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Zag Links: Arts, Culture & Events

Spokane Culture & Society

Parks & Nature

Spokane has some beautiful parks and preserves located within and close to the city. Different agencies, such as the City Parks Department, the Spokane Conservation District, the Washington State Parks department, and the WA State Department of Ecology offer information on their locations, features, preservation and conservation.

A few worth highlighting:

Centennial Trail: The trail runs through the Gonzaga campus, near the Law School building. From here if you take it east, it reaches all the way to Idaho.  West takes you through Downtown and Riverfront park and further out to Riverside State Park.  *While mostly safe, the buddy systems is advisable on the trail.

Manito Park and Botanical Gardens: Is Spokane's most beautiful park, featuring a variety of formal gardens, Mirror Pond filled with ducks and a pair of white swans, and many scenic walking paths through the park.  If there is one place you must visit while in Spokane Manito would be that place. 

Riverfront Park: Located in the center of downtown, River Front Park was the site of the 1974 World's Fair.  It is a large park, the Spokane river literally runs through it, as does the Centennial Trail. The historic Loof Carousel, located near Spokane Falls Blvd. on the south side of the park is always fun!

Riverside State Park: With its distinctive rock formation, the Bowl & Pitcher, Riverside State Park is the place for beautiful hikes that explore nature and local history. From the site: "Riverside is Washington's largest State Park with two rivers, several campgrounds, an Equestrian Area, ORV Area, Cultural/Historical sites, boating and paddling access, miles and miles of mixed use trails, and stunning scenery and views at every turn."

Want to access state parks and recreation land? The Discover Pass is a single permit for all Washington state parks, which may be purchased online.

"The pass is required on state recreation lands and water-access sites managed by Washington State Parks (State Parks), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). These lands include state parks, water-access points, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, DNR and WDFW campgrounds, trails and trailheads and all DNR managed uplands (natural areas and trustlands, but not aquatic lands."

Cultural Diversity Sites in Spokane

A bibliography of resources for those researching the history of cultural diversity in Spokane, by Dr. Raymond Rast of Gonzaga University's History Department.

Music Venues

The Bartlett
An all ages live music venue, cafe and beer/wine bar, shows from up & coming touring artists.

Bing Crosby Theater
Named after Gonzaga's most famous alum, the Bing is a small theater hosting a variety of music, theater and movies.

Fox Theater
Home to the Spokane Symphony, the Fox also hosts touring ballets, musicals and musicians of various styles.  Worth attending a show here just to see the beautiful restored Art Deco theater.   

The Knitting Factory
Mid size music venue offering some all ages shows, national touring acts and local bands.  If a well known indie band comes to town, this is where they will likely play.

Spokane Arena
Although it is used primarily for Hockey and Arena Football, the Arena gets the occasional big name touring act.  Surprisingly good sound for a venue of this size.

INB Performing Arts Center


Live Theaters:

Gonzaga Theatre & Dance

Spokane Civic Theater: Spokane's nationally award-winning live community theater.

Interplayers Theatre: "inspiring live theatre experiences for imaginative audiences and professional artists."

The Blue Door Theatre: "The Inland Northwest's Premier Improv Company"

Ignite! Community Theatre: "a diverse group of people who have united to provide an alternative theatrical choice."

Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre: "Established in 1967, Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre (CST) is Idaho's oldest performing arts organization. Becoming a non-profit in 1984, CST specializes in production of full-scale Broadway musicals during the months of July and August."

Stage Left Theater: "Our group is founded on the belief that live theater provides a mechanism for interpersonal interaction not provided by television and movies, that it should be a force for political, intellectual and social stimulation, and should be relevant to the daily lives of the audience and the players.  We seek to broaden the involvement of the general population by engaging issues of topical value and stimulating the analysis and discussion of the structure and goals of society."

Theater Arts for Children: "a non-profit (501c3) community theater that was founded with the belief that everyone should have a chance to participate in live theater."

Christian Youth Theater (CYT): "dedicated to developing character in children and adults through training in the arts and by producing wholesome family entertainment, all of which reflect Judeo-Christian values."

Movie Theaters:

The Magic Lantern Theatre: Located Downtown, featuring independent movies and film festivals.

Garland Theater: Located in the Garland District on the northside, showing second run movies at a discount.

AMC Riverpark Square 20: Located Downtown in Riverpark Square, wide release movies and films.

Regal Spokane Valley 12: Located at the Spokane Valley Mall, wide-release movies and films.

Village Centre Cinemas: Located at Wandermere and Airway Heights.