – and that included breaks for finding sticks, throwing rocks, and a bit of arguing (naturally).

This was a mini nature experience- not the wilderness by any means, but a good chance to run around and enjoy the sunshine.  In the summer it should be beautiful.

And you get to see the water treatment plant!

The City’s “old nursery” site having outgrown it’s initial purpose made it’s transformation into the Conservation Park as a result of WSU student Angie Kenney’s Master Thesis; Environmental and Societal Benefits of Conserving Open Space: An in Depth Analysis and formal Park Proposal for Pullman, Washington. The Boy Scouts have improved trails and made the initial improvements to the entrance site at the western terminus of Darrow Street, Park staff added a pergola and volunteers from Windermere Realty installed the landscape. Cub Scouts have added plantings and a bench site overlooking the Palouse River. The future vision includes pedestrian connections to Cooper Basin, Military Hill and Grand Avenue Greenway.

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South Fork Public House (Pullman- Restaurant)

Ahhh, beer!

Pullman has a new restaurant and bar:  the South Fork Public House.  I have been here about five times now, and I really recommend it.

It was only empty because it was very early

It is a rare place you can take kids but yet it still feels like a grow-up establishment.  I have gone for happy hour, lunch and dinner – each time the service was excellent and the food was good. I like that you can substitute any meat with falafel or veggie burger, so if you want to go veggie you don’t end up eating just steamed rice and vegetables.

Full bar

The atmosphere is relaxed but contemporary, as is the decor.

The prices are reasonable (around $10 for salads, around $9 for sandwiches, and around $10 – $20 for entrees).  The location is unexpected- between the Ace Hardware and the Dollar Tree – but who cares?  It has tons of parking, and it is especially convenient for Pioneer Hill and Sunnyside Hill people.

Exterior Sign

Address: 1680 S. Grand Ave, Pullman, WA, 99163
Phone: 509-332-3675
Hours:  Monday – Sunday, 11:30 am to close (which I think means late night if there are customers)

Check out the Facebook page and the website!

http://www.southforkpublichouse.com/

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Filed under Food, Pullman Washington, Things to Do, Things to do without kids, Uncategorized

Swilly’s Restaurant: Lunch Date

Exterior of Swilly's Restaurant

A week or so ago I had a lunch with a girl friend at Swilly’s, one of Pullman’s nicer restaurants.  Swilly’s was actually the only nice restaurant here when I moved here two and a half years ago, and it still holds its own against its newer competitors.

Swilly's Cozy Interior

Swilly’s decor is sunny and warm, with real art and exposed brick.   The front patio is a wonderful place for lunch in the summer.  The bar is small but perfect for a mini-date (that is, a glass of wine squeezed in between the end of work and the close of daycare).  It is not a happy hour type bar, so only go with one or two people.

Swilly's Bar

I have always had excellent food here.  The soups are very good (my favorites are the roasted tomato and the shrimp bisque served only on Fridays), as are the sandwiches (I have had the Black Bean Burger, the Grilled Cheese, and the Roast Turkey), and the desserts (they have a few different huge cookie bar type things that are fantastic).  I have only had dinner here once or twice, and the only thing I recall was the Sage-Chipotle Pork Tenderloin, which was very good.  If you sit at the bar, the bartender will help you make some good wine selections, and will let you taste before you order.

Swilly's Interior

Lunch items are around $10, and dinner items are around $25.  The service is usually quite good, but can be spotty (but not so much so that I don’t keep going back.)


200 NE Kamiaken St ·

Pullman, WA 99163

(509) 334-3395

http://swillys.com/

Swilly's Hours

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