Tag Archives: Things to Do

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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Filed under Culture, Free, Inside Activities, Pullman Washington, Things to Do, Things to do without kids, Uncategorized

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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Filed under Free, Nature and Outdoors, Pullman Washington, Things to Do

Palouse Ice Rink (Moscow, Idaho)

Palouse Ice Rink

I have a theory:  we will look forward to winter if we get into some winter activities.  So, while we have yet to learn to snowshoe or cross-country ski (next year, I swear!), this winter we tried ice skating.

Interior (with an open end) of Palouse Ice Rink

The one ice rink here is Palouse Ice Rink.  It is located in the Rotary Veterans Memorial Pavilion at the Latah County Fairgrounds in Moscow, Idaho.  It is basically across the street from the Eastside Marketplace Shopping Center.

My older son (who is now 4) has been doing skating lessons, which have gone well.  Sign up for lessons through the Pullman or Moscow Parks and Recreation Department.  It is a bit expensive, but skates are included, as is a punch card for 6 open-skate visits.

Skating Lesson

Skating has been a nice cold weather thing to do.  I also like the idea of the boys knowing at least the basics of skating so that someday all four of us can go and all have a good time. (This year my 2 year old was really not quite ready, but I did see other kids that age enjoying skating.)

Skate Rental at Palouse Ice Rink

The Palouse Ice Rink has a lot of open skate times.  Check the schedule on their website:

http://www.palouseicerink.com/

It also has adult lessons in addition to kid lessons.

Because the rink has an open end, it is not open year round.  The website says ice skating season is typically late October to early April.  In the summer, I believe they do roller skating, including Roller Derby.  I will make sure to do a post on that this summer!

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Filed under Moscow Idaho, Things to Do, What to do if it is snowing

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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Filed under Food, Pullman Washington

Indoor Play Places

Pullman McDonald's Play Area

It’s too cold to go outside, and the kids are bored.  More to the point, YOU need to get them out of the house, or you will all go crazy.  Enter the indoor play area.

Longer View, Pullman McDonald's Play Area

The only indoor play area I know of in Pullman itself is McDonald’s.  (If there are others, PLEASE let me know!)  Even if you would never have stepped foot in a McDonald’s before moving to Pullman, you will do it once you live here.  And it is actually quite pleasant- it is clean and bright, and is the nicest of the area McDonald’s and McDonald’s play areas.  Order some coffee if you are anti-McD’s food, and let the kids run wild.

1620 GRAND AVE S – PULLMAN, WA 99163-4905 – (509)332-6725

Pullman McD's

Other McD locations with play areas:

Lewiston McDonald's Play Area

Lewiston:  This is the second best.  It is the largest, and it can help make the drive to Lewiston worth it for kids.  There is a sign that says Mondays are Family Nights, which I think means the whole family can play on it.  Like all these McD play structures, if your kid gets stuck/scared or just refuses to come out, extracting him or her would be basically impossible.

119 THAIN ROAD – LEWISTON, ID 83501 – (208)746-3032

(The McDonald’s website indicates there is also one in Clarkston, WA with a play area, but I have never been there.  Address: 350 BRIDGE ST – CLARKSTON, WA 99403-1929 – (509)758-9603)

Moscow, Idaho McDonald's Play Area

Moscow, Idaho:  This one is my least favorite, as it seems like the least clean of the three (just my take on it from looking!).  But it is still not bad, and you know, it is something to do.

1404 MOSCOW-PULLMAN HIGHWAY – MOSCOW, ID 83843 – (208)882-2900

OTHER INDOOR PLAY AREAS:

Eastside Marketplace, Play Area

The Eastside Marketplace in Moscow has a nice indoor play area.  It is in front of the movie theater.  It is clean and free.  You can even have a birthday party there.  I highly recommend this play area.

Eastside Marketplace Rules

The play area is also in front of Wild At Art, the paint-your-own pottery place, which is an excellent thing to do with kids (maybe I’ll do an entry on that too).

Eastside Marketplace

1420 South Blaine Street
Moscow, ID 83843-3973
(208) 882-1533

www.eastsidemarketplace.com

Eastside Marketplace

And then, there is Bumpers.

Bumpers, Palouse Mall, Moscow, Idaho

Bumpers is in the Palouse Mall in Moscow, Idaho.  It is kind of notorious around here because it truly appears to never have been cleaned.  [Note, I do not mean to libel Bumpers.  This is just my opinion, which I have formed from going there and from hearing stories of other parents who have gone there.]  It is obnoxious and way overpriced, and of course, kids LOVE it.  I walked by many times without relenting.  Finally I had to use it as a bribe to get the kids through a particularly long Bed, Bath and Beyond trip, and I lived to tell about it.  I doubt I will ever again get through a trip to the mall with the boys without going there.

Bumpers, Palouse Mall, Moscow, Idaho

Bumpers has arcade games, air hockey, Foosball, etc. for bigger kids (which the little kids will want to do) and a play area for small kids.  You will not want to let your kids play in the play area because it seems so gross.  But over time, you will probably do it!  (Full disclosure:  I have not let my kids on the play area yet.  I have let them do the arcade games and skeeball.  I am sure this winter we’ll finally go on the play structure!)  There are also bumper cars, but I have not seen anyone on them.

Bottom line is that the kids are really thrilled by this place.  And it is pretty cool to impart so much joy for a hand full of quarters and some Purell.

Bumpers Small Kids Play Area

Right outside Bumpers is the coin centrifuge.  It is cool.  It will make you feel a little better about going to Bumpers.

Palouse Mall

1850 West Pullman Road
Moscow, ID 83843-4014
(208) 882-8893

www.palousemall.com

Palouse Mall Coin Centrifuge

I know Pullman parks and Rec opens the Sunnyside Elementary gym sometimes over winter break, and I have heard there is a Moscow rec center (?) that has something similar.  You may also be able to play at Gladdish Community Center and the Pioneer Center (both in Pullman) but I have not done it.

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Filed under Food, Free, Idaho, Moscow Idaho, Pullman Washington, Things to Do, What to do if it is snowing

Charles R. Conner Museum (WSU)

A Cougar... Probably the only way we'll see one!

I took the boys to the Conner Museum on the Washington State University campus this morning.  Very worthwhile!

The Conner Museum has lots of dead stuff.  The variety is impressive (though make no mistake, this is a small collection) and the displays and collection are high quality.

The history (from the website):

“Conner Museum traces its beginnings back to 1894, when Charles R. Conner, president of the Board of Regents, persuaded the state of Washington to donate its exhibits from the Chicago World’s Fair to the fledgling Washington Agricultural College. Those first exhibits were a mixture of several disciplines including anthropology, geology, biology and, of course, agriculture. Over time and through the influence of successive curators, the museum’s theme gradually narrowed and focused on vertebrate animals. Today the museum’s exhibits display over 700 mounts of birds and mammals and the scientific collection used by researchers houses over 65,000 specimens.”

One of the coolest things about the museum is the table of stuff the kids can touch.  We took full advantage of this!

The museum is located on the first floor of Abelson Hall, in a few different rooms (just follow the signs).  It is open seven days a week from 8 AM to 5 PM, except on holidays or other times when the buildings on campus are closed. Admission is FREE, but the museum could really use donations, so drop some money in the donation box if you can.  There is no specific parking lot.  We parked at a meter in front of Daggy Hall on College.  It was $1.50 for an hour. I was afraid parking was going to be a pain, but it wasn’t.

From there, it was a short walk to Abelson.  The boys had a great time running up the stairs.

Abelson Hall

We also saw the famous Bryan clock tower and took the obligatory photo.

Bryan Clock Tower

Finally, on the way back to the car, we stopped at every mound of snow (leftover and totally icy) that we could see.  I only mention this because the boys would have been happy doing this for hours, and it was great because there are no cars to worry about- maybe when we get bored this winter we can wander around campus kicking at snowpiles?

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Filed under Culture, Free, Pullman Washington, Washington State University, What to do if it is snowing