19 Epic Things to Do in Spokane in the Winter: The Ultimate Guide

Are you looking for a list of things to do in Spokane in the winter? Well, let me tell you, we’ve been living here for over a year, and we absolutely adore the winter months! Don’t let the cold hold you back from experiencing the magic of this winter wonderland.

If you’re not really into outdoor activities, no worries! Spokane has a ton of awesome indoor stuff to do too. But I have to say, we’ve also grown to appreciate the stunning beauty of the outdoors.

Indoor Activities in Spokane During the Winter

While we think Spokane is beautiful in the winter, there may be times when you prefer to stay indoors and escape the cold. Luckily, the city offers various indoor activities that will keep you entertained and warm.

1. The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts. Explore their huge collection of artwork and exhibits, check out the gift shop, and spend time with your kiddos in the crafts area downstairs.

The museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except for Mondays. You can buy tickets online in advance or at the door.

2. Campbell House Tour

The Campbell House is part of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and was one of my favorite things to see when we visited. This house was built in 1898 and has been carefully preserved.

Admission is included with the regular museum admission price, and self-guided tours are available Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Guided tours are available Tuesday through Friday at noon, 1 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. We did a guided tour and loved learning about family life in the late 1800s.

3. Spokane Comedy Club

Get ready for a night of laughter and fun at the Spokane Comedy Club.  The club is located downtown just south of Riverfront Park, and they’ve got a full schedule of fantastic artists all year long.

Ticket prices vary depending on the performer, but their free open mic nights are some of the best inexpensive activities in Spokane. Kendall and I went to a free audition night with up-and-coming comedians and loved it.

The club has a menu with snack foods, such as popcorn, pretzel bites, hot dogs, desserts, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The club hours are Monday through Saturday from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. They are open until midnight on some nights, depending on performances.

4. Pinot’s Palette Paint and Sip Classes

This is another fantastic indoor activity for when the weather gets chilly. Pinot’s palette is right off Sprague Avenue, a little closer to Spokane Valley. Paint nights start at $34 per guest, and project prices range from $34 to $46, depending on the class length. 

All classes include a 16×20 cotton canvas and paint, brushes, and other equipment. We love the step-by-step instructions; this is an excellent way for non-artists like ourselves to create something pretty awesome. Pinot’s Palette also offers take-home kit options starting at $39 if you’re not up for attending a paint night in person. 

Street parking is generally wide open in front of the studio; metered parking is free after 7:00 p.m. and on Sundays. If you prefer not to park on the street, a diamond parking lot is available behind the studio for $4. 

man posing in front of a finished painting of a river winding through the forest
We attended a ‘Bob Ross’ themed paint night

5. Polka Dot Pottery

This is another of our favorite art studios in Spokane. Polka Dot Pottery is a ceramics studio where you can paint your creation and return to pick up your finished product after letting the studio fire and glaze it. 

Polka dot Pottery has many projects, from mugs to plates to decorative pieces. Prices range from $5 to $125 depending on your chosen piece; this includes access to paint, studio equipment, and having your piece glazed and fired.

Finished pieces are available for pickup one week after you finish painting. One side note: Polka Dot will only hold your completed order for 30 days. It will be donated if not picked up after this time frame. 

6. Axe-Throwing at Heber Hatchets

We love axe-throwing and have gone to various facilities in various cities. This is a great combination of game-like fun and something that’s a little out of the ordinary. Heber Hatchets is located at 2015 North Division Street in Spokane. 

Hours are Monday through Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday from 1:00 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. They are closed on Sundays.

Pricing is $19.99 per person per hour for one to three people, $17.99 per person for a group of four to seven people, and $14.99 per person per hour for eight people or more.

a couple in front of a wooden target at an axe-throwing activity, the man is holding an axe
Axe-throwing is a great indoor activity during the winter

7. Think Tank Escape Rooms

Kendall and I love escape rooms and have been to many, and Think Tank is one of our all-time favorites. Their rooms are engaging and difficult but not so much so they can’t be completed. The staff are friendly and willing to give as many hints as the group would like. 

Currently, they’ve got three room options available: Mayan Doomsday, Booby Trap, and Space Mission. We’ve completed the Space Mission room and the Booby Trap room and loved both.

Think Tank is open Monday through Thursday from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Fridays from noon to midnight, Saturdays from noon to midnight, and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. They strongly suggest reserving a room online to ensure you have a spot when you arrive, but they do accept walk-ins.

 Depending on your chosen room, the experiences last from 60 to 75 minutes.

front view of the Think Tank Escape Rooms building
Think Tank Escape Room front entrance near downtown Spokane

8. Garland Theater in Spokane

 Garland is a boutique theater originally opened in 1945 and shows discount second-run and classic films.  We love this theater just because it’s a little different from your general run-of-the-mill cinema experience. 

The theater is open from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4:00 p.m. to midnight on Fridays, and 11:40 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

 9. Auntie’s Bookstore

We generally love bookstores, and Auntie’s goes above and beyond. This huge bookstore is in the group of shops just to the south of Riverfront Park and makes for a great addition to exploring the park.  

They’ve got books of all types and small gift items such as t-shirts, socks, games, and more. Also, they’ve got a special children’s nook full of kids’ books and comfy chairs. 

Street parking is available for a few dollars, or you can park in the AMC Mall parking garage (this is what Kendall and I usually do).

Overhead view of a children's reading nook with shelves of books and a colorful wooden chair.
The childrens’ nook, as seen from above

10. Gaiser Conservatory

Manito Park is one of our favorite things to do in Spokane. The Rose Garden and Japanese Gardens are exquisite in the summer, and winter is a fantastic time to check out the conservatory. 

This indoor Greenhouse is open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily except for Wednesdays and is full of exotic plants. We especially love the section with succulents and ferns; they have every imaginable variety.

 The conservatory is free of charge, and no pets are allowed.

Outdoor Winter Activities in Spokane in the Winter

Despite the cold, we love being outside during the Winter, especially in cities like Spokane, which are full of gorgeous snow-covered pine trees.  Also, you’ll most likely have any hiking trails all to yourself. 

Riverside State Park and the Dishman Hills area are fantastic places to use your snowshoes or yak tracks, and they have some of the best hikes near Spokane.

11. Snowshoe Riverside State Park 

Riverside State Park is an area of over 9,000 acres located to the west of downtown Spokane, and it is one of my favorite areas for hiking and mountain biking.

We grew up near the Wasatch Range, and although these mountains contain some of the best day hikes in Northern Utah, we love the trails near Spokane because they are less steep and more suitable for snowshoeing or hiking with spikes.

Note: when visiting Riverside State Park, you must have a Discover pass. This pass can be purchased online for $10 daily or $30 for a year pass, giving you access to the parking lots at Riverside.

landscape view of cloud-shrouded pine trees, a shallow layer of snow covers the ground
Riverside State Park is full of mild-incline trails, perfect for snowshoeing or hiking with spikes

12. 49 Degrees North for Skiing and Snowboarding

The two biggest ski resorts nearest Spokane are 49° North and Mount Spokane Ski Resort. Of the two, we love 49° North. Day passes are cheaper, and we’ve found it to be less crowded. 

The mountain has over 88 marked trails.  30% are beginner-level, 40% intermediate, 25% advanced, and 5% expert, so there’s a fantastic range of trails for every experience level. The resort has seven different lifts and offers classes for skiers and snowboarders.

Day pass prices are $49 midweek and $75 on Saturdays and Sundays; significant discounts are offered for active military and college students. An adult season pass is $859, giving you access to Alpine and Nordic areas. The pass also includes lift tickets to other local Resorts like Bluewood, White Pass, and others.  

13. Ice Skating the Numerica Skate Ribbon

This is one of the most unique ice skating experiences you’ll find, and it’s located right in downtown Spokane at Riverfront Park. The ribbon is a 650 ft curving loop of ice and is surrounded by fire pits.  

Ticket prices are $9.95 for adults and $6.95 for children ages 3 to 12, and skate rental is $6.95 per person per visit. They also offer helmets free of charge. 

You can also purchase an unlimited ice skating season pass for $38.95 per adult and $27.95 for youth. The unlimited ice skate rental add-on for the season is $18.95. With the unlimited season pass, you also get a 15% discount on Riverfront gifts and four tickets to the Loof Carousel at Riverfront Park. 

The Skate Ribbon is next to a new restaurant called the Bearded Ginger that has barbecue, burgers, salads, pizza, and more. 

curving ice ribbon ice rink, one of the best things to do in Spokane in the winter
The curving ice ribbon near Riverfront park

14. Cross-country Skiing At Mount Spokane State Park 

Kendall is not a big downhill skier, so we love cross-country skiing together. Spokane Nordic is a fantastic place to either cross-country ski or snowshoe. Also, they offer skate ski or classic ski lessons for beginners. 

2-hour group lessons are $35 per adult; private lessons are $60 for the first person and $35 for each other member in the group. These prices do not include gear rentals. Classes are usually offered at 10:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. on various weekdays and weekends.

Gear rental is offered on-site at the following prices: 

  • 1 day cross country classic skis: $30 per adult, $25 for youth under $100
  • 1 day skate ski rental: $50 per adult or $40 for youth 
  • Snowshoe rental: $25 per day 

Parking at Spokane Nordic

You will need a parking pass.  The $120 season pass includes parking for the season and a seasonal non-motorized snow park permit/seasonal groom sticker, which allows you to use the trails. 

You can also buy a daily parking pass For $25, but this does not include the special groomed sticker. The sticker can be purchased separately for $70. 

Holiday Things to Do in Spokane in the Winter

Spokane truly comes alive during holidays, offering a wide range of festive events and activities for everyone to enjoy. From dazzling light displays to traditional holiday celebrations, these events add an extra layer of magic to your winter visit.

15. Carriage Rides by Wheatland Bank

These are short carriage rides, lasting from 8 to 10 minutes, offered during specific days of the year. Check out their calendar for specific dates for the upcoming year. Each carriage can hold up to eight adults. 

The pickup location is at Riverfront Park, across from the skate ribbon entrance. The best part about these carriage rides is that they are free, minus tipping the driver, which is highly appreciated. They do not allow animals in the carriage, so be sure to leave your pets at home.

16. Numerica Tree Lighting Ceremony in Riverfront Park 

Get into the Christmas spirit by attending the tree-lighting ceremony at Riverfront Park. The event usually takes place at the end of November, between the 24th and the 26th, depending on the year, and lasts from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

It’s free to attend and takes place at the plaza next to the Numerica skate ribbon.  The event has food trucks, live entertainment, and they even offer a complimentary cup of hot cocoa. In 2023, some of the Performing groups were the following: Ferris High School Theater Arts, Company Ballet School, Civic Theater, and more. 

This ceremony is a great way to get out and about during the cold winter months, so check it out!

17. Have Dinner in an Igloo at the Davenport Grand Hotel

The Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane has one of the most unique dining options in the city. Davenport’s side terrace has six tables, each surrounded by an igloo dome.  Five of these igloos seat up to six people, and the final ‘party’ igloo seats up to 12. 

Davenport offers various package options. 

The premier package is $85 per person for an hour and a half and includes specialty cheeses, charcuterie boards, deviled eggs, build-your-own s’mores, and more.

 The Spokane experience package is $75 per person for one and a half hours in the igloo. This package includes a cheese ball, a hummus sampler, deviled eggs, and fondue.

The sparkling and dessert package is $45 per person for 1 hour. This experience includes an assortment of chocolate treats created by the Davenport pastry chefs and a glass of sparkling brut. 

Check out Davenport’s official website for a full list of inclusions/exclusions.

18. Santa Express at the River Park Square Mall

The Santa Express is a retail store at River Park Square Mall with inexpensive gifts, specifically made for kids to come and shop. The earnings support Vanessa Behan, a safe shelter for kids in crisis. 

The store is for kids ages 4 to 12 and has gifts from $1 to $12.  Kids can shop with their own ‘elf’ who can answer questions and help with gift selection. The Santa Express generally lasts from the end of November to the end of December, ending before Christmas. 

19. Northwest Winterfest 

The Northwest Winterfest is the largest lantern display in the Pacific Northwest.

Located at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, the event is each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (except for Christmas Day) from December 1st through December 31st.

Hours are Fridays from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sundays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Everything is indoors (great for those coldest winter months). They also have kids’ activities, entertainment, food, and beverages.

Ticket prices were $14.90 for adults in 2023, and children under 10 get in free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.  Advanced reservations are encouraged, but tickets may also be purchased at the entrance. 

There is free on-site parking at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center  (404 North Havana Street) in Spokane Valley.  No dogs are allowed; only service animals, so leave your pets home.  

Best Things to Do in Spokane in the Winter Summary

Spokane truly is a great place to explore during the winter months.  There are so many activities and events that allow you to fully embrace the magic of the season. Whether you’re seeking thrilling outdoor adventures or cozy indoor experiences, this winter wonderland has it all. From exploring the vibrant downtown area to indulging in art and culture at the museums, Spokane offers endless opportunities for entertainment and relaxation.

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